Not everything found in Codices of Hebrew Bible nor in the printed editions of the Hebrew Bible is translated in Christian editions of the OT.
There are numerous notes, lists, and pages left by the Masoretes that are rarely if ever translated into English or any other modern language.
Common examples of this include the Masorah Ketanah, Masorah Gedolah, keri uchetiv (Qere) readings, data list at the end of each book, mikra Soferim, ittur Soferim, and the Tiqqune Soferim.
In the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (page 25 print) Genesis 18:22 is notated with two lowercase ‘a’ one before (and Avraham) וְאַ֨בְרָהָ֔ם and one attached to יְהוָֽה (YHWH /usually translated as LORD)
aוְאַ֨בְרָהָ֔ם עֹודֶ֥נּוּ עֹמֵ֖ד לִפְנֵ֥י יְהוָֽהa
(a) but, Avraham still stood before YHWH (a) (Genesis 18:22)
the (a)s direct us to the apparatus or footnotes:
22 a–a Tiq soph, lect orig אברהם … ויהוה
‘Tiq soph’ tells us that we are encountering what is known as a Tiqqūn sōferīm
‘lect’ is short for ‘lectio’ (reading)
‘Orig’ is short for originalis (original)
What, the abbreviated notes from the BHS’ textual apparatus are telling us is that originally the text may have ‘theoretically’ read:”but, YHWH still stood before Avraham“. This text is one of the 18 tiqqūnēy sōferīm texts that were alleged (according to tradition) changed by the ancient scribes for theological reasons.
This begs the question: “what was the theological reason that the text was supposedly changed for”?
Some claim that this text put YHWH is less role by having YHWH stand before Avraham rather than the other around, but it, in my opinion, is more likely that the alleged Scribes were worried if read that way it would paint an anthropomorphic picture of YHWH by directly stating that YHWH was actually standing in front of Avraham. The Masoretes themselves did not make the Tiqquney Soferim changes but only noted changes they believed had happened.
However, If the Masoretes were Karaite Jews (as some claim) rather than Rabbinic Jews and they would have outright rejected the early Midrashic/oral interpretations that claimed that YHWH would
(1) Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: SESB Version. electronic ed. Stuttgart: German Bible Society, 2003. Print.
(2) Weil, Gérard E., K. Elliger, and W. Rudolph, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft. Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. 5. Aufl., rev. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1997. Print.
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