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Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek. Additional Notes.
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CHAPTER V.

THE SEPTUAGINT AS A VERSION.

THE purpose of this chapter is to prepare the beginner for grappling with the problems presented by the Septuagint when it is regarded as a translation of the Hebrew Bible. Almost at the outset of his study of the Alexandrian version he will find himself confronted by difficulties which can only be met by a study of the general purpose and character of the work, the limitations by which the translators were beset, and the principles which guided them in the performance of their task.

 

I. The reader of the Septuagint must begin by placing before his mind the conditions under which it was produced, and the relation of the original work to our present texts, Hebrew and Greek.

 

1. (a) Strictly speaking the Alexandrian Bible is not a single version, but a series of versions produced at various times and by translators whose ideals were not altogether alike. Internal evidence673673The external evidence has been briefly stated in Part i. c. i. (p. 23 ff.). of this fact may be found in the varying standards of excellence which appear in different books or groups of books. The Pentateuch is on the whole a close and serviceable translation; the Psalms674674Cf. R. Sinker, Some remarks on the LXX. Version of the Psalms, p. 9 ff. and more especially the Book of Isaiah shew obvious signs of incompetence. The translator of Job was perhaps more familiar with Greek pagan literature675675Cf. e.g. Job ix. 9, xlii. 14; from the latter passage Theodore of Mopsuestia argued the pagan origin of the book (D. C. B. iv. p. 939). than with Semitic poetry; the translator of Daniel indulges at times in a Midrashic paraphrase. The version of Judges which appears in our oldest Greek uncial MS. has been suspected by a recent critic676676Moore, Judges, p. xlvi. of being a work of the 4th century A.D.; the Greek Ecclesiastes savours of the school of Aquila677677According to McNeile (Introd. to Ecclesiastes) it is the earlier edition of Aquila's version; cf. Thackeray, Gr. 0. T. pp. 13, 60.. When we come to details, the evidence in favour of a plurality of translators is no less decisive. A comparison of certain passages which occur in separate contexts distinctly reveals the presence of different hands. The reader can readily form a judgement upon this point if he will place side by side in the Hebrew and the Greek 2 Regn. xxii. 2 ff. and Ps. xvii. (xviii.) 3 ff., 4 Regn. xviii. 17—xx. 19 and Isa. xxxvi. 1—xxxix. 8, or Mic. iv. and Isa. ii.

 

A single specimen may be given from Ps. xvii. compared with 2 Regn. xxiii.

Ps. xvii. 3—6. 2 Regn. xxii. 2—6.
3Κύριος στερέωμά μου καὶ καταφυγή μου καὶ ῥύστης μου· ὁ θεός μου βοηθός καὶ ἐλπιῶ ἐπ᾿ αὐτόν . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4αἰνῶν ἐπικαλέσομαι Κύριον, καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἐχθρῶν μου σωθήσομαι. 5περιέσχον με ὠδῖνες θανάτου, καὶ χείμαρροι ἀνομίας ἐξετάραξάν με· 6ὠδῖνες ᾅδου περιεκύκλωσάν με, προέφθασάν με παγίδες θανάτου. 7καὶ ἐν τῷ θλίβεσθαί με ἐπεκαλεσάμην τὸν κύριον, καὶ πρὸς τὸν θεόν μου ἐκέκραξα· ἤκουσεν ἐκ ναοῦ ἁγίου αὐτοῦ φωνῆς μου, καὶ ἡ κραυγή μου [ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ εἰσελεύσεται] εἰς τὰ ὦτα αὐτοῦ. 2Κύριε πέτρα μου καὶ ὀχύρωμά μου καὶ ἐξαιρούμενός με ἐμοί· 3ὁ θεός μου φύλαξ ἔσται μου, πεποιθὼς ἔσομαι ἐπ᾿ αὐτῷ . . . . 4αἰνετὸν ἐπικαλέσομαι Κύριον, καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἐχθρῶν μου σωθήσομαι. 5ὅτι περιέσχον με συντριμμοὶ θανάτου, χείμαρροι ἀνομίας ἐθάμβησάν με· 6ὠδῖνες θανάτου ἐκύκλωσάν με, προέφθασάν με σκληρότητες θανάτου. 7ἐν τῷ θλίβεσθαί με ἐπικαλέσομαι Κύριον, καὶ πρὸς τὸν θεόν μου βοήσομαι, καὶ ἐπακούσεται ἐκ ναοῦ αὐτοῦ φωνῆς μου, καὶ ἡ κραυγή μου ἐν τοῖς ὠσὶν αὐτοῦ.

One of these versions has doubtless influenced the other, but that they are the work of separate hands seems to be clear from the differences of method which appear e.g. in the renderings of
מְצוּדָה סֶלֵע in the first verse, and the use of the aorist and the future in vv. 6, 7.

 

If further proof is needed it may be found in the diverse renderings of the same Hebrew words in different parts of the Canon. This argument must be used with caution, for (as we shall presently see) such diversities are to be found not only in the same book but in the same context. But after making allowance for variations of this kind, there remain abundant instances in which the diversity can only be attributed to a change of hand. Thus פְּלִשְׁתִּים is uniformly represented in the Hexateuch by Φυλιστιείμ, but in Judges and the later books by ἀλλόφυλοι; פֶּסַח is φάσεκ or φάσεχ in Chronicles(18) and Jeremiah1, but πεσχα in all other books; אוּרִים is δήλωσις or δῆλοι in the Pentateuch, but in Ezra-Nehemiah φωτίζοντες, φωτίσων; תִּמִּים is ἀλήθεια in Exodus, but in Ezra τέλειον; in Isaiah צְבָאׂת is σαβαώθ more than 50 times, whilst παντοκράτωρ, which in other books, is the almost uniform rendering of the word when it is used as a title of Deity, does not once occur; קָהָל is συναγωγή in Gen., Exod., Lev., Num., and again in the Prophets, but κκλησία in Deuteronomy (with one exception) and onwards to the end of the historical books. The singular678678On Job xxxiii. 31 see Thackeray, Gramm. O. T. p. 55. phrase ἐγώ εἰμι = אָנֹכִי is limited to Judges, Ruth, and 2—4 Regn.; σύν = אֵת of the object occurs in the true LXX. only in Ecclesiastes; ἀμήν is peculiar to Chronicles and Ezra, other books which contain the Heb. word (Num., Deut., 1 Regn., Psalms, Jer.) preferring γένοιτο. Similar results may be obtained from a comparison of the forms assumed by the same proper names in different books. Elijah (אֵלִיָּהוּ) is Ἠλειού in the Books of Kings, but Ἠλίας in Malachi and Sirach. The lists in Chronicles use the Hebrew form of Gentile names (Θεκωεί, Ἀναθωθεί, &c.), where other books adopt the Greek (Θεκωείτης, Ἀναθωθείτης, &c.). In Ezra אֲחַשְׁוֵדוֹש becomes Ἀσσούηρος, but Ἀρταξέρξης is substituted by the translator of Esther, and Ξέρξης by the LXX. translator of Daniel (ix. 1)679679Theod. has Ἀφφουήρου in Daniel.. It is difficult to resist the force of this cumulative evidence in support of a plurality of translators, especially when it is confirmed by what we know of the external history of the Septuagint.

(b) Further it is clear that the purpose of the version in the later books is not altogether that which the translators of the Pentateuch had in view. The Greek Pentateuch, as we have seen, was intended to supply the wants of the Alexandrian Synagogue. The Book of the Twelve Prophets, and the three major Prophets, were probably translated with the same general purpose, but under a diminished sense of responsibility, since the Prophets, even after their admission to the Canon, were not regarded as sharing the peculiar sanctity of the Law. But the Hagiographa, excepting perhaps the Psalter, stood on a much lower level, and such books as Job, Esther, and Daniel were perhaps viewed by the Alexandrians as national literature680680Cf. prol. to Sirach: τῶν ἄλλων πατρίων βιβλίων. which was not yet classical and might be treated with the freedom allowed by custom in such cases to the interpreter and the scribe. Our estimate of the translator's work must clearly take account of his attitude towards the book upon which he is engaged.

(c) It is important also to bear in mind the peculiar difficulties which beset the translators in their attempts to render the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. To translate a Semitic book into the language of the West was a new venture when it was undertaken at Alexandria; the Greek Pentateuch "was the work of pioneers and necessarily had the defects of such work681681A. F. Kirkpatrick in Expositor, v. iii. p. 268. Cf. W. R. Smith, O. T. in Jewish Ch., pp. 75 f.." No wonder if even in the later books the Hebrew idiom refused to lend itself to the forms even of Hellenistic Greek without losing to some extent its identity, as the translator of Sirach complains682682Prol. οὐ γὰρ ἰσοδυναμεῖ κτλ.. Moreover the majority of the translators had probably learnt the sacred language in Egypt from imperfectly instructed teachers, and had few opportunities of making themselves acquainted with the traditional interpretation of obscure words and contexts which guided the Palestinian Jew683683Even in Palestine "before the Christian era . . . the exegetical tradition was still in a rudimentary stage" (Kirkpatrick, Divine Library, p. 69).. The want of a sound tradition is especially manifest in poetical passages and books, and it makes itself felt in the numerous transliterations, and in faulty readings and renderings of the text684684Dr Nestle points out that the mistakes of the LXX. are sometimes due to Aramaic or Arabic colloquialisms, and gives the following examples: Aramaic: Num. xxiv. 7 ἐξελεύσεται. Ps. cxl. 4 προφασίζεσθαι. Hos. ii. 23 (25) ἠγαπημένην, vi. 5 ἀπεθέρισα. Isa. iv. 2 ἐπιλάμψει, liii 10 καθαρίσαι. Jer. xxxviii. (xxxi.) 13 χαρήσονται. Arabic: Ps. lxxxiii. 7 δώσει. Dan. vii. 22 (LXX.) ἐδόθη.. Such things may well make the reader smile at the claim of inspiration which was set up for the LXX., but they ought neither to mislead his judgement, nor to lessen his admiration for the courage and the general success of the Alexandrian translators.

