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The Great Qumran Isaiah Scroll
For the line by line translation of this page click here
The darkening on this page is due to poor photo copying rather than the portion being in poorer condition than the last page. This is the first page of the second section of spliced leather on which the scroll is written. There are several damaged places at the top which obliterate at least four words in the first two lines and they must be reconstructed from context and the Masoretic text with which this text is more often than not consistent.
1. Tears or Rips
There are tears or rips in the leather which obscure some letters. One of these tears has been repaired in the past and the “staples” or “sewing” can be seen at the top left. This would indicate that the scroll had had long use and was already “old” when it was “bottled” and sealed away in the first century. We remember that the Roman destruction of the area circa 70 CE is the cut-off date since the community was destroyed about that time. ( there are other more serious repairs to the scroll that will be noted as they appear. The largest of these will be found over page 12 of the scrollwhere the repair covers over 90 percent of the width (bottom to top) of the scroll. It is possible that some later repairs to seams were done by recent 20th century editors of the scroll since it was found and unrolled. Evidence of this is seen when you compare the seams on pages 49and 50.When viewing both pages it obvious that a recent hand has stitched the seam together at the top. Or the only other alternative is that the decayed stitches were lost before the next photo was taken.
There is a large lacuna at the bottom right which has obliterated the first one or two words of the last five lines. A smaller lacuna is at the bottom left and effects only the final part of the last line, but no text is lost.
3. Editor’s marks:
There is an editorial mark above the only word on line 21. The mark resembles the large “O” which is found on other pages. See the Introductionfor a discussion of these marks and where they are found. There is no apparent reason for the mark and there is no correction nor addition necessary for this word “tsa’aqah” (a cry). The section that ends here does not seem important enough to set it off with a distinct mark from other similar paragraphs endings.
There is a dot that appears to be an ancient editors mark at the end of line 17. I apologize for the other marks (asterisk and arrows) which are mine but they may help you find what is indicated by them explained below.
Chapter 4 begins in the first word on line 4 after the paragraph space of line 3. The second paragraph space is in line 11. Line 12 following the paragraph space of line 11 begins with the first word of Chapter 5 as we have it in the received text and line 22 (which follows the paragraph space of line 21) is the beginning of verse 5:8 in the received text. The word ” ‘aephah” which is the last word before the paragraph space in line 25 is the last word of verse 10 in the received text and thus line 26 begins with verse 11. The first words there are not readable as this is in the lacuna. See the notes below.
There are only two corrections inserted in this page. We remind you that it is impossible to know if the correction is made by a later editor or by the original scribe himself. Which ever it is the scroll and the corrections are of great antiquity. First century BCE at the latest. An insertion between the lines is found in the first word of line three. The scribe left out a tau and the editor inserted a yod and tau above the line to complete the spelling of the word. The Masoretic has “geburate:k” while Q with the insertion is “gebur(iyti)yk” Or it could be a f.pl. ending of waw tau + suf 2ms (othka) The yod and waw are often easily confused due to the scribe’s hand. It is understood that the “b” is pronounced “v” here. The second insertion is in the first word of the 4th line which is a correction for a misspelling. A heth was left out of the word and is written above the line.
OMISSIONS AND VARIATIONS:
(First word.) The first word is slightly obliterated but it can be seen to be “tacheth” (instead of), which follows the last word of the last page already noted as being a different form of the verb to be (hayah) that is found in the Masoretic. After the third word of this line there is a “spatium.” This marks the spot, whether purposeful or not, where “yihyeh” (imp 3ms of hyh) is found in the Masoretic but is omitted by Q. In the second word “ha-boshem” the article is in Q but is not in Masoretic.
(7th word.) In Q an ayin is left out of the word “ve- ya’as” (it made). The root is ” ‘asah” with a final “he.” The ayin is not pronounced and the Q scribe elided the ayin but added the “he” which is a part of the root as “ve-yasah”
(Last word.) The last word is misspelled. It is “and our apparel” and should be “ve-simlate:nu” but the scribe reversed two letters writing “ve-silmate:nu”
(3rd from last word.) (vs. 5) Aleph is used in Q for ayin in “atah” (now). The next word omits the final “he” found in the Masoretic. In the same sentence in the next (17) line the accusative plus 2mpl suf. “ethkem” has a “he” appended making the word “ethkemah.” The appending of a he to suf. kem is frequent and I will not notice all the occurrences but this one is noted for your observation and recognition of it when it appears again. But please see Addition of Aleph and “He” in the Introductory page for further information on the Q scribes grammatical usages of appended aleph and “he.”. Midway in the same line is ” ‘asor” for the Masoretic “hase:r.” The Q is an imp 1s verb (I will turn aside). The 2nd form is a 5th stem infinitive (cause to turn aside). And 2 words further on you will see the imperfect of hayah, “yihyeh” instead of the “hayah” perfect form in the Masoretic. This is seen again in the first word of the next (18) line. (yihyeh imp for hayah pf).
