Edomite language

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Region southwestern Jordan and southern Israel.
Era early 1st millennium BC[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 xdm
Linguist list
Glottolog (insufficiently attested or not a distinct language)

The Edomite language was a Canaanite language spoken by the Edomites in southwestern Jordan and parts of Israel in the first millennium BC. It is known only from a very small corpus. In early times, it seems to have been written with a Phoenician alphabet; like the Moabite language, it retained feminine -t. However, in 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.

According to Glottolog, referencing Huehnergard & Rubin (2011), Edomite was not a distinct language from Hebrew.[2]


  1. Edomite at MultiTree on the Linguist List
  2. 2.0 2.1 Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Edomite". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • F. Israel in D. Cohen, Les langues chamito-sémitiques. CNRS:Paris 1988.

See also Victor Sasson, "An Edomite Joban Text, with a Biblical Joban Parallel", Zeitschrift fur die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 117 (Berlin, 2006), 601-615.