 

2. The student must also endeavour to realise the condition of the Hebrew text which lay before the Alexandrian translators.

(a) The text of the Hebrew Bible has undergone no material change since the beginning of the second century A.D. A vast store of various readings has been collected from the MSS. by the diligence of Kennicott and De Rossi, but few among them appear to be more than the omissions or corruptions which spring from the accidents of transcription. All existing MSS. belong to one type of text, and it is, in the main, the type which was known to Jerome, to Origen, and to Aquila, and which is reflected in the Targums and the Talmud. But it is not that which was possessed by the Alexandrians of the third and second centuries, B.C. At some time between the age of the LXX. and that of Aquila a thorough revision of the Hebrew Bible must have taken place, probably under official direction; and the evidence seems to point to the Rabbinical school which had its centre at Jamnia in the years that followed the fall of Jerusalem as the source from which this revision proceeded685685See W. R. Smith, O. T. in J. Church, pp. 56 f.; Driver, Samuel, p. xxxix.; Kirkpatrick, Divine Library of the O. T., p. 64. Among the Rabbis of Jamnia were Eleazar, Joshua, and Akiba, the reputed teachers of Aquila; see Edersheim-White, History of the Jewish Nation, pp. 132 ff., 174 f.. The subject, as a whole, will be treated in a later chapter; meanwhile it is sufficient to warn the beginner that in the LXX. he has before him the version of an early text which often differed materially from the text of the printed Hebrew Bible and of all existing Hebrew MSS.

(b) The palaeographical character of the MSS. employed by the translators requires consideration. It will be remembered that the newly discovered fragments of Aquila present the Tetragrammaton in archaic letters686686See pp. 39 f.. These letters belong to the old Semitic alphabet which was common to the Hebrew, Moabite, Aramaic, and Phoenician languages, and which appears on the Moabite stone and in the Siloam inscription and, with some modifications, in MSS. of the Samaritan Pentateuch, and on coins of the Maccabean period. The transition from this ancient character to the square letters687687כְּתָב מְרֻבָּע, or, as the Talmud calls it, כּ׳ אַשּׁוּרִית; see Driver, Samuel, pp. ix. ff. which are used in existing Hebrew MSS. and in the printed Bibles must have been practically complete in our Lord's time, since He refers to the yodh as the smallest letter, and to the κερέαι which are peculiar to the square alphabet (Mt. v. 18). That the change had begun in the MSS. employed by the Alexandrian translators688688Except perhaps those which lay before the translators of the Pentateuch; see Driver, l.c. may be gathered from the fact that they repeatedly confuse letters which are similar in the square character but not in the archaic. Professor Driver holds that the alphabet of their MSS. was a transitional one, in which ו and ב ,י and ח ה ,מ and ם, as well as ב and ד ,כ and ר were more or less difficult to distinguish689689A specimen of such a script, but of much later date, may be seen in Driver, op. cit., p. lxv..

 

A few examples may be given from Driver's list. (1) 1 Regn. ii. 29 ὀφθαλμῷ (עין, for עון ); xii. 3 ἀποκρίθητε κατ᾿ ἐμοῦ (ענו בי for עיני בו); Ps. xxi. (xxii.) 17 ὤρυξαν (כארו, for כארי); Isa. xxix. 13 μάτην δὲ σέβονταί με (ותהו יראתם אתי, for ותהי יראתם אתי). ‎(2) 1 Regn. vi. 20 διελθεῖν (לעבר, for לעמד); Jer. xxvi. (xlvi.) 25 τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς (בנה for מנא)‎690690Cf. Streane ad loc. and on Jer. xx. 17.; 1 Regn. iv. 10 ταγμάτων (דגלי, for רגלִי), xxi. 7 Δωὴκ ὁ Σύρος (דאג הארמי, for ד׳ האדמי).

Another cause of confusion was the scriptio defectiva in the case of ו and י where they represent long vowels, e.g. 1 Regn. xii. 8 καὶ κατῴκισεν αὐτοὺς (וישיבם for וישבום); Ps. v. tit. ὑπὲρ τῆς κληρονομούσης (אל הנחלת, for אל הנחילות); Job xix. 18 εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα (עלם, for עוילים); Jer. vi. 23 ὡς πῦρ (כאש, for כאיש). Abbreviations, also, probably gave rise to misunderstandings; see the instances in Driver, op. cit., pp. lxiii. f., lxx. note 2, and others collected from Jeremiah by Streane, Double Text, p. 20.

In the case of numerals errors appear to have arisen from the use of similar letters as numerical signs: e.g. 2 Regn. xxiv. 13 τρία ἔτη, 'seven years,' where ו has been read for ג. Here has the support of the Chronicler (1 Chron. xxi. 12): see König in Hastings' D.B., iii. p. 562.

 

Further, in the MSS. used by the LXX. the words seem not to have been separated by any system of punctuation or spacing. On the Moabite stone691691See Driver, op. cit., p. lxxxvi., or Hastings' D.B. iii. art. Moab. and in the Siloam inscription692692Driver, op. cit., p. xv. a point has been used for this purpose, but the Phoenician inscriptions are without punctuation, and so were probably the early Biblical rolls. The division adopted by the LXX. is frequently at variance with that of the Massoretic text, and is sometimes preferable to the latter, sometimes inferior; but the differences witness to the absence of divisions in the Hebrew MSS. and the non-employment of the final letters ץ ף ן ם ך.

 

Thus Gen. xlix. 19, 20 αὐτῶν κατὰ πόδας. Ἀσήρ . . . = עקב׃ אשר ‎( עקב׃ מאשר); Deut. xxvi. 5 Συρίαν ἀπέβαλεν = ארם יאבד ‎( אר#1502;י אבד); ‎ 1 Regn. i. 1 ἐν Νασείβ = בנעיב ‎ (, בן צוף); Ps. xliii. (xliv.) 5 ὁ θεός μου ὁ ἐντελλόμενος = אלהי מצוה ‎(, צוה אלהים); Jer. xxvi. (xlvi.) 15 διὰ τί ἔφυγεν ἀπό σοῦ ὁ Ἆπις = חף מדוע נם ‎(, מדוע נסחף); Zech. xi. 7 εἰς τὴν Χαναανίτην = לכנעני ‎( עניי לכן).

 

Lastly, almost every page of the LXX. yields evidence that the Hebrew text was as yet unpointed. Vocalisation was in fact only traditional until the days of the Massora, and the tradition which is enshrined in the Massoretic points differs, often very widely, from that which was inherited or originated by the Alexandrian translators693693Jerome in the last years of the 4th century knows nothing of a system of vowel points; see Nowack, Die Bedeutung des Hieronymus für die ATliche Textkritik (Göttingen, 1875)..

 

A few examples may suffice: Gen. xv. 11 καὶ συνεκάθισεν αὐτοῖς = וַיַּשֶׁב אִתָּם ‎(, וַיַּשֵּׁב אֹתָם); Num. xvi. 5 ἐπέσκεπται = בִּקֵּר ‎(, בֹּקֶר); ‎1 Regn. xii. 2 καθήσομαι = יָשַׂבְתִּי ‎(, וָשַׂבְתִּי); Nah. iii. 8 μερίδα Ἀμμών = מְנַת אָמוֹן ‎(, מִנּׂא אָמוֹן) Isa. ix. 8 θάνατον (דֶּבֶר , ‎, דָּבָר) ἀπέστειλεν Κύριος ἐπὶ Ἰακώβ. In proper names the differences of the vocalisation are still more frequent and apparent, e.g. Μαδιάμ (מִדְיָן); Βαλαάμ (בִּלְעָם), Γόμορρα (עֲמֹרָה), Χοδολλογόμορ (כְּדָרְלָעֹמֶר), Φασγά (פִּסְגָּה), Σαμψών (שִׁמְשׁוֹן).

 

(c) One other preliminary consideration remains. The student must not leave out of sight the present state of the Greek text. A homogeneous text is not to be found even in the oldest of our uncial MSS., and the greater number of Greek codices are more or less influenced by the Hexapla. The Lucianic text is subject to another vice, the Antiochian passion for fulness, which encouraged the blending or the accumulation of various renderings and thus created doublets694694Cf. Driver, op. cit., p. lviii.. Besides these recensional errors there are the mistakes, itacistic or other, which are incident to the transmission of ancient books. The state of the Greek text has been touched upon already, and will form the subject of a chapter in the third part of this book. Here it is sufficient to notice the presence of mixture and corruption as a factor in the problem which the student of the LXX. must keep in view.

 

II. We are now prepared to deal with those features of the version which are not incidental but characteristic of the translators' principles and methods.

 

1. The reader of the Alexandrian Greek Bible is continually reminded that he has before him a translation of a Semitic writing.

