Edomite language

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Regionsouthwestern Jordan and southern Israel.
Eraearly 1st millennium BCTemplate:Infobox language/ref
Language codes
ISO 639-3xdm
ELPTemplate:Endangered Languages Project

Edomite was a Northwest Semitic Canaanite language, very similar to Hebrew, Ekronite, Ammonite, Phoenician, Amorite and Sutean, spoken by the Edomites in southwestern Jordan and parts of Israel in the 2nd and 1st millennium BC. It is extinct and known only from a very small corpus.[citation needed] It is attested in a scant number of impression seals, ostraca, and a single late 7th or early 6th century BCE letter, discovered in Horvat Uza.[1][2]

Like Moabite, but unlike Hebrew, it retained the feminine ending -t in the singular absolute state. In early times, it seems to have been written with a Phoenician alphabet. However, by the 6th century BC, it adopted the Aramaic alphabet. Meanwhile, Aramaic or Arabic features such as whb ("gave") and tgr ("merchant") entered the language, with whb becoming especially common in proper names.[citation needed] Like many other Canaanite languages, Edomite features a prefixed definite article derived from the presentative particle (h-ʔkl ‘the food’).


Edomite Translation
ʔṁṙ • lmlk • ʔmr • lblbl • (Thus) said Lumaluk: Say to Blbl
hṡlm • ʔt • whbrktk Are you well? I bless you
lqws • wʕt • tn • ʔt hʔkl by Qos. And now give the food (grain)
ʔṡr • ʕmd • ʔhʔmh [ ] that Ahima / o ...
whrm ʕ[z]ʔl • ʕl mż [bḥ (?) …] And may U[z]iel lift [it] up upon (the altar?)
[ ] ḥmr  • hʔkl [lest] the food become leavened (?)


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  1. Wilson-Wright, Aren M. (2019). "The Canaanite Languages" (PDF). The Semitic Languages. London, Routledge: 509–532 – via utexas.edu.
  2. Vanderhooft, David S. (1995). "The Edomite Dialect and Script: A Review of Evidence". p. 142.