Abstract

This article identifies one type of conjunctive vav (“and”) addition in 1QIsaa that accounts for over one-third of the 241 vav additions in the scroll. In these cases, vav serves to resolve structurally ambiguous verses in the biblical text of Isaiah. In 84 percent of the cases, vav resolves the ambiguous verses in a manner that accords with well-known language processing strategies. It is therefore argued that processing strategies were operative during the copying of 1QIsaa. Notably, more than half of vav additions that accord with processing strategies result in a verse division that differs from the MT’s reading tradition as recorded in its cantillation system. These findings offer a new perspective on the readings that are generated by vav additions when compared to the MT and also allow us to predict in which contexts this type of vav is likely to be found in other unpunctuated ancient texts.

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