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Re: orion XII/Minor Prophets question

Thanks to Aaron Schart for the response to my question  concerning
whether a column from Jonah follows Malachi in 4QXII(a) as reported 
in DJD XV and commonly cited in secondary literature.  My comments 
are directed toward the issue and certainly not toward A. Schart, to 
whom I am grateful for the reference.  First an excerpt of A. Schart's 
submission and then my own comment and analysis.

> May I point towards the fact, that the reading of Fuller is confirmed by the
> leading German experts in Qumran studies. I quote a passage from: Steck,
> Odil Hannes (1935-),
> Zur Abfolge Maleachi - Jona in 4Q76 (4QXIIa). ZAW 108.2 (1996) 249-253.
> Auf dem Fragment, das Mal 3,18 - 23 bietet, sind nach links nach dem
> erhaltenen Kolumnenzwischenraum noch zwei Buchstaben Lamed und He 
von zwei
> Zeilenanfaengen aus einer anschliessenden Kolumne erkennbar, die gemaess der

Since the _three_ letters in question read by Fuller in DJD XV (p. 229, Plate 
41, Brill PAM photo 42.629) for col. 5, lines 10 and 11 are Waw, He, 
and Kaph, the claim of Steck here that _two_ letters, LAMED and He, are 
"clear", struck me at first as some kind of typographical mistake.  

But no--there is no typographical mistake.  The reference, in a 
footnote in the article cited above, makes clear that this is an 
earlier reading of Fuller identifying these letters as part of the same Jonah 
column but at a different location in the Jonah column (LBW' in 
Jon 1:3 and HtetYL at Jon 1:4, according to the footnote).  Evidently
Fuller abandoned this earlier reading which Steck has cited, and in DJD XV 
Fuller reports a different readings of the letters and a match at a different 
point in the Jonah column--while retaining the original conclusion 
(based on the original mistaken reading) that Jonah follows Malachi.

The second part of the quotation from ZAW submitted by A. Schart 
reported that placements of small pieces of 4XII(a) by Stegemann, 
Steudel, and Maurer had agreed very closely with Fuller's placements. 
There is no claim that the particular Malachi-Jonah reading was  
looked at by these persons.  There is no independent evidence 
or information alluded to or quoted directly in the ZAW article which 
gives additional support to the Malachi-Jonah column sequence claim.  
The argument remains as it stands in DJD XV--a conclusion stated 
as a fact, and when one looks for the reason one finds the reading of 
three letters as Waw, He, and Kaph as the basis.

I have studied the Brill microfiche photograph of 42.629 further and 
while I am open to other views I think it would be a miracle to get a 
Waw and Kaph reading for two of those three letters.  The lack of 
security of the reading goes beyond simply making the point ambiguous.  
If the DJD XV readings of two of these letters are excluded, the 
claimed match with the Jonah column, which requires those specific 
letters at that point, is known to be erroneous.

The line 10 letter which Fuller reported in DJD XV as a waw cannot 
to my eyes be a waw because there is a trace of a left horizontal 
stroke visible near the top.  In addition the slant is wrong for a waw and 
there is a thickening at the lower part of the downstroke unlike what would 
be expected for a waw.  The letter looks to me like it could be the 
remains of a Bet, but in any case a Waw is excluded.

The first letter in line 11 is indeed a clear He as reported but the 
second letter, read by Fuller as Kaph, again appears incorrect.  The 
slight curve to the right at the bottom of the downstroke is not that 
of a Kaph, and its position, as well as its shape, is inconsistent as 
well.  The letter looks to me like it could be a Resh (cp the R in 
shinRshin one line up to the right), or perhaps an Aleph, but in any 
case a Kaph is excluded.   
As to the matter of claiming that the best scholars have established 
a reading, we all have access to good photographs now and the 
incidence is too high of just this kind of error which can afflict even 
the best editors.  I see no usefulness to an argument from 
authority to establish a reading, except to those inexperienced in 
reading of the letters.  If there is other information independent of 
the reading of those letters which could assist in establishing the 
sequence of these columns, that would be a different matter.  
But none has been reported or claimed.  

Thanks also to S. Goranson for the reference; the library here 
does not have so I cannot comment until it arrives.

Greg Doudna