וּזֲהַב הָאָרֶץ

Ali Smith

Senior Member
Urdu - Pakistan
שלום

וּזֲהַב הָאָרֶץ הַהִוא טוֹב שָׁם הַבְּדֹלַח וְאֶבֶן הַשֹּׁהַם

Why is the construct form of זָהָב 'gold' spelled זֲהַב here?

אני מודה לכם מאוד
 
  • Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    In various sporadic cases, a chataf patach is found instead of a shva na. And very often there are differences in manuscripts, where one will have a chataf patach, and the other just a shva. So for that reason, you'll see inconsistencies where the same verse in one source has a chataf patach and in another source a shva.

    It seems to indicate some additional emphasis on pronouncing the shva. For this reason it's often found between two identical consonants, or immediately after an וּ prefix.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Thanks! But why did the second syllable change its vowel from a קָמַץ‎ to a פַּתַח‎?
     

    radagasty

    Senior Member
    Australia, Cantonese
    But why did the second syllable change its vowel from a קָמַץ‎ to a פַּתַח‎?

    That's a regular change. The construct form of דָּבָר is דְּבַר, for example. Phonologically, the reason for the change is that a word in the construct state loses its stress, and Hebrew phonotactics generally requires the vowel in a closed unstressed syllable to be short.

    As for why זֲהַב has a chatef patach, I rather suspect this isn't simply a peculiarity of the Codex Leningradensis, but is found throughout the Masoretic tradition. Indeed, the Masorah Parva in Gen 2:12 notes that this is the only occurrence of this spelling in the Bible, where we would normally expect זְהַב.

    The critical apparatus of the BHQ might have something to say, which I don't have on hand. It is in the library of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, so I'll check the next time go in. (I actually live just across the street from the Institute—I can see it from my bedroom window—but, because of COVID, we have to make a booking to use the library, so I'll wait until I need something else.)
     

    Abaye

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    This חטף פתח is probably related to the מתג of the וּֽ of וּֽזֲהַ֛ב. Meteg is one of טעמי המקרא, provides additional pronunciation info to the niqqud. It says that the וּֽ is longer than usual. Consequently, the שווא of זְ is not zero-length as would usually be after וו החיבור and it needs to be pronounced. In this instance, the זְ of וּזְהַב is pronounced somewhat as a very short "a", influenced by the following הַ, rather than the default short "e" for שווא נע. The חטף פתח of זֲ in some bible editions represents this pronunciation.
     
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    radagasty

    Senior Member
    Australia, Cantonese
    This חטף פתח is probably related to the מתג of the וּֽ of וּֽזֲהַ֛ב. It says that the וּֽ is longer than usual. Consequently, the שווא of זְ is not zero-length as would usually be after וו החיבור and it needs to be pronounced. In this instance, the זְ of וּזְהַב is pronounced somewhat as a very short "a", influenced by the following הַ, rather than the default short "e" for שווא נע.

    Hmm... this doesn't sound implausible, but I am not completely convinced, since, in 1 Kings 20:3, we find the simple schwa after ו with a metheg: כַּסְפְּךָ֥ וּֽזְהָבְךָ֖ לִי־הוּא.

    The חטף פתח of זֲ in some bible editions represents this pronunciation.

    This, however, is interesting. Could you say a little more about it? In particular, which bible editions do you mean?
     

    radagasty

    Senior Member
    Australia, Cantonese
    Oh... thanks. But I meant whether you would explain something about the distribution of this peculiarity in the various editions of the Hebrew Bible, i.e., which editions have it and which don't. I am just puzzled by the use of the expression bible editions, because I am unused to the notion that there are many such editions.

    In particular, the Westminster Leningrad Codex, as its name suggests, is based on the Codex Leningradensis, as are the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia and the yet incomplete Biblia Hebraica Quinta. There is, of course the Hebrew University Bible, based on the Codex Aleppo, but that edition is still very incomplete (only Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel have been published), not to mention the fact that the Codex itself is missing, inter alia, almost all of the Pentateuch, and accordingly the verse at hand.
     
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