[b-hebrew] Re: 22nd Psalm - Verb Object Again

Deborah Millier deborahmillier at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 6 14:34:16 EST 2003

Jason Hare wrote:

>> What if there was something 
>> to the fact that since the W 
>> and Y in the DSS often look 
>> the same, then the actual 
>> reading of the DSS may not at 
>> all disagree with the MT or 
>> suggest an alternative reading? 
>> In the DSS, the Y is often 
>> written in exactly the same 
>> fashion as the W. Is that not 
>> the case in the scroll(s) 
>> containing this passage?

To which Peter Kirk replied:

> No, it is not the case in the 
> image in 
> http://www.torahresource.com/Newsletter/Ps22.16.pdf.
> The letter in 
> question is immediately 
> followed by an undisputed yod 
> which is about one third of 
> the length, and this is a 
> consistent distinction between 
> all the vavs and yods in this 
> fragment. This is true not only 
> of the highlighted line, which 
> has been tidied up a bit, but 
> also of the line below where the 
> letters YBY+W YR)W BY (from v.18 
> Hebrew) are clearly legible. All 
> the vavs are full length, all the 
> yods are significantly shorter.

Jason, although what you suggest above (confusion
between YOD and VAV) is attested in several DSS
texts), Peter's analysis is sound according to the
evidence of the NAKHAL KHEVER fragment (5/6Hev, Col.
XI, frag. 9).  Furthermore, the confusion between YOD
and VAV goes both ways.  Hence your suggestion could
be used against your own implied pro-MT position.

I think those of us influenced by the sagacious
conservatism of Emanuel Tov would likewise hesitate to
recklessly tamper with the MT.  This, however, seems
to be one of those extremely rare cases when the
textual evidence we possess sides with the LXX.  I was
surprised indeed that Tov didn't address KA'ARI vs.
Vorlage-LXX at all in his updated English classic
because the NAKHAL KHEVER fragment hadn't been
published in 1992.  But I expected something...

As to translated-meaning, "they dug" seems to be the
best choice...again based on the syntax suggested by
the LXX, further supported--with unanswered questions,
I know--by NAKHAL KHEVER, and by the difficulties with
the non-verb KA'ARI in context.  

"They pierced" may go too far in attempting to bolster
a Christian case for Jesus, but it is not completely
out of the semantic "ballpark" of KARU (KA'ARU?).  

Nevertheless, I think we Christians who translate the
Hebrew Bible would be wisest to stick to a
target-language equivalent of "they dug," because of
the possibility of eisogesis and because there are no
direct verbal links to other "messianic" passages with
piercing going on (e.g. DAQRU--Zec. 12:10).

-- Michael Millier

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