Post: Consider the following three pesukim, which share a similar phrase:
שמות פרק כט
ויקרא פרק יד
במדבר פרק כחWhere the last one differs is that it does not have the second ha. It is ha-keves echad, rather than ha-keves ha-echad.
However, while this describes the situation as per our sifrei Torah and our Masoretic text, it appear that Ibn Ezra has a different version of the first of these pesukim, in Shemot 29:39. He writes:
[כט, לט]"The heh of ha-keves is because of another heh, as if it were ha-keves ha-echad. And Rabbi Moshe HaKohen said that it is et hakeves, keves echad."
את הכבש -ה"א הכבש בעבור ה"א אחרת, כאלו הוא את הכבש האחד.
ור' משה הכהן אמר:
כי את הכבש כבש אחד.
Thus, both of these Rishonim are trying to account for the heh in hakeves together with its absence in echad. Ibn Ezra explains that the first ha carries both, while Rabbi Moshe haKohen explains that we should divide it into both definite and indefinite.
But, the problem is that in our Masoretic text we have the heh there! Avi Ezer notes this problem,
and notes that R' Eliyahu Bachur notices this issue in his commentary on the Radak. So perhaps that means that we can add Radak to this list. Unless he means that in the course of commenting on Radak, he discusses this Ibn Ezra. (Here, by the way, is Minchas Shai.)
The Samaritan text has like us. But Vetus Testamentum lists a number (seven) of Jewish texts that are actually missing this heh in ha-echad:
Could we apply lectio difficilior here to side in favor of echad over ha-echad? Well, it certainly seems more awkward while being correct. But on the other hand, this might be a harmonization with hakeves echad in parshat Pinchas. We want maximum entropy, for that is more likely to be original.
Here is the Ibn Ezra on that pasuk in Pinchas:
[כח, ד]So effectively the same point.
את הכבש אחד -אמר רבי משה הכהן הספרדי:
כי הוא דרך קצרה והטעם את הכבש כבש אחד.
ועל דעתי: שאות ה"א מושך עצמו ואחר עמו, וכבר הראיתיך רבים כן:
Rabbi Shlomo Goldberg told me that he heard Rav Schachter talking about a Torah Temimah on this parasha, about the difference between the pasuk in Tetzaveh and the pasuk in Pinchas. You can read it here.
Here is an interesting possible proof of presence or absence of the heh based on Onkelos. Targum Onkelos on our pasuk in Tetzaveh reads:
|כט,לט אֶת-הַכֶּבֶשׂ הָאֶחָד, תַּעֲשֶׂה בַבֹּקֶר; וְאֵת הַכֶּבֶשׂ הַשֵּׁנִי, תַּעֲשֶׂה בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם.||יָת אִמְּרָא חַד, תַּעֲבֵיד בְּצַפְרָא; וְיָת אִמְּרָא תִּנְיָנָא, תַּעֲבֵיד בֵּין שִׁמְשַׁיָּא.|
That it says chad as opposed to chada might indicate lack of the heh hayidia. I don't believe that this is so, however, because look at the very next pasuk, which certainly has ha-echad:
|כט,מ וְעִשָּׂרֹן סֹלֶת בָּלוּל בְּשֶׁמֶן כָּתִית, רֶבַע הַהִין, וְנֵסֶךְ, רְבִיעִת הַהִין יָיִן--לַכֶּבֶשׂ, הָאֶחָד.||וְעֶסְרוֹנָא סֻלְתָּא דְּפִיל בִּמְשַׁח כָּתִישָׁא, רַבְעוּת הִינָא, וְנִסְכָּא, רַבְעוּת הִינָא חַמְרָא--לְאִמְּרָא, חַד.|
The parallel in Pinchas has:
|כח,ד אֶת-הַכֶּבֶשׂ אֶחָד, תַּעֲשֶׂה בַבֹּקֶר; וְאֵת הַכֶּבֶשׂ הַשֵּׁנִי, תַּעֲשֶׂה בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם.||יָת אִמְּרָא חַד, תַּעֲבֵיד בְּצַפְרָא; וְיָת אִמְּרָא תִּנְיָנָא, תַּעֲבֵיד בֵּין שִׁמְשַׁיָּא.|
And in Vayikra 14:12, in Metzora, the same, where we certainly have ha-echad:
|יד,יב וְלָקַח הַכֹּהֵן אֶת-הַכֶּבֶשׂ הָאֶחָד, וְהִקְרִיב אֹתוֹ לְאָשָׁם--וְאֶת-לֹג הַשָּׁמֶן; וְהֵנִיף אֹתָם תְּנוּפָה, לִפְנֵי יְהוָה.||וְיִסַּב כָּהֲנָא יָת אִמְּרָא חַד, וִיקָרֵיב יָתֵיהּ לַאֲשָׁמָא--וְיָת לוֹגָא דְּמִשְׁחָא; וִירִים יָתְהוֹן אֲרָמָא, קֳדָם יְיָ.|
So there is nothing to see here.
However, in Avnei Tzion, we get the following:
Thus, he emends the present instance, in Tetzaveh, to chada, to match the definite article in the Hebrew. And he does this based on manuscript evidence. And he contrasts this to the one in parashat Pinchas. I'd have to see the manuscript, and how it treats these other instances. Does Onkelos in general have a kametz aleph ending when translating ha-echad? Or is this something a scribe changed, based on sevarah, since he knows that this is a famous switch-off. (Targum Yonatan appears to have the same chad throughout, and would then similarly require emendation. So too the Peshitta.) Regardless -- even if this manuscript evidence is unconvincing, since chad is perfectly fine for haechad -- I would not consider this proof that Ibn Ezra's girsa of the pasuk is correct.