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In researching the phrase "evening and morning" I noticed a very small difference in the Hebrew text between Genesis 1 (e.g. 1:4) and Daniel 8:14, where the latter has a tiny dot in the first letter of the word transliterated "bqr".

Does that change the meaning of the word at all?

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Software Monkey, welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks very much for bringing your question here! I look forward to seeing you around. – Isaac Moses Feb 21 '12 at 23:26
Your links are giving me a 403. But these should work instead: mechon-mamre.org/i/t/t0101.htm and mechon-mamre.org/i/t/t3408.htm. – Alex Feb 21 '12 at 23:26
@Alex: Strange; both links work from me with current FF. – Lawrence Dol Feb 21 '12 at 23:27
Software Monkey, please consider registering your account, which will give you access to more of the site's features. – msh210 Feb 21 '12 at 23:39
@Alex and Software Monkey, those links didn't work for me either, on FF, so I took the liberty of replacing them with bilingual Mechon Mamre links. – Isaac Moses Feb 22 '12 at 1:52
up vote 10 down vote accepted

No, it doesn't change the meaning. The letter bes that starts that word appears with a dot in it usually, but without one after a word (in the same phrase) that ends in an open syllable. (Usually.) The pronunciation changes between these two forms, but not the meaning. It's not unique to this word, either, but true of all words that start with a bes, gimel, dalet, kaf, pe, and tav. It's also true in more generality than just word-initial positions (though not in complete generality) that one of those letters has a dot in it when appearing after a closed syllable and has no dot when appearing after an open syllable. The dot is called a dagesh lene.

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Re "The dot is called a dagesh lene": to be more precise, I should say it's called a dagesh. Sometimes a dagesh forte appears in any of these letters after a closed syllable. But that's a whole 'nother story, not what the question was about, so I'll leave the answer as is. – msh210 Feb 21 '12 at 23:47

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