Re: Numerics

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Sun Jun 05 2005 - 18:45:44 EDT

I cannot cite an ancient copy of Genesis 1:1f, and I have not found
/elohim/. But you are wrong about adding letters. Yod and waw are used
both as consonants and as vowels in the current Hebrew text.
Specifically, the masculine plural is yod-mem. In the Jehoash
Inscription, /BAR/ (March/April 2004), p. 50, leaving out the diacritical
marks, line 6, hqdsm, the holy things; line 12, whlwlm, and the
staircases; do not have the yod of the later spelling. I find the same
absence of yod in the texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls presented in and Also, in the /BAR/
citation, line 5, `ry, cities; line 10, whqrt, and the walls; lack the
yod which I find in the citation form in Young's concordance. This proves
that the Massoretes added letters as well as symbols above and below the
original letters. I suspect that the yod in the first word, since it does
not have a point beneath the letter as /shemayim/ does, was another

The third word in Genesis is a masculine plural, which means that the yod
was not present in the ancient text but was added. Consequently, your
square and Vernon's scheme have to be recalculated to reflect the
original test--unless, that is, you can demonstrate that the Massoretes
were at least as inspired to make the changes as Moses was to set down
the original text. Or, since I understand that the Dead Sea scrolls have
two copies of Genesis 1:1f, you show that they contain the yods.

On Sun, 5 Jun 2005 12:32:43 +0100 "David Bradford"
<> writes:
I won't try to answer all your issues in one reply as that just
dissipates the impact of them all. But I must address one fundamental
misunderstanding that seems to be a major stumbling block for you.

The Masoretes did not introduce any new letters into the Hebrew
scriptures. Nor did they deliberately remove any. Their great concerne
(in extremis) was that the true understanding of the Torah in particular
was in danger of being lost. This was due to the Hebrew language falling
out of everyday use, just as Latin has. The Jewish background of the
Masoretes forbade them to make material changes in the Torah, so what
they did was introduce a system of marks (known as pointing) that could
be added above, below and within letters, to assist with pronunciation.
The net effect was to fix the vowel sounds; but this does not mean that
they added vowels as extra characters.

Received on Sun Jun 5 18:48:48 2005

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