Chiasmus in the Text of Isaiah: MT Isaiah versus the Great Isaiah Scroll

Volume 59:2 Supplemental (2020)
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Chiasmus in the Text of Isaiah: MT Isaiah versus the Great Isaiah Scroll

Author Donald W. Parry

Parry examines textual variants in sixteen chiastic structures in Isaiah’s text (Isaiah 2:3–5; 6:7; 6:10; 11:4; 11:8; 13:16; 14:25; 29:14; 34:5–8; 40:12; 44:21; 51:7; 53:7; 55:8–9; 56:9–12; 60:1–3). The paper’s objective is to conduct a text critical examination, with the intent of determining whether textual variants belonging to the Masoretic Text (MT) of Isaiah and the Great Isaiah Scroll (1QIsaa) impact the structure or clarity of one or more of the particular chiastic elements in each example of chiasmus. With regard to the number sixteen, Parry selected them randomly out of approximately one hundred chiasms that he has identified in Isaiah. With the number sixteen, therefore, his approach presents a representative rather than a comprehensive approach. Needless to say, taking a representative approach may result in a skewed or distorted understanding of chiastic structures in Isaiah with regard to textual variants.

The Isaiah scrolls are significant finds, signaling one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries of the twentieth century. The Qumran caves, located near the northwestern area of the Dead Sea, yielded twenty-one copies of the book of Isaiah—two from cave 1, eighteen from cave 4, and one from cave 5. An additional copy (making a total of twenty-two copies) of Isaiah was discovered south of Qumran in a cave at Wadi Murabba‘at. Scholars have labeled these scrolls as follows: 1QIsaa, 1QIsab (1Q8), 4QIsaa-r (4Q55–4Q69b), and 5QIsa (5Q3). All twenty-two copies of Isaiah are written in Hebrew. Most of these scrolls are severely damaged and fragmented, owing to long-term exposure to the elements.

1QIsaa, or the Great Isaiah Scroll, is perhaps the best-known biblical scroll found at Qumran. It consists of seventeen pieces of sheepskin sewn together into a single scroll and shows signs of being well used before it was stored away.1 The scroll comprises fifty-four columns of text that vary in width and average about twenty-nine lines of text per column. Measuring almost twenty-four feet in length and about ten inches in height, 1QIsaa is the longest of the Qumran biblical scrolls. Through paleographic analysis of the Hebrew script, scholars date the scroll to about 125 BCE. In contrast, the other Isaiah texts from Qumran, as fragmented and incomplete manuscripts, may slightly distort understandings of Isaiah’s textual history.

1QIsaa presents a view of what biblical manuscripts looked like at the end of the Second Temple era, before the stabilization of the Hebrew text after the first century CE. Unlike MT, with its consonantal and vocalization framework and system of notes, accents, and versification, 1QIsaa features handwritten manuscripts without vocalization or accents. Additionally, 1QIsaa contains interlinear or marginal corrections, scribal marks and notations, a different paragraphing system, and special morphological and orthographic features.

1QIsaa, which predates by approximately one thousand years the medieval copies of MT, expands understandings of the textual history of the Bible; as such, it is an important text for both academic and popular audiences. It helps to fill gaps of knowledge with regard to scribal conventions and styles, orthography, paleography, scribal interjections, textual divergences, and other aspects of biblical scrolls from the late Second Temple era.

Its paragraphing system and intra-textual divisions are unlike those of MT. 1QIsaa represents a significant find because it includes all sixty-six chapters of Isaiah, except for minor lacunae, enabling scholars to conduct a complete study of this text. In contrast, the other Isaiah texts from Qumran, as fragmented and incomplete manuscripts, may slightly distort understandings of Isaiah’s textual history.

The scroll has a number of scribal interventions, where the copyist or a subsequent scribe corrected readings or entered notations between the lines and in the margins. In addition, 1QIsaa has a large number of variant readings when compared to MT, most of them minor. Many of these divergences deal with orthography, and taken as a whole, 1QIsaa displays a fuller orthography than MT, meaning the scroll has more consonants in certain words. Some of the scroll’s textual variants result from accidental errors that occurred during the transmission of the text by one or more generations of copyists. These include haplography, dittography, graphic similarity, misdivision of words, interchange of letters, transposition of texts, and so forth. These errors also occur among other biblical scrolls and manuscripts during the last two centuries before the Common Era, and perhaps earlier, although a paucity of textual examples from earlier periods prevents a thorough investigation.

The scribe(s) who copied the Isaiah scroll from a master copy (Vorlage) had a free or liberal approach to the text, characterized by exegetical or editorial pluses, morphological smoothing and updating, harmonizations, phonetic variants, and modernizations of terms. There is also evidence that a well-intended scribe simplified the text for an audience that no longer understood classical Hebrew forms. His editorial tendencies resulted in a popularization of certain terms, some from Aramaic,2 that reflected the language of Palestine in his time period. It is because of these modernizations that some scholars have concluded that 1QIsaa was a nonofficial, popular, or vulgar text.

Notwithstanding 1QIsaa’s variant readings, it shares many textual affinities with the proto-Masoretic text. The scroll also has more than two dozen readings where it agrees with the Septuagint (LXX) versus MT. Of all the Qumran Isaiah scrolls, 1QIsaa displays more textual agreements with the LXX, but this may be due to the fact that both 1QIsaa and LXX date to approximately the same period and both demonstrate a free rendering, in some of their readings, of their Vorlagen.

Furthermore, the Isaiah scrolls have greatly impacted our understanding of the textual history of the Bible, and in recent decades, Bible translation committees have incorporated a number of these readings into their translations.3 For instance, Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures, published by the Jewish Publication Society, occasionally utilizes variant readings from 1QIsaa in its English translation or refers to them in footnotes. One such example occurs in Isa 21:8: MT reads lion (הירא); 1QIsaa has the watcher (or, the seer) (הארה), “and the watcher cried, My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower all day, and I am stationed at my post all night.” Because lion and the watcher in the Hebrew language are graphically similar, a copyist likely made a simple error when he copied this word.

Another example noted in Tanakh is located in Isa 33:8, where MT reads cities (םירע) versus 1QIsaa’s witnesses (םידע), again an example of graphic similarity. The reading of 1QIsaa corresponds well with the parallelism, “A covenant has been renounced, witnesses rejected.” Isaiah 14:4 sets forth a third example, one accepted by a number of modern translations, including Tanakh, the New International Version, and the New English Bible. In this verse 1QIsaa reads mrhbh, meaning “oppression.” This fits the parallelistic structure, “How is oppression ended! How is the taskmaster vanished.” Tanakh notes at the bottom of the page, “The traditional reading [of MT] madhebah is of unknown meaning.”


