cantillation makes a difference

Ruthy & Baruch alster at comandcom.com
Mon Jan 31 13:01:44 EST 2000




Vincent DeCaen wrote:
> prepositional phrases in hebrew as in english are notoriously ambiguous
as
> to syntax. in this case, bammidbar "in the desert", could go both ways.
> but the cantillation forces the reading,"A voice crying, "In the
> desert make way...."". However, this is a case where the other reading
has
> come down to us through the Christian scriptures: "A voice crying out in
> the desert, "Make way...."". Both are possible without context.

In general, you're right.  In this case, however, we also have the parallel
"ba`aravah" to contend with, which forces the same reading as the
cantellation.

Kol Tuv,
Baruch Alster
Kochav Ya`akov, Israel




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