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1. In some Masorah magna (Mm) notes in Codex Leningradensis (L) Hebrew simanim ("catchwords") are replaced or supplemented by Aramaic simanim. What makes these Aramaic simanim so distinctive is that they are not mere translations of the Hebrew simanim into Aramaic, that is, they do not reflect Targumic translations,1 but are actually mnemonics. Each Aramaic word which is part of the mnemonic corresponds with a Hebrew word in one of the verses in which the lemma occurs. It is the intention of this article to provide a full list2 and improved readings3 of these mnemonics, outline their nature and extent, and suggest what practical use they might have for modern scholars. We shall also discuss various problems involved in the interpretation of these mnemonics and how solutions to some of these problems can often be found in other Masorahs.
2. There are thirty-eight Aramaic mnemonics in L,4 and just as with the Hebrew simanim, they are not listed with every occurrence of a lemma. Most of the Aramaic mnemonics occur only once with each lemma, though some appear twice.5 Sometimes the Hebrew simanim will be given with one reference of a lemma and the Aramaic simanim will be given with another reference.6 When this occurs the Aramaic simanim usually appear with the earliest reference. There are also some examples of the existence of both Hebrew and Aramaic simanim in the same note.7
3. An example of how the Aramaic mnemonics work may be illustrated from the mnemonic attached to the lemma tyrIb;b@i at 1 Sam 20:8 (see Figure 1). The mnemonic reads: (bt#)w )db( rb( "the servant passed by and swore" (#1641). Each Aramaic word of the mnemonic corresponds in some fashion with a Hebrew word in the verse it is representing. The three verses in which the lemma tyrIb;b@i occur are Deut 29:11; 1 Sam 20:8; and Ezek 16:8. The Aramaic rb( "he passed by" corresponds with K1r:b;(fl; "to make you pass" of Deut 29:11;)db( "servant" with K1d@Eb;(a "your servant" of 1 Sam 20:8; and (bt#)w "he swore" with (ba#$%f)ewF "and I swore" of Ezek 16:8.
4. Another example is the Aramaic mnemonic which occurs at 1 Chron 13:4 attached to the word r#$ayF (see Figure 2). The Masoretic note states that the form occurs three times, and it presents the simanim in the form of an Aramaic mnemonic: )lhql )twrxp tbyhyty) "The pot was given to the assembly" (#4071). The three verses in which the word r#$ayF occurs are Jer 27:5; 18:4; and 1 Chron 13:4. In these verses tbyhyty) "it was given" corresponds with hfyt@itan:w% "I shall give her" of Jer 27:5; )twrxp "the pot" with ylik@;ha "the vessel" of Jer 18:4; and )lhql "to the assembly" with lhfq@fha "the assembly" of 1 Chron 13:4. A point to be noted in both these examples, and of all the Aramaic mnemonics to be examined, is that the Aramaic forms corresponding to the catchwords do not replicate precisely the Hebrew forms but convey in general the meanings of the Hebrew words.8 Thus in our last example, the Hebrew catchword hfyt@itan:w% "I shall give her" in Jer 27:5 is not translated literally into Aramaic; instead, only the idea of "giving" is represented in the form tbyhyty) "it was given." Similarly, the Hebrew word lhfq@fha "the assembly" in 1 Chron 13:4 is augmented by a preposition in the Aramaic phrase )lhql "to the assembly."
5. The length of the Aramaic mnemonics in L varies. The vast majority, over two-thirds, consists of three to five words. The remainder contain sentences ranging from two (e.g. Ny#by hyylxn "dry wadis" [#1097a]) to thirteen words, and there are two which have twenty-two words.9 The lengthy ones are mouthfuls such as: l)kymb trq#w )tmykx htn)b hdy +#pd qr(w )mx whyqdc hyb# )b#d )rbgl #pt "He seized the man who had taken a captive, Zedekiah saw and fled, and stretched forth his hand at the wise woman who lied to Michael" (#3044), and )pskw )rmx Nwhyx)lw )klmd ywmrg )yyt#lp wxl#w wxl# ywl# )yybs "the elders sent quail, the Philistines sent the bones of the king, and wine and silver to their brothers" (#399). One of longest mnemonics in L is
htwkzb hrbdm Nmw )(r) Nm Nwpwsy hnwzb wwx) hl+q (#why )mykx M(lb )my+s Nbl )tym l)(m#y"Ishmael the dead one, Laban the begrudger, Balaam the wise. Joshua killed him; he showed him the harlot. They will perish from the land and from the wilderness. By the merit of Absalom the evil beast had no power over him. The man who heard did not get angry" (#1444). The modern observer can only marvel how such a lengthy and involved sentence could serve the Masoretes as a memory aid.
