Study and Theory/
Purim

The Influence of the Farsi Language on Hebrew

The influence of the Farsi language is visibly evident in the language of the Megilla and for the most part is in regard to matters of government and law. We shall state the majority of them hereinafter, without expanding on their philological scientific background.

Achashadarfan – a representative of ancient Persia

Achashatran – an emissary of the king or government.

Genazim – the Persian Treasury (in the hidden meaning – later by our Sages)

Ganzach – the Treasury House (here too a later change of the meaning)

Dat – law, court, order by the king

Pur – fate

Pitgam – order, edict, ruling

Ramachim – a herd of sheep, horses

Crepes – a thin and expensive woven fabric

Pirtamim – distinguished family members

Patshagan – copying

 

Alongside those words we find in the Megillah many words from the language of the Sages, that appear later in the Bible – if at all – in later books and most of them are from Aramaic:

Anas – to prevent, to force, only here in the bible, apart from Daniel (4, 6).

Zoa – regarding movement

Yeshat – to send, to put out a hand

Kanas – collected, collated; also in Ecclesiastes, Nechemia and Chronicles

Kasher – straight, desirable, good – only now in Ecclesiastes

Maamar – a good deed (also in Ben Sira)

Zak – as defined; also in Daniel and Ezra

Aseh yom tov – only as regards a festival

Parasha – in the Bible only as regards havdalah, separation, distribution

Sharvit – a symbolic rod of the monarchy

Tachrich – robe (latter – clothing of the dead)

 

In addition to these we find in the Megillah words and linguistic combinations which belong to later biblical literature and which only appear in it, for example, igeret baz, bizah, ginah or the expression “if it is good for the king”. Also the names of the months (that came from Babel according to the Sages) Tevet, Adar, Sivan are only found in the Megillah. 

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