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Stray Remarks on the Tobit Fragments

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  • 1 Dept. of Hebrew Language, Ben-Gurion University of the Negevstadel@bgu.ac.il
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This paper discusses the rhetorical functions of quotative frames in the dialogue between Tobiah and Edna (4Q197 4 iii 3–8, Tob 7:1–5) and of Hebrew loan words in the Aramaic Tobit fragments and suggests a new explanation for the puzzling קשיטא in 4Q197 4 iii 2 (Tob 7:1), which might be a mistranslation of a Hebrew original.

Abstract

This paper discusses the rhetorical functions of quotative frames in the dialogue between Tobiah and Edna (4Q197 4 iii 3–8, Tob 7:1–5) and of Hebrew loan words in the Aramaic Tobit fragments and suggests a new explanation for the puzzling קשיטא in 4Q197 4 iii 2 (Tob 7:1), which might be a mistranslation of a Hebrew original.

* This paper originated from my presentation at the Third Halle-Tel Aviv Research Seminar in Ancient Hebrew Language and Literature held at Halle (Saale), 19th–24th of July 2015, and has profited from the learned remarks of those present.

The discovery and publication of fragments of five Aramaic and one Hebrew scroll from the Qumran caves gave a fresh impetus to Tobit studies.1 We shall present remarks on two passages from the Tobit fragments: The dialogue between Tobiah and the couple Raguel and Edna as preserved in the Aramaic 4Q197 4 iii 3–8 (Tob 7:1–5) and Tobiahʼs request to be led to Raguelʼs home in the same scroll (4 iii 2; Tob 7:1). Subsequently, we shall offer some general observations on the relation of the Hebrew and Aramaic versions and discuss in detail a number of words relevant to the question.

1&Tobiah and Raphaelʼs Dialogue with Edna

The seven successive and almost complete lines at the top of 4Q197 4 iii are the only case in the fragmentary Tobit scrolls where a substantial, unbroken piece of text is preserved. No wonder, then, that a number of scholars have been drawn to these lines. Edward M. Cook, for example, has recently hypothesized that the dialogue preserved there may be modeled on the “idioms and rhythms of spoken Aramaic” (as against the rest of Qumran Aramaic, which is clearly a literary language).2 However, this is unlikely since the wording is obviously dependent on Gen 29:4–6, as Matthew Morgenstern demonstrates.3 Morgenstern has also pointed out the importance of these lines for our understanding of the literary techniques employed in Aramaic prose.4 In particular, he noted the variation of Perfects and Participles of אמר in the otherwise monotonous quotative frames (the narrative introduction to the reported direct discourse), as well as the omission of the frame in one instance (and the marking of direct speech by the interrogative particle -ה in order to make up for it). In the following presentation of the dialogue (4Q197 4 iii 3–8), we have highlighted the quotative frames in bold, and the units of direct speech in the exchange between Edna and the two guests have been numbered for easier reference. While Raphael has briefed Tobiah that they will pay a visit to his relative (Tob 6:11), Raguel and Edna do not know who their visitors are.

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The variation in the quotative frames noticed by Morgenstern is obvious: Perfects of אמר are used in units 2, 3, and 7 (the forms in units 1 and 8 are ambiguous); Participles of אמר introduce the discourse units 4 and 5, and unit 6 lacks a quotative frame altogether. The variation between Perfects and Participles in quotative frames is not peculiar to Qumran Aramaic,5 but can already be observed in the Imperial Aramaic of the Achaemenid empire.6 Since Qumran Aramaic essentially continues the linguistic and literary norms of the latter,7 it seems best to interpret the Qumran usage (and the same phenomenon in the Biblical Aramaic of Daniel)8 as drawing on the Imperial Aramaic heritage. In general, Imperial Aramaic and Biblical Aramaic seem to employ the Perfect and Participle of אמר indiscriminately; clearly both forms were used, but a corresponding variation in function or nuance is impossible to establish.9 We suggest that this is different in 4Q197 4 iii 3–8.

Since the Tobit narrative is set in the past with all main events expressed by Perfects (as in the narrative units quoted above), the Perfect of אמר should be seen as the default form to introduce direct speech. Consequently, it is the Participles (units 4, 5) and the omission of the quotative frame (unit 6) that have to be explained. Both traits certainly dramatize the dialogue, and they do so by taking Ednaʼs perspective.10 After Raguel noticed that Tobiah resembles their relative, Edna innocently asked their guests where they are from. The answer does not exclude a connection with Tobit, and Edna gets a little excited: Could it be that the two guests know her kinsman? The change in Ednaʼs emotional state is mirrored by the shift to the Participle in the quotative frame (unit 4). The quick answer in the affirmative, however, is minimalistic and does not offer details (unit 5). Edna is now itching to know how Tobit is doing: Her next question comes forth so quickly, the narrator does not have time to introduce it with a quotative frame (unit 6): “Is Tobit well?”11

The variation in the quotative frames to units 4 and 6 is thus carefully crafted to mirror Ednaʼs growing excitement. Hence it stands to reason that the Participle in unit 5 serves a similar purpose. Indeed, the preceding question (unit 4) must have made it obvious to Tobiah and Raphael that Edna is on the right track in guessing their identity. By answering in a minimalist fashion they deliberately let her worm their relation to Tobit of them bit by bit. Tobiah and Raphaelʼs playful decision to put Edna on the rack could explain the use of the Participle in unit 5. The form hints to their emotional involvement. If so, the ambiguous form אמר in the quotative frame in unit 8 is probably also a Participle: Tobiah is so excited that he anticipates Ednaʼs next question and beats her to it: finally, he discloses his identity. While his jumping the gun certainly attests to a high emotional involvement, the author could not omit the quotative frame altogether (as he did in unit 6), since it was necessary to explicitly identify the speaker. For it is only here that direct speech by Tobiah and Raphael is not followed by a reply by Edna.

