origin of the words in question (which is of course the surest guide), may depend meanwhile on the following principal rules:—
(a) When Šewâ follows as a syllable-divider, as in חָכְמָ֫ה ḥŏkh-mā́ (wisdom), אָכְלָ֫ה ’ŏkh-lā́ (food). With Metheg ־ָ is ā (å̄) and according to the usual view stands in an open syllable with a following Šewâ mobile, e.g. אָֽכְלָה ’ā-khelā́ (she ate); but cf. §16i.
(b) When a closed syllable is formed by Dageš forte, e.g. הָנֵּ֫נִי ḥŏnnēnî (have mercy upon me); but בָּֽתִּ֫ים (with Metheg, §16f ζ) bâttîm.
(c) When the syllable in question loses the tone on account of a following Maqqēph (§16a), e.g. כָּל־הָֽאָדָם kŏl-hā-’ādā́m (all men).
In ψ 3510 and Pr 197 Maqqēph with כָּל is replaced by a conjunctive accent (Merekha); so by Darga, Ju 195 with סְעָד, and Ez 378 with וַיִּקְרָם (so Baer after Qimḥi; ed. Mant., Ginsburg, Kittel ויקרַם).
(d) In a closed final syllable without the tone, e.g. וַיָּ֫קָם wayyā́qŏm (and he stood up).—In the cases where â or ā in the final syllable has become toneless through Maqqēph (§16a) and yet remains, e.g. כְּתָֽב־הַדָּת Est 48, שָֽׁת־לִי Gn 425, it has a Metheg in correct manuscripts and printed texts.
In cases like הָ֫לְאָה, לָ֫מָּה lā́mmā, the tone shows that ־ָ is to be read as ā.
[9v] 2. The cases in which ־ָ appears to stand in an open syllable and yet is to be read as ŏ require special consideration. This is the case, (a) when Ḥaṭeph-Qameṣ follows, e.g. פָּֽעֳלוֹ his work, or simple vocal Šewâ, e.g. דָּֽרְבָן ox goad; בְּעָֽבְרוֹ Jo 47; שָֽׁמְרָה (so ed. Mant., Ginsb.) preserve ψ 862, cf. 16:1 and the cases mentioned in §48i, n., and §61f, n.; other examples are Ob 111, Ju 1415); Ḥaṭeph-Pathaḥ follows in לִמְשָֽׁחֲךָ (so Ginsburg; Baer לִמְשָֽׁחֳךָ) 1 S 151, לַֽהֲרָֽגֲךָ 24:11, and יִֽפְגָֽשֲׁךָ (so Baer, Gn 3218, others יִפְגָּֽשְׁךָ); (b) before another Qameṣ-ḥaṭuph, e.g. פָּֽעָלְךָ֫ thy work; on אָֽרָה־לִּי and קָֽבָה־לִּי Nu 237, see §67o; (c) in the two plural forms קָֽדָשִׁים sanctuaries and שָֽׁרָשִׁים roots (also written קֳד׳ and שֳׁר׳). In all these cases the Jewish grammarians regard the Metheg accompanying the ־ָ as indicating a Qāmeṣ raḥabh (broad Qameṣ) and therefore read the ־ָ as ā; thus pā-olô, dā-rebān, pā-ŏlekhā, qā-dāšîm. But neither the origin of these forms, nor the analogous formations in Hebrew and in the cognate languages, nor the transcription of proper names in the
- In the Babylonian punctuation (§8g, note) ā and ŏ are carefully distinguished. So also in many MSS with the ordinary punctuation and in Baer’s editions of the text since 1880, in which ־ְֳ is used for ŏ as well as for ŏ. Cf. Baer-Delitzsch, Liber Jobi, p. 43. But the identity of the two signs is certainly original, and the use of ־ֳ for ŏ is misleading.