[b-hebrew] Genesis 22 fragment: "my son"?

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Thu Mar 18 07:50:26 EST 2004

On 18/03/2004 03:59, Stephen Goranson wrote:

>Apparently, here is a photograph of a Genesis 22 fragment, said to be from 
>Qumran, that is mentioned in a recent news article:
>This was mentioned in 13 Sept 2003 Star Telegram:
>According to the 18 March 2004 Akron Beacon Journal
>Hanan Eshel proposes that Abraham is told here not to take Isaac "your son" 
>but Isaac "my son."
>That reading has been questioned, as has the proposed association of this 
>fragment with 4Q252.
>Stephen Goranson
>P.S. A related news article concerns financial disputes aamong the fragment 
It looks to me as if the second line of this fragment reads [י]שחק בנו 
[Y]#XQ BNW, i.e. "Isaac his son" with the non-standard spelling used in 
Psalms, Jeremiah and Amos but not in Genesis (# = unpointed shin), 
followed by קחאתה[...] QX)TH[...]. These letters do not occur together 
even approximately in Genesis 22; nor does אלהים לאבר[הם] )LHYM L)BR[HM] 
in the previous line; and so this must be a free retelling of the story. 
ִיצחק בנו YCXQ BNW occurs several times in narrative in this chapter; 
יצחק בנך YCXQ BNK "Isaac your son" appears nowhere, so this fragment 
cannot be a corruption of those words. I am aware that yod could look 
like vav in the DSS, but this uncertain letter is much longer than the 
yod in אלהים )LHYM in the line above.

So it seems far more likely to me that the second line here is taken 
from a narrative sentence and בנו BNW should be read, meaning "his 
[Abraham's] son". I would suggest a retelling of verse 6: Abraham says 
to ישחק בנו Y#XQ BNW "his son Isaac": קח את האש QX )T H)#, "take the wood".

(PS sorry if some of the square brackets are out of place relative to 
the Hebrew text.)

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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