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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

Text

IN THE TRADITIONAL HEBREW TEXT of Samuel a considerable number of corruptions are found, generally resulting from scribal errors. For instance, 13.1 reads “Saul was a year old when he became king and he reigned over Israel two years.” It is clear that a number was accidentally omitted before the word “year” (“a” is not expressed in Heb). The number“two” at the end of the sentence is also implausible because it seems quite impossible to accommodate all the events of Saul's kingship within a span of two years (see, e.g., 27.7 ). In some cases it is possible to correct the Masoretic Text of Samuel with the help of alternative texts. Parallel passages to Samuel, containing partly divergent readings, are found in the book of Psalms and the book of Chronicles. Among the Dead Sea Scrolls fragments of four different manuscripts of Samuel have been discovered, which contain pre‐Masoretic texts. The Septuagint and other ancient translations also testify to different readings. In some cases even Antiquities of the Jews by Josephus, whose readings are often similar to those of the Septuagint and one of the Dead Sea manuscripts, may be helpful. The following annotations will be based on the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the NJPS translation, but whenever the text seems corrupt, attention will be paid to alternative readings.

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