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Zakef katan

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Zakef katan

Zakef katan
זָקֵף קָטָ֔ן ֔ בַּלֵּיל֔וֹת
Sof passuk ׃   paseq ׀
etnachta ֑   segol ֒
shalshelet ֓   zaqef qatan ֔
zaqef gadol ֕   tifcha ֖
revia ֗   zarqa ֘
pashta ֙   yetiv ֚
tevir ֛   geresh ֜
geresh muqdam ֝   gershayim ֞
qarney para ֟   telisha gedola ֠
pazer ֡   atnah hafukh ֢
munach ֣   mahapakh ֤
merkha ֥   merkha kefula ֦
darga ֧   qadma ֨
telisha qetana ֩   yerah ben yomo ֪
ole ֫   iluy ֬
dehi ֭   zinor ֮

The Zakef katan (זָקֵף קָטָ֔ן, with other variant English spellings), often referred to simply as "Katan," is a cantillation mark commonly found in the Torah, Haftarah, and other books of the Hebrew Bible. The note is the anchor and final one of the Katon group, which also can include the Mapach, Pashta, Munach, or Yetiv. It is one of the most common cantillation marks. There is no limit to the number of times the Katan group can appear in a verse, and often, multiple Katan groups appear in succession. The most times in succession the group occurs is four.[1]

The symbol for the Zakef katan is a colon (:). It is placed on the syllable of the word that is accented.[2]

Zakef katan occurs in the Torah 6992 times.[3]

The Zakef katan is one of two versions of the Zakef trope, the other being Zakef gadol.[4]

The Hebrew word זָקֵף translates into English as upright. קָטָ֔ן translates as small.

The Katan group

In the Katan group, the trope can appear in the following patterns:

  • Mapach Pashta Munach Zakef-Katan
  • Mapach Pashta Zakef-Katan
  • Pashta Munach Zakef-Katan
  • Pashta Zakef-Katan
  • Munach Zakef-Katan
  • Zakef-Katan
  • Yetiv Munach Zakef-Katan
  • Yetiv Zakef-Katan

Total occurrences

Book Number of appearances
Torah 6992[3]
   Genesis 1879[3]
   Exodus 1474[3]
   Leviticus 987[3]
   Numbers 1359[3]
   Deuteronomy 1293[3]
Nevi'im 7203[5]
Ketuvim 4843[5]



  1. ^ A compendious grammar of the Hebrew language By G. F. R. Weidemann, page 48
  2. ^ Chanting the Hebrew Bible By Joshua R. Jacobson, page 51
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Concordance of the Hebrew accents in the Hebrew Bible: Concordance ..., Volume 1 By James D. Price, page 6
  4. ^ Chanting the Hebrew Bible By Joshua R. Jacobson, page 117
  5. ^ a b Concordance of the Hebrew accents in the Hebrew Bible: Concordance ..., Volume 1 By James D. Price, page 5
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