The Great Isaiah Scroll 43:20 to 43:23
This is the 1st page of 4 in the 12th strip of leather that makes up the scroll. The usual size of the strips of leather hold 3 pages. This then is an exception. The good order of the seam that binds the scroll at the right is easily seen, There is a similar split on this page to the one on the preceding page on the right side of the scroll extending from lines 13 to 22. No letters are obscured by the split but there is a blemish crossing the split on line 20 that extends diagonally to the left into the next line. Three letters are obscured by this blemish, i.e.. the final "he" of "tirzah" and the initial waw and aleph of "ve- 'elon" The line that looks somewhat like a seam at the left will be described on the next page.
This page and the next one (38) are easy reading. Isaiah has some very difficult Hebrew constructions with succinctness, among other things, making it difficult for even an accomplished reader to be sure he has gained the full sense. If you can read narrative material like Genesis and the historical books, which is much easier reading than Psalms or the prophets, then try your hand at these two pages and you will be surprised to see you can progress through them with a little help. To see the difference try reading page 39 after reading these two pages. The level of difficulty will become immediately obvious.
Paragraphs and Spatiums:
Paragraphs are indicated by an indentation in line 2 = 43 22; and by the preceding line being left unfilled in line 8 = 44:2 and in line 12 = 44: 6 and in line 27 = 44:21; and in line 29 = 4:22.
Spatiums mark each of the last verses in chapter 43 in lines 4, 5, and 6 where vss 25, 26, and 27 are set apart as separate statements. An X in the margin also marks the importance of this section to an editor. An unusually large spatium marks the beginning of Chapter 44 in line 7 which is also a short verse set off as a paragraph in itself. The first 7 words of line 8 end at a spatium which is the middle of verse 2. The spatium there does divide two clauses but they are related. There are also spatiums on .line 15 + vs 44:9 and line 17 = 44:12; and line 18 = 44:13 and line 23 = 44:18.
There is an X to the left of 43:26 in line 5 which emphasizes the editors evaluation of the importance of the verse or section.. The scribal mark that looks like a derby hat under the X belongs to the next page as do other horizontal marks in the left margin. The horizontal line in line 7 at the right completes the section marked which began in line 26 of the preceding page.
Editorial additions to the text:
The word "ken" (thus or so) is added by an editor to vs 44:3 after the 8th word in line 9. It is not found in M. A 3mpl pronoun "hem" spelled "hemah" is added above line 15 toward the end to correct the text. It was an omission by the Q scribe. In line 18 over the 8th word a waw was added but appears to have been crossed out. In line 22 after the 1st word an editor has added the word "ve- 'al" (and with or and about) to correct an omission but he adds a conj waw not in M.
Q Scribal Spelling:
Addition of an aleph to short words ending in yod has already been pointed out. This sometimes causes confusion since "lo" (to him) with aleph added looks like "lo' " (not) and "bo" (in him) looks like "bo' " (come or go). An example is in line 7: last word where prep + suf is meant while it looks like come or go. Another example of the same is in line 2 : 5th and 7th words, where "kiy" and "biy" both have aleph appended. See also the introduction where addition of Aleph and "He" are given further treatment
Variations in Q from the Masoretic Text:
Line 1: 2nd word: Q = " 'ate:n" verb imp 1sing ( I will give) and M = "nathatiy" verb pf. 1sing (I will give) 9th word: a waw conj. added not in M. last word: Q = "yom'eru" (they shall speak) and M = "yesapheru" (they shall describe).
Line 2: next to last word: Q adds a prep lamed to " 'olah" (burnt offering) not in M. last word: Q has a misspelling with a superfluous beth as the 2nd letter. Q = "ve-be- zabacheykah" and M = "u-zebacheyka" and your sacrifice. Perhaps Q meant beth to be prep; thus: "and in your sacrifice."
Line 3: 3rd-6th word: Q = "lo' 'asiytah liy' minchah" (you have not made for me a gift) and M = "lo' he'abadtiyka be-minchah" ( I have not made you serve with a gift).
Line 4: 9th word: Q = "be- 'avonkah" (with your iniquity) and M = "be- 'avonteyka" (with your iniquities).
Line 5: 8th word: Q = extra word, " 'od" (longer time) not in M. 11th word: Q = "yachdayv" and M = "yachad" (together).
Line 6: 3rd from last word: Q = " 'ethen" (I will give) and M = " 'ethenah" a cohortive (let me give)
Line 9: last word: Q = "ke-be:n" (as among) and M = "be-be:n" (in among).
Line 10: last word: Q = "yadohiy" for "yado" (his hand).
Line 12: 9th word: Q = an extra word not in M = "shmo" (his name).
Line 13 5th word: Q = spelling of 3fs suf. "hah" 10th word: Q = a word on in M = "yo'amer" (he will speak).
Line 17: 2nd and 3rd word: Q = qal pf 3mpl verbs and M = qal imp 3mpl verbs. 4th word: Q = "yachdayv" and M = "yachad" (together).
Line 18: 4th from last word: Q = verb pf 2mpl "netahu" (they stretch out) and M = "nataqh" pf 3ms. (he stretches out)
Line 20: 4th from last word: Q = "ve-hagah" (and it shall blaze) and M = "ve-hayah" (and it shall be)..
Line 21: 2nd word: Q = "ve-yachamiym" plural participle? (they warm?) and M = "ve-yacham" qal imp 3ms (and he warms)
Line 22: Q = the last part of vs 16 is much varied and jumbled from the M text. see translation
Line 23: first word: Q = "le-bilayv" (for his tree trunk) not in M but M = "lepeslo" (for his idol)
Line 24: last word: Q has a redundant word repeating "to say"
Line 25: last word: M = "lebal" Q = "lebaluiy" probably the same word as the first in line 23, (for his tree trunk.)
Line 26: 2nd word: This is a good example of poor copying by the scribe since it is obvious from context that 'esgor and not 'esgod is required here. The scribe has written an obvious daleth where resh is required. This seems to be more evidence of a scribe copying from another text and of not listening to a reader. Most mistakes in Q seem to support that.
Line 27: next to last word: Q = tis'aniy, possibly you shall not be taken up (out of the way). and M = tinnashe:niy; you will not be forgotten by me