ואל תמחולהי ביד שחפא: ‪4Q541, Frag. 24 Again

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
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This article deals with the puzzling fragment 24 in scroll 4Q541 for which many explanations have been proposed. A fresh examination of the text itself and a comparison to fragment 2ii+3+4i in the same scroll suggests that the topic of the fragment is a dove which seeks asylum from birds of prey. This examination also contributes to understanding some linguistic issues. In light of the semantic field of the verbs meaning ‘physical departure’, ‘forgiveness’ and ‘relinquishing a debt’ we learn about the development of the root מח״ל to the sense ‘to give over into the hands of’. In addition, the morphological form תמחולהי and the masculine form יון (a dove) are accounted for.

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