Thursday, March 30, 2017

Alternative Psalms Manuscripts: 4QPs-q

For previous posts in this series, see here.

4QPsq (4Q98)
  • Date: Turn of the Era
  • Preserved contents: Ps 31:24–25; 33:1–18; 35:4–20
  • Alternatie sequences: 31→33 (cf. 4QPsa)
I cannot find a picture of this scroll online, so I've had to resort to scanning an image from DJD 16 (plate XIX). So the picture doesn't look great partly because it's just a scan from a printed book, but also "Towards the right side of the scroll the surface has flaked off, evidently because of stitching on the next revolution, and worm-holes are clearly visible" (DJD 16, p. 145).

A single fragment of this scroll has survived.

Scan of 4QPsq from DJD 16 (plate XIX).
Red line = Ps 31:25; Purple line = vacat; Yellow line = superscription;
Orange line = Ps 33:2–3; Green line = vacat after Ps 33:12
The red arrow in the above scan shows the end of Psalm 31, followed by a vacat at the beginning of the next line (indicated by the purple arrow), and then a superscription at the end of that same line (indicated by the yellow arrow). Psalm 32 has a superscription in the MT (לדוד משכיל), but it does not match the superscription in this scroll (לדויד שיר מזמור).

In the third line (see orange arrow), we can see the last words of Ps 33:2 (בכנור בנבל עשור זמרו לו) and the first word of v. 3 (שירו). So, our scroll does not contain Ps 32 in the spot where it appears in MT, but rather has put Ps 33 immediately after Ps 31. Moreover, whereas Ps 33 has no superscription in MT, our scroll contains a superscription for this psalm. The same sequence (31→33) is also found in 4QPsa, but this latter scroll does not contain a superscription for Ps 33.

Another interesting feature of this fragment is that there is a vacat after Ps 33:12 (green arrow in the above scan), apparently indicating that Ps 33:13–18 forms a separate poetic composition (DJD 16, p. 148; Yarchin 779–80).

Col. ii contains material from Ps 35.

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