[b-hebrew] Deut. 32:6

Yaakov Stein yaakov_s at rad.com
Mon Oct 6 03:29:33 EDT 2008

> According to context, the word "Qanekha" obviously means "your creator" or "your owner",
> and that is how it is understood by most commentators and translators.
> However the Masoretic vocalization actually means "your reed" (see Rashi for an even more imaginative "your nest").
> "Your creator"/"your owner" should be "Qonekha".
> Does anyone have an explanation for the Masoretic vocalization? And, as long as we're on the subject, why there is a dagesh in the Qoph?


I once spent hours looking this one up.

I am doing this from memory, so I hope I don't mix any of the sources up.

Yonatan ben Uziel and the Yerushalmi Aramiac translations do something like
"di kana yatchon", while Onkelos has the interesting "ve-at de-lach"
i.e. he is your father and your are his. So basically all three Aramaic translations
understand the root to be KNH.

Rashi's remark (as explained by his grandsons) came from the apparent contradiction
between "your father" and "your owner" (although in the Rosh HaShana and Yom Kipur
prayers the "our father our king" theme is used repeatedly).

Siftei Hachamim has a long discussion on the dagesh and kamatz.
He brings up several theories, and shows that all fail.
A new one (other than KNH and Rashi's nest) also suggested by Ibn Ezra
is that the root is TKN (he is your father who "fixed" you - similar to the end of the sentence)
and the dagesh is because of dropping the initial T.

I don't recall what the Radak says,
and I will look up the Minhat Shai for you when I get home tonight.

In Proverbs there is the form KNNY, showing a doubled nun.
If there is a small mistake in the placement of the dagesh and here too a doubled nun is intended,
then the first syllable is an unaccented closed syllable,
making the qamatz hatuf and essentially the same as the holam
(especially in the "old/poetic" language of haazinu).

Yaakov (J) Stein

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