Does the Talmud use the definitive article, הַ וְ, in demonyms?

For example, in English we can say both, "David the New Yorker" and "David of New York", the first form using the definitive article. Is the same option found in the Talmud, or is that normally not found compared with the use of the genitive?

  • @Harel13 I was actually asking the question with respect to the Talmud. I have made that explicit. Oct 3, 2021 at 13:54
  • The Talmud is written in Hebrew and Aramaic. There are plenty of examples in Hebrew (נתאי הרבלי) but I can't think of any in Aramaic.
    – N.T.
    Oct 6, 2021 at 0:06
  • @N.T. ר' יודן קפודקייא very end of Yerushalmi R"H ch 1 (and elsewhere), רבי שמואל קפודקיא and רבי יעקב גבולייא at the beginning of Yerushalmi Ḥallah ch 3 (and elsewhere), ר׳ יוסי גליליא on yBer 24a. I don't see any such pattern in the Bavli from a quick search in a few masechtot.
    – magicker72
    Nov 2, 2021 at 16:35
  • ר' יוסי הגלילי certainly appears in the Talmud if the mishna counts as talmud, נתאי הארבלי also being in the mishna first.
    – Derdeer
    Nov 3, 2021 at 3:28

1 Answer 1


I can't speak for Modern Hebrew, but Biblically and Talmudically? Sure.

After finishing the Havdalah ceremony to end the Sabbath, everyone sings a song called Eliyahu HaNavi, Eliyahu HaTishbi, Eliyahu HaGil'adi.

Elijah the Gil'adite.

Jephtha is also called "the Gil'adite" (Judges 11:1).

There's a Psalm to "Eitan the Ezrachite", though there are some interpretations that one may not be a demonym.

One of Job's "pals" is "the Teiman-ite."

The Talmudic sage Hillel was originally known as "Hillel ha-Bavli", the Babylonian. https://www.sefaria.org/Pesachim.66a.3?lang=bi

The genitive is also found, e.g. in Chapter One of Avot: *Yosei son of Yochanan, man of Jerusalem."

  • Is this the normal form of a demonym then, or is the use of the genitive the normal usage? Oct 3, 2021 at 13:54
  • Off the top of my head I want to say it's eh, 2/3 demonyms and 1/3 genitives? Would need some decent computer processing to answer it definitively.
    – Shalom
    Oct 3, 2021 at 14:08
  • Yosei ben Yohanan Ish Yerushalayim, I think the latter part is not a normal demonym. Rather, Ish emphasizes that he was an outstanding man. Otherwise it would be Y b Y Hayerushalmi. Oct 4, 2021 at 1:55
  • 1
    +1. But "everyone"? I don't think I've ever sung it in my life.
    – msh210
    Mar 2, 2022 at 15:01

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