Dave Washburn dwashbur at
Tue Jul 30 23:52:20 EDT 2002

> In a message dated 7/30/02 7:25:10 PM Eastern Daylight Time, dwashbur at 
> writes:
>     But if we assume the Masoretes were preserving the pronunciation 
>     traditions as handed down to them, they should have known, as well. So none of this 
>     really helps to explain the phenomenon under consideration. 
> I don't understand this. This Masoretes considered the consonantal text as fixed and pointed 
> HW) as hi' when it was feminine because that was their pronunciation even though it did not 
> correspond with the text. If the text at one time was written in a script in which like DSS the waw 
> and yod were virtually indistinguishable, later conservative scribes could well have uniformly 
> written HW) for HY) even though they knew very well how to pronounce it. This may well be 
> evidence (as confusing as it is) for dating the fixing of the standard orthography of the Torah, but I 
> do not at all see why this needs to be evidence for dating the composition of the Torah. 
> ---
This kind of speculation gets us nowhere, so I won't pursue it except to point out that 
the Masoretes had no problem in other parts of the text using a Qere reading to 
"correct" a HW) reading to HY) when they felt it was necessary.  But in the Torah, 
they did things differently.  Why this should be so, is the question at hand.

Dave Washburn

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