 

(a) As a whole the version aims at fidelity, and often pursues this aim to the extent of sacrificing the Greek idiom. The first chapter of Genesis will supply instances of extreme literalness, e.g. v. 4 ἀνὰ μέσον τοῦ φωτὸς καὶ ἀνὰ μέσον τοῦ σκότους· v. 5 ἐγένετο ἑσπέρα καὶ ἐγένετο πρωί, ἡμέρα μία· v. 20 ἑρπετὰ ψυχῶν ζωσῶν. As we proceed, we are still conscious of moving in an atmosphere which is Hebrew and not Greek. Hebrew constructions meet us everywhere; such phrases as ἀφικέσθαι ἕως πρός τινα, παρασιωπᾷν ἀπό τινος, προστιθέναι (τοῦ) ποιεῖν, λαλεῖν ἐν χειρί τινος, ἐχθὲς καὶ τρίτην, ἀπό γενεῶν εἰς γενεάς (ἕως γενεᾶς καὶ γενεᾶς, εἰς γενεὰν καὶ γενεάν) may be found in the Prophets and Hagiographa as well as in the Pentateuch. Occasionally the translators set the sense at defiance in their desire to be true to what they conceive to be the meaning of the Hebrew, as when in 1 Regn. i. 26 they render בִּי (δέομαι) by ἐν ἐμοί. In some books, especially perhaps in the Psalms and in Isaiah, entire sentences are unintelligible from this cause. Even when the Alexandrians have rightly understood their original they have generally been content to render it into Greek with little regard for rhythm or style, or the requirements of the Greek tongue.

 

(b) To the same spirit of loyalty may be ascribed in part the disposition to transliterate words which present unusual difficulty. The number of transliterations other than those of proper names is considerable695695Thus Hatch and Redpath take note of 39 transliterations, exclusive of proper names, under A alone. They are thus distributed: Pentateuch, 4; Histories, 26; Psalms &c., 3; Prophets, 6. The principles by which the LXX. appear to have been guided in these transliterations of Hebrew consonants and vowel-sounds are expounded by Frankel, Vorstudien, p. 107 ff., and they are to be found in nearly all the translated books. In some cases they are due to misunderstanding, as in Jud. i. 19 Ῥῆχαβ διεστείλατο αὐτοῖς where ה) ברזל) seems to have been read as הברזל, and רכב consequently treated as a proper name; in others, the Hebrew form is purposely maintained (e.g. ἁλληλουιά, ἀμήν). But in the majority of instances transliteration may be taken for a frank confession of ignorance or doubt; it is clearly such, for example, in Jud. viii. 7 ἐν ταῖς ἀβαρκηνείν, 4 Regn. ii. 14 ἀφφώ (אף הוא), Jer. xxxviii. (xxxi.) 40 πάντες ἁσαρημὼθ ἕως νάχαλ Κεδρών. As in the first and third of these specimens, the article is often included; and when a proper name is transliterated, the name is sometimes for this reason not easily recognised; thus Ramathaim (1 Regn. i. 1) becomes Ἀρμαθάιμ (הרמתים)‎696696Unless the a is here prothetic, which is however less probable.. Similarly the ה local is taken over in the transliteration, as in Gen. xxxv. 6 εἰς Λοῦζα = לוּזָה. Sometimes two words are rolled into one, as in Οὐλαμμαύς = אוּלָם לוּז (Gen. xxviii. 19)697697Cf. Hieron. Quaest. hebr. p. 44 (ed. Lagarde), De situ et nom. pp. 106, 158. Pearson (Praef. paraen. p. 6) endeavours to defend the LXX. even here.. A doublet is occasionally created by adding a translation to the transliterated Hebrew, e.g. in 1 Regn. vi. 11 , 15, τὸ θέμα ἐργάβ, vii. 4 τὰ ἄλση Ἀσταρώθ, xxiii. 14 ἐν Μασερὲμ ἐν τοῖς στενοῖς. In the case of a significant proper name, where it is necessary for the reader to be made aware of its meaning, the LXX. sometimes translate without transliterating, e. g. Gen. iii. 20 ἐκάλεσεν Ἀδὰμ τὸ ὄνομα τῆς γυναικὸς αὐτοῦ Ζωή (הַוָּה); xi. 9 ἐκλήθη τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Σύγχυσις (בָּבֶל); xiv. 13 ἀπήγγειλεν Ἀβρὰμ τῷ περάτῃ (הָעִבְרִי).

 

2. The Alexandrian translators, however, while loyal to their original, sometimes even to a fault, manifest nothing like the slavish adherence to the letter with which Aquila has been charged. They often amplify and occasionally omit; they interpret, qualify or refine; they render the same Hebrew words by more than one Greek equivalent, even in the same context; they introduce metaphors or grammatical constructions which have no place in the Hebrew text and probably at no time had a place there, or they abandon figures of speech where they exist in the original.

 

(a) Slight amplifications, which are probably not to be ascribed to a fuller text, occur frequently in all parts of the LXX.; e.g. the insertion of λέγων before a quotation, or of pronouns which are not expressed in the Hebrew, or of single words added in order to bring out the sense, as in Gen. xxxiv. 10 ἰδοὺ ἡ γῆ πλατεῖα ἐναντίον ὑμῶν, xl. 17 ἀπὸ πάντων τῶν γενημάτων ὧν ὁ βασιλεὺς Φαραὼ ἐσθίει, Deut. vii. 16 φάγῃ πάντα τὰ σκῦλα τῶν ἐθνῶν (Heb. 'thou shalt eat all the nations'). The translators frequently manifest a desire to supply what the original had omitted or to clear up what was ambiguous: they name the subject or object when the Hebrew leaves it to be understood (Gen. xxix. 9 αὐτὴ γὰρ ἔβοσκεν τὰ πρόβατα τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτῆς, Heb. 'fed them'; xxxiv. 14 καὶ εἶπαν αὐτοῖς Συμεὼν καὶ Λευὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ Δείνας υἱοὶ δὲ Λείας, Heb. 'and they said unto them'), or they add a clause which seems to follow as a necessary consequence (2 Regn. xii. 21 ἀνέστης καὶ ἔφαγες ἄρτον καὶ πέπωκας: xvi. 10 καὶ ἄφετε αὐτὸν καὶ οὕτως καταράσθω = יְקַלֵּל ‎(כּׂה ק׳) ‎כי, or they make good an aposiopesis (Exod. xxxii. 32 εἰ μὲν ἀφεῖς αὐτοῖς τὴν ἁμαρτίαν αὐτῶν ἄφες). Less frequently they insert a whole sentence which is of the nature of a gloss, as in Gen. i. 9 καὶ συνήχθη τὸ ὕδωρ τὸ ὑποκάτω τοῦ οὐρανοῦ εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς αὐτῶν καὶ ὤφθη which is merely an expansion of καὶ ἐγένετο οὕτως in the terms of the preceding command συναχθήτω κτλ.; or 1 Regn. i. 5 ὅτι οὐκ ἦν αὐτῇ παιδίον a reminiscence of v. 2 τῇ Ἅννᾳ οὐκ ἦν παιδίον. On the other hand the LXX. not uncommonly present a shorter text, as compared with M.T., e.g. Gen. xxxi. 21 καὶ διέβη τὸν ποταμόν (Heb. 'he rose up and passed over'), ib. 31 εἶπα γάρ Μή ποτε κτλ. (Heb. 'Because I was afraid, for I said . . . '); 1 Regn. i. 9 μετὰ τὸ φαγεῖν αὐτοὺς ἐν Σηλώ (Heb. 'after they had eaten in Shiloh and after they had drunk').

 

