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Headword: *)abaxqanh=
Adler number: alpha,24
Translated headword: abakhthani
Vetting Status: high
A Hebrew expression.
Greek Original:
*)abaxqanh=: le/cis *(ebrai+kh/.
Strictly speaking the headword is a truncated Aramaic, rather than Hebrew, term. Its proper form in Greek transliteration is sabaxqa/ni and translates "you have forsaken me." The term occurs at Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34, where Jesus on the cross quotes Psalm 21:2 LXX (22:2 MT): "God, my God, ... why have you forsaken me?" (see eta 210). For the Hebrew, see Kohlenberger, 3.367. In Aramaic, "why have you forsaken me" is למא שבקתני lama šaḇaqtani. The Suda has carelessly disassociated the sigma, creating in effect "lamas aḇaqtani or a)baxqanh--a clear signal that the compiler was unfamiliar with Aramaic. The Psalmic Hebrew original is עזבתני 'azaḇtani, from עזב ʿazaḇ "forsake, forget". For the triliteral root citation, see Brown, Driver, and Briggs, 736ff. For šaḇaqtani (from שבק šeḇaq), see Perschbacher, 364; Danker, 909.
The Suda item has a circumflex accent on the final syllable. In the Hebrew עזבתני ʿazaḇtani, the accent falls on the penultimate syllable (-ta-), consistent with perfects suffixed with a first person singular pronoun; for this, see Kelley, 154.A; Gesenius, 155(58.1). So in the Aramaic, the accent falls on the penultimate syllable (-ta-). That said, the accent in Greek transliteration is inconsistent. Perschbacher places it over the final iota (sabaxqani/) in the headword; however, his citation from The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text (1982) places the accent over the penultimate (sabaxqa/ni). In addition, Perschbacher offers the transliteration sabaxqanei/ from The New Testament in the Original Greek (1881). Danker places the accent over the penultimate syllable.
Phonologically, the Aramaic shin (ש š /ʃ/) cannot be accommodated by Greek, which must substitute sigma. For a parallel instance, see omega 182 (note 47). Both chi (for Aramaic ק qaf) and theta (for Aramaic ת taw) function as aspirated plosives (equivalent to English "kit" and "top"). See Allen, 16-17. The theta is noteworthy insofar as its sound value parallels that of the taw (ת) in šaḇaqtani, hardened by silent shewa and dagesh lene. Moreover, the Aramaic in Greek transliteration bolsters the linguistic argument for the compound "chi-theta" as successive aspirated plosives. See Allen, 24-27. Aramaic taw, like its Hebrew counterpart, otherwise has a "th" (as in "both") value. See "Aramaic" in Encyclopaedia Judaica, 3.263; a modern descriptive approach is found in "Aramaic" (Kaufman). For theta as a fricative in Hebrew transliteration, see omega 182 (note 47).
That the Suda terminates the headword with eta rather than iota (paralleling the Aramaic khireq-yod or long "i") showcases a phonological shift in Greek. By the 3rd century CE, the Greek letters eta, and the digraph epsilon-iota (note the -ei alternative in Perschbacher) were sounded as long iota. See Allen, 74. The Suda compiler viewed eta as the more elegant solution. This feature bears directly on the Suda's own taxonomy: the homophones epsilon-iota, eta, and iota follow zeta in the Suda's "alphabetical" scheme. See "Suidas" in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, XXVI.51.
Allen, W.S. Vox Graeca. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1968
"Aramaic" in Encyclopaedia Judaica. Jerusalem: Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1973
Brown, F., Driver, S.R., and Briggs, C.A. A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament. Oxford: Clarendon, 1951
Danker, F.W. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2000
Kautzsch, E. Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar. Oxford: Clarendon, 1910
Kelley, P.H. Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Grammar. Grand Rapids: William B. Erdmans, 1992
Kohlenberger, J.R. The Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987
Kaufman, S.A. "Aramaic" in Hetzron, R. The Semitic Languages. New York: Routledge, 1997
Perschbacher, W.J. The New Analytical Greek Lexicon. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996
"Suidas" in Encyclopaedia Britannica. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1910
Keywords: Christianity; chronology; dialects, grammar, and etymology; poetry; religion
Translated by: Anne Mahoney on 4 December 1999@16:23:20.
Vetted by:
Raphael Finkel on 9 December 1999@11:17:30.
Elizabeth Vandiver on 14 December 1999@16:17:44.
Craig Miller on 27 May 2002@01:29:46.
Craig Miller (Reformatted translation; modified/expanded notes; added bibliography; expanded keywords. Cosmetics pending by editor.) on 27 May 2002@01:58:58.
Craig Miller (Cosmetics) on 27 May 2002@15:48:11.
Craig Miller on 27 May 2002@16:11:44.
Catharine Roth (added cross-reference) on 4 October 2002@00:55:00.
Raphael Finkel (Added Hebrew and Aramaic characters.) on 31 October 2002@10:06:56.
Raphael Finkel (Minor fixes.) on 31 October 2002@12:39:23.
Elizabeth Vandiver (Added italics; cosmetics) on 12 February 2005@21:58:54.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 1 March 2006@01:08:11.
David Whitehead (another keyword; tweaks and cosmetics) on 19 December 2011@06:21:33.
Catharine Roth (coding, typo) on 5 August 2013@00:57:53.
Raphael Finkel (Fixed translation of LXX; changed to ISO 259 Romanization of Hebrew and Aramaic.) on 7 August 2014@13:30:23.
Raphael Finkel (Standardized Romanization fonts.) on 7 August 2014@13:46:48.
David Whitehead (coding) on 15 August 2015@07:25:56.


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