Points and Accents

The affinity of the Hebrew to the Chaldee, Arabic, Phoenician and other Shemitic dialects, sufficiently proves its high antiquity. The punctuation and accents were introductions of a later date, as is shown most fully from the Septuagint version, from the Chaldee paraphrases, from the Greek of Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotian, and from the Latin of Jerome. The Jews acknowledge that the book of the law, shown to the people, had not the points and accents; and that the Samaritan was deficient in vowel marks. The external forms of the letters underwent many changes from the time of Solomon to that of Ezra. The square Chaldee characters, adopted during the captivity, superseded the Phoenician, and Ezra used them in transcribing the ancient records.

Studies of Language: Hebrew, 1833

September 5, 2014