RECONSTRUCTING AND READING 4Q416 2 II 21: COMMENTS ON MENAHEM KISTER’S PROPOSAL BENJAMIN G. WOLD Durham University Menahem Kister has suggested that 4Q416 2 ii 21 should be read hkqwj ylb (or hkqwj wlb ), meaning “without your prescribed portion”. 1 Kister prefers this to the reading proposed by the editors of DJD 34, hkqyj ylk , “the ‘vessel’ (or ‘wife’) of thy bosom”. 2 In regard to the phrase “vessel of your bosom” Kister writes that it “appears (almost certainly) not to be the correct reading of the text”. 3 This conclusion is based upon a twofold argument: (1) the fi rst letter of the phrase “looks more like bet than kaf ” especially in 4Q417 2 ii 25; and (2) “this reading makes better sense in the context”. 4 In both regards Kister’s conclusion may be challenged. I. Palaeography Based upon palaeography one cannot determine whether hkqwj ylb or hkqyj ylk should be read. First, the term ylk / ylb in 4Q416 2 ii 21 itself is far too damaged to conclude whether bet or kaf is the better reading. However, 4Q417 2 ii 25, a parallel manuscript, preserves the top one third of the three
Dead Sea Discoveries – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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