The Great Isaiah Scroll 37:24 to 38:8
This is the first page of three on the tenth strip of leather that makes up the scroll. The seam to the right has already been described on the preceding page. There are no physical anomalies on this page of any consequence except for the obscuring of prep. lamed in 1st letter of line 15 which may be caused by a small chipping perhaps due to erasure associated with the additional line from the preceding page. Although there is some spotty fading of letters only line 26: 10th word "ha-'iyr" is difficult to read.
Paragraphs and Spatiums
New paragraphs begin in line 12 (vs 37:33) and in line 16 (vs 37:36) . Line 20 begins chapter 38 and line 34 is the beginning of 38:4. There are spatiums that mark the beginning of 37:30 in line 8 and 38:7 in line 27.
The use of a final "he" added to 2ms suffixes as well as to verbal preformatives is continued on this page with the first two examples in the first two words on the page. The second word is a good example of why the extra letters are added by Q scribes. Without the "he" the word could be a noun or verb depending on context. The addition of "he" makes the identification of the tau as a verbal preformative much more likely.
Scribal additions and corrections:
There is a "mem" above 9th word of line 5 which completes the word; and a yod is above "qedem" in line 6 where it seems unneeded; and aleph is added where needed in line 7 above 5th word. Three words are inserted above the place where they were left out in the 10th line. The next to last word in line 22 is corrected by the addition of two letters.
Variations in Q from the Masoretic Text
Line 2: 2nd word. Q = spelling difference in "ve-'ekrotah" which includes adding waw as semi vowel "o" and a final "he" which adds a syllable to the word which is verb imp 1cs. M = same identification without waw and "he." i.e. "ve- 'ekrot" (I will cut). 9th word; Q = "qitsy" and M = "qitso" This is a good example of Q scribe interchanging yod for waw which is needed here. Waw is intended but yod is written. This has been pointed out as a frequent anomaly with the Q scribes. See introduction on Table of Contents page. Next to last word: Q = "karmelayv" and M = karmelo."
Line 3: 1st word: Q = "qar'atiy" (I have read) and M = "qartiy" (I have dug). 3rd and 4th words: Q = an extra word: "mayiym zariym" (probably loathsome water) and M = "mayim" only. 5th word: Q = ve-'ekriybah" and M = ve-'ekrib" (var. spelling).
Line 3: 3rd from last word is the last word in vs 25: Q = "matsor" nms and M = "matsor" also which is translated literally by KJV as besieged places or fortresses even though singular. Most modern English translations give the plural of "matsor" which is "mitsriym" or Egypt.
Line 4: 6th word: Q has missing conj waw found in M. 2nd from last and last words: Q has a peculiarity common to both these words in spelling. A waw is added after aleph in both words which does not make sense . Q = "ha-bey'otiyah M = "ha-be:'tiyha" and Q = "le-sha'o-ot and M = le-ha-she'ot." Q has no article. This anomaly of adding a double waw after aleph in Q has not been noticed previously.
Line 5: 2nd word: Q = a different reading "netsoriym" (Nazarenes) and M = "nitsiym" a 2nd stem participle (ruined). The use of the root (N TS R) has mystical meaning in Isaiah. To view this verse in context see my commentary and especially my article on Natsar.
Line 5: 9th word: Dots: Q = a corrected, dotted and edited "ve=yoshbiym" (and the inhabitants) and M = "va-boshu" verb pf 3pl (and they were embarrassed or confused.) Is the root ybsh? (dry which can mean confused) or bosh? (embarassed) as in M or yshb? (dwelling).
The Dotted shin:
In Q there is a dot over and under shin. The shin is was likely misplaced; the editor who added the dots indicated he thought as much. In this case the edited letter order
v y .sh. b y m as edited but originally v y .sh. b u should actually be v y b sh u. If so and the root is "bosh" then the initial yod must be accounted for. Obviously another editor (not the one who added dots) mistakenly felt that the word "inhabitants" was correct and added the plural mem above the line to make "yoshviym." What looks as though it was orignally a nun at the end of this word was probably a waw. The editor who added the mem may be responsible for over writing the "nun" and scribing a yod there with the remnant of the apparent "nun" trailing. Thus it had to be a separate editor who dotted the shin.
It is more likely that the original mistake is simply a misplaced shin and the final nun was originally a waw and the word did not need further editing and would therefore be the same as M. If this is the case the initial yod may follow what is common in 1Qa; that is that the scribe has changed the tense from pf 3mpl to imp 3mpl. See also Use of Dots in the Introductory page. Click here
Line 6: after 3rd word "gagoth" (roofs) Q = "gagoth ha-nishdoph liphney qedeym" ( [like roof grass] scorched anciently) [liphney qedem is an idiom which means from old time]. M = " gagoth u-shede-mah liphney qamah" ([ roofs like ] fields before they are grown up.)
