A Masoretic Note in the Aleppo Codex Concerning the Composite Words

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The list of composite words that was part of the masoretic note at the opening of the Aleppo Codex is the broadest list we know of in this regard, and it has a number of parallels in other MSS. The way the list appeared in the Codex, in three columns, is the original way it was written, serving as the basis for all parallel notes. Of these notes, the masoretic note of 1 W undoubtedly quotes from the Codex, and states this explicitly. The Masorete of 11V ascribes the masoretic note of the Codex to Aharon ben Asher, and was careful to apply it in practice to all the biblical occurrences of the words appearing in the masoretic note. This, however, is not the case in the text of the Codex itself. Though in most cases there is a correspondence between the list and the text of the Codex, there are at least four words written in the Codex in a way that does not correspond to what appears in the masoretic note. This is extremely surprising, and there may be no way to escape the conclusion that the masoretic note was not written by the Masorete of the Codex (Aharon ben Asher), who was not familiar with it or did not consider himself bound by it absolutely. It may be assumed, that the masoretic pages were appended to the Codex some time after the Codex itself was written, probably after the death of Aharon ben Asher, by another Masorete who did not find it necessary to adjust the text of the Codex to what was said in the masoretic additions to it. When the Masorete of MS 1 W saw the Codex, perhaps a few decades later, he made no distinction between the text of the Codex and the pages at its head, and attributed both to Aharon ben Asher. He copied over the masoretic note at the beginning of the Codex, and was careful to write accordingly all the composite names, without realizing that the Codex itself did not correspond in every detail to this masoretic list.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-233
Number of pages25
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

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© 2002 Textus. All rights reserved.


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