the opinion of the Jewish critics, they are to be preferred to the כְּתִיב, i.e. what is written in the text, and are actually to be read instead of it.
On this account the vowels of the marginal reading (the Qerê) are placed under the consonants of the text, and in order to understand both readings properly, the vowels in the text must be applied to the marginal reading, while for the reading of the text (the Kethîbh) its own vowels are to be used. Thus in Jer 426 אֲנַוְּ occurs in the text, in the margin אנחנו קרי. Read אֲנוּ we (or according to Jewish tradition אָנוּ) in the text, in the margin אֲנַ֫חְנוּ. A small circle or asterisk in the text always refers to the marginal reading.
[b] 2. Words or consonants which are to be passed over in reading, and are therefore left unpointed, are called כְּתִיב וְלֹא קְרֵי ( ), e.g. את Jer 3816, אם 3912, ידרך 513. Conversely, words not contained in the text, but required by the Masora (as indicated by the insertion of their vowels), are called קְרֵי וְלֹא כְּתִיב, e.g. 2 S 83, Jer 3138. See further Strack, Prolegomena Critica, p. 85; Dikduke ha-ṭeamim, §§ 62, 64; Blau, Masoretische Untersuchungen, p. 49 ff.
[c] 3. In the case of some very common words, which are always to be read otherwise than according to the Kethîbh, it has not been considered necessary to place the Qerê in the margin, but its vowels are simply attached to the word in the text. This Qerê perpetuum occurs in the Pentateuch in הִוא (Qerê הִיא) wherever הוא stands for the feminine (§32l), and in נַֽעֲרָ (Kethîbh נער, Qerê נַֽעֲרָה) always, except in Dt 2219 (but the Sam. text always has היא, נערה). The ordinary explanation of this supposed archaism, on the analogy of Greek ὁ παῖς and ἡ παῖς, our child, is inadequate, since there is no trace elsewhere of this epicene use; נער for נערה is rather a survival of a system of orthography in which a final vowel was written defectively, as in קָטַלְתָּ; cf. §2n.—Other instances are: יִשָּׂשכָר (Q. יִשָּׂכָר) Gn 3018 &c., see the Lexicon, and Baer and Delitzsch, Genesis, p. 84, and below, note to §47b; יְרֽוּשָׁלַ͏ִם (Q. יְרֽוּשָׁלַ֫יִם), properly יְרֽוּשָׁלֵם; יְהֹוָה (Q. אֲדֹנָי the Lord), or (after אֲדֹנָי) יֱהֹוִה; (Q. אֱלֹהִים) properly יַהְוֶה Yahwè (cf. §102m, and §135q, note); on שְׁנֵים, שְׁתֵּים for שְׁנֵי, שְׁתֵּי, see §97d, end.
[d] 4. The masoretic apparatus accompanying the biblical text is divided into (a) Masora marginalis, consisting of (α) Masora (marginalis) magna on the upper and lower margins of MSS.; (β) Masora (marginalis) parva between and on the right and left of the columns;