[b-hebrew] authority of holem
yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Tue Dec 26 13:43:54 EST 2006
On 12/25/06, kenneth greifer wrote:
> Could you respond to what Steve Miller said about the 17 quotes in Isaiah
> that he said proves his belief? I don't actually understand what he says
> those quotes prove. If you do, maybe you can explain to me if he is right or
> wrong. Thank you.
I am not sure what Steve Miller was trying to say. However, the fact that the
DSS text is fuller simply means a different spelling convention of the vowels.
We can thus identify three such conventions:
1) MT vowel system
2) MT consonantal text
3) DSS consonantal text
One should also keep in mind that there were perhaps several forms of verbs
which may have been lost eventually in the Biblical Hebrew as represented by
the vowel system. Some remnants may be the difference between yaqom
and yaqum. (See Anson Rainey's article in Hebrew Studies 27, "The Ancient
Hebrew Prefix Conjugation in the light of Amarnah Canaanite" and followup
articles in Hebrew Studies 29). We may then posit a theory that perhaps
those cases that are indicated by a waw in the DSS but not in the MT
consonantal text represent one type of prefix conjugation and those cases
that have a waw in both represent the other. One would have to see his
examples, along with examples where both preserve a waw. Another issue
to consider is that the DSS may preserve short -o- vowels that were lost in
the later MT. For example, the word bymy in Isaiah 1:1 (pronounced [bi:me:])
is corrected in DSS Isaiah-a to bywmy. (I have previously suggested here
that unstressed short vowels dropped when following another short vowel).
So this could be another example of that.
In other words, there are various ways to explain the differences. Saying
"DSS preserves waw in some cases where the holam is not written hence
the holam is original" is not a very good argument. DSS and MT consonantal
Hebrew represent a different vocalic system than the vowel system of the MT
and probably also from each other. Some of these are due to natural
developments in language and some are due to obscure forms being
"corrected" by the Massoretes or their ancestors. The MT vowel system
probably lost various distinctions that were present seven or more centuries
earlier when the DSS were authored and which may in some cases be
preserved in the consonantal text.
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