Line 7: 1st word: Q = aleph added to 1cs verb ending. There is no good explanation why. 3rd word: Q - "hirgizkah" 5th stem pt or inf. + 2ms (your rage) and M = "hithragezeka" 7th stem inf + 2ms (your rage). Following the next word (3rd) which is the last word in vs 28 the first 3 words of vs 29 in the M text are missing from the Q text. The mistake has an obvious explanation. since the last two of the 3 words are the same as the last two words in vs 28. Thus the scribe finished writing the end of 28 and when his eyes resumed their position they alit upon the same two words in the beginning of vs 29 and continued writing from there omitting the first 3 words that actually begin the verse. They are: "ya'an hithragezeka aliy" (on account of your rage against me)
Line 8 1st word: Q = "beshiph'oteykah" spelling it with aleph waw in Q noted above and M = "bisphateyka" 5th word: Q = aleph missing from "batah" verb pf 2ms (you came). Last word: Q = " 'ecolu" verb 2mpl (they eat) and M = " 'acol" inf (to eat),
Line 9: 5th word: Q = a misspelling using ayin for heth in the same word. Last word in Q is also likely a repositioning of waw and is therefore a spelling mistake. Q = ayin waw and M = waw ayin. in "ve-netua' " .
Line 10: 4th word: Q = "ve 'asaphah" a misspelling of M = "ve yasphah" (he will add). Immediately after this word three words that were omitted in the original writing are written between the lines to correct the text. and then the next word after the omission in Q = "ve-ha-nimtsah" (and the thing found) and M = "ha-nish'arah" (the remnant or thing left). next to last word: Q = "ma'elah" and M = le-ma'elah."
Line 11: 1st word: Q = "mi-tsion" and M = "miy-rushalam." 5th word: Q = "miy-rushalayim" and M = "me:har tsion."
Lines 12 and 13: a verse with repositioned words: The verse in Q contains all the same words as those found in M but they are repositioned. All of line 12 in Q is the same as M but in line 13 Q jumps over 7 words to "yishpok 'alayha' solalah" which ends the verse in M but in Q the medially omitted words are then added to complete the sentence with all the omitted words ending at "magan." Verse 34 begins properly and is intact.
Line 17: 7th word It is unclear why the Q scribe added a waw above the waw in ve-yashav (and he returned) The waw itself is an addition to the m text so the waw is added as a semi vowel. But the additional edited waw is a mistake.
Line 19: 4th word: Q = "horarat" and M = " 'ararat." This is another illustration of Q scribe inserting waw as a vowel. After substituting 'he" for aleph in Ararat" the waw is added to indicate a vowel sound. Rather than "o" that I have used to transliterate what is in the Q text it rather should be the "a" sound or "hararat" illustrating that the Q scribe often inserts waw for any vowel sound. It is inserted for a short "e" sound in line 10: 6th word ("sheresh" or root) and also short "e" in "shevnah" pg 30 line 3: 8th word. It stands for a long "a" sound on pg 30 line 23 5th word in the word for "your ear." On this page line 21 next to last word it stands for a serey or long "e" sound in "ve-yase:v." It is inserted as an "i" sound in Hezekiah's name numerous times on the last two pages. It is so added on this page in line 20: 4th word and the last word on line 21; and line 23: 3rd from last; and line 24: 4th from last, to the name Hezekiah. Click here to see many other places where Hezekiah's name is written with and without the added waw. Of course there are many other like illustrations where the Q scribe inserts waw to indicate a vowel sound,-- any vowel sound. See more in the introduction on waw as a semivowel for any vowel sound.
Line 22 : next to last word: Q has corrections above the word; a tau and a "he" make the word read "hithhalaktiy" as it reads in M.
Line 23: 2nd word: Q = "bele:vav' and M = "bele:v"
Line 25: 6th word: Q has waw conj. not in M.
Line 27: Words 3 to 6: Q adds a phrase of 4 words to the end of vs 38:6 This phrase "lema'aniy ve-lema'an daviyd 'avdiy" (for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David" is also in the text as the last 4 words in line 15 above.
Line 29: 1st word: Q = an extra word i.e. "" 'aloth" words 3 and 4: Q = "eth ha-shemesh" and M = "ba-shemesh."