This is beautiful!
This little #manuscript seems to be written by a regular, non-professional, member of the Jewish community of Fustat, Egypt, about 1000 years ago.
They made a little shorthand manuscript of #Psalms, for their own personal use. Image
This person knew the Psalms pretty well, so could abbreviate most of the words by chopping off the last letter or two (which seems more impressive when you remember that #Hebrew words tend to be short: say, 2-6 letters in the main).
This little snippet is from Psalm 9: 17-18.

But here, the writer's knowledge of the book of Psalms has actually led them astray...

Do you see the line in the image with lots of dots over all the letters? Those are erasure dots: (s)he wants, in effect, to cross out that line.
Why? B/c that line is not from Psa 9, but from Psa 59!

Well, Psa 9:17 ends w/ the word סלה 'selah'; Psa 9:18 opens with the word ישובו 'they return'.

There's only one other place in the whole Hebrew Bible where a verse ends w/ סלה and the next opens w/ ישובו - Psalm 59.
So, while copying סלה: ישובו from Psalm 9, the writer's mind jumped to that same sequence in Psalm 59, and they wrote out an entire verse from there before realising their memory had led them astray.

So then they 'dotted out' that verse, and wrote the correct one after it.
"I have hidden your word in my heart..."

"Instruction from your mouth is better to me than thousands of pieces of gold and silver"

"The judgements of HaShem are true, and altogether right - They are more precious than gold... they are sweeter than honey"


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More from @K_L_Phillips

24 Aug 20
At the heart of #Psalm82 is a pair of parallel lines expressing G-d's heart for justice - particularly justice for the poor and defenceless.
They are two of the most beautiful, well-crafted lines of Hebrew I've ever read.

Each line is arranged chiastically: the verb comes first in the A-line, and last in the B-line.

The poor, orphaned, afflicted, and destitute are thereby enveloped by G-d's justice, justification, deliverance and salvation.
But the two bicola are also 'vertically parallel' - more so than any other verses I've yet noticed.
The טו ending is parallel in 1st word.
Then דל repeated both lines.
Then ום paralleled by ון
Consonants רש parallel both lines
Then הצ, Hifil, and mpl ו parallel in last slot.
Read 4 tweets
17 Mar 20
In their zeal to preserve EVERY detail of the biblical text accurately, the #Masoretes sometimes make up little ditties, in #Aramaic, to help remember some textual feature or another. I've just come across one I'd not seen before, & which has instantly become my favourite. (1/5)
Remember #Ezekiel 18? The righteous man and the unrighteous man. The righteous man does not eat on the mountains (i.e. at the idol shrines), but the unrighteous man does eat on the mountains
In both cases, the verb 'eat' happens to be marked w/ Zaqef. Zaqef is quite a strong disjunctive accent. S/times it causes the word it marks to be written as a pausal form (ie vowel change), s/times not. Here: 'does not eat' is pausal, but 'does eat' is written non-pausally.
Read 5 tweets
14 Nov 19
Here is a snippet from one of the beautiful carpet pages at the back of the #LeningradCodex. I've highlighted a little 'poem' hidden in the page...
Ofer found a very similar poem at the back of another manuscript also written by #SamuelBenJacob - the so-called 'Lm' #Torah manuscript
And now, here it is again, in an even longer form than in L, nestled at the back of the #WashingtonPentateuch
Read 5 tweets

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