(Last word.) The last word on line 6 is yehudah. This does not appear in the received text. Its appearance here in a “branch” prophecy in 4:2, and therefore including all 12 tribes in the blessings and restoration of Zion bears further looking into that is not the scope of this study but is duly noted. See the comments on this verse (Isaiah 4:2)in the Isaiah commentary
(3rd from last word.) Q has “ba’er” (devoured) without the preformed prep lamed that is found in the Masoretic text.
There is a spatium that marks the break between verse 4 and 5 toward the end of line 9. The first word of verse 5 (create) is an imp. verb in Q and a perfect verb in the Masoretic. Q has “yibare;’ ” and the Masoretic has “bar’a”
The scribe has dropped the appended aleph on kiy which has been constant to now. Kiy written this way begins verse 10 seen as the 5th word in the first line above the lacuna. The last word in the same line is the numeral one. ” ‘Achat” is ” ‘aechod” in Q.
(A Serious Omission.) There is an arrow in the paragraph space in line 11 that marks the spot of a serious omission in line 10. After the word “yomam” in line 10 fourteen words are omitted. This is a scribal error and it is easy to deduce the source of the error. From “yomam” in verse 5 to “yomam” is verse 6 all the words between are left out. The scribe was copying the text and his eyes copied to “yomam” in verse 5 and when he returned his eves to the text “yomam” a line or two below and he began copying the rest of the text following the “yomam” of verse 6. A further deduction therefore is that this Q text was copied from another manuscript by a single scribe and writing alone. He was not in a group who wrote as they listened to a reader. Although it is possible for the reader to make the same mistake and light on a word below the last reading when the scribes are ready. It is less likely that this was the case and that this is a case of a copiest error that is consistent with a single scribe reading and copying. Notice again that this is a scribal error and does not impeach the text which has insubstantial variations from the Masoretic.
(3rd from last word.) Q has prep. lamed (not in the Masoretic text) before “mishpach” (bloodshed). Actually the word is in an alliterative relationship with “le-mishpat” and this may have been recognized by the scribe who completed the alliteration but in error.
(Chapter 5: verse 1.) The cohortive “na’ ” the 2nd word of vs 1 in the Masoretic does not appear at all in Q. The 5th word from the end of that line is the verb “to be.” Hayah is written in Q with a final aleph which is not ordinary Hebrew form but is another indication of Aramaic influence (in Q). In Aramaic appended aleph to open syllable words is the rule rather than the exception.
(4th word.) “bayit” (house) has prep. beth preformed in M but it is omitted in Q. Next to last There is a different and interesting word in this place in Q. The M text has “ve-hushavtem” a 6th stem (causative passive) pf 3mpl of “yashav” (to sit or cause to be placed) and Q has what is most likely “ve-yisatem” imp 3ms + suf 3mpl. (and he lifted them up) I choose sin in place of shin and suggest the word is from the root nun-sin-aleph, which can mean be lifted up. (exaltation fits the context.) The nun is always elided and aleph is dropped out as is the case in several other occurrences of words where aleph or ayin are not pronounced and are therefore elided. Other possibilities have been suggested including complete misspelling but “nasa” ” whose imp 3ms form is “yisa’ ” may be the text here.
(5th word.) Another example to an aleph appended to a verb is the 5th word on this line (and he built) “va-yibena’ “. This appended aleph would add a syllable to the word as well and leave it open. Not in the Masoretic of course.
(The 3rd line from the bottom.)
(4th word.) The word in Q is fem sing cs “pa’alat” and in M it is masc sing cs. “pa’al” (work of)
(The next to the last word.) in that line is “hibiytu” (to look at or regard) it is a 5th stem (hifiel) causative infinitive or 3mpl and is the Q equal to the Masoretic same tense but slightly different form “yabiytu.” They are identical in meaning.
(Next to last word.) In Q a beth is added to “my vineyard” instead of the lamed that is in the Masoretic text. Q has “be-karemiy” instead of “le-karemiy”
The missing words in the lacuna when supplied from the Masoretic text are entirely consistent with the Q text.
Original Source: Page ?- Ch 03:24 to 05:14