Qames or Qames-Hatuph

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Tue Jan 8 05:26:28 EST 2002

Unfortunately this metheg is omitted in BHS (is it also omitted in MS L), so
most Christian scholars don't have access to this important distinction.

Peter Kirk
  -----Original Message-----
  From: Bearpecs at [mailto:Bearpecs at]
  Sent: 07 January 2002 12:17
  To: Biblical Hebrew
  Subject: Re: Qames or Qames-Hatuph

  In a message dated 1/6/02 11:16:12 PM Eastern Standard Time,
lizfried at writes:

    a closed syllable is one that ends in a consonant, no?

  Watch out for the metheg!!

  Compare the word we'okhla in Genesis 27:19 and the word we'akhela in
Leviticus 26:38.  The only difference is the metheg under the aleph in
Leviticus 26:38.  The metheg indicates that the syllables are we-'a-khela in
Lev26:38 whereas in Gen27:19 the syllables are we-'okh-la.  (Notice that the
metheg not only makes the qamatz a qamatz qatan, but also makes the shewa a
shewa na` [mobile].)

  Only one small vertical stroke distinguishes the different pronunciations
of these two very different words (Gen: "and you will eat"; Lev: "and she

  This example comes from an invaluable reference:  _The Ohs and Ahs of
Torah Reading:  A Guide to the Kamatz Katan in the Torah, the Haftarot and
the Megillot_
  Rivka Sherman-Gold
  Yodan Publishing, Mountain View CA, 1998

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