(b) The translators frequently interpret words which call for explanation. Hebraisms are converted into Greek phraseology, e.g. בֶּן־נֵכָר becomes ἀλλογενής (Exod. xii. 43), and בֶּן־שָׁנָה ἐνιαύσιος (Num. vii. 15); וַאֲנִי עֲרַל שְׂפָתָיִם is rendered by ἐγὼ δὲ ἄλογός εἰμι (Exod. vi. 12). A difficult word or phrase is exchanged for one more intelligible to a Greek reader; thus ἡ ἔρημος is used for הַנֶּגֶב (Gen. xii. 9); 'Urim and Thummim' become ἡ δήλωσις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια (Exod. xxviii. 26); in the Psalms ἀντιλήμπτωρ is written for מָגֵן (Ps. iii. 4), βοηθός for צוּר (xvii. = xviii. 3), and γλῶσσαfor כָּבוֹד (Ps. xv. = xvi. 9); similarly in Jer. ii. 23 τὸ πολυάνδριον 'the cemetery' stands for בַּגַּיְא, i.e. the valley of Hinnom698698Similarly in Prov. xxii. 10, where the LXX. read וישב בת דין, the last two words are rendered ἐν συνεδρίῳ.. An effort is made to represent Hebrew money by its nearest Greek equivalent; thus for שֶׁקֶל we have δίδραχμον (Gen. xxiii. 15, Deut. xxii. 29, 2 Esdr. xv. 15) as well as σίκλος, and for גֵּרָה ὀβολός. Occasionally a whole clause is interpreted rather than translated; e.g. Gen. i. 2,  ἡ δὲ γῆ ἦν ἀόρατος καὶ ἀκατασκεύαστος, Exod. iii. 14 ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν, Ps. xl. (xxxix.) 7 σῶμα δὲ κατηρτίσω μοι. A dogmatic interest has been detected in some of these paraphrastic renderings, chiefly where the LXX. have endeavoured to avoid the anthropomorphisms of the original; examples are most frequent in the Pentateuch, e.g. Gen. xviii. 25 μηδαμῶς σὺ ποιήσεις (Heb. 'that be far from thee'); Exod. iv. 16 σὺ δὲ αὐτῷ ἔσῃ τὰ πρὸς τὸν θεόν (לֵאלֹהִים); xxiv. 10 εἶδον τὸν τόπον οὗ εἱστήκει ὁ θεὸς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ (Heb. 'they saw the God of Israel,' Aq. εἶδον τὸν θεὸν Ἰσραήλ; ib. 11 τῶν ἐπιλέκτων τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ οὐ διεφώνησεν οὐδὲ εἷς; Num. xii. 8 τὴν δόξαν (תְּמֻנַת) Κυρίου εἶδεν; Exod. xv. 3 Κύριος συντρίβων πολέμους (אִישׁ מִלְחָמָה); Deut. xiv. 23 ὁ τόπος ὃν ἂν ἐκλέξηται Κύριος ὁ θεός σου ἐπικληθῆναι (לְשַׁכֵּן) τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ ἐκεῖ; Jos. iv. 24 ἡ δύναμις τοῦ κυρίου (יַד־יְהוָׂה). Such renderings manifest the same spirit of reverence which led the LXX. to write ὁ κύριος, or the anarthrous Κύριος, or not infrequently ὁ θεός for the Tetragrammaton, just as their Palestinian brethren read for it אֲדֹנָי or אֱלֹהִים699699See W. R. Smith, O. T. in J. Church, p. 77. Aquila, as we gather from Origen and now know from his published fragments (p. 39 f.), wrote the word in archaic Hebrew characters, which however were read as Κύριος. . In other places the LXX. appear to be guided by the Jewish Halacha, e.g. Gen. ii. 2 συνετέλεσεν ὁ θεὸς ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ ἕκτῃ (הַשְּׁבִיעִי, Aq. τῇ ἑβδόμῃ); Lev. xxiv. 7 ἐπιθήσετε ἐπὶ τὸ θέμα λίβανον καθαρὸν καὶ ἅλα700700"Because salt as well as frankincense was used in the actual ritual of their period" (W. R. Smith, op. cit., p. 77).; xix. 7 ἐὰν δὲ βρώσει βρωθῇ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ, ἄθυτόν ἐστιν (Heb. 'an abomination')701701On xxiii. 11 see p. 17.. Of Haggada also there are clear traces, as in Exod. xii. 40 ἐν γῇ Αἰγύπτῳ καὶ ἐν γῇ Χανάαν, 1 Regn. i. 14 εἶπεν αὐτῇ τὸ παιδάριον Ἠλεί702702"An evident attempt to shield the priest from the charge of harshness" (II. P. Smith, Samuel, p. 10).; v. 6 καὶ μέσον τῆς χώρας αὐτῆς ἀνεφύησαν μύες, καὶ ἐγένετο σύγχυσις θανάτου μεγάλη ἐν τῇ πόλει.

 

(c) The LXX. render the same Hebrew word by more than one Greek equivalent, sometimes even in the same context. In some cases the change appears to be either arbitrary, or due to the desire of avoiding monotony; e.g. in Ps. xxxvi. (xxxvii.) רָשָׁע is translated by ἁμαρτωλός in vv. 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 20, 21, 32, 40, but by ἀσεβής in vv. 28, 35, 38. In many others it may be ascribed to the circumstance that certain common Hebrew words take a special colouring from the contexts in which they occur, and must be rendered accordingly. Thus נָתַן, 'give703703The example is suggested by Dr Hatch (Essays, p 18), who gives many of the passages at length. The index Hebraeus at the end of Trommius will enable the student to add other instances (besides διδόναι and its compounds).,' which belongs to this class has received in the LXX. more than 30 different renderings; sometimes it is translated by a paraphrase, e.g. Jos. xiv. 12 αἰτοῦμαί σε (תְּנָה לִי) Deut. xxi. 8 ἵνα μὴ γένηται (אַל תִּתֵּן); when it is rendered directly, the following Greek verbs (besides διδόναι and its compounds) are used to represent it: ἄγειν, ἀποστέλλειν, ἀποτίνειν, ἀφιέναι, δεικνύναι, δωρεῖσθαι, ἐᾷν, ἐκτιθέναι, ἐκτίνειν, ἐκχέειν, ἐλεᾷν, ἐμβάλλειν, ἐγκαταλείπειν, ἐπαίρειν, ἐπιβάλλειν, ἐπιτιθέναι, ἐπιχέειν, ἐφιστάναι, ἱστάναι, καταβάλλειν, καθιστάναι, κατατάσσειν, κρεμάζειν, παρατιθέναι, περιτιθέναι, ποιεῖν, προεκφέρειν, προσιέναι, προστιθέναι, στηρίζειν, συνάγειν, φέρειν. This is a somewhat extreme instance, but a glance at Hatch and Redpath will shew that there are many which do not fall far behind it, and that in the majority of cases the ordinary words of the Hebrew Bible have more than one equivalent in the Greek of the LXX. The Alexandrian translators have evidently made an honest endeavour to distinguish between the several connotations of the Hebrew words. Thus, to take a few examples: קֵץ is variously rendered by ἄκρον, ἀρχή, κλίτος, μέρος, πέρας, τάξις, χρόνος; among the equivalents of דָּבָר are ἀπόκρισις, ἐπερώτησις, κρίμα, πρᾶγμα, τρόπος, φωνή; for לֵב we have not only καρδία, ψυχή, φρήν, νοῦς, διάνοια, στόμα, φρόνησις, but στῆθος and even σάρξ; for פקד, ἀπιθμεῖν, ἐπισκέπτεσθαι, ἐτάζειν, ἐκδικεῖν; for צְדָקָה, δικαιοσύνη, ἐλεημοσύνη, εὐφροσύνη. Conversely, the same Greek word often serves for several Hebrew words. Thus διαθήκη, which is generally the LXX. rendering of בְּרִיִת, stands also for עֵדוּת (Exod. xxvii. 21, (xxxi. 7), תּוֹרָה (Dan. ix. 13, LXX.) and even דָּבָר, (Deut. ix. 5); ἐξαιρεῖν, λυτροῦν, ῥύεσθαι are all used to represent גָּאַל; εἴδωλον appears in different contexts for פֶּסֶל ,עֹצֶב ,חַמָּן ,חֶבֶל ,בַּעַל ,בָּמָה ,אֱלִיל ,אֱלוֹהַּ ,אֵל תְּרָפִים ,שִׁקֻּץ ,צֶלֶם. Even in the same context, or verse this sometimes occurs. Thus in Gen. i.—iii. γῆ translates צָפָר ,שָׂדֶה ,אֲדָמָה ,אֶרֶץ; in Exod. xii. 23 עָבַר and פָסַח are both represented by παρέρχεσθαι; in Num. xv. 4 f. θυσία is used both for מִנְחָה and זֶבַח. In such cases it is difficult to acquit the translators of carelessness; but they are far less frequent than instances of the opposite kind. On the whole the LXX. even in the Pentateuch shews no poverty of words, and considerable skill in the handling of synonyms.

 

(d) In reference to metaphors the Alexandrians allow themselves some discretion. Thus in Gen. vi. 2 'the sons of God' become οἱ ἄγγελοι τοῦ θεοῦ; in Num. xxiv. 17 'a sceptre (שֵׁבֶט) shall rise' is rendered by ἀναστήσεται ἄνθρωπος; in Deut. x. 16 'the foreskin of your heart' is turned euphemistically into τὴν σκληροκαρδίαν ὑμῶν; in Isa. ix. 14 μέγαν καὶ μικρὸν represents Heb. 'both branch and rush.' Occasionally the translators indulge in paronomasia, without authority from the Heb., e.g. Gen. xxv. 27 οἰκῶν οἰκίαν = יוֹשֵׁב אֹהָלִים; xxvi. 18 καὶ ἐπωνόμασεν αὐτοῖς ὀνόματα וַיִּקְרָא לָהֶן שֵׁמוֹת; Job xxvii. 12 κενὰ κενοῖς; xxx. 13 ἐξετρίβησαν τρίβοι μου.

 

(e) Lastly, the reader of the Septuagint must expect to find a large number of actual blunders, due in part perhaps to a faulty archetype, but chiefly to the misreading or misunderstanding of the archetype by the translators. Letters or clauses have often been transposed; omissions occur which may be explained by homoioteleuton; still more frequently the translation has suffered through an insufficient knowledge of Hebrew or a failure to grasp the sense of the context. It follows that the student must be constantly on his guard against errors which may easily result from too ready an acceptance of the evidence offered by the Alexandrian version. Taken as a whole, and judged in the light of the circumstances under which it was produced, it is a monument of the piety, the skill, and the knowledge of the Egyptian Jews who lived under the Ptolemies, and it is an invaluable witness to the pre-Christian text of the Old Testament. But whether for textual or for hermeneutical purposes it must be used with caution and reserve, as the experience of the Ancient Church shews. With this subject we shall deal in a future chapter; it is sufficient to note the fact here.

