[b-hebrew] Psalm 22 Translation Help

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Thu Sep 14 22:49:07 EDT 2006

> From: JBarach at aol.com Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 7:45 PM
> Could you provide a bit more info please?  I have both the Vermes  and the
> Wise, Abegg, et al. translations of the DSS if it helps to point me to a
> passage.
[Steve Miller] Wise, Abegg & Cook, I have found to be useless. It seems to
be a translation of the non-Biblical portions of DSS only. I am not familiar
with Vermes, but if it translates Psalm 22, it should have a note on it.

> The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, by Abegg, Flint & Ulrich says on page 519
> regarding Ps 22:16: 'Among the scrolls the reading in question is found
> only in the Psalms scroll found at Nahal Hever (abbreviated 5/6HevPs),
> which reads "They have pierced my hands and my feet"!'

Actually there are not 1, but 2 witnesses to Psalm 22:16 in DSS. This is
amazing, if you consider how little there is of the Bible in DSS outside of
Isaiah and Habakkuk.  

Also the Hebrew word (and the Greek in LXX) literally means "digged", they
digged my hands and my feet. That is worse than piercing. They dug holes in
his hands and feet.

Below are some b-hebrew postings on it from 2005 that I had saved:
On Sunday 24 April 2005 16:13, Walter R. Mattfeld wrote:
> I have a question of scholars on this list versed in Hebrew, is the
> following information correct or incorrect, or "in dispute" as to meaning
> regarding the word karu or ka'ari ?
> Cf. the below quoted statement:
> "On Psalm 22:16 "they pierced my hands and my feet" (King James Version),
> Christians here found a famous example of an explicit prefiguration of
> Jesus's sufferings. In the Gospel story, the Romans pierce his hands and
> feet with nails in preparation for his being hung upon the cross.
> Vetus answered that the word given in the Latin translation as "they
> pierced" is written in the Hebrew original not as karu ("they pierced"),
> but as ka'ari ("like a lion"). The entire verse is properly translated,
> "For dogs have surrounded me; a pack of evildoers has enclosed me, like a
> lion [at] my hands and my feet." In biblical poetry, such as in the book
> Psalms, the second half of a verse typically echoes the first. With this
> mind, we should expect the imagery of being torn by wild beasts to be
> consistent from phrase to phrase -and it is. A modern update of the King
> James Bible, the Revised Standard Version, now includes a footnote
> acknowledging the more authentic translation of the verse." (p. 168. David
> Klinghoffer. Why The Jews Rejected Jesus. New York. Doubleday. 2005. ISBN
> 0-385-51021-7)

I'd have to say it's "in dispute."  The biggest problem, as the translation 
above subtly notes, is the lack of a solid relationship between "like a
and "hands and feet."  The author had to supply "at" in order to make sense 
of the clause, because "like a lion my hands and feet" is nonsense.  LXX 
reads "they pierced".  4QPs(f) includes the verse (see DJD 16 p. 88).  It's 
in pretty bad shape at this point, but based on line lengths and such it 
appears to read KR[W], i.e. according to the editors there doesn't seem to 
have been room for the aleph so it most likely read "pierced."  One could 
wonder whether the "like a lion" reading might have arisen in reaction to 
Christian use of the verse?

Oh yes, the description of how biblical poetry works is quite simplistic and

only tells part of the story......