h#pn hsk(tm )lw (m#d )rbwg )t#yb )twyx hb t+l# )l Mwl#b)d
6. Nevertheless, some of the shorter mnemonics can be useful for us today and serve the same practical memory aid as they did for the Masoretes. For example, if we wish to remember the three occurrences of the phrase MyrIbfd@:ha yr"xj)a yhiy:wA "now after (these) things" we may want to recall the Aramaic mnemonic tymw #)bt)w dlyt) "he was born, he became ill, and he died" (#154). The mnemonic tells us that these are the three passages when this phrase occurs: in anticipation of Rebecca's birth (Gen 22:20), when Jacob became ill (Gen 48:1) and when Joshua died (Josh 24:29). The first Aramaic word dlyt) "he was born" corresponds with the Hebrew form hdFl;yF, said in anticipation of Rebecca's birth; the second Aramaic word #)bt)w "he became ill" corresponds with the Hebrew form hlewOx, said of Jacob's illness; and the third Aramaic word tymw "he died" corresponds with the Hebrew tmfy,FwA, said of Joshua. All three together make up the mnemonic tymw #)bt)w dlyt). So when we wish to recall the contexts or verses in which the phrase MyrIbfd@:ha yr"xj)a yhiy:wA occurs, we only have to think of the mnemonic "he was born, he became ill, and he died," and what should come to mind is Rebecca's birth in Gen 22, Jacob's illness in Gen 48, and Joshua's death in Josh 24.
7. As can be seen from the examples we have already quoted, the contents of the Aramaic mnemonics are quite diverse. Most consist of amusing and often asyndetical sentences of the type ts(kw tyrq t(m# Nmys "you heard a sign, you read, and you were angry" (#1133); hyrbxw )rwtp hy#pnb )ls "the basket by itself, the table and its companion" (#3544); Ml#wryd )tr+wq hyskml Kwr) hnwr)d htt)l hk)lm rm) "the angel said to his wife that the ark is long enough to cover the incense of Jerusalem" (#389); and h#)rb hrqdw hyzx )klm htyb Nm tzgr httn) "a woman angrily rushed from the house, the king saw her and pierced her head" (#1483).
8. As befits wisdom literature in general, a number of the mnemonics promote wisdom, good conduct and pious behavior, as for example: )rpys )rbgl tbyhyw tc( )ttny) "the wise woman gave a book to the man" (#3917); hmkx xk#)w )rp )ryxb hyl+w "and the chosen lad ran and found wisdom" (#4026); )zgwr dr+ hbwr "a prince drives out anger" (#2814); and )tb# Nwbtkw l)r#y Nwmq "Israel stood and wrote the Sabbath" (#1451). One mnemonic imparts grammatical information: h)ygs htwnyksm hymry hydyxy htwnyksm )yklm "in the Book of Kings the word 'poverty' occurs as a singular, in the Book of Jeremiah the word 'poverty' occurs as a plural" (#2765).
9. In these sentences biblical characters roam freely: )yqydc Nymynbd )ytnsx) )tnsx) "the sublime inheritance of Benjamin the righteous" (#3420); Kymxr ybsm hsr(l qls yl( "Eli goes up onto his bed and waits for your mercies" (#2231); lbbb Nyqrb qrbw )yyb)wmd Nwhyrhn ycy# hyys) l)wm# "Samuel destroyed the healing of the rivers of Moab and lightnings flashed against Babylon" (#2726); and rts)l )yx r+nw )tqdc Pdr )b+ "the good man pursues rightousness and preserves the life of Esther" (#3234).
10. There are many mnemonics concerning animals, as in: hrw+q htlg( )mwy lkh "shall the heifer be tied up all day?" (#2310); hyswsl hmkx Nyl)# hyyblk Nwwh "the dogs were asking wisdom from horses" (#2412); Kxgw rkd) hyr) lpnw (bt#) hrwt "he swore by the Torah and the lion fell, he remembered and laughed" (#2494); and )trcwcxb )yb+ Nwmq Nwkdy) )lhq lkw )byd "the wolf and all the congregation were purified, the good men rose with trumpets" (#3888).
11. The rest are a mixed bag and include enigmatic and presumably memorable phrases like: )xwr )tlymd hlyx "the spirit is the power of the word" (#30); Nyly+q Nynmyh l)r#yd )yydb( "the faithful servants of Israel are killed" (#403); Nypyrx ywlmd )rbgl trks yt(dm "because I know I shut up the man of harsh words" (#2272); tdqpt) Nyygsd qswn Mwqyn "let us rise and go up, for I was commanded many things" (#3722); hlmrkb hyyntml tmxr "she loved to tell it on the Carmel" (#2090); and yl (m# )#n rb )rbwg )rbg "O mighty mortal man listen to me!" (#3193).
