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PASUḲ:

Passive participle of the Aramaic word "pesaḳ" (to cut off), meaning a section or division. It is, however, used almost exclusively to denote a Bible verse, as, for example, in Giṭ. 56a: "Tell me thy Bible verse [pasuḳ]." The Aramaic form "pesuḳa" (plural, "pesuḳe") is more usual (see Meg. 22a, Ḳid. 30a, and often elsewhere).

A division into verses was probably employed at an early period, since it is found in the Septuagint, in which, however, the division is not always the same as that in the present Hebrew text. This latter appears to have come from the Masorites. The later Judæo-German usage designates as pasuḳ all books of the Bible, with the exception of the Pentateuch, which is called Ḥumesh." See Sof Pasuḳ.

Bibliography:
  • Grätz, in Monatsschrift, 1885, pp. 97 et seq.;
  • Strack, Prolegomena Critica, pp. 78 et seq.;
  • Buhl, Kanon und Text, pp. 222 et seq. (Eng. transl. Canon and Text).
T. J. Z. L.
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