In Isaiah 9:6 the apparatus of BHS says that 1QIsa-a reads למ רבה, with a space between the mem and resh. I don’t think there is a space between the two letters.
- Without the high-resolution images we have access to today, one might not be able to see just how closely the tail of the mem extends toward the resh.
- It is true that in the DSS final mems are not always used, but in this case, as is clear in the photo below, the scribe used a final mem in the previous word. If he intended the text to read similar to the LXX’s μεγάλη ἡ ἀρχὴ αὐτοῦ, then one would expect to see a final mem or a waw after the mem.
What do you think? Does the distance between the top of the mem and the resh warrant reading the text as למ רבה?
3 responses to “Isaiah 9:6 | BHS on 1QIsa-a”
Could the scribe have been hedging, or even just hesitating as he struggled to make sense of the word boundaries?
James, sorry if you had to read my previous reply. I thought your comment was with respect to a different post!Could he be “hedging his bet” here? Perhaps, but I don’t know of another place where a scribe does such a thing. If you do, let me know.
I think it was important for the scribe to not overlap letters and was just beginning the next letter after the stroke for the mem. This particular mem seems to take a wider space than some others. What is odd is the squareness of the bottom of the mem, looks almost like lamed-noon-lamed. :p