If our reading is correct, the author or translator of the Aramaic Tobit deliberately used the repertoire of forms he knew from the post-Imperial Aramaic langue in order to explicate Ednaʼs and Tobiahʼs emotional involvement in the dialogue. His choice of forms reflects the perspective of the characters. Supposedly, the affinity of the piece with Gen 29:4–6 prevented him from expressing the emotional state of the characters in the direct discourse itself, and he therefore resorted to varying the quotative frames in order to achieve that aim. The phenomenon of using unusual or marked forms or syntax with mimetic intent to convey nuances about the point of view of one of the characters has also been noted in Biblical Hebrew prose.12 In the book of Tobit, the narrative sometimes takes the perspective of Tobiah, though this is not usually achieved by linguistic means. For example, the angel in disguise Raphael is consistently referred to as Azariah, the name Tobiah knew him by, even though his real identity was known to the readers from the start (Tob 5:4). Azariah is even reported to have eaten and drunk (Tob 7:9), earthly behavior an angel is not capable of, which—it was felt—needed to be explicitly explained as a mere “vision” when Raphael finally disclosed his identity to Tobiah (Tob 12:19). The narrator adopting the point of view of one of the characters is thus not unique to this dialogue section.

2&Tobiah Asks to be Led to Raguelʼs House

In the second line of the aforementioned fragment 4Q197 4 iii survive parts of Tob 7:1 in Aramaic. Says Tobiah to Azariah: עז[ריה אחי ד]ברני קשיטא לבית רעואל אחונא. These words are usually translated “Azariah, my brother, lead me straight to the house of Raguel, our brother”,13 but this rendering (and the restorations) are clearly based on the Greek text of codex Sinaiticus, Ἀζαρία ἄδελφε ἀπάγαγέ µε εὐθεῖαν πρὸς Ραγουηλ τὸν ἀδελφὸν ἡµῶν, which fits the context nicely.14 The Aramaic text itself contains a crux, since the rendering of the form קשיטא as an adverb “straight” is by no means straight forward. In this section, we shall offer a new explanation for this puzzling Aramaic form.

The understanding of קשיטא as an adverb “straight” is ex post and informed by the Greek parallel εὐθεῖαν, an adverbial form. For even though the adjective קשיט “true, honest” is well attested in Qumran Aramaic and other dialects, the form is otherwise not used adverbially.15 The most elegant attempt to match קשיטא with Qumran Aramaic usage and with the meaning preserved in the Greek has been made by Klaus Beyer, who suggested that the form was elliptical for ארח קשיטא “a straight path”.16 Thus, Beyer avoids the assumption of an otherwise unattested adverbial use. Still, his proposal is not without problems, for the Qumran Aramaic adjective קשיט is only used to describe humans, not objects, and the expression ארחת קשטא “paths of truth” (4Q212 1 ii 18 et passim, with the noun קושט “truth”, not the adjective), after which the proposed expression was supposedly patterned, has a metaphorical meaning and refers to moral conduct.17

Most other scholars regard קשיטא as an adverb and interpret its last letter as representing an adverbial ending /-ā/.18 To be sure, adverbs that end in /-ā/ are attested in both Qumran Aramaic and Imperial Aramaic.19 However, it would seem that the alleged adverbial ending /-ā/ is an artificial category in which homonymous endings of different origin were lumped together.20 Even if, synchronically, /-ā/ was understood by Qumran Aramaic scribes as an adverbial ending, there is not indication that it was a derivational ending (like, e.g., Syriac /-āˀīt/) that could be attached to any given noun. What is more, the existence of variant forms such as תוב ~ תובא “again”21 suggests that the /-ā/ was not an adverbializing morpheme. Indeed, the only acceptable parallel to a supposed adverb קשיטא would be יתירא “greatly” (e.g., 1QGenAp 19:23; also attested in Dan 7:7).22 This form, however, is sui generis among the Aramaic adverbs with a derivational suffix, which usually have an ending in /-t/.23

Thus, if one ignores the Greek version and rather considers the Aramaic in its own right, it is difficult to maintain the understanding of the form קשיטא as an adverb “straight”. But what would be the alternative? The rendering proposed by Edward M. Cook, following a suggestion by Stephen A. Kaufman, appears to fit best our knowledge of the use of the root in Qumran Aramaic. Cook takes the form as an adjective in the status determinatus that functions as vocative: “Lead me, honest fellow, to the house of Raguel”.24 However, while this reading suits the morphology of Qumran Aramaic, it is problematic in the immediate context, for Tobiahʼs direct speech opens with yet another vocative. The complete Aramaic sentence would thus translate: “Azariah, my brother, lead me, honest fellow, to the house of Raguel”.25 Such a double address is indeed surprising and might indicate that the Aramaic text is corrupt.

A mismatch between the Greek and Aramaic versions of Tobit such as the one just discussed is of potential importance for establishing the original language of the book, which is attested in both Hebrew and Aramaic in Qumran.26 For if the difference results from mistranslation in one of the versions,27 and the underlying mistake is possible only in Hebrew or Aramaic (and not in both), such cases might disclose the source language of the translated text, and hence the original language of Tobit.28

The awkward double address in the Aramaic version and the general context suggest that the Greek preserves the originally intended meaning of the verse, while the Aramaic is corrupt. Given that this hypothesis is correct, the Aramaic קשיטא results from mistranslation. If it does, the Aramaic is a translation from the Hebrew, which would then—by implication—be the original language of the book. In order to test this string of hypotheses, one would have to try to reconstruct a Hebrew Vorlage that conforms to the meaning preserved in the Greek and accounts for the mistranslation in the Aramaic. We propose that a hypothetical Hebrew Vorlage הישר would fulfill both these criteria.

