can you give me a link to where I can confirm that the dead sea scrolls state 'they pierced' and not 'lion'?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic as a combination of Comparative Religion and Question about Hebrew Language. It seeks a proof text for Christianity, which is not on topic here. – Seth J Nov 2 '15 at 20:47
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    This is an old question but (1) the question is poor, i.e., it lacks much context to even understand what this is about and (2) if the question is about what Christians think of the Dead Sea Scrolls is it really in scope for MY ? – mbloch Dec 30 '17 at 18:19
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    @SethJ Asking for what different different textual versions of a classical Jewish text say, seems squarely on topic. The motivation may or may not be Chritian, but the question is not about Christianity, but about a Jewish text, and variants of it. – mevaqesh Dec 30 '17 at 23:22
  • related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/23531/… – mbloch Dec 31 '17 at 3:33
  • @mev The OP seeks a visual of an old, apparently confusing looking, text that Christianity says means something very different from what Judaism says. The OP further expressly stated that the motivation was to prove the Christian rendering. I stand by my comment/vote. – Seth J Dec 31 '17 at 4:28

Tehillim 22:17 (17 is the counting in Jewish editions) in the Masoretic text reads:

יז כִּי סְבָבוּנִי כְּלָבִים עֲדַת מְרֵעִים הִקִּיפוּנִי כָּאֲרִי יָדַי וְרַגְלָי

17 For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me, like a lion, my hands and feet.

Rashi: like a lion, my hands and feet: As though they are crushed in a lion’s mouth, and so did Hezekiah say (in Isa. 38: 13): “like a lion, so it would break all my bones.”

(I cite Rashi above only for completeness and to show how the traditional Jewish interpretation. It is not needed for the answer to the question.)

The answer to your question is No. The assumption that the word "pierced" is in the Dead Sea Scrolls is not true. As we see in the following:

Dead sea scrolls and Psalm 22

Written by Uri Yosef, Psalms 22 - "Nailing" An Alleged Crucifixion Scenario Lesson notes

fragments containing Psalms 22:17[16] were discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS). In the first fragment, which was found at Qumran (4QPs-f; known as the Qumran MS, the word in question is not preserved.

In the second fragment, found at Nahal Hever (HHev/Se 4 (Ps); known as the Bar Kochba MS, the word is preserved.

The fragment HHev/Se 4 (Ps) shows the Hebrew letters (kaf), (aleph), (resh), and what appears to be a somewhat elongated letter (yod), which some perceive to be the letter (vav).[3] Thus, the reading of this word would be either (ka'ari) or (ka'aru), respectively.

Although the latter of these two renditions of the term has been the focus of much controversy and discussion, it is a fact that no root verb exists which contains the letter (aleph) in it, conjugated in this fashion (3rd-person, plural masculine gender, past tense), with the meaning of they pierced, as rendered in most Christian translations.

Without the letter (aleph), and using, for the moment, the argument that the last letter [the elongated (yod)] is a (vav), the word would be (karu), for which the Hebrew root verb is (karah), [to] dig [in dirt], such as digging a ditch (e.g., Ps 57:7). In other words, (karu) has the meaning [they] dug [in dirt]. This verb is never used in the context of piercing, either literally or metaphorically, in any of its 15 applications in the Hebrew Bible.

What could cause such a variation between the two terms (ka'ari) and (ka'aru), i.e., with an elongated letter (yod) that resembles the letter (vav)? Since the word (ka'aru) does not exist in the Hebrew language, the most plausible explanation is that such discrepancy is simply a case of scribal variation (or error).

The word in Psalm 22 is ka'ari (lion) not karu (which means "to dig" BTW, as in digging a ditch, not pierce).

The Dead Sea Scroll version of the Psalm has kaari, but some Xians think it is kaaru because the yod is longer than normal and can be mistaken for a vav.

But here lies the problem: kaaru is NOT a word. There is no such word in Hebrew ancient or modern. Karu is a word -- but that isn't what is in the Dead Sea Scrolls or in any other Hebrew copy of the Psalm.

Ka'aru is not a word but karu IS a word. Some Xians try and say that the word in Psalm 22 should be karu. The only problem is that karu doesn't mean "pierced" either. It means to dig". If you use its cognate 3rd person plural masculine gender "KARU" it translates to they dug. But note that kara or karu do not us the letter "aleph".

Kaf-resh-vav is a word. Kaf-ALEPH-resh-vav is not a word. It is as if someone came upon dutg in English and wants to say it is dug.

BTW the KJV translates ka'ari correctly in other places that arent proof texts misquoted by the GT.

Numbers 23:24 (veka'ari), and I as a young lion

Numbers 24:9 (ka'ari), like a lion

Isaiah 38:13 (ka'ari), like a lion

Ezekiel 22:25 (ka'ari), like a lion

So the KJV translators correctly translated it until they got to Psalms 22:17[16] and suddenly the KJV doesn't know what it means and translates it as "they pierced."

One more little bit of Hebrew grammar. If the word really was "pierced," (which we've proven it is not) the sentence would have an "et" to identify the direct object which would be affected by that verb. There is no et.

  • also apparently the septuagint may have "dug", but post the 5 books, it was completed by 132AD so presumably after christianity. There is a wikipedia page on the phrase en.wikipedia.org/wiki/They_have_pierced_my_hands_and_my_feet – barlop Apr 5 '17 at 12:11
  • @barlop I would not use the Septuagint as a translation in most circumstances as it is not a Jewish translation. I would also usually not use wikipedia as a source because I do not know who wrote the article. If I had written the article, then I might refer to to it (:-) – sabbahillel Apr 5 '17 at 13:05
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    @sabbahillel It was actually a Jewish translation written long before Christianity. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septuagint – b a Dec 30 '17 at 19:14
  • @ba As pointed out in the wikipedia citation, the original targum shiv'im (septuagint) was only the Torah. The tehillim translation was much later and the particular translation being referenced was christian. – sabbahillel Dec 31 '17 at 2:56
  • also note the detailed refutation here – mbloch Dec 31 '17 at 3:34

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