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The "concept" Of Jesus And Paul As Ceo


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I think I might of sent you the wrong link I wanted you to expound upon. This was what I thought I sent:

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=154&letter=J

 

OK, now this link did work - and I did read it.

 

I still say the entire passage is too confused due to the verbal transmission process and so I really cannot clarify the passage beyond what you already know.

 

Sorry about that!

 

Rabbi Benjamin

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I am not sure what you mean by "the same problem."

 

George

 

"The same problem": The Jewish scriptures (TANACH) were verbally transmitted generation after generation, just as the Gospels, and so many of the stories were finally written down in adulterated form.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

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"The same problem": The Jewish scriptures (TANACH) were verbally transmitted generation after generation, just as the Gospels, and so many of the stories were finally written down in adulterated form.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

 

I don't disagree with this but would point out that many of the stories in the Tanakh (particularly the Torah) were handed down over much longer periods of time than those of the Gospels. And, neither were intended to be recitations of scientific history, but rather theological history.

 

A biblical scholar I once read commented that within every myth, there is a seed of historical truth. I think this is true of many of the stories in both the Tanakh as well as the New Testament.

 

FWIW, if one's faith is based the historical and scientific accuracy of the scriptures, they are standing on very shaky ground.

 

George

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I am concerned: There is much confusion in this thread regarding Jewish history, so much that I tire of trying to explain it all.

 

Be well.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

 

It is a pleasure to meet another Jew on TCPC! I converted from Christianity to Judaism 7 years ago. There is so much to learn! There is so much misunderstanding of the Jewish faith. You are performing a mitzvah by addressing some of these things in this forum.

 

I particularly appreciate your understanding of Rabbi Hillel. Since my conversion, I've found much of what I admired about Jesus in the person of Hillel. A very wise and learned person in our Minyan once told the group that it was his belief that Jesus was a disciple of Hillel. Most of us thought that odd given that Rabbi Hillel would have been over 100 years old! Can you speak to this? I am still young in my understanding of the faith.

 

Yasher koach!

 

NORM

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I particularly appreciate your understanding of Rabbi Hillel. Since my conversion, I've found much of what I admired about Jesus in the person of Hillel. A very wise and learned person in our Minyan once told the group that it was his belief that Jesus was a disciple of Hillel. Most of us thought that odd given that Rabbi Hillel would have been over 100 years old! Can you speak to this? I am still young in my understanding of the faith.

 

NORM

 

Hello Norm! I am very pleased to meet you.

 

Jesus was very Jewish - a fact I have only truly come to understand and appreciate in the last few years.

 

I hadn't heard, until now, that Jesus was a literal disciple of Hillel, so I cannot speak to that concept. Jesus' teachings certainly were in line with the kal (lenient) teachings of Hillel, though.

 

It's all but impossible to determine whether there was a sage/disciple relationship between Hillel and Jesus, for several reasons:

 

1. What we know of these men was recorded in the Mishnah and Talmud, texts that were edited heavily by the Church: every direct mention of Jesus, Mary, or the disciples was carefully edited out. As a result, we only have left a handful of extremely obscure passages that might be about Jesus, but we really do not know for sure.

 

2. Biblical dates and times are indeterminate. For every figure or event in either the Old or New Testament, we have a window of years in which the person or event could have occurred. So, it's really not possible for us to tell exactly when Hillel or Jesus lived.

 

3. If you read the Talmud carefully, you will periodically discover that although certain rabbis were reported to have sat and discussed a certain topic, records will show that these rabbis were not contemporaries. Meaning: the redactor of the Talmud put the arguments together, in some cases, as if the particular rabbis were contemporaries for the purpose of legal argument.:rolleyes:

 

Obviously, we have to be careful when talking about dates!

 

Rabbi Benjamin

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It's all but impossible to determine whether there was a sage/disciple relationship between Hillel and Jesus, for several reasons:

 

1. What we know of these men was recorded in the Mishnah and Talmud, texts that were edited heavily by the Church: every direct mention of Jesus, Mary, or the disciples was carefully edited out. As a result, we only have left a handful of extremely obscure passages that might be about Jesus, but we really do not know for sure.

 

2. Biblical dates and times are indeterminate. For every figure or event in either the Old or New Testament, we have a window of years in which the person or event could have occurred. So, it's really not possible for us to tell exactly when Hillel or Jesus lived.

 

3. If you read the Talmud carefully, you will periodically discover that although certain rabbis were reported to have sat and discussed a certain topic, records will show that these rabbis were not contemporaries. Meaning: the redactor of the Talmud put the arguments together, in some cases, as if the particular rabbis were contemporaries for the purpose of legal argument.:rolleyes:

 

Obviously, we have to be careful when talking about dates!

