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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Exodus 21:7–8 offers an interesting example of the Samaritan Torah following the כְּתִיב, not the קְרִי
And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. If she is bad in the eyes of her master, who has betrothed her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he has dealt deceitfully with her. וְכִי־יִמְכֹּר אִישׁ אֶת־בִּתּוֹ לְאָמָה לֹא תֵצֵא כְּצֵאת הָעֲבָדִים׃ אִם־רָעָה בְּעֵינֵי אֲדֹנֶיהָ אֲשֶׁר־לא (לוֹ) יְעָדָהּ וְהֶפְדָּהּ לְעַם נָכְרִי לֹא־יִמְשֹׁל לְמָכְרָהּ בְּבִגְדוֹ־בָהּ׃
The Samaritan text reads:
And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. If she is bad in the eyes of her master, who has not betrothed her, then he shall let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he has dealt deceitfully with her. וְכִי־יִמְכֹּר אִישׁ אֶת־בִּתּוֹ לְאָמָה לֹא תֵצֵא כְּצֵאת הָעֲבָדִים׃ אִם־רָעָה בְּעֵינֵי אֲדֹנֶיהָ אֲשֶׁר־לֹא יְעָדָהּ וְהֶפְדָּהּ לְעַם נָכְרִי לֹא־יִמְשֹׁל לְמָכְרָהּ בְּבִגְדוֹ־בָהּ׃
Exodus 21:20–21:
And if a man beat his slave, male or female, with a rod, and they die under his hand; they shall surely be avenged. Notwithstanding, if they survive a day or two, they shall not be avenged: for they are his money. וְכִי־יַכֶּה אִישׁ אֶת־עַבְדּוֹ אוֹ אֶת־אֲמָתוֹ בַּשֵּׁבֶט וּמֵת תַּחַת יָדוֹ נָקֹם יִנָּקֵם׃ אַךְ אִם־יוֹם אוֹ יוֹמַיִם יַעֲמֹד לֹא יֻקַּם כִּי כַסְפּוֹ הוּא׃
The Masoretic Text here speaks of the slave being avenged. Rashi explains this means decapitation, drawing on the similarity of wording with Leviticus 26:25:
And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the vengeance of the covenant: וְהֵבֵאתִי עֲלֵיכֶם חֶרֶב נֹקֶמֶת נְקַם־בְּרִית
The Samaritan text, dating from thousands of years earlier than Rashi, makes this overt, bringing the wording in line with that for death following GBH of a freeman a few verses earlier.
And if a man beat his slave, male or female, with a rod, and they die under his hand; he shall surely die. Notwithstanding, if they survive a day or two, he shall not die: for they are his money. וְכִי־יַכֶּה אִישׁ אֶת־עַבְדּוֹ אוֹ אֶת־אֲמָתוֹ בַּשֵּׁבֶט וּמֵת תַּחַת יָדוֹ מוֹת יוָמָת׃ אַךְ אִם־יוֹם אוֹ יוֹמַיִם יַעֲמֹד לֹא יוּמָת כִּי כַסְפּוֹ הוּא׃
Exodus 22:4:
If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man's field; he shall make restitution of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard. כִּי יַבְעֶר־אִישׁ שָׂדֶה אוֹ־כֶרֶם וְשִׁלַּח אֶת־בְּעִירֹה וּבִעֵר בִּשְׂדֵה אַחֵר מֵיטַב שָׂדֵהוּ וּמֵיטַב כַּרְמוֹ יְשַׁלֵּם׃
Samaritan text:
If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man's field; he shall surely pay from his own field according to its produce; and if all the field is ??demanded, he shall make restitution of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard. וְכִּי יַבְעִיר־אִישׁ שָׂדֶה אוֹ־כֶרֶם וְשִׁלַּח אֶת־בְּעִירוֹ וּבִעֵר בִּשְׂדֵה אַחֵר שַׁלֵּם יְשַׁלֵּם מִשָׂדֵהוּ כִּתְבוּאָתָהּ וְאִם כָּל־השָּׂדֶה יבעי מֵיטַב שָׂדֵהוּ וּמֵיטַב כַּרְמוֹ יְשַׁלֵּם׃
Exodus 22:6:
If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man's house; if the thief be found, let him pay double. כִּי־יִתֵּן אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ כֶּסֶף אוֹ־כֵלִים לִשְׁמֹר וְגֻנַּב מִבֵּית הָאִישׁ אִם־יִמָּצֵא הַגַּנָּב יְשַׁלֵּם שְׁנָיִם׃
The Samaritan text has curious wording here and two verses later:
If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man's house; if the thief be found, he shall pay one twice. כִּי־יִתֵּן אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ כֶּסֶף אוֹ־כֵלִים לִשְׁמֹר וְגִנְנַּב מִבֵּית הָאִישׁ אִם־יִמָּצֵא הַגַּנָּב וְשִׁלֵּם אֶחָד שְׁנָיִם׃
Exodus 22:24:
If you lend money to any of my people that is poor by you, you shall not be to him as an usurer, neither shall you lay upon him usury. אִם־כֶּסֶף תַּלְוֶה אֶת־עַמִּי אֶת־הֶעָנִי עִמָּךְ לֹא־תִהְיֶה לוֹ כְּנֹשֶׁה לֹא־תְשִׂימוּן עָלָיו נֶשֶׁךְ׃
The Samaritan text has one of its changes here that might not have different meaning in Samaritan Hebrew, but appears to me to read:
If you lend money to any of my people that is poor by you, you shall not be to him as a prince, neither shall you lay upon him usury. אִם־כֶּסֶף תַּלְוֶה אֶת־עַמִּי אֶת־הֶעָנִי עִמָּךְ לֹא־תִהְיֶה לוֹ כְּנָשִׂיא לֹא־תְשִׂימֶנוּ עָלָיו נֶשֶׁךְ׃