12. A word should now be said about some problems which are involved in the interpretation of these mnemonics. First of all, identification of the mnemonics with their associated biblical verses is sometimes complicated by the fact that part of an Aramaic mnemonic may refer to a section rather than a specific verse. For example, in the mnemonic Myklmd hxrw)b +qlw xtpyd hry(b Myrp) "Ephraim is the cattle of Jephthah and gleans in the path of kings" (2038), the reader has to be aware that the reference to "Jephthah" is not to the name "Jephthah" but to chapter 11 in Judges where the story of Jephthah occurs, and that the word for "kings" refers not to actual "kings" but to the "Book of Kings." Likewise in the mnemonic )yyn(nkd Nwh(r)b Nyklm htltw r#( yrt Nm hr#( Nwhl bhy xn rb M#d )db(l l+qt )l "Do not kill the servant of Shem, the son of Noah, and give them ten from twelve, and three kings in the land of the Canaanites" (#878), the reader has to be alert to the fact that the numbers in this mnemonic have special significance. The "ten" and "twelve" refer to the section in Numbers 7 about the twelve tribal leaders, and the "three kings" refers to the three kings of Josh 12:13-15.
13. A second problem is that sometimes there are not enough parts of the mnemonic to represent all the verses which the mnemonic is supposed to illustrate. We can demonstrate this problem with a very short Aramaic mnemonic: Mnhygd hrbdm "the wilderness of Gehinnom" (#1097b). This mnemonic consists of only two words, but it is supposed to illustrate a phenomenon of three exceptional cases in Ps 107:35; Prov 30:16; and Ps 66:12 when MyIma with an atnah[ occurs with a patah[. The two words of the mnemonic do correspond with counterparts in Ps 107:35 and Prov 30:16, but there is no Aramaic word to correspond with Ps 66:12. Fortunately, we are helped here by the Masorah of the Miqra)ot Gedolot which cites this mnemonic at Ps 66:12 and Prov 30:16 as Mnhygd )rwnw )rbdm "the wilderness and fire of Gehinnom." Here we have the expected three words and the third Aramaic word )rwnw "and fire" corrresponds exactly with its equivalent #$)'b@f "with fire" in Ps 66:12.
14. A third problem with the Aramaic mnemonics is that it is not always easy to identify which parts of the mnemonic go with particular biblical verses. In every mnemonic each Aramaic word or phrase should represent a translated Hebrew catchword, but there are some mnemonics where the Aramaic words do not seem to have any connection with the biblical verses. For example, in the mnemonic l) rzx tnk#m hlm "God has returned the pledged thing" (#1213) all the Aramaic words except one--l) "God"--can be connected to appropriate biblical verses. By a process of elimination we can determine that l) "God" ought to be connected with Deut 29:4, but there is no Hebrew word in this verse with which l) can correspond.10 There are even some mnemonics where none of the Aramaic catchwords has any connection with any of the biblical verses. For example, the mnemonic at Lev 3:9 illustrating the lemma blex'ha t)ew: reads: )rwtd hrwkb l)r#yl )rbwg brq "the man brought the first born of the ox to Israel" (#669). But the Aramaic mnemonic does not seem to correspond with any catchword in the verses where blex'ha t)ew: occurs. Thus neither in Exod 29:22; Lev 3:9; 7:3; 7:33; nor 9:10 is there a mention of "a man," "a first born," "an ox" or "Israel." It is most likely in this case that the mnemonic has been misplaced and that it should apply to a different lemma.
15. That the possibility of misplacement does occur is evidenced by the mnemonic attached to a lemma at 1 Kgs 19:19. Here the Masoretic notation reads: "There are seven verses in which the pronominal forms )w%hw: and )w%hw: occur," and the Aramaic mnemonic given to illustrate the verses is: rm+mw lqmw yyt# l)r#yw ylzrb Nmw)w )yymwd) qpnw "The ruddy one [David] went out and the craftsman Barzilay, and Israel drinks, mocks, and hides" (#2017). We know that the seven verses where this lemma )w%hw: )w%hw: occur are Judg 17:7; 1 Kgs 2:8; 19:19; Isa 8:13; Hos 7:9; Zech 6:13; and 1 Chron 2:21. But none of the catchwords of the mnemonic matches the Hebrew verses. Thus there is no "ruddy one," no "Barzilay," no "Israel," no "craftsman," etc., in these verses. It seems that this mnemonic has been misplaced. The mnemonic belongs not with the lemma )w%hw: )w%hw: but rather with the closely associated lemma )w%h )w%hw:. The verses for this lemma are Judg 3:24; 1 Sam 16:12; 2 Sam 19:33, etc. The Aramaic words of our mnemonic perfectly match the Hebrew catchwords for these verses. Thus qpnw corresponds with )cfyF of Judg 3:24; )yymwd) corresponds with ynIwOmd:)a of 1 Sam 16:12; ylzrb matches yl@azIr:baw% of 2 Sam 19:33, and so on. The misplacement is easily explained since one lemma )w%hw: )w%hw: occurs in 1 Kgs 19:19 and the other )w%h )w%hw: occurs in 1 Kgs 20:12, both lemmas appear on the same folio (#199v) in L. The naqdan simply assigned the mnemonic to the wrong lemma.