 

Rabbi Benjamin

 

Yes, this was almost precisely my response to the gentleman. But, still...it's an intriguing notion. I couldn't help but notice the almost endless similarities between the teaching of Jesus and the teaching of Hillel.

 

At the time of Jesus, would there not have been an abundance of oral tradition surrounding Hillel?

 

Another thing one notices during the conversion process is the practice of using parables to understand The Law, not unlike the parables attributed to Jesus. I thoroughly enjoy reading the Mishnah accompanying the referenced section of Tanakh. Some of the little stories are priceless. Like the one about Abram humiliating his father's stone gods. Do you know this one?

 

NORM

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I couldn't help but notice the almost endless similarities between the teaching of Jesus and the teaching of Hillel.

 

At the time of Jesus, would there not have been an abundance of oral tradition surrounding Hillel?

 

NORM

 

Yes, you are correct.

 

Although the Mishnah was written down in approximately 200 CE, the material had been handed down verbally for who knows exactly how long. Personally, I believe that Jesus was learned in the verbal Mishnah, and had adopted the most lenient teachings of the Sages in that work - and since, of course, Hillel's teachings were amongst the most lenient, this would definitely make Jesus 'sound' like Hillel.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

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Another thing one notices during the conversion process is the practice of using parables to understand The Law, not unlike the parables attributed to Jesus. I thoroughly enjoy reading the Mishnah accompanying the referenced section of Tanakh. Some of the little stories are priceless. Like the one about Abram humiliating his father's stone gods. Do you know this one?

 

NORM

 

Norm, you are referring to our Midrashic tales. Midrash is a compilation of stories or fables that elucidate the pasukim. And, yes, many Christians do not realize that the parables Jesus told were basically Midrash.

 

I think you are referring to the Midrash where Avram's father left him in charge of the idol store? If so, briefly: Avram smashed all the idols and then put the ax in the hands of an idol. When his father returned and saw all the smashed idols, he questioned his son, who told him that the idol smashed all the others with the ax in his hands. When his father retorted, "That's impossible! Stone idols can't move or do anything like that!" Avram answered, "Exactly. And so, why do you make and worship these things?"

 

Rabbi Benjamin

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Why are you so concerned about the genetic purity of various Jews such as Hillel and Paul? You keep repeating this is various forms. Would genetic impurity discredit them in some way, even if it were true?

 

George

 

Apparently Ezra thought so, by his requirement of birth certificates for all of the returnees in Jerusalem from the Babylon captivity. See Ezra chp. 9&10.

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Apparently Ezra thought so, by his requirement of birth certificates for all of the returnees in Jerusalem from the Babylon captivity. See Ezra chp. 9&10.

 

Yes, I agree that Ezra promoted racial purity. But, his is not the only voice. Judaism has a history of fluctuating between universalism and particularism. Ezra may be the poster child for a racial purity point of view.

 

In any event, I don't agree with it, nor do I think that this justifies racism.

 

George

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Apparently Ezra thought so, by his requirement of birth certificates for all of the returnees in Jerusalem from the Babylon captivity. See Ezra chp. 9&10.

 

The concern was not about genetic purity but rather the 'contamination' of the Jewish people by those who were of different, pagan faiths.

 

When Ezra came back, he found that many Jewish men had married non-Jewish spouses, individuals who had not converted to Judaism; these individuals brought their gods and idols with them, and they drew their Jewish spouses toward idol worship. For this reason, Ezra wanted every man to divorce his non-Jewish spouse. Spouses who had freely accepted the precepts of Judaism - and thrown away their idols and false gods - were accepted.

 

Individuals who had converted to Judaism were welcomed and not a problem. Converts are greatly loved and respected - then and now.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

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The concern was not about genetic purity but rather the 'contamination' of the Jewish people by those who were of different, pagan faiths.

 

When Ezra came back, he found that many Jewish men had married non-Jewish spouses, individuals who had not converted to Judaism; these individuals brought their gods and idols with them, and they drew their Jewish spouses toward idol worship. For this reason, Ezra wanted every man to divorce his non-Jewish spouse. Spouses who had freely accepted the precepts of Judaism - and thrown away their idols and false gods - were accepted.

