The Great Isaiah Scroll 2:21 to 3:24
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Notice the sewing on the splice at the left. This is the first splice of many. To make the scroll: sheets of leather were sewn together. Each sheet held approximately 3 to 4 pages of manuscript writing. Thus the Great Isaiah Scroll is made of 17 strips with as many sewn seams to be found at the end of every third or fourth page. The seam on this page seems to have been repaired with obvious lateral stitches to reattach this strip to the scroll. This page and page 44 have stains associated with the seam. These stains seem to be of ancient origin since they would have obscured some of the letters which extended into the margin before the sewing took place. Letters which may have been obscured in this way were edited above the end of the line to complete the words where they would otherwise be missing. Other evidence like this which indicates a long life of usage for the scroll before it was sealed away in a storage jar will be noticed on other pages. For instance see the last words on page 12 and the comments there explains the lacuna and repositioning of the last word.
On this page letters are added at the end of the lines: see a waw at the end of line 13 and "kem" in line 19; and a mem in line 25. These insertions appear to be a rewriting of the letters that were lost when the seam was reattached and/or they were obliterated by the staining mentioned above.
Gaps (called spatiums) in the text: Gaps appear in the text which indicate differing aspects of the script. The gaps can be seen in lines 1, 6, 10, 14, 15, 16, 25. The gap in line 1 ends 2:21 and begins 2:23. Gap in line 4 is end of verse 3 and begin verse 4. Gap in line 10 ends verse 6 begins verse 7. Gap in line 14 ends verse 9 begins verse 10. A gap in line 15 ends verse 10 begins 11. Gap in line 16 ends verse 11 begins verse 12. And the gap 5 lines from the bottom ends verse 17 and begins 18. It is interesting that these spatial marks which indicate a break in thought correspond with later versification.
Spaces marking paragraphs are seen in lines 2, 17 and 21.
There is no apparent reason for the 2 dots at the end of line 6. Nothing is left out.
Variations in the texts Q and Masoretic
Corrections: When a correction is made sometimes the scribe simply indicated that the wrong word was inscribed and a dot was placed under each letter to denote the wrong word. In some cases, as here, the proper word was then inserted between the lines above the wrong word. You will find an illustration of this in 5th and 6th lines from the bottom. Where on the 6th line the word for Lord "'adonay" is in the text and dotted and the word YHWH is written above. This is reversed in the next line where YHWH is dotted in the text and "'adonay" is written above it. In Line 20 "'adonay" is written above YHWH without any distinguishing dots. See discussion of "dots" in the introductory page.
The space at the end of line 2 marks the end of chapter two and line 3 starts with the first word of chapter three.
In the line above that the word "in your houses" be-batey-kem. The kem 2mpl suffix is written above the line as added later. Similarly in the 5th line from the bottom the plural m in the last word ha-'akasiym is written above the line as crowded. As explained above, this is probably due to the repair of the seam and the discoloration in the seam that obscured these letters at the end of the line.
Interestingly in verse 15: There is a Qerey that is adopted by the current received text which begins the verse with "mah la-kem" The received reading of BHS and the Leningrad codex is malakem (a shortened form of the idiom). Interestingly that anomaly is the same reading as in the Q manuscript. There may be an appended (blurred and obscure) aleph to malakem in Q which would not be out of harmony with added aleph in other places.
Spelling: In the first word of line 4 from the bottom ha-shabiysiym the Q substitutes sin for samech. Samech is the correct spelling.
The last word on the page is the first word of verse 3:24. Here in Q it is imp 3mpl of the verb to be or hayah. With the conjunction it is ve-yih yu . In the Masoretic it is a pf verb 3ms not plural . It is ve-hayah. Each form could be translated the same although in Q it would more likely mean "all these things shall be" while in Masoretic it is "and it shall be." There is no substantial difference.
Other Variations in Q from the Masoretic text:
Line 3: 6th word: Q = a different spelling "me-hasiyr" and M = "mesiyr" both are 5th stem part. ms.
Line 10: 3rd word: Q = a waw cj not in M.
Line 16: 6th word: Q = "nagaso" part ms + suf 3ms (his oppressor) and M = "negosayv" part mpl + suf 3ms (his oppressors). The word for "children" which follows (7th word "me 'olel") is a participle from which "children" is a derived meaning and it is singular in both Q and M.
Line 17: First word: M= "me 'ashreyka" (your guides) Q omits the aleph in this word,-- a misspelling. last word: Q = a lacuna obscures most of this word but what is able to be seen conforms to the M text "bile: 'u" piel 3rd pl (they swallow).
Line 18: 4th word: Q lacks cj waw found in M.
Line 20: 1st word: Q = qerey not kituv.
Line 22: last word: Q = neither qerey nor kituv spelling "netayoth."
Line 23: last word: Q = "be=ragleyhenah" prep + nmpl cs + suf 3fpl (on their feet) and M = "be-ragleyhem" prep + nmpl + suf 3mpl (on their feet). Q seems to be consistent with proper gender but M does not.
Line 26: 1st word: Q spells this word with sin and M with sameq. 3rd word: Q has waw cj not in M.
Line 27: 1st word: Q appears to begin the word with a resh which is a mistake. The scribe may have meant to write a waw but this is not the reading in M. 3rd word: Q lacks article "he" in M.
Line 28: 1st word: Q = cj waw not in M. and in 3rd word as well.
Line 28 between last and next to last word Q does not have "mitpachoth" (handkerchiefs) which is found in M.
Last word on the page: Q = "ve-yihyu" imp 3mpl (and they shall be) and M = "ve-hayah" pf 3ms (and it shall be).