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Thus Hl D'p Q contrasts with other BH words for 'kingdom' like HD'^QQ.

Hurvitz has a third criterion, external attestation, which tries to demonstrate that the form really is late by finding whether it occurs in late, mostly post- biblical Hebrew and Aramaic.

Thus, for example, 78 out of 91 occurrences of Hl D'p Q for 'kingdom' are in core LBH books.

Hurvitz's basic starting point, which we think is uncontroversial, is that these books are postexilic and therefore their language represents samples of postexilic Hebrew.

After the return from exile in the late sixth century BCE, we have the era of LBH. Hebrew biblical texts can, therefore, be dated on linguistic grounds because LBH was not written early, nor did EBH continue to be written after tiie transition to LBH.

We suggest that following through the logic of this chronological approach to BH actually leads inevitably to the conclusion that all the biblical texts were composed in the postexilic period, which is exactly the opposite of what its proponents have claimed.

Thus, according to Hurvitz, despite his best efforts, it was not possible for the author of the Prose Tale of Job to avoid using LBH linguistic features.

Here, however, we note a striking fact about the argument.

It is therefore not inappropriate if we concentrate on Hurvitz's methodology and presuppositions here.The other key element in Hurvitz's methodology is that not only must the linguistic element be evidenced in the LBH books, it must exhibit a linguistic opposition; in other words it must be used in similar contexts as other forms in the core EBH books, especially the Pentateuch and Former Prophets.This crucial step ensures that we really do have variant language, not just linguistic forms that had no opportunity to appear in EBH books.Surely, if these are really 'late' linguistic items, the appearance of any one of them should indicate a late date for the passage in which it appears? One of Hurvitz's most important contributions to scholarship is his insistence on a careful methodology.For an individual linguistic item to be considered characteristic of LBH it must have a distribution among the core LBH books of Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and Chronicles.

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