 

Individuals who had converted to Judaism were welcomed and not a problem. Converts are greatly loved and respected - then and now.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

 

Rabbi,

 

While the ultimate objective may have been religious, the biblical story certainly indicates that the distinction was biological (zera' - seed, offspring) not theological and the women are referred to 'foreign' (nakriot), not apostates or polytheists. Further, there is a lot of genealogy in the story of the Jewish men giving their family credentials. There is nothing that I can find to indicate that the wives were offered the option of embracing Judaism and changing their impure ways. In addition, no Jewish men were expelled for adopting the impure practices of their wives.

 

According to Harris and Platzner (The Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible), "However disturbing Ezra's course of action may be to modern religious and political sensibilities, it is hardly inconsistent with earlier biblical traditions particularly those enshrined in the Pentateuch. The Deuteronomic code is particularly stern and explicit on this point, defending the defending the ban on exogamy on specifically religious grounds."

 

George

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Thanks! Okay, so if the septuagint differs from the Torah, what do you think would be the emphasis of Paul's textbook if it had been more faithfully converted to Greek?

 

From an ealier post by Kayatl

"Paul was some scholars feel as important as Jesus as creating what is now one of the biggest international religions. Jesus was into apocalyptic endings, helping the poor (primarily if they were Jewish), and viewing the extensive orthodox Jewish laws in a more practical light.It was Paul who interjected love as an overriding theme in Christianity especially love of all people regardless of ethnicity. why did this change occur!Because of Paul's overriding ambition and the multiple ethnic groups which were part of Roman society an emphasis on brotherly love across all ethnicities became part of the Christian theme."

 

Do you think God/Jesus would not approve of this new emphasis?

 

Janet

 

 

Hi Janet,

My earlier reply to this topic presented a bit of secular history that provides the Context in which the bible of today was derived.

 

It is imperative to be somewhat famaliar with the secular history of this area as described in "The Jewish Wars" by Josephus, to grasp this context and understand why The Bible is perceived as being in Error, due to the many parables and analogies used in it to convey messages to those "with eyes to see and ears to hear". IOW,Coded Missives to the Resistence(The Sicari) who fought against the Occupation of first the Greek Army of Alexander, then later, The Roman Empire.

 

Many snippits of this history was left in the bible by Constantine and the Nicene Councils, because it did not conflict with then known and documented events, preserved in Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Assyrian and Medo-Persian archieves.

 

What wasn't made available in these archieved documents was The Torah God wrote and was delivered by Moses at Mt.Sinai. This version of Torah had become lost before the Ten Tribes were deported out of Samaria by the Assyrians and replaced by heathens and pagan worhippers.(2Kgs.17:1-35). Here, it is explained how a Hearsay version of Torah became the foundational documents for the later Septuagint(Ezra.4:2) and the Tanakh, used by the seventy proselyte Jewish Scholars, the Greek's commissioned to translate this Hearsay Torah into the Greek language.

 

"Do Not Go unto The Gentiles...but only to the Lost Sheep of Israel" This was Jesus' instruction to the twelve disciples, he selected, not in Greek but in Aramaic, the language The Israelites spoke amongst themselves. Why let the Greek speaking gentile Romans know that the Kingdom of God was at hand. What would the Romans do if they knew? The history of Masada is a very good example.

 

Let me suggest; instead of the Septuagint derived King James version, get and read the Llamsa Aramaic Bible translated into English, and You're in for a surprise.

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While the ultimate objective may have been religious, the biblical story certainly indicates that the distinction was biological (zera' - seed, offspring) not theological and the women are referred to 'foreign' (nakriot), not apostates or polytheists. Further, there is a lot of genealogy in the story of the Jewish men giving their family credentials. There is nothing that I can find to indicate that the wives were offered the option of embracing Judaism and changing their impure ways. In addition, no Jewish men were expelled for adopting the impure practices of their wives.

 

The arguments you put forth - although certainly logical - reflect a non-Jewish cultural understanding.

 

'Zera' (offspring) even refers to one's adoptive offspring, so we are not talking about literal genetic purity here.

 

'Foreign' individuals, in the Jewish parlance, are individuals who have not accepted Judaism. So, for instance, our friend Norm is a convert but he would never be referred to as 'foreign' by any rabbi - G-d forbid! Norm is, literally, just as Jewish as anyone who was born Jewish. We hold that the moment he first arose from the mikrah (Jewish ritual bath) waters at the time of his conversion, he became a totally new creature: it was as if he was literally born a second time as a Jew. So, when the OT calls individuals 'foreign', they mean those of other nations who are non-Jews.

