Psalm 22:17 4QPs Pierced

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Psalm 22:17 4QPs Pierced

Postby ralph » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:41 pm

I refer to Psalms 22:17 (v16 in many English translations).

Where, if anywhere is Psalms 22:17 in Qumran Dead Sea Scroll 4Q88/4QPs?

By Psalm 22:17, I mean "Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet."

The verse where there's the question of lion vs pierced/injure/bore kaari vs karu/kaaru.

Is Psalms 22:17 missing from Qumran Dead Sea Scroll 4Q88/4QPs?

According to this article ... ierced.pdf

"Unfortunately, the Psalms Scroll found at Qumran did not include 22:16[17] because the manuscript was damaged at the very place where it would have appeared."

And he mentions that (while it's not in fragments from qumran, it's in the fragments from nahal chever and i've seen a picture of exactly where in nahal chever fragments, so i'm not asking about that, i'm asking purely regarding the fragments of qumran scrolls)

If I look at the site dssenglish

it shows Psalm 22:17(v16 there), the verse about the lion vs pierced, in 4Q88 not missing.

It also shows the verse from the nahal chever fragments.

There's no question that the verse is in the nahal chever fragments.

But I can't tell if the verse is in the Qumran fragments too.

The dssenglish site suggests that it is in the qumran fragments in 4Q88 (From what I understand, 4Q means fourth qumran cave)

But that pdf I linked to says it is not in qumran scrolls.

This link ... ipt/4Q88-1 shows 4Q88 fragments, but I can't tell where if anywhere Psalms 22:17 would be.


That suggests it's in 4QPs(which I think is aka 4Q88), fragments 1 and 2

I see this link that shows manuscript fragments ... ipt/4Q88-1

But as fragments don't have verse numbers I can't find it, whether it's there or not, or how much of v16 is there.

That might even suggest it's specifically fragment two, as it says f2, but I can't see what is what.

I understand that dots above the letters mean that the letters(eg in that ulrich link), means they are unclear in the manuscript, but I can't determine where the unclear letters i'm looking for are. For the scroll of isaiah the site have some digital effects where you hover over a scroll and it shows chapter and verse, but they haven't done it for psalms.

I don't know if it is on fragment two, but this is fragment two, but looking at the link I mentioned, that shows all fragments ... ipt/4Q88-1

They let you zoom in on it on that website, it shows two images for fragment 2. ... e/B-363360


and ... e/B-363361


But as for where on that fragment the verse is or if it's on a different qumran fragment, I don't know?


Ralph Zak
Ralph Zak

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Re: Psalm 22:17 4QPs Pierced

Postby ducky » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:05 am


I looked also a little bit and I also don't see it.

I can see this fragment 1 that match the link of Urich ... e/B-367901
but it is until the verse before the verse you are looking

in the Urich link, it said next to the verse that you're looking that it is fr. 2
and if I look at the next fragment next to the one I gave a link to
so it would be this ... e/B-367901
which I don't see it fits
So I don't understand his reference But I'll check later if I missed something.

Anyway, another thing that I feel I must say (even though I said it before)
there is no problem if someone searches to see the word written with W (as different from the MT)
But people need to realize that even if they accept the form of כארו/כרו, the meaning is not "pierce".

There is no meaning of "piercing" to that root in Hebrew, and I explained also why an English speaker doesn't see it weird to understand a root that means "digging" as "piercing".
In English, the word for "digging" can be seen in two way (one of them, pierce).
But in Hebrew, these meaning don't come together for the same root.
the digging is always about digging the earth, or the ground, or a tunnel and so on...
and the piercing which is creating a point-hole with a sharp object.
and each one has different roots.

and so, כרה in Hebrew means to dig a hole in the earth, ground and so on... (and not just "dig" as the Biblical dictionaries write).
and we shouldn't take the English semantic link and dress it on Hebrew.
David Hunter

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Re: Psalm 22:17 4QPs Pierced

Postby S_Walch » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:17 am

The fragment numbers up on the LLDSSD (Leon-Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Database) don't correspond to the fragment numbers given in the Ulrich DSS transcriptions, but rather how they appear on the image plates upon the LLDSSD: ... e/B-371347

So "fragment 2" up on the LLDSSD, corresponds to fragment 2 in that image, not Ulrich's "fragment 2" in the transcription.

From the looks of things, the LLDSSD doesn't have the actual fragment 2 up on it.

If you can locate a copy of the Discoveries in the Judaean Desert, Volume 16, you'll find an image of "fragment 2" on one of the plates at the end.

For English speakers, "to dig" in itself implies making a hole in something; the one main exception to this would be "to dig through files", but then context would imply that a hole or something isn't being made, though I guess metaphorically it somewhat is.

So to dig a hole in the hands isn't out of the question, and by inference to make a hole via piercing, especially as כרה is used in such a way for ears:

Psalm 40:7
זֶ֤בַח וּמִנְחָ֨ה לֹֽא־חָפַ֗צְתָּ אָ֭זְנַיִם כָּרִ֣יתָ לִּ֑י עוֹלָ֥ה וַ֝חֲטָאָ֗ה לֹ֣א שָׁאָֽלְתָּ

How would you explain it if the root in question was כור, rather than כרה? Some scholars have derived כרו from the former, rather than the latter.
Ste Walch

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Re: Psalm 22:17 4QPs Pierced

Postby ducky » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:50 am

Hello Ste Walch,

Thanks for the explanation of the references, and thanks for the link.
I saw this fragment before, but where do you see the word/verse that we're talking about?