A C-stem Infinitive absolute of the root √yšr “to be straight” would take the form הישר. Since Infinitives absolutes (some of them lexicalized) are used as adverbs in Biblical Hebrew and Qumran Hebrew,29 such a form could have been translated by the Greek adverb εὐθεῖαν “straight”. However, the same four letters can also be parsed as the adjective יָשָׁר “straight one, honest one” with the Hebrew article. This is precisely the notion that is reflected in the Aramaic קשיטא “the honest one”. Assuming the homograph הישר as Hebrew Vorlage can thus account for both the Greek and the Aramaic versions of Tobit 7:1. We shall discuss this suggestion in greater detail in light of our knowledge of Qumran Hebrew.

The least problematic part of our proposal is the understanding of הישר as “the honest one”. The lexeme ישר is variously attested in Qumran Hebrew as a designation for humans (e.g., 1QS 4:22, 4Q184 1 14), and biblical attestations are regularly rendered by קשיט in Targum Onqelos and Jonathan (e.g., Num 23:10, Micah 7:2). However, the assumption that the C-stem Infinitive absolute הישר was employed as an adverb in Qumran Hebrew is problematic, for this form is not attested in ancient Hebrew sources and is apparently a modern innovation.30 Reconstructing this form for Qumran Hebrew thus rests on indirect supportive evidence only. That Infinitives absolutes function as adverbs in Qumran Hebrew has already been mentioned. Such Infinitives either precede or follow the predicate (contrast, e.g., 2Q23 1 3 ובשר הרבה אכלתמה or 4Q181 1 3 והפלא כבודו הגיש מבני תבל with 4Q417 2 i 4 ותוכחתו ספר מהר). The fact that they are not numerous in the corpus could be marshaled against the reconstruction, but this is not a decisive argument: Some compositions have a unique linguistic profile that is unlike the other texts.31 Thus, Qumran Hebrew morphology and syntax do not preclude our reconstruction.

The lexical side of our proposal rests on a relatively small amount of evidence. For even though the root √yšr is well attested in Qumran Hebrew, it appears almost always in the G- and D-stems, as in Biblical Hebrew.32 However, there is evidence from 4Q219 ii 31 (Jub. 21:25) that the C-stem was productive in Second Temple Period Hebrew and conveyed the notion we presupposed in our reconstruction: הישר בני בשלו[ם “Go straight, my son, in peace”. It is noteworthy that in Ps 5:9 and Isa 45:2 the qere preserves a typologically older C-stem form than the kethib and reflects its etymology in a Proto-Semitic primae y (not primae w) root. This might also point to an alternative, perhaps post-biblical tradition of Hebrew in which such forms were preserved.33 However, additional evidence for the C-stem of the root is not attested before the 6th century c.e., when more forms—supposedly patterned after the Biblical occurrences—start to appear in liturgical poetry.34

To sum up: The Infinitive absolute הישר used as an adverb “straight” that we propose to reconstruct in the Hebrew Vorlage of Tob 7:1 is unattested in ancient Hebrew sources.35 However, we have marshaled indirect evidence that supports our reconstruction: The respective morphological pattern is attested in Qumran Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew in the syntactical function we assumed, and the respective root and stem were used in both these dialects as well, though, admittedly, evidence for the C-stem is rare. Our reconstruction necessarily remains hypothetical, but it has the advantages of fitting what we know of the Qumran Hebrew grammar and lexicon and of explaining the conflicting Greek and Aramaic versions of the verse. It is of potential importance because, if accepted, it implies that the Aramaic version of Tobit was translated from Hebrew, and not vice versa. The relation of the two Semitic versions of the book will also concern us in the next section.

3&More on Hebraisms (and Aramaisms) in Tobit

The question of the original language of the book of Tobit has been addressed frequently. The debate has essentially reached a stalemate, since most scholars agree that the evidence does not allow for a definite decision (though a majority hypothesizes that the Aramaic is original).36 We shall not review the status quaestionis yet again,37 but rather start with some general observations.

Arguments for both positions are either linguistic (mainly Hebraisms in the Aramaic and vice versa) or non-linguistic.38 We shall concern us with the former only. As Late Biblical Hebrew and all subsequent ancient stages of the language show influence of Aramaic in all domains, it is almost impossible to use linguistic evidence to argue for the translational nature of the Hebrew Tobit.39 This constraint even affects possible mistranslations in the Greek such as σὺ κρίνεις τὸν αἰῶνα in codex Sinaiticus Tob 3:2, where the preposition ל of a supposedly underlying form לעולם/לעלם was misinterpreted as marking a direct object.40 While this usage is typical for Aramaic, it is also attested—as an Aramaism—in Qumran Hebrew.41 Linguistic evidence is thus slanted toward Hebraisms and has usually been adduced to suggest a Hebrew original. However, it has been noted early on that the presence of Hebrew loan words in a Qumran Aramaic text does not imply a translation.42 Even a fine-tuned study that takes the distribution patterns of individual Hebrew loans in the Qumran Aramaic corpus into account cannot provide evidence for a Hebrew original of Tobit.43 What is more, it has become clear that Hebrew words sometimes serve rhetorical or literary functions in the Aramaic texts.44 Loan words in the Aramaic Tobit that are likely to have been employed consciously in this way should be excluded from the debate about the original language, for their presence is explicable even in an Aramaic original. This seems to be the case in at least three instances.

