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TWO MANUSCRIPTS OF PSALM 119 FROM QUMRAN CAVE 4

Author(s): P. W. Skehan, E. Ulrich and P. W. Flint


Source: Revue de Qumrn, Vol. 16, No. 4 (64) (DCEMBRE 1995), pp. 477-486
Published by: Peeters Publishers
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24610072
Accessed: 26-09-2017 03:37 UTC

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Revue de Qumrn

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TWO MANUSCRIPTS OF PSALM 119
FROM QUMRAN CAVE 4

Psalmsalm
which 119
haveisbeen
found in five manuscripts
previously frominQumran,
published: lQPs" three of
DJD I (1955),
5QPs5QPs in DJD III (1962), and llQPs" in DJD IV (1965). With
this edition (1) of 4QPs9 and 4QPsh, all five are now available. The
material is preserved in the five manuscripts as follows:

Psalm Psalm Manuscript Numl


119:1-6, 15-28, 37-49, 59-73, 82- UQPsa cols. VI-XIV HQ
96, 105-120, 128-142, 150-164,
171-176
119:10-21 4QPsh 4Q90
119:31-34,43-48,77-80 lQPsa 1Q10
119:37-46, 49-50, 73-74, 81-83, 4QPss 4Q89
89-92
119:99-101, 104, 113-120, 138- 5QPs 5Q5
142

89. 4QPss

The leather is moderately thin and smooth on the recto and


was obviously well-prepared. The skin seems quite smooth on the

(1) Previous discussion: Patrick W. Skehan, The Qumran Manuscripts and


Textual Criticism', VTSup 4 (Leiden: Brill, 1957) 153-54; 'Qumrn: IV. Littrature:
A. Textes bibliques', Supplment au Dictionnaire de la Bible, tome IX, fasc. 51 (1978)
805-22, esp. 814-16; 'Qumran and Old Testament Criticism', in M. Delcor (d.), Qum
rn.rn. Sa pit, sa thologie et son milieu (BETL 46; Paris/Leuven: ditions Duculot/
Leuven University Press, 1978) 163-82, esp. 182. James A. Sanders, 'Pre-Masore
tic Psalter Texts', CBQ 27 (1965) 114-23, esp. 116. Peter W. Flint, 'The Psalters at
Qumran and the Book of Psalms' (Ph. D. Dissertation, University of Notre Dame,
1993) 42.

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478 SKEHAN, ULRICH, FLINT

verso, but this is difficult to see because, the pieces have now been
pasted onto tissue paper. The colour was originally tan with
honey tones, although some of the smaller pieces (frgs. 5 and 6)
have now darkened considerably, and worm-holes mar frg. 1.
Both vertical and horizontal dry-point lines are visible on
frg. 1, which was ruled eight lines to the column; note the ruling on
the blank line between the stanzas. The remains of stitching are
evident down the right side. Measuring 8.4 cm vertically,
11.7 cm at its widest point, and 13.7 cm diagonally, the fragment
preserves the full height of this small manuscript and almost an
entire column, including all four margins. The top margin mea
sures 1.9 cm, the bottom margin 1.4 cm, and the right margin
1.6 cm. The height of the inscribed column is 5.3 cm; it was ruled
for a width of 8.5 cm (see note), but the inscribed lines range from
6.4 cm (line 7) to 9.5 cm (line 8, extending into the margin). The
only other fragment to preserve a margin is frg. 2 (top margin);
blank lines between stanzas are also preserved on frgs. 4 and 5.
The distance between the tops of lines varies between 6 and 8 mm.
The clear, regular, and legible script is late Herodian, dated to
c.50 ce, displaying keraiai distinctive to the Herodian hand. The
scribe sometimes left little or no space between words (e.g.
and in frg. 1 8). In frg. 1 8 the word extends across
the margin between the columns. At two points (see notes on
frg. 1 3) the scribe wrote correct letters possibly over incorrect
ones. There is one supralinear correction by the original scribe,
for expanded orthography ( < , frg. 5 5). The orthogra
phy is fuller than that of CD, with regular use of waw and yod as
maires ledionis (see Table 1).

Table 1. Orthography of 4QPss

Frg., Line Psalm 4QPsS


4QPs6
11QPsa
llQPsa

li -ran
119:37 ran
119:37
ran11
17 119:42
* mn
-sin 'Dim
119:42 1

5 s 119:83
THD"
TKD
119:83
TIKD
5 5

Psalm Psalm 119 is an acrostic psa


eight verses each. The format of
by the full line, with a blank line
where no blank line has been lef
indicates that blank lines occur
VI 5. The preserved blank line
expected location in this, the s
that this material comes from a
than Psalm 119, the arrangement

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4Q89-904Q89-90 479

of the manuscript suggest that this is unlikely, and that the scroll
originally comprised only Psalm 119 in twenty-five columns.
Thus, the seven surviving fragments preserve col. VI, and parts of
cols. VII and XI-XIII. A similar example of a manuscript with a
biblical excerpt found at Qumran is 4QDeut1, which probably
contained only the Song of Moses (Deut 32:1-43). Since 4QPs9
most likely consisted of only Psalm 119, it is not to be regarded as a
copy of the 'Book of Psalms'.
Mus. Inv. 1150. PAM 43.026; also 42.039, 42.719, 40.612,
42.044 (frg. 2), 41.857 (frg. 3). (Plate 1).

