Archive for the ‘Hebrew Bible’ Tag

Some Judeo-Persian manuscripts at the BnF   1 comment

Previously I have highlighted some Georgian manuscripts that the Bibliothèque nationale de France has graciously made freely available online. Here is a list of Judeo-Persian manuscripts from the BnF that I have been able to find at Gallica. (If I happen to have missed one, please let me know.) They mostly come from the fifteenth-seventeenth centuries, some of them with colophons. While these manuscripts obviously fall outside of the delimiter “eastern Christian” that guides most of the posts appearing here, I know that at least some readers of the blog have, just as I do, broader interests than that delimiter allows. Most of the texts here are biblical; for details about published biblical texts in Persian (Judeo-Persian and otherwise), see my hitherto incomplete bibliography here.

These manuscripts often have a verse in Hebrew followed immediately by a Persian translation. For the Catalogues des manuscrits hébreux et samaritains de la Bibliothèque Impériale (Munk, Derenbourg, Franck, and Zotenberg) see at Gallica here and here. The few remarks I give below rely on this volume.

Un grand merci à la BnF de partager ces manuscrits!

70 Pentateuch (catalog)

BnF héb 70, f. 22v, end of Gen 14 in Heb and Judeo-Persian

BnF héb 70, f. 22v, end of Gen 14 in Heb and Judeo-Persian

71 Pentateuch (catalog)

  • The Persian text of №s 70-71 is said to follow Targum Onqelos closely.

90 Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Ezra, Nehemiah (catalog)

  • Probably the same scribe as №s 70-71.

97 Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel (to 10:3), with David Kimḥi’s commentary (catalog)

100 Jeremiah (catalog)

  • Different from the version in № 97. Like some of the other JP translations, this one follows Onqelos more than the MT.

101 Minor Prophets, Lamentations (catalog)

  • The margins have some of the Persian in Perso-Arabic script.

116 Proverbs, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Ruth, Esther (catalog)

117 Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (catalog)

BnF héb 117, f. 1v, the beginning of Proverbs in Heb and Judeo-Persian

BnF héb 117, f. 1v, the beginning of Proverbs in Heb and Judeo-Persian

118 Job, Lamentations, Jeremiah (catalog)

120 Job (catalog)

121 Job (catalog)

127 Esther, benedictions, and a Purim song (Heb and Pers) (catalog)

129 Daniel (catalog)

130 Tobit, Judith, Bel and the Dragon, Megillat Antiochos[1] (catalog)

BnF héb 130, f. 58r, colophon in Persian in Perso-Arabic and Hebrew script

BnF héb 130, f. 58r, colophon in Persian in Perso-Arabic and Hebrew script

The colophon (f. 58r) reads as follows:

نبشتة (!) شد این کتاب در موضع لار سال هزار و نوه صد ودوازده

נבשתה שוד אין כתאב דר מוצׄע לאר סאל הזאר ונוה צד ודואזדה

nevešte šod in ketāb dar mawẓiʿ-e Lār sāl-e hezār o noh sad o davāzdah

This book was written in the village of Lār in the year 1912 [AG, = 1600/1].

[1] The Aramaic text, for whatever it’s worth (Kaufman’s comments here), is available at the CAL site sub Late Jewish Literary Aramaic, text 81406.

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 19   Leave a comment

First, a general note: I’m under no illusion that a great host of people care about these little posts on Old Georgian, but for those few of you that may, please let me know if you find them to be of any use. How might they be made better?

Now to the main object. The first chapter (and other parts) of Qohelet/Ecclesiastes never gets old, and several verses are good for learning basic vocabulary, etc. Here is Eccl. 1:8, Greek and Georgian (Oški/Jerusalem).

πάντες οἱ λόγοι ἔγκοποι·
οὐ δυνήσεται ἀνὴρ τοῦ λαλεῖν,
καὶ οὐκ ἐμπλησθήσεται ὀφθαλμὸς τοῦ ὁρᾶν,
καὶ οὐ πληρωθήσεται οὖς ἀπὸ ἀκροάσεως.

ყოველნივე სიტყუანი შრომით,

ვერშემძლებელ არს კაცი სიტყუად,

და ვერცა თუალი განძღეს ხილვად,

და არცა აღივსოს ყური სმენითა.

Some vocabulary

  • შრომითი tiresome, difficult
  • ვერშემძლებელი incapable
  • განძღომა to be satisfied
  • აღვსება to fill (here passively, or with self-interest [middle], with the CV -ი- [სათავისო/sataviso in Georgian])

Posted January 23, 2014 by adam_bremer-mccollum in Bible, Georgian, Grammar

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Old Georgian phrases and sentences 18   Leave a comment

Again with the prophets, this time Isaiah. Here is part of the confrontation between the messenger of Sennacherib and the representatives of the people of Judea, where they tell him to speak to them in Aramaic, not in “Judean” in the hearing of the rest of the people (Isa 36:11). The Georgian version (Oški/Jerusalem, ed. Blake and Brière) is notable for having “in Persian” immediately before “in Aramaic”, and also for specifically mentioning the name/title Rab-šāqēh; the former characteristic is unique, as far as I know, and the latter agrees with the Syriac (and Hebrew) text, over against the Greek and Armenian (see below). This Georgian version does, however, have the extended question at the end of the verse, in agreement with the Greek and Armenian. What about სპარს-ებრ (spars-ebr, “in Persian”)? At the risk of seeming harebrained: One wonders if a wandering eye or ear of some Georgian scribe who had before him an Armenian version somehow inadvertently turned the combination of պարսպաւս (parspaws, “the wall”) and the ending -րէն (of ասորերէն and հրէարէն) into Պարսկերէն (Parskerēn, “in Persian”), which would be სპარს-ებრ in Georgian! The possibility may be present, but it is remote; I can, however, come up with no more likely explanation for now.

