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Commentary

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Chapter Summary

Many psalms (Ps) likely had a history of oral transmission, and the notion of an Urtext for such psalms is unhelpful, even for heuristic purposes. In contrast, Ps 119 is a literary composition with a single author and without an oral prehistory. This chapter therefore assumes that an Urtext did exist for Ps 119 and that of the extant witnesses, the MT preserves a text that is closest to the Urtext. Almost all of the differences between the MT and the other witnesses can be explained as a development from a pre-Masoretic text to the other textual traditions. One series of examples is represented in the MT, LXX, DSS, Syriac, and Targumim, specifically the grammatical number for the Torah terms is inconsistent. Another example of a group of differences is the addition of a vocative O Lord in six verses of the LXX.

Keywords: psalms (Ps) 119; Urtext

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