Yochanan Breuer

Published On


Page Range

pp. 243–288

Dissonance between Masoretic Vocalisation and Cantillation in Biblical Verse Division

  • Yochanan Breuer (author)
The Masoretic text is the final stage of a process during which the Masoretes had to decide between numerous various readings in order to produce a fixed and consistent text. Although the final production is a remarkable achievement, the Masoretic text still contains cases of inconsistencies. The prominent example is the discrepancy between the ketiv (the way the word should be written) and the qere (the way the word should be pronounced), where we find two contradictory readings in the same word. In this article, a similar phenomenon is described regarding the vocalisation and the cantillation. Although the vocalisation and the
cantillation usually reflect division of a verse according to the same interpretation, there are also cases where they reflect two opposing divisions based on different interpretations. Awareness of this may enrich our understanding of the complexity that was involved in the fixing of the Masoretic text.


Yochanan Breuer