Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The spelling of כְּתוֹעֲפֹת

Summary: Considering whether the Samaritan text bolsters one side of a masoretic dispute.

Post: From Bilaam's blessing:

ח  אֵל מוֹצִיאוֹ מִמִּצְרַיִם, כְּתוֹעֲפֹת רְאֵם לוֹ; יֹאכַל גּוֹיִם צָרָיו, וְעַצְמֹתֵיהֶם יְגָרֵם--וְחִצָּיו יִמְחָץ.8 God who brought him forth out of Egypt is for him like the lofty horns of the wild-ox; he shall eat up the nations that are his adversaries, and shall break their bones in pieces, and pierce them through with his arrows.

A short note. Minchas Shai records a machlokes as to whether that first vav should be there:

I would point out that Vetus Testamentum gives the Samaritan text as chaser, which would be significant as it runs counter to the prevailing Samaritan pattern of emending such words to indicate the em hakriah:

However, looking at the variants, there are sufficient Rabbinic and Samaritan variants in the malei / chaser of this word that this does not seem to be significant after all. See inside.

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