The Great Isaiah Scroll 36:20 to 37:24
This is the third and last page on the 9th strip of leather that makes up the scroll. The relatively intact seam is visible at the left side of the page and the sewing is secure for 2/3 of the page with some unraveling apparent at the bottom. The rest of the page is in very good condition with very little darkening of the leather and no letters on the page obscured by any aging process. The name of Hezekiah in line 7 is slightly obscured by a smudge which may result from the crowded waw and lamed in the word in the line below.
Together with omissions and additions (Shomron at the end of verse 13) the scribe has crowded this third page close to the seam so that some lines end right at the seam with no margin as in lines 6, 7, and 22. Some lines are so crowded that there was not room enough for the last letter which is written above the word. in lines 9 and 11. At the end of line 12 in the middle line of reduced script the rest of the verse 7 is completed on the next page in the margin. The last word in line 12 is actually divided by the seam. The word is "ve-hipaletiyv" and the word is split: "ve-hi" ending line 12 on page 30 and "paletiyv" written in the margin opposite on page 31 followed by the last two words of vs 7. (be-chereb 'aretso.)
Change of Scribe
The evidence for a change of scribe that I made reference to on page 28 is also replete on this page. There are similar errors and variations from spelling that are not found in the first half of the scroll. This page is inconsistent, as is page 28, with the same care for the text that is found in the first half of the scroll. not that there are not numerous humanly caused variations there too but there are far more in these pages than would be expected by the scribe of the first half. If the same hand penned this section then he has become careless with the tediousness of the task. On page 28 the first reduced text was noted this is repeated here for unknown reasons. But it would appear that the reduced text was inserted into text that was already on the page. Three lines of text are written into space that would ordinarily be allotted to the same three lines but there are many more words that had to be placed in the allotted portion and the consequence is that the scribe had to reduce the size of the script to enter the words into the same area and as noted above some words extend into the next page's margin. No other explanation seems plausible than seeing the reduced script as added after the rest of the script was already completed for this page, possibly to correct an omission of text so that the page would be complete.. The variations that are always consistent in this page is that 2ms suf is "kah" instead of "ka;" 2mpl suf is "kemah" instead of "kem;" and 2ms pf verb suf is "tah" instead of "ta," and aleph is consistently added to the end of "kiy, bo, lo, miy."
A "kaf" is written above the line in line 10 to complete the word "hamelek" and "he" completes the last word in line 9 and "mem" is above the last word in line 11 while the rest of line 12 is completed in the margin of the next page and the name Hezekiah is between lines 20 and 21.
Paragraphs and Spatiums:
Paragraphs are marked at the end of line 2 ; vs 36:22 begins on line 3. End paragraph on line 19 and 37:14 begins on line 20. End paragraph on line 27 and vs 21 begins on line 28. Spatiums: line 1 vs 21 may be considered a spatium. A spatium ends 37:14 and begins vs 15 in line 21. A spatium ends verse 19 and begins vs 20 in line 26. The most significant departure from the received paragraphing is in line 2 which ends chapter 36 in Q while M 36:22 is the beginning of chapter 37 in Q.
Between lines 7 and 8 above the the 6th word in line 8 there is what looks like an attempted erasure but with digital enhancement a miniature notation appears. This is one of several in the scroll. Some are able to be read, and some like this remain obsure. It appears that there were two notations one crowded. written just under the word in line 7 and the other in the space below has ample room. See the enlargement below and then click here for other locations of miniature notations. I apologise for the red mark which is my notation of the beginning of verse 4.
Variations in Q from the Masoretic
Line 1: 9th word: vs 21: Q = "ve-hicharishu" 5th stem perf. 3mpl (to cause silence) and M = "ve-yacharishu" 5th stem imp. 3mpl. 12th word: Q = accusative plus suf 3ms with a (he) added to the end of the word.
Line 4: 2 last words: Q = "hizqiyah hamelek" and M = "hamelek hizqiyahu". Rather than the order being important here there is a more important good illustration of the Q scribe's use of waw to indicate a vowel sound. Waw is inserted here in Q in Hezekiah's name between the 1st and 2nd letters. This may not seem important here but it points up the mistake made by most editors in ascribing a different reading in Isaiah 49:12 to the word "Siniym" which most have taken to be China (see Gesinius) in the M text but recent Q editors (see Kittel) ascribe Asswan to the Q text by giving the inserted waw a consonental value and arriving at "Seveniym." That the Q scribe meant waw as a semi-vowel is clearly seen here and should be read so there as well. See notes on Isa 49:12 for greater detail and esp. notes on page 28 line 29.
