A printable version of this post is available here.
In a previous post, I noted some advantages of electronic relative to print resources for the study of ancient Hebrew. I will drive the point home again here, this time in reference to The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew (DCH). The dictionary is a treasure-trove of data. One can only hope that someday, DCH in its entirety will be available online, with hotlinks to all references, biblical and extra-biblical. It would then be revisable and updateable by a community of scholars of the editor’s choosing. At the most fundamental levels, that of data presentation and coverage, it needs both, as I now demonstrate. אכל’s statistics, according to DCH, are 809 (Hebrew Bible); 11 (Ben Sira); 100 (Qumran and related non-Biblical texts).
כל מאכל אוכל גרגרת אך יש אוכל ]מאוכ[ל] נע[ים
but some fare is more pleasant than other fare.
כל] מאכל [תסוגר ב]כרש] אך יש מאכל ממאכל תנעם
but some food pleases more than other food.
מאכל is feminine, as in Hab 1:16. Beentjes reads [--] before תסוגר (תְּסֻגַּר in biblical Hebrew). I follow Ben-Hayyim in reading [---] כל. One hopes that digital photographs of the ben Sira fragments will soon be available to all.
אַל־תּ֭פּוֹל בְּיַ֣ד נַפְשֶׁ֑ךָ וְתִעֲבָ֗ה חֵילָֽךְ> על̊יך<
עָלֶ֣יךָ תֹּ֭אכַל וּפִרְיְךָ֣ תְּשָׁרֵ֑שׁ וְ֜הִנִּיחַ֗תְךָ כְּעֵ֣ץ יָבֵֽשׁ
כִּי־נֶ֣פֶשׁ עַ֭זָּה תְּשַׁחֵ֣ת בְּעָלֶ֑יהָ וְשִׂמְחַ֣ת שׂ֜וֹנֵ֗א תַּשִׂיגֵֽם
<על̊יך> a dittography. It lacks an
equivalent in the Greek.
Fall not into the grip of your desire; 2 Sam 24:14
it will defile your strength: Ezek 16:25
your foliage it will eat, Ps 1:3; Jer 17:8
your fruit destroy; Job 31:12
it will leave you a withered tree, Isa 56:3
for fierce desire devastates its owners,
Isa 56:11; Hos 11:9
the glee of a foe will overtake them.
Ex 15:9; Isa 14:29; Mic 7:8; Ps 35:19; Prov 24:17; Deut 28:15, 45; Isa 35:10; 51:11; 59:9
NB: The וְ-coordination of the first two clauses is noteworthy. וְ is sometimes used where a כִּי would have made the logical connection between clauses more precise (compare Prov 23:3 and 6; 1 Chr 14:10 and 2 Sam 5:19). The וְ makes the speech less heavy. For the form and spelling of עָלֶיךָ, see GKC §93ss. There are more examples of ms nouns with pseudo-plural suffixes than GKC allows for. Cf. מעשיך after מה נורא in Ps 66:3, misparsed in Mandelkern and Even-Shoshan; מעשיו before טוב in 1 Sam 19:4 (noted already by Driver), again misparsed in Mandelkern and Even-Shoshan.
כל נכסֿ תאכל חיה אך יש מכה ממכה תנעם
A whole herd a wild animal may devour,
but one kill pleases more than another kill.
David J. A. Clines, The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 1993-). Order from Eisenbrauns.
Volume 1, Alef (1993)
Volume 2, Bet-Vav (1995)
Volume 3, Zayin-Teth (1996)
Volume 4, Yodh-Lamedh (1998)
Volume 5, Mem-Nun (2001)
Volume 6, Samekh-Pe (2007, forthcoming)
Abegg, Jr.; with James E. Bowley and Edward M. Cook and in consultation with
Emanuel Tov, The Dead Sea Scrolls Concordance. Volume One. The Non-Biblical Texts from Qumran (2 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 2003).
Francis I. Andersen and A. Dean Forbes, Andersen-Forbes Phrase-Marker Analysis (Bellingham: Logos Bible Software, 2006).
Atlanta: SBL, 2006).
