[b-hebrew] Psa 107:19-21 (was WAYYIQTOL) -- CORRECTION
furuli at online.no
furuli at online.no
Mon Mar 15 08:31:49 EST 2004
Peter Kirk writes,
>On 14/03/2004 23:13, Karl Randolph wrote:
>>This was a question that I never expected to ask. I had been taught
>>in class that the Masoritic points preserved the original
>>pronunciation. I didn't question my prof, not even years later.
>>But if Rolf is correct, even some of the pronunciations that we
>>thought we knew from the Masoretes are wrong.
>I think you are misunderstanding Rolf. Even he has stepped back from
>the position of claiming that the Masoretes invented the
>Or is your point that we don't know exactly how the Masoretic
>pointing should be pronounced? This is generally agreed, and is not
>specific to Rolf.
>peter at qaya.org (personal)
>peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
I do not know what you mean by "has stepped back from the position",
but my view of the Masoretes has been the same all the time. It is
built on the following data:
1) There is no distinction between WAYYIQTOL and WEYIQTOL in the DSS.
2) There is no distinction between WAYYIQTOL and WEYIQTOL in Origen.
3) The first graphic distinction between the two is found in the Tiberian MT.
I mention the *Tiberian* MT, because in Palestinian Manuscripts
there are several differences. In Paul Kahle's "Masoreten des Westens
II" of 1930 (pp. 20-23), his manuscript J covers Daniel 9:24-12:13,
and the context is future. Of the 50 YIQTOLs with prefixed WAW in
this manuscript, 11 are pointed. Three of them are pointed as
WEYIQTOLs both in J. and in the Tiberian MT, and one is pointed as a
WAYYIQTOL in both texts. However, the 6 examples from 11:5, 15(2),
16(2), 17 are pointed as WEYIQTOLs in the Tiberian MT but as
WAYYIQTOLs in J. We must presume that the Palestinian Masoretes made
their pointing on the basis of what they heard in the synagogue, just
as did the Tiberian Masoretes, yet they interpreted it differently.
Your examples from the LXX regarding a difference between WAYYIQTOL
and WEYIQTOL in pre-Masoretic times are irrelevant, because what we
need to demonstrate are graphic or phonological differences.
Translation into another language tells us very little.
4) We know that the default pronunciation of shewa in Masoretic times
was an "a"-sound just as patah.
The Masoretes introduced gemination after the article, after the
relative particle $ and after the interrogative particle MH, but not
after the interrogative particle H. Why? As far as I know, nobody has
suggested that the gemination or the differences are grammatical or
semantic, yet the Masoretes introduced this distinction. We know that
the Masoretes were not grammarians and that the Tiberian Masoretes
introduced the graphic difference between WAYYIQTOL and WEYIQTOL, but
this difference need not be grammatical or semantic. Nobody today can
know exactly the motives or the procedures of the Masoretes, but the
graphic differences need not be anything but two different ways of
expressing the "a"-sound (patah pronounced as "a" and shewa
pronounced as "a" - one used in past contexts and the other in future
contexts). But because of their rules that patah should not normally
occur in an open unstressed syllable (except in particular
situations), the first consonant of the WAYYIQTOL became geminated
(Rather the reverse is true, gemination cases patah - this is seen in
The thoughts above regarding the work of the Masoretes are of course
only tentative, but I have not stepped back from any previous
position, these thoughts are the same that I have expressed all the
University of Oslo
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