See “Chief Scroll Editor Opens Up—An Interview with Emanuel Tov,BAR 28:03; see “Deuteronomy 32:8, ” sidebar to Ronald S. Hendel, “The Most Original Bible Text: How to Get There: Combine the Best from Each Tradition,Bible Review 16:04.



See M.J. Evans, “Women,” in Bill T. Arnold and H.G.M. Williamson, eds., Dictionary of the Old Testament Historical Books (Downers Grove, IL/Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2005), pp. 989–999 (see p. 990); see also Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 5.1.2.


A female prostitute in Hebrew is zônāh (the root being znh) whereas the word for a female provider of food is zānāh (the root of which is zûn= to feed). Both zônāh and zānāh are singular feminine participles (used as nouns) of the respective verbal roots just mentioned. The vowel ô in zônāh is written with the consonant wāw used as a mater lectionis (a consonant used to signify a vowel sound). However, there are five instances in the Hebrew Bible where the word zônāh is used without the letter wāw used as a mater lectionis, namely Leviticus 21:7 (where the word is used in the singular exactly as in Joshua 2:1, but written zōnāh) and 1 Kings 3:16; 22:38; Ezekiel 16:33; and Hosea 4:14 in which four cases it is in the plural. When the word zônāh is not written with the letter wāw used as a mater lectionis, the only consonants which appear are z, n, and h which could be rendered, when vocalized, either as zōnāh (prostitute) or as zānāh (a female provider of food, and by extension therefore a female innkeeper). All this means that the word predicated of Rahab could at one and the same time be read either as meaning “prostitute” or “landlady,” or indeed both, especially when one considers that the Masoretes very probably pronounced “what have been described above as ā and o in exactly the same way (probably o), since they use the same vowel sign for both. However, both traditional pronunciation and IH [Israeli Hebrew] distinguish two vowel sounds.” See J.D. Martin, Davidson’s Introductory Hebrew Grammar, 27th ed. (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1993), p. 15.


Stuttgarter Erklārungsbibel mit Apokryphen: die Heilige Schrift nach der Übersetzung Martin Luthers mit Einführungen und Erklārungen, 2nd ed. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2007), p. 271.


For a more detailed treatment of this problem, see my Pre-Exilic Israel, the Hebrew Bible, and Archaeology: Integrating Text and Artefact (New York/London: T & T Clark International, 2011), pp. 71–80.


S. Friedeberg, Joshua: An Annotated Hebrew Text (London: William Heinemann, 1913), p. 39, where his translation “on the surface of the wall” is referring to “the custom of building houses on the walls of the city,” a custom which “still obtains in the East”; J. Maxwell Miller and Gene M. Tucker, The Book of Joshua (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1974), translate beqîr haḥômāh as “on an angle of the wall” (p. 26); whilst Richard D. Nelson, Joshua: A Commentary (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1997), chooses to translate this phrase as “on the face of the wall” (p. 37).


Indeed, Jastrow specifies that it could signify wall, recess or chamber, as well as rim or border of mats. M. Jastrow, A Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature, 2 vols. (New York: Pardes, 1950), p. 1368.


Casemate walls became popular in Israel only from the tenth century B.C.E. onward; see H. Weippert, “Mauer und Mauertechnik,” in K. Galling, ed., Biblisches Reallexikon, 2nd ed. (Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 1977), p. 212.


Weippert, “Mauer und Mauertechnik,” p. 212.


Such is the case, for example, with the Late Bronze Age northern wall of Building 315 at Tell Batash where it was discovered at the edge of the mound, and where it clearly functioned as part of the outer defensive system of this town; see Amihai Mazar, Timnah (Tel Batash), I, Stratigraphy and Architecture: Text (Jerusalem: The Institute of Archaeology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1997), p. 59.


Jacob J. Baumgarten, “Urbanization in the Late Bronze Age,” in Aharon Kempinksi and Ronnie Reich, eds., The Architecture of Ancient Israel: from the Prehistoric to the Persian Periods (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1992), pp. 143–150 (see p. 145, n. 15).


William F. Albright, “Beit Mirsim, Tell,” in Ephraim Stern, ed., The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, vol. 1 (Jerusalem: The Israel Exploration Society and Carta, 1993), pp. 177–180 (see p. 179).


See G.R.H. Wright, Ancient Building in South Syria and Palestine, vol. 1, Text (Leiden: Brill, 1985), p. 72, and G.R.H. Wright, Ancient Building in South Syria and Palestine, vol. 2, Illustrations (Leiden: Brill, 1985), p. 74, fig. 226.


Emanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, 3rd ed. revised and expanded (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012), pp. 128 and 140.


Analyzing the conjunction wāw as an emphatic particle; for such usage of the conjunction wāw, see, for example, Bruce K. Waltke and M. O’Connor, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990), pp. 649, 652, 653.


For the possibility of a defensive system at Jericho in the Late Bronze Age, see Frendo, Pre-Exilic Israel, p. 79, n. 49, and Kathleen M. Kenyon, Digging up Jericho (London: Ernest Benn, 1957), p. 262.