lethargic_man: "Happy the person that finds wisdom, and the person that gets understanding."—Prov. 3:13. Icon by Tamara Rigg (limmud)
[personal profile] lethargic_man

In the episode of the golden calf, the people get scared when Moses doesn't come down from Mt Sinai, and talk Aaron into making an idol for them. Strangely, Aaron receives no reprimand from God or Moses over this... or he does not in the Masoretic Text, at least. In the Samaritan Text, he does, concording with the account given in Deuteronomy:

The Lord said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of you a great nation." And against Aaron the Lord was very angry [intending] to destroy him, and Moses prayed on behalf of Aaron. וַיֹּאמֶר ה׳ אֶל־מֹשֶׁה רָאִיתִי אֶת־הָעָם הַזֶּה וְהִנֵּה עַם־קְשֵׁה־עֹרֶף הוּא׃ וְעַתָּה הַנִּיחָה לִּי וְיִחַר־אַפִּי בָם וַאֲכַלֵּם וְאֶעֱשֶׂה אֹתְךָ לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל׃ וּבְאַהֲרֹן הִתְאַנָף ה׳ מְאֹד לְהַשְׁמִדוֹ וַיִתְפַּלֵּל מֹשֶׁה בְּעַד אַהֲרֹן׃

This comes before the verse in which Moses prays to God to spare the people.

When Moses asks to see God's glory, God responds with the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy (Ex. 34:6–7), which are normally translated:

The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in goodness and truth; keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and clearing the guilty. וַיַּעֲבֹר ה׳ עַל־פָּנָיו וַיִּקְרָא ה׳ ה׳ אֵל רַחוּם וְחַנּוּן אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם וְרַב־חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת׃ נֹצֵר חֶסֶד לָאֲלָפִים נֹשֵׂא עָוֹן וָפֶשַׁע וְחַטָּאָה וְנַקֵּה
This is a really sneaky thing we do with the verse, because we're actually stopping halfway through an emphatic negative; the verse reads in full:
The Lord passed by before him, and he proclaimed: "The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in goodness and truth; keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and by no means clearing the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation." וַיַּעֲבֹר ה׳ עַל־פָּנָיו וַיִּקְרָא ה׳ ה׳ אֵל רַחוּם וְחַנּוּן אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם וְרַב־חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת׃ נֹצֵר חֶסֶד לָאֲלָפִים נֹשֵׂא עָוֹן וָפֶשַׁע וְחַטָּאָה וְנַקֵּה [end of quoted text] לֹא יְנַקֶּה פֹּקֵד עֲוֹן אָבוֹת עַל־בָּנִים וְעַל־בְּנֵי בָנִים עַל־שִׁלֵּשִׁים וְעַל־רִבֵּעִים׃
The Samaritan text, however, substitutes לוֹ "to him" for the homophonic לֹא "not", changing the meaning to what we say in our liturgy:
The Lord passed by before him, and he proclaimed: "The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in goodness and truth; keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and clearing the guilty for him; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation." וַיַּעֲבֹר ה׳ עַל־פָּנָיו וַיִּקְרָא ה׳ ה׳ אֵל רַחוּם וְחַנּוּן אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם וְרַב־חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת׃ נֹצֵר חֶסֶד לָאֲלָפִים נֹשֵׂא עָוֹן וָפֶשַׁע וְחַטָּאָה וְנַקֵּה לוֹ יְנַקֶּה פֹּקֵד עֲוֹן אָבוֹת עַל־בָּנִים וְעַל־בְּנֵי בָנִים עַל־שִׁלֵּישִׁים וְעַל־רִבֵּיעִים׃

I suspect, however, that the Masoretic Text has the right of it here, though, as I can think of no place where I've seen an emphatic split in this way, except by לֹא to negate it (and even then extremely rarely).

This was the last interesting discrepancy between the two texts in the Book of Exodus; see you in פַּרְשַׁת וַיִּקְרָא!

[Samaritan Torah] Samaritan Torah notes         Jewish learning notes index


Date: 2013-02-25 03:58 pm (UTC)
liv: In English: My fandom is text obsessed / In Hebrew: These are the words (words)
From: [personal profile] liv
Yeah, I think the Samaritans are really reaching here. וְנַקֵּה לוֹ יְנַקֶּה doesn't even sound grammatical to me, and there's also the parallelism with פֹּקֵד עֲוֹן אָבוֹת which really argues against that variant.

Date: 2013-02-26 10:37 am (UTC)
liv: In English: My fandom is text obsessed / In Hebrew: These are the words (words)
From: [personal profile] liv
Is it actually forbidden to quote half verses at all, or is it specifically forbidden to derive halachic principles from quoting half verses? Or to read less than a complete verse during leyning, which is a different thing again? Basically all the liturgy is bits of different verses sewn together to make prayers which are full of Biblical allusions but mostly not direct quotes. So I'm not clear exactly where the prohibition lies?

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