Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ibn Caspi on the Zakef on כְּתֹנֶת בְּנִי

Summary: How it is appropriate placement by the baalei hamesorah. I agree, and it is obvious. Yet, the comment is worth noting.

Post: Yosef's brothers fool their father by showing him Yosef's bloodstained coat and asking if he recognized it as Yosef's coat or not. And then, there is pasuk 33, as shown below:
Rabbi Yosef Ibn Caspi writes:

"My son's coat: the baalei hamesorah placed a zakef on the word בני, for it is a separate statement, as if he said 'this is my son's coat'."
He goes on to justify it with other pesukim, but this is fairly clear. There are two statements before the etnachta. The first is a response to the question, asking him to recognize the coat, whether it is Yosef. And since zakef marks a dichotomy in a clause ending in etnachta, we get the following three separate statements:
וַיַּכִּירָהּ וַיֹּאמֶר כְּתֹנֶת בְּנִי
חַיָּה רָעָה אֲכָלָתְהוּ
טָרֹף טֹרַף יוֹסֵף

with the first standing for ketonet beni hi.

Shadal also speaks about these three statements, assuming the first is equal to ketonet beni hi.
כתנת בני וגו' : תחילה בראותו את הכתונת אמר כתונת בני היא זאת, אח"כ בהתבוננו על הדם אשר עליה ועל מה שאמרו לו שמצאו הכתונת, ויוסף עדיין לא שב לביתו, שיער בלבו כי חיה רעה אכלתהו; ובבוא לפניו הרעיון הוה, מיד נכמרו רחמיו על בנו ונצטייר בדמיונו כאילו הוא רואה את יוסף בין מלתעות החיה, וקרא במר נפשו:

Rashi, simply because of the slight irregularity, also notes that it means ketonet beni hi. Thus:

and he said, “[It is] my son’s coat…”: It is [my son’s coat]. [From targumim]ויאמר כתנת בני: היא זו:

This is all pretty straightforward, and I don't readily see any other option in parsing it. I just mention it because it involves the intersection of trup and parsing an irregular construction in a pasuk, according to a Rishon.

1 comment:

Joe in Australia said...

The meaning flows very naturally if you imagine the anguish with which he beheld it - "My son's coat - a wild beast consumed him! Joseph has been slaughtered!"


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