Textual Corruptions, or Linguistic Phenomena? The Cases in 2 Samuel (MT)

in Vetus Testamentum
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Abstract

The MT of the Books of Samuel has usually been taken as textually corrupt due to scribal errors. However, many often advocated textual emendations can be seen as unnecessary when one understands the linguistic nature of the unusual forms. Some of the cases in 2 Samuel may be explained as phonetic spellings, such as omission of aleph (e.g. 20:5, 9), assimilations (e.g. 5:13a; 13:16; 18:3, 12), metathesis (20:14; 22:46), and sandhi (22:40; 23:9, 20, 21). Another example is aposiopesis in direct speech (13:16; also 1 Sam 1:22). Furthermore, new understandings of linguistic phenomena such as the “vertical grammar” of poetic parallelism (Ps 18:11; cf. 2 Sam 22:12) and discourse grammar, especially the sequence of the verbal forms in Hebrew narrative prose (e.g. 2 Sam 4:5-7) can aid analysis.

Textual Corruptions, or Linguistic Phenomena? The Cases in 2 Samuel (MT)

in Vetus Testamentum

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References

1

See D. T. Tsumura“Scribal Errors or Phonetic Spellings? Samuel as an Aural Text,” VT 49 (1999) pp. 390-411. For other peculiar linguistic features in the books of Samuel see D. T. Tsumura “Some Examples of Linguistic Variants in 1-2 Samuel” Orient: Report of the Society for Near Eastern Studies in Japan 38 (2003) pp. 36-50.

2

Tsumura“Scribal Errors or Phonetic Spellings?” p. 390.

6

See Tsumura“Scribal Errors or Phonetic Spellings?” p. 401.

8

See Tsumura“Scribal Errors or Phonetic Spellings?” pp. 394-96 401-09.

9

McCarterII Samuel p. 401.

11

See Tsumura“Scribal Errors or Phonetic Spellings?” p. 392.

13

See D. T. Tsumura“Some Problems Regarding Psalm 18,” Exegetica 3 (1992) pp. 63-64 [in Japanese with English abstract]; “Vowel sandhi in Biblical Hebrew” p. 586; “Scribal Errors or Phonetic Spellings?” pp. 396-97.

14

See Tsumura“Scribal Errors or Phonetic Spellings?” p. 406.

15

S. Talmon“Double Readings in the Massoretic Text,” Textus 1 (1960) p. 166.

18

See D. T. TsumuraThe First Book of Samuel (NICOT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans2007) p. 128.

19

See D. T. Tsumura“Vertical Grammar of Parallelism in Hebrew Poetry,” JBL 128 (2009) p. 175.

20

E.g. McCarterII Samuel pp. 453 457.

23

McCarterII Samuel pp. 125-26.

25

See Tsumura1 Samuel pp. 51-52; also the comments on 1 Sam 18:5; 20:1.

27

See D. T. Tsumura“Tense and Aspect of Hebrew Verbs in II Samuel vii 8-16—From the Point of View of Discourse Grammar—” VT 60 (2010) pp. 641-54.

28

Mastéy“A Linguistic Inquiry Solves an Ancient Crime” pp. 82-103 interprets this particle as “behold” reading hinnēh. But such emendation of the text is unnecessary.

29

For the topic of viewpoint see Tsumura1 Samuel pp. 54-55.

30

For example J. C. Haelewyck“L’assassinat d’Ishbaal (2 Samuel IV 1-12),” VT 47 (1997) pp. 145-53.

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