Page 93 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 43

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mid-19th century, the insights gained into the affinity of lan­
guages were also applied to concordances. The emancipation of
Jews in Western Europe during the same period resulted in Jew­
ish scholars joining again, after a hiatus of several hundred years,
the ranks of philologists studying Semitic languages, with empha­
sis on Hebrew. Thus, a major revision and expansion to Buxtorf s
work, based on the principles of comparative linguistics, was
undertaken by the Jewish Bible scholar and Orientalist Julius
Fiirst (1805-1873), who published in 1840 his
Otsar leshon
(Thesaurus of the Holy Tongue).39 He made valuable
additions and corrections, added all references to the verb
(to be) in all its forms, and to the tetragrammaton, the ineffable
name of the Lord, and some particles omitted by Nold. But in his
extensive philological explanations preceding each headword he
made some misguided attempts to show an affinity between the
Semitic and the Indo-European languages, e.g., he listed the
word yayin
(wine) under a conjectural root
(which existed only
in his imagination). He also mixed up entirely unrelated roots
under one single headword because of his fanciful notions on the
affinity of words, e.g., he listed the word
(blood) as a deriva­
tive of
(man). He also added some extraneous material,
such as a list of Phoenician and Punic proper names, as a comple­
ment to a list of almost 2,700 biblical names and their (often spu­
rious) etymology; those names were however given without ref­
erence to the verses in which they appear. Other additions to the
huge work were a treatise on the
(in Latin), a history of
the Hebrew language (in Hebrew), a comparative glossary of
Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac and Arabic words, and other philolog­
ical and grammatical lists, all of which were tacked onto the con­
cordance proper to show the author’s immense erudition in Se­
mitic languages. Fiirst was aided in the compilation of the work
by his pupil Franz Delitzsch who went on to become a renowned
Bible scholar (the same who was later to offer Mandelkern a posi­
tion as professor of Hebrew).
The last revision of Buxtorfs concordance was edited by
Bernhard (Issachar) Bar and published in 1862.40 Bar who, in
39 Fiirst, Julius. UHpn
Librorum sacrorum veteris testamenti concordantiae
hebraicae atque chaldaicae . . .
Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1840. 1428 p.
40 Bar, Bernhard.
Joannis Buxtorfi concordantiae bibliorum Hebraicae et Chaldaicae
. . . Stettin: E. Schrentzel, 1861. 2 v.