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The Old Greek Translation of Zechariah

Supplements
to
Vetus Testamentum

Editor in Chief

Christl M. Maier

Editorial Board

H.M. Barstad - N. Calduch-Benages - D.M. Carr - R.P. Gordon - L.C. Jonker


J. Joosten - G.N. Knoppers - A. van der Kooij - S.L. McKenzie - C.A. Newsom
M. Nissinen - H. Spieckermann - N. Wazana - S.D. Weeks - H.G.M. Williamson

Volume 170

The titles published in this series are listed at brill.com/vts


The Old Greek Translation
of Zechariah

By

Gunnar Magnus Eidsvg

LEIDEN | BOSTON
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Eidsvg, Gunnar Magnus, 1977 author.


The old Greek translation of Zechariah / by Gunnar Magnus Eidsvg.
pages cm. (Supplements to Vetus Testamentum, ISSN 0083-5889 ; volume 170)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-90-04-30271-6 (hardback : acid-free paper) ISBN 978-90-04-30273-0 (e-book)1.Bible.
ZechariahCriticism, interpretation, etc.2.Bible. Zechariah. GreekVersions.3.Bible. Zechariah
Translating.I.Title.
BS1665.52.E33 2015
224.980486dc23
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Contents

Acknowledgementsix
Bibliographical Abbreviationsx

Introduction

1 Introduction3
The Old Greek Minor Prophets7
The Present Study11
Summary13
Excursus: The Unity of the og-Minor Prophets14

PART 1
Translation Technique in OG-Zechariah

2 Translation Technique23

3 Visually Ambiguous Phenomena28


Homonyms29
Homographs31
Word Division34
Conclusions35

4 Representation of the Constituents of Hebrew Words by Individual


Greek Equivalents37
Analysis38
Methodological Considerations38
The Results41
Deviations from the Hebrew Text42
Real Prepositions42
Semi-Prepositions45
Conclusions52

5 Word Order53
Methodological Considerations53
Analysis55
vi contents

Deviating Word Order56


Adjectives and Pronouns56
Numerals56
Syntactical Structures57
Conclusions60

6 Quantitative Representation61
Deviations that Stem from the Hebrew Source Text61
Different Source Text62
Possibly Different Source Text65
Deviations that Stem from the Translator68
Longer Greek Text71
Shorter Greek Text79
Conclusions82

7 Lexical Choice83
Consistency versus Inconsistency in Lexical Choice83
Stereotyped Renderings86
Diversity in Lexical Choice91
Ideological/Theological Exegesis107
Translation of Unknown Words110
Untranslated Words110
Contextual Guesses111
Contextual Manipulation114
Reliance on Parallelism116
Employment of General Words117
Etymological Renderings117
Conclusions121

8 Conclusions to Part One123

PART 2
Contextual Exegesis

9 OG-Zechariah 2: Zion and Jerusalem127


The Text128
The Greek Translation128
Textual Notes129
Contents vii

The Nature of the Differences in the Greek Text131


Zech 2:6(10)131
Zech 2:7(11)135
Zech 2:11(15)138
Hypothesis: Suggested Interpretational Differences in the Greek
Text140
Supplementary Evidence for Interpretational Changes142
Ingathering from Dispersion142
Refuge in Zion/Jerusalem145
The Name Jerusalem in the Greek Text147
Yahwehs Zeal for Jerusalem and the Temple149
Summary and Conclusions158

10 OG-Zechariah 9:913: The King is Coming161


The Text161
The Greek Translation161
Textual Notes162
The Nature of the Differences in the Greek Text164
Zech 9:910164
Zech 9:1113167
Hypothesis: Suggested Interpretational Differences in the Greek
Text168
Supplementary Evidence for Interpretational Changes171
Joel 3(4)171
The Greek Translation171
Textual Notes172
Possible Interpretation in the Greek Text176

11 OG-Zechariah 14: The Festival of Booths185


The Text185
The Greek Translation186
Textual Notes187
The Nature of the Differences in the Greek Text190
Zech 14:4,8191
Zech 14:35,1315193
Zech 14:1621197
Hypothesis: Suggested Interpretational Differences in the Greek
Text203
viii contents

12 OG-Zechariah 6:915: Getting Rid of Rivals205


The Text205
The Greek Translation206
Textual Notes206
The Nature of the Differences in the Greek Text207
Zech 6:10,14207
Hypothesis: Suggested Interpretational Differences in the Greek Text213

13 OG-Zechariah 8:1823: Critique of the Oniads214


The Text214
The Greek Translation214
Textual Notes215
The Nature of the Differences in the Greek Text216
Zech 8:21216
The Five Cities of Isaiah 19:18 and OG-Zech 8:21217
Hypothesis: Suggested Interpretational Differences in the Greek Text228
Supplementary Evidence for Interpretational Changes228
Leontopolis and Heliopolis229
OG-Hos 4:1519232
Textual Notes232
Comments on the Text232
OG-Hos 5:58234
Textual Notes234
Comments on the Text234
OG-Hos 10:110235
Textual Notes236
Comments on the Text236
OG-Hos 11:1212:6(12:112:7)239
Textual Notes239
Comments on the Text240
OG-Amos 1:35241
Textual Note241
Comments on the Text241
Summary and Conclusions243

14 Summary and Conclusions245

Bibliography251
Index of Modern Authors264
Index of Subjects265
Index of Ancient Sources266
Acknowledgements

The present work is a revision of my PhD dissertation. The dissertation was


made possible with generous funding from The School of Mission and Theology
in Stavanger. My adviser, Magnar Kartveit, guided me patiently and construc-
tively through the project, for which I am in his profoundest debt. I would also
like to thank Emanuel Tov, Raija Sollamo and Jostein dna, the dissertation
committee, for their careful reading and constructive suggestions for improve-
ment. I revised the study as an employee at the University of Stavanger. I am
grateful for their financial support at the final stages of the project. I wish to
express my gratitude to Jason Driesbach who improved my English and com-
mented insightfully on the work. I wish to thank Koninklijke Brill of Leiden,
and especially Liesbeth Hugenholtz and Maaike Langerak, for their coopera-
tion and the skillful production of the monograph. Finally, I wish to thank
Christl M. Maier and the editors of Supplements to Vetus Testamentum, for valu-
able comments and suggestions, and for including the book in the series.
Bibliographical Abbreviations

ABD Anchor Bible Dictionary


AJBI Annual of the Japanese Biblical Institute
AJSL American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literature
BDB Brown F., S.R. Driver, and C.A. Briggs, A Hebrew and English
Lexicon of the Old Testament. Oxford, 1907.
BFC La Bible en franais courant
BHS Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia
BHQ Biblia Hebraica Quinta
Bib Biblica
BIOSCS Bulletin of the International Organization for Septuagint and
Cognate Studies
BO Bibliotheca orientalis
Brenton Brenton L.C.L. (transl.), The Septuagint with Apocrypha.
Peabody, 1985[1844].
CBQ Catholic Biblical Quarterly
CTAT Critique textuelle de lAncien Testament. 4 vols. by D. Barthlemy.
Gttingen, 19822005.
DB 1931 Dansk Bibel, 1931
Did Didaskalia
DJD Discoveries in the Judean Desert
DP Duodecim prophetae. Septuaginta: Vetus Testamentum Grae
cum, edited by J. Ziegler, 3. Aufl. Gttingen, 1984[1943].
Ges Wilhelm Gesenius Hebrisches und Aramisches Handwrter-
buch ber das Alte Testament, 17th ed. Berlin, 1915.
HALOT The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. 3 vols.
by L. Koehler, W. Baumgartner, J.J. Stamm, B. Hartmann, Z.
ben-Hayyim, and E.Y. Kutscher. Leiden, 19941996.
Hol Holloday W.L., A Consise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the
Old Testament. Grand Rapids, 1972.
IEJ Israel Exploration Journal
JBL Journal of Biblical Literature
JETS Journal for the Evangelical Theological Society
JJS Journal of Jewish Studies
JPS 1917 Jewish Publishing Society, 1917
JSOT Journal for the Study of the Old Testament
JSS Journal of Semitic Studies
JTS Journal of Theological Studies
Bibliographical Abbreviations xi