16. Sometimes these types of catchword problems in L may be explained by checking different forms of the mnemonic in other Masorahs. We have seen above how the mnemonic Mnhygd hrbdm "the wilderness of Gehinnom" was clarified in this way. Another example where an external Masorah helps explain an Aramaic mnemonic in L is with the mnemonic htt)b #nrbd htwdx "the joy of mortal man is with his wife" (#3094). The words of this mnemonic should match up with three biblical verses: Prov 15:23; 16:1; and Mic 3:7. The first and second parts of the mnemonic do indeed correspond with their matching verses, but the third part htt)b "with his wife" does not correspond with any word in its designated verse Mic 3:7, since there is no "woman" or "wife" in this verse. However, the variant form of this mnemonic in Miqra)ot Gedolot at Prov 15:23 reads )tthb #nrbd htwdx "the joy of mortal man is shame." Here the third part of the mnemonic )tthb "shame" does correspond with one of the Hebrew words in Mich 3:7, with w%#$bow% "they shall be shamed." The form of the mnemonic in L is probably a scribal error, an interchange of the letters he and aleph, the effect being to transform the noun )tthb "shame" into a phrase consisting of the preposition bet and the noun htt) "wife."
17. In conclusion, our study has shown the nature and complexity of Aramaic mnemonics, how they were used in the Mm of L, and what practical use these mnemonics might have for modern scholars. We have indicated various problems which are involved in the interpretation of these mnemonics. We have pointed out that identification of the mnemonics with their associated biblical verses is not always easy because sometimes there are not enough parts of the mnemonic to represent all the verses which the mnemonic is supposed to illustrate, and sometimes one cannot identify which parts of a mnemonic go with a particular biblical verse. However, we have suggested that solutions to some of these problems can often be found by recourse to other Masorahs.
18. This Appendix lists all the Aramaic mnemonics which occur in L. They are listed sequentially according to their occurrence in Weil 1971. The Hebrew lemma indicates on what word or words the mnemonic occurs in the Mm, and the number tells how many times the lemma occurs in the Hebrew Bible. Every occurrence of an Aramaic mnemonic is indicated by an asterisk (*) after the biblical citation and the exact folio in L where the mnemonic is found. When Hebrew simanim are given instead of the mnemonic, the citation is indicated by a plus sign (+) followed by the folio in L where these simanim are listed. The biblical citations are listed according to their position in the mnemonic.
|Weil #||Word in MT||# of times||Aramaic mnemonic||Translation||References|
|30||Ps't@o||3||)xwr )tlymd hlyx||The spirit is the power of the word.||Gen 4:12* [3r]; Deut 13:1+ [107v]; Ps 104:29|
|154||MyrIbfd@:ha yr"xj)a yhiy:wA||3||tymw #)bt)w dlyt)||He was born, he became ill, and he died.||Gen 22:20* [12r]; Gen 48:1+ [30r]; Josh 24:29|
|389||hle(J)a||8||Kwr) hnwr)d htt)l hk)lm rm)|
Ml#wryd )tr+wq hyskml
|The angel said to his wife that the ark is long enough to cover the incense of Jerusalem.||Exod 3:17+ [32v]; Judg 2:1* [137r]; 1 Sam 28:11; 2 Sam 24:24; Jer 30:17;46:8; Ps 66:15; 137:6|
|399||w%ps;)ay,AwA||10||)yyt#lp wxl#w wxl# ywl# )yybs|
11)pskw )rmx Nwhyx)lw )klmd ywmrg