The following items constitute, in the briefest of terms, my methodology for preparing the lemmas and listing the textual variants.

1. Paleography. The opening task is to determine the correct readings of the Qumran Isaiah texts. This is conducted by closely examining the leather scrolls themselves, when possible, as well as high-resolution photographs and images. When I examined 1QIsaa on three different occasions, I had particular concerns about the scroll’s shadows, creases, wrinkles, folds, darkened areas, flaked-off leather, holes in the leather, and the like; such items may or may not appear in the photographs. In addition to examining 1QIsaa, I accessed high-resolution images of the same manuscript from the collection of first generation negatives held by the Ancient Biblical Manuscripts Center (ABMC), Claremont, California, including the PAM series and those belonging to John Trever.

2. Transcriptional Text. Based on the efforts to determine the correct paleography of the Qumran Isaiah scrolls, I produced transcriptions of the Hebrew words; in doing so, I consulted the Parry Qimron edition of the Great Isaiah Scroll and DJD 32.

3. Word-Word Correspondences. Determining word-word correspondences among the Qumran Isaiah scrolls and MT, and then lemmatizing the words, proved to be a complex and prolonged task; this is because many supposed textual variants are no more than orthographic deviations. Divergences consisting of the letters ʾālep, hê, wāw, and yôd especially mark orthographic deviations, but not always.

The word-word correspondences are structured as follows: first the Isaianic chapter and verse; then a MT reading followed by witnesses that affirm MT; then follows a vertical separator stroke (= |); then a textual variant of one or more of the Qumran witnesses; and the entry closes with a solid, midline circle (= •). My approach in the lemma line is to place MT first, followed by other Hebrew witnesses, then the versions. This was a methodological decision and was not designed to suggest that MT has the primary, primitive, or correct reading.

4. Reconstructed Texts. This paper does not include divergences from Qumran readings that have been fully reconstructed (i.e., a reading fully enclosed in brackets); but it does include partial reconstructions.

5. Parallel Registers in the Bible. This paper includes the readings from blocks of texts that are parallel to Isaiah, most notably Isa 2:2–4 // Mic 4:1–3 and Isa 36–38 // 2 Kgs 18–20.

6. MT Ketib-Qere System. This paper examines the ketib-qere system of Masoretic type texts of Isaiah in light of 1QIsaa and other Qumran witnesses of Isaiah; therefore, both MTket and MTqere are set forth in the lemma lines in association with Qumran entries. Based on my study published in 2010,4 it is my position that the majority of ketib-qere variants of the book of Isaiah are not material variants that reflect a different Vorlage or textual tradition; rather they are analogical readings, divergences that reveal different orthographic systems, or examples of archaic, dialectical, or phonological textual updating. In fact, beyond the qere perpetuum readings and three examples of euphemisms (13:16; 36:12 bis), variations between ketib-qere are, for the most part, from the grouping ʾālep, hê, wāw, and/or yôd.

7. Linguistic Analysis. This endeavor constitutes another complex set of tasks because the effort requires various determinations, when appropriate, with regard to orthography, lexicon, morphology, syntax, grammar, etc. Here the lexicons proved to be helpful, as well as multiple publications (see individual entries plus the bibliography).

8. Hapax Legomena. Biblical Hebrew scholars in the modern era utilize the Greek expression hapax legomenon (“once said”) to identify unique words in the Hebrew Bible. Of the approximately 1,200–1,500 hapax legomena in the HB (the number varies according to scholarly approaches),5 about nine hundred are decipherable, because they possess known and established roots. Approximately four hundred, however, are difficult to interpret. In this paper I deal with examples of hapax legomena when they exist as deviations in MT Isaiah and the Qumran Isaiah scrolls that attest them (i.e., 1QIsaa, 1QIsab, 4QIsaa, 4QIsab, 4QIsac, 4QIsad, 4QIsaf, and 4QIsag). In 2015, I conducted a methodological examination of hapax legomena in Isaiah’s text, which includes an analysis of the Qumran Isaiah Scrolls (published in the Peter Flint memorial volume).6

Chiasmus in Isaiah’s Text

We will now examine several examples of chiasms in Isaiah’s text. These examples were selected randomly; other examples could be cited. I will place textual variants in brackets. In this section I will examine only the textual variants that present possible deviations that impact the structure or clarity of one or more of the particular chiastic elements.

Isaiah 2:3–5

A Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD [1QIsaª omits “to the mountain of the LORD”]

B to the house of the God of Jacob;

C that he [“they” ונוריו 1QIsaª] may teach us of his ways, and that we may walk in his paths; because the law will go forth from Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (2:3)

D Thus he will judge among the nations, and he will settle the case for many people.

E And they will hammer their swords into plowshares,

E and their spears into pruning hooks.

D And nation will not lift up a sword against nation,

C nor will they learn war again. (2:4)

B O house of Jacob,

A Come, and let us walk in the light of the LORD (2:5)

2:3 הׇוהְי־רַה־לֶא MT 4QIsae ([הוהי] רה לא) Mic 4:2 LXX Tg. Syr. Vulg. | > 1QIsaª • נֵרֹיְו MT 4QIsae (MT Mic 4:2) LXX Tg. Syr. Vulg. | ונוריו 1QIsaª (LXX Mic 4:2) •

הׇוהְי־רַה־לֶא—The expression “to the mountain of the Lord” (הׇוהְי־רַה־לֶא) was omitted in 1QIsaª by means of haplography, triggered by the prepositions לֶא . . . לֶא The expression, which has the support of three Hebrew witnesses—MT 4QIsae Micah 4:2—as well the versions (LXX Tg. Syr. Vulg.), is essential to the chiastic structure owing to the fact that “of the Lord” corresponds with the same expression in the final line.

נֵרֹיְו—MT, with the support of 4QIsae (MT Mic 4:2) LXX Tg. Syr. Vulg., has a singular verb (via הרי) “and he will teach us,” versus the plural reading of 1QIsaª (ונוריו via √הרי) “and they will teach us.” Brownlee posits, as a possibility, that the plural reading of 1QIsaª (ונוריו) was impacted by the Qumran Community’s belief that “they [the priests] may teach us of His ways.” For this position, Brownlee draws support from 4QpIsaa 11:3–4 and 1QS ix, 7 (see Mic 4:2).7 For a second point of view (and more likely), Kutscher postulates that the Qumran “scribe misplaced the wāw by mistake.”8 The pronoun “they” in the expression “they will teach us” lacks an antecedent and signifies an error and does not provide support to the chiastic structure.