In 4Q196 2 9 (Tob 1:22), Tobit uses the Hebrew term משפחה to describe his connection with the wise Ahiqar: בר אחי הוה ומן בית אבי ומן משפחתי “He was my brother, of my fatherʼs house, and of my family”. The wording echoes Gen 24:38, 40, where the same phrases occur.45 It is hardly accidental that Genesis 24 is rubbed under the readerʼs nose, for the book of Tobit draws heavily on motives from the story of the journey of Abrahamʼs servant to Mesopotamia to find Isaac a wife from his kin.46 In Tob 1:22, the reference to Genesis 24 is mainly one of form, not content:47 The relation of Tobit to Ahiqar is not essential to the story. However, the Hebrew term functions as a hinge that helps adopts the pagan story of Ahiqar (which clearly informs the first part of the verse) to the new, Jewish context.48 Additionally, the clear echo of biblical language serves the purpose of preparing the ground for more such references to Genesis 24 and of heightening the sensitivity of the reader to them.

4Q196 17 ii 15–16 preserves the Aramaic version of the curses from Tob 13:14, which are introduced by the Hebraism ארורין (or ארירין) “cursed”. Both the use of the Hebrew root and the fact that Tobit has a string of curses strongly suggest that the wording echoes the execration passages in Deut 27:15–26 and Deut 28:16–19.49 The Hebrew forms add yet another link between Tobit 13–14 and the book of Deuteronomy,50 and thus clearly serve a rhetorical purpose.

In his last words, Tobit foretells the fate of Israel and offers advice to his son. He explicitly states that his speech is based on the words of the Prophets (Tob 14:4, 5), and it is therefore reasonable to suggest that the prediction that the nations ירמון כל אליל[יהן “shall throw away all [their] idols” (4Q198 1 13) in Tob 14:6 alludes to Isa 2:20;51 Isaiah lived through the same times in which the Tobit narrative is set, and his prophecies in chapter 2 fit the immediate context of Tobitʼs farewell speech. The Hebraism אליל would have been employed deliberately in the Aramaic as a hint to Isa 2:20.

As we have seen, there exist serious constraints on relying on the presence of loan words in determining the original language of Tobit. It is therefore very unfortunate that loan words make up the bulk of the linguistic evidence that has been marshaled in the debate. In light of the obviously deficient value of the lexicon, other linguistic evidence becomes all the more important. This includes possible mistranslations in the Greek (or in the Hebrew and Aramaic, as in the previous section) as well as syntactical interference, which is much more difficult to control than lexical borrowing and hence does not lend itself easily to rhetorical functions. One such case of syntactical interference was suggested for the Tobit fragments, but has so far not been considered in the debate about the original language. In 4Q198 1 1 (Tob 14:2) we are told that throughout his life, Tobit הוסף למדחל לאלהא “continued to fear God”. The use of the C-stem of the root √ysp as an auxiliary verb denoting (or stressing) the continuous aspect of an action is typical of Hebrew, not Aramaic.52 Aramaic evidence for this function is restricted to the various Jewish and Samaritan Targumim, which mimic the Hebrew, and it is probably for this reason that Cook has suggested that the Qumran Aramaic attestation “may be a result of translation from Hebrew”.53 We concur and would add that it is worthwhile to look for other such instances of syntactical interference and possible mistranslations. More material might even justify a fresh overall assessment of the linguistic evidence for the original language of Tobit, although (in light of the general constraints mentioned above) it will probably not allow us to pass definite judgment.

1 4Q196–200 were published by Joseph A. Fitzmyer, djd 19:1–76. A fragment of a fifth Aramaic scroll was first edited by Michaela Hallermayer and Torleif Elgvin, “Schøyen ms. 5234: Ein neues Tobit-Fragment vom Toten Meer,” RevQ 22 (2006): 451–61.

2 Edward M. Cook, “Qumran Aramaic, Corpus Linguistics, and Aramaic Retroversion,” dsd 21 (2014): 356–84, 362.

3 Matthew Morgenstern, “Language and Literature in the Second Temple Period,” jjs 48 (1997): 130–45, 137. The general similarity of these two pieces was noted long before the Aramaic Tobit fragments were discovered, see, e.g., I. Abrahams, “Tobit and Genesis,” jqr 5 (1893): 348–50, 349.

4 Morgenstern, “Language,” 135–37. Not much survives of pre-Hellenistic Aramaic literature, see the overview in Holger Gzella, A Cultural History of Aramaic: From the Beginnings to the Advent of Islam (Leiden: Brill, 2015), 201–8. It is therefore difficult to assess the literary standards that informed the composition of the Qumran Aramaic and later texts.

5 Our piece serves as the prime example, see Takamitsu Muraoka, A Grammar of Qumran Aramaic (Leuven: Peeters, 2011), 179 (§55g), but there is at least one more attestation, op. cit., 175 (§55d).

6 Takamitsu Muraoka and Bezalel Porten, A Grammar of Egyptian Aramaic (Leiden: Brill, 22003), 204 (§55d).

7 Gzella, Cultural History, 230–34.

8 Hans Bauer and Pontus Leander, Grammatik des Biblisch-Aramäischen (Halle: Niemeyer, 1927), 295–96 (§81u–w).

9 The fact that the written consonantal skeleton is often ambivalent only aggravates the problem. The Participle in the quotative frame should be distinguished from its use as historical present to achieve a livelier and more animated narrative style (Holger Gzella, Tempus, Aspekt und Modalität im Reichsaramäischen [Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2004], 120–31). In the quotative frame, where tense or aspectual opposition were less relevant, the use of the Participle might have taken root because it was a relatively unmarked form (for possible paths of development see Gzella, Tempus, 131–36; Tarsee Li, The Verbal System of the Aramaic of Daniel: An Explanation in the Context of Grammaticalization [Leiden: Brill, 2009], 43–45, 54–55).

