The Great Isaiah Scroll 14:1 to 14:29
Physical Characteristics: This is the first page on the fourth sheet of leather that was sewn together to make the scroll. There will be four pages on this sheet before the next splice. The most obvious feature on this page is the almost complete tear in the scroll from bottom left about 1 inch from the left margin almost all the way to the top within 1.25 inches from the top of the page and into the left margin. The repair was done so as to keep the reattaching materials between the lines of text and not to obscure any letters if possible. The seam at the right has been commented on but the repair of the seam in mid page is easily noticeable from this page. The repairs to the scroll are evidence of long use, having been rolled and unrolled many times until the splices became frazzled and then the gaps and the tears and damaged portions were repaired so the scroll would have further use. It is not possible to say how long the scroll had a useful life being read and copied and edited. But the repairs make it obvious that the scroll was old and already had had long use when it was finally stored away.
Paragraphs and spatiums: The end of paragraphs are marked on line 4 which ends vs 3 and line 30 which ends verse 28. There are spatiums on line 8 begin vs 7 and in line 23 begin vs 22.
Line 9: last word: Q = "shavtah" (you sit down) and M = "shakavtah" (you lie down)
Line 7: 3rd word: M = "madhebah" translated in KJV as golden city but Q = "marhebah" (fury) which is cited by NASV as the favored reading. NIV does not see the resh in the Q text which seems apparent. For instance compare the daleth in line 4: 3rd word with the resh in "marhebah."
Line 15: 1st word: Q = "be-lebavekah" (in your heart) The scribe wrote a different letter where the kaph of the 2ms suf is in this word. The partially erased letter appears to have been a lamed except that there is a residual stroke below the kaph which can not be accounted for by the first mistaken letter being a lamed. Perhaps in his correction the scribe wrote a final kaph and then corrected it when adding the he to show the open syllable of the masc. form. Or perhaps the scribe thought he was writing "to Babel" as in the first word in line 24.
Beside the large kaph in line 30, letters are added to the text in lines 18, 21 and 29 and a word is written above line 20 just left of the rip. In line 18 a "he" (article) is added to "a'rets" and in line 21 an article "he" is added to "a'mek" The word in line 20 is actually omitted in Q from the received text and follows the rip which has obliterated a lamed from the word " 'el" (prep to) The missing word written above the line by an editor is " 'avney" (stones). This word has a different hand and style of writing which is obvious and is evidence of more than one editor, not the original scribe nor the later editors. See the section More Than One Scribe in the Introduction for more discussion on evidence of several scribes and editors.
Also in line 20 see the attempt to darken the kaph and the nun in "ke-natser" (as or like a Nazarene). This word has mystic meaning in most places where it is used by Isaiah. See my commentary on this verse.
Line 23 2nd word after spatium of vs 22 has a 3mpl suffix "hem" as "hemah"
Line 24 :1st word the last "l" of "le-babel" (to Babylon) is partially missing. Next to last word: M = qipod a porcupine, KJV has bittern. Q = qipaz an arrow snake.
Line 25 2nd word: M = be mat'ate'a Q = ve tatatiy
Other Added letters: There is a waw in the 1st word of line 29.
Missing "he" In line 24 vs 23: 4th word from left in Q is "ve-samitiy" it should be "ve-samitiyha" and in line 25 2nd word "ve-ta'ta'tiy" in Q is "ve-ta'ta'tiyha" in the Masoretic.
The last five lines of this page: Due to repair and editing there are many anomalies to notice. Beginning with line 27 on the tear or rip the word 'ayin lamid yod ('aliy") is found. The word preceding this has a 2mpl suf spelled "kemah" instead of "kem." In line 28: 2nd word Q has "shikmekah" (her shoulder?) Masoretic has "shikmo" (his shoulder) [translation is "their shoulder"]. The word "yapher" is missing in the lacuna of line 29. But there is no word missing in the lacuna of line 31 but the yod from the qal imp 2fs is missing from the word before the lacuna.
Line 30: The Unusually Large Kaph written at the end of line 30 and over the word Ahaz in line 31 is actually a very poor attempt at editing the word "king" which precedes Ahaz. The word "ha-mel" in Q should be "ha-melek" (the king).
The Last Word:
The last word "Peleshet" (Palestine) must have been in the lacuna because it follows as the next word but was lost and then edited in later. If so, then this editing and perhaps much more editing was done after the tear and repair of the scroll. The sequence of editing can be seen by the repair and the lacuna. The scroll no doubt had long usage. Then in some way an accident occurred which caused this rip that almost crossed the whole page, The rip was then repaired, More usage occurred. After some time the piece at the bottom of the page connected to the repair fell off and was lost. This is indicated by the dangling threads of the original repair less the piece they had been sewn into. Then since the piece that fell away had the word "peleshet" on it, that word was added on the other side of the rip. This indicates a long usage of the scroll with repair and editing being added after long intervals.
Darkened letters: There are signs on this page that an editor, besides putting missing letters between the lines, also darkened some faded letters. Heavier than ordinary letters are found in line 8 (2nd word); line 20 (2nd word); line 23 (several and the last word); line 24 perhaps a few other lighter strokes were added.
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