Post: As I mentioned several times in the past, Ibn Caspi likes to look at trup and nikkud to determine peshat. He is of the opinion that it was encoded by the Anshei Knesset Hagedolah, and that they received their tradition from Moshe Rabbenu. As such, it is dispositive -- you cannot argue against it. In his Vikuach al Chochmas HaKabbalah, meanwhile, Shadal asserts that a great many of the classic meforshim (Rashi, Ramban, Ibn Ezra, Rashbam, etc.), while paying great attention to the ancient commentary of trup and nikkud, do not regard it as Sinaitic and are willing to argue upon it.
There is a dispute between Ibn Caspi and Chizkuni as to how to parse a particular pasuk in parashat Vayigash. Ibn Caspi is in accord with the trup. Chizkuni does not appear to truly be.
That pasuk is Bereishit 47:6:
|ו אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, לְפָנֶיךָ הִוא--בְּמֵיטַב הָאָרֶץ, הוֹשֵׁב אֶת-אָבִיךָ וְאֶת-אַחֶיךָ: יֵשְׁבוּ, בְּאֶרֶץ גֹּשֶׁן--וְאִם-יָדַעְתָּ וְיֶשׁ-בָּם אַנְשֵׁי-חַיִל, וְשַׂמְתָּם שָׂרֵי מִקְנֶה עַל-אֲשֶׁר-לִי.||6 the land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and thy brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell. And if thou knowest any able men among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.'|
The trup on that pasuk is:
such that there is an etnachta on achecha, and so "your father and brothers" are grouped together.
And so Ibn Caspi writes:
מז (ו) ואת אחיך. שמו בו אתנח, להורות הגירות, וכן ישבו
בארץ גושן, הוא פרוש במיטב הארץ:
Thus, everyone is dwelling there, and eretz goshen is an explanation of meitav haaretz.
In constrast, Chizkuni says otherwise:
ו) במיטב הארץ הושב אח אביך • כי הוא זקן ואינו
מבקש רק מנוחה ואויר טוב אבל אחיך בחורים ישבו
בארץ גושן ארץ מקום מרעה ואל תשיבני מן האתנחתא
לומר שהיא מפסקת שהרי דוגמתו מצינו זבולון עם
חרף נפשו למות ונפתלי על מרומי שדה
That it, "your father" dwelt in meitav haaretz, which "your brothers" dwelt in the land of Goshen. He acknowledges the issue of the etnachta, which appears to say otherwise, but points to another instance in which the second phrase begins on the word upon which there is an etnachta. I discussed this in the beginning of 2009, in this post about a bunch of great Chizkunis on Vayigash. It might be possible to interpret that distant pasuk along with the trup, against how Chizkuni understands it. Or it could be that that pasuk, which is Biblical poetry, operated via different rules.
But what is Chizkuni saying? Is he stating that arguing against trup is legitimate? Or is he rather saying that the trup is not solidly against his interpretation, since in other cases it clearly is to be parsed in way X despite the etnachta in that position -- and so the trup can agree with him. I would say that he means the latter.
If so, neither Ibn Caspi nor Chizkuni are arguing against the trup. And indeed, by feeling the need to justify himself in light of the etnachta, Chizkuni seems to treat the trup as dispositive as well. Of course, so it seemed for other meforshim as well, until we encountered explicit instances to the contrary. I will try to keep on the lookout for more evidence on Chizkuni, in either direction.