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Daniel Sivan

Daniel Sivan (Hebrew: דניאל סיון, born August 21, 1949) is a Full Professor in the Department of Hebrew Language at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Daniel Sivan


  • Biography, education, and early career 1
  • Awards and honors 2
  • Daniel Sivan’s contributions to the field of lexicography 3
  • Research 4
  • Personal life 5
  • (Hebrew) Notable publications 6
  • Notable publications 7
  • Edited books 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Biography, education, and early career

Born Daniel Sibboni in Casablanca Morocco in 1949, he immigrated to Israel with his parents Makhluf and Allen and his two brothers Shmuel and Michel. They arrived by ship from Marseille and went straight to the "Shikkun Canaan" neighborhood in Safed. His youngest brother (Colonel Dr. Gabbi Sibboni]) was born in Safed. In August 1967 Daniel Sivan joined the Israel Defense Forces and became a coding instructor in the signals corps at Tzrifin. Upon his discharge he moved to Ramat Gan and studied at the Tel Aviv University. He graduated with a B.A. Degree in Bible Studies and Hebrew Language at the age of 21, in 1970. Continuing his studies he gained a M.A. Degree in Hebrew and Semitic languages. His thesis focused on "Northwest Semitic in Akkadian texts from Ugarit" and was under the guidance of Prof. Anson Frank Rainey. His thesis for his PHD. degree, "Grammar of Northwestern Semitic Vocables in Akkadian Texts from the Land of Israel and Syria in the Middle Bronze Age," was written under the guidance of Prof. Gideon Goldenberg and Prof. Anson Frank Rainey, and submitted in 5738 (1978).

Awards and honors

Daniel Sivan won several significant awards during his studies including the Mifal HaPayis award, the Nissim Gaon Award, and the Recanati Family Foundation Award. In October 1979 he was appointed a lecturer in the Department of Hebrew Language at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and in 1997 he became a full professor. In 1986 and 1990 he was a visiting professor at Harvard and Brandeis Universities in Boston Massachusetts. Between 2000 and 2004 he held the position of Head of the Department of Hebrew Language and functioned as the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences during the tenure of Dean Jimmy Weinblatt. From 1998 to 2013, he was the chairman of Ben-Gurion University's publishing house, and during his tenure more than 150 titles were published. From 2006 to 2010, he was a member of the Ben-Gurion University Top Nominations Committee. In 1995, together with Prof. Haim Cohen, he received an Honorary Award on behalf of the Israel Science Foundation.

Daniel Sivan’s contributions to the field of lexicography

Collaborating with Prof. Maya Fruchtman, he edited the comprehensive "Ariel" dictionary, and together with Dr. Haim Dihi he co-authored the Ariel Aramic-Hebrew Dictionary. Both these dictionaries were published by Korim Publishing House.


Daniel Sivan Conducted Research Work in the following areas:

He wrote books and articles on these subjects. In his research work he focused mainly on the contribution of the languages to the understanding of biblical Hebrew. Among other things, he demonstrated how wrong it is to claim that Ugaritic was a Canaanite language. He demonstrated that Ugaritic had its own characteristic linguistic features, and accordingly it should be regarded as an independent language among the northwestern Semitic languages. It is a mistake to refer to its literature as "Canaanite literature," as some scholars such as Cassuto, Lionstam, and Avishur, have done. Sivan studied the work of the grammarian Rabbi Yehuda Hayyuj. He has written articles on some of the linguistic concepts in this work, and in 2012, together with Dr. Ali Wattad, he published an annotated, critical edition called "The Three Grammar Essays of Rabbi Yehuda Hayyuj in their Arabic Origin and their Translation to Modern Hebrew," published by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev publishing house.