KJV King James Version


LBA La Bible dAlexandrie
LCL Loeb Classical Library
Luther 1545 Luther Bibel, 1545
LEH Lust J., E. Eynikel, and K. Hauspie, Greek-English Lexicon of the
Septuagint. 2 vol. Stuttgart, 1992, 1996.
LSJ Liddell H.G., R. Scott, and H.S. Jones, A Greek-English Lexicon.
9th ed. Oxford, 1940.
MGWJ Monatsschrift fr Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums
MSU Mitteilungen des Septuaginta-Unternehmens
Mur Muraoka T., A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint: Chiefly
of the Pentateuch and the Twelve Prophets. Leuven, 2003.
NEAEHL The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the
Holy Land.
NETS A New English Translation of the Septuagint
NB 88 Norsk Bibel, 1988
NKJV New King James Version
NIV New International Version
NRSV New Revised Standard Version
OtSt Oudtestamentische Studin
OTZ Orientalistische Literaturzeitung
Ra Rahlfs A., and R. Hanhart (eds.) Septuaginta: Edition Altera.
Stuttgart, 2007.
SBL Society of Biblical Literature
SBLSCS Society of Biblical Literature: Septuagint, and Cognate Studies
SD Septuaginta Deutsch
SE Svensk Exegetisk rsbok
SJOT Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament
TDNT Theological Dictionary of the New Testament
TWOT Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
TynBul Tyndale Bulletin
VT Vetus Testamentum
VTSup Supplements to Vetus Testamentum
ZAW Zeitschrift fr die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft
Introduction


CHAPTER 1

Introduction

We do not know much about the origin of the Old Greek translation of
Zechariah (hereafter, OG-Zechariah). The external evidence is scant. The
Letter of Aristeas refers to the translation of the Torah and can at best be used
indirectly for information about the translator(s) of OG-Zechariah.1 The
prologue to the Greek translation of Sirach (20) mentions a translation of
the prophets. Although we cannot be certain, this designation most likely
includes Zechariah, offering a valuable terminus ante quem for the translation
of Zechariah into Greek.
The different manuscripts that attest to the translation of Zechariah may
also indicate the approximate date of its translation. Especially important is
the Greek scroll found in Naal ever, 8evXIIgr. After Dominic Barthlemys
study, 8evXIIgr has been deemed a revision of the Old Greek translation
of the Minor Prophets.2 This scroll preserves extensive portions of text and
fairly certain conclusions may be drawn concerning it. Based on palaeography,
Peter J. Parsons dates the scroll to the late first century BCE.3
Other manuscripts date from the mid- to late third century CE (Codex
Washington) and the fourth century CE (Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus).
These codices, along with Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Marchalianus and
Codex Venetus (fifth, sixth, and eighth centuries, respectively) are the most
important textual witnesses to the OG text.4 In addition, there are other, indi-
rect witnesses to the Greek text in the works of Philo,5 in the New Testament,
and in the various writings of the church fathers. These ancient sources con-
tain citations of (usually small) portions of the text.
All these manuscripts and writings are valuable attestations of OG-Zechariah,
but they do not provide much information about the origin of the translation.

1 See Arie van der Kooij, The Septuagint and Scribal Culture, in XIV Congress of the
International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, ed. M.K.H. Peters, 3339
(Atlanta: SBL, 2013) 35.
2 Dominique Barthlemy, Les Devanciers dAquila (Leiden: Brill, 1963).
3 In Emanuel Tov, The Greek Minor Prophets Scroll from Naal ever (8evXIIgr), DJD VIII
(Oxford: Clarendon, 1990) 2526.
4 See the introduction in DP, 3039.
5 Naomi G. Cohen, Philos Scripture: Citations from the Prophets and Writings (Leiden: Brill,
2007) 96101.

koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 6|doi .63/9789004302730_002


4 CHAPTER 1

Where was Zechariah translated? When? In which faction of the Jewish society
did the translation occur? These are the questions I will deal with in this study.
The endeavor is no easy task, and in many cases we are left with only data
derived from the translated text itself to provide clues and indications of
the translator(s) and his (their) context. This raises important methodologi-
cal issues.
First, how can we detect traces of the context of the translation when we
do not know exactly when and where it was translated? We may easily end
up with circular arguments where the proof depends on an assumed date and
location, and the date and location is only attested through what the scholar
attempts to prove. In view of the lack of external evidence, one may be tempted
to refrain from further investigation. But instead of resignation, I suggest that
new methods should be tested. I will make use of such a method in part two
of this study.6
Second, there is uncertainty regarding the text of the LXX/OG and the
Hebrew text(s) from which the LXX/OG was translated. It is common to work
with the Urtext theory, which claims that there was one original translation
of each book. If we seek to use a method based on evidence from the text of
OG-Zechariah itself, then we must decide which of the various readings in a
given passage reflect its earliest text.
In making the necessary text-critical decisions, we ask the question, when
the Greek and the Hebrew texts differ, to what shall we ascribe the difference?
It may be ascribed to the Hebrew manuscript traditions, to the translator(s),
or to the Greek manuscript traditions. Students of the Septuagint continue to
debate this issue, and numerous approaches have been proposed.7

6 For a description of the method, see pp. 14748.


7 The literature is vast. It suffices to mention some recent contributions: Anneli Aejmelaeus,
Von Sprache zur Theologie: methodologische berlegungen zur Theologie der Septuaginta,
2148, in The Septuagint and Messianism, ed. M.A. Knibb (Leuven: Peeters, 2006); Anneli
Aejmelaeus, Translation Technique and the Intention of the Translator, 5969, in On
the Trail of the Septuagint Translators, ed. Anneli Aejmelaeus (Leuven: Peeters, 2007);
Albert Pietersma, Text-Production and Text-Reception: Psalm 8 in Greek, 487501, in
Die SeptuagintaTexte, Kontexte, Lebenswelten, eds. Martin Karrer and Wolfgang Kraus
(Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008); Albert Pietersma, Messianism and the Greek Psalter: In
Search of the Messiah, 4975, in The Septuagint and Messianism, ed. M.A. Knibb (Leuven:
Peeters, 2006); Cameron Boyd-Taylor, Towards the Analysis of Translational Norms: A
Sighting Shot, 2746, BIOSCS 39 (2006); Joachim Schaper, Eschatology in the Greek Psalter
(Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1995); Martin Rsel, bersetzung als Vollendung der Auslegung:
Studien zur Genesis-Septuaginta (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1994); Arie van der Kooij, Accident or
Method? On Analogical Interpretation in the Old Greek of Isaiah and in 1QIsa, 36676,
Introduction 5