2:4 ַחיִִכֹוהְו MT 4QIsae LXX Tg. Syr. Vulg. | חיכוהו הו 1QIsaª • םיִִַעְל MT LXX Syr. Vulg. | םימעל ןיב 1QIsaª (p.m.) םימעל | םִיֹוגְל Mic 4:3 •

ַחיִִכֹוהְו—The odd reading of חיכוהו הו in 1QIsaª may be explained as follows: the scribe wrote the first two characters of ַחיִִכֹוהְו at the end of line 11 (col. 2); then he perceived that writing the whole word would extend too far beyond the vertical ruling, so he inscribed ַחיִִכֹוהְו at the beginning of the next line (line 12). For three other examples of this phenomenon in 1QIsaª, see 8:2 (col. 7, lines 19–20), 49:2 (col. 40, line 29), and 49:11 (col. 41, lines 10–11). See also Tov’s study.9

םיִִַעְל—The p.m. of 1QIsaª (ןיב חיכוהו) represents a rare reading, attested once in the HB (Gen 31:37; cf. Job 9:33); but the preposition has been deleted and the lāmed added interlinearly, conforming to MT and the corresponding passage Mic 4:3 (םִיֹוגְל ַחיִִכֹוהְו). Initially the copyist of 1QIsaª had written ןיב, impacted by ןיב located three words earlier, an obvious error. With regard to the ordering of םיוג and םימע, Mic 4:3 deviates from MT and 1QIsaª by placing םימע first followed by םיוג.

Isaiah 6:7

A and will be turned aside

B your iniquity,

B and your sin [ךיתואטחו “sins” 1QIsaª]

A will be atoned (רָּּפֻּכְתּ)

6:7 ָךְתאָָטַּחְו MT | ךיתואטחו 1QIsaª LXX •

ָךְתאָָטַּחְו—MT Isa 6:7b of MT comprises a chiastic structure with two singular nouns, each with an attached second masculine singular pronominal suffix, and two third person verbs: רָּּפֻּכְתּ ָךְתאָָטַּחְו ָךֶנֲע רָסְו (“and will be turned aside your iniquity and your sin will be atoned”). 1QIsaª has a plural noun ךיתואטחו (“and your sins”) that lacks correspondence with the singular noun (“iniquity”) in the chiasmus; perhaps the copyist inadvertently assimilated the plural from ָךיֶתָפְשׂ (“your lips”), a word that is located in the first bicolon of verse 7. But compare LXX, which also attests the plural “sins.”

Isaiah 6:10

A Make fat [“make desolate” 1QIsaª] the heart of this people,

B and make heavy their ears,

C and shut their eyes;

C lest they see with their eyes,

B and hear [plural verb, 1QIsaª] with their ears,

A and understand and [“with,” 1QIsaª] their heart

6:10 ןֵמְַה MT LXX | משה 1QIsaª • עָמְיִ MT 4QIsaf Syr.(vid) Vulg. | ועמשי 1QIsaª LXX Tg. Vulg.mssבָבְל MT s / | ובבלב 1QIsaª | ובבלבו 4QIsaf MTmss | καὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ LXX | ןהְביִִלב Tg. •

ןֵמְַה—Some critics approach the reading in 1QIsaª (משה, a hipʿil verb via םמ “to be desolate, be appalled”) versus MT (ןֵמְַה, a hipʿil verb via ןמ “to make fat”) as a vario lectio.10 Kutscher, for one, suggests “the scribe found it difficult to understand the verb ןמש in conjunction with בל, whereas םמש, which is found over a 100 times, was more intelligible to him.”11 Evans (following Brownlee12) sees the scroll’s reading as a “deliberate scribal alteration,”13 reading משה as a hipʿil imperative from םמש “make desolate/make appalled.” Thus Evans translates: “Make the heart of his people appalled (at evil).” Evans summarizes that “The effect of these variants [in Isa 6:9–10] is to redirect the entire thrust of the Isaianic passage. The passage no longer proclaims a word of judgment aimed at promoting and intensifying spiritual obduracy; rather, its purpose is to warn and aid the elect [i.e., the Qumran community] in protecting themselves from evil.”14

With regard to the elements of the chiastic structure, one could argue for either MT or 1QIsaª’s reading. But there is another possibility that explains the deviation in 1QIsaª: perhaps the copyist of 1QIsaª made a simple error by failing to copy the final nûn. It is a fact that the copyist occasionally utilized a medial mêm in the final position, but in the majority of cases he wrote a final mêm.

עָמְיִ—Now I will address the second deviation of consequence in this text. Verse 10 consists of a chiasmus that frames the following anatomical parts—heart, ears, eyes, eyes, ears, and heart. A verb accompanies each of the six body parts. The first three verbs are hipʿil imperatives and the next three are qal imperfects. In MT, all six verbs are put forward as singular verbs. However, a copyist of 1QIsaª made a mistake by writing one of the verbs as a plural, “and hear” (ועמשי). At some point during the transmission of the text of Isaiah, the original read ובבלבו עמשי (see discussion immediately below), but a copyist created an error by means of a dittogram, ובבלבו ועמשי. A subsequent copyist either omitted the wāw conjunction via haplography or he corrected his manuscript according to another manuscript tradition.

ֹובָבְלוּ—The Hebrew witnesses provide three different readings: ֹובָבְלוּ (MT), ובבלב (1QIsaª), and ובבלבו (4QIsaf). 4QIsaf’s reading, with both the conjunctive wāw and the preposition bêt, corresponds to the pattern of the other comparable elements in the chiastic structure, namely ויניעב and וינזאבו, thus reading “lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart.” The preposition bêt of 1QIsaª, too, correlates with the bêt of ויניעב and וינזאב. These correspondences may indicate primary readings; or, alternatively, a harmonization with the surrounding text. See also the discussion immediately above.

Isaiah 11:4

A he will smite [hipʿil verb] the earth

B with the rod of his mouth,

B and with the breath of his lips

A will he slay [hipʿil verb] the wicked [hopʿal verb “the wicked will be killed” 1QIsaa].

11:4 > MT | עשר תמוי 1QIsaaתיִִמָי MT LXX | תמוי 1QIsaa | תמֹי 4QIsac

>–1QIsaa has עשר תמוי, encircled with deletion dots. MT lacks the reading. The scribe assimilated these two words from the same expression that is found three words later.

תיִִמָי—Isaiah 11:4b features a chiastic passage, for which MT presents two corresponding hipʿil imperfect verbs: “but he will smite [הָּּכִהְו] the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips will he slay [תיִִמָי] the wicked.” For the fourth line of the structure, 1QIsaa (תמוי) has a hopʿal imperfect third masculine singular, “[the wicked] will be killed”; as does 4QIsac with its qal imperfect third masculine singular, “[the wicked] will die.” The deviations of 1QIsaa and 4QIsac may have arisen owing to scribal carelessness or to the graphic similarity of the qal, hipʿil, and hopʿal forms. MT’s verb supports the chiastic elements of the verse.

