Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"Will choose" or "Have chosen" The Place?

One of the important differences between Jewish Torah and Samaritan Torah is the difference in conjugation of the verb "choose" in reference to The Place where God dwells.

The Jewish Torah says that He "shall choose" The Place and the Samaritan Pentateuch says that He "has chosen" The Place already in reference to the Altar on Mt. Gerizim.

The verses in question are Deuteronomy 12:5, 12:11, 12:14, 12:18, 12:21, 12:26, 14:23-25, 15:20, 16:2, 16:6-7, 16:11, 16:15-16, 17:8, 17:10, 17:15, 18:6, 26:2 and 31:11. Here is the text of Deut 12 as the example.

In Jewish Torah, it says "יבחר" .yivchar - shall choose - qal, imperfect, 3rd person, masculine, singular.

In Samaritan Torah it says "בחר" - bachar - has chosen - qal, perfect, 3rd person, masculine, singular

So will God "choose" The Place in the future or has He "chosen" The Place already?

The answer to this question is the Tabernacle!

As I've said many times before, the Tabernacle was designed to be mobile so it could travel from place to place. This is why "The Place" that Torah talks about refers to the Tabernacle place and not to Jerusalem's Temple Mount (as in Jewish tradition) or the Altar on Mt. Gerizim (as in Samaritan tradition).

This means that the correct reading is "יבחר" .yivchar - shall choose - continuous action - as found in Jewish Torah, because the place changes all the time. So Samaritans are most certainly mistaken and the difference in the text was intentional just like the addition of the 11th commandment for example.

So in this particular case, Jewish Torah is correct and Samaritan Torah is wrong.

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