Personal life

Daniel Sivan is known for his fondness of jazz and blues music. His knowledge of these types of music is vast. From 2009 to 2011 he broadcast a weekly jazz program on Radio Darom. He was a member of the band “Koah Meshikha” (Gravity) in which he played the guitar and sang blues and jazz songs with his brother, Dr. Gabbi Sibboni. The band performed at clubs across the country. After many years he quit the band, which changed its name to Jukebox. Daniel Sivan is married (for the second time). He has three children with his first wife. His eldest son, Gal (aka James), was the drummer of the Shabbak Samekh band for years.

(Hebrew) Notable publications

  • 1993, D. Sivan, Ugaritic Tongue Grammar, Jerusalem
  • 2011, Dr. Ali Wattad, Daniel Sivan, The Three Grammar Essays of Rabbi Yehuda Hayyuj in their Arabic Origin and their Translation to Modern Hebrew, a critical edition, Beersheba 5772 (2012)

Notable publications

  • 1983 (with) C. Cohen, The Ugaritic Hippiatric Texts: A Critical Edition, New Haven.
  • 1984 Grammatical Analysis and Glossary of the Northwest Semitic Vocables in Akkadian Texts, Münster
  • 1992 (with) Z. Cochavi-Rainey, West Semitic Vocabulary in Egyptian Script in the 14th-10th Centuries B.C.E.
  • 1997 The Grammar of the Ugaritic Language, Leiden, New York, Köln

Edited books

  • Tzippora Talshir, Shamir Yona, Daniel Sivan, A Gift to Shmuel: Studies of the Biblical World, Jerusalem
  • 2003, Pablo-Itzhak Halevi-Kirtschok, Daniel Sivan, Voice of Jacob: A Collection of Essays for Prof. Jacob Ben-Tulila, Beersheba
  • 2009, Daniel Sivan, David Talshir, Haim Cohen, Revealer of Secrets: Linguistic Studies Presented to Elisha Kimron for his Sixty-Fifth Birthday, Beersheba


  1. The word Samal originated as an acronym for Hebrew: סגן מחוץ למנין segen mi-khutz la-minyan ("supernumerary deputy") (inspired by the abbreviation "NCO"). Nowadays is no longer treated as an acronym or an abbreviation. See e.g., Avraham Akavia, "Milon le-munkhey tzava" (1951), p. 220, 270; Avraham Even-Shoshan, "Ha-milon ha-khadash" (1967), vol. 4., p. 1814 ; Yaakov Kna'ani, "Otzar ha-lashon ha-ivrit" (1972), p. 4078; Zeev Shiff, Eitan Habber, "Leksikon le-bitkhon Yisrael" (1976), p. 114; "Milon Sapir" (ed. Eitan Avnian) (1998), vol. 5, p. 2019; Avraham Even-Shoshan, "Milon Even-Shoshan be-shisha krakhim" (2003), ISBN 965-517-059-4, vol. 4, p. 1302; "Entziklopedya Karta" (5th edition, 2004), ISBN 965-220-534-6, p. 409; "Milon Ariel" (ed. prof. Daniel Sivan and prof. Maya Fruchtman) (2007), ISBN 978-965-515-009-4, p. 765. (Hebrew)
  2. Sivan, Daniel (1997). A Grammar of the Ugaritic Language (Handbook of Oriental Studies/Handbuch Der Orientalistik). Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 90-04-10614-6. A more concise grammar.
  3. Daniel Sivan, Selected Publications
  4. Daniel Sivan on The Ugaritic hippiatric texts: A critical edition
  5. Peeters Online Journals: The Hitherto Unpublished Columns of the Genesis Apocryphon
  6. Daniel Sivan on Google Scholar

External links

  • Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Notable faculty members
  • Daniel Sivan, Ben-Gurion faculty active member
  • (Hebrew) The Ariel dictionary, wrote by Daniel Sivan and Dr. Haim Dihi
  • Daniel Sivan on GoodReads
  • Daniel Sivan on Google books
  • Daniel Sivan on The Israeli Ministry of Culture and sport
  • Daniel Sivan on Radio Darom, Israel
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