Isaiah 11:8

A And the nursing babe will delight

B on the hole of the adder,

B and on the den of the viper [“dens of the vipers” 1QIsaa]

A the weaned child will put his hand.

11:8 תַרוּאְמ MT 4QIsac | תורואמ 1QIsaa | κοίτην LXX • יִִנעְפִצ MT Tg. Syr. Vulg. | םינועפצ 1QIsaa 4QIsac LXX • הָדָה MT 1QIsaa 4QIsab | הדהי 4QIsac

יִִנעְפִצ . . . תַרוּאְמ—In this chiastic structure, MT has the singular
יִִנעְפִצ תַרוּאְמ (“den of the viper”) versus the plural of 1QIsaa םינועפצ תורואמ (“dens of the vipers”). MT’s singular provides a better correspondence to the expression “hole of the adder.” The structure, therefore, reads: “And the nursing babe will delight on the hole of the adder, and on the den of the viper the weaned child will put his hand.” Compare also the deviations at 59:5 (יִִנעְפִצ MT 1QIsab | םינועפצ 1QIsaª LXX). The mechanism that serves to explain the deviations is unknown.

הׇדׇה—Already in 1912, Gray provided three reasons why the reading הׇדׇה is “doubtful.” His first is that “הדה would be the only occurrence in the poem of a pf. tense, and this remains suspicious.”15 Roberts, too, prefers the imperfect verb (יהדה) of 4QIsac versus the perfect (MT, 1QIsaa, 4QIsab).16 One could argue in favor of MT, 1QIsaa, and 4QIsab; however, a copyist of 4QIsac may have added the yôd to יהדה, possibly influenced by the previous word (ידו), which also begins with yôd. But despite Gray’s objection, הׇדׇה corresponds well with וְשִׁעֲשַׁע, making the morphological values of the two A lines correspond.

Isaiah 13:16

A will be plundered

B their houses

B and their wives

A will be violated [“they will be lain with” 1QIsaa]

13:16 הָנְלַגָשִּׁ MTket 4QIsaa ([הנ]ל֯[גשת) Syr. Vulg. | הָנְבַבָשִּׁ MTqere 1QIsaa Tg.(vid) | ἕξουσιν LXX •

The chiasmus features two nipʿal imperfect plural verbs (lines A), two masculine plural pronominal suffixes (“their”), and two plural nouns (“houses” and “wives”) (lines B).

הָנְלַגָשִּׁ—MTket and 4QIsab read the verb לג (הָנְלַגָשִּׁ “they will be violated”). 4QIsaa also apparently reads [הנ]ל֯[גשת. MTqere and 1QIsaa read the verb בכש (הנבכשת, “they will be lain with”); MTqere and 1QIsaa present a euphemistic reading because lie down does not necessarily imply force, versus לג. According to b. Megillah 25b: “Our rabbis taught: wherever an indelicate expression is written in the Torah, we substitute a more polite one in reading. <Thus for> הנלגת, ‘he shall enjoy (?) her,’ <we read> הנלגיִ, ‘he shall lie with her.”17 The same MTket/MTqere is found in Deut 28:30; Jer 3:2; Zech 14:2. For a discussion of הָנְלַגָשִּׁ/הָנְבַבָשִּׁ in light of other euphemistic expressions, see Ginsburg.18 The primary reading is likely לג (“to be violated”), which accords with plunder (i.e., to take something by force) in the chiastic structure.

Isaiah 14:25

A will be turned aside from them [“from you”1QIsaa]

B his yoke,

B and his burden

A from his shoulder [“your shoulder” 1QIsaa] will be turned aside.

14:25 םֶהיֵלֲעֵמ MT LXX | המכילעמ 1QIsaa • וֹמְכִ MT | הכמכש 1QIsaa

םֶהיֵלֲעֵמ . . . וֹמְכִ—Isa 14:25b forms a chiasmus: “will be turned aside from them his yoke, and his burden from his shoulder will be turned aside.” Note that the verbs רָסְו and רסָי (both רוס) frame the chiasmus, with וֹלֻּע (“his yoke”) and וֹלֳֻסְו (“his burden”) serving as pivotal units. One would expect the pronominal suffixes of the words םֶהיֵלֲעֵמ and וֹמְכִ, belonging to MT, to harmonize, but they do not. But compare several versions (LXXmss Tg. Syr. Vulg.), which read plural suffix םמכש, agreeing with םֶהיֵלֲעֵמ.19 1QIsaa deviates with its second person plural suffix (המכילעמ “from you”) and its second person singular suffix (הכמכש “your shoulder”). The scroll may have been impacted by ךמכ and ךראוצ (both second m. sg. suffixes), two words belonging to a similar reading in 10:27, “his burden will be turned aside from your shoulder and his yoke from upon your neck” (ךראוצ לעמ ולעו ךמכ לעמ ולבס רוסי).

Isaiah 29:14

A and shall perish

B the wisdom of their wise,

B and the understanding [“understandings” 1QIsaª] of those who understand

A shall be hid.

29:14 תַניִִב MT LXX(vid) | תוניבו 1QIsaª •

בִינַת—MT has the singular, “and the understanding of.” 1QIsaª records the plural ובינות, “and the understandings of,” but the plural lacks alignment with singular verb (תסתתר). MT’s reading works well as it is, preferred by Wildberger.20 Furthermore, 1QIsaª’s plural בינות does not accord with the singular חָכְמַת in the chiasmus.

Isaiah 34:5–8

A For my sword is saturated [“will appear” 1QIsaª] in the heavens, behold, it descends upon Edom, and upon the people promised for destruction, for judgment. (34:5)

B The LORD’s sword is filled with blood, it is gorged with fat;

C from the blood of lambs and goats, from the fat of the kidneys of rams;

D because the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah,

D and a great slaughter in the land of Edom. (34:6)

C And wild oxen will fall with them, and the bulls with the mighty bulls,

B and their land will be soaked with blood, and their soil will be made rich with fat. (34:7)

A For it is a day of the LORD’s vengeance, a year of recompense to uphold the cause of Zion. (34:8)