These methodological issues have to be dealt with in order to discuss the


possible context in which the translations originated. The crucial point here
is the role of the translator. How did he/they work? On the one hand, if we
can establish that he was focused on the source text, we can more easily
make assumptions concerning the Hebrew source. On the other hand, if we
can establish that he was focused on the target text, we can more easily make
assumptions on how the translator read the Hebrew text in his contemporary
context. Therefore, the first part of this study will deal with the translator and
how he translated his source text. Once I have established the translators
approach, I will move on to discuss features that may reveal clues to the trans-
lators context.
Relatively few studies are devoted especially to OG-Zechariah. There
have been studies focussing on the book as a witness to the Hebrew text of
Zechariah,8 but only a handful of studies discussing the character and the out-
look of OG-Zechariah itself.
The most extensive study is beyond doubt the dissertation by James Karol
Palmer, Not Made with Tracing Paper.9 He takes his point of departure from
the debate about whether deviations in the Greek text should be ascribed to
the Hebrew source or to the translator. He studies the translation technique
and some exegetical aspects, and concludes that the translator left some marks
of his interpretation of the text in the translation. Palmer does, however, not
suggest that the translator had a conscious theological agenda.

BO 43 (1986); Arie van der Kooij, The Oracle of Tyre: The Septuagint of Isaiah XXIII as Version
and Vision (Leiden: Brill, 1998), 1213. Van der Kooijs approach has been adopted and used by
several scholars; Johann Cook, The Septuagint of Proverbs: Jewish and/or Hellenistic Proverbs?
Concerning the Hellenistic Colouring of LXX Proverbs (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 41; W. Edward Glenny,
Finding Meaning in the Text: Translation Technique and Theology in the Septuagint of Amos
(Leiden: Brill, 2009), 24; David A. Baer, When We All Go Home: Translation and Theology in LXX
Isaiah 5666 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 2001); Theo van der Louw, Transformations in
the Septuagint; Towards an Interaction of Septuagint Studies and Translation Studies (Leuven:
Peeters, 2007).
8 Dominique Barthlemy, zchiel, Daniel et les 12 Prophtes, CTAT 3. (Fribourg: ditions
Universitaires, 1992); Robert Hanhart, Sacharja 1,18,23 (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener,
1998); Taeke Jansma, Inquiry into the Hebrew Text and the Ancient Versions of Zechariah
IXXIV (Leiden: Brill, 1950); Benedikt Otzen, Studien ber Deuterosacharja (Copenhagen:
Munksgaard, 1964); Magne Sb, Sacharja 914: Untersuchungen von Text und Form
(Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener, 1969).
9 James Karol Palmer, Not Made with Tracing Paper: Studies in the Septuagint of Zechariah
(Phd diss., Cambridge University, 2004).
6 CHAPTER 1

More suggestive are the articles by Arie van der Kooij and Thomas Pola.
They ascribe several novelties in OG-Zechariah to the translator and suggest
pro-Hasmonean tendencies in the translation of chapters 9 and 14.10
In addition, Mario Cimosa and Ccile Dogniez have contributed studies
of different aspects of the translation,11 and there are recent translations of
OG-Zechariah into English, German, and French.12 These translations provide
introductions and textual comments.13 All these works make valuable contri-
butions to the study of OG-Zechariah.14
OG-Zechariah is part of the OG-Minor Prophets. It is a well-founded
hypothesis that one translator or a small group of collaborators carried
out the translation.15 The same translator(s) may also be behind (parts of)

10 Thomas Pola, Von Juda zu Judas: das theologische Proprium von Sach 14,1221 LXX,
572580, in Die SeptuagintaTexte, Kontexte, Lebenswelten, eds. Martin Karrer, Wolfgang
Kraus, and Martin Meiser (Tbingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 2008); Thomas Pola, Sach 9,917
LXXIndiz fr die Entstehung des griechischen Dodekaprophetons im makkabischen
Jerusalem? 238251, in La Septante en Allemagne et en France/Septuaginta Deutsch
und Bible dAlexandrie, eds. Wolfgang Kraus and Olivier Munnich (Fribourg/Gttingen:
Academic Press/Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2009); Arie van der Kooij, The Septuagint
of Zechariah as Witness to an Early Interpretation of the Book, 5364, in The Book of
Zechariah and Its Influence, ed. Christoffer Tuckett (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003).
11 Mario Cimosa, Observations on the Greek Translation of the Book of Zechariah, 91108,
in IX Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, ed.
Bernard A. Taylor (Atlanta: Scholars, 1997); Ccile Dogniez, Lintertextualit dans la
LXX de Zacharie 914, 8196, in Interpreting Translation: Studies on the LXX and Ezekiel
in Honour of Johann Lust, eds. Florentino Garca Martnez and Marc Vervenne (Leuven:
Peeters, 2005); Ccile Dogniez, La reconstruction du temple selon la Septante de
Zecharie, 4564, in Congress Volume Leiden 2004, ed. Andre Lemaire (Leiden: Brill, 2006);
Ccile Dogniez, Larrive du roi selon la LXX de Zacharie 9,917, 217237, in La Septante en
Allemagne et en France/Septuaginta Deutsch und Bible dAlexandrie, eds. Wolfgang Kraus
and Olivier Munnich (Fribourg/Gttingen: Academic Press/Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht,
2009); Ccile Dogniez, Some Similarities between the Septuagint and the Targum of
Zechariah, 89102, in Translating a Translation: The LXX and Its Modern Translations in
the Context of Early Judaism, eds. Hans Ausloos et al. (Leuven: Peeters, 2008).
12 NETS; SD; LBA.
13 Especially LBA has a very useful introduction.
14 There are also studies of the whole of OG-MP, e.g. Armand Kaminka, Studien zur
Septuaginta an der Hand der zwlf kleinen Prophetenbcher, 4960, 242273, MGWJ
72 (1928), and studies on other prophets in the collection, e.g. Glenny, Finding Meaning;
Jennifer Mary Dines, The Septuagint of Amos: A Study in Interpretation (PhD diss.,
University of London, 1992).
15 See the excursus on page 1419.
Introduction 7

OG-Jeremiah and OG-Ezekiel.16 The unity of the OG-Minor Prophets is an


important working hypothesis for this study. In light of this unity, a probe
into OG-Zechariah may reveal information that is relevant for the whole OG-
Minor Prophets. Therefore the following section on date and locale deals with
OG-Minor Prophets.

