Edomite language

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 BCE. It is extinct and known only from a very small corpus.[2] 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.[2][3][4]

Regionsouthwestern Jordan and southern Israel.
Eraearly 1st millennium BCE[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3xdm

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 BCE, 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’). The diphthong /aw/ contracted to /o/ between the 7th and 5th century BCE, as foreign transcriptions of the divine name "Qos" indicate a transition in pronunciation from Qāws to Qôs.[5]


Edomite Translation
אמר למלך אמר לבלבל ʔmr lmlk ʔmr lblbl (Thus) said Lumaluk: Say to Blbl
השלם את שהברכתך hšlm ʔt whbrktk Are you well? I bless you
לקוס ועת תן את האכל lqws wʕt tn ʔt hʔkl by Qos. And now give the food (grain)
[ ] אשר עמד אהאמה ʔšr md ʔhʔmh [ ] that Ahima / o ...
[והרם ע[ז]אל על מז[בח whrm ʕ[z]ʔl ʕl mz[bḥ(?)…] And may U[z]iel lift [it] up upon (the altar?)
חמר האכל [ ] [ ] ḥmr hʔkl [lest] the food become leavened (?)


  1. ^ Edomite at MultiTree on the Linguist List
  2. ^ a b Lemaire, André (2013). "Edomite and Hebrew". In Khan, Geoffrey; Bolozky, Shmuel; Fassberg, Steven; Rendsburg, Gary A.; Rubin, Aaron D.; Schwarzwald, Ora R.; Zewi, Tamar (eds.). Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics. Leiden and Boston: Brill Publishers. doi:10.1163/2212-4241_ehll_EHLL_COM_00000499. ISBN 978-90-04-17642-3.
  3. ^ Wilson-Wright, Aren M. (2019). "The Canaanite Languages" (PDF). The Semitic Languages. London, Routledge: 509–532 – via utexas.edu.
  4. ^ Vanderhooft, David S. (1995). "The Edomite Dialect and Script: A Review of Evidence". p. 142.
  5. ^ W. Randall Garr (2004). Dialect Geography of Syria-Palestine, 1000-586 B.C.E. Eisenbrauns. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-57506-091-0. OCLC 1025228731.