DANIEL 6:20: AN ARAMAIC CALQUE ON AN AKKADIAN EXPRESSION

Shalom M. Paul

Abstract


It is suggested in this contribution that in Dan 6:20 בְּנָגְהָא is not a gloss but rather an
Aramaic calque on the Akkadian expression, ina/ana mimmû šēri ina namāri, “When the
first light of dawn shone,” which occurs several times in the Gilgamesh epic, tablets
VI:88; VIII:1, 64, 90, 206; XI:48, 97, which is comprised of the Akkadian verb, namāru,
“to dawn, shine brightly,” and the noun, šēru (= נֹגהַּ ), “daybreak, daylight.” There is
also the possibility that the word בְּנָגְהָא was incorrectly copied and should be vocalized
as an infinitive, בְּנָגְהֵהּ , thus creating an exact parallel to the Akkadian verb, namāru.
This, then, would add yet another example to the multiple influences of Akkadian words
and phrases upon the Aramaic of the book of Daniel.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/87-0-968

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