Sebirin (סבירין), or imaginary readings, is a technical term of the Masorites to denote that words in the Bible ought to be read so and so, but they are not. This expression is derived from sabar, סבר, "to believe, think;" thus we read in Da 7:25 ויסבר, and he thought, and in the Chaldee paraphrase on Pr 14:12, "there is a way which is right in the view of man," we read "there is a way which man imagines" (דסברין), etc. Now there are a number of such imaginary or supposed readings to be found in the Hebrew text of the Old Test. as the following examples will prove. Thus we read:
האל, these, is said to stand eight times for האלה, as in Ge 19:25; Ge 26:3; Le 18:29, etc.
אלפי, thousand, is said to stand four times for אלפים as in Ex 32:28; Jg 4:10, etc.
וימר, and he said, is said to stand twelve times for ויאמרו, "and they said," as in Ex 14:25; Nu 32:25, etc.
ארצ, into the land, is said to stand five times for
ארצה, as in Ge 45:25, etc.
אשׁח, a wife, stands three times for לאשׁח, "for a wife," as in 2Ch 21:6; Ezr 2:61; Ne 7:63.
אשׁר, which, stands four times for אשׁר, "as which," Ex 14:13; Le 7:36,38; Nu 4:49.
אתה, as which, stands ten times for עתה, "which," De 16:10; De 24:8; Jos 2:7; Jos 14:2; Jer 23:27: Isa 51:13; Ho 7:12; Jon 1:14; Hag 1:12.
אתה, thou, stands three times for עתה, "now," as 1Ki 1:18,20.
ממנו, from it, stands six times for ממנה, "from her," as Le 6:8; Le 26:9; Jos 1:7; Jg 11:40; 2Ki 4:39; 1Ki 22:43.
על, upon, stands nine times for עד, "until," as Ge 49:13; Jos 2:7; Jos 13:16; Jg 7:25,
על, upon, stands twice for עם, "with," as Ge 30:40; 1Sa 20:8.
Without enlarging Upon this list, we will remark for those interested in that subject that these סבירין are given in alphabetical order by Frensdorff in his Massora Magna; the first part is entitled Massoretisches Whr-terbuch, p. 369 sq. See Buxtorf, Tiberias, p. 257 sq.; Levita, Massoreth Ha- Massoreth (ed. Ginsburg), p. 225 sq. (B. P.)