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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In Gen. 33:18, the Masoretic Text reads:

Jacob came to Shālém, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddān-Arām; and pitched his tent before the city. וַיָּבֹא יַעֲקֹב שָׁלֵם עִיר שְׁכֶם אֲשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן בְּבֹאוֹ מִפַּדַּן אֲרָם וַיִּחַן אֶת־פְּנֵי הָעִיר׃
Which is odd, because Shalem is elsewhere in Genesis interpreted as a name of Jerusalem, which is not near Shechem (modern Nablus) at all. The Samaritan text reads here:
Jacob came in peace to a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddān-Arām; and pitched his tent before the city. וַיָּבֹא יַעֲקֹב שׁלום עִיר שְׁכֶם אֲשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן בְּבֹאוֹ מִפַּדַּן אֲרָם וַיִּחַן אֶת־פְּנֵי הָעִיר׃

This substitution makes sense, as he has just survived the long-feared encounter with his brother.

The episode of the rape of Dinah begins in the Masoretic Text (Gen. 34:1) with:

Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. וַתֵּצֵא דִינָה בַּת־לֵאָה אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה לְיַעֲקֹב לִרְאוֹת בִּבְנוֹת הָאָרֶץ׃
The Samaritan text is a little less sympathetic to her:
Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob, went out to show [herself] to the daughters of the land. וַתֵּצֵא דִינָה בַּת־לֵאָה אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה לְיַעֲקֹב לְהַרְאוֹת בִּבְנוֹת הָאָרֶץ׃
When Shechem afterwards comes to demand her hand in marriage, the sons of Jacob deceive him, saying (inter alia):
Then will we give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters to us; we will dwell with you, and become one people. וְנָתַנּוּ אֶת־בְּנֹתֵינוּ לָכֶם וְאֶת־בְּנֹתֵיכֶם נִקַּח־לָנוּ וְיָשַׁבְנוּ אִתְּכֶם וְהָיִינוּ לְעַם אֶחָד׃
In the Samaritan text, even in their dissimulation they're not willing to say they'll completely subsume their identity:
Then will we give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters to us; we will dwell with you, and become like one people. וְנָתַנּוּ אֶת־בְּנֹתֵינוּ לָכֶם וְאֶת־בְּנֹתֵיכֶם נִקַּח־לָנוּ וְיָשַׁבְנוּ אִתְּכֶם וְהָיִינוּ כְּעַם אֶחָד׃
Gen 35:9 reads:
God appeared to Jacob again, when he came out of Paddan Aram; and he blessed him. וַיֵּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶל־יַעֲקֹב עוֹד בְּבֹאוֹ מִפַּדַּן אֲרָם וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתוֹ׃
Who blessed whom? The Samaritan text makes clear:
God appeared to Jacob again, when he came out of Paddan Aram; and God blessed him. וַיֵּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶל־יַעֲקֹב עוֹד בְּבֹאוֹ מִפַּדַּן אֲרָם וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתוֹ אֱלֹהִים׃

A famous disparity now (Gen. 35:18):

It came to pass, as she was expiring (for she died) that [Rachel] called his name Ben-Oni [son of my sorrow]: but his father called him Binyāmin. וַיְהִי בְּצֵאת נַפְשָׁהּ כִּי מֵתָה וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ בֶּן־אוֹנִי וְאָבִיו קָרָא־לוֹ בִנְיָמִין׃
The Samaritan text has:
It came to pass, as she was expiring (for she died) that [Rachel] called his name Ben-Oni: but his father called him Binyāmim. וַיְהִי בְּצֵאת נַפְשָׁהּ כִּי מֵתָה וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ בֶּן־אוֹנִי וְאָבִיו קָרָא־לוֹ בִנְיָמִים׃
"Binyāmin" (Benjamin) means "son of my right [hand]", though Rashi et. al. point out it could also mean "son of the south", since he was the only of Jacob's children born in Canaan rather than Aram (Syria). "Binyāmim" means "son of [my] old age" (lit. "son of days"), which makes sense as he was the last of Jacob's children. Rashi et. al. indeed interpret "Binyāmin" as meaning "son of my old age", but the "-in" masculine plural ending only entered Hebrew from Aramaic a millennium and more after his time.
Genesis 36:2-4 בראשית לו ב-ד
Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite; And Basemath Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nevaioth. And Adah bore to Esau Eliphaz; and Basemath bore Reuel; עֵשָׂו לָקַח אֶת־נָשָׁיו מִבְּנוֹת כְּנָעַן אֶת־עָדָה בַּת־אֵילוֹן הַחִתִּי וְאֶת־אָהֳלִיבָמָה בַּת־עֲנָה בַּת־צִבְעוֹן הַחִוִּי׃ וְאֶת־בָּשְׂמַת בַּת־יִשְׁמָעֵאל אֲחוֹת נְבָיוֹת׃ וַתֵּלֶד עָדָה לְעֵשָׂו אֶת־אֱלִיפָז וּבָשְׂמַת יָלְדָה אֶת־רְעוּאֵל׃
Hang on a tick! Gen. 26:34 tells us Basemath was the daughter of Elon the Hittite; Gen. 28:9 tells us it was Mahalath who was the daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nevaioth, whom Esau took as a wife. The Samaritan text resolves the difficulty by modifying the above verses:
Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the son of Zibeon the Hivite; And Mahalath Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebajoth. And Adah bore to Esau Eliphaz; and Mahalath bore Reuel; עֵשָׂו לָקַח אֶת־נָשָׁיו מִבְּנוֹת כְּנָעַן אֶת־עָדָה בַּת־אֵילוֹן הַחִתִּי וְאֶת־אָהֳלִיבָמָה בַּת־עֲנָה בֶּן־צִבְעוֹן הַחִוִּי׃ וְאֶת־מָחֲלַת בַּת־יִשְׁמָעֵאל אֲחוֹת נְבָיוֹת׃ וַתֵּלֶד עָדָה לְעֵשָׂו אֶת־אֱלִיפָז וּמָחֲלַת יָלְדָה אֶת־רְעוּאֵל׃
Finally, no discussion of this passage would be complete without quoting Andrew Plotkin's .sig (pertaining to the following verse):
"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."
I think of it this week every year. :o)

[Samaritan Torah] Samaritan Torah notes         Jewish learning notes index


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