Given: The 2 words have the same consonants
It is sometimes pointed with a Patach under the Ayin implying that the Mem has a Sh'va Noch
Other times it is pointed with a Sh'va. Noch under the ayin implying that the Mem has Sh'va Na
Any Comments re: the Two versions?
Parasha Shemot from 5763
One or two places?
ra'amseis (Exod. 1:11) a place name, as are all the others; ra'meseis (Gen. 47:11); meira'meseis (Exod. 12:37; Num. 33: 3; 33:5). In our parasha this place-name is pointed with two Patachs one under the Resh and one under the Ayin and a Sheva under the Mem. Minchat Shai writes that the Masorah here states leit rafi. Leit means that there is no other word exactly like it anywhere in Scripture. Minchat Shai explains that rafi means that the Mem has a Sheva Nach because the Ayin has a Patach and refers to R' A. ibn Ezra. In all the other occurrences (whether with or without the prefix Mem) there is a Sheva under the Ayin. As a result the status of the Sheva under Mem is affected by the rule that the second of two Shevas in the middle of a word is a Sheva Na (sounding). ra'amseis is mentioned as a city of storage. Rashi (in a comment which does not appear in the first print), states that these cities were originally not suitable for storage and the building operation made !
them suitable. The implication of this comment is that we have here different pronunciations of the same place-name.
R' A. ibn Ezra maintains that these are two different place-names. In our parasha he writes this is not a place of habitation of Israel. Elsewhere (Gen. 47:1) he writes that the land of Goshen is a general name including smaller lands, one of which is the land of ra'meseis and the Ayin has a Sheva Nach. When the Ayin has a Patach, he argues, it is not a place where Israel lived, but one of Pharaoh's storage cities.
Jeremy R. Simon, MD, PhD, FACEP
Who attributes it to Morsels of Hebrew Grammar by Dr. Meshullam Klarberg