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and is still the received text of the O.T., has obtained the name of the Masoretic Text.
[3c] E. F. K. Rosenmüller already (Handbuch für d. Liter. der bibl. Kritik u. Exegese, 1797, i. 247; Vorrede zur Stereotyp-Ausg. des A.T., Lpz. 1834) maintained that our O.T. text was derived from Codices belonging to a single recension. J. G. Sommer (cf. Cornill, ZAW. 1892, p. 309), Olshausen (since 1853), and especially De Lagarde (Proverbien, 1863, p. 1 ff.), have even made it probable that the original Masoretic text was derived from a single standard manuscript. Cf., however, E. König in Ztschr. f. kirchl. Wiss., 1887, p. 279 f., and especially his Einleitung ins A.T., p. 88 ff. Moreover a great many facts, which will be noticed in their proper places, indicate that the Masora itself is by no means uniform but shows clear traces of different schools and opinions; cf. H. Strack in Semitic Studies in memory of... Kohut, Berlin, 1897, p. 563 ff. An excellent foundation for the history of the Masora and the settlement of the masoretic tradition was laid by Joh. Buxtorf in his Tiberias seu Commentarius Masorethicus, first published at Basel in 1620 as an appendix to the Rabbinical Bible of 1618 f. For more recent work see Geiger, Jüdische Ztschr., iii. 78 ff., followed by Harris in JQR. i. 128 ff., 243 ff.; S. Frensdorff. Ochla W’ochla, Hanover, 1864; and his Massor. Wörterb., part i, Hanover and Lpz. 1876; and Ch. D. Ginsburg, The Massora compiled from Manuscripts, &c., 3 vols., Lond. 1880 ff., and Introduction to the Massoretico-critical edition of the Hebr. Bible, Lond. 1897 (his text, reprinted from that of Jacob b. Ḥayyîm [Venice, 1524–5] with variants from MSS. and the earliest editions, was published in 2 vols. at London in 1894, 2nd ed. 1906; a revised edition is in progress); H. Hyvernat, ‘La langue et le langage de la Massore’ (as a mixture of New-Hebrew and Aramaic), in the Revue biblique, Oct. 1903, p. 529 ff. and B: ‘Lexique massorétique,’ ibid., Oct. 1904, p. 521 ff., 1905, p. 481 ff., and p. 515 ff. In the use of the Massora for the critical construction of the Text, useful work has been done especially by S. Baer, in the editions of the several books (only Exod.-Deut. have still to appear), edited from 1869 conjointly with Fr. Delitzsch, and since 1891 by Baer alone. Cf. also §7h.
The various readings of the Qerê (see §17) form one of the oldest and most important parts of the Masora. The punctuation of the Text, however, is not to be confounded with the compilation of the Masora. The former was settled at an earlier period, and is the result of a much more exhaustive labour than the Masora, which was not completed till a considerably later time.
[3d] 3. It was not until about the beginning of the tenth century that the Jews, following the example of the Arabs, began their grammatical compilations. Of the numerous grammatical and lexicographical works of R. Saʿadya, beyond fragments in the commentary on the Sepher Yeṣira (ed. Mayer-Lambert, pp. 42, 47, 75, &c.), only the explanation in Arabic of the seventy (more correctly ninety) hapax legomena in the O.T. has been preserved. Written likewise in Arabic, but frequently translated into Hebrew, were the still extant works of the grammarians R. Yehuda Ḥayyûǵ (also called Abu Zakarya Yaḥya, about the year 1000) and R. Yona (Ahu ʾl-Walîd Merwân ibn Ǵanâḥ, about 1030). By the aid of these earlier labours, Abraham ben Ezra (commonly called Aben Ezra, ob. 1167) and R. David Qimḥi (ob. c. 1235) especially gained a classical reputation by their Hebrew grammatical writings.
- On his independent attitude towards the Masoretic punctuation, see Delitzsch, Comm. zu den Psalmen4, p. 39.