 

III. The beginner, for whose use this chapter is chiefly intended, will now be prepared to open his Septuagint and his Hebrew Bible, and to compare the two in some familiar contexts. The following notes may assist him in a first effort to grapple with the problems which present themselves.

 

GEN. xv. 1—6.

1. Τὰ ῥήματα . . . ῥῆμα, Heb. דְּבָרִים . . . דְבַר. Λέγων = לֵאמֹר; cf. v. 4, where, as elsewhere, Aq. renders, τῷ λέγειν. Ὑπερασπίζω σου, Heb. 'am a shield to thee'; cf. Deut. xxxiii. 29, Prov. ii. 7, al. Ὁ μισθός σου πολύς. Vulg., A.V., R.V. connect Heb. with the foregoing, supplying ו. ‎2. Δεσπότης = אֲדֹנָי, as in v. 8, and not infrequently in Jer. and Dan. (LXX.). Ἀπολύομαι ἄτεκνος—an interpretation rather than a literal rendering of הוֹלֵךְ עֲרִירִי704704Philo has ἀπελεύσοκαι (see below).. Υἱὸς Μάσεκ τῆς οἰκογενοῦς μου = בן משק ביתי: cf. Hieron. quaest. in Gen. "ubi nos habemus Et filius Masec vernaculae meae, in Hebraeo scriptum est ןבן משק ביתי, quod Aquila transtulit ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ποτίζοντος οἰκίαν μου . . . Theodotio vero καὶ υἱὸς τοῦ ἐπὶ τῆς οἰκίας μου." Δαμασκὸς Ἐλιέζερ, a literal rendering of the Heb., leaving the difficulty unsolved. 3. Ἐπειδή = הֵן, and so in xviii. 31, xix. 19; did LXX. read אִם? Οἰκογενής here = בֶּן־הַבַּיִת. Κληρονομήσει με—a Hebraism, = κληρονόμος μου ἔσται. 4. καὶὐθὺς . . . ἐγένετο = וְהִנֵּה. Φωνή = רָּבָר, as in xi. 1, but apparently not elsewhere. ὃς . . . οὗτος, אֲשֶׁר . . . הוּא. Ἐκ σοῦ, euphemism for Heb. מִ‍מֵּעֶיךָ, unless the LXX. read מִמֵּךָ. ‎5. Πρὸς αὐτόν, Heb. 6. Καὶ ἐπίστευσεν = ויאמן (cf. Haupt ad loc.). Ἀβράμ τῷ θεῷ = בַּיהוָׂה. Ἐλογίσθη . . . εἰς δικ., Heb. 'he counted it . . . for righteousness'; possibly the LXX. read as in Ps. cvi. 31 (M.T.), where they have the same rendering. The N.T. follows LXX. here (Jas. ii. 23, Rom. iv. 3, Gal. iii. 6).

 

EXOD. xix. 16—24.

16. Ἐγένετο δὲ . . . καὶ ἐγένοντο = וַיְהִי. . . וַיְהִי. Γενηθέντος πρὸς ὄρθρον = בִּהְיֹת הַבֹּקֶר. Ἐπ᾿ ὄρους Σεινά, Heb. 'on the mountain.' Φωνή, cod. F with pr. καὶ. 17. Ὑπὸ τὸ ὄρος Σ. (om. Σ. AF), Heb. 'at the nether part (בְּתַחְתִּית) of the mountain:' 18. διὰ τὸ καταβεβηκέναι, an idiomatic rendering of מִ‍פְּנֵי־אֲשֶׁר יָרַד. Τὸν θεὸν = יהוה, cf. 21. Ὁ καπνός, Heb. 'the smoke of it.' Ἐξέστη, Heb. as v. 16 where LXX. renders ἐπτοήθη. Ὁ λαός = הָעָם; M.T., הָהָר. ‎19. Προβαίνουσαι ἰσχυρότεραι = הוֹלֵךְ וְחָזֵק. ‎20. Ἐκάλεσεν . . . Μωϋσῆν, Heb. לְמֹשֶׁה; the ל after קרא is dropt in accordance with Greek idiom705705Or, as Dr Nestle, suggests, it may have been taken as introducing the acc., as in later Hebrew or in Aramaic.. 21. Λέγων, Heb. Ἐγγίσωσιν, a softening of the .Heb. 'break forth' (הרס); in the next verse ἐγγίζειν = נגש ni. 22. καὶ, Heb. 'and also' (וְגַם), usually καὶ γε, Aq. καὶ καὶγε (Burkitt, Aquila, p. 13). Κυρίῳ τῷ θεῷ a double rendering of אֶל יְהוָֹה. Ἀπαλλάξῃ ἀπ᾿ αὐτῶν: another instance of euphemism: Heb. 'break forth upon them' (Aq. διακόψῃ ἐν αὐτοῖς). 23. Προσαναβῆναι: the double compound occurs six times in Jos. xi.—xix. Ἀφόρισαι: the verb is here as in v. 12 the equivalent of גּבל hi. 'enclose,' but with the added thought of consecration which is latent in ἀφορίζειν, ἀφόρισμα, ἀφορισμός (cf. Exod. xxix. 26, Ezech. xx. 40). 24. Ἀπολέσῃ, euphemistic, as ἀπαλλάξῃ in v. 22; Aq. again, διακόψῃ.

 

NUM. xxiii. 7—10.

 

7. Παραβολήη: here for the first time = מְשָׁל. Lyons Pent., parabula. Μεσοποταμίας, i.e. אֲרָם נַהֲרַיִם (Gen. xxiv. 10), or אֲרָם פַּדַּן (Gen. xxv. 20): here an interpretation of the simple אֲרָם . Ἀπ᾿, λέγων, Heb. Ἐπικατάρασαί μοι, and καταράσωμαι in v. 8, represent זעם, whilst ἄρασαι answers to ארר, and ἀράσωμαι (v. 8) to נקב, an unusual instance of carelessness or poverty of language on the part of the translator; ὀρέων (v. 9) is equally unfortunate as a rendering of צֻרִים, while on the other hand ὄψομαι, προσνοήσω fairly represent the Heb. Προσνοεῖν renders שור again in Job xx. 9, xxiv. 15. 10. Ἐξαριβάζεσθαι (Num.1, Job1, Dan. LXX..1), a late form for ἐξακριβοῦν in LXX. and Jos. Τὸ σπέρμα, Heb.'the dust': did LXX. read זרע, or have they glossed עפר? Καὶ τίς ἐξαριθμήσεται, reading ומי יספר. Δήμους Ἰσραήλ, Heb. 'the fourth part of Israel' (Aq. τοῦ τετύρτου Ἰ.). Ἡ ψυχή μου, as Heb., whilst the next word is sacrificed to an alliteration (ψυχή, ψυχαῖς). Τὸ σπέρμα μου is a gloss on אַחֲרִיתִי (cf. Brown, Heb. and Eng. Lex., p. 31); ὡς τό σπέρμα τούτων, Heb. 'as he.'

This passage illustrates both the greater freedom which the Greek translators allowed themselves in poetical contexts, and their comparative incompetence to deal with them.

 

DEUT. vi. 1—9.

 

1. Αὗται αἱ ἐντολαὶ, Heb. 'this is the commandment.' Ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν, Heb. 'your God.' Οὕτως Heb. Εἰσπορεύεσθε, Heb. 'go over'; the Greek has lost the local reference, as in iv. 14, 4 Regn. iv. 8. 2. Ἵνα φοβῆσθε . . . ὑμῶν, Heb. 2nd pers. sing. Σήμερον, . Οἱ υἱοί κτλ., Heb. 'thy son and thy son's son.'  Ἵνα μακροημερεύσητε, Heb. 'and that thy days may be prolonged'; μακροημερεύείν (μακροήμερος γίνεσθαι) represents this or a similar phrase in iv. 40, v. 30, xi. 9, 21, xxxii. 47; μακροχρόνιος, μακροχρονίζειν also occur in iv. 40, v. 16, xvii. 20, xxxii. 27. The group is not found elsewhere in the LXX. except in Exod.1, Jud.1, and in Sirach. 3. Δοῦναι M.T.; perhaps added to complete the sense of the Greek; yet see v. 10 (לָתֶת לָךְ). ‎4. Καὶ ταῦτα . . . Αἰγύπτου Heb; perhaps repeated from iv. 45 to form an introduction to Ἄκουε κτλ.. 5. Διανοίας . . . ψυχῆς . . . δυνάμεως. The readings vary; for διανοίας AF Luc. read καρδίας, and the text of B is here super rasuram; for δυνάμεως some texts give ἰσχύος. The N.T. citations (Mt. xxii. 37 = Mc. xii. 29 ff., Lc. x. 27) present much diversity, giving both renderings of לְבָבְךָ and both of מְאׂדֶךָ; cf. Dittmar, V. T. in Novo, p. 50 f.  6. καὶ ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ σου, Heb.; for 'in thy heart' Heb. has 'upon,' "as it were imprinted there (Jer. xxxi. 33)706706Driver, ad loc.." 7. Προβιβάσεις, Heb. 'shalt impress them upon'; Aq. δευεερώσεις, as if the root were שׁנה. Ἐν αὐτοῖς = בָּם. Καθήμενος κτλ., Heb. 'in thy sitting &c.'; ἐν οἴκῳ, ἐν ὁδῷ are inexact, Heb. 'in thy house,' 'in the way.' 8. Ἀσάλευτον (F, ἀσάλευτα) = לְטֹטָפֹת, 'for frontlets,' circlets or tires for the head: Lyons Pent. (reading σαλευτά), mobilia. Ἀσάλευτον occurs in the same phrase in Exod. xiii. 16, Deut. xi. 18. Aq. seems to have rendered the Heb. here and in Exod. by νακτά, i.e. 'compressed,' 'tight,' which Field (Hexapla, i. 103) explains as the "thecas in quas schedulae membraneae . . . inferciebantur." The LXX. rendering may be an Alexandrian name for the φυλακτήριον, but the whole subject is obscure.  9. Φλιάς = מְזֻזוֹת, as in Exod. xii. 7 ff.