Col. VI: Frg. 1 Psalm 119:37-43


top top margin


2
3 ][
4 ] [
vacal vacal 5

6

8
bottom bottom margin

The manuscript contained eight lines to


ninth line left blank after successive sta
to be the sixth column (see above). Al
ved. The vertical rulings on the righ
margin at line 8 show that the column
8.5 cm, with extending across the
L. 3 (119:39) . Taw is written with th
of carelessness or a correction over another letter.
L. 3 (119:39) . At the top left of yod is a spot of ink. The scribe
may have slipped and begun to write another letter, but yod is clearly
the letter finally intended.
L. 8 (119:43) . Both letters have almost completely disappeared
due to a hole in the leather. Two specks of kap are visible to the left
of dalet in the preceding word. Only the left tip of yod is preserved;
the dark circle on the photograph is a hole, not ink.
L. 8 (119:43) . Since extends across the margin, the dot of
ink to its left probably belongs to the zayin which began v 50 ( )in
the next column.

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480 SKEHAN, ULRICH, FLINT

VARIANTS

119:41 (6) 1 [ lQPs CD ( )Hier; 0 * La


119:41 (6) 6(0 ( t aov) [llQPs; CD
119:42 (7) 1 [ lQPsa(raT) CD6 L
119:43119:43 (8) Lams ] llQPs* CD6 Lalllss CSD

Col. VII: Frgs. 2-3 Psalm 119:44-46, 49-50

top top margin

[ ]1 [ ] r 2
[ ]2 []
3 [] []
4 []
5 []
[ vacat ] 6
[7 [ [ ] r 3
[8 [ ] [ r 1

Although the two fragments are very small, calculations based


on frg. 1 and the acrostic structure of the Psalm show that the
blank leather at the top of frg. 2 is part of the top margin. The
eight waw verses ended on line 5, which is not extant. Following
the blank line 6, the zayin stanza began on line 7. The bottom tip
of zayin in line 8 is on frg. 1.
L. 3 (119:46) []. The letters following dalet are difficult to iden
tify. Waw followed by taw may be expected due to the full ortho
graphy in this ms; however, if the letter after dalet were waw, taw
would be ruled out by the curved top of the next letter. It is more
likely that the letter following dalet is taw (cf. the taw in [ [in the
first line of frg. 3[VII 7]) with its cross-bar slightly cracked. The
speck of ink on the extreme left is then part of yod; this letter appears
too high because the leather has been displaced by the split above taw.
VARIANT

119:44(1) [ IQIV 1 !()!'*3( )CD<? ,a CSD

Col. XI: Frg. 4 Psalm 119:73-74

[ ] vac[ai ] 1
2 [ ] [
3 [> ] [
The blank space above the ins
the interval following the let
column. The yod stanza begin

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4Q89-904Q89-90 481

Col. XII: Frg. 5 Psalm 119:81-83

[ ]vac{at] 2
3 [!] [ ]
4 [2] [ ]

5 [] [ ]

The blank space above the inscribed leather is part of the


interval following the yod stanza. The kap stanza begins with line
3. As was the case in frg. 1, some words are run together without
word-division.

L. 4 (119:82) . Examination of the leather reveals a diagonal


split in the middle of 'alep and another at the left tip of res.
L. 5 (119:83) Waw was written above the line by the original scribe,
correcting to ;cf. CD.

Col. XIII: Frg. 6 Psalm 119:89-92


4 [ ] []
]00I
5 [] [][ ] !
6 [ ]
[ 92 ][ ]

The kap stanza ended with line 2 and was followed by a bla
line (line 3). Line 4 preserves traces of the first line of the la
stanza, and lines 5-7 contain the ends of the second to fourth li
of the stanza.

L. 5 (119:90) ]. Traces of ink appear in the photograph


above the taw and 'alep, but they are too low to belong to line 4.
The condition of the leather suggests that misplaced specks of ink may
have shifted here from elsewhere, although they also may be supra
linear letters.

90. 4QPsh

Only two fragments of this manuscript survive, fitting together


so well that they appear as one piece on the photograph. The
moderately thin leather was fairly well-prepared on the recto but
has since become wrinkled and creased. It is now impossible to
examine the verso because the pieces have been pasted onto tissue
paper. The colour of the manuscript was light brown with honey

