Eighteen Emendations of the Sopherim
In the margin of certain Hebrew manuscripts of the Masoretic text there are notations that read: “This is one of the eighteen emendations of the Sopherim,” or similar expressions. These emendations (corrections) were made with good intentions because the original passage appeared to show either irreverence for God or disrespect for his earthly representatives. Following is a list of the Eighteen Emendations of the Sopherim, according to Gins.Int, pp. 347-363: Ge 18:22; Nu 11:15; 12:12; 1Sa 3:13; 2Sa 16:12; 20:1; 1Ki 12:16; 2Ch 10:16; Job 7:20; 32:3; Ps 106:20; Jer 2:11; La 3:20; Eze 8:17; Ho 4:7; Hab 1:12; Zec 2:8; Mal 1:13.
Other Emendations of the Sopherim
According to Gins.Int, pp. 362, 363, the St. Petersburg Codex of 916 C.E. registers two more alterations made by the Sopherim, namely, in Mal 1:12; 3:9. In those two places we have restored the text to the original reading. Our footnotes indicate the original reading as well as the actual reading in M.
Emendations in the Text but Not Recorded in the Masoretic Notes
According to Gins.Int, p. 363, there are “a few passages into which changes have been introduced by the authorised redactors of the text, but which are not expressly mentioned in the official Lists. Foremost amongst these are instances in which the original reading described blasphemy or cursing God. Such profane phrases were deemed offensive to the ears of the devote[d] worshippers when the Scriptures were read publicly before the congregation.” We have restored the text to the original reading in the following seven places: 2Sa 12:14; 1Ki 21:10, 13; Job 1:5, 11; 2:5, 9. Our footnotes indicate the original reading as well as the actual reading in M.