|The elders sent quail, the Philistines sent the bones of the king, and wine and silver to their brothers.||Exod 4:29* [33v]; Num 11:32* [82r]; 1 Sam 5:8, 11; 17:1: 2 Sam 21:13; 2 Kgs 23:1; 2 Chr 29:15; Jer 40:12; 2 Chr 24:11|
|403||Nt@fnI||4||Nyly+q Nynmyh l)r#yd )yydb(||The faithful servants of Israel are killed.||Exod 5:16* [34r]; 2 Chr 28:5* [359r]; Isa 33:16; Ezek 32:25|
|669||blex'ha t)ew:||5||)rwtd hrwkb l)r#yl )rbwg brq||The man brought the first born of the ox to Israel.||Exod 29:22; Lev 3:9* [57v]; 7:3, 33; 9:10.12|
|878||verses in the Hebrew Bible which have neither the letter waw nor the letter yod||2213||xn rb M#d )db(l l+qt )l|
r#( yrt Nm hr#( Nwhl bhy
)yyn(nkd Nwh(r)b Nyklm htltw
|Do not kill the servant of Shem, the son of Noah, and give them ten from twelve, and three kings in the land of the Canaanites.||Exod 20:13; Ps 19:12; 1 Chr 1:24; Lam 3:65; 1 Chr 24:14; Num 7:14, 20, 26, 32, 38, 44, 50, 56, 62* [79v], 68, 74, 80; Josh 12:13+ [128v], 14, 15; Ps 105:11; 1 Chr 16:18|
|1097a||MyImf||2||Ny#by hyylxn14||Dry wadis.||Deut 8:7* [104r]; Joel 1:20* [307v]|
|1097b||MyIma||315||Mnhygd [)rwnw] hrbdm||The wilderness [and fire] of Gehinnom.||Ps 107:35; 66:12; Prov 30:16+ [420r] . The Aramaic mnemonic is cited in Deut 8:7* [104r] and in Joel 1:20* [307v].16|
|1133||Mt@f(:dAy:||4||ts(kw tyrq t(m# Nmys||You heard a sign, you read, and you were angry.||Deut 13:3* [107v]; Isa 48:6+ [239r ]; Jer 33:3; Ezek 32:9|
|1213||hmfl;#&a||4||l) rzx tnk#m hlm||God has returned the pledged thing.||Exod 22:8; 25; Deut 24:13; 29:4* [116v].17|
|1444||w%l||22||M(lb )my+s Nbl )tym l)(m#y|
hnwzb 18wwx) hl+q (#why )mykx
hrbdm Nmw )(r) Nm Nwpwsy
hb t+l# )l Mwl#b)d htwkzb
)lw (m#d )rbwg )t#yb )twyx
|Ishmael the dead one, Laban the begrudger, Balaam the wise. Joshua killed him; he showed him the harlot. They will perish from the land and from the wilderness. By the merit of Absalom the evil beast had no power over him. The man who heard did not get angry.||Gen 17:18; 23:13; 30:34; 50:15; Num 22:29; Deut 32:29; Josh 7:7; Judg 8:19* [141v]; 13:23; 1 Sam 14:30; Num 20:3; 14:2; Isa 48:18; 2 Sam 19:7; Isa 63:19; Ezek 14:15; 2 Sam 18:12\Mic 2:11; Ps 81:14; Job 6:2; 16:4.19|
|1451||Mt@e)aw:||4||20)tb# Nwbtkw l)r#y Nwmq||Israel stood and wrote the Sabbath.||Judg 9:18* [142r]; Ezek 36:8* [295v]; Josh 18:6; Neh 13:18|
|1483||w%hybi)f||7||)klm htyb Nm tzgr httn)|
21h#)rb hrqdw hyzx
|A woman angrily rushed from the house, the king saw her and pierced her head.||Judg 14:10* [145v], 19; 16:31; 1 Kgs 5:15; 2 Chr 3:1; Zech 13:3* [324r]; 1 Chr 26:10|
|1641||tyrIb;b@i||3||(bt#)w )db( rb(||The servant passed by and swore.||Deut 29:11; 1 Sam 20:8* [162r]; Ezek 16:8+ [283r]|
|1666||twOdcfm;bi||8||Myrm rm+m hrbdmb hyydgd htr(m|
)twm 22hl #q) lbb
|He hides in the caves of Gedi in the wilderness, he raises Babylon and death was hard for her.||Judg 6:2; 1 Sam 24:1; 23:14* [164r], 19; Isa 23:16; Jer 51:30; 48:41; Ezek 33:27|
|2017||)w%hw: )w%hw:||7||l)r#yw ylzrb Nmw)w )yymwd) qpnw|
rm+mw lqmw yyt#
|The ruddy one [David] went out and the craftsman Barzilay, and Israel drinks, mocks, and hides.||This mnemonic is listed erroneously at 1 Kgs 19:19* [199v] but it belongs with the lemma )w%h )w%hw: which occurs 8 times and whose references are: Judg 3:24; 1 Sam 16:12; 28:14; 2 Sam 19:33; Hos 8:6; 1 Kgs 20:12; Hab 1:10; 2 Chr 22:9.23|
|2038||w%n%m@emi||624||hxrw)b +qlw xtpyd hry(b Myrp)|
|Ephraim is the cattle of Jephthah and gleans in the path of kings.||Lev 6:8; 27:9; Josh 1:7; Judg 11:34; 1 Kgs 22:43* [202r]; 2 Kgs 4:39.25|