10 In the following summary, I spell out Ednaʼs emotional state, as it can be inferred from the scene and from ʻuniversalsʼ of human behaviour that the literary character is assumed to comply with.

11 The omitting of quotative frames in Ugaritic (and Biblical Hebrew?) may serve a similar function, see Wilfred G.E. Watson, “Introductions to Speech in Ugaritic and Hebrew,” in Ugarit and the Bible: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Ugarit and the Bible, Manchester, September 1992 (ed. George J. Brooke et al.; Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 1994), 383–93, 387–90 with more literature. Cynthia L. Miller, The Representation of Speech in Biblical Hebrew Narrative: A Linguistic Analysis (Atlanta: Scholars, 1996), 220–26 analyses examples from Biblical Hebrew prose, which suggest that Watsonʼs explanation is not sufficient for that language.

12 Gary A. Rendsburg, “Confused Language as a Deliberate Literary Device in Biblical Hebrew Narrative,” Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 2 (1998–99), esp. §§3.1, 5.3, 5.5, 7.2. Thanks are due to Shani Tzoref for reminding me of Rendsburgʼs article. For a comparable example from Samaritan Aramaic see Christian Stadel, “Studies in the Conditional Sentence in Samaritan Aramaic,” Carmillim (Haʿivrit veʾahyoteha) 10 (2014), 163–80, 177 [Hebrew].

13 E.g., Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Tobit (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2003), 225; Klaus Beyer, Die aramäischen Texte vom Toten Meer (2 vols. with suppl.; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1984–2004), 2:181.

14 The shorter Greek version found, inter alia, in codices Vaticanus and Alexandrinus, does not preserve this utterance. The Old Latin translates “Azarias frater, duc me viam rectam ad Raguhelem” in codex Regius 3564 (similar to the Greek of codex Sinaiticus) and “Azaria frater recte me duc ad domum Raguel” in the Alcalà Bible, see Stuart Weeks, Simon Gathercole, and Loren Stuckenbruck, The Book of Tobit: Texts from the Principal Ancient and Medieval Traditions, with Synopsis, Concordances, and Annotated Texts in Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Syriac (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2004), 202. The text of the Latin witnesses will be discussed briefly below.

15 Edward M. Cook, Dictionary of Qumran Aramaic (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2015), 214–15 s.v.; Beyer, Die aramäischen Texte, 1:688, 2:477 s.v.

16 Beyer, Die aramäischen Texte, 2:477 s.v. Incidentally, Beyerʼs proposal corresponds nicely to “viam rectam” in the Old Latin of codex Regius 3564.

17 Cf. Armin Lange, “ ʻSo I Girded My Loins in the Vision of Righteousness and Wisdom, in the Rope of Supplicationʼ (1QapGen ar vi.4): קשט in the Book of the Words of Noah and Second Temple Jewish Aramaic Literature,” Aramaic Studies 8 (2010): 13–45 (esp. 22–23 [the root in Tobit], 38 [the use of the adjective]) and Christian Stadel, “קושט,” in Theologisches Wörterbuch zu den Qumrantexten, vol. 3 (ed. Heinz-Josef Fabry and Ulrich Dahmen; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, forthcoming).

18 This is the approach taken by Fitzmyer, Tobit, 225. Ursula Schattner-Rieser, Textes araméens de la Mer morte: Édition bilingue, vocalisée et commentée (Bruxelles: Safran, 2005), 153 s.v. translates “vraiment”. Muraokaʼs understanding of the morphology of the form is difficult to establish: On the one hand, he explicitly parses it as a feminine singular adjective used adverbially (Muraoka, Qumran Aramaic, 163 [§48d]; קשיטא is the only example given for such a usage). On the other hand, he has a lengthy discussion of a number of forms (קשיטא not mentioned) with a supposed adverbial morpheme /-ā̀/ (op. cit., 92–93 [§22c]); curiously, the discussion includes an aside (n. 542) against the view that such forms are feminine singulars (Muraoka, ibid., attributes the view to Fitzmyer, but this is a misrepresentation). It remains unclear why Muraoka does not include קשיטא among the forms with an adverbial ending.

19 Muraoka, Qumran Aramaic, 92–93 (§22c); Muraoka and Porten, Egyptian Aramaic, 93–94 (§22c). Note that much of the material adduced by Muraoka as Qumran Aramaic actually comes from the documentary texts from the Judaean desert and from the Cairo Geniza copy of the Aramaic Levi Document.

20 The subject would merit a detailed study. Suffice it to mention that /-ā/ has traditionally been explained as a locative ending on some forms (Beyer, Die aramäischen Texte, 1:444; Luis Díez Merino, “The Adverb in Qumran Aramaic,” in Studies in Qumran Aramaic [ed. Takamitsu Muraoka; Leuven: Peeters, 1992], 22–47, 32), whereas in כלא it might originally represent the article or a 3fsg pronoun, cf. Christian Stadel, “Syntagmen mit nachgestelltem kl im Alt-, Reichs- und Mittelaramäisch,” jss 56 (2011): 37–70, 43; note that typologically equivalent syntagmas (with similar distribution patterns) are found in various Arabic dialects: David Gil, “Maltese kull: An Areal-diachronic Perspective,” Rivista di Linguistica 8 (1996): 153–73, 165, esp. the Maltese and Tunesian examples.

