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Confirming What is Written: The Masoretic Term Yafeh

In: Vetus Testamentum
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  • 1 Instituto de Lenguas y Culturas del Mediterráneo y del Oriente Antiguo (ILC)
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Abstract

The term yafeh (‘correct’) is used almost exclusively in the Masora Parva of the Cairo Codex of the Prophets. The analysis and study of the seventy-five occurrences show that its main role is to confirm what is written in the text in spite of its peculiarity, but not to explain that peculiarity. Therefore, it is not another Masoretic term to note a specific feature in the text. It seems that the term yafeh is directly related to the transmission process rather than to the description of the text. This use could be a reflection on an early stage of the Masoretic practices. Moreover, the scarce or even null use of the term in the other main Tiberian manuscripts and the different treatment they give to the same features all suggest the existence of a different layer among those manuscripts in the transmission of the biblical text.

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