[b-hebrew] Excess consonants in the WLC Torah.

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Mon Jun 6 13:03:58 EDT 2005


Christopher:

Maqefs are not counted as consonants? Then you have a typo in your list at http://www.cvkimball.com/Tanach/Lists/Counts.xml . Anyways, because Maqef is not found in archaic Hebrew, I think it very easy for there to be disagreement on placement and number of Maqefs, I did not consider the total number of Maqefs.

Considering the total number of letters, and that there existed a certain amount of fluidity in spelling, it is remarkable that there are only 43 differences.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Christopher V. Kimball" <mail at cvkimball.com>

> 
> 
> 
> Maqafs are not counted as consonants, but rather as accents, in my 
> statistics. Since there are 11,480 maqafs in the Torah (including 
> both qere and kethib variants) they are probably not the 
> explanation.
> 
> Your idea that one might count the spaces is helpful. A note in the 
> JPS "Etz Hayim" Chumash, 2001 (p 770) says:
> 
> "...Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev connects the final total of 603,550 
> Israelites [v. 46] to a tradition that there are 603,550 letters in 
> the Torah. ...
> 
> in referring to Numbers 1:46. I can't get close to the 603,550 
> number any way I count it, so I'm off by 50%.
> 
> 
> 
> Karl Randolph wrote:
> 
> > I think that a difference of this amount is not only plausible, but probable.
> >
> > Looking at your stats listed below, spaces between words (in 
> > archaic Hebrew, dots) are not counted, while Maqefs (which did 
> > not exist in archaic Hebrew) are counted as consonants. Add to 
> > that that spelling was often fluid, it’s almost surprising that 
> > the differences add up to only 43.
> >
> > Karl W. Randolph.

-- 
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