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Textual Corruptions, or Linguistic Phenomena? The Cases in 2 Samuel (MT)

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image of Vetus Testamentum

AbstractThe MT of the Books of Samuel has usually been taken as textually corrupt due to scribal errors. However, many often advocated textual emendations can be seen as unnecessary when one understands the linguistic nature of the unusual forms. Some of the cases in 2 Samuel may be explained as phonetic spellings, such as omission of aleph (e.g. 20:5, 9), assimilations (e.g. 5:13a; 13:16; 18:3, 12), metathesis (20:14; 22:46), and sandhi (22:40; 23:9, 20, 21). Another example is aposiopesis in direct speech (13:16; also 1 Sam 1:22). Furthermore, new understandings of linguistic phenomena such as the “vertical grammar” of poetic parallelism (Ps 18:11; cf. 2 Sam 22:12) and discourse grammar, especially the sequence of the verbal forms in Hebrew narrative prose (e.g. 2 Sam 4:5-7) can aid analysis.

Affiliations: 1: Japan Bible


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