[b-hebrew] Masoretes' Error in MT Psalm 8:5?

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Wed May 9 04:57:46 EDT 2007

On 5/9/07, Philip wrote:
> Dear Hebraists,
>   There is something that I find a little curious in MT Psalm 8.
>   MT Psalm 8:5 and Psalm 8:6 seems to form some sort of rhythm, or
>   is similar sounding.
>   There are four verbs involved here: tizkerenu, tiphqedenu (verse 5), and
>                                                    tehasrehu and teaterehu (verse 6).

The words in verse 5: ki-tiz-kaR&N-nu / tif-qaD&N-nu ( & = seghol )
The words in verse 6: vat-taxas-saRE-hu / ta(at'-t'aRE-hu ( t' = tet )

In verse 5, both verbs are in qal form and use an -nu suffix for 3rd person
In verse 6, both verbs are in piel form and use an -hu suffix for 3rd person

Using the consensus position for verbal morphology, the different -nu/-hu
suffixes indicate that the two verbs are different functions.  In verse 5, the
verbs are in the imperfect while in verse 6 they are in the preterite.  Thus,
there is a clear difference between the two verses in form, but in each
verse there is a match of forms between the two uses of the verbs in that
verse.  This difference of morphology is indicated not only by the
Massoretic vocalization marks but also by the Massoretic consonantal
spelling.  Not only is there no need, but also it would be incorrect to
assume there is an "error" here.

Yitzhak Sapir

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