Dave Washburn
> From: Schmuel Sent: Sunday, April 24, 2005 8:00 PM
> Hi b-hebrew,
> >Walter R. Mattfeld wrote:
> >> I have a question of scholars on this list versed in Hebrew, is the
> >> following information correct or incorrect, or "in dispute" as to
> meaning
> >> regarding the word karu or ka'ari ?  (snip)
> >> "On Psalm 22:16 "they pierced my hands and my feet" (King James
> Version) (snip)
> Dave Washburn
> >I'd have to say it's "in dispute."
> Schmuel
> Agreed, and Dave makes good points.  (Dave, you should be able to see the
> DSS on the web,
> url link/picture below, per the previous 2002 discussion)  btw, I have
> seen some defenders
> of "like a lion" change the phrase to an exclamatory declaration,
> supposedly to lesson the
> grammatical objection.
> I placed a lot of information in four posts a while back.
> Much of it is historical rather than directly etymological.
> Please note the email from Emanuel Tov discussing the Hebrew, including
> the grammatical
> aspects, also Tov discussed the DSS and  the LXX reading.
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Messianic_Apologetic/message/7196
> Link to Tim Hegg article on DSS
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Messianic_Apologetic/message/7197
> Emanuel Tov email, including the Hebrew pause issue
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Messianic_Apologetic/message/7198
> Hebraic historical understanding
> And a link to a grammar discussion
> (disclaimer -- although the discussion is interesting, and perhaps even
>  accurate, the actual writer was James Trimm, who is not a Hebrew scholar)
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Messianic_Apologetic/message/7199
> Various arguments/links ,  for "pierced" and against
> Also of interest is the Ruben Barrett discussion which should come back,
> after revision, to
> http://www.hadavar.net/Psalm22
> And includes
> http://www.hadavar.net/addendum.html
> http://www.hadavar.net/Psalm22emails.html
> Ruben is quite knowledgeable on this, so I look forward to his page
> returning.
> btw, the actual question of Targum manuscripts is one that is especially
> squirrelly, apparently they may fall on both sides, or they may be the one
> early witness to "like a lion".  As I remember, Ruben was one of the few
> folks really trying to research this.  While early evidence is quite
> substantially
> in favor of the verbal form, a Targum with "lion" might be an argument for
> the reading being pre-Christian, even if the manuscript is post-100 AD.
> Shalom,
> Steven Avery
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Messianic_Apologetic/
> From: Dave Washburn Sent: Tuesday, April 26, 2005 12:52 PM
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] karu or ka'ari (Ps 22:16) ?
> Just one point of response:
> On Tuesday 26 April 2005 09:13, Heard, Christopher wrote:
> > Hey all,
> >
> > On Apr 25, 2005, at 8:09 PM, Steve Miller wrote:
> > >The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, by Abegg, Flint & Ulrich says on page 519
> > >regarding Ps 22:16: 'Among the scrolls the reading in question is found
> > >only
> > >in the Psalms scroll found at Nahal Hever (abbreviated 5/6HevPs), which
> > >reads "They have pierced my hands and my feet"!'
> >
> > Again, just to be precise: 5/6HevPs does not, and cannot, read "they
> have
> > pierced my hands and my feet," because it is not written in English.
> > According to the photograph, it reads כארו = K)RW. But to make the next
> > jump to saying that it reads "they pierced" obscures a several-step
> process
> > that requires at least the following steps, if not more:
> >
> > (1) establishing that this word כארו is in fact an instance of a verb
> > spelled כרה/KRH and not some other word;
> >
> > (2) explaining the intrusive 'aleph--which is probably a simple
> > explanation, but it is a departure from the normal spelling of כרה/KRH,
> > which is a necessary step to accomplishing #1;
> This one is easy.  It's a common phenomenon in the DSS, where aleph was
> used
> as a plene letter alongside yod, waw and he.  My own view is that it was a
> pronunciation device, but regardless of that, "intrusive 'aleph" is well
> documented in the material from the caves.
> [snip]
> --
> Dave Washburn
> http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Steve Miller Sent: Sunday, May 01, 2005 10:28 PM
> > On 25/04/2005 02:08, Heard, Christopher wrote:
> >
> > > ... Outside of Psalm 21 (LXX, = MT, EVV Psalm 22), there is no
> > > biblically (or, as far as I know, nonbiblical) attested use of orussw
> > > to mean "to pierce," especially "to pierce" living flesh as opposed to
> > > inanimate matter. Neither is there any such attestation for Hebrew
> > > karah. ...
> >
> >
> > > ... Both Greek orussw and Hebrew karah I (normally) take objects that
> > > name empty spaces--wells, pits, holes, graves--_not_ the matter from
> > > which those spaces were hollowed out. (Even Ezekiel 8:8 is no
> > > exception to this ...
> >
> Job 6:27 uses krh when Job says to his 3 friends who put the blame on him
> for his suffering: "you dig on your friend".
> If Psalm 22 is describing Jesus' crucifixion, then "they dig my hands and
> my
> feet" is a good description.  The nails did not just pierce, but are
> digging
> thru His hands and feet.
> -Steve Miller
> Detroit
[b-hebrew] karu or ka'ari (Ps 22:16) MarjorieAlley at cs.com 
Tue Apr 26 11:20:03 EDT 2005 
Steve Miller wrote:  >>>So it appears that there are actually 2 witnesses to

Ps 22:16 in DSS: One without the middle Alef and one with, but both with a 
final W instead of Y.<<<

Steve, I don't believe that's quite correct.

I took another look at both DJD volumes yesterday.

5/6HevPs is published in DJD 38. Even though the plate is very faint, the
is visible in Ps. 22:17. The transcription of the letters shows no dot or 
circule over the letters, meaning editors regarded the reading as "certain" 
rather than "probable" or "possible".

4QPs(f), published in DJD 16 is another story. The plate of fragment 1 shows

some ink marks which might represent the top of a kap and resh, but it is 
impossible to say for sure from the plate. I looked with a magnifying glass,
and I 
just can't see it well enough.  The editors have marked their transcription 
at this point with a circule over the letters, indicating these letters are 
"possible".  But note that they read only a possible kap and possible resh.

Fragment 1 breaks off just at the point where there would be a waw or yod
... how 

You are correct that they read no middle 'alef, just a possible kap followed

immediately by a possible resh.  But note that they do NOT read a waw. The 
fragment breaks off after the possible resh, and they supply the waw as a 
conjectured restoration.

The editors note in the introduction that in making their tarnscriptions
refer to the original mss, to the photos which are published as the official

plates, AND to older photos. They comment that in some instances the older 
photos are helpful where edges of fragments have since suffered further 
deterioration. I wonder if that is what happened in this instance? 

Marjorie Alley

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