Isa 40:1-2 dialectical differences

Brian Tucker editor at
Sat Jul 7 08:52:26 EDT 2001

I am comparing The Great Isaiah Scroll 40:1-2 versus MT Isa. 40:1-2 when I
compared Isaiah B ms it is the same as the MT (1QIsA is not).

For example:

1. Vowel letters are used more than in the MT (7 of them in 1QIsA 40:1-2).
Serving to help pronunciation. Maybe it indicates their ability to read
Hebrew was low.

2. Distinct morphology: The pronominal suffix usage shows that they may be
using a different grammar. Pronunciation may have been different, as well?

3. The change from a feminine form to a masculine on one noun.

4. Distinct orthography: Key spelled with two alephs.

If you take all the above 'dialectical differences' out you are left with
a consonantal text virtually identical to the MT (proto-MT)! The vowel
letters were added later, as well as the other changes observed.

Would you agree that The Great Isaiah Scroll (later part of second century
BCE) is proto-Masoretic? Would you even agree that there was a proto-MT?

Is what we are observing here a Palestinian orthography and grammar? With
our only witness being DSS?

Brian Tucker
Riverview, MI
editor at

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