34:5 הָתְִר MT LXX | הארת 1QIsaª •

הָתְִר—MT presents the lectio difficilior (הור “to be saturated, to drink”), versus 1QIsaª’s הארת (האר “to see”), nipʿal, translated as “For my sword will appear.” With regard to the scroll’s reading, Kutscher proposes that the scribe did not know the verb הור.21 But if the scribe did not know הור, why did he correctly use it two verses later (see v. 7)? It is remotely possible that the scribe borrowed language from another passage (i.e., Jer 14:13; Ezek 33:3, 6), where בֶרֶח (“sword”) and האר (“to see”) are collocated. However, one should also consider that Targum’s reading of יֵלְגתִת (“my sword will be revealed”) is closer in meaning to הארת (“my sword will appear”) than is הָתְִר (“my sword is saturated”). Based on a line in Jer 46:10 (“and the sword will devour, and it will be satiated and made drunk with their blood”) (םמִמ הָתְוָרְו הָעְבָשְׂו בֶרֶח הָלְכָאְו), a reading that is similar to the one under discussion, one can argue for the primacy of MT’s reading; we observe also that MT has the support of LXX, Vulg., and Syr.; but contrast Watts, who states that 1QIsaª and Tg. “may be more nearly correct” than MT.22 So also, Driver, based on the difficulty of the reading of MT as well as the variant reading of the Targum, states emphatically that “the Scroll’s reading can, indeed must, be accepted without hesitation.”23

The reading here, then is indeterminate, with textual critics making arguments for the acceptance of both readings, “to be saturated” and “to appear.”

Isaiah 40:12

A Who has measured

B in the hollow of his hand

C the waters [“waters of the sea” 1QIsaa]

C and the heavens

B with the span [“with his span” 1QIsaa]

A marked off.

40:12 םִיַמ MT LXX | םי ימ 1QIsaa תרֶֶַ MT LXX(vid) | ותרזב 1QIsaa Syr. •

םִיַמ—The first textual variant pertains to a possible fusion of two words, reading “waters” (םימ MT), or the diatomy, “waters of the sea”
(םי ימ 1QIsaa).24 Tov holds that “the reading of 1QIsaa is preferable because of the parallel hemistich (‘and gauged the skies with a span.’”25 McKenzie, too, prefers the scroll’s reading.26 Brownlee, with a slight reservation, determines 1QIsaa to be the original reading,27 contra Orlinsky, who emphatically states that “םי ימ is only an erroneous reading.”28 On the grounds that the poet intended assonance to be read (“םימשו םימ in MT is surely intentional”), Baltzer holds that MT’s reading is primary.29 Cf. also Isaiah 24:14, where LXX has the equivalent of םי ימ “the water of the sea” (τὸ ὕδωρ τῆς θαλάσσης). As pertaining to the reading that best supports the chiasticity of the lines, the scholars lack agreement, meaning the primary reading is indeterminate.

ֶַרֶת—With regard to the second variant, MT attests ֶַרֶת (“with the span”) versus 1QIsaa’s “with his span” (בזרתו). It is unknown whether or not the suffix “his” is original or whether a copyist added it via assimilation from the corresponding “in the hollow of his hands” (בשׁעלו). Assimilation is the more likely situation because of the scroll’s copyist’s tendency to harmonize the text. Rosenbloom prefers 1QIsaa’s reading because “בזרתו is in parallel with בשועלו30 versus Koole, who rejects the suffix.31 Based solely on the two B lines of the chiasmus, “his hand” corresponds with “his span.”

Isaiah 44:21

A Remember these,

B O Jacob and Israel [“O Jacob, Israel” 1QIsaa]

C for you are my servant,

D I have formed you,

C you are a servant to me,

B O Israel,

A you will not be forgotten [“forgotten”(?) “lifted”(?) “deceived”(?) 1QIsaa] by me.

44:21 לֵאָָרְשִׂיְו MT 4QIsab LXX | לארשי 1QIsaaלֵאָָרְשִׂי MT 1QIsaa LXX | לארשיו 4QIsabיִִנֵשָׁנִּת MT 4QIsab | ינאשת 1QIsaa

וְיִשְׂרׇאֵל—Both expressions—“Jacob and Israel” (= MT 4QIsab LXX) and “Jacob, Israel” (= 1QIsaa)—work well in this chiasmus.

תִנׇּשֵׁנִי—The words “you will not be forgotten” (תנשׁני), belonging to both MT and 4QIsab, is a hapax legomenon, probably via √ נשׁה(attested six times). The root sense means “to forget” in both Hebrew and Aramaic.32 1QIsaa’s תשאני may originate from נשׂא(“to lift, carry”) or נשׁא (“to deceive”), although it is possible that 1QIsaa’s scribe intended נשׁה, “to forget.” North is partial to נשׁא(“to deceive”), and translates, “you must not play false with me, Israel.”33 Not only does MT’s reading make sense, but “you will not be forgotten” forms a textbook example of a chiasmus because “not be forgotten” parallels “remember.”

Isaiah 51:7

A Do not fear

B the reproach of a man

B and of their revilings [“those who revile them”(?) 1QIsaª]

A do not be dismayed.

51:7 םתָפִֹֻמִ MT | םתופדגממו 1QIsaª 1QIsab (םתפדגממו) •

םתָפִֹֻמִ—MT reads “their revilings” (םתָפִֹֻמִ), a non-absolute hapax legomenon from הָפוּדִּ, preceded by the preposition ןִמ. 1QIsab attests “those who revile them” (םתפדגממו), with the double mêm, which suggests the reading of the piʿel ptc. ףֵַגְמ (e.g., Num 15:30; Ps 44:17), also prefaced by the preposition ןִמ. 1QIsaª apparently first read םתופדגמו (= MT) but a subsequent hand added a second mêm, thus reading םתופדגממו (= 1QIsab). Additionally, Barthélemy points out that it is “likely that the repetition of the mem in [the two Qumran scrolls] was an attempt to assimilate the rare form of MT to a more common form.”34 Either reading is possible (MT or the scrolls), although the grammatically structured chiasmus seems to favor MT’s noun (הָפוּדִּ): “Do not fear the reproach [noun] of man, and of their revilings [noun] do not be dismayed.”

Isaiah 53:7

A yet he opens not his mouth:

B he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter [“to slaughter” 1QIsaª],

B and [omit “and” 1QIsaª] as a ewe before her shearers is dumb,

A so he opens [1QIsaª has a perfect verb] not his mouth.

53:7 חַבֶַל MT | חובטל 1QIsaª 1QIsab לֵחָרְכ MT 1QIsab (לח]֯רכו) LXX | לחרכ 1QIsaª • חְַפִי2 MT | חתפ 1QIsaª •

לַטֶּבַח—The verb √טבח does not appear in MT Isaiah, but the masculine singular noun טבח occurs four times (34:2, 6; 53:7; 65:12). For three out of those four occurrences, 1QIsaª sets forth a deviation. In Isaiah 53:7, MT has a masculine singular noun (“slaughter”) versus the qal infinitive construct (“to slaughter”) of both 1QIsaª and 1QIsab (cf., Jer 11:19, וַאֲנִי כְּכֶבֶשׂ אַלּוּף יוּבַל לִטְבח). The deviation is not consequential to the chiastic structure.