It's a curious fact about Biblical Hebrew that it has two very similar words for "garment", שִׂמְלָה śimlā and שַׂלְמָה śalmā. Exodus 22:25 features the first of these in the Masoretic Text, and the second in the Samaritan. Klein's dictionary confirms my supposition, that these arose out of metathesis of each other. Of course, if that had not happened, we would not have had the cute little story about Rashi and Yehuda Halevi that relies on the fact שלמה spells multiple words.

Exodus 23:17 has another ד/ר confusion: In the Masoretic Text:
Three items in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord YHWH. שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים בַּשָּׁנָה יֵרָאֶה כָּל־זְכוּרְךָ אֶל־פְּנֵי הָאָדֹן ה׳׃
It's unusual to find the word אָדוֹן used for God in the Torah. (I am rendering the Tetragrammaton here with "YHWH" as "the Lord Lord" is rather confusing in English). The Samaritan Text has here:
Three items in the year all your males shall appear before the Ark of the Lord. שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים בַּשָּׁנָה יֵרָאֶה כָּל־זְכוּרְךָ אֶל־פְּנֵי הָאָרוֹן ה׳׃

The same thing occurs in 34:23.

Ex. 23:19:

The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God. You shall not seethe a kid in his mother's milk. רֵאשִׁית בִּכּוּרֵי אַדְמָתְךָ תָּבִיא בֵּית ה׳ אֱלֹהֶיךָ לֹא־תְבַשֵּׁל גְּדִי בַּחֲלֵב אִמּוֹ׃

This is the first of three prohibitions on eating a kid with its mother's milk in the Torah; the Torah does not give any reason for it, nor does the Talmud. Later commentators try: for the Rambam it was "somehow connected with idolatry. Perhaps it was part of the ritual of certain pagan festivals. I find support for this view in the fact that two of the times the Lord mentions the prohibition, it is after the commandment concerning the festivals: Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord." For Abarbanel and Luzatto it is a humanitarian ordinance intended to discourage a practice that would tend to harden the heart; for Rashbam: against gluttony; for Sforno: Humane, like שִׁלוּחַ הַקַּן. The Or haChaim says the practice is barbaric, like slaying nursing infants. Perhaps Ibn Ezra is most honest when he says we don't know the reason for it.

The Samaritan text, however, reads:
The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of your God. You shall not seethe a kid in his mother's milk, for to do this is like a sacrifice forgotten, and it is a rage to the God of Jacob. רֵאשִׁית בִּכּוּרֵי אַדְמָתְךָ תָּבִיא בֵּיתָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לֹא־תְבַשֵּׁל גְּדִי בַּחֲלֵב אִמּוֹ כִּי עָשָה זאֹת כְּזֶבַח שְׁכֹחַ וְעֶבְרָה הִיא לֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב׃

Some Septuagint MSS follow this reading too, except in place of שכח "forgotten", they have “...is hated” or “...sacrifices a mole”. One DSS may follow ST but breaks off halfway through the first letter—see diagram on p. 13 of this article. That article also points out that the three meanings of the root עבר, pregnancy, transgression and divine wrath, all occur all within a few sentences in another DSS fragment. (The relevance to pregnancy is of course that it is what precedes having both a kid and its mother's milk.)

Exodus 24:7 famously says:
[Moses] took the book of the covenant, and read in the hearing of the people: and they said, All that the Lord has said will we do and hear. וַיִּקַּח סֵפֶר הַבְּרִית וַיִּקְרָא בְּאָזְנֵי הָעָם וַיֹּאמְרוּ כֹּל אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר ה׳ נַעֲשֶׂה וְנִשְׁמָע׃
There's a famous midrash about this: God first offers the Torah to other nations, but when they ask what's in it and God tells them, they balk at it and God moves on. Eventually, God comes to Israel, and Israel says נַעֲשֶׂה וְנִשְׁמָע, i.e. "we will do [first] and [then] hear [what's in it]." However, the Samaritan text reads:
[Moses] took the book of the covenant, and read in the hearing of the people: and they said, All that the Lord has said will we hear and do. וַיִּקַּח סֵפֶר הַבְּרִית וַיִּקְרָא בְּאָזְנֵי הָעָם וַיֹּאמְרוּ כֹּל אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר ה׳ נִשְׁמָע וְנַעֲשֶׂה ׃

[Samaritan Torah] Samaritan Torah notes         Jewish learning notes index


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