[b-hebrew] LC Internal Sederim Conflict (Brak)

Daniel R. Pater paterdr at hotmail.com
Thu Jun 8 15:41:55 EDT 2006


Returning to your question regarding the rationale guiding the old 
Palestinian three-year cycle divisions (sedarim), I am ignorant of any 
research or position on this and would be interested to know, for purely 
intellectual curiosity (see below).  Perhaps manageable length?  I have not 
looked into this at all.  Again, if anybody else has information....

Furthermore on the Leningrad Codex (LC) matter of the specific division in I 
Sam20:4-5, two modern "rabbinic" Hebrew Bibles differ:

1)   In the "Jerusalem Crown" edition of the Aleppo Codex (Jerusalem, 2000) 
for use by the Hebrew University, the seder in question is placed at I Sam 
20:5 ("And David said to Jonathan, behold.").  This perplexes, as it 
diverges from the Codex itself, which places it in the text at 20:4, as does 
the LC.

2) In the Biblia Hebraica Leningradensia (Hendrickson: Peabody, 
Massachusetts,  2001), a revised and reset version of the 1973 Tel Aviv 
printing of BHL based on LC, the discrepancy is noted by placing the marker 
"s" at 20:4 ("And Jonathan said to David."), as in the LC manuscript text, 
but also noting with "/s/" it's position at 20:5 as placed in the LC lists 
with the words "Behold, a [new] moon".

The editor, Aron Dotan, explains this generally in his introduction: "In 
some books the "s" signs in the manuscript are accompanied also with 
Hebrew-letter numeration of the Sedarim, but since this is not consistent, 
the numeration was omitted in our edition.  In the Leningrad Codex there are 
also three lists of Sedarim at the end of the three divisions of the 
Bible -- after the Pentateuch (folio 120 recto and verso), after the 
Prophets (folio 326 recto and verso), and after the Hagiographa (folio 463 
recto and verso) -- not always compatible with the division in the margins 
of the text.  However, this list, together with the occasional numeration in 
the margins, enabled us to restore mission division signs... When the two 
divisions vary from each other, differing in place by one verse either way, 
the variant division of the final list is marked between slant lines /s/. 
Two questionable divisions, with contradictory testimony, are enclosed in 
curly brackets {s} (Deut 20:1; 2 Kgs 20:8."

Just to keep all this in perspective, earlier in his introduction Prof. 
Dotan states: "This division represents the Palestinian triennial cycle of 
reading the Pentateuch and is no longer of practical use.  It is marked here 
for scholarly purposes."  I think the same can be said about all of the 
sedarim.  They are interesting as representing the textual situation in the 
manuscript, but there are more serious (and interesting) textual challenges 
provided by the Leningrad Codex, as we all know.

As for the reading divisions used by the principal Jewish communities today, 
both the Jerusalem Crown and the Biblia Hebraica Leningradensia provides 
lists of these 'haphtaroth'.

Daniel R. Pater

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