Esther 2:1-4

So, to make up for yesterday’s long text, today’s is rather short. It all evens out over the long haul, though.

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Esther 1:10-22

The next instalment is below. It is slightly longer than the normal post will be (13 verses), but I hated to chop an episode into parts.

Again, feedback is most welcome.

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Esther 1:1-9

One of our doctoral candidates, John Screnock, and I are finishing our grammatical commentary on the book of Esther for the Baylor Handbook on the Hebrew Bible series. As we do final revisions before submitting, I thought it would be useful to post much of the commentary here, in sections of 5-10 verses, in order for potential readers to ask questions, seek clarification, or point out confusing comments or typos. We thus hope to make the product cleaner and more usable. (We posted a shortened version of a section of our introduction, dealing with the historical linguistic profile of Esther, here.)

So, without further ado, below is the commentary for Esther 1:1-9, with subsequent sections to be posted one per day for the next three weeks. Consider yourself solicited for feedback!

*Note that the cross-references to our Introduction are not filled in.

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A Linguistic Profile of the Book of Esther (SBL 2013)

A doctoral student in my department, John Screnock, and I are co-presenting a paper in the SBL Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew section in Baltimore on Sunday. The paper is a much shortened version of a large section of our introductory chapter in the Baylor Handbook on the Hebrew Bible volume on Esther that we are writing (the volume is now 99% drafted).

Since we have finished the paper much sooner than I typically do, I have posted the paper and handout below. (It’s a relief to anticipate a flight without finishing my paper—what an odd feeling.)

See you in Baltimore!



More entries from Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics

To follow suit of my co-blogger, here are links to the offprints of my contributions to EHLL that arrive a couple of weeks ago. Without yet having read many of the numerous EHLL offprints from these volumes available on, it will be interesting to see how they are received considering the articles appear to at times take diametrically opposite viewpoints on overlapping topics.

One such example came in the immediately-following article to my “Aspect: Pre-Modern Hebrew,” the article “Aspect: Modern Hebrew.” This latter article quite curiously begins with introducing, among other things, Vendler’s four categories of situations. This seems odd only because there is an entire other series of entries on “Actionality (Aktionsart),” to which I contributed the Pre-Modern Hebrew entry, and which is arguably the more suitable location for discussing Vendler’s situation categories.

The other curiosity I noticed is that Jan Joosten begins his “Verbal System: Biblical Hebrew” article (which he kindly sent me and has posted on with the statement that the analysis of the system as consisting of a central opposition between qatal (Perfect) and yiqtol (Imperfect) “has proved wrong headed.” This stands in direct contrast with my statement about this central opposition in Biblical Hebrew in my “Verb” entry, which surveys the historical development of the Hebrew verb from the ancient period to Modern Hebrew. These volumes would appear to promise an interesting potpourri of perspectives on the Hebrew language.

2013. Actionality (Aktionsart): Pre-Modern Hebrew. Pp. 25–28 in Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Volume 1: A–F, ed. Geoffrey Khan. Leiden: Brill, 1.25–28. (PDF)

2013. Aspect: Pre-Modern Hebrew. Pp. 201–5 in Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Volume 1: A–F, ed. Geoffrey Khan. Boston/Leiden: Brill. (PDF)

2013. Verb. Pp. 896–901 in Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Volume 3: P–Z, ed. Geoffrey Khan. Boston/Leiden: Brill. (PDF)

Posted in Ancient Hebrew, Hebrew Semantics, Verbal System. Comments Off

New article in JBL

My article on linguistics and textual criticism has finally appeared in JBL. I initially wrote this study in 2007 and then sat on it for a few years. There is a long-ish story behind this article and its appearance. Finally seeing it in print is nice.

Holmstedt, Robert D. 2013. The Nexus between Text Criticism and Linguistics: A Case Study from Leviticus. Journal of Biblical Literature 132 (3): 473-94. (PDF)

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off

More on our Beginning Biblical Hebrew

The good folks at Baker Academic have set up a website for us to use as a way to support instructors using our new textbook.

The site has a blog, a forum, an area where we will post more draft supplementary materials, and links to the existing materials that Baker has edited and makes available to instructors. 

So, if you’re using our textbook or are interested in using it, stop by the new textbook digs:

We will be putting up more posts there in the coming week.


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