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Metathesis in the Hebrew Bible begins by briefly discussing linguistic metathesis, in which letters or sounds are unintentionally inverted during the historical development of a language, and textual metathesis, in which the letters of a word are accidentally inverted during the transmission of a text. This sets the stage for the heart of the book, which focuses on the widespread use of literary-stylistic metathesis in the Hebrew Bible, in which two or more words that use the same letters in opposite orders are deliberately juxtaposed within a sentence.
The book also demonstrates that literary metathesis is not limited to the Hebrew Bible, but that it also appears in postbiblical Jewish Hebrew compositions, such as The Wisdom of Ben Sira and the rabbinic literature. This leads to the conclusion that the use of this literary tool by the Rabbis in the midrashic literature is not a late, artificial approach to Scripture, but rather one that has deep roots in the biblical texts themselves and that continued to develop in the writings of the Second Temple period and in later Jewish writings.
Number of Pages: 200
Vendor: Hendrickson Publishers
Publication Date: 2018
|Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)|
"Wordplay and sound play are staples of ancient Near Eastern and biblical literature. One of the most salient forms of wordplay in the Hebrew Bible is metathesis—connecting and suggesting meanings based on placing words with similar, but different, sequences of consonants in close proximity. Isaac Kalimi's high-level yet highly accessible study highlights, clarifies, and documents the phenomenon. It should interest all serious students of the Hebrew Bible."
—Ed Greenstein, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
Isaac Kalimi (PhD, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) is Gutenberg Research University Professor in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies and Ancient Israelite History and a fellow of the Gutenberg Forschungskolleg at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, and an honorary member of the Scandinavian Society for Iranian Studies. He has published numerous books and articles in biblical studies, ancient Israelite history and historiography, and rabbinic literature and thought.