[b-hebrew] Ex 20:5 atnach

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sun Mar 16 02:19:03 EDT 2008


Hi Charles,

We actually had a long discussion about this some years ago. There are two 
different systems of cantilation marks ("trope marks", or "notes") for the 
Decalogue, both in Exodus and in Deuteronomy. The first, called "ta'am 
tahton" ("lower notes") confirms with the usual verse division, which means 
that some of the longer commandments are divided into several verses, while 
some of the shorter ones are combined into a single verse. The "ta'am elyon" 
or "upper notes", which are used for public reading of the Decalogue in the 
synagogue liturgy, have each comandment as a single verse. In some printed 
Bibles, including BHS, both sets are printed superimposed on the same text - 
hence some verses seem to have more than one atnah. Most Jewish printed 
Bibles have just the "ta'am tahton", with the text of the Decalogue with 
"ta'am elyon" printed at the end of the book.
In addition, there are more than one tradition concerning the actual 
verse-divisions of the first and second commandment, which cause changes in 
the markings.

Yigal Levin


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Charles Grebe" <cgrebe at briercrest.ca>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, March 16, 2008 6:23 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Ex 20:5 atnach


> In my reading today, I came across an odd little question. It's not really 
> very important but it caught my attention.
>
> In Ex 20:5 there appears to be two "atnach"s. The first one comes after 
> "You shall not worship them or serve them" but then there is a second 
> atnach at the end of the verse! Is that normal? Does it mean anything 
> special?
>
> Charles Grebe
> Briercrest Distance Learning
> Caronport, SK
> Canada
>
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