Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Matos: The Trup on Vekamu Nedareha

This is an easy, straightforward one. In the beginning of Matos, in Bemidbar 30:8, we have the pasuk pictured to the right. That is,

וְשָׁמַ֥ע אִישָׁ֛הּ בְּי֥וֹם שָׁמְע֖וֹ וְהֶֽחֱרִ֣ישׁ לָ֑הּ וְקָ֣מוּ נְדָרֶ֗יהָ וֶֽאֱסָרֶ֛הָ אֲשֶׁר־אָֽסְרָ֥ה עַל־נַפְשָׁ֖הּ יָקֻֽמוּ׃

The issue, noted by Shadal, is that there is a revii on the word nedareha. Now, based on the principle of continuous dichotomy in psukim, the pasuk is divided as pictured to the right, assuming the revii in that place.

That is, the second half of the pasuk:
וְקָמוּ נְדָרֶיהָ וֶאֱסָרֶהָ אֲשֶׁר-אָסְרָה עַל-נַפְשָׁהּ יָקֻמוּ

would be divided first into
וְקָמוּ נְדָרֶיהָ וֶאֱסָרֶהָ אֲשֶׁר-אָסְרָה עַל-נַפְשָׁהּ

At the next step, the first clause would be further subdivided into
וְקָמוּ נְדָרֶיהָ
וֶאֱסָרֶהָ אֲשֶׁר-אָסְרָה עַל-נַפְשָׁהּ

The problem with all this is that according to this, yakumu would go on וְקָמוּ נְדָרֶיהָ וֶאֱסָרֶהָ אֲשֶׁר-אָסְרָה עַל-נַפְשָׁהּ. This is obviously problematic, because we already have the first verb וְקָמוּ, which goes on וְקָמוּ נְדָרֶיהָ. The fact that there is a disjunctive accent on נְדָרֶיהָ is a good and correct thing, but the wrong disjunctive accent would appear to be here. We want to divide off that section much earlier.

That is, we want:
וְקָמוּ נְדָרֶיהָ וֶאֱסָרֶהָ אֲשֶׁר-אָסְרָה עַל-נַפְשָׁהּ יָקֻמוּ

to divide into

וְקָמוּ נְדָרֶיהָ
וֶאֱסָרֶהָ אֲשֶׁר-אָסְרָה עַל-נַפְשָׁהּ יָקֻמוּ

which is how the JPS translation indeed goes:
then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand.

Thus, Shadal notes:
וקמו נדריה: ראוי להיות בזקף, וכן הוא בחומש יוסטיניאן

There should be a zakef katon on the word nedareha. With that in place, the division would be correct, and as described above.

And I would note that a revii only looks like a diamond because of present styles in printing. In manuscripts, it was merely a single dot above the word. (Revii does not mean "four" but is based on the Aramaic word equivalent to רבץ, with an ayin taking the place of tzadi.) Then, it is quite easy to lose one dot from zakef katon to yield a revii.

Shadal notes that this is not just conjecture based on theoretical principles, but that he has some corroborating evidence. Namely, the Justinian chumash {?} has the zakef there.

Update: Of course, the alternative is possible, though somewhat awkward:
"then shall stand her vows and her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul || they {meaning both vows and bonds} shall stand."


Lion of Zion said...

and compare with vv. 5, 12

"Justinian chumash {?}"

could refer either to augustino giustiniani or to marc anthony giustiniani. the former was working on a polygloy bible (rival to the complutencia), but only published psalms and i doubt shadal had access to his chumash mss? the latter was an infamous hebrew printer in mid-16th c. venice, who did publish hebrew bibles.

this problem is mentioned by wickwa (who emends), breuer (who says an emendation is "justified" but is cautious and notes sometimes shadal is wrong) and perlman (brings down the massoretic note)

"Then, it is quite easy to lose one dot from zakef katon to yield a revii."

someone just mentioned this to me in a comment here:
although this was in reference to going the other way, from revii to zakef. i guess it would be interesting to look up these problems in texts with non-tiberian trop

joshwaxman said...


based just on what you presented, I would agree that the latter is more likely.

MDJ said...

Why was marc anthony giustiniani infamous.


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