4QpNah 3-4 iii 2
gdoudna at earthlink.net
Thu Oct 4 00:47:25 EDT 2001
My analysis is:
(a) it is a variant caused by accidental error, as opposed to
intentional transposition of letters. This is based on the many
cases of this kind of error accidentally, and the absence of
evidence for intentionally-introduced variants in quotations
in the pesharim. The variant with its transposition of letters
may have been inherited by the author of Pesher Nahum,
as opposed to being introduced by the author of Pesher
Nahum (although the latter is possible too). The variant
was present at the composition of Pesher Nahum, as
opposed to being introduced by a scribe making a copy of
Pesher Nahum, since the pesher (interpretation) reuses the
same word, in a manner consistent with reuse of the same
words of quotations in other units in 4QpNah.
(b) The accidental transposition of letters was not
corrected in scribal proofreading, because, by accident,
it formed another word which gave a reasonable reading.
I think ancient proofreaders would catch mistakes which
stood out as nonsense or obvious errors, and correct
them. But if the mistake happened to give sensible meaning,
then just like a modern spell-checker will not correct
misspellings that happen to spell other real words, the ancient
variants in textual transmission, caused by simple error,
would be preserved and perpetuated.
(c) the semantic meaning of this variant word is a distinct
issue and there is not enough information to resolve it.
The word does not seem to be attested elsewhere in
Qumran texts and the only attestation seems to be in later
Mishnaic Hebrew. This is the word identified by Maier
1962 (_Judaica_ 18): 226-27 and Allegro 1962 and
DJD V in 1968, k'r with aleph, a byform of k'r
with ayin, 'to be dark, ugly, repulsive'. But since there
could be much or little semantic development from the
time Pesher Nahum was composed it is not clear what the
meaning of the word was exactly in Pesher Nahum.
But the later Mishnaic Hebrew is the only clue to what
it means, apart from the context in Pesher Nahum
itself (where the Mishnaic Hebrew meaning does work
If there is a better analysis I would be as interested in
knowing as you. But this is the best I could come up
with on this.
> Could someone shed light on the difference between K:)WRFH in 4QpNah
> (Column 3, line 2) and K:RO)IY (MT - Nahum 3:6). Is this an accidental
> corruption or is it a purposeful transposing of letters? If the latter,
> what semantic value does the word in 4QpNah bear?
> Many thanks,
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