21 Cook, Dictionary, 251; see Muraoka, Qumran Aramaic, 92–93 (§22c) for other such pairs.

22 This is indeed the form adduced for comparison by Fitzmyer, Tobit, 225.

23 As perceptively observed by Carl Brockelmann, Grundriss der vergleichenden Grammatik der semitischen Sprachen. Vol. 1: Laut- und Formenlehre (Berlin: Reuther & Reichard, 1908), 493 (§251bα). See also Beyer, Die aramäischen Texte, 1:444, Gzella, Cultural History, 28, and Orin D. Gensler, “Why Semitic Adverbializers (Akkadian -, Syriac -āˀīṯ) Should Not be Derived from Existential *ˀīṯ,” jss 45 (2000): 233–65, 248–50.

24 Cook, Dictionary, 215. This translation was first proposed in idem, “Our Translated Tobit,” in Targumic and Cognate Studies: Essays in Honour of Martin McNamara (ed. Kevin J. Cathcart and Michael Maher; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996), 153–62, 161 with n. 25. On the use of definite nouns as vocative see Muraoka, Qumran Aramaic, 159 (§46k), 258 (§86a).

25 It is no wonder that Cook skipped the first two words in his translation. One could argue that the word “my brother” is only a restoration (though a cogent one), but parts of the name Azariah survive in the Aramaic manuscript, and the letters are difficult to account for other than as a vocative. Note that in the Old Latin of the Alcalà Bible, the corresponding form is also a vocative, “Azaria frater recte,” but this version avoids the double address which renders the Aramaic version awkward. It is unclear how the Latin relates to the attested Greek versions.

26 Andrew B. Perrin, “An Almanac of Tobit Studies: 2000–2014,” Currents in Biblical Research 13 (2014): 107–42, 111–13 has a summary of the most recent contributions to this ongoing debate.

27 This is by no means certain, since the difference could also result from other factors in the transmission process, cf. Tobias Nicklas and Christian Wagner, “Thesen zur textlichen Vielfalt im Tobitbuch,” jsj 34 (2003): 141–59.

28 Beyer, Die aramäischen Texte, E:134–35 had suggested two such mistranslations in the Greek, which were criticized (if not rejected) with good reason by Cook, “Translated Tobit,” 156. Cook, op. cit., 161 and Michael O. Wise, “A Note on 4Q196 (papTob Ara) and Tobit i 22,” vt 43 (1993): 566–70 have pointed out other mismatches, but for now these could not be explained by recourse to translation errors. Beyer, Die aramäischen Texte, 2:173 has also suggested that the Greek in Tob 3:9 is a mistranslation, but parallel Hebrew or Aramaic versions do not survive in the Qumran scrolls and the Greek makes sense in the context.

29 Paul Joüon and Takamitsu Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (Rome: Pontificial Biblical Institute, 1996), 331 (§102e); Elisha Qimron, The Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986), 48.

30 Avraham Even-Shoshan, The Even-Shoshan Dictionary (6 vols.; Jerusalem: Hamillon Hechadash, 2003), 1:383 [Hebrew]. Admittedly, the existence of the Modern Hebrew adverb inspired this proposal.

31 E.g., the relatively frequent use of the Infinitive absolute as a narrative form in the Hebrew Tobit scroll 4Q200 is unparalleled in the rest of the corpus, cf. Wise, “Note,” 569 n. 4. Cookʼs (“Translated Tobit,” 156 n. 13) explanation that this is a translational feature is unconvincing. Steven E. Fassberg, “The Infinitive Absolute as Finite Verb and Standard Literary Hebrew of the Second Temple Period,” in Conservatism and Innovation in the Hebrew Language of the Hellenistic Period: Proceedings of a Fourth International Symposium on the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Ben Sira (ed. Jan Joosten and Jean-Sébastien Rey; Leiden: Brill, 2008), 47–60 has presented strong arguments to support the claim that this use is a pseudo-classicism. Note also the striking parallel in the distribution pattern of the syntagma, which is surprisingly frequent in the books of Tobit and Esther, both of which are diaspora novellas.

32 Cp. Gershon Brin in “ישר,” in Theologisches Wörterbuch zu den Qumrantexten, vol. 2 (ed. Heinz-Josef Fabry and Ulrich Dahmen; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2013), 318–22 (Brin fails to mention the C-stem form); Wilhelm Gesenius, Hebräisches und aramäisches Handwörterbuch (Berlin: Springer, 181987–2010), 512.

33 On the qere forms as reflecting independent (and sometimes late) traditions of Hebrew see Geoffrey Khan, “Biblical Hebrew: Linguistic Background of Masoretic Text,” in Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics (ed. idem; Leiden: Brill, 2013), 1:304–15, 307–8.

34 Data on the use of the root in Hebrew was obtained from the Maʼagarim Database of the Historical Dictionary Project of the Academy of the Hebrew Language.

35 Alternatively, one could assume an underlying Hebrew ישר, as suggested by an anonymous reviewer. The form is seldom used as an adverb “straight”, e.g., 1QM 5:12 וספות ישר אל הראוש (no attestation in Biblical Hebrew), and could also be understood as an anarthrous vocative, cf. Cynthia L. Miller, “Definiteness and the Vocative in Biblical Hebrew,” jnsl 36 (2010): 43–64. The latter understanding might have necessitated the addition of the article in the Aramaic translation, see Muraoka, Qumran Aramaic, 159 (§46k), 258 (§86a). Muraoka adduces three pertinent examples of a Qumran Aramaic vocative with the article (as against numerous ones with suffixes), which could support this hypothesis.

36 Perrin, “Almanac,” 111–13.

37 The main arguments for each position can be found, e.g., in Michaela Hallermayer, Text und Überlieferung des Buches Tobit (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2008), 175–79. Additional recent contributions will be mentioned in the following.

