Bereishit 40:13

בְּע֣וֹד ׀ שְׁלֹ֣שֶׁת יָמִ֗ים יִשָּׂ֤א פַרְעֹה֙ אֶת־רֹאשֶׁ֔ךָ וַהֲשִֽׁיבְךָ֖ עַל־כַּנֶּ֑ךָ וְנָֽתַתָּ֤ כוֹס־פַּרְעֹה֙ בְּיָד֔וֹ כַּמִּשְׁפָּט֙ הָֽרִאשׁ֔וֹן אֲשֶׁ֥ר הָיִ֖יתָ מַשְׁקֵֽהוּ׃

Devarim 28:68

וֶהֱשִֽׁיבְךָ֨ יְהוָ֥ה ׀ מִצְרַיִם֮ בָּֽאֳנִיּוֹת֒ בַּדֶּ֨רֶךְ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָמַ֣רְתִּֽי לְךָ֔ לֹֽא־תֹסִ֥יף ע֖וֹד לִרְאֹתָ֑הּ וְהִתְמַכַּרְתֶּ֨ם שָׁ֧ם לְאֹֽיְבֶ֛יךָ לַֽעֲבָדִ֥ים וְלִשְׁפָח֖וֹת וְאֵ֥ין קֹנֶֽה׃

Why the difference in nekudot? The Minchat Shai in Vayeishev mentions it (and gives a siman, וָוֵי העמודים, meaning the first one is a patach which is the small version of kamatz, and the second one is a segol which is the small version of tzeirei) but doesn't elaborate.

The Artscroll Chumash's Onkelos also writes the nekudot differently: וִיתֵיבִנָּך in Vayeishev, וְיָתֵיבִנָּךְ in Ki Tavo. The second is consistent with what they have for והשיב in Bamidbar 5:7. (Mechon Mamre's Onkelos is the same for both, וְיָתִיבִנָּךְ.)


According to Blau, the hatef-segol and hatef-patah a were closely related. He even goes so far as to call them allomorphic.

Blau, Phonology & Morphology of Biblical Hebrew p. 117

  • But there's also a real segol and real patach in those words. – Heshy Dec 18 '17 at 10:59
  • @Heshy This is ostensibly caused by the sheva. A sheva-vav before a word beginning with a hatef takes on the full vowel equivalent. For example, וָאֳנִי (1 Kings 9:26), וַאֲנִי ,or וֶעֱזוּז (Isa 42:25). In fact, there are no words beginning with simple shewa followed by a hatef in Tanakh (Leningrad Codex). – Argon Dec 18 '17 at 19:11
  • Got it, so while there might be a drush answer, from a grammatical perspective I'm satisfied. Side point, does that imply that the real kamatz in וָאֱנִי is supposed to be pronounced as a kamatz katan? – Heshy Dec 18 '17 at 19:37
  • @Heshy In וָאֳנִי you mean? Depends whom you ask. Hatef qamas usually comes from a historical /u/. A qamas before a hatef qamas often comes from a historical /u/. In Modern Hebrew a qamas before a hatef qamas is usually pronounced as a short qamas, which is how we get צָהֳרַיִם as tsohorayim. Most (all?) Sephardi traditions pronounce the initial qamas as long however. In the Tiberian tradition, the first qamas was possibly even longer than usual. – Argon Dec 18 '17 at 20:28
  • I'm a little confused, please bear with me if I'm being slow. I guess my confusion centers on the relationship between kamatz katan and kamatz gadol. Of course they look the same, but I was under the impression that usually kamatz katan is closer to cholam (in pronunciation and in its position in a word, e.g. וַיָּמָת וַיָּמֹת), while kamatz gadol is closer to patach. I don't usually see kamatz katan and gadol fulfilling the same roles. That's why I find it odd here that a chataf kamatz, which is pronounced as katan, gives its vav a kamatz gadol. – Heshy Dec 18 '17 at 20:58

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