Tikkûn sOpherim

Tikkûn Sopherim (תיקון סופרים), or Emendations of the Scribes, refer to eighteen alterations which the scribes decreed should be introduced into the text,. in order to remove anthropomorphisms and other indelicate expressions. These eighteen emendations, or י8 8ח מלין, are as follows, according to the order of the Hebrew Bible, Ge 18:22, where, for the original reading, עודני עמד לפני אברה ויהוה, "and Jehovah still stood before Abraham," is now substituted, by the decree of the scribes =Tikkûn Sopherima, ואברהם עודנו עמד לפני יהוה, "and Abraham still stood before Jehovah," because it appeared offensive to say that the Deity stood before Abraham.

2. Nu 11:15, where Moses addresses God, "Kill me, I pray thee... that I may not see thy evil" (ברעתֶךָ), i.e. the punishment wherewith thou visitest Israel, is altered to "that I may not see my evil" (ברעתי), because it might seem as if evil were ascribed to the Deity.

3, 4. Nu 12:12, where the original reading, "Let her not be as one dead who proceeded from the womb of our mother (אמנו), and half of our flesh (בשרנו) be consumed," is changed to "Let her not be as one dead- born, which when it proceeds from the womb of its mother (אמו) has half of its flesh (בשרו) consumed."

5. 1Sa 3; 1Sa 13, where the original, "for his sons cursed God" (אלהים) — the Sept. has it still θεόν is altered to "for his sons cursed themselves" (להם), because it was too offensive to say that Eli's sons cursed God without being reprimanded by their father.

6. 2Sa 16:12,where "will God see with his eye" (בעיני) is made to read "will God look at my affliction" (בעוני). The Seventy probably read בעניי, for they translate ἐν τῇ ταπεινσώει μου.

7. 1Ki 12:16, where "to his God (לאלהיי), O Israel... and Israel went to their God" (לאלהיו)is given "to your tents (ִלאהלי)... to their

tents" (לאהליו ), because the separation of Israel from the house of David was regarded as a necessary transition to idolatry; it was looked upon as leaving God and the sanctuary for the worship of idolatry in tents.

8. 2Ch 10:16 concerns the parallel passage, which is similarly altered for the same reason.

9. Jer 2; Jer 11, where "my glory" (כבודי) reads "their glory" (כבודו), because it was too offensive to say that God's glory was changed for an idol.

10. Eze 8:17,where "my nose" (אפי ) is changed into "their nose" (אפם);

11. Ho 4:7, where the same change is made as in 9. 12. Habakkuk 1, 12, where "thou diest not" (לא תמות ) is converted into "we shall not die" (לא נמות).

13. Zec 2:12, where "mine eye" (עיני ) is varied by his eye" (עינו), to avoid too gross an anthropomorphism.

14. Mal 1:13, where "you make me" (עיתי) is changed to "you make it" (אותי); reason as in 13.

15. Ps 106:20, where the same alteration is made as in 9 and 11.

16. Job 7:20, where "a burden to thee" (ִעלי) is changed to" to myself" (עלי). That ִעלי was the Original reading we see also from the Sept. εἰμὶ δὲ ἐπὶ σοὶ φορ τίον.

17. Job 32:3, where "they condemned God" (אלהי את) is altered to they "condemned Job" (את איוב).

18. La 3:19, where "and thy soul will mourn over me" (ותשיח עלי נִפשֶךָ) reads "and my soul is humbled within me" (ותשוּח עלי נִפשַי), because of the remark that God will mourn.

These eighteen decrees of the Sopherim are enumerated in the Massora Magna on Nu 1; Nu 1, and on Ps 106:20; they are also given in the book Ochlah ve-Ochath, p. 37, 113 (ed. Frensdorff, Hanover, 1864). The whole question on these Tikkûn Sopherim is discussed by Pinsker in

Kherem Chemed, 9:53 sq. (Berlin, 1856); Geiger, Urschrift und Uebersetzungen der Bibel, p. 308 sq. (Breslau, 1857); Wedell, De Emendationibus a Sopherim in Libris Sacris Veteris Testamenti Propositis (Vratislavise, 1869). SEE OCLAH. (B. P.)

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