 

The pagan (non-Jewish) wives would not have been offered the option to convert, that is true, but not for the reasons you state. Individuals are required to convert before marriage - before there is any intention of marriage, even - because we want to make sure the potential convert is converting out of pure motives, not out of desire for financial or other gain. In this particular situation, if these women had sincerely wanted to convert, they would have done so prior to Ezra's arrival and decree. Now, as women 'married' (not halachically, of course) to Jewish men, they had everything to gain by converting to Judaism, so it was not permitted because they were assumed to be insincere. Conversion is to be for the sake of heaven - not because you want to continue to live with your Jewish spouse.

 

The Jewish men were not expelled for accepting their pagan wives' gods and religion - this is true. The Jewish way is not to expel 'fallen' Jews but rather to support them and draw them back into the fold.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

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Let me suggest; instead of the Septuagint derived King James version, get and read the Llamsa Aramaic Bible translated into English, and You're in for a surprise.

 

Better idea: why not study Biblical Hebrew so you can translate the OT for yourselves and read the running Hebrew commentaries?

 

Rabbi Benjamin

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The arguments you put forth - although certainly logical - reflect a non-Jewish cultural understanding.

 

'Zera' (offspring) even refers to one's adoptive offspring, so we are not talking about literal genetic purity here.

Rabbi Benjamin

 

Rabbi,

 

Thanks for you comments.

 

Can you cite a biblical example where zera' refers to an adopted child? The basic meaning of 'seed' (in an agriculture sense) and the meaning of 'semen' (like in Lev. 22:4) suggest a basic biological sense.

 

It could have been used metaphorically in Ezra. However, I would like to see evidence of this as well.

 

Shalom,

 

George

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Rabbi,

 

Thanks for you comments.

 

Can you cite a biblical example where zera' refers to an adopted child? The basic meaning of 'seed' (in an agriculture sense) and the meaning of 'semen' (like in Lev. 22:4) suggest a basic biological sense.

 

It could have been used metaphorically in Ezra. However, I would like to see evidence of this as well.

 

Shalom,

 

George

 

George, I cannot think of a Biblical example using 'zera' off the top of my head - I'd have to go searching.

 

Note, however, that OT writings and Jewish commentaries going back to the time of Jesus do refer to mixed-marriage progeny - as well as illegitimate progeny between a non-Jew and a Jew - as Jewish progeny.

 

NB: Jesus is considered a full and 'pure blood' Jew even though his ancestry contains at least one convert.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

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The arguments you put forth - although certainly logical - reflect a non-Jewish cultural understanding.

 

'Zera' (offspring) even refers to one's adoptive offspring, so we are not talking about literal genetic purity here.

 

'Foreign' individuals, in the Jewish parlance, are individuals who have not accepted Judaism. So, for instance, our friend Norm is a convert but he would never be referred to as 'foreign' by any rabbi - G-d forbid! Norm is, literally, just as Jewish as anyone who was born Jewish. We hold that the moment he first arose from the mikrah (Jewish ritual bath) waters at the time of his conversion, he became a totally new creature: it was as if he was literally born a second time as a Jew. So, when the OT calls individuals 'foreign', they mean those of other nations who are non-Jews.

 

The pagan (non-Jewish) wives would not have been offered the option to convert, that is true, but not for the reasons you state. Individuals are required to convert before marriage - before there is any intention of marriage, even - because we want to make sure the potential convert is converting out of pure motives, not out of desire for financial or other gain. In this particular situation, if these women had sincerely wanted to convert, they would have done so prior to Ezra's arrival and decree. Now, as women 'married' (not halachically, of course) to Jewish men, they had everything to gain by converting to Judaism, so it was not permitted because they were assumed to be insincere. Conversion is to be for the sake of heaven - not because you want to continue to live with your Jewish spouse.

 

The Jewish men were not expelled for accepting their pagan wives' gods and religion - this is true. The Jewish way is not to expel 'fallen' Jews but rather to support them and draw them back into the fold.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

 

Rabbi,

Your quote here "Individuals are required to convert before marriage - before there is any intention of marriage, even - because we want to make sure the potential convert is converting out of pure motives, not out of desire for financial or other gain" causes a problem for me when I read Ruth as saying "I will go where you go and your god will be my god". If this is an accurate statement, The widow Ruth would not of had to reitterate her acceptance of her mothe-in-law's god. By her acceptance was this Moabitess converted into an Israelite worshipper of Hashem or the god of the proselyte Jews, there is/was a difference, you know;2Kgs.17:26-35.

In re.to my suggesting the Aramaic/English translation of Lamsa; which is the earlier of these two languages, Aramaic or Hebrew? I find no place on the Planet that posseses an area known as Hebrew, that would give rise to the language spoken by the inhabitants, as I do for the area of the Valley of Aram, can you explain this?

