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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
> 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.