Sunday, October 18, 2009

"Only Noach", or "Only Noach and Those With Him?"

A nice trup-related Shadal on Noach.

Towards the end of perek 7:

כג וַיִּמַח אֶת-כָּל-הַיְקוּם אֲשֶׁר עַל-פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה, מֵאָדָם עַד-בְּהֵמָה עַד-רֶמֶשׂ וְעַד-עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם, וַיִּמָּחוּ, מִן-הָאָרֶץ; וַיִּשָּׁאֶר אַךְ-נֹחַ וַאֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ, בַּתֵּבָה.23 And He blotted out every living substance which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and creeping thing, and fowl of the heaven; and they were blotted out from the earth; and Noah only was left, and they that were with him in the ark.

The trup on this is to the right, and there is a tevir on Noach. Shadal writes:
היה נראה להטעים וישאר אך-נוח, ותהיה מליצת ואשר אתו בתיבה עומדת בפני עצמה כמו למטה ח' א'; ולפי הנגינה הכוונה נשאר בתבה רק נח ואשר אתו.
That is (relying on the printed one which has the trup signs), Shadal is saying that he would have put a zakef katon on ach-noach. The effect of this would be to take:

וַיִּשָּׁאֶר אַךְ-נֹחַ וַאֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ בַּתֵּבָה

and divide it into
וַיִּשָּׁאֶר אַךְ-נֹחַ
וַאֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ בַּתֵּבָה

Since the zakef would divide the clause before the tevir in ito would get a chance to. But the trup as it stands causes a division of:

וַיִּשָּׁאֶר אַךְ-נֹחַ וַאֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ בַּתֵּבָה


וַיִּשָּׁאֶר אַךְ-נֹחַ וַאֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ

and from there into:

וַיִּשָּׁאֶר אַךְ-נֹחַ
וַאֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ

What is the import of this? Shadal compares it to the first pasuk of perek 8, which is a mere two pesukim later:

א וַיִּזְכֹּר אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-נֹחַ, וְאֵת כָּל-הַחַיָּה וְאֶת-כָּל-הַבְּהֵמָה, אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ בַּתֵּבָה; וַיַּעֲבֵר אֱלֹהִים רוּחַ עַל-הָאָרֶץ, וַיָּשֹׁכּוּ הַמָּיִם.1 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged;

There, Noach is clearly separate, and "those with him in the ark" are clearly separate. And so too according to Shadal's trup-suggestion, Noach is left remaining, as well as "those with him in the ark". But according to the trup as we have it, bateva distributes across both of them, such that Noach and them are in the teva remaining. One could say that Noach and they who were with him were left remaining, all on the ark.

I would note that in this instance, I find his parsing quite persuasive. And it seems that the JPS translation adopted this parsing as well.

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