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Problem with Verse search in TWOT


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While working on a paper on Eccl 5:8 [Eng 5:9], I searched for this verse reference in TWOT. When I did a scripture verse search for "Eccl 5:8" the hits had to do with the Hebrew 5:7. This did not bother me. I figured, that the search was set to search for the English versification and not the Hebrew versification. So, I searched for Eccl 5:9. And here was the problem. The only hit came up with a discussion of on the Eccl 5:9 per Hebrew versification. In other words, it was impossible for me to find all instances (if in fact there are any, which is what I was trying to figure out) of the verse reference Eccl 5:8 [Heb; Eng 5:9].


Please either help me figure this out or fix it if you are able to reduplicate to prove that it is in fact a problem with the tagging/programming (I actually have no idea what the problem is, I simply recognize that there is a problem)



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You have correctly found all the references to the verses, and it seems there are none to the Hebrew Eccl 5:8. The problem lies in the inconsistent use of Hebrew or English numbering between the different authors in TWOT. It looks like we assumed that they use English versification, so we adjust for the changes in Hebrew when you display that text. We could correct this in the markup of the tool, but in this case it would involve looking at each reference and trying to decide the author's intention. We simply do not have the resources to do that for this and other inconsistent works.

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I confirm Helen's report that your verse is not cited in TWOT.


Consider what follows as a very partial corrigenda for TWOT:


The editors of TWOT in fact employed inconsistent citation style. In this case, for maximum clarity, they should have given 5:9 [H 8] per their citation style elsewhere. Unfortunately, they do not note this practice anywhere in the introductory material and this type of inconsistency is rampant in almost all large, multiply-authored works. Caveat lector!


I did a search for all references to Eccl 5 as Helen did, and note that there are two types of issues in just these citations.


Defective citations of the English versification:


5:8 in 337 (גזל) should be followed by [H 7].


5:15 in 936 (‏יתר) should be followed by [H 14].


Defective citations of the Hebrew versification:


5:2 in 663a (‏חלום) and 1651a (‏ענין) should be 5:3 [H 2].


5:5 in ‏articles 291 (‏בשׂר) and ‏594a (‏‏חבל) and 2324a (‏שׁגגה) should read 5:6 [H 5]


5:10 in 2095d (‏ראות) should read 5:11 [H 10].


5:13 in 1651a (‏ענין) should be 5:14 [H 13]


5:17 in 793 (‏טוב) should be 5:18 [H 17].


As you can see, it would be a sizeable job even the original editors to go back through all the citations of texts that have discrepancies in versification and decide what was intended, and then to make any necessary changes. Of course, Accordance would probably help them accomplish this as quickly as humanly possible!


For what it's worth, Eccl 5:8 is cited by HALOT 7x and Jenni-Westermann 2x (and these two works theoretically cite Hebrew versification exclusively); NIDOTTE cites it similarly to TWOT, but also contains at least one inconsistency in citation!

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Thanks for the info. I'm glad to know that my search method wasn't the problem. It is interesting how, in spite of normally high standards of publication for works like this one (and NIDOTTE as Kang points out), problems (whether personal preference in citation or flat out mistakes) persist because of the the human factor in authorial and editorial work.


Thanks again for your responses.

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