חְַפִי2—With regard to the verbs of the two “A” lines, MT’s imperfect verb (חְַפִי) corresponds with the same imperfect in the first line of the chiasmus, versus 1QIsaª, which has a perfect verb in line four. 1QIsaª likely is in error.

Isaiah 55:8–9

A For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

B neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

C For [“as” 1QIsaa] the heavens are higher

C than the earth,

B so are my ways higher than your ways,

A and my thoughts than your thoughts.

55:8 םֶכיֵתבְְחַמ יַתבְְחַמ MT 1QIsaa LXX (αἱ βουλαί μου ὥσπερ αἱ βουλαὶ ὑμῶν) | יתבשחמ םכ֯י[תבשח]֯מ 1QIsab

מַחְשְׁבתַי מַחְשְׁבתֵיכֶם—Both MT and 1QIsaa present a chiasmus of pronominal suffixes: my, your, your, my, thus reading: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” Contrast this with 1QIsab’s reading of מ֯[חשבת]י֯כם מחשבתי, which presents an a b a b ordering of the suffixes: your, my, your, my: “For your thoughts are not my thoughts, nor are your ways my ways.” Compare also v. 9: “so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

55:9הְבָג1 MT 1QIsab | הבוגכ 1QIsaa | ὡς ἀπέχει LXX •

1גׇבְהוּ—For the first attestation of גׇבְהוּ in MT, 1QIsaa attests כגובה, with the preposition kāp, which serves as a comparative. Kutscher supports MT,35 but some earlier critics prefer to read כִּי כִגְבֹהַּ (“avec les versions et Ps. 103,11”).36 The expression in Ps 103:11 (עַל־הׇאׇרֶץ שׇׁמַיִם כִגְבֹהַּ כִּי) is similar to the opening words of 55:9. For the preposition belonging to 1QIsaª and LXX, see the comments at 29:9.

With the plus of the preposition kāp in line three, 1QIsaa has either facilitated the text (i.e., made the comparative explicit) or has experienced dittography, כיא כגובה. Note also that the preposition kāp is lacking in the fifth line of the chiasmus, where “higher” appears the second time.

Isaiah 56:9–12

A Every beast [“All beasts” 1QIsaa] of the field, come to eat, every beast [“and all beasts” 1QIsaa] in the forest. (56:9)

B His watchmen are all blind, they are all without knowledge,

C they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark,

D panting in their sleep [“they are seers” 1QIsaa], they are lying down,

D loving to slumber [“to utter prophesy” 1QIsaa] (56:10)

C The dogs have a mighty appetite, they never have enough,

B and they are [“the” 1QIsaa] shepherds that have no understanding, they all have turned to their own way, each to his own gain, one and all. (56:11)

A Come, let me [“us” 1QIsaa] take wine, and let us fill ourselves with strong drink. (56:12a)

56:9 תְיַח . . . יָדָשׂ תְיַח MT 1QIsab (ותייח . . . ֯ידש ותיח) | תויח . . . הדש תויח 1QIsaa LXX • לָכּ MT 1QIsab LXX | לוכו 1QIsaa

חַיְת שׇׂדׇי . . . חַיְת—MT uses rare forms (“archaic case ending,”37 cf. בְּנ בְעֹר,
“the son of Beor,” Num 24:15) in this expression—חַיְת (bis) and שׇׂדׇי—versus 1QIsaa’s facilitated (or modernized) reading (חיות שדה . . . חיות). Further, the scroll reads the plural “beasts”; LXX also has the plural.

56:10 פָצ MTket | ויָפֹצ MTqere 1QIsaa (ויפוצ) | ἴδετε LXX • > MT 1QIsab | המה 1QIsaa םיִִזֹה MT 1QIsab | םיזוח 1QIsaa MTmss LXX (ἐνυπνιαζόμενοι) α σ Vulg. (videntes vana) •

צׇפMTket is vocalized to read as a qal verb (via √צפה), although MTqere and 1QIsaa read צֹפׇיו (“his watchmen”); the difference between צפו and צפיו is a yôd (fundamentally an orthographic deviation). Note that LXX (ἴδετε) reads the Hebrew as an imperative, = צִפ.

הֹזִים . . . לׇנם—These two words from MT 1QIsab are from √הזה (a hapax legomenon, meaning uncertain, perhaps a dog “panting in its sleep,”38 “babbling,” or “drowsing”39) and √נוס (“to slumber”). The verse may be translated as “His watchmen are all blind, they are all without knowledge, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark, they are panting in their sleep, lying down, loving to slumber.” 1QIsaa renders the two words under discussion similarly—לנואם . . . חוזים (“seers”). The difference between the deviations may be explained by hê/ḥêt (חוזים/הזים) confusion for the first word and an elision of the ’ālep (לׇנם/לנואם) for the second. For MT’s reading of √חזה, Kutscher holds this to be the primary reading—a hapax legomenon;40 and the reading of the scroll is a simplification, reading a popular word for a difficult term. Contrast Kutscher with Döderlein, who proposed reading חזים.41

Or there may exist here two genuine variant readings. If the two words from the Qumran scroll are from √חזה (“to envision, to see”) and √נאם (“to utter a prophecy”; cf. וַיִּנְאֲמ in Jer 23:31), then the verse may be rendered “His watchmen are all blind, they are all without knowledge, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark, they are seers, lying down, loving to utter prophecy.” Lying down (שוכבים) may be a reference to the prophets’ practice of incubation. The rendering of this passage by 1QIsaa establishes that the watchmen who are blind are none other than the seers who utter prophecies. It is difficult to know whether or not we have in these two words inadvertent scribal errors or textual variants, although scribal errors is the most probable explanation.

56:11 םיִִעֹר MT 1QIsab | םיעורה 1QIsaa | πονηροὶ LXX Tg. Syr. •

םיִִעֹר—The three Hebrew witnesses, MT, 1QIsaa, and 1QIsab, followed by Vulg., attest “shepherds” via √הער. With an article attached to shepherds (םיעורה), 1QIsaa has a minor variant. This article, together with the m. pl. ptc., corresponds (harmonizes?) to the plural noun and article of line one of the bicolon, thus reading “the dogs . . . the shepherds.” Or, as Paul has written, the “initial heh of םיִִעֹרה was omitted in the MT as the result of haplography.”42 LXX Syr. Tg. have a divergent text, reading √עער (“to be evil”) in place of the root הער. Even as “evil” fits the context quite nicely, it is incorrect.