Line 4: 5th word: Q = prep. lamed + suf 3ms, but with aleph added as final letter. Since this can be mistaken for a negative it is noted. There is no good reason for the aleph except the allusions we make to Aramaic influence in the scribe.
Line 9: next to last word: Q = 2ms suf "kah" and M = "ka." The addition of "he" to the 2ms suf by the current Q scribe is consistent appearing on this page a total of 10 times. The purpose of this is in the light of no vowel system to indicate syllables the "he" is added to indicate plainly the proper pronunciation. Like the addition of yod and waw and aleph to indicate vowels this is another mechanism of the Q scribe to compensate for the lack of vowel pointings which were invented later. See further on addition of "he" as a vowel.
Line 10: 4th word: Q = the word for remnant is plural and in M is singular.
Line 10: 5th and 6th words: Q has two words added to the end of the 4th verse that are not found in M. They are "be-'iyr ha-zoth" i.e. "in this city."
Line 10: last word: Q = Isaiah's name "yishayah" and M = "yesha'yahu." and each time it appears further the same differences are noted as in line 11, word 3, etc. etc.
Lines 11-13 Tiny print corrections: The tiny script in these lines is a second level correction with line 12 as a third level later correction of the correction extending into the margin of the next page. See further above
Line 11: 2nd word: Q = "le-hemah" (to them) and M = " 'aleyhem" (to them). 7th word Q scribe is consistent in spelling 2mpl suf as "kemah" not to be noted again unless there is a change.
Line 12: 2nd word: Q = addition of "he" to 2ms verbal sufformative which is also a consistent anomaly. as for example in line 16 last word and et. al.. Line 12: also note the habit of the scribe to make large lameds even if they confuse the line above. There are 5 lameds that extend from line 13 into line 12 making some words difficult to read. words 11, 12: Q = "ruach bo' " a spirit on him and M = "bo ruach" on him a spirit. last word Q = "le-aretso" and M = "el aretso" both mean "to his [own] land" end of line: Three words. the rest of verse 7 is completed in the margin. the line ends with two letters of the word "to cause to fall" and the the rest is written in the margin followed by the last two words. (by the sword in his own land). Notice the frequent Q pecularity of adding yod to a singular word before the 3ms suffix. See more on this in the introduction.
Line 15: 4th word; Q = a misspelling: aleph is improperly left out of va-to'mru. and M adds euphonic nun to this word. next to last word Q = yasiyyakah verb imp 3ms + suf 2ms Aleph is omitted and yod has been substituted for aleph. A scribal phonetic misspelling. M = same identification but "yassi'aka"
Line 16: last word ; Q = "eth 'asher" and M = " 'asher" sans "eth."
Line 18: 1st word: Q = "go'yim" spelled with aleph not as in M without aleph.
Line 19: 7th word: Q = ve-sepheriyyim" which may illustrate what has been previously noted. That the Q scribe often substitutes yod for waw where waw is expected. In this case the reading should be waw for the first yod as is found in M = "sephervayim." See introductory comments on the interchanging of waw and yod on the table of contents page. Last word Q adds "ve-shomron" not found in M.
Line 20: 7th word: Q = "va-yiqr'aim" a yod is missing from plural (and he read them) and M = "vayiqra'e;hu" (and he read it). last word: Q = "vayiphroshah" and he spread it. (fem) and M = va-yiphreshehu" and he spread it. (masc). It is unexplained why Hezekiah's name is written between lines 20 and 21. there does not seem to be a place for it to fit in and it is written identically just above the between the line insertion.
Line 25: 1st word; Q = "aretsoth" and M = "aretsoth ve-eth aretsam." M addition seems superfluous. Q may be preferred. 2nd word; Q = "ve-yithnu" and they gave and M = "ve-nathon" and he gave. next to last word: Q = ma'asey" (works of) and M = "ma'aseh" (work of).
Line 26: 7th word: Q = (a misspelling) aleph begins the word and it ought to be "he" as in M but is " 'oshiy'eynu" a request to YHWH to "save us."
Line 27: 7th word: Q = "'elohiym" not found in M.
Line 28: 5th word: Q = " 'al" (ayin lamed) and M = " 'el" (aleph lamed).
Line 29: 2nd word: Q = " 'elayv" (to him) and M = "'eliy" (to me) 4th word: Q = Sennacherib spelled "Sarcherib." M = Sancherib.".
Line 30: 7th word: Q = "r'oshah" and M = "r'osh."