The Old Greek Minor Prophets

The unity of the OG translation of the Minor Prophets. The premise for assum-
ing the unity of the OG translation of the Minor Prophets is that the Minor
Prophets circulated as a collection at the time of translation. The most impor-
tant evidence for dating the collection to the beginning of the second century
BCE is a scroll from Qumran (4QXIIa) and a statement in Sirach 49:10. 4QXIIa
is dated to the middle of the second century BCE. In its present condition, it
contains Zechariah, Malachi, and Jonah. The statement in Sirach 49:10, dated
to ca. 180 BCE, uses the term the twelve prophets.
H. St. J. Thackeray was the first scholar to propose that one person or a
group of collaborators translated the Minor Prophets as a whole.17 Thackeray
points to the use of rare and varied renderings on the lexical level as a com-
mon translation technique throughout the collection. Furthermore, the trans-
lator consistently used for the divine epithet . Armand
Kaminka,18 Joseph Ziegler,19 and Takamitsu Muraoka20 have elaborated on
Thackarays suggestion. For a further survey see below, Excursus: The Unity of
the OG-Minor Prophets.
Date. In the scholarly literature we find two different approaches to the
issue of dating the OG-Minor Prophets. One is to place it relative to other

16 Emanuel Tov, The Septuagint Translation of Jeremiah and Baruch: A Discussion of an Early
Revision of the LXX of Jeremiah 2952 and Baruch 1,13,8 (Missoula, Montana: Scholars
Press, 1976), 135155. See also Johann Cook and Arie van der Kooij, Law, Prophets, and
Wisdom: On the Provenance of Translators and their Books in the Septuagint Version
(Leuven: Peeters, 2012), 57.
17 H. St. J. Thackeray, The Greek Translators of the Prophetical Books, 578585, JTS 4
(1903), 579.
18 Kaminka, Studien, 5156.
19 Joseph Ziegler, Die Einheit der Septuaginta zum Zwlfprophetenbuch, 2942, in Sylloge:
gesammelte Aufstze zur Septuaginta (Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1971).
20 Takamitsu Muraoka, Is the Septuagint Amos VIII,12IX,10 a Separate Unit? 496500,
VT 20 (1970); Takamitsu Muraoka, In Defence of the Unity of the Septuagint Minor
Prophets, 2536, AJBI 15 (1989).
8 CHAPTER 1

OG translations. This approach has led Olivier Munnich to place the OG-MP
later than the translation of the Psalms, and Isac Leo Seeligmann to place it
earlier than the translation of Isaiah.21 Although these suggestions are valu-
able, they do not settle the issue.22
The other method used for the dating is one of detecting historical allusions
in the texts and identifying what period they fit.23 This approach is often the
only option given the scarcity of external evidence.
The prologue to Sirach, with its reference to the translation of the Prophets,
is the most promising external evidence we have for a date. Given the impor-
tance of the Minor Prophets in the second century BCE, it is likely that they
were included in this reference. The fact that Sirach 49:10 refers to the Twelve
Prophets, increases this likelihood.
The prologue to Sirach and the Letter of Aristeas express an interest in
the Greek translation in the second half of the second century BCE.24 It is
therefore quite likely that other books were translated in the same period. The

21 Gilles Dorival, Marguerite Harl, and Olivier Munnich, La Bible Grecque des Septante (Paris:
ditions du CERF, 1994), 9697; Isac Leo Seeligmann, The Septuagint Version of Isaiah and
Cognate Studies (Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2004), 224226.
22 Dogniez argues convincingly that Seligmanns hypothesis has yet to be proven,
Lindpendance du traducteur grec dIsae par rapport au Dodekapropheton, 229246,
in Isaiah in Context: Studies in Honour of Arie van der Kooij on the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth
Birthday, eds. Michal N. van der Meer, Percy van Keulen, Wido van Peursen, and Bas ter
Haar Romeny (Leiden: Brill, 2010), 246.
23 See the surveys of possible dates for OG-Amos in Glenny, Finding Meaning, 262263;
Dines, Amos, 311313.
24 The dating of the Letter of Aristeas is very difficult. It is undisputed that Josephus knew
it, and fairly certain that Philo also made use of it. In the Letter of Aristeas, there are no
indications of Roman government, which is taken as an indication of a Ptolemaic dating
and most scholars end up in the second century BCE. Emil Schrer date it to the first half
of the second century because he regards the writer Aristobulus, traditionally dated to
the reign of Ptolemy Philopater (170150), to be dependent on Aristeas, see The History of
the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, vol. III, Part 1, (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1986),
680. The conclusion is, however, disputed. Moses Hadas who dates the Letter of Aristeas
to the second half of the second century BCE, suggests that it is propagating a revision
undertaken by the Jewish community in Alexandria. Such a purpose would fit this time
well and Hadas points to the prologue of Ben Sira as evidence of dissatisfaction with the
existing translations, see Aristeas to Philocrates (Letter of Aristeas) (New York: Harper &
Brothers, 1951), 2728 and 54. Elias Bickermann also dates the Letter of Aristeas to the sec-
ond half of the second century comparing its titles and epistolary greeting formulae with
dated official Ptolemaic documents on papyrus, The Dating of Pseudo-Aristeas, 108133,
in Studies in Jewish and Christian History, ed. Amram Tropper (Leiden: Brill, 2007).
Introduction 9

traditional dating of the translation of the Minor Prophets is around the mid-
dle of the second century BCE.25
Locale. In recent decades some scholars have questioned the longstanding
assumption of Alexandria as the site of the translation of the Prophets and
the Writings.26 Thomas Pola suggests a Jerusalemite setting for the translation
of Zechariah.27 He argues from a tendency of interpretation he finds in the
translation. He assumes that this tendency would fit best with the milieu in
Jerusalem.
Other scholars have adopted a broader approach and looked not only for
traces of history or ideology but also for hints about climate, water systems
and irrigation, and geography.28 This broader perspective leads these scholars
to conclude in favor of an Egyptian setting.
I have approached the issue from a different angle in a previous study.29
I looked at how the translator rendered toponyms. It appears that the transla-
tor transcribed and used Greek names for places along the Palestinian/Syrian
coastline. He furthermore showed knowledge of Crete and Kappadokia. But
the translator rendered some place names as if they were common nouns.
These are almost all Hebrew names of locations in Judea, Samaria, and the sur-
rounding areas. Since these are Hebrew names they certainly are liable to be

25 See Jennifer Dines, The Septuagint (London: T. & T. Clark, 2004), 46. Helmut Utzschneider
opens for the possibility that OG-Micah may have originated in the first century BCE,
see Auf Augenhhe mit dem Text. berlegungen zum wissenschaftlichen Standort einer
bersetzung der Septuaginta ins Deutsche, 1150, in Im Brennpunkt: die Septuaginta,
eds. Heinz-Joseph Fabry and Ulrich Offerhaus (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2001), 50; Das
Griechische Michabuchzur Probe bersetzt und erlutert, 213250, in Im Brennpunkt:
die Septuaginta, eds. Heinz-Joseph Fabry and Ulrich Offerhaus (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer,
2001), 229.
26 Joachim Schaper, Eschatology in the Greek Psalter (Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1995), 39.
27 Pola, Sach 9,917 LXX, 251; Pola, Von Juda zu Judas, 580.
28 See Siegfried Morenz, gyptische Spuren in den Septuaginta, 417428, in Religion und
Geschichte des Alten gypten: gesammelte Aufstze (Kln: Bhlau, 1975); Albert Pietersma,
The Place of Origin of the Old Greek Psalter, 252274, in The World of the Arameans I:
Biblical Studies in Honour of Paul Eugne Dion, eds. P.M. Michle Daviau, John W. Wevers,
and Michael Weigl (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 2001); Glenny, Finding Meaning, 264;
Michael van der Meer, The Natural and Geographical Context of the Septuagint: Some
Preliminary Observations, 387421, in Die Septuaginta: Entstehung, Sprache, Geschichte,
eds. Siegfried Kreuzer, Martin Meiser, and Marcus Sigismund (Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck,
2012).
29 Gunnar Magnus Eidsvg, The Rendering of Toponyms in LXX-Minor Prophets: An
Indication of Alexandrian Provenance, 445455, in XIV Congress of the International
Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, ed. M.K.H. Peters (Atlanta: SBL, 2013).
10 CHAPTER 1