Here’s the text, with the phrases separated into lines for easy reading.

Isaiah 36:11 (Oški/Jerusalem)

და ჰრქუეს ჰრაფსაკს ელიაკიმ და სომნა და იოაქ˙

ეტყოდე მონათა შენთა სპარს-ებრ ასურ-ებრ.

რამეთუ მესმის ჩუენ.

და ნუ მეტყჳ ჩუენ ჰურია-ებრ˙

და რაჲ სარგებელ არს შენდა სიტყუაჲ ეგე ჰურია-ებრი ყურთა მიმართ ამის ერისათა.

რომელნი ესე წარმოსხდომილ არიან ზღუდეთა ზედა:


  • ჰრქუეს aor 3p რქუმა to say
  • ეტყოდე pres imv 2s სიტყუა to speak
  • მონაჲ servant
  • სპარს-ებრ in Persian
  • ასურ-ებრ in Aramaic
  • მესმის pres 3s + 1(p) IO სმენა to hear (INV, i.e. “we hear”)
  • მეტყჳ aor iter 2s + 1p IO სიტყუა to speak
  • ჰურია-ებრ in Judean, Jewish (for ჰურიაჲ and its derivatives, cf. Armenian հրեայ, on which see Hübschmann, Armenische Gramm., 309)
  • სარგებელი use, advantage
  • ჰურია-ებრი Judean, Jewish
  • ყური ear
  • ერი people
  • წარმოსხდომილი sitting (cf. წარმოჯდომილი in Sardshweladse-Fähnrich, 1503; both სხდომა and ჯდომა mean “to sit”)
  • ზღუდეჲ wall

For those who are interested, here is the LT in Blake and Brière of the Georgian text:

Et dixerunt ad Hrap’sak Eliakim et Somna et Ioak’: Loquere servis tuis persice, hoc est syriace, quia audimus nos; et noli loqui nobis iudaice; et quid prodest tibi loqui verbum istud iudaicum ad aures huius populi, qui foris sedent super muris?

The words supplied for clarity they put in italics (as in the 1769 edition, but not that of 1611, of the King James Version and its successors). The “hoc est” following “persice” probably goes too far. It’s hard to imagine that Georgian hearers and readers would have heard სპარსებრ ასურებრ and simply equated the two as different names for the same language.

And finally, for convenience, here are the other texts for this verse that were mentioned above.


וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֶלְיָקִים֩ וְשֶׁבְנָ֨א וְיֹואָ֜ח אֶל־רַב־שָׁקֵ֗ה דַּבֶּר־נָ֤א אֶל־עֲבָדֶ֨יךָ֙ אֲרָמִ֔ית כִּ֥י שֹׁמְעִ֖ים אֲנָ֑חְנוּ וְאַל־תְּדַבֵּ֤ר אֵלֵ֨ינוּ֙ יְהוּדִ֔ית בְּאָזְנֵ֣י הָעָ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־הַחֹומָֽה׃


καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτὸν Ελιακιμ καὶ Σομνας καὶ Ιωαχ Λάλησον πρὸς τοὺς παῖδάς σου Συριστί, ἀκούομεν γὰρ ἡμεῖς, καὶ μὴ λάλει πρὸς ἡμᾶς Ιουδαϊστί· καὶ ἵνα τί λαλεῖς εἰς τὰ ὦτα τῶν ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἐπὶ τῷ τείχει;


ܘܐܡܪ ܐܠܝܩܝܡ ܘܫܒܢܐ ܘܝܘܐܚ ܠܪܒ ܫ̈ܩܐ܂ ܡܠܠ ܥܡ ܥܒ̈ܕܝܟ ܐܪܡܐܝܬ ܡܛܠ ܕܫܡܿܥܝܢܢ܂ ܘܠܐ ܬܡܠܠ ܥܡܢ ܝܗܘܕܐܝܬ ܩܕܡ ܥܡܐ ܕܩܝܿܡܝܢ ܥܠ ܫܘܪܐ܂

w-emar elyāqim w-šebnā w-yoʔāḥ l-rab šāqē. mallel ʕam ʕabdā(y)k ārāmāʔit meṭol d-šāmʕinan. w-lā tmallel ʕamman ihudāʔit qdām ʕammā d-qāymin ʕal šurā.


Եւ ասէ ցնա եղիակիմ, եւ սովմնաս, եւ յովաք. խօսեա́ց ընդ ծառայս քո ասորերէն՝ զի լսեմք, եւ մի́ խօսիր ընդ մեզ հրէարէն. եւ ընդէ՞ր խօսիս յականջս մարդկանս որ անկեալ կան զպարսպաւս։

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