As for the meaning of digging vs. piercing...
I guess that in English, the word Dig can be used for different close meanings.
But we're not talking about English, and actually, my comment was about to let us shake the English out of our head and focus on the Hebrew.

So when Hebrew uses "dig" is uses roots such as כרה or חפר.
Both of them is about digging the earth and so on, as I wrote above.
The basic view of the act is to create a deep and wide hole.
For example, if I dig a well, I dig it deep and wide.
If I "dig" a nail into the wall - I cannot say that I כריתי or ִחפרתי the wall because it is just a pierce.
If I take a paper and create a wide hole in it with some round object, I also cannot say that I חפרתי or כריתי because it is not deep. (and it would be just a round-cut).
And while you check in the lexicon these roots of חפר and כרה you will see that they act the same.

if someone pierces something then it would be נקב or רצע and so on. Which is creating a small hole with a sharp object.

Therefore no one can "dig" a hand (like he cannot dig a paper) but he can pierce it.
and the Piercing is not represented by root כרה nor חפר.

The verse that you brought אזנים כרית לי shows me first that you didn't find (and I guess you searched) כרה as piercing, and then you find this "picture" that uses that verse.
But what does this picture mean?
it doesn't mean that the ear was pierced.
But it gives the picture of the ears-internal-holes as a hole in the ground (or a well) which they are wide (enough) and deep.
And it is like he says that God "opened his ears" or made his ears with "good" earing holes that with them he is capable to listen to the laws.

The picture doesn't say that the ears-internal-holes are like pinholes, but rather as a "well-hole" which then the essence is clear - Listening.
The act of good listening is based on wide and deep holes exactly like you dig a hole in the ground, and not as if you create a hole by a piercing.
And anyone who looks at the ear-holes can see that they are like a "hole in the ground", and not as something that was created by piercing.

And also notice that in Hebrew, you don't "dig the ground" but you "dig a hole in the ground".
And so we see כרה בור or חפר באר (dig a well, dig a hole (in the ground)).

The form of כרית אזנים is like saying כרית באר or כרית בור.
As if the ears are the well (or the ground-hole itself).
So the usage itself in this form and style alone clears the "picture".

When the Bible told to pierce the ear, it uses רצע as in Ex.21:6
וְרָצַע אֲדֹנָיו אֶת אׇזְנוֹ בַּמַּרְצֵעַ
but that, of course, doesn't refer to the internal holes. And so you can understand why this verse used רצע and not כרה or חפר - because, in Hebrew, they would not fit.

As for כרה/כור
כרה is used as a verb - in the meaning that I wrote.
כור does not act as a verb - only as a noun (which also, by its meaning you can see the link to the meaning of כרה).
ְAnd so, also כור doesn't fit here.
Once, because it doesn't act a verb (but we can stretch this issue and still accept that).
And second, because also as a noun, it doesn't have the meaning of "pierce" or "pin-hole" or whatever.

The point is that the meaning of piercing just doesn't fit.
This case was formed because of religious issues, and so I see it is very popular, but the fact is that it just doesn't fit.
And if this case didn't remind any connotation to a religious story, no one would even think to see it that way. But because it does, then it is pushed and pushed and stretched and stretched to make it look like it fits this meaning of piercing.
But this Hebrew root is not about that, and anyone can check my words by just looking at the Bible (and also in other Semitic languages) and see it by himself.
David Hunter

Kenneth Greifer
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Re: Psalm 22:17 4QPs Pierced

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:24 pm


If you are interested in an unusual alternative translation and explanation of Psalm 22:17, you can look at this old posting I put up a long time ago.


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Re: Psalm 22:17 4QPs Pierced

Postby ducky » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:43 pm

Hello Kenneth and thanks.

It is interesting, but I think there is some stuff that I don't agree with your nice explanation.

I actually already have a lot of support that shows that it is read as a lion.
There are a lot of parallels from different views (not just one) that they all support the word to be read as a lion. also puns, and of course motifs.

This is a very literary psalm, and the "proof is inside it".

Since I had a slot of discussions about this psalm, I can also find a way to see it as a verb.
But even though it also can be seen fine, the reading with Lion is better.

One day I will write what I'm talking about but it is kinda long and I'm waiting to be in the right mood. but anyone who reads this psalm and analyzes it (like in literature study) can see it for itself.
David Hunter

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Re: Psalm 22:17 4QPs Pierced

Postby ralph » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:55 am

ducky wrote:...

thanks, this thread is more about what hebrew is on a fragment, rather than how it should be translated, or whether the hebrew karu should be kaari.

But so that my thread here about the fragment and what is on the fragment, can stay more on topic.

I have made a thread replying to what you wrote though. About translation or whether or what is perhaps your suggestion that the karu variant is not correct.

In the meantime and back to the topic intended for this thread, I will see if I can get hold of that DJD volume and see what it has there.


Ralph Zak
Ralph Zak

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