|2090||words in which the letter he is omitted in the middle of a word||3||hlmrkb hyyntml tmxr||She loved to tell it on the Carmel.||I Sam 18:1; 2 Kgs 9:15+* [208r]; Isa 32:15|
|2231||Nk'lfw:||5||Kymxr ybsm hsr(l qls yl(||Eli goes up onto his bed and waits for your mercies.||1 Sam 3:14; 2 Kgs 1:4;26 Isa 8:7* [223v]; 30:18|
|2272||h#$eq@fha h#$eqf||5||Nypyrx ywlmd )rbgl trks yt(dm||Because I know I shut up the man of harsh words.||Isa 48:4; 19:4* [227r]; 1 Sam 25:3; Exod 18:26; Deut 31:27|
|2310||dd@"#&aywI||3||27hrw+q htlg( )mwy lkh||Shall the heifer be tied up all day?||Isa 28:24* [230v]; Hos 10:11+ [306v]; Job 39:10* [408v]|
|2412||Nybihf||5||hyswsl hmkx Nyl)# hyyblk Nwwh||The dogs were asking wisdom from horses.||Isa 28:19; 56:11* [242r]; 1 Kgs. 3:11; Prov 14:8; Ps 32:9|
|2494||bw%#$yF )low:||6||Kxgw rkd) hyr) lpnw (bt#) hrwt||He swore by the Torah and the lion fell, he remembered and laughed.||Deut 28:31; Isa 45:23; Jer 8:4* [250r]; Prov 30:30; Ps 78:39; Job 39:22|
|2726||hle(Jma||8||)yyb)wmd Nwhyrhn ycy# hyys) l)wm#|
lbbb Nyqrb qrbw
|Samuel destroyed the healing of the rivers of Moab and lightnings flashed against Babylon.||1 Sam 7:10; Jer 33:6, 18; Isa 8:7; Jer 48:35* [272v]; Nah 3:3; Ps 135:7; Jer 50:9|
|2765||twOl@d@Amiw%||2||hymry hydyxy htwnyksm )yklm|
|In the Book of Kings the word 'poverty' occurs as a singular, in the Book of Jeremiah the word 'poverty' occurs as a plural.||2 Kgs 25:12; Jer 52:16* [276r]|
|2814||)c'y"w:||3||28)zgwr dr+ hbwr||A prince drives out anger.||Ezek 12:12* [281v]; Prov 22:10; Hab 3:5* [317r]|
|3044||+l'm@fyI||13||whyqdc hyb# )b#d )rbgl #pt|
htn)b hdy 29+#pd qr(w )mx
l)kymb 31trq#w 30)tmykx
|He seized the man who had taken a captive, Zedekiah saw and fled, and stretched forth his hand at the wise woman who lied to Michael.||1 Kgs 18:40; 2 Kgs 10:24; Isa 49:24, 25; Jer 32:4; Amos 9:1; Jer 46:6; Joel 3:5* [308v]; Ezek 17:8; Qoh 7:26; Prov 28:26; 19:5; Dan 12:1|
|3094||hn"(Jma||3||32htt)b #nrbd htwdx||The joy of mortal man is with his wife.||Prov 15:23+ [414v]; 16:1; Mic 3:7* [314r]|
|3193||yr"#$;)a||4||yl (m# )#n rb )rbwg )rbg||O mighty mortal man listen to me!||Ps 1:1* [366r]; 32:2; 40:5; Prov 8:34* [412v]|
|3234||dsexewF||5||rts)l )yx r+nw )tqdc Pdr )b+||The good man pursues rightousness and preserves the life of Esther.||Ps 23:6+ [369v]; Prov 21:21; Neh 1:5* [454r]; Job 10:12; Esth 2:17|
|3420||lrAwOg%||4||)yqydc Nymynbd )ytnsx) )tnsx)||The sublime inheritance of Benjamin the righteous.||Num 36:3; Josh 14:2; 18:11; Ps 125:3* [393r]|
|3544||lka)jma||4||33hyrbxw )rwtp hy#pnb )ls||The basket by itself, the table and its companion.||Gen 40:17; Job 33:20* [406v]; 1 Kgs 10:5; 2 Chr 9:4|
|3722||lhfq@fba||4||tdqpt) Nyygsd qswn Mwqyn||Let us rise, and go up for I was commanded many things.||Judg 21:5; Job 30:28; 2 Chr 30:17* [361r]; Lam 1:10+ [430r]|
|3888||dxf)ek;||7||Nwmq Nwkdy) )lhq lkw )byd|
|The wolf and all the congregation were purified, the good men rose with trumpets.||Isa 65:25; Ezra 2:64* [448v]; Neh 7:66; Ezra 6:20; 3:9; Qoh 11:6; 2 Chr 5:13|
|3917||lke#&e||5||)rpys )rbgl tbyhyw tc( )ttny)||The wise woman gave a book to the man.||1 Sam 25:3; 1 Chr 26:14; Qoh 10:6; Ezra 8:18+* [445v]; Neh 8:8|
|4026||bwO+wF||5||hmkx xk#)w )rp )ryxb hyl+w||And the chosen lad ran and found wisdom.||1 Sam 2:26; 9:2; Gen 18:7; 1 Chr 4:40* [329v]; 1 Kgs 10:7|
|4071||r#$ayF||3||)lhql )twrxp tbyhyty)||The pot was given to the assembly.||Jer 27:45; 18:4; 1 Chr 13:4* [335v]|
© TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism, 1999.
