[b-hebrew] Unpointed

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Wed Jun 16 23:11:08 EDT 2010


Here are a few that I consider to be mistakes in the Masoretic pointing:

Ps 23:6b  לְאֹרֶךְ יָמִים  וְשַׁבְתִּי בְּבֵית־יְהוָה
As it is vowelled, the MT Hebrew text means "I will return", but that does not make sense with the preposition "in". Therefore no one translates it "I will return". Instead, they amend the consonantal text to say "I will dwell". The same MT consonants without modification mean "I will rest" if vowelled differently. 
I think it means "and I will rest in the house of the Lord for the length of days"

Ps 27:4 same as above except "all the days of my life" instead of "for the length of days"

Ps 16:2 The MT Hebrew with vowels says "You (2nd person feminine singular) said to Jehovah ...". This doesn't make sense because there is no female antecedent for "You". The Hebrew verb "said" could be 2nd person masculine if vowelled differently. I think that when the Masoretes added the vowels to this word, they made it feminine so that it could not refer back to "my God" in v1, for that would make for two "God's" in their eyes: my God in v1 talking to Jehovah in v2. They dared not alter the sacred consonants, so all they could do by adding the vowels was to make it feminine. 
KJV translates it "My soul, you said to the Lord", but there is no other place in the Bible where "my soul" is added.
I think the meaning is "my God" in v1 is speaking to Jehovah, similar to Ps 110:1 where Jehovah speaks to "my Lord".

Ps 110:3 The last phrase, "I have begotten You" is vowelled in the MT to say, "Your childhood". I believe that the meaning here is "I have begotten You", not "Your childhood" because:
1. The LXX translated this word as "I have begotten You".
2. The consonants here are exactly the same as Psalm 2:7.
3. "Your childhood" does not make sense here. It is usually translated as "Your youth", but the word here is "childhood", elementary school age, not "youth".

It is a hard verse to translate in any case. My current attempt is:
Your people are free will offerings in the day of Your army in the splendor of consecration from the womb.
Since the dawn, in your place is the dew. I have begotten you.

If someone has other suggestions, I would be glad to hear them.

-Steve Miller
He shall lift up the LORD's blessing 
   and also righteousness
from the God of His salvation
   that others He may bless.
This One the generation seeks,
   inquiring after Him,
Who seeks your face, house of Jacob,
   to be in His kingdom. (Ps 24:5-6)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-hebrew-
> bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Pere Porta
> Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 12:55 AM
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Unpointed
> A special message to Karl Randolph.
> Dear Karl,
> often you claim that you disagree -not always, of course-  with the
> masoretic pointing of the Tanakh and you say that you usually read the
> biblical text in its unpointed version.
> I think you may be right but I think also it would be good for the list
> if you give us two or three samples of this.
> Would you be so kind to do so and clearly show how the different
> pointing conveys a meaning of the text that is different  -either a
> little or very
> different-  of the traditional meaning shown in most versions into
> today languages?
> Pere Porta
> (Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain)

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list