56:12 הָאְְסִנְו . . . הָחְקֶא MT 1QIsab (האבסנו . . . חקא) | הבסנו . . . חקנו 1QIsaaהָיָהְו MT 1QIsab | יהיו 1QIsaaםי MT 1QIsab (֯ם֯ו[י]) | םויה 1QIsaaרָחָמ MT | רחמו 1QIsaa

הָחְקֶא—There are three Hebrew deviations, MT הָחְקֶא; 1QIsab חקא; and 1QIsaa חקנו. Some two decades before the discovery of the Qumran scrolls, Kennedy pointed out that in “some old Semitic alphabets,” the similarity of the form of the characters א and נ sometimes caused confusion in the manuscript; therefore, Kennedy proposed that MT’s החקא read החקנ (which is the reading of 1QIsaa), “that this may harmonize with the succeeding plural form הָאְְסִנ.”43 Too, Oort emended MT to read החקנו.44 Contrast Kennedy with Abegg, who proposes that “1QIsaa and MT probably reflect two early exegetical solutions to the harder text of 1QIsab. The fact that the scribe of 1QIsab normally lengthened first person imperfects argues for the originality of its reading. It is also difficult to imagine how the first plural would have developed from a first singular in this context.”45 Barthélemy follows MT, contending that MT is supported by 1QIsab, and also that 1QIsaa’s reading of חקנו is an assimilation of הבסנו (האבסנו), located two words later.46

Isaiah 60:1–3

A Arise,

B shine;

C for thy light is come,

D and the glory

E of the LORD

F is risen upon thee.

G For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,

G and gross darkness the people:

F but shall arise upon thee,

E the LORD

D and his glory shall be seen upon thee,

C and the Gentiles shall come to your light

B and kings to the brightness [“and kings in front of” 1QIsaª]

A of thy rising.

60:3 ַגֹנְל MT | דגנל 1QIsaª | τῇ λαμπρότητί σου LXX •

לְנֹגַ—The reading לנגד of 1QIsaª (“in front of”) may be an error (but cf. Tg. לׇקֳבֵיל). The dālet is sizable compared to the copyist’s usual bookhand (cf. the dālet of וכבודו on the same line) and the dālet’s thickness and unusual shape suggests that it was written over another letter. Conceivably, a scribe of 1QIsaª text miswrote a dālet for the , thus resulting in לנגד (“in front of”). Furthermore, 1QIsaª’s reading disturbs a classic chiastic structure, where in MT’s לְנֹגַ (“brightness”) corresponds with “shine” in the B and B lines.


I have examined textual variants in sixteen chiastic structures in Isaiah’s text. Many of the variants are consequential, consisting of content words, pluses, minuses, and changes; other variants are minor and pertain to conjunctions, the particle את, articles, prepositions, paragogic nûn, directional hê, and the like.

The textual variants in the chiasmus structures may be categorized into three groups:

1. Scribal errors. I have identified a number of possible errors conducted by a copyist or copyists of the Great Isaiah Scroll. These include haplography, assimilation or harmonization, dittography, accidental omission of a letter, confusion of the graphic set hê/ḥêt (הזים/חוזים), elision of the ʾālep, change from a hipʿil to a hopʿal verb, plus others.

2. Euphemism. Citing Megillah 25b, I referred to the existence of a well-known euphemism in Isa 13:16, wherein MT refers to women being “violated” versus the scroll referring to women being “lain with.”

3. Indeterminate readings. Several of the variants are indeterminate to the point that textual critics have opposing views regarding which Hebrew witness provides the primary reading, MT or 1QIsaa. For ­example, Isa 34:5 sets forth deviations with regard to the verb that accompanies “sword.” Did the primary reading set forth “my sword is saturated” or “my sword will appear”? For this reading, MT presents the lectio difficilior (√רוה “to be saturated, to drink”) and it is likely that a copyist of the 1QIsaª tradition facilitated the text. A second example is located in Isa 40:12, where the variant “waters” (MT) stands against “waters of the sea” (1QIsaa). This is most likely an example of textual fusion or a misdivision of the text.

After an examination of textual variants in sixteen chiastic structures, it is evident that ten of the structures present textual variants that impact the structure or clarity of the chiasmus. They are Isa 2:3–5; 6:7; 6:10; 11:4; 11:8; 13:16; 29:14; 44:21; 53:7; and 60:1–3.

Donald W. Parry is professor of the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls at Brigham Young University. He has served as a member of the International Team of Translators of the Dead Sea Scrolls since 1994 and is a member of the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation Board of Directors. He has authored or edited forty books, publishing on both biblical and nonbiblical Dead Sea Scrolls. Parry’s published works relevant to chiasmus include Poetic Parallelisms in the Book of Mormon: The Complete Text Reformatted (FARMS, reprinted by Maxwell Institute for Religious Studies).


1. Torleif Elgvin, “MS 1926/1, MS 1926/3. Uninscribed Fragments from 1QIsaa and 1QS,” in Gleanings from the Caves: Dead Sea Scrolls and Artefacts from The Schøyen Collection (ed. Torleif Elgvin; London: Bloomsbury; Ediburgh: T&T Clark, 2016), 311–12, describes the sewing repairs to 1QIsaa, which took place in antiquity. He also provides the latest information, together with photographs, on the uninscribed fragments from 1QIsaa, which belong to the Schøyen collection (“MS 1926/1, MS 1926/3,” 309–11).

2. For Aramaic influences in 1QIsaa, E. Y. Kutscher, The Language and Linguistic Background of the Isaiah Scroll (1QIsaa) (STDJ 6; Leiden: Brill, 1974), 24, claims, “Our scribe, whose mother tongue seems to have been Aramaic, and who was undoubtedly familiar with the Aramaic literature of his day, now and again inadvertently grafted Aramaic forms upon the Hebrew text.” Elisha Qimron, Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986), 116, is more restrained, “Aramaic influences exist, but not to the extent assumed by Kutscher.”

3. For an investigation of the utilization of biblical Qumran texts in modern translations, consult Harold P. Scanlin, The Dead Sea Scrolls and Modern Translations of the Old Testament (Wheaton: Tyndale, 1993); Jean Duhaime, “Les manuscrits de Qumrân dans trois traductions du livre d’Isale,” in Traduire la Bible hébraïque: de la Septante to the Nouvelle Bible Segond (ed. R. David and M. Jinbachian; Sciences Bibliques 15; Montréal: Médiaspaul, 2005), 319–49; and Paul Peters, “Varianten des Jesajarolle in der revidierten Lutherbible,” Lutheran Rundblick 22 (1974): 98–116.

