I Samuel 20:27 says:

וַיְהִ֗י מִֽמָּחֳרַ֤ת הַחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ הַשֵּׁנִ֔י וַיִּפָּקֵ֖ד מְק֣וֹם דָּוִ֑ד (ס) וַיֹּ֤אמֶר שָׁאוּל֙ אֶל־יְהוֹנָתָ֣ן בְּנ֔וֹ מַדּ֜וּעַ לֹא־בָ֧א בֶן־יִשַׁ֛י גַּם־תְּמ֥וֹל גַּם־הַיּ֖וֹם אֶל־הַלָּֽחֶם׃

And it came to pass on the morrow after the new moon, which was the second day, that David’s place was empty; and Saul said unto Jonathan his son: ‘Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to the meal, neither yesterday, nor to-day?’

Rashi on I Samuel 20:27:1-2:

ממחרת החדש . ממחרת חידוש הלבנה : השני . ביום שני לחדש :

My translation of above - On the morrow of the New Moon which is the 2nd day of the month.

Metzudat David commentary concurs wuth Rash"i's explanation.

My question is how these 2 commentators know that this is the translation of the bolded words in the verse? In particular, the trope (cantillation) for מִֽמָּחֳרַ֤ת הַחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ הַשֵּׁנִ֔י seems to make the word הַשֵּׁנִ֔י a modifier of the word הַחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙. Thus, the translation seems that it would mean "The day after the 2nd month", meaning the 2nd day of Chodesh Iyar.

I'm making this assumption of the trope translation by comparing this verse to

Exodus 19:1:

בַּחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֔י לְצֵ֥את בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם בַּיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֔ה בָּ֖אוּ מִדְבַּ֥ר סִינָֽי׃

In the third month after the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.

Similar words and trope, here, but in this case, it's translated as the third month.

Usually, Rash"i explains pshat or provides a source for his explanation. Here, his explanation does not seem to follow pshat, unless there's something evident that I'm not seeing. I'm curious if anyone provided further support or had the same or similar explanation as mine.

  • "In particular, the trope (cantillation) for מִֽמָּחֳרַ֤ת הַחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ הַשֵּׁנִ֔י seems to make the word הַשֵּׁנִ֔י a modifier of the word הַחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙." Why do you say this? It seems to do exactly the opposite. – Double AA Apr 20 '15 at 3:44
  • @DoubleAA Please compare the trope on this pasuk with Shemot 19:1. Same trope with similar words. There, it means the 3rd month. – DanF Apr 20 '15 at 14:43
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    That case doesn't have a "Mimacharat". How is it parallel? In both cases, the number modifies the preceding phrase. In Shemot the preceding phrase is החדש (a month) and in Shmuel the preceding phrase is ממחרת החדש (a date). – Double AA Apr 20 '15 at 14:50

The cantillation on "מִֽמָּחֳרַ֤ת הַחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ הַשֵּׁנִ֔י" puts "מִֽמָּחֳרַ֤ת הַחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙" together as a phrase; hence, "the day after the month". The following "הַשֵּׁנִ֔י", "the second", is then difficult, and the commentators explain it as they do (which seems very reasonable to me FWIW).

Contrast "בַּחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֔י", "in the month, the third one", with "מִֽמָּחֳרַ֤ת הַחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ הַשֵּׁנִ֔י", "the month's morrow, the second one".

  • I'm editing my question, so you and others understand better why I made my claim about the trope. If possible, edit your answer to confirm or refute my assumption. – DanF Apr 20 '15 at 14:45
  • @DanF I'm still having trouble understanding what you saw in the trope that I could confirm or deny any assumption(s) about how the trope works. – Double AA Apr 20 '15 at 15:13
  • @DoubleAA - That's fair. I gave a contrasting example from Shemot. The question related to the trope came from an explanation from my rav when I posed him my question. He translated the Shmu'el verse as meaning "the 2nd month", as he saw no pause between the pashta & zakef. (CYLOR, won't work for me, here, and, yes, I know M.Y. is not a substitute. Then, again, I'm not asking for p'sak, here :-) I'm fine if you don't know the answer. Perhaps, someone else does. – DanF Apr 20 '15 at 15:22
  • @DanF Better now? – msh210 Apr 20 '15 at 15:27
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    @DanF Please explain your issues in the question post, not down here. When you do so please clarify because I don't know what you mean by "no pause between the pashta & zakef" as pashta is a pause itself, so I'm confused... – Double AA Apr 20 '15 at 15:30

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