tc-list Word division in Hebrew
- I came across a word-division situation in Psalm 73:4 that brought
some questions to mind. The Masoretic text (BHS) reads
L:MOWTFM, "in their deaths, while a footnote suggests a different
word division (followed by the NIV) LFMOW TFM with atnach under
LFMOW. Standard intros to HB textual criticism tell us this could
occasionally be a problem because of running script.
The question: what do we have in the way of examples of running
script? I haven't seen any, either in square script (Dead Sea
Scrolls, papyri etc.) or in paleo script (also Dead Sea Scrolls,
inscriptions, ostraca). In fact, all the examples of paleo script that
I've seen used a raised dot as a word-divider, which (to me) would
seem to preclude the kind of problem this verse mentions. Given
the material we have, going back to the first century BCE for
square script and even earlier for paleo script, is this idea of
erroneous word-division really a sound one? Is it possible that HB
critics have been overly influenced by textual criticism of New
Thoughts are welcome.
Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.