Monday, May 02, 2016

Mene mene tekel upharsin

The Scribal Background of the “Menetekel” in Daniel 5

Since Aramaic was introduced as the standard administrative language in Achaemenid Palestine around 500 B.C.E. and dominated scribal training into the early Roman period, its influence on literary production is hardly surprising. Placing such key terms against their original background goes far beyond merely antiquarian interests; it helps uncover new literary subtleties in the biblical text and better assess their theological impact.

For Further Reading: Gzella, Holger (ed.). 2016. Aramäisches Wörterbuch (Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Alten Testament, vol. IX). Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, especially the articles jd, ktb, mnī, prq, and tql.

By Holger Gzella
Professor of Hebrew and Aramaic
Leiden University
April 2016
Cross-file under Aramaic Watch.