 

JOS. x. 12—14.

 

12. ᾟ ἡμέρᾳ παρέδωκεν . . . ὑποχείριον—idiomatic rendering of
בְּיוֹם תֵּת . . . לִפְנֵי. The words that follow (ἡνίκα . . . Ἰσραήλ) seem to be a gloss derived from v. 10. Καὶ εἶπεν Ἰησοῦς, Heb. 'and he said in the eyes of Israel.' Στήτω, Heb. 'be still.' Γαβαών, 'Gibeon.' Αἰλών. 'Aijalon' (אַיָּלוֹן); Cf. 2 Chron. xi. 10 A, Αἰαλών. 13. Ἐν στάσει = עָמָד, which is thus distinguished from the verb represented by ἔστη. Ὁ θεός, Heb. גּוֹי, Aq. τὸ ἔθνος. Unless a primary error is to be suspected here, the LXX. has glossed its original, from motives of piety. After the stanza inserts a reference to the Book of Jashar, which is wanting in non-Hexaplaric texts of the LXX.; cod. G adds,   οὐχὶ τοῦτο γεγραμμένον ἐπὶ βιβλίου τοῦ εὐθοῦς . Οὐ προεπορεύετο κτλ., a loose rendering of Heb.
לֹא אָץ לָבוֹא כְּ‍יוֹם תָּמִים. ‎14. Ἠμέρα τοιαύτη οὐδὲ τὸ πρότερον οὐδὲ τὸ ἔσχατον, a good example of a conscientious compromise between idiomatic and literal modes of rendering (cf. Heb.). Ἀνθρώπου, בְּקוֹל אִישׁ. Συνεπολέμησεν τῷ Ἰ., Heb. 'fought for Israel.'

 

JUD. v. 28—30707707In this passage the text of B in O.T. in Greek, i. 489, should be compared with that of A (ed. Brooke and McLean).

28. B here omits the difficult word ותיבב (A, καὶ κατεμάνθανεν). ἐκτὸς τοῦ τοξικοῦ, 'forth from the loophole'; cf. Symm. in Ezek. xl. 16 θυρίδες τοξικαί: A διά τῆς δικτυωτῆς, 'through the lattice' (cf. 4 Regn. i. 2, Ezek. xli. 16). Ἐπιβλέπουσα . . . Σισαρά in A appears to be a supplementary gloss. ᾙσχύνθη (B) confuses בשש pōlēl with בוש kal; the general sense of the former is given by ἠσχάτισεν A. For ἐσχατίζειν cf. 1 Macc. v. 53; has it been suggested here by its similarity to the word used in B? Πόδες: A more literally ἴχνη, but πούς represents פַּעַם elsewhere, e.g. Ps. lvi. (lvii.) 6, Prov. xxix. 5. 29. Αἱ σοφαὶ ἄρχουσαι: A, again aiming at a literal rendering, σοφαὶ ἀρχουσῶν. On the other hand B's ἀπέστρεψεν λόγους αὐτῆς ἑαυτῇ is close and yet idiomatic, while A's ἀπεκρίνατο ἐν ῥήμασιν αὐτῆς goes too far afield; the latter appears to be a Hexaplaric correction (Field, ad loc.). 30. Οὐχ εὑρήσουσιν αὐτὸν διαμερίζοντα σκῦλα; so BA; Heb. 'are they not finding, [are they not] dividing booty?' LXX. seem to have read מחלק for יחלקו. Οἰκτείρμων οἰκτειρήσει B, φιλιάζων φίλοις A; both, while labouring to keep up the alliteration of the Heb., miss its point through ignorance of a rare use of רַחַם708708"Of the versions only [Vulg.] comes near the true sense" (Moore). Jerome renders pulcherrima feminarum.; for φιλιάζειν cf. xiv. 20 B, 2 Chron. xix. 2. 2. Ποικιλτῶν (A, ποικίλων) misses the dual 'embroidery on both sides' (R. V.), or 'a couple of pieces,' "precisely as רחמתים above" (Moore). Βάθη in A seems to be an error for βαφή, which is found in several cursives; see Field, ad loc., and Lagarde's Lucian. Τῷ τραχήλῳ αὐτοῦ σκῦλα = apparently לצואריו שלל; M.T. 'for the necks of the spoil.' A substitutes the usual ἀνατολή for the spirited and literal rendering of B (cf. Ps. xviii. = xix. 7), and appears to have read בגברתיו; cf. Ps. xix. (xx.) 7.

This passage is a severe test of the translator's knowledge and skill, and shews him perhaps at his worst.

 

1 REGN. xvii. 37—43.

 

37. begins וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד, A, Luc. καὶ εἶπεν Δ. Ἐκ χειρὸς τοῦ λέοντος . . . τῆς ἄρκου, an exact rendering; cf. Gen. ix. 5 ἐκ χειρὸς πάντων τῶν θηρίων. Luc., Th., ἐκ στόματος τοῦ λ. καὶ ἐκ χειρὸς τῆς ἄρκου. Τοῦ ἀπεριτμήτου, repeated from v. 36 (). 38. μανδύαν (Jud. iii. 16, 2 Regn. x. 4): + αὐτοῦ, A, with . Περικεφαλαίαν χ περὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ: Luc. (A), with , π. χ. ἐπέθηκεν ἐπί κτλ., adding, καὶ ἐνέδυσεν αὐτῷ θώρακα. 39. Ἔζωσεν τὸν Δαυείδ sc. Σαούλ (cf. v. 38); Luc., A, follow Heb. in making David the object of the verb ἐζώσατο Δαυείδ). Ἐκοπίασεν περιπατήσας (A, περιπατῆσαι) ἅπαξ καὶ δίς, 'more than once he wearied himself with walking (strove to walk) in them,' reading וַיֵּלֶא, as in Gen. xix. 11 וַיִּלְאוּ LXX. παρελύθησαν (Wellhausen, Driver, H. P. Smith). Ἅπαξ καὶ δίς occurs also in Deut. ix. 13 (where, as here, there is nothing in the Heb. to correspond), and in Neh. xiii. 20, where it represents פַּעַם וּשְתָּיִם. Ἀφαιροῦσιν αὐτὰ ἀπ᾿ αὐτοῦ, reading the verb probably as וַיְסִרֻם, and omitting דוד. ‎40. Λίθους τελείους in B is obviously wrong, and A scarcely mends matters by omitting the adjective. Correct, with Lucian, λίθους λείους. Ἐν τῷ καδίῳ τῷ ποιμενικῷ: καδίον = καδίσκος, here only in LXX., and perhaps unknown elsewhere: ποιμενικός (הָרֹעִים) again in Zach. xi. 15. Εἰς συλλογήν apparently for לילקוט ‎( וּבַיַּלְקוּט, Aq. καὶ ἐν ἀναλεκτηρίῳ). 41 is wanting in B, and probably belongs to the same recension of the story which has supplied the great gaps vv. 12—31, 55—xviii. 5. 42. Heb. 'looked and saw'; so A, Luc. Κυρράκης· cf. xvi. 12, Gen. xxv. 25. 43. Ὡσεί, added by the translators to soften the opprobrious κύων. Ἐν ῥάβδῳ καὶ λίθοις, 'in (with) staves'; καὶ λίθοις is probably intended to make the question correspond to the statement of v. 40. The next words in the LXX. καὶ εἶπεν Δαυείδ Οὐχί, ἀλλ᾿ ἢ χείρω[ν] κυνός are evidently of the same character—a "singularly vapid reply" (Driver).

