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Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Old Testament in General: Minor Divisions



5. The minor Sections, open and closed. Finally, the Minor Sections are either פתוחות/open, or סתומות/closed. The former are noted with the letter פ, but the latter with the letter ס. Concerning the sections of this sort, and the account of the same, the Rabbis have various opinions, which the Celebrated Buxtorf[1] reviews in his Libero de Abbreviaturis. Now, a section is called open, because it begins at the beginning of the line: but closed section, which is also called סמוכה/conjoined, is thus denominated, because that little space, in the midst of which is ס, is closed at both ends on the same line. Because the Hebrews believe that these sections were instituted by Moses himself, they religiously mark and observe them in the Book of the Law, of which they make use in their Synagogues: although they are of an altogether doubtful origin, and, since they have no use today, were not with good reason omitted by Munster,[2] and by others, as Rabbinic figments.


[1] Johann Buxtorf, Sr. (1564-1629) was a renowned Reformed Hebraist, known as the “Master of the Rabbis”. He served as Professor of Hebrew at Basel from 1590 to 1629.


[2] Sebastian Munster (1489-1552) was a German scholar of great talent in the fields of mathematics, Oriental studies, and divinity. He joined the Lutherans, became Professor of Hebrew at Basil, and produced important early Reformation commentaries on the Old Testament (Annotationes in Vetus Testamentum) and on Matthew (Annotationes in Matthæi Evangelium Hebraicum).

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
24 abr 2019


Bernardinus De Moor's Didactico-Elenctic Theology (http://www.lulu.com/shop/steven-dilday/de-moors-didactico-elenctic-theology-chapter-ii-concerning-the-principium-of-theology-or-holy-scripture/hardcover/product-23800269.html): ' Both Parashot are further distinguished into פרשות פתוחות, open sections, which in the Manuscript Codices begin from an open line; and into פרשות סתומות, sections closed, or סמוכות/ conjoined, which are begun in the midst of a line. The greater open Parashot are signified by three larger פפפ; the lesser with a single smaller פ: but the greater closed Parashot are signified with three ססס; the lesser with a single smaller ס. Now, this entire system of Divisions, as not of great use beyond the public reading of the synagogue, is often omitted in printed editions.'

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