[b-hebrew] Deut 5, 17 -20

David Kimbrough (CLWA) dkimbrough at clwa.org
Tue Mar 23 11:38:25 EST 2004


Thank you for your reply, it was quite informative.  However my question was
a bit more narrowly focused.  In the text I was looking at, the was a sof
pasuq at the end of each verse of the traditional "commandments" in
Deuteronomy.   My question was, do other MT MSS have a sof pasuq in the same
places?  The footnote I read was more than a bit vague.  Is it that there
are no sof pasuq at the end of each of these sections or is it that there is
a different practice of using the sof pasuq to identify the end of the
verse.  To put it a different way, Is everyone looking at identical MT MSS
and simply numbering the verses differently based different philosophy or
are there differences in the MSS which give rise to different versification?
Thanks again.

David Eugene Kimbrough
dkimbrough at clwa.org

-----Original Message-----
From: Yigal Levin [mailto:leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il]
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2004 7:47 PM
To: David Kimbrough (CLWA)
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Deut 5, 17 -20

Dear David,

We have already had this discussion about Exodus 20. The MT, both in Ex. 20
and in Deut. 5, provides two sets of cantilation marks for the Decalogue -
the "lower" marks ("Ta'am Taxton") divide the text into "normal"-sized
verses, while the "upper" marks ("Ta'am 'Elyon") have one verse per
"commandment", no matter what it's length. Thus, for example, the 4th
commandment, the Sabbath, is 4 verses in the "lower", one long verse in the
"upper". In most Jewish traditions, the "lower" marks are used as "verse
numbers" for regular study, while the "upper" marks are used for public
reading, thus emphasizing the unity of each individual commandment.

In the BHS, like in all MT mss., the two sets are superimposed one over the
other. (Though many Jewish bibles will have each printed separately.) Look
at verse 18. The Lamed in WL) has both a "munax" and a "tipeka". The Aleph
in TN)P has both a "silluq", which indicates the end of the verse, and an
"etnax", which indicates the main stop in the middle of the verse.

The Jewish tradition of numbering the verses follows the "lower" marks -
according to this, commandments 6-9 are combined into one verse, no. 17. So
yes, that means that in Jewish Bibles, Deut. 5 has a total of 30 verses,
while in English Bibles (and I assume in most Christian traditions) the same
chapter has 33 verses. The BHS, while printing both sets of marks, follows
the Christian tradition in numbering the verses.

By the way, there are lots of places in which the Jewish and Christian
traditions of numbering verses and dividing chapters differ. In many of the
Psalms, the English does not count the "superscription" (things like "To the
musician, a psalm of David") as a real verse, and starts numbering from
after, while the Jewish tradition does. So, for example, Ps. 42 has 12
verses in Hebrew, and only 11 in English (in this case, for some reason, BHS
follows the Hebrew).

I have a Hebrew-English Bible printed by "The Society for Distributing
Hebrew Scriptures" in England, which has a "Jewish" MT for the Hebrew, and
the King James for the English, which makes it very convenient to compare
and make sure that I'm giving the "correct" citations. If you want, I'll
give you their address (the have a US address as well).

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Kimbrough (CLWA)" <dkimbrough at clwa.org>
To: "Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2004 11:07 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Deut 5, 17 -20

> I was reading the NIV Interlinear Deuteronomy and I saw an interesting
> footnote. It says:
> "Most Hebrew texts incorporate verses 17-20 into one verse, thus causing a
> three verse discrepancy through the rest of this chapter. As BHS follows
> English enumeration rather than the Hebrew, so does the interlinear text."
> These are three key commandments - you shall not murder, commit adultery,
> steal, or give false witness.
> I do not have access to MT MSS other than the BHS.  Does that mean there
> no "Sof Pasuq" between those verses as is clearly the case in the BHS. Are
> there other cantilation marks instead?
> David Eugene Kimbrough
> dkimbrough at clwa.org
> _______________________________________________
> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list