1This is seen quite clearly in the contrast between the Aramaic of the mnemonics and the Aramaic of the Targumim of the verses cited.
2In the Appendix. Throughout this article the mnemonics are cited according to the Mm numbers in Weil 1971.
3According to the new facsimile edition of Freedman et al. 1998.
4By comparison, there are only twenty-five Aramaic mnemonics in the Mm of the Aleppo Codex.
5See #399; #403; #1451; #1483; #2310; #2814; and #3193. These doublets are often helpful in establishing the correct reading of a mnemonic.
6For example, the simanim on #30 are listed in Aramaic at Gen 4:12 but in Hebrew at Deut 13:1. Similarly for #154, #878, #1097b, #1133, #1641, #2310, #3094, and #3722 [where the Chronicles mnemonic in Aramaic comes before the Hebrew simanim in Lamentations because in L Chronicles occurs at the beginning of the Writings]. However, on #389 and #3234 the Hebrew simanim come before the Aramaic simanim.
7See #2090 and #3917.
8Nor does the created mnemonic always correspond to the traditional chronological order of the verses. As can be seen from the last example, to form the mnemonic and allow the verb to precede the sentence, the order of the verses in Jeremiah had to be reversed.
9See #878 and #1444.
10It is possible that we have a transcription error here and there has been metathesis of the aleph and lamed from an original )l "not." The mnemonic would then read "he did not return the pledged thing."
11This mnemonic occurs twice in L with two variations. At Exod 4:29 the word wxl#w does not occur and at Num 11:32 the word )rmx is lacking. Both, however, are necessary to make up the ten words of the mnemonic.
12These are the biblical references for the lemma but the mnemonic does not seem to correspond to any of this biblical verses, and it is probable that it has been misplaced, see par. 14 above.
13At Num 7:62 where the Aramaic mnemonic occurs L (79v) reads the number as 21, but with the Hebrew simanim at Josh 12:13 it reads 22 which is the correct amount needed for the mnemonic.
14The variant at Joel 1:20 reads ylxn.
15Although the Mp to this lemma at Prov 30:16 lists 3 occurrences, there are only 2 Hebrew simanim given in the Mm (to Ps 107:35 and Prov 30:16).
16Only two parts of this mnemonic are cited in L at Deut 8:7 [104r]. However, at Joel 1:20 [307v] the mnemonic contains a third word wrybxw "and its companion" which is used in the Masorah to indicate a doublet, but there is no doublet involved with these verses. The reading adopted here is that of Miqra)ot Gedolot which cites this mnemonic at Ps 66:12 and Prov 30:16 (see above par. 13). Ginsburg (1968: 2:211b, #343) lists another version of the mnemonic as: (b# Mnhygd )rbdm "the wilderness of Gehinnom is sated," where the Aramaic (b# "is sated" corresponds with the Hebrew hyFwFr:lf "to satiety" in Ps 66:12.
17As we noted above par. 14 and n. 10, the fourth word in the mnemonic does not correspond to anything in its allotted verse of Deut 29:4 but, as we suggested, it may represent a metathesis of )l "not."
18In the version of this mnemonic in the Cairo Codex at Ezek 14:15 this word is read yzx) "he showed."