38 Essentially, the non-linguistic arguments pro Aramaic rest on the assumption that certain genres, settings, narrative techniques, literary motives etc. correlate with the use of the Aramaic language, cf. Daniel A. Machiela and Andrew B. Perrin, “Tobit and the Genesis Apocryphon: Toward a Family Portrait,” jbl 133 (2014): 111–32 and Andrew B. Perrin, “Tobitʼs Context and Contacts in the Qumran Aramaic Anthology,” jsp 25 (2015): 23–51. The use of four dots for the Tetragrammaton and lack of contemporaneous evidence for translation from Aramaic to Hebrew have been adduced by the pro Hebrew camp. Daniel A. Machiela, “Lord or God? Tobit and the Tetragrammaton,” cbq 75 (2013): 463–72, doubted the validity of the former argument, but his reasoning is—overall—unconvincing. (The use of אלהא and the four dots, respectively, in the parallel versions 4Q198 1 1 and 4Q196 18 15 could represent different ways to avoid the divine name; אלהא in 4Q198 could even be a more conservative reworking of a text like 4Q196).

39 As noted by many scholars, e.g., Armin Schmitt, “Die hebräischen Textfunde zum Buch Tobit aus Qumran 4QTobe (4Q200),” zaw 113 (2001): 566–82, 579–80.

40 As suggested by Frank Zimmermann, The Book of Tobit (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958), 60 n. 2.

41 Cp. Takamitsu Muraoka, “An Approach to the Morphosyntax and Syntax of Qumran Hebrew,” in Diggers at the Well: Proceedings of a Third International Symposium on the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Ben Sira (ed. idem and John F. Elwolde; Leiden: Brill, 2000), 193–214, 205–6 with possible examples from biblical manuscripts, and idem, “Verb Complementation in Qumran Hebrew,” in The Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Ben Sira: Proceedings of a Symposium held at Leiden Universtiy, 11–14 December 1995 (ed. idem and John F. Elwolde; Leiden: Brill, 1997), 92–149, 100.

42 This is due to the fact that our fragmentary knowledge of early Aramaic dialects renders every identification of Hebrew elements tentative, cf. Steven E. Fassberg, “Hebraisms in the Aramaic Documents from Qumran,” in Studies in Qumran Aramaic (ed. Takamitsu Muraoka; Leuven: Peeters, 1992), 48–69, 49, Christian Stadel, review of “Edward M. Cook, Dictionary of Qumran Aramaic,” RevQ 28 (forthcoming), and that Hebraisms are attested in original Aramaic compositions, cf. Cook “Translated Tobit,” 155.

43 Christian Stadel, Hebraismen in den aramäischen Texten vom Toten Meer (Heidelberg: Winter, 2008), 84, 124.

44 Christian Stadel, “Hebrew Influences on the Language of the Aramaic Qumran Scrolls,” Meghillot 8–9 (2010): 393–407, 400–3 [Hebrew].

45 Stadel, “Hebrew Influences,” 401.

46 Irene Nowell, “The Book of Tobit: An Ancestral Story,” in Intertextual Studies in Ben Sira and Tobit: Essays in Honor of Alexander A. Di Lella, O.F.M. (ed. Jeremy Corley and Vincent Skemp; Washington d.c.: Catholic Biblical Association of America, 2005), 3–13, 6 and 8–10.

47 If anything, this is yet another piece in the puzzle of likening Tobit to the Patriarchs, cf. Nowell, “Ancestral Story”.

48 Cf. Giancarlo Toloni, “Tobi e Ahiqar,” in Il saggio Ahiqar: Fortuna e transformazioni di uno scritto sapienziale; Il testo più antico e le sue versioni (ed. Riccardo Contini and Cristiano Grottanelli; Brescia: Paideia, 2005), 141–65. Ingo Kottsieper, “ ʻLook, Son, What Nadab Did to Ahikaros . . .ʼ: The Aramaic Ahiqar Tradition and Its Relationship to the Book of Tobit,” in The Dynamics of Language and Exegesis at Qumran (ed. Devorah Dimant and Reinhard G. Katz; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 145–67 argues that the figure of Ahiqar from the story underlying the book of Tobit was not explicitly pagan. But even if Ahiqarʼs religious affiliation remained unspecified in the source, the Hebrew term in 4Q196 2 9 strengthens his identification as Jewish in Tob 1:22.

49 Stadel, Hebraismen, 82–83.

50 Cf. Alexander A. Di Lella, “The Deuteronomic Background of the Farewell Discourse in Tob 14:3–11,” cbq 41 (1979): 380–89; Steven Weitzman, “Allusion, Artifice, and Exile in the Hymn of Tobit,” jbl 115 (1996): 49–61.

51 Stadel, “Hebrew Influences,” 402.

52 Gzella, Tempus, 218 n. 335 was the first to note this usage in 4Q198 1 1 and to point out its significance. He also discusses another possible but problematic instance of the syntagma in Aramaic.

53 Cook, Dictionary, 105. Apparently, Cook reached his conclusion independently, for he does not refer to Gzellaʼs discussion.

  • 4

    Morgenstern, “Language,” 135–37. Not much survives of pre-Hellenistic Aramaic literature, see the overview in Holger Gzella, A Cultural History of Aramaic: From the Beginnings to the Advent of Islam (Leiden: Brill, 2015), 201–8. It is therefore difficult to assess the literary standards that informed the composition of the Qumran Aramaic and later texts.

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  • 7

    Gzella, Cultural History, 230–34.

  • 8

    Hans Bauer and Pontus Leander, Grammatik des Biblisch-Aramäischen (Halle: Niemeyer, 1927), 295–96 (§81u–w).

