[b-hebrew] Proverbs 16:27

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Mon Dec 10 20:06:20 EST 2007

On Dec 11, 2007 12:02 AM, K Randolph wrote:

> > There is no difference between the Massoretic dots and the consonantal
> > text,
> > as far as questioning them.  Both come from the same source, both were
> > transmitted by the same people, and both were susceptible to similar
> > textual problems, and linguistic developments.
> That is not entirely true. The Masoretic points were developed to record a
> vocal tradition, the written text is physical, copied from much earlier
> (though mistakes crept in).

The points recorded a tradition that also dates to much earlier times.  I
believe that just the cantillation system dates back hundreds of years
(based on corresponding traditions that "split off" as well as ways in
which the cantillation system is used, which seems to me to mark
phonetic differences lost by Massoretic times).  The vocalization must
date prior to the cantillation system.  I am not sure how you go about
deciding that the vocalization tradition is somehow not as earlier as
the consonantal text.  See also my message to Yigal.

> > ... Maybe you believe for some
> > reason the "consonantal text" has a special status.

> Yes, physical object vs. aural tradition.

But you are using a "physical object" that dates from the same time as
the vocalization.  At that time the vocalization was also a "physical
object" and had been so for several centuries.

> > The spelling of KWR as KR stands out in the Bible, and in the DSS
> > apparently
> > as well.  This may have been one reason why KR was not read as KWR but was
> > redivided with the following word HR(H as KRH R(H.
> When were the word divisions made? The DSS already had them. We find word
> divisions in the Siloam inscription and Mesha stone, so the word divisions
> could be (most likely are) pre-Exile.

Word divisions were used in the Iron Age.  However, they weren't used always in
the same consistency that they are used in the Siloam inscription.  Look at the
Lachish letters, for example.  Similarly, the consonantal text
preserves this and
if you see a maqqef mark between words, this signfies that in the written text,
the consonants of the two words are to be written with no intervening space.

> > This means that a spelling KR is
> > consistent with the spelling conventions of this word until the Persian
> > period.
> You have no support within Hebrew for this statement.
> The Siloam inscription uses waw and yod as vocalization markers at about the
> same rate as found in most of Tanakh. So when words are always used with a
> waw or yod, that is an indication that that may go back to pre-Exile
> practice for those words.

Did you make a statistical analysis now to be able to say that they are used at
about the same rate?  For that matter, if you mention the Siloam inscription,
see how HCR "rock" is vocalized.  This word has exactly the same vocalization
as K(W)R.  Now look up how many times it is found that way in the concordance.
I'll add that the difference plural vs. singular is interesting, since
KWR has no
apparent plural but HALOT (again) suggests a correction of vocalization in Ps
37:20 reading "furnaces."

Yitzhak Sapir

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