19There are a number of problems with this mnemonic. The first is that since there are only 21 biblical references, one of the references has to do double-duty and include two Aramaic words in its correspondences. Since the lemma w%l appears twice in Num 14:2 it is most probable that the Aramaic phrases )(r) Nm "from the land" and hrbdm Nmw "and from the wilderness" do correspond to Hebrew equivalents in that verse. However, it is also possible that Ezek 14:15 may also be doing double duty since the Aramaic words )t#yb )twyx "evil beast" fit so neatly with the phrase h(frF hy,Fxa in that verse. Secondly, it is not clear to which verse the Aramaic word )rbwg "the man" should be assigned: to 2 Sam 18:12 or to Mic 2:11. If it is assigned to one then the other verse does not have an Aramaic correspondence. Thirdly, the verse 1 Sam 14:30 seems to be lacking an Aramaic counterpart, and, conversely, the Aramaic phrase hnwzb "with the harlot" appears not to have any biblical verse equivalent. The variant mnemonic in the Miqra)ot Gedolot at Gen 17:18 has two notable differences, reading hytt) "his wife" for wwx) "he showed him" and adding the form lyqt) (for l+qt) "he was killed") before Mwl#b) "Absalom." But neither of these two variants helps with the problem of matching parts of the mnemonic to the biblical verses.
20This is the reading at Ezek 36:8. The variant at Judg 9:18 reads htby#b "on the Sabbath".
21In the variant at Judg 14:10 the word httn) is written without a nun: htt); the verb tmq "she arose" is written for tzgr "she was angry"; and the word )klm "the king" is written with the alternate determinative ending he: hklm.
22In L this phrase hl #q) "it was hard for her" appears as one word hl#q). But it ought to be divided into two words so that it can correspond with hrFc'm; "to be hard in labor" of Jer 48:41.
23See above par. 15. This particular Mm illustrating )w%h )w%hw: does not occur in the Masorah of L but it does occur as an Aramaic mnemonic in the Aleppo Codex at Hos 8:6, and with Hebrew simanim in Miqra)ot Gedolot at 2 Chr 22:9.
24Both the Mp and Mm of L at 1 Kgs 22:43 read 8 times, but there are only 6 occurrences of this lemma and only 6 parts to the mnemonic.
25As pointed out above par. 12, the reference in this mnemonic to "Jephthah" is to chapter 11 in Judges where the story of Jephthah occurs, and the word for "kings" refers to the "Book of Kings." There are also problems of correspondences with this mnemonic in connection with the word Myrp) "Ephraim" and the verses Lev 6:8 and Josh 1:7. However, the variant mnemonic in Miqra)ot Gedolot at Lev 6:8 helps elucidate these difficulties. This version of the mnemonic reads )xrw)b +ql xtpyw (#why )ry(b #rp) "Joshua separated the cattle and Jephthah gleaned in the path." All parts of this version of the mnemonic can be related to appropriate biblical verses. The form #rp) "he separated" (instead of Myrp)"Ephraim") corresponds with Heb MyrIh'w: "he raised up/separated" of Lev 6:8, and (#why "Joshua" corresponds with Josh 1:7.
26Two parts of the mnemonic qls "went up" and hsr(l "to his bed" correspond to two parts of 2 Kgs 1:4 (h+@fm@iha "the bed" and tfyli(f "you went up").
27The variant at Job 39:10 reads the determinate endings on htlg( "the heifer" and hrw+q "tied up" with an aleph instead of a he: )tlg( and )rw+q .
28In the variant at Hab 3:5 the first determinate noun has an aleph ending ()bwr) and the second one ends in he (hzgwr).
29Weil read here M#bd which would tie in with the phrase M#$'b@; "in the name" of Joel 3:5. But L clearly reads +#pd "who stretched forth," a form which does not seem to correspond with any word in Joel 3:5. This reading is also found in Miqra)ot Gedolot where the mnemonic is cited at Amos 9:1.
30L divides these words incorrectly as )tm yk xhtn )bhdy.
31L writes this word tqr#w with a metathesis of the qof and resh. But only by reading trq#w "she lied" can a correspondence be made with the word MyrIqf#$; "lies" in Prov 19:5. The reading trq#w is also found in Miqra)ot Gedolot at Amos 9:1.
32The variant in Miqra)ot Gedolot at Prov 15:23 reads htthb "shame", see above par. 16.
33The Aramaic word hyrbxw "its companion" refers to the second occurrence of the Hebrew form wOnxfl;#$u "his table" in 1 Kgs 10:5 and in 2 Chr 9:4.
Freedman, David Noel et al. 1998. The Leningrad Codex: The Facsimile Edition. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans.
Ginsburg, C. D. 1968. The Massorah. 4 Vols. Reprint ed. New York: Ktav.
Weil, Gerard E. 1971. Massorah Gedolah. Rome: Pontificum Institutum Biblicum.