lethargic_man: "Happy the person that finds wisdom, and the person that gets understanding."—Prov. 3:13. Icon by Tamara Rigg (limmud)
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See this post for an introduction to what I am blogging here, and why.

Before I start, I should point out that I am including Tiberian vowels in the Samaritan text, partly because they come with the Masoretic text I am working from, and partly because they will make it easier for my readership. However, the Samaritans have their own vowels, and their own very different system of pronunciation of Hebrew (for example, they pronounce לחם as lēm and בתוך as aftok). I also can't read their vowel marks (or, indeed their consonants, as they use a modern-day descendant of Palaeo-Hebrew rather than the Assyrian letters the rest of us use), so I'm sticking with the Tiberian ones, but from time to time you will see me use an unmarked word where Samaritan Hebrew grammar differs slightly from ours, and I don't know how to mark its vowels up.

So, that said, let's get going. In the Creation account, the Masoretic text reads:

Genesis 2:1–3 בראשית ב א–ג
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. On the seventh day God ended His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because on it He had rested from all His work, which God had created and made. וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ וְכָל־צְבָאָם׃ וַיְכַל אֱלֹהִים בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וַיִּשְׁבֹּת בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִכָּל־מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה׃ וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶת־יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אֹתוֹ כִּי בוֹ שָׁבַת מִכָּל־מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר־בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת׃
And that is why the Jewish sabbath starts halfway through Saturday, because G-d finished the work of Creation on the seventh day, right? This is one of the places where the Samaritan text reconciles the problems of the Masoretic Text; it reads here:
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. On the sixth day God ended His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because on it He had rested from all His work, which God had created and made. וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ וְכָל־צְבָאָם׃ וַיְכַל אֱלֹהִים בַּיּוֹם הַשִּׁשִׁי מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וַיִּשְׁבֹּת בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִכָּל־מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה׃ וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶת־יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אֹתוֹ כִּי בוֹ שָׁבַת מִכָּל־מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר־בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת׃

A general point here, raised at its first instance (Gen. 2:12). מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ appears to have been dyslexic; or at least every time the word הִיא (, "she"/"it") appears, it is spelled הוא, which is very confusing if you're leyning without vowels, as that is the same as the word הוּא (, "he"/"it"). The Samaritan Text corrects this throughout.

A famous discrepancy here. The Masoretic Text reads:

Genesis 4:8 בראשית ד ח
Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן אֶל־הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹתָם בַּשָּׂדֶה וַיָּקָם קַיִן אֶל־הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיַּהַרְגֵהוּ׃
In the Hebrew, it doesn't say "talked with", it says "said to"... but it doesn't say what he said to him! The rabbis of the midrash had a field day with this, filling in the blank; but it appears the actual missing text, which occurs in the Samaritan Torah, the Septuagint, and the Targum Yerushalmi is prosaic:
Cain said to Abel his brother, "Let us go into the field"; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן אֶל־הֶבֶל אָחִיו נֵלְכָה הַשָּׂדֶה וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹתָם בַּשָּׂדֶה וַיָּקָם קַיִן אֶל־הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיַּהַרְגֵהוּ׃

This is typical of the Samaritan Torah, as we shall see later on, especially when it comes to the Ten Plagues.

Genesis 4:25 בראשית ד כה
Adam "knew" his wife again; and she bore a son. She called his name Seth (Shéth), "For God has appointed (shéth) me another seed in the place of of Abel, whom Cain slew." וַיֵּדַע אָדָם עוֹד אֶת־אִשְׁתּוֹ וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ שֵׁת כִּי שָׁת־לִי אֱלֹהִים זֶרַע אַחֵר תַּחַת הֶבֶל כִּי הֲרָגוֹ קָיִן׃
The Samaritan text, however, attributes the naming to Adam:
Adam "knew" his wife again; and she bore a son. He called his name Seth, "For God has appointed me another seed in the place of of Abel, whom Cain slew." וַיֵּדַע אָדָם עוֹד אֶת־אִשְׁתּוֹ וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַיִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ שֵׁת כִּי שָׁת־לִי אֱלֹהִים זֶרַע אַחֵר תַּחַת הֶבֶל כִּי הֲרָגוֹ קָיִן׃
The Torah now goes into the genealogy of Adam down to Noah:
Genesis 5:18-20 בראשית ה יח-כ
Yered lived an hundred sixty and two years, and begot Ḥănoch: Yered lived after he had Ḥănoch eight hundred years, and had further sons and daughters: All the days of Yered were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died. וַיְחִי־יֶרֶד שְׁתַּיִם וְשִׁשִּׁים שָׁנָה וּמְאַת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד אֶת־חֲנוֹךְ׃ וַיְחִי־יֶרֶד אַחֲרֵי הוֹלִידוֹ אֶת־חֲנוֹךְ שְׁמֹנֶה מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד בָּנִים וּבָנוֹת׃ וַיִּהְיוּ כָּל־יְמֵי־יֶרֶד שְׁתַּיִם וְשִׁשִּׁים שָׁנָה וּתְשַׁע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיָּמֹת׃
However many of the year lengths are different, for no readily apparent reason, in the Samaritan Torah:
Yered lived [no hundreds] sixty and two years, and begot Ḥănoch: Yered lived after he had Ḥănoch seven hundred and eighty-five years, and had further sons and daughters: All the days of Yered were eight hundred and forty-two years: and he died. וַיְחִי־יֶרֶד שְׁתַּיִם וְשִׁשִּׁים שָׁנָה ויוליד אֶת־חֲנוֹךְ׃ וַיְחִי־יֶרֶד אַחֲרֵי הוֹלִידוֹ אֶת־חֲנוֹךְ חָמֵשׁ וְשְׁמֹנִים שָׁנָה וְשֶׁבַע ויוליד בָּנִים וּבָנוֹת׃ וַיִּהְיוּ כָּל־יְמֵי־יֶרֶד שֶׁבַע וְאַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה וְשְׁמֹנֶה וּתְשַׁע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיָּמֹת׃

[Samaritan Torah] Samaritan Torah notes         Jewish learning notes index


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