[b-hebrew] Re: Lev. 25:34

Uri Hurwitz uhurwitz at yahoo.com
Sun May 16 19:12:21 EDT 2004

 Aren't the "chatafim"  unique to the MT? In Arabic grammer there is a sh'wa, the "skun", but no mobile sh'wa ( shwa na'), and certainly no "chatafim". The latter reflected the Masoretes sharp hearing of the actual pronounciation of biblical reading; and indeed phoentically there is a slight deviation from a strictly unwovelled pronounciation of the guttorals.  This slight deviation they marked with the various chatafim as they heard them, patach,segol etc. They definitely did not hear them as full vowels, for in that case they would not have felt the need for a new notation.
The same applies to a moblie sh'wa.
Now, mistakes occurred, and were carried forward from one edition to the next because of the nature of the texts. When one has thousands of examples of chatafim, (I never counted them!)  with only a handful of  exceptions to their normal occurrence  -- as in Lev. 25: 34 for exmple --  one need not look for rationalization of  mistakes by describing them as a "long sh'wa"  -- a contradiction in terms -- or as a means for "emphasizing the vocal character of the sh'wa", whatever that phrase means, or any other explanation other than the sad fact that not all that is done by humans is perfect!

> Yigal Levin wrote, inter alia:
>..."which still does not explain the reason. It apparently has 
to do with a
no-longer current tradition of using the Hataph-Patah as a 
"long" Shewa."


> > In most primts that I've seen, the second letter (Sin) of the first word
> > of Lev. 25:34, "usedeh" is vocalized with a Hataph-Patah; in Brauer and
> > BHS it has a Shewa. Any guesses about the source of the unusual
> Giuseppe Regalzi wrote:
> > GKC (§ 10g, pp. 52-53) puts it this way:
> >
> > "Hateph-Pathah is found instead of simple Shewa (especially Shewa
> > chiefly … (b) under initial sibilants after וּ copulative, e.g. וּזֲהַב
> > 2:12; cf. Jer 48:20; וּסֲחַר Is 45:14; וּשֲׂדֵה Lv 25:34; וּשֲׁקָה Gn
> > 27:26; וּשֲׁמָע Nu 23:18, Is 37:17, Dn 9:18, cf. Ju 5:12, 1 K 14:21, 2 K
> > 9:17, Jb 14:1, Ec 9:7—to emphasize the vocal character of the Shewa."
> >
> > See also Joüon-Muraoka, § 8a n. 4, p. 51.

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