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By her acceptance was this Moabitess converted into an Israelite worshipper of Hashem or the god of the proselyte Jews, there is/was a difference, you know;2Kgs.17:26-35.

 

Juan,

 

I have asked you several times why you repeatedly make a distinction between 'proselyte Jews' and presumably those who are genetically Jewish. You say this is important, so please explain why racial purity is important to religious belief.

 

Further, in your view, do subsequent generations of 'proselytes' remain proselytes? If not, how many generations are required to acquire authenticity?

 

George

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Rabbi,

Your quote here "Individuals are required to convert before marriage - before there is any intention of marriage, even - because we want to make sure the potential convert is converting out of pure motives, not out of desire for financial or other gain" causes a problem for me when I read Ruth as saying "I will go where you go and your god will be my god". If this is an accurate statement, The widow Ruth would not of had to reitterate her acceptance of her mothe-in-law's god. By her acceptance was this Moabitess converted into an Israelite worshipper of Hashem or the god of the proselyte Jews, there is/was a difference, you know;2Kgs.17:26-35.

In re.to my suggesting the Aramaic/English translation of Lamsa; which is the earlier of these two languages, Aramaic or Hebrew? I find no place on the Planet that posseses an area known as Hebrew, that would give rise to the language spoken by the inhabitants, as I do for the area of the Valley of Aram, can you explain this?

 

 

Why do you insist on taking Ruth's statement as a singular event marking her moment of conversion? Converts do make emphatic statements, such as Ruth's, after conversion. In fact, they are known for doing so as they are strong believers (often stronger than those born Jewish). I have, on a number of occasions, heard converts make such emphatic statements long after their conversions.

 

Historically, I do not know which language, Hebrew or Aramaic, developed first. I only know that we Jews originally spoke Hebrew and later changed our colloquial language to Aramaic.

 

Regarding the derivation of the word 'Hebrew': Hebrew is the Anglicanized translation of the Hebrew word 'evri', which is derived from the shoresh (root) 'ever', meaning 'to cross over'. Our tradition tells us that Abraham, our Patriarch, was called 'evri' because he crossed the river; in other words, he was a foreigner from 'across the river.'

 

Rabbi Benjamin

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Historically, I do not know which language, Hebrew or Aramaic, developed first. I only know that we Jews originally spoke Hebrew and later changed our colloquial language to Aramaic.

Rabbi Benjamin

 

Rabbi,

 

As you know, they are closely related Semitic languages. According to Saenz-Badillos (A History of the Hebrew Language), "Hebrew [...] developed in the northwestern part of the Near East between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea during the latter half of the second millennium BCE." He later mentions Aramaic in the first millennium. He also says that "the earliest inscriptions in Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE."

 

Dating and classifying ancient languages is highly problematic and much debated among scholars. People spoke a long time before it was put in writing. Unfortunately, they didn't show us the courtesy of leaving tapes, DVDs or YouTube.

 

George

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Rabbi,

 

As you know, they are closely related Semitic languages. According to Saenz-Badillos (A History of the Hebrew Language), "Hebrew [...] developed in the northwestern part of the Near East between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea during the latter half of the second millennium BCE." He later mentions Aramaic in the first millennium. He also says that "the earliest inscriptions in Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE."

 

Dating and classifying ancient languages is highly problematic and much debated among scholars. People spoke a long time before it was put in writing. Unfortunately, they didn't show us the courtesy of leaving tapes, DVDs or YouTube.

 

George

 

Yes, they are closely related languages, and, in fact, their word roots are the same or very similar, for the most part. So, someone who knows Hebrew can read and understand many (but not all) Aramaic words. For example, when I see an Aramaic word in the Talmud that I do not recognize, I break the word down to its shoresh (root) and then I can often figure out what it means.

 

The history you mention is fascinating.

 

"Unfortunately, they didn't show us the courtesy of leaving tapes, DVDs or YouTube." A pity; life would be so much easier if they had. :-)

 

Rabbi Benjamin

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Yes, they are closely related languages, and, in fact, their word roots are the same or very similar, for the most part. So, someone who knows Hebrew can read and understand many (but not all) Aramaic words. For example, when I see an Aramaic word in the Talmud that I do not recognize, I break the word down to its shoresh (root) and then I can often figure out what it means.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

The meaning of obscure Hebrew words in the Bible (of which there are many), are often determined, or estimated, by comparison with the roots of other Semitic languages. One of the best Hebrew dictionaries (Brown-Driver-Briggs) cites cognates from other Semtiic languages under each entry. As an example under SH.R.Sh (the root of 'root'), they give Ethiopic, Arabic, Phenician, Sabean and Aramaic.

 

George

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