  • 12

    Gary A. Rendsburg, “Confused Language as a Deliberate Literary Device in Biblical Hebrew Narrative,” Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 2 (1998–99), esp. §§3.1, 5.3, 5.5, 7.2. Thanks are due to Shani Tzoref for reminding me of Rendsburgʼs article. For a comparable example from Samaritan Aramaic see Christian Stadel, “Studies in the Conditional Sentence in Samaritan Aramaic,” Carmillim (Haʿivrit veʾahyoteha) 10 (2014), 163–80, 177 [Hebrew].

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  • 13

    E.g., Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Tobit (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2003), 225; Klaus Beyer, Die aramäischen Texte vom Toten Meer (2 vols. with suppl.; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1984–2004), 2:181.

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  • 15

    Edward M. Cook, Dictionary of Qumran Aramaic (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2015), 214–15 s.v.; Beyer, Die aramäischen Texte, 1:688, 2:477 s.v.

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  • 18

    This is the approach taken by Fitzmyer, Tobit, 225. Ursula Schattner-Rieser, Textes araméens de la Mer morte: Édition bilingue, vocalisée et commentée (Bruxelles: Safran, 2005), 153 s.v. translates “vraiment”. Muraokaʼs understanding of the morphology of the form is difficult to establish: On the one hand, he explicitly parses it as a feminine singular adjective used adverbially (Muraoka, Qumran Aramaic, 163 [§48d]; קשיטא is the only example given for such a usage). On the other hand, he has a lengthy discussion of a number of forms (קשיטא not mentioned) with a supposed adverbial morpheme /-ā̀/ (op. cit., 92–93 [§22c]); curiously, the discussion includes an aside (n. 542) against the view that such forms are feminine singulars (Muraoka, ibid., attributes the view to Fitzmyer, but this is a misrepresentation). It remains unclear why Muraoka does not include קשיטא among the forms with an adverbial ending.

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  • 21

    Cook, Dictionary, 251; see Muraoka, Qumran Aramaic, 92–93 (§22c) for other such pairs.

  • 24

    Cook, Dictionary, 215. This translation was first proposed in idem, “Our Translated Tobit,” in Targumic and Cognate Studies: Essays in Honour of Martin McNamara (ed. Kevin J. Cathcart and Michael Maher; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996), 153–62, 161 with n. 25. On the use of definite nouns as vocative see Muraoka, Qumran Aramaic, 159 (§46k), 258 (§86a).

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  • 26

    Andrew B. Perrin, “An Almanac of Tobit Studies: 2000–2014,” Currents in Biblical Research 13 (2014): 107–42, 111–13 has a summary of the most recent contributions to this ongoing debate.

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  • 29

    Paul Joüon and Takamitsu Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (Rome: Pontificial Biblical Institute, 1996), 331 (§102e); Elisha Qimron, The Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986), 48.

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  • 30

    Avraham Even-Shoshan, The Even-Shoshan Dictionary (6 vols.; Jerusalem: Hamillon Hechadash, 2003), 1:383 [Hebrew]. Admittedly, the existence of the Modern Hebrew adverb inspired this proposal.

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  • 36

    Perrin, “Almanac,” 111–13.

  • 40

    As suggested by Frank Zimmermann, The Book of Tobit (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958), 60 n. 2.

  • 41

    Cp. Takamitsu Muraoka, “An Approach to the Morphosyntax and Syntax of Qumran Hebrew,” in Diggers at the Well: Proceedings of a Third International Symposium on the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Ben Sira (ed. idem and John F. Elwolde; Leiden: Brill, 2000), 193–214, 205–6 with possible examples from biblical manuscripts, and idem, “Verb Complementation in Qumran Hebrew,” in The Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Ben Sira: Proceedings of a Symposium held at Leiden Universtiy, 11–14 December 1995 (ed. idem and John F. Elwolde; Leiden: Brill, 1997), 92–149, 100.

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  • 43

    Christian Stadel, Hebraismen in den aramäischen Texten vom Toten Meer (Heidelberg: Winter, 2008), 84, 124.

  • 44

    Christian Stadel, “Hebrew Influences on the Language of the Aramaic Qumran Scrolls,” Meghillot 8–9 (2010): 393–407, 400–3 [Hebrew].

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  • 45

    Stadel, “Hebrew Influences,” 401.

  • 46

    Irene Nowell, “The Book of Tobit: An Ancestral Story,” in Intertextual Studies in Ben Sira and Tobit: Essays in Honor of Alexander A. Di Lella, O.F.M. (ed. Jeremy Corley and Vincent Skemp; Washington d.c.: Catholic Biblical Association of America, 2005), 3–13, 6 and 8–10.

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  • 48

    Cf. Giancarlo Toloni, “Tobi e Ahiqar,” in Il saggio Ahiqar: Fortuna e transformazioni di uno scritto sapienziale; Il testo più antico e le sue versioni (ed. Riccardo Contini and Cristiano Grottanelli; Brescia: Paideia, 2005), 141–65. Ingo Kottsieper, “ ʻLook, Son, What Nadab Did to Ahikaros . . .ʼ: The Aramaic Ahiqar Tradition and Its Relationship to the Book of Tobit,” in The Dynamics of Language and Exegesis at Qumran (ed. Devorah Dimant and Reinhard G. Katz; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 145–67 argues that the figure of Ahiqar from the story underlying the book of Tobit was not explicitly pagan. But even if Ahiqarʼs religious affiliation remained unspecified in the source, the Hebrew term in 4Q196 2 9 strengthens his identification as Jewish in Tob 1:22.

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  • 49

    Stadel, Hebraismen, 82–83.

  • 51

    Stadel, “Hebrew Influences,” 402.

  • 53

    Cook, Dictionary, 105. Apparently, Cook reached his conclusion independently, for he does not refer to Gzellaʼs discussion.

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