Thursday, July 28, 2016

פינחס - What's in a name?

... A יו"ד, that's what. In the תורה, the name פינחס is written מלא, thus rendering the שוא underneath the נו"ן a שוא נע. However, in שמואל, the son of עלי is פנחס without a יו"ד. Could it be that they are actually considered different names?

Lest one suggest that this might be a תורה-נביאים quirk like ירחו, in the very last פסוק of יהושע, it is written פינחס.

Last week, the בעל קריאה did not pronounce the שוא נע in פינחס so since he was reading it again anyway for מפטיר I brought this to his attention whereas I would never do so for or a regular שוא נע.

UPDATE: Based on Elie's comment, the above appears to be incorrect. Both names are really פינחס. But the one פנחס is an exception. So now the question is "Why?"

5 comments:

elie said...

גם פינחס בן עלי מופיע בספר שמואל 6 פעמים עם יו"ד
פינחס
רק פעם אחת בתחילת הספר הוא מופיע בלי יו"ד
שני אנשים בעלי אותו שם באותו כתיב
וגם בתחילת שמואל בהפטרת ראש השנה
הוא בשווא נע

MDJ said...

According to the masoretic rules for distinguish between Shva na and nach, they were both nach. The distinction between tenua gedola and ketana is essentially meaningless when it comes to Tiberian pronunciation and nikkud. the appearance that there are possibly two different names here is entirely an artifact of a much later rule. Indeed, the fact that pinchas (and tzitzit, and other words) can be spelled both malei and chaser is, I think, an excellent proof that this rule of shva na after a tenua gedola is poorly applicable to torah reading.

3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375 said...

To MDJ: If the "rule of shva na after a tenua gedola is poorly applicable to torah reading", then what is it meant to be applied to?

MDJ said...

It may be inteded to be applied to torah reading, but it doesn't fit the masoretic text well, and certainly is not the way those who set the masoretic text read it. The Tiberians did not have a tenua gedola/ketana distinction, but rather the 7 vowels traditional Ashkenazi pronunciation also has. The history of the introduction of hte tenua gedola/ketana distinction into accepted Hebrew pronunciation is a bit obscure, but the rule about shva and tenua length was probably first set down by Elijah Levitas (Bachur)in the 16th century. However, trying to apply this rule to the masoretic text results in questions that literally have no meaning, like the one posed in the post.

It would be as if English developed a rule that a vowel followed by two consonants is always long, and followed by one is always short, and then some time after that seriously wondered how the names "Ana" and "Anna" could apply to the same person. Did the same person really change the pronunciation of her name? Of course not. At the time she was writing her name, the two spellings did not indicate any difference in pronunciation.

Anonymous said...

When Dovid Hamelech's name is written in Divrei Hayamim, it is written with a "yud" while it is otherwise generally written without the yud. Both clearly refer to the same person and should presumably be pronounced the same way. Thus the chirik under the "vav" is a chirik malei, but the name is sometimes written chaser.

Likewise, the shva is Pinechas could always be a shva na, and though the "yud" is missing because the word is written chaser, it is still a tenuah gedolah.