Page:Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar (1910 Kautzsch-Cowley edition).djvu/45

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alone. B. Stade, on the other hand (Lehrb. der hebr. Gr., pt. i. Lpz. 1879), adopted a strictly scientific method in endeavouring to reduce the systems of Ewald and Olshausen to a more fundamental unity. E. König[1] in his very thorough researches into the phonology and accidence starts generally from the position reached by the early Jewish grammarians (in his second part ‘with comparative reference to the Semitic languages in general’) and instead of adopting the usual dogmatic method, takes pains to re-open the discussion of disputed grammatical questions. The syntax König has ‘endeavoured to treat in several respects in such a way as to show its affinity to the common Semitic syntax’.—Among the works of Jewish scholars, special attention may be called to the grammar by S. D. Luzzatto written in Italian (Padua, 1853–69).

The chief requirements for one who is treating the grammar of an ancient language are—(1) that he should observe as fully and accurately as possible the existing linguistic phenomena and describe them, after showing their organic connexion (the empirical and historico-critical element); (2) that he should try to explain these facts, partly by comparing them with one another and by the analogy of the sister languages, partly from the general laws of philology (the logical element).

 [g Such observation has more and more led to the belief that the original text of the O.T. has suffered to a much greater extent than former scholars were inclined to admit, in spite of the number of variants in parallel passages: Is 22 ff. = Mi 41 ff., Is 36-39 = 2 K 18132019, Jer 52 = 2 K 24182530, 2 S 22 = ψ 18, ψ 14 = ψ 53, ψ 4014 ff. = ψ 70, ψ 108 = ψ 578 ff. and 607 ff.. Cf. also the parallels between the Chronicles and the older historical books, and F. Vodel, Die konsonant. Varianten in den doppelt überlief. poet. Stücken d. masoret. Textes, Lpz. 1905. As to the extent and causes of the corruption of the Masoretic text, the newly discovered fragments of the Hebrew Ecclesiasticus are very instructive; cf. Smend, Gött. gel. Anz., 1906, p. 763.

The causes of unintentional corruption in the great majority of cases are:—Interchange of similar letters, which has sometimes taken place in the early ‘Phoenician’ writing; transposition or omission of

  1. Historisch-krit. Lehrgeb. der hebr. Sprache mit steter Beziehung auf Qimchi und die anderen Autoritäten: I, ‘Lehre von der Schrift, der Aussprache, dem Pron. u. dem Verbum,’ Lpz. 1881; II. 1, ‘Abschluss der speziellen Formenlehre u. generelle Formenl.,’ 1895; ii. 2, ‘Historisch-kompar. Syntax d. hebr. Spr.,’ 1897.