From The Leningrad Codex: A Facsimile Edition (Eerdman/Brill)

The oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible, the Leningrad Codex, dates to around 1010 C.E. and was probably written in Cairo. Even skimming its pages, a reader may note differences in how certain words are spelled—differences which, Halpern says, help to establish the time of the text’s composition. An example: The text of 2 Samuel 2:17–3:7, shown above left, has the spelling DWD for the name David, while the text of 1 Chronicles 21:5–26, above right, has DWYD; based on inscriptions and other texts, the spelling without any vowels (DWD) can be dated to the pre-Exilic period (before 587 B.C.E.), and the spelling with one vowel (DWYD) can be assigned to post-Exilic times.