translated and some of these need not be taken as proper nouns. Nevertheless,
the frequent use of translations of names in Judea and Samaria attests to the
notion that the translator was not very conscious of the toponyms in this area.
If the translator worked in Jerusalem or some other location in Palestine, this
pattern is hard to explain. On the other hand, if the translator was located in
Alexandria, the findings are merely what we should expect. In Alexandria,
an important port in the eastern Mediterranean, it would be natural that the
translator had good knowledge of coastal cities in the area.
The texts. Several manuscripts attest to the Hebrew and the Greek Minor
Prophets. For the Greek text I will use the Gttingen edition.30 I will, however,
comment upon the text in order to provide the reader with information on the
reliability of the reconstructed Greek text. I will also mention the most impor-
tant variants in the different Greek manuscripts. For the Hebrew text, my point
of departure is the Masoretic Text (hereafter, MT) as published in the criti-
cal edition of Codex Leningradensis in BHQ. The manuscripts from the Judean
desert also provide important information on the state of the text in antiquity.
These texts are of two different types: the Murabbaat scroll (Mur88)31 on the
one hand, and 4QXIIag on the other.32 Barthlemy describes the Murabbaat
scroll as proto-Masoretic since only a very small number of words are different
from the MT.33 The Murabbaat scroll probably dates to the first or second cen-
tury CE. 4QXIIag, which are fragments from different documents, date from
the middle of the second century BCE to the last third of the first century BCE.34
These texts vary from the MT on several accounts, including orthography,
vocalization, word division, and minuses of letters and words.35
As additional witnesses to the Hebrew text we have the pesharim and cita-
tions in non-biblical manuscripts. I will refer to these when they are relevant.
Finally, 8evXIIgr is an important witness to the Greek text, but also to the
Hebrew since it appears to be revised towards a proto-Masoretic Hebrew text.36
The main reason for using the MT as a point of departure is that it is the
best preserved Hebrew text. Except for the different order of the first six books,

30 DP.
31 Published by J.T. Milik, Textes hbreux et aramens, 67205, in Les grottes de Murabbaat,
DJD II, eds. O.P. Benoit et al. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1961), 181205.
32 Published by Russell E. Fuller, The Twelve, 221318, in Qumran Cave 4, DJD XV, eds.
Eugene Ulrich et al. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997).
33 Barthlemy, zchiel, Daniel et les 12 Prophtes, c.
34 Fuller, The Twelve, 221, 233, 238, 254, 258, 267, and 272.
35 Fuller, The Twelve, 221318; Barthlemy, zchiel, Daniel et les 12 Prophtes, cxvcxvi.
36 See Tov, The Greek Minor Prophets, 148153.
Introduction 11

it appears that the source text of the OG-Minor Prophets was quite similar
to the MT. However, the relationship between the MT and the translators
source text as regards specific words and phrases has to be discussed in each
single instance.

The Present Study

How did Jews in antiquity read their sacred texts? Their perceptions of sacred
texts were probably varied and manifold. However, in many sources it seems
clear that the readers related to their holy scriptures as if the scriptures were
speaking directly to them.37 The meaning of the text was to be found in the
readers own horizon of understanding rather than in some historical setting.38
It is reasonable to assume that such an attitude affected the translation of the
texts,39 but the examples thereof have to be argued case by case.
Ancient Jewish references to the act of translation are sparse. In the two that
are most frequently cited, the prologue to the Greek Sirach and The Letter of
Aristeas, we observe a reverence for the Hebrew source text.40 But the manner

37 See for example: Dan 9:2224; Tobit 14:34; Sir 36:1116, the pesher texts from Qumran,
and the various writings in the New Testament.
38 Daniel Patte, Early Jewish Hermeneutic in Palestine (Missoula: SBL, 1975), 6; see also George
J. Brooke, Exegesis at Qumran: 4QFlorilegium in its Jewish Context (Sheffield: JSOT Press,
1985), 3. Michal N. van der Meer argues that a similar kind of reinterpretation can be
observed in Egyptian texts, Visions from Memphis and Leontopolis. The Phenomenon
of the Vision Reports in the Greek Isaiah in the Light of Contemporary Accounts from
Hellenistic Egypt, 281316, in Isaiah in Context: Studies in Honour of Arie van der Kooij on
the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday, eds. Michal N. van der Meer, Percy van Keulen,
Wido van Peursen, and Bas ter Haar Romeny (Leiden: Brill, 2010), 302308.
39 Dines, Amos, 3839.
40 Some often-quoted lines from the prologue to the Greek Sirach express this clearly
(NRSV): You are invited therefore to read it with goodwill and attention, and to be indul-
gent in cases where, despite our diligent labor in translating, some phrases are without
force. For what was originally expressed in Hebrew does not have exactly the same force
when translated into another language. Not only this book, but even the Law itself, the
Prophecies, and the rest of the books differ not a little when read in the original.
 The Letter of Aristeas describes the translation of the LXX more optimistically. And so
they [the translators] proceeded to carry it out, making all details harmonize by mutual
comparisons. The appropriate result of the harmonization was reduced to writing under
the direction of Demetrius (Let. Aris. 302. Translation from Hadas, Aristeas, 219). The
text seems here to say that the translators weighed several possibilities against each
other. When the work is finished, the author lets the Jewish elders and priests evaluate
12 CHAPTER 1

in which ben Siras grandson offers a free translation,41 differs from the descrip-
tion of the translation in The Letter of Aristeas. The ideal in the latter seems to
be literal in representing its source.
In a similar manner, it appears that the rest of the LXX/OG translators fol-
lowed various ideals of translation.42 Some were concerned with making the
translation understandable, while others were oriented towards the source
text.43 What ideal do we find in the OG of Zechariah/Minor Prophets?
The modern evaluations of the translator differ. I will mention three exam-
ples. Jennifer Dines characterizes the translation of the Minor Prophets as
source oriented, but intelligently rendered in competent Greek.44 Anthony
Gelston states that the translators (his plural) evidently felt no obligation to
offer a slavishly literal translation, but rather a freedom to smooth out poten-
tial obscurities such as the change of person within a passage in order to pro-
duce a more intelligible text.45 Similarly, Palmer claims that in Zechariah the
translator was not primarily concerned with representing the elements of the
Hebrew text, but rather intended to translate the sense as he understood it,
whilst still remaining faithful to the Hebrew text.46 Which of these judgments
is to be preferred?
The present study consists of two parts. In the first part, I will look at how
the translators literal tendencies and the tendency toward freedom work
together. In what manner was the translator oriented towards the source text?