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482 SKEHAN, ULRICH, FLINT

tones. Both vertical and horizontal dry-point rulings are faintly


discernible on the original, though not visible on the photograph.
Examination of the leather suggests the possibility of stitching on
the preserved right edge of the scroll.
The joined piece measures 7.5 cm in height, 5.8 cm at its
widest point, and 8.1 cm diagonally. To the right of the inscribed
column 2.7 cm of blank leather is preserved, as is the bottom mar
gin to a height of 1.5 cm. The script is markedly small, with most
letters about 2 mm high, and the distance between the tops of lines
is usually 0.5 cm, but sporadically extends to 0.6 or 0.7 cm (cf. lines
16 -17, 19 -20). On the assumption of a column of 21 lines (see
below) at c.0.5-0.6 cm, and top and bottom margins of c.1.5 cm, the
height of the fully intact manuscript would have been roughly
14.5 cm.
Only verses 10-21 survive, which are written stichometrically
by the full line. In contrast to 4QPss, where a blank line is left
after each eight-line stanza of this acrostic Psalm, no blank lines
have been left in 4QPsh. Instead, a paragraph marker is used to
signal the start of each new stanza, as can be seen in the right
margin below v 16 indicating the beginning of the gimel stanza.
The script is dated on palaeographic grounds to the Herodian
period (c.30 bce-70 ce). Waw and yod are sometimes indistin
guishable, but yod frequently has a broader head. The manu
script has sin in place of samek once ( CD, v 13), but otherwise
no errors, corrections, or insertions are preserved. The orthogra
phy (see Table 2) features a generous use of vowel letters (waw, yod,
and quiescent 'alep), but short suffixes (as in CD), rather than long
(as in llQPs").

Table 2. Orthography of 4QPsh

Frg., Line Psalm 4QPsh


4QPs> CD
11 QPsa
llQPs3

1 14 119:14

JTIKTW119:14
JTITO
114

1 15 119:15 -jTpED
"Pi?33119:15 115
nyrpsn

1 16 119:16

jrilpTO

TnPfP119:16
itTpTn
116
2

21 119:21

D'TT 119:21
D,"!T ffTT
21 2

A number of clues show


and had 21 lines per colu
wide, suggesting that it
precedent is available in
that manuscript to hav
extant verses of 4QPsh a

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4Q89-904Q89-90 483

line containing v 21 of a Psalm whose structure is highly predic


table. It thus seems safe to regard the extant column as the first
in the scroll, and as originally containing 21 lines. It is also highly
likely that this manuscript originally contained only Psalm 119,
but the possibility of additional material after this Psalm cannot be
ruled out completely. Presuming that the format of 21 lines also
obtained for the other columns, one may conclude that the scroll
originally contained the 176 verses of Ps 119 in nine columns.
Since it very likely consisted of only Ps 119, 4QPsh is not to be
regarded as a copy of the 'Book of Psalms'.
Mus. Inv. 1150. PAM 43.026; also 42.028, 40.612. (Plate 2).

Frgs.Frgs. 1-2 Psalm 119:10-21

[ ]10 [ ?]
11 ] [ ][
12 ] [
13 ] [
14 *!] [
15 ] [
16 ] [ !
17 ] [ !
18 ] [ o
[ ]19 ][
20 ] [
21 !] [ ]*
bottom bottom margin

The bottom and right margins of the co


L. 10 (119:10) . The traces of this wo
tify. The descenders of dalet and res] are dir
yodyod of in the line beneath. The final
matic, since the blob of ink on the left tip o
sharply with the clean descender of i
ther investigation reveals that this scribe freq
blobs on the descenders of both kap (e.g.
v 16, v 17) and qop (e.g.
L. 12 (119:12) . Part of waw has chippe
crease, which is clearly visible on the leathe
L. 13 (119:13) . Although the third let
bet,bet, the bottom horizontal bar is not long
in line 15 and [in line 18 show
likely pe.
L. 15 (119:15) . The lower part of waw has been lost due to
deterioration of the leather.

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484 SKEHAN, ULRICH, FLINT

L. 15 (119:15) . The 'alep is not certain, but cf. the 'alep in


( line 16) and ( line 19).
L. 15 (119:15) ]. The side of the let is visible on the edge of the
leather (cf. in line 18). The ink directly beneath belongs to the
top of lamed in line 16 ()[.
L. 18 (119:18) . Much of gimel has disappeared due to the break in
the leather. The top of lamed is fairly straight and flows into the
bottom horizontal stroke of mem.
L. 18 (119:18) . A portion of 'alep has been lost due to leather
damage.
L. 19 (119:19) ^[[. A trace of sade is just visible on the leather;
this could admittedly be one of several other letters.
L. 20 (119:20) ]1 The sin has been fractured by a split in the
leather.

VARIANTS

119:13 (13)(cf. preceding [


119:15 (15) [ llQPsaQ)
119:17 (17) 1 lQPsa(Dms(Ken); cf. Ps 57:3 (tv sepyeTrjaa
138:8138:8 ] CD; vra71680 0 (ambiguous?)
119:17 (17) llQPsa)mss; cf. La S ] CD6 La CD
119:18 (18) [ llQPsaCD6LaCD
P. W. Skehan (f), E. Ulrich, P. W. Flint.

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Plate 1. Skehan, Ulrich, Flint, 4QPss, PAM 43.026

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486 SKEHAN, ULRICH, FLINT

Plate 2. Skehan, Ulrich, Flint, 4QPsh, PAM 43.026.

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