[b-hebrew] Authority of holem - was Haggai 2:7 and Isaiah 41:22
smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Sat Dec 23 19:58:15 EST 2006
> HH: The Masoretic pointing records an oral reading tradition that may go
> back to the second or first century. However, it is possible that errors
> crept into the tradition, and the Masoretes themselves were not
> infallible (though very careful). So there may be errors in the
> pointing, but they are rare in my view. The word "desire" in Hag 2:7 can
> be plural if it is repointed.
[Steve Miller] Some are saying that it is OK to add the vowel Holem to
chemdath in Hag. 2:7 in the MT to change it from singular to plural, and
that the vowels go back to the 1st or 2nd century AD.
It appears to me that whenever there is a Holem without the waw under it in
MT, there is a corresponding waw in DSS.
I did a little study on this: The imperfect form of the verb "come" BW) can
have a waw with a holem above it between the beth and aleph, or it can be
abbreviated to just a holem with no waw between the beth and aleph. (If we
ignore the holem, then we can't tell the difference between hiphil and qal
forms of "come".)
I searched for all occurances in Isaiah of imperfect BW) that do not have
the waw between the beth and aleph. (I chose Isa because of the available
DSS manuscript.) I found 18 such occurrances in Isaiah: 1:12; 13:2; 26:2;
36:22; 37:1,5; 39:3; 41:25; 44:7; 47:9,11,13; 48:3; 49:12; 52:1; 60:4-6.
(Most in Isaiah have the internal waw, while most in the Pentateuch do not.)
Then I looked up all these in the DSS Great Isaiah Scroll which is available
online. 100% of these verses have the waw there in place of just the holem
in MT (excluding Isa 1:12, which was unreadable).
Therefore, I conclude that the holem goes back to at least 100 B.C. (the
time of the DSS), and is authoritative. Therefore I do not believe that you
have the freedom to add a holem to chemdath in Hag. 2:7 to change it from
singular to plural.
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