 

4 REGN. ii. 11—18.

 

11. Αὐτῶν πορευομένων ἐπορεύοντο καὶ ἐλάλουν—an interesting attempt to combine Greek idiom with some reminiscence of the Heb. phrase; Lucian abandons the Heb., and corrects, αὐτῶν πορευομένων καὶ λαλούντων. Ἵππος πυρός, Heb. 'horses of fire'; cf. ἱππεύς, Heb. 'horsemen,' v. 12. Ἀνὰ μέσον (בֵּיו), cf. Gen. i. 7 διεχώρισεν . . . ἀνὰ μέσον. Ἀνελήμφθη, Heb. 'went up'; the Greek verb is apparently repeated from vv. 9, 10, where it = לקח. >From this passage it has been borrowed by the translator of Sirach (xlviii. 9, 14, xlix. 14, B), and by two writers in the N.T. (1, Acts i. 2, 11); on its symbolical use see the writer's Apostles' Creed, p. 70 f. Ὡς, Heb.; cf. 1 Regn. xvii. 43 (above). 12. Πάτερ πάτερ, Heb. 'my father' bis. Διέρρηξεν . . .ῥήγματα, after the Heb.: Lucian omits the noun, probably because of the harshness of the assonance. 13. Καὶ ὕψωσεν = וירם; Luc., καὶ ἀνείλατο. Μηλωτήν, 'sheepskin,' an interpretation of אַדֶּרֶת (Vulg. pallium ) wherever it is used of Elijah's characteristic raiment (3 Regn. xix. 13, 19, 4 Regn. ii. 8 ff.); cf. Heb. xi. 37 περιῆλθον ἐν μηλωταῖς. Ἐpάνωθεν, sc. αὐτοῦ (Heb., Luc.). Ἐλεισαῖε, Heb.; καὶ ἐπέστρεψεν Ἐλεισαῖε is Hexaplaric, and wanting in B*, but supplied by BabA Luc. 14. Ὁ θεός, יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵי. Ἀφφώ, a transliteration answering to אַף הוּא (); in x. 10 the same form = אֵפוֹא, which was perhaps the reading before the LXX. in this place. Aq. καίπερ αὐτός, but Symm. καί νῦν, whence Jerome etiam nunc . 15. καὶ οἱ ἐν Ἰερειχώ: καὶ A Luc. with . 16. יֵשׁ is not represented by AB; Luc. adds εἰσί. Υἱοὶ δυνάμεως, בְּנֵי־חַיִל. Ἐν τῷ Ἰορδάνῃ, Ἐλεισαῖε, Heb., Luc. 18. In A Luc. Aq. Th. the verse begins 'And they returned to him'; cf. v. 13.

 

PS. cix. (cx.) 1—4.

 

1. [Ὁ] κύριος τῷ κυρίῳ μου, יְהוָֹה לַאדֹנִי. Ἐκ δεξιῶν, לִימִינִי; in v. 5 the same Gr. is used for עַל יְמִינִי. Ὑποπόδιον τῶν ποδῶν σου: ὑποκάτω is the reading of the best authorities in Mt. xxii. 44, Mc. xii. 36, but ὑποπ. keeps its place in Lc.ev. act., Hebrews. 2. καὶ κατακυρίευε = ורדה apparently. 3. Μετὰ σοῦ, עִמְּךָ ‎(, עַמְּךָ). Ἡ ἀρχή seems to point to a reading נדיבה or נדיבת (cf. Job xxx. 15, Isa. xxxii. 8); τῶν ἁγίων (σου) = קדשיםקדשיך); Symm. ἐν ὄρεσιν (בהררי for בהדרי) ἁγίοις. Ἐκ γαστρὸς πρὸ ἑωσφόρου ἐγέννησά σε, though not quoted in the N.T., had an important place in post-apostolic Christian teaching from Justin onwards (cf. Justin, Tryph. cc. 63, 76, 83; Tert. adv. Marc. v. 9; Cypr. test. 17, ep. 63); in the Arian age it was commonly cited on the Catholic side—see e.g. Cyril. Hierus., catech. vii. 2, xi. 5; Athan. or. c. Arian. iv. 27 sq.; de decr. 3, &c.; Hilar. de trin. vi. 16, xii. 8. The O.L. seems to have rendered uniformly ex utero ante luciferum genui te, with the variant generavi in Tert. l.c.; Jerome's 'Hebrew' Psalter reads with quasi de vulva orietur tibi ros adolescentiae. The LXX. appear to have read their Heb. text as מרחם מִשְׁחָר יְלִדְתִּיךָ, perhaps dropping לכטל as unintelligible. 4. Κατὰ τὴν τάξιν, עַל דִּבְרָתִי Aq. Symm. κατὰ λόγον. Cf. Heb. v. 6 ff., vii. 11, 15 (κατὰ τήν ὁμοιότητα). The translator probably had before him the LXX. of Gen. xiv. 18; he transliterates the unique name מלכי־צדק in the same way.

 

PROV. viii. 22—25, 30—31.

22. Ἔκτισέν με. So אBA etc. O.L. ( condidit, creavit ); codd. 23 = V, 252, with Aq. Symm. Th. Vulg. ( possedit ), give ἐκτήσατο—both possible meanings of קנה. The former rendering supplied the Arians with one of their stock arguments (cf. Athan. or. c. Arian. ii. 44 sqq.). Εἰς ἔργα αὐτοῦ, a loose and partial translation, probably a confession of inability to understand the Heb.; Th. πρὸ τῆς ἐργασίας ἀπὸ τότε. 23. Ἐθεμελίωσέν με, reading apparently יסדני where has נִסַּכְתִּי; cf. Ps. lxxvii. (lxxviii.) 69. Πρὸ τοῦ τὴν γῆν ποιῆσαι, a poor rendering of Heb., probably adopted to bring this clause into line with v. 24 with which the LXX. seem to have connected it. 24. LXX. overlook חוללתי and נכבדי, unless they intend to convey the general sense by ποιῆσαι and προελθεῖν. 25. Πάντων, 'I was brought forth.' 30. ἁρμόζουσα = אָמוֹן,  the word being referred by the translator to אמן; similarly Symm. Th., ἐστηριγμένη. ᾟ προσέχαιρεν implies the reading יוֹם יוֹם ;שעשועיו is connected by LXX. with the next clause. 31. Ὅτε . . . συντελέσας: Heb. 'rejoicing in the world of his earth.' LXX. seem to have read משחק בתכלית, as Lagarde suggests; had תבל stood in their text, οἰκουμένη would have been ready at hand as a rendering (cf. 2 Regn. xxii. 16, Ps. ix. 9, &c.). Εὐφραίνετο, reading שעשעיו. Υἱοὶ ἀνθρώπων = בְּנֵי אָדָם; cf. υἱοὺς Ἀδάμ, Deut. xxxii. 8; בּ׳ אָדָם is translated by this phrase in Ps. x. (xi.) 4, and repeatedly in the poetical books.

 

JOB xix. 23—27.

 

23. Τίς γὰρ ἂν δῴη; See above p. 308; the phrase is repeated in the Hebrew, but the translator contents himself with using it once. אֵפוֹ is ignored; its usual equivalent in the LXX., is νῦν or οὖν, unless it is transliterated (p. 324). Εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα seems to represent לָעַד, which in belongs to the next verse; Th. translates it εἰς μαρτύριον, reading the word as לְעֵד. ‎24. B* omits ἐν πέτραις ἐνγλυφῆναι which appears to be necessary to the sense; in supplying it BabאA prefix , a manifest gloss. 25. Ἀέναός ἐστιν ὁ ἐκλύειν με μέλλων, a paraphrase of Heb. 'my Goel lives'; ἀέναος in the LXX. elsewhere = עֹלָם, and גֹּאֵל is ἀγχιστεύς (Ruth iii. 9, etc.), or λυτρωτής (Ps. xviii. 14, lxxvii. 35). 25—26. Ἐπὶ γῆς ἀναστήσαι or ἀναστήσει appears to correspond with עַל עָפָר ‎(יָקוּם (יקים, and τὸ δέρμα μου τὸ ἀναντλοῦν ταῦτα with עוֹרִי נִקְּפוּ זֹאת. A points to לְחַיּוֹת עוֹרִי מְכַלְכֵּל זאת (Siegfried in Haupt ad loc.). But the translator perhaps interprets his text in the light of the doctrine of the Resurrection, which was accepted from Maccabean times (cf. Job xlii. 17a, and see Dan. xii. 2, 2 Macc. vii. 14, xii. 43); as cited by Clem. R. 1 Cor. 26 (ἀναστήσεις τήν σάρκα μου ταύτην τὴν ἀναντλήσασαν ταῦτα πάντα), the words are brought into still nearer agreement with the faith of the Church; see Apostles' Creed, p. 89 f. Παρὰ γὰρ Κυρίου . . . συνετελέσθη corresponds in position with words which divides and points as וּמִ‍בְּשָׂרִי אֶחֱזֶה אֱלוֹהַּ, but seems to be partly borrowed from the next verse. A suggests ‎וּמֵאֱלוֹהַּ נַעֲשֹוּ לִי אֵלֶּה (Siegfried). 27. Πάντα δέ μοι συντετέλεσται· , כָּלוּ כִלְיֹתַי.

 

MICAH v. 1 (iv. 14)—4 (3).

 

1. Ἐμφραχθήσεται θυγάτηρ ἐμφραγμῷ, i.e. תתגדרי בת גדר. Τὰς φυλὰς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ: LXX. read שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל for שֹׁפֵט י׳. ‎2. Βηθλέεμ οἶκος τοῦ Ἐφράθα: did LXX. read ‎בֵּית־לֶחֶם בֵּית אֶפְרָתָה? Ὀλιγοστὸς εἶ τοῦ εἶναι 'art little to be,' as Heb. The passage is quoted in Mt. ii. 6 in a Greek paraphrase709709The paraphrastic character of the reference appears more distinctly in the second stanza ἐκ σοῦ . . . Ἰσραήλ, which blends Mic. v. 1b, 3a. It will be observed that cod. A reads ἡγούμενος with Mt. which substitutes οὐδαμῶς ἐλαχίστη for 'little to be,' and τοῖς ἡγεμόσιν (אַלֻּפֵי) for 'thousands' (אַלְפֵי). ‎3. Ἕως καιροῦ τικτούσης τέξεται, apparently for ἕως καιροῦ οὗ τίκτουσα τέξεται or ἕ. κ. τίκτούσης ὅτε τέξεται. 4. Καὶ ὄψεται, τὸ ποίμνιον αὐτοῦ were obelised in Hex. and find no place in ; the former has perhaps originated in a misreading of ורעה as וראה, so that καὶ ὄψ. καὶ ποιμανεῖ is in fact a doublet. Κύριος, subject; Heb. 'in the strength of J.,' the subject being the same as in v. 1. Ὑπάρξουσιν, וְיָשָׁבוּ; the LXX. read ישבו, connecting the verb with the previous words; for ישב = ὑπάρχειν cf. Ps. liv. (lv.) 20 ὁ ὑπάρχων πρὸ τῶν αἰώνων.