the outcome of the undertaking. In their estimation, the translation was made rightly
() and reverently (), and in every respect accurately ( )
(Let. Aris. 310. Translation from Herbert T. Andrews, The Letter of Aristeas, 83122, in
The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Vol 2, ed. R.H. Charles (Oxford:
Clarendon, 1979 [1913]), 120. Moses Hadas translates similarly. For the Greek text I have
used the version prepared by H. St. J. Thackeray in Henry Barclay Swete, An Introduction
to the Old Testament in Greek (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1989 [1914]; reprint from the edition
originally published by Cambridge University Press, 1914), 501574.
41 Benjamin G. Wright, No Small Difference: Sirachs Relationship to its Hebrew Parent Text
(Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989), 1145.
42 See Dines summary of the profile of the different books in Septuagint, 1325.
43 See H. St. J. Thackarays characterization of the translations, A Grammar of the Old
Testament in Greek According to the Septuagint (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 2003 [1909]),
616.
44 Dines, Septuagint, 2122.
45 BHQ 7*.
46 Palmer, Tracing Paper, 38.
Introduction 13

In what manner did he make changes in order to adjust the text to the target
culture? I will argue that he strived to meet both concerns. In some aspects
of his translation, he is very close to his source text. This is clear in the way he
rendered formal matters such as word order, number of words and constituent
elements of words. In other aspects he seems oriented towards the target text.
Especially on the lexical level he was concerned with the semantics of the text.
This combination is promising for the chances of finding traces of the transla-
tors interpretive views. Given the meticulous adherence to the source text on
formal matters, the freedom he exercised on the semantics of the text should
be appreciated all the more as offering clues to his thought world.
After analyzing how the translator worked (Part One), I will look for ten-
dencies in his translation (Part Two). I will investigate whether it is possible
to trace any pattern of contextual exegesis. In this investigation, I will present
a hypothesis that may explain the deviations in one text. Then I will test the
hypothesis on other texts in OG-Zechariah and in the OG-Minor Prophets. If
the hypothesis also offers a convincing explanation for these texts, it is likely
to be correct.

Summary

In this chapter, I have presented the background for the present study of
OG-Zechariah in search of clues to its origin. The Minor Prophets were popular
in the late Second Temple period. They probably circulated as a collection and
were translated into Greek by one translator in an Egyptian setting. The most
reasonable date for the translation of the OG-Minor Prophets is in the decades
prior to the prologue to the Greek Sirach, i.e. around the middle of the second
century BCE.
The common mode of reading prophetic literature at the time when
Zechariah was translated into Greek was to read it as directly relevant to
the contemporary situation. If this mode of reading affected translators, we
can expect to find traces of the translators interpretive views when he devi-
ates from his source text. These traces may further indicate the origin of the
translation.
This use of the translation in order to detect traces of its origin is accom-
plished by the following methodology. First, I will study the translation tech-
nique of OG-Zechariah in order to describe how the translator worked. This
analysis will form an important basis for the second part of the study, in which
I will seek to detect and describe the translators contextual exegesis.
14 CHAPTER 1

Excursus: The Unity of the OG-Minor Prophets

The unity of the Minor Prophets in the Second Century. We may infer the unity of
the collection from several sources:
The medieval Masoretic manuscripts attest to the unity by having a shorter
space between the books of the twelve prophets than between the other
books.47 In addition, the notes in the colophons show that the Masoretes
counted the number of verses for the whole of the Twelve Prophets.
Earlier than the Masoretic manuscripts, we have Greek codices. They attest
to the unity since they have a letter attached to the heading of the individual
books signifying the number of the book in the collection.48
The manuscripts from the Judean desert provide the earliest manuscript
evidence that these prophets were collected as one book. The Greek scroll
from Naal ever, 8evXIIgr, the Hebrew manuscripts from Wadi Murabaat
and from Cave 4 at Qumran all attest to the collection. These manuscripts dis-
play at least three different orders of the books, which suggest that the order
was a question of some debate.49
We find further indications of the unity of the Minor Prophets in the refer-
ences to the work in other sources from antiquity. The oldest and most spe-
cific is the reference in Sirach 49:10: May the bones of the Twelve Prophets
send forth new life from where they lie, for they comforted the people of Jacob
and delivered them with confident hope.50 Sirach treated the Twelve as one

47 This is consistent with the instructions given in the Babylonian Talmud, B. Bat. 13b:
Between each book of the Torah there should be left a space of four lines, and so between
one Prophet and the next. In the twelve Minor Prophets, however, the space should
only be three lines. Translation from Simon Maurice and Israel W. Slotki, Baba Bathra:
Translated into English with Notes, Glossary and Indices, The Babylonian Talmud, vol. 11
(London: Soncino Press, 1935).
48 See Codex Washington in Henry A. Sanders and Carl Schmidt, The Minor Prophets in the
Freer Collection and the Berlin Fragment of Genesis (New York: The Macmillan Company,
1927), or the apparatus in DP.
49 Barry Alan Jones, The Formation of the Book of the Twelve: A Study in Text and Canon
(Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995), 27.
50 NRSVs translation of the Greek text. The Hebrew ms B, though partly corrupt, has
[.....]
[.........]
(from Pancratius C. Beentjes, The Book of Ben Sira in Hebrew: A Text Edition of all Extant
Hebrew MSS and a Synopsis of all Parallel Hebrew Ben Sira Texts (Leiden: Brill, 1997). Georg
Sauer has translated the passage into German Ferner: die zwlf Propheten. Es mgen
ihre Gebeine aufsprieen aus ihrem Grab, da sie Jakob Heilung zuteil werden lieen und
Introduction 15

in name and in message. Sirach 48:10 also quoted Malachi 3:2324 by the for-
mula it is written (), indicating that Sirach regarded the Twelve
as scripture.51
The New Testament writers regarded the Minor Prophets as scripture but
their view of its unity is less clear. In Acts 7:4243 a citation from Amos 5:2527
is introduced by as it is written in the book of the Prophets (
). Similar references, though shorter, appear in Acts
13:4041 and 15:15 where respectively Hab 1:5 is introduced by the formula
what is spoken of in the Prophets ( ) and Amos
9:1112 by the words of the Prophets ( ). One may suggest
that these references, and especially book of the Prophets, refer to the collec-
tion of the Minor Prophets, but other references are possible, and we should
refrain from a firm conclusion.52
Nevertheless, based on the textual evidence from the Judean desert and the
reference in Sirach, it seems reasonable to assume that the Minor Prophets
circulated as a collection at least as early as the first decades of the second
century BCE; that is, before Sirach was written.

Research and debate regarding the unity of OG-Minor Prophets. In the early twen-
tieth century, H. St. J. Thackeray studied the question of whether there were
one or several hands behind the different Greek translations. He concluded
that there are clearly distinct units in Jeremiah and Ezekiel which bear the
marks of different translators. Thackeray wrote that he had expected to find a
similar pattern in the translation of the Minor Prophets, but was rather disap-
pointed in that respect. He wrote: The Greek versions of the Minor Prophets
are linked together by the recurrence in the opening and closing books and
throughout the collection of certain rare words and usages. I have failed to
detect any clear indication of the work of more than one hand.53 In addition
to those rare words, which Thackeray listed in his article, he pointed out the
rendering of the divine epithet by throughout the Minor

um ihm zu helfen durch hoffnungsvollen Glauben, Georg Sauer, Jesus Sirach: bersetzt
und erklrt (Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2000), 333.
51 Jones, Formation, 8.
52 There are also a few passages in Josephus which may attest to the unity of the Minor
Prophets. Especially Ag.Ap. 1:40, but also Ant. 10:35 have been discussed, see John M.G.
Barclay, trans., Against Apion in Flavius Josephus: Translation and Commentary, ed. Steve
Mason (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 30, and Christopher Begg and Paul Spilsbury, trans., Judean
Antiquities Books 810, in Flavius Josephus: Translation and Commentary, ed. Steve Mason
(Leiden: Brill, 2005), 216.
53 Thackeray, Prophetical Books, 579.
16 CHAPTER 1

Prophets. This rendering is, however, found in translations of other books,


such as in parts of Jeremiah. Thackeray found further similarities among some
of the prophetic books and provided a list of rare renderings that the Minor
Prophets, parts of Jeremiah, and parts of Ezekiel share. He then suggested that
these units were translated either by one hand or by a team of collaborators.
The other parts of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, he argued, were the work of another
translator or group of translators.54
Johannes Herrmann and Friedrich Baumgrtel challenged this view in a
study in which they examined the evidence suggesting that there were differ-
ent translators for Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the Minor Prophets.55 Concerning the
latter, they argued that HoseaJonah were translated by one translator and
NahumMalachi by another. Herrmann and Baumgrtel based this suggestion
on a study of the rendering of single words. This study revealed, they argued,
two distinct parts. For example, the word / is usually rendered by
(14x) in HoseaJonah while is used only once. In HabakkukMalachi
these two renderings are used 12 and 10 times, respectively.56 Herrmann and
Baumgrtel provided more examples of the same kind and suggested that the
second translator started on Nahum. However, Nahum does not, they admit-
ted, represent a clear-cut dividing line. Some of the material they studied indi-
cated that Nahum is closer to the first group than to the second. They explain
this by suggesting that the second translator was influenced by the translation
of the first books.57
A few years later Armand Kaminka criticised Herrmann and Baumgrtels
suggestion. He wrote: aber von mehr als 30 lexikalischen Sttzen, die er
(Herrmann) fr die Vermutung anfhrt, beweist der bei weitem grte
Teil berhaupt nichts.58 Kaminka suggested that the words Herrmann
and Baumgrtel chose are too general to offer definitive evidence. He also
pointed to the ambiguous position the book of Nahum gets in Herrmann
and Baumgrtels proposition. Instead Kaminka offered a set of renderings
that are peculiar to the translation of the Minor Prophets. These renderings

54 Thackeray argues more extensively for this point in other articles, see The Greek
Translators of Jeremiah, 24566, JTS 4, (1903) and The Greek Translators of Ezekiel,
38797, JTS 4 (1903). For a survey on the theories on the translators of Ezekiel, see Daniel
M. OHare, Have You Seen, Son of Man?: A Study in the Translation and Vorlage of LXX
Ezekiel 4048 (Atlanta: SBL, 2010), 719.
55 Friedrich Baumgrtel and Johannes Herrmann, Beitrge zur Entstehungsgeschichte der
Septuaginta (Berlin: Kohlhammer, 1923).
56 Baumgrtel and Herrmann, Beitrge, 33.
57 Baumgrtel and Herrmann, Beitrge, 38.
58 Armand Kaminka, Studien, 52.
Introduction 17

are found throughout these books and therefore indicate, in his opinion, that
the translation was done by one particular group of translators if not by one
single translator.59
Joseph Ziegler also argued against Herrmann and Baumgrtel. He identified
several difficulties in the method that Herrmann and Baumgrtel used.60 One
problem, according to Ziegler, is that the translation of the Minor Prophets
is heterogeneous in the renderings at the word level. There is little consis-
tency in the choice of renderings throughout the book. If this inconsistency
clearly indicated a sharp line between two text units, it could, as Herrmann
and Baumgrtel claim, be indicative of several translators. This is, however,
not the case. The inconsistency is rather arbitrary and can occur within small
text units. Ziegler used several examples. Hos 2:18(20); 4:3; 7:12 translates the
word bird by bird while 9:11 uses bird. Hag 1:5 renders
the phrase be mindful of/consider by , Hag 2:18
by , and Hag 1:7; 2:15, 18 by . Ziegler
also noted that Nahum, which according to Herrmann and Baumgrtel marked
the beginning of the work of the second translator, has strong ties to the ear-
lier books in the Minor Prophets. It does not represent a clear division in
the translation. In his article, Ziegler meticulously analyzed Herrmann and
Baumgrtels arguments and refuted them with many indications that point
to a single translator.
George Howard is another scholar who argued that there were several
translators of the OG-Minor Prophets.61 Apparently unaware of Zieglers work,
Howard distinguished in a short article three sections in the Greek translation
of Amos: (A) 1:18:11, (B) 8:129:10, and (C) 9:1115.62 He claimed that the trans-
lation in section (B) is stylistically better and more accurate than the other
parts. He commented specifically on the rendering of the name . Amos
5:5 translates it , while 8:14 transliterates it as . Howard
also mentioned how the phrase plus a pronominal suffix was rendered
by plus a pronoun in section (A), but more accurately, according to
Howard, by in section (B). The same is the case with
the rendering of the infinitive absolute. Section (B) has a stylistically good

59 Kaminka, Studien, 5356.


60 Ziegler, Die Einheit.
61 In recent years, Howard has changed his opinion, NETS, 781.
62 That several translators worked on OG-Amos had already been suggested by Sherman.
E. Johnson, The LXX Translators of Amos (PhD diss. University of Chicago, 1936). I have
not been able to read this unpublished work, though Johnson refers to the same view in
his article: The Septuagint and the New Testament, 331345, JBL 56 (1937): 331.
18 CHAPTER 1

rendering while the renderings in section (A) are more Hebraistic. On this
basis Howard suggested that section (B) is the work of a different translator
and called OG-Amos a compilation or redaction rather than one single
prototype.63
Howards suggestion was refuted by Takamitsu Muraoka, who questioned
the plausibility of a division in the text of Amos after 8:11. It would be much
more natural if also this verse belonged to section (B) since it begins an oracle
by the words behold, the days are coming. Furthermore, Muraoka criticized
the method Howard used. The dissimilarities among different text units should
be weighed against the similarities, Muraoka maintained. That Howard only
was concerned with apparent differences is a clear weakness in his approach.
Finally Muraoka showed that the dissimilarities within OG-Amos may stem
from the translators exegesis of the passages. They should not be taken as evi-
dence of different translators.64
Almost two decades later, C. Robert Harrison made an attempt at reopen-
ing the question.65 In the meantime, studies by Emanuel Tov and Benjamin
Wright had appeared which seemed to confirm the unity of the translation
of the Minor Prophets.66 None of these studies had this as their main aim,
but their findings still pointed, according to Tov and Wright, in this direction.
Harrison was, however, sceptical about the method used to assert the unity of
the translation. He questioned not only Tov and Wright but also Ziegler and
wondered whether Zieglers proposition that the variation in lexical choice,
which is found throughout the translation of the Minor Prophets, may serve
as evidence of its unity. The second point of Harrisons critique departed from
what he regarded as necessary for persuasive evidence. He claimed that con-
vincing examples should be unique to the translation unit in question; they
should be used consistently and frequently. With such narrow criteria in view,
he could show that neither the examples of Ziegler, Tov nor Wright met them.
When Harrison himself attempted to find positive proof that OG-Nahum and
OG-Joel had different translators, he nevertheless adopted an approach that
resembled Zieglers.

63 George Howard, Some Notes on the Septuagint of Amos, 108112, VT 20 (1970): 112.
64 Takamitsu Muraoka, Amos.
65 C.R. Harrison, The Unity of the Minor Prophets in the LXX: A Reexaminaion of the
Question, 5572, BIOSCS 21 (1988).
66 Emanuel Tov, Jeremiah and Baruch, 135136, Emanuel Tov and Benjamin G. Wright,
Computer-Assisted Study of the Criteria for Assessing the Literalness of Translation
Units in the Septuagint, 219237, in The Greek and Hebrew Bible: Collected Essays on the
Septuagint, ed. Emanuel Tov (Leiden: Brill, 1999).
Introduction 19

Takamitsu Muraoka once again wrote in defense of the unity of the


OG-Minor Prophets. He identified flaws in Harrisons criticism of Ziegler and
Tov and criticized Harrisons attempt to show that OG-Joel and OG-Nahum stem
from different translators.67 Muraoka claimed that Harrison failed to meet the
criteria by which he had evaluated (and rejected) the evidence adduced by
Ziegler and Tov.68 Furthermore, Muraoka observed that Sirach addresses the
Minor Prophets as one collection of books and that it is unlikely to assume that
smaller books like Joel and Nahum are the work of different translators.69 On
this basis Muraoka concluded that Harrison had not reopened the question of
the unity of the OG-Minor Prophets.
In recent years, additional studies in the translation technique of the books
of the Minor Prophets have been undertaken. Their results support the unity
of the translation.70 These, in conjunction with the consistency in the usage of
key vocabulary, pointed out by Thackeray, suggest that the unity of the transla-
tion is the best working hypothesis.

67 Takamitsu Muraoka, Defence.


68 Muraoka, Defence, 31.
69 Muraoka, Defence, 3132.
70 Glenny, Finding Meaning, 6869, 261262; Palmer, Tracing Paper, 3739.
Part 1
Translation Technique in OG-Zechariah


Chapter 2

Translation Technique

A substantial amount of studies has been devoted to translation technique


in the Septuagint. Scholars have approached the field with different purposes
and have therefore used a variety of methods.1 Some scholars, especially those
associated with the Finnish school,2 have been concerned with how the
translator dealt with syntactical structures in Hebrew that are incompatible
with normal Greek style. Others have concentrated on the translators consis-
tency in different aspects of his work.3 One similarity that holds among the
different outlooks and methodologies is the usage of the dichotomy literal
free. The meaning of this dichotomy, when used for antique translations and
especially the Septuagint is, however, not straightforward. James Barr demon-
strated this in an article on literalism in ancient translations.4
This article discusses what the dichotomy literalfree may mean for
ancient translations. Barr listed six aspects where these translations could
be either free or literal. He contemplated the extent to which a complex

1 For surveys see Bndicte Lemmelijn, Two Methodological Trails in Recent Studies on the
Translation Technique of the Septuagint, 4363, in Helsinki Perspectives on the Translation
Technique of the Septuagint, eds. Raija Sollamo and Seppo Sipil (Gttingen: Vandenhoeck
& Ruprecht, 2001); Emanuel Tov, The Nature and Study of the Translation Technique of the
LXX in the Past and Present, 337359, in VI Congress of the International Organization for
Septuagint and Cognate Studies, ed. Claude E. Cox (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1987).
2 See the studies of Ilmari Soisalon-Soininen, Die Infinitive in der Septuaginta (Helsinki:
Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae B 132, 1965); Anneli Aejmelaeus and Raija Sollamo,
eds., Studien zur Septuaginta-Syntax: Ilmari Soisalon-Soininen: zu seinem 70. Geburtstag
am 4. Juni 1987 (Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae, Ser. B, Helsinki: Suomalainen
Tiedeakatemia, 1987); Raija Sollamo, Renderings of Hebrew Semiprepositions in the Septuagint
(Helsinki: Soumalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1979); Raija Sollamo, Repetition of the Possessive
Pronouns in the Septuagint (Atlanta: SBL, 1995); Anneli Aejmelaeus, Parataxis in the Septuagint
(Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1982); Anneli Aejmelaeus, On the Trail of the Septuagint
Translators: Collected Essays (Kampen: Kok Pharos, 1993); Seppo Sipil, Between Literalness
and Freedom: Translation Technique in the Septuagint of Joshua and Judges Regarding the
Clause Connections Introduced by and ( Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1999).
3 See Emanuel Tov, The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research (Jerusalem:
Simor, 1997 [1981]); Wright, No Small Difference.
4 James Barr, The Typology of Literalism in Ancient Biblical Translations, 277325, MSU XV 11
(1979).

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24 Chapter 2

issue like a translation may be described by these labels.5 He did, however, not
develop his ideas into a methodological approach. Barrs article does not offer
a method for assessing a translation unit, or for analyzing and comparing two
or more translation units.
A few years later Emanuel Tov bridged this gap.6 He formulated five criteria
for characterizing a translation as literal:7 internal consistency, representa-
tion of the constituents of Hebrew words by individual Greek equivalents,
word order, quantitative representation, and linguistic adequacy of lexical
choices. One important aspect of Tovs categories is that the first four can be
used to produce statistics. This enables comparison of translation units.8
Tovs approach is restricted to the description of the characteristics of literal
translations. It leaves open the question of how to characterize the translations
that are not literal. Theo van der Louw attempted to solve this problem in his
book Transformations in the Septuagint.9 He provided a comprehensive list of
characterizations of free renderings,10 although his main categories of analysis
are modulations of Tovs.11 These categories are useful for the description of
the freedom of translation.

5 These are: 1 The division into elements or segments, and the sequence in which these
elements are represented, 2 The quantitative addition or subtraction of elements,
3 Consistency or non-consistency in the rendering, i.e. the degree to which a particular
versional term is used for all (or most) cases of a particular term of the original, 4 Accuracy
and level of semantic information, especially in cases of metaphor and idiom, 5 Coded
etymological indication of formal/semantic relationships obtaining in the vocabulary of
the original language, and 6 Level of text and level of analysis, Barr, Typology, 294ff.
6 Tov published the first edition of Text-Critical Use in 1981.
7 Tov, Text-Critical Use, 1724. For studies working with this approach, see Galen Marquis,
Consistency of Lexical Equivalents as a Criterion for the Evaluation of Translation
Technique as Examplified in the LXX of Ezekiel, 405424, in VI Congress of the International
Organazation for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, ed. Claude E. Cox (Atlanta: Scholars
Press, 1987); Wright, No Small Difference; Tov and Wright, Computer-Assisted Study.
8 The benefits of the use of statistics has been debated, see Lemmelijn, Two Methodological
Trails; Timothy McLay, Lexical Inconsistency: Towards a Methodology for the Analysis of
the Vocabulary in the Septuagint, 8198, in X Congress of the International Organization
for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, ed. Bernard A. Taylor (Atlanta: SBL, 2001); Anneli
Aejmelaeus, What We Talk about When We Talk about Translation Technique, 531552,
in X Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, ed.
Bernard A. Taylor (Atlanta: SBL, 2001).
9 Van der Louw, Transformations.
10 Van der Louw, Transformations, 6162.
11 1 Quantitative representation of segments; 2 Adherence to ST word class; 3 Adherence
to ST word order; 4 Lexical stereotyping. Category 1 comprises Tovs Quantitative repre-
sentation and Representation of the constituents of Hebