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RE: orion 4Q448
Thanks to Christophe Batsch for the summary of Main
on 4Q448. I see the issue now. It all depends on the
reading of the first word of line 1. The EEY (Eshel,
Eshel, and Yardeni IEJ 1992) publication gives a
reading of ayin, waw/yod, resh, followed by
Q, D, shin ("holy/God").
These two words should be the start of the text, and
"holy city" does not make sense syntactically. But a
verb of address ayin-waw-resh, "rise up", fits an
abundantly-attested BH pattern with 'L of "rise up
against", therefore, "Rise up, O God, against King
Jonathan . . ."
Yet if one did _not_ have an apparent ayin for
the first letter, what would be expected would be
SHIN-yod-resh giving a title: "dedicated song
concerning . . .", or "holy song concerning . . ."
using familiar, routine language in BH and
Psalms. This puts the focus on the reading of
the first letter. Is that letter certainly an AYIN?
Study of the letter in the Brill microfiche of PAM
43.545 under a microscope convinces me that
the letter is truly a defaced Shin, not an ayin.
A defaced Shin was argued by Golb in his book
on the Scrolls but, although I think the Shin is
correct, what I see differs slightly from Golb's
explanation. Golb interpreted the marks as the
tops of the left and middle arm only of the Shin,
with the right arm being defaced altogether.
I see what looks like the remains of the tops of
all THREE arms of the Shin--all to the right of the
visible Yod. The apparent sloping horizontal line
may be shadow, not ink (compare a similar parallel
horizontal line of shadow above all of line B1). A
trace of the bottom part of the Shin survives visibly
to the right of the top of the Lamed of line 2 below.
For the match in shape of the _three_ arm tops of
the Shin to the right of the Yod in the line 1 word
compare with the other Shins in the text, particularly
in ShLWM, the second word in B7. For comparable
examples of defacing, see the first two letters of C5
as well as the defaced Shin at the end of B1. It
appears to me that the same defacing which has
removed most of the lower part of the Shin at the
start of B1 has also removed the top part of the
ayin directly below, the first letter of B2. (Compare
with the ayins at C5, first letter, and A8, second letter.)
These palaeographic considerations combined
with what seems to me an overwhelming argument
from context establish to me that the first word must
indeed be shin-yod-resh, "song". The next word
QDS carries a routine use as an adjective. The
first six lines are all the title and the start of the
song proper is line 7. There is no verb ayin-waw-
resh, "rise up against", and the text is unambiguously
a favorable hymn dedicated to King Jonathan.