4. Donald W. Parry, “1QIsaa and Ketib-Qere Readings of the Masoretic Type Texts,” in Qumran Cave 1 Revisited: Texts from Cave 1 Sixty Years after Their Discovery: Proceedings of the Sixth Meeting of the IOQS in Ljubljana (ed. Daniel K. Falk et al.; Leiden: Brill, 2010), 17–32.

5. The numbers are difficult to determine. Greenspahn, for instance, calculates: “The Hebrew Bible contains about 300 absolute hapax legomena and over 1,200 non-absolute hapax legomena, the present number depending on how you define the term.” Frederick E. Greenspahn, “Words That Occur in the Bible Only Once—How Hard Are They to Translate?” BRev 1 (1985): 30.

6. Donald W. Parry, “Text-Critical Study of Hapax Legomena in MT Isaiah and the Qumran Isaiah Scrolls,” in Reading the Bible in Ancient Traditions and Modern Editions: Studies in Memory of Peter W. Flint (ed. Andrew B. Perrin, Kyung S. Baek, and Daniel K. Falk; Atlanta: SBL Press; Leiden: Brill, 2017), 307–30.

7. William H. Brownlee, The Meaning of the Qumran Scrolls for the Bible: With Special Attention to the Book of Isaiah (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964), 157n3.

8. Kutscher, Language and Linguistic Background, 286.

9. Emanuel Tov, Scribal Practices and Approaches Reflected in the Texts Found in the Judean Desert (STDJ 54; Leiden: Brill, 2004), 107–8.

10. See, for example, Brownlee, Meaning of the Qumran Scrolls, 187–88; Joseph R. Rosenbloom, The Dead Sea Isaiah Scroll—a Literary Analysis: A Comparison with the Masoretic Text and the Biblia Hebraica (Grand Rapids, MI.: Eerdmans, 1970), 13–14; Craig A. Evans, To See and Not Perceive: Isaiah 6:9–10 in Early Jewish and Christian Interpretation (JSOTSup 64; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1989), 54–56.

11. Kutscher, Language and Linguistic Background, 292.

12. Brownlee, Meaning of the Qumran Scrolls, 186–87.

13. Evans, To See and Not Perceive, 55.

14. Evans, To See and Not Perceive, 56. See Craig A. Evans, “The Text of Isaiah 6:9–10,” ZAW 94 (1982): 416. In this article, Evans examines several traditions (1QIsaª, the LXX, the Targum the Peshitta, the Old Latin, and the Vulgate) but concludes that 1QIsaª “represents the most unusual textual modification.”

15. George B. Gray, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Isaiah (I–XXXIX) (ICC 18; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1912), 221.

16. See Jimmy J. M. Roberts, First Isaiah, A Commentary on the Bible (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2015), 178.

17. Cited in Emanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (3d ed. rev. and enl.; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012), 63.

18. Christian D. Ginsburg, Introduction to the Massoretico-Critical Edition of the Hebrew Bible (New York: Ktav, 1966), 346.

19. Thus Sheldon H. Blank, Introductions and Critical Notes to Portions of Isaiah (Jerusalem: Hebrew Union College, 1945), 3, emends the text to read םמכש.

20. Hans Wildberger, Isaiah 28–39 (Continental Commentary; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2002), 87.

21. Kutscher, Language and Linguistic Background, 285.

22. John D. W. Watts, Isaiah 34–66 (WBC 25; Waco, TX: Word, 1987), 5.

23. Godfrey R. Driver, “Isaiah I–XXXIX: Textual and Linguistic Problems,” JSS 13 (1968): 55.

24. Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, 234–36, presents this example in 40:12 and other examples of word division variants in the HB.

25. Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, 235.

26. John L. McKenzie, Second Isaiah (ed. William F. Albright and David N. Freedman; AB; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1968), 20; see also Pierre E. Bonnard, Le Second Isaïe: Son Disciple et Leurs Éditeurs. Isaïe 40–66 (Paris: J. Gabalda, 1972), 95.

27. Brownlee, Meaning of the Qumran Scrolls, 219–20.

28. Harry M. Orlinsky, “Studies in the St. Mark’s Isaiah Scroll, VI,” HUCA 25 (1954): 91.

29. Klaus Baltzer, Deutero-Isaiah: A Commentary on Isaiah 40–55 (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001), 60.

30. Rosenbloom, Dead Sea Isaiah Scroll, 48; so too, Christopher R. North, The Second Isaiah (Oxford: Clarendon, 1964), 81, writes that the scroll may be correct, “though the sense is clear without the suffix.”

31. Jan L. Koole, Isaiah, Part 3, vol. 1, Isaiah 40–48 (Historical Commentary on the Old Testament; Kampen: Kok Pharos, 1997), 88.

32. See Michael Sokoloff, A Dictionary of Jewish Palestinian Aramaic of the Byzantine Period (Ramat-Gan, Israel: Bar Ilan University Press, 2002), 778–79.

33. North, Second Isaiah, 45, 142.

34. Dominique Barthélemy, Studies in the Text of the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project (trans. Sarah Lind; Textual Criticism and the Translator 3; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2012), 399.

35. Kutscher, Language and Linguistic Background, 320–21.

36. Albert Condamin, Le livre d’Isaïe: traduction critique avec notes et commentaires (Paris: Victor Lecoffre, 1905), 349.

37. Joseph Blenkinsopp, Isaiah 56–66 (AB 19b; New York: Doubleday, 2003), 144.

38. Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner, The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (Leiden: Brill, 2000), 1:243.

39. Shalom M. Paul, Isaiah 40–66: Translation and Commentary (Eerdmans Critical Commentary; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012), 459.

40. Kutscher, Language and Linguistic Background, 235.

41. Johann Christoph Döderlein, Esaias: Ex Recensione Textus Hebraei (Monath, 1780), 231.

42. Paul, Isaiah 40–66, 459.

43. James Kennedy, An Aid to the Textual Amendment of the Old Testament (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1928), 37.

44. H. Oort, Textus Hebraici Emendationes: Quibus in Vetere Testamento Neerlandice Vertendo (Leiden: Brill, 1900), 105.

45. Martin G. Abegg Jr., “1QIsaa and 1QIsab: A Rematch,” in The Bible as Book: The Hebrew Bible and the Judaean Desert Discoveries: Proceedings of the Conference Held at Hampton Court, Herefordshire, 18–21 June 2000 (ed. Edward D. Herbert and Emanuel Tov; London: The British Library and Oak Knoll, in Association with the Scriptorium Center for Christian Antiquities, 2002), 226.

46. Dominique Barthélemy et al., Critique textuelle de l’Ancien Testament. 2. Isaïe, Jérémie, Lamentations (OBO 50.2; Fribourg, Switz.: Éditiones Universitaires/Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1986), 2:199.