Ze’ev Ben-Hayyim, The Book of Ben Sira: Text, Concordance and an Analysis of the Vocabulary (The Historical Dictionary of the Hebrew Language; Jerusalem: Academy of the Hebrew Language, 1973).
Emanuel Tov, The Parallel
Aligned Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Texts of Jewish Scripture. Computer
Assisted Tools for Septuagint/Scriptural Study. Logos electronic ed.
Otherwise known as The Parallel Hebrew // Greek Text Module. Online
access and introduction via Robert
A. Kraft. Print introductions: Robert A. Kraft, Emanuel Tov, John R.
Abercrombie et al., Computer Assisted Tools for Septuagint Studies (CATSS).
Vol.1, Ruth (CATSS 1; SBLSC 20; Atlanta: Scholars Press for the Society of
Biblical Literature, 1986); Emanuel Tov, A Computerized Data Base for
Septuagint Studies: The Parallel Aligned Text of the Greek and Hebrew Bible
(CATSS 2; JNSLSup 1; Stellenbosch: University of Stellenbosch, 1986).
Rolles Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of
Samuel (2d ed.;
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1912 ; repr. Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2004).
Avraham Even-Shoshan, קונקורדנציה
חדשה: לתורה, נביאים וכתובים: אוצר לשון המקרא־־עברית וארמית: שרשים, מלים, שמות
פרטיים, צרופים ונרדפים A New Concordance
of the Bible: Thesaurus of the Language of the Bible: Hebrew and Aramaic Roots,
Words, Proper Names, Phrases, and Synonyms (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2000
Bellingham: Logos Research Systems, 2003).
 The raw data is useful, but it would be helpful if the analytical dimension of Grammatical Relationships were beefed up. For example, the referents of pronominal suffixes might be disambiguated; a grouping algorithm based on semantic content applied; and verb-preposition combinations listed analytically.
 It would be nice if CATSS were revised so that accurate concordances were derivable from it. The searches need to be made bracket-insensitive.
 The Penn/Cambridge Geniza Fragment Project’s website contains fabulous photographs of select holdings of Penn and Cambridge. A few photographs of Cairo Genizah ben Sira fragments are viewable online at the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit site.
 According to Friedrich Böttcher, the nun is used “fur lautlich bequemen Anschluss vor א, ע, ה, נ, מ” (Ausführliches Lehrbuch der hebräischen Sprache [ed. Ferdinand Mühlau; 2 vols.; Leipzig: Barth, 1866-68]) 2 §§930a). Based on Sir 30:19 and other passages, one might add ו to the list. 45:20 is in pausal position, the other context which seems to trigger the preservation of the nun. The matter remains debated. See W. Randall Garr, “Paragogic nun in Rhetorical Perspective,” in Biblical Hebrew in Its Northwest Semitic Setting: Typological and Historical Perspectives (ed. Steven E. Fassberg and Avi Hurvitz; Publication of the Institute for Advanced Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem 1; Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns; Jerusalem: Magnes, 2006) 65-74; and references there.
 Those wishing to find fault with the practice of vocalizing and accenting non-biblical texts are misinformed. As Israel Yeivin notes (Introduction to the Tiberian Masorah [ed. and tr., E. J. Revell; SBLMS 5; n.p.: Scholars Press, 1980] 160), the occasional verse in the Geniza fragments of ben Sira is pointed and accented. In some manuscripts, liturgical poetry (piyyuṭ) is pointed and accented. The pointing and accenting of a non-biblical text is to be understood as an act of devotion, and implies no disrespect for the biblical text.
 It is disappointing that AFPMA parses Prov 23:3, translated in NJPSV by ‘Do not crave for his dainties, for they are [lit., it is] counterfeit food,’ as if the two clauses it contains are unrelated. The וְ is correctly tagged as “discourse level,” but the discourse structure of which it is a part is not described by AFPMA. Prov 23:1-3 is a six-clause sentence of considerable complexity and beauty. The division into pesuqim in MT adheres to the text’s prosodic structure at the cost of obscuring its syntactic structure: 23:1a is the protasis; 1b-2b a first apodosis; 3 a second apodosis. The sentence grammar of ancient Hebrew is a neglected topic. AFPMA is an improvable resource in terms of supplying a tagged database on the basis of which one might research the subject matter.