Isaiah 33:1 DSS better?

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Isaiah 33:1 DSS better?

Post by kwrandolph »

In Isaiah 33:1 we read the following:

הוי שודד ואתה לא שדוד ובוגד ולא בגדו בו כהתמך שודד תושד כנלתך לבגד יבגדו בך

which gives problems:

כהתמך is given as a hiphil from the verb תמם, however, even as written appears to be from the verb תמך
כנלתך as from a verb נלה which is found nowhere else. As written, it appears to be from a verb לתך with the idea of measuring out.

However, when I read the DSS, I found:

הוי שודד ואתה לוא שדוד ובוגד ולוא בגדו בו כהתמכך שודד תושד ככלותך לבגוד יבגודו בך

Well, other than the extra matres lectionis that don’t belong in Biblical Hebrew, does this make more sense or what?

Karl W. Randolph.
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Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:01 pm

Re: Isaiah 33:1 DSS better?

Post by ducky »


If we focus only on the MT text and accept it (for now):
כהתמך שודד תושד כנלתך לבגד יבגדו בך.
Then the meaning of כנלתך (כהנלתך) is understood as the parallel of תמם, from the matter of "completion".

And if we see it as an authentic rare root in Hebrew, then we can look at Job 15:29:
לא יעשר ולא יקום חילו ולא יטה לארץ מנלם.
The word מנלם is understood by some as מן+לם - (as saying: what they have).
In the form of לם=להם (like בם=בהם).
And in the form of מנסערה/מנהסערה in Job 38:1 & 40:6.

And if we accept the root נלה from Isaiah as it is, as a real Hebrew root, then we can say that this word מנלם in Job is actually a form of "their מנלה" from the same root of נלה.

In this part of Job, the description seems to be of a "tree".
And so, if we give the meaning of the "completion" to the מנלה in Job, it would be describing the ripe fruits.
As a picture of a tree that its branches are bent because of the ripe fruits (which in Job it is in a negative way).
which the tree is a metaphor of course for the picture of a man bending his back from carrying the weight, as seen in Gen 49:15 ויט שכמו לסבל.
(It can be seen also as the branches themselves or it can refer specifically to men, as possession or property).

And we can compare this root נלה to the Arabic root ניל/נול which some of its meanings are "reach, obtain, attain", and so on...

And so, if we see it that way, we can say that there is no problem with the MT, and this root נלה is an authentic Hebrew root. And the Qumranic people that maybe didn't understand this rare word, thought it was an error and fixed it into ככלתך which has the same meaning and looks the same.

But on the other hand, we can say that there is an error in the MT, and it really should be ככלתך.
And we can see the parallel of כלה//תמם in other places in the Bible - and specifically in Isa. 16:4:
אפס המץ כלה שד תמו רמס מן הארץ.
David Hunter
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