Article

The Hebrew text and Judeo-Persian translation of the 'Book of Qohelet' - Examining textual variants in MS.116 and MS.117 from the Bibliotheque-Nationale-de-France

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Abstract

Two objectives have been pursued in this article. The first is to examine the variants between the Hebrew version of the book of Qohelet in Manuscripts 116 and 117 of the Bibliotheque nationale de France and the Hebrew codex of Leningrad B19a. The second is to analyse the choices made by the Judeo-Persian translators of Manuscripts 116 and 117, as compared to those made by the translators of Manuscripts 2 and 3 of the Persian Supplement. Four categories of differences may be identified: 1) the Ketiv and Qere, 2) differences in vocalization, 3) consonantic modifications and 4) full and defective writing. Following an investigation of the various divergences between these texts and an examination of the quality of the Judeo-Persian translation (both of which provide insight into the understanding which Judeo-Persian communities of XIII and XIVth had of the book of Qohelet), the authors suggest the possibility that the Judeo-Persian translation of Manuscripts 116 and 117 exhibits qaraite influence.

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