Baruch Levine proposes that these terms entered Hebrew through Aramaic. See Levine, “Research in the Priestly Source: The Linguistic Factor,” Eretz-Israel 16 (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1982; in Hebrew), pp. 124–131; and “Late Language in the Priestly Source: Some Literary and Historical Observations,” in Proceedings of the Eighth World Congress of Jewish Studies: Panel Sessions, Bible Studies and Hebrew Language, pp. 69–82.

Nonetheless, it is demonstrable that Aramaic elements entered Hebrew even before the Exile. Aramaic was the lingua franca of the Near East not only under the Achaedmenid Persians but at the time of the Assyrian Empire as well. (Second Kings 18:26, for instance, testifies to the use of Aramaic by court officials when conducting international affairs.) The word kones (gatherer), generally considered an Aramaicism and a litmus test for dating the use of Aramaic, has been discovered in an inscription found in Jerusalem and dating to the eve of the Babylonian destruction (this fragmentary text will be published by Joseph Naveh in a forthcoming volume of Qedem; see, for now, Daniel Weintraub, Grammatical Aspects of Hebrew Inscriptions from the First Temple Period [Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 1994; M.A. thesis, p. 13]). Even though kones does not appear in P, the existence of pre-exilic Aramaicisms in Hebrew raises the likelihood that other Aramaicisms too may be pre-exilic (see Victor Hurowitz, “Three Biblical Expressions for Being Merciful in Light of Akkadian and Aramaic,” in Texts, Temples, Traditions: A Tribute to Menahem Haran, ed. Michael Fox et al. (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1996), pp. 1–10.