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The Great Qumran Isaiah Scroll
For the line by line translation of this page click here
This is the 3rd and final page on the 10th strip of leather that makes up the scroll and although it takes up the same amount of room as the last page it has some lines that extend right to the seam at the left. The seam itself has evidence of unravelling and repair with new stitching at the top while the middle has come undone probably due to disintegration of the stitching material. The editing adjacent to the open portion must have been made before the loss of stitching to the middle but after the repair at the top. The bottom of the seam is in remarkably good condition compared to the top and the seam is barely visible there. There is a small hole due to shrinkage at the top right of the page but no letters are lost to view. The rest of the page is in good physical condition.
Dots and reconstruction:
The most interesting aspect of editing on this page is the portion added above the 7th line and in the margin. This is noted in detail under variations after “Line 7:” below. The most fascinating part of the editorial addition is the superstitious reverence for the NAME or YHWH seen in indicating the presence of the NAME by four dots and not writing it out even though it is fairly well assumed that it was a proper part of the original text of Isaiah. This then is evidence of the overemphasized reverence for the name YHWH approximately 100 years before the Christian era which long precedes the Masoretic usage.
The original omission by the scribe is a classic example of how omissions took place. The scribe copied verse 7 to the words “nabal tsits” and then when lifting his eyes to the page again he came on the same words “nabal tsits” in verse 8 below thinking this is where he had left off copying and picked up at the words just following that which in vs 8 are “ve-daber ‘eloheynu” etc. and then continued to the end of verse 8. The later editor has added all the words omitted. this is described in detail in Variations below. Also see the description of other use of “dots”click here.
A smudge which may be a fingerprint is in line 4. The word ” ‘ish” is written above the line 13 with the waw conj. that belongs to it wrongly written before the word below it. Lines 1 to 7 and lines 25 to 29 are not as straight as those on any preceding page. They can be described as wavy lines which waviness is not seen on other pages.
Other Scribal Variations;
The continuation of using waw to indicate any vowel sound is found on this page as is the practice of adding a final “he” to words not using “he’ in the Masoretic text. Also found is the addition of aleph to the end of some words where they are not expected (for instance “kiy’ ” and “piy’ ” at the end of line 4) and there is at least one occasion of dropping aleph from the middle of words where they are expected to remain. Aleph is added to “miy” (who) and to “lo” (to him) where it makes the latter word to look like a negative. “miy” is written with aleph and without aleph as the 1st and 4th words in line 12. “bo’ ” (in it) has aleph appended making it look like “bo’ ” (come or go) in the correction above the 9th word in line 7. Aleph is added to 3fs suf in line 21: 7th word. Similar appended alephs can be found.
VARIATIONS IN Q FROM THE MASORETIC:
(Next to last word.) There is a mark above the word kephalayim (double) that resembles a broken letter followed by a beth. I have no explanation for this notation. See above and the digital enlargement here. Also see catalog of marks.
(Above the word YHWH.) There is a smudge noted above and with digital enlargement there may have been a notation in the smudge before the “fingerprint” was made. Also see catalog of marks.
(Beginning with the 6th word.) 4dots over 4 dots under. Q = an omission of some of verse 7 and most of verse 8 by the original scribe. The correction of this omission is done between the lines and in the margin to the left. Although there is a small bit of repetition the correction between the lines has some things of interest. The style of writing is completely different than any hand that has been seen before in this scroll. Note the lameds in the margin and the aleph as the last letter between the lines to see the different “hand writing.” The words 2 to 5 on line 7 are the first 4 words in verse 7. Following this the original scribe then copied the last 4 words of verse 8 having left out the intervening words. These words are written in, supplied by an editor with a different hand, who inserted all the rest of verse 7 beginning above the line after the 5th word and continuing to the end of the verse. He dropped the words after “b’o” to the same level as line 7. spelling the first word (aleph kap nun) as “haken.” In the phrase above the line the editor has written the phrase which includes YHWH but out of respect for the NAME he has indicated it by 4 dots. Then all of verse 8 is written in the margin. Even though it is difficult to read, the last words are “ve-daber ‘eloheynu” and the letters “nu” are written smaller but they are there. However these words are already in the text on line 7 so that you will find 4 dots under “ve-daber” there, perhaps as a sign to show where to return to after the marginal correction. See further comments above. click here.
(The margin.) The word tsiyts (flower) which appears in M seems to be written as tsaphats . There does not seem to be a yod between the two tsades, however tsaphats is an unknown root. Kittel writes the yod but puts brackets around it. Thus the spelling here is faulty.
Q = Your God spelled ‘eloheyykemah with either 2 yods, 2 waws or a combination of waw yod or an extra he. You decide.
(Line 10 – 15.)
(Superfluous waws.) There are a number of waws in q that are not in M. Some are sufs. and some conjs. Beginning with 4th word in line 9 there is an edited waw not needed. and in line 12: 7th word;
(5th word.) M = “mey” (waters) and Q = an extra word “mey yam” (waters of the sea).
(4th word.) Q looks like “be-machaniym” with heth or “be-machenayim” (encampments) but the “heth” is actually waw zayin and it is the same word as M omitting an aleph in Q or “be-moznayim.” and M = ‘be-m’oznayim” (balances)
(Last word.) Q = only part of the last word is written. some letters are missing. Of “yodiy’enu” 5th stem verb + suf 3ms (made known to him) only “yodiy” is present making it “my hand”
(A different stroke?.) Also in Line 14 and 15 either a different hand or a different pen wrote the last words. The last words on line 14 after “mishpat” and all of but especially the last six words on line 15. Compare the mems in mishpat on line 14 with mems on line 15 especially words 2 and 3. Then compare the hes and heths in lines 13 and 14 with those following in 15 and 16. See the same hand as is usual in line 17.
(Next to last word.) Q adds an extra 1cs suf which confuses the sentence. It is more than just an extra letter. It is a mistake.
(4th word.) Q = “liy” (for me) and M = “lo” (to or for him).
(6th word.) And additional word not in M. Q = “ve-ye’asah” (and he makes).
(8th word.) Q = masak a participle and M = “nasak” 3ms verb; both mean to pour out molten metal.
(3rd from last word.) A misspelling. the word “baqesh” (seeking) has reversed letters in Q = “basheq” an error “baqesh” is meant.
(3rd from last word.) Q = ” ‘asaph” (with ayin) M = “nashaph” It appears that the scribe attempted to write a nun above the ayin and there is a dot over the shin perhaps to denote the mistake. See digatal enlargement of line 23. Also see catalog of marks.
(2nd word.) Q reverses order of letters. Q = “keqash” and M = “ke-shaq”
Original Source: Ch 40:02 to 40:28