 

JEREM. xxxviii. 31—37 (xxxi. 30—36).

 

Vv. 31—34 are cited in Heb. viii. 8—12, q.v. 31. Διαθήσομαι, in Hebrews συντελέσω, cf. Jer. xli. (xxxiv.) 8 συντελέσαι (כרת) διαθήκην, and ib. 15. Τῷ οἴκῳ bis, in Hebrews ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον. 32. Διεθέμην, in Hebrews ἐποίησα: the writer appears to dislike the repeated alliteration in διατίθεσθαι διαθήκην. Ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ἐπιλαβομένου μου, for the more usual τοῦ ἐπιλαβέσθαι με or ὅτε (ᾗ) ἐπελαβόμην. Ὅτι οὐκ ἐνέμειναν ἐν . . . Heb. 'which . . . they broke'; ἠμέλησα αὐτῶν, reading געלתי for בעלתי. ‎33. ἡ διαθήκη μου, Heb. 'the covenant' Διδοὺς δώσω, a Hebraism not represented in ; in Hebrews διδούς appears without δώσω, and so AQ in Jer. Εἰς τὴν διάνοιαν αὐτῶν, Heb. 'in their inward parts.' 34. עוֹד 1° has no equivalent in the Greek; τὸν πολίτην αὐτοῦ, Heb. 'his neighbours' (cf. Prov. xi. 9. 12, xxiv. 43 = 28), reminds us that we are dealing The paraphrastic character of the reference appears more distinctly in the second stanza ἐκ σοῦ . . . Ἰσραήλ, which blends Mic. v. 1b, 3a. It will be observed that cod. A reads ἡγούμενος with Mt. with an Alexandrian version. Ἀπό . . . ἕως, לְ . . . וְעַד; ἀδικίαις . . . ἁμαρτιῶν, 'iniquity,' 'sin.' 35—37. In 36, 37 precede 35. 35. Φησὶν Κύριος, Heb. 'thus saith J.' (at the beg. of the verse). Ὑψωθῇ, reading יָרוּמוּ for יִמַּרּוּ; ταπεινωθῇ, Heb. 'be searched.' Οὐκ ἀποδοκιμῶ: ἀποδ. is a contracted future (cf. p. 305); οὐκ is inserted, because the drift of the verse has been misunderstood (cf. Streane, p. 156 f.). Τὸ γένος Ἰσραήλ, Heb. 'all the seed of I.'; γένος = זֶרַע again in v. 37. 36. Σελήνην, , 'the ordinances of the moon' (but cf. הַחֻקִּים in v. 35, Heb.). Κραυγήν, reading perhaps רגש or רגז for רגע. ‎37. Κύριος Παντοκράτωρ = ‎יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת, as almost invariably in the Prophets710710Zech. xiii. 2, Jer. xxvi. (xlvi.) 10 are the only exceptions, and in both cases the MSS. are divided. from Hosea xii. 5 (6) onwards, with the exception of Isaiah, who transliterates צְבָאוֹת (Κύριος σαβαώθ, Isa. i. 9, a1). See Thackeray, J. Th. St. IV. p. 245 ff.; this passage is from his "Jer. β."

 

DAN. xii. 1—4.

 

1. Χώραν (LXX.), probably a corruption for ὥραν (cf. Bevan, p. 48); παρελεύσεται (LXX.), reading יעבר for יעמד (ἀναστήσεται, Th.). Ὁ ἄγγελος (LXX.), a gloss; Th. literally, ὁ ἄρχων. Ἐπὶ τοὺς υἱούς (LXX., Th.), . . . עַל בְּנֵי. Ἐκείνη ἡ ἡμέρα, LXX., ἔσται καιρὸς Th.; Th. is again more literal than LXX. Θλίψις οἵα οὐ γέγονεν (cf. Mt. xxiv. 21, Mc. xiii. 19). Th. repeats the subject with the view of preventing ambiguity; in the sequel LXX. (as handed down to us) overlook גּוֹי, while Th. adds ἐν τῇ γῇ or ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς. Ὑψωθήσεται LXX.; Bevan suggests a corruption for ἐκσωθήσεται or some other compound of σωθήσεται; but ὑψ. may be a gloss upon the tamer word which stood in the original. Th. rightly, σωθήσεται. Ὃς ἂν εὑρεθῇ, הַנִּמְצָא—overlooked by Th., unless we accept the reading of AQ, ὁ εὑρεθεὶς [ὁ] γεγραμμένος. 2. ἐν τῷ πλάτει τῆς γῆς, LXX.; ἐν γῆς χώματι Th., Heb. 'in the ground of dust' (but see Bevan, p. 201 f.). Διασπορὰν καὶ αἰσχύνην, LXX.; διασπ. is perhaps a gloss on αἰσχ.; for the word see Deut. xxviii. 25. 3. Οἱ φωστῆρες τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, LXX. a reminiscence of Gen. i. 14 (LXX.); cf. Sap. xiii. 2. οἱ κατισχύοντες τοὺς λόγους LXX., reading מחזיקי דברים for מַצְדִּיקֵי־הָרַבִּים; Th. translates מֵהַצַּדִּיקִים הָרַבִּים. Τὰ ἄστρα τοῦ οὐρανοῦ (LXX.), the ordinary Biblical phrase, used in iii. 36, 63; Heb., Th. have 'the stars.' 4. Ἀπομανῶσιν (LXX.), διδαχθῶσιν (Th.). Both senses have been found in the Heb.; cf. Bevan, ad loc. Πλησθῇ ἡ γῆ ἀδικίας LXX., reading רעה or רעת for דעת.

 

The student who has gone through these extracts, or who is able to dispense with help of this kind, is recommended to begin the careful study of some one book or group of books. For several reasons the Books of Samuel (1—2 Regn.) offer a promising field for work of this kind. They are on the whole the part of the Old Testament in which the value of the Septuagint is most manifest and most generally recognised711711W. R. Smith, O. T. in J. Church, p. 83., and invaluable help in the study of both the Hebrew text and the versions is at hand in the commentaries of Wellhausen, Driver, and H. P. Smith712712If the student prefers to begin with Genesis, he will learn much as to the LXX. version from Spurrell's Notes (ed. 2, 1898). For more advanced study Proverbs will form a suitable subject, and here he may seek help from Lagarde's Anmerkungen, and Professor Toy's commentary in the 'International Critical' series.. But whatever book may be selected, the method and the aims of the reader will be the same. He will read the Greek in the first place as a version, and he will use all the means at his disposal for ascertaining the original text which lay behind it. But he will read it also as a monument of early Hellenistic Greek, and mark with growing interest its use of words and phrases which, originating at Alexandria in connexion with the work of translating the Hebrew Scriptures, eventually became the vehicle of a fuller revelation in the writings of the Apostolic age.

 

LITERATURE on the general subject of this chapter: Pearsoni praefatio paraenetica (Cambridge, 1665; cum notulis E. Churton, 1865); Hody, De Bibl. textibus originalibus (Oxford, 1705); Dr T. Brett, A Letter showing why our English Bibles differ from the Septuagint, London, 1743 (dated Oct. 17, 1729); A Dissertation on the Ancient Versions of the Bible, London, 1760; Thiersch, De Pent. vers. Alexandrina (Erlangen, 1841); Frankel, Vorstudien zu der Septuaginta (Leipzig, 1841); Ueber den Einfluss der palästinischen Exegese auf die alex. Hermeneutik, 1857; Geiger, Nachgelassene Schriften, iv. 73 ff. (Berlin, 1875—8); Selwyn, art. Septuagint in Smith's D. B. ii. (London, 1863); Wellhausen, do. in Encyclopaedia Britannica (London, 1886); W. R. Smith, Old Testament in Jewish Church (1881, ed. 2, 1892); Hatch, Essays in Biblical Greek (Oxford, 1889); Driver, Notes on the Books of Samuel, Intr. (Oxford, 1890; second ed., 1913); Buhl, Kanon u. Text des O. T. (Leipzig, 1891); Nestle, Marginalien (Tübingen, 1893); Streane, Double Text of Jeremiah (Cambridge, 1896); Kirkpatrick in Expositor, April 1896: Redpath in A. J. Th. VII. (1903); the various Introductions to the Old Testament; Commentaries on particular books, esp. those of Dillmann and Spurrell (Genesis), Driver (Deuteronomy), Moore (Judges), Wellhausen, Driver, and H. P. Smith (Samuel), Burney (Kings), Mozley (Psalter), Toy (Proverbs), Ryssel (Micah), Oesterley (Amos), Ottley (Isaiah), Cornill (Ezekiel). A complete commentary on the LXX., or on any of the groups of books which compose it, is still a desideratum.

On the Semitic style of the LXX. the reader may consult the Εἰσαγωγή of Adrianus (Migne, P. G. xcviii. or ed. F. Gössling).


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