Re: help me with YALLW

From: George Athas (
Date: Thu May 21 1998 - 21:00:26 EDT

Hi Larry!

YALLW is used often used in the LXX to translate the Hebrew word ZIMMER
which means to sing. In its purest sense, YALLW denotes a plucking,
usually of a stringed instrument. Since singing usually accompanied
this, it is not difficult to see how it came to take on the meaning of
singing. It's a little like our English word "song". Strictly speaking,
a song is just the vocals, but we generally take it today as inclusive
of any accompanying music. I think the same thing is happening with
YALLW, though in the reverse order. Today, in modern Greek, YALLW purely
denotes singing, though usually of a formal, or liturgical 'song'. It
has actually lost its stringed instrument connotation. And, since the
LXX uses YALLW to translate "singing" from the Hebrew, it must have
taken on this connotation fairly early on.

Best regards!
George Athas
 PhD (Cand.), University of Sydney
 Tutor of Hebrew, Moore Theological College
Phone: 0414 839 964 ICQ#: 5866591
Visit the Tel Dan Inscription Website at

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