See Marc Brettler, “The Masoretes at Work,” sidebar to “The Leningrad Codex,” BR 13:04.


The name Septuagint, from the Latin for 70, and the abbreviation LXX refer to the legend of the 72 translators brought to Egypt in the third century B.C.E. to translate the Torah. Each was said to have come up with an identical translation.


The name 4QGenk tells us that this scroll is the 11th copy (k is the 11th letter of the alphabet) of Genesis (Gen) found in Cave 4 (4Q), the fourth scroll cave discovered near Qumran.


For more on the Sons of God, see Ronald S. Hendel, “When the Sons of God Cavorted with the Daughters of Men,” BR 03:02.


This is, of course, not an issue in the Samaritan Pentateuch, which includes only the Torah, or the Five Books of Moses, and thus not the Book of Judges.



This article is adapted from Ronald Hendel, “Qumran and a New Edition of the Hebrew Bible,” in The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. James Charlesworth (N. Richland Hills, TX: Bibal, 2000), vol. 1, pp. 197–217.


Qumran Cave 4-VII: Genesis to Numbers, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert (DJD) 12, ed. Eugene Ulrich et al. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1994); Qumran Cave 4-IX: Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Kings, DJD 14, ed. Ulrich et al. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1995); Qumran Cave 4-X: The Prophets, DJD 15, ed. Ulrich et al. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1997).


Note the obvious Hebraism in the Greek pronoun aujtw’n “their,” referring to plural µym rather than singular u}dwr, noted by Julius Wellhausen and others; see Ronald S. Hendel, The Text of Genesis 1–11: Textual Studies and Critical Edition (New York and Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1998), pp. 25–27. On the practice of retroverting Greek readings into Hebrew, see the methodological cautions and guidelines in Emanuel Tov, The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research, 2nd ed. (Jerusalem: Simor, 1997).


James R. Davila, “New Qumran Readings for Genesis One,” in Of Scribes and Scrolls: Studies on the Hebrew Bible, Intertestamental Judaism, and Christian Origins Presented to John Strugnell, ed. Harold W. Attridge, John J. Collins and Thomas H. Tobin (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1990), p. 11.


Ulrich et al., DJD 12, p. 85. This explanation was earlier advanced in Cross, The Ancient Library of Qumran, 3rd ed. (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1995), p. 135 n. 1 (essentially unchanged from the 1961 edition).


See Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1992), p. 239. The reading of 4QDeutj was first presented by Patrick W. Skehan, “Qumran and the Present State of Old Testament Text Studies: The Masoretic Text,” Journal of Biblical Literature (JBL) 78 (1959), p. 21, correcting his earlier report in Skehan, “A Fragment of the ‘Song of Moses’ (Deuteronomy 32) from Qumran,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (BASOR) 136 (1954), p. 12. See now the edition by Julie Duncan, DJD 14, p. 90.


Ulrich et. al., DJD 14, p. 162; and Trebolle Barrera, “Textual Variants in 4QJudga and the Textual and Editorial History of the Book of Judges,” Revue de Qumran 54 (1989), p. 238.


Alberto Soggin, Judges: A Commentary, Old Testament Library (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1981), p. 112.


Ulrich et al., DJD 14, p. 162. I would add a linguistic note to Trebolle Barrera’s analysis: The linguistic forms hntaw and hrmaw in vv. 9–10 are characteristic of late biblical Hebrew, lending further plausibility to the late dating of this passage. Such forms are common in Ezra, Nehemiah and later texts; see Shlomo Morag, “Qumran Hebrew: Some Typological Observations,” Vetus Testamentum 38 (1988), pp. 154–155 and references.


Rudolf Kittel, Über die Notwendigkeit und Möglichkeit einer neuen Ausgabe der hebräischen Bibel (Leipzig: Deichert, 1902), pp. 77–78.


Adrian Schenker, “Eine Neuausgabe der Biblia Hebraica,” Zeitschrift für Althefraistik 9 (1996), p. 59.


Moshe Goshen-Gottstein, The Book of Isaiah: Sample Edition with Introduction, Hebrew University Bible Project (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1965), p. 7.


Tov, Textual Criticism, pp. 373–374.


One important area that such an edition would stimulate is the study of expansions and parallel editions of biblical books. In cases where such scribal activity is discernible—such as Judges 6:6–11, discussed previously—a critical text ought to include the different editorial layers in parallel columns or some similar arrangement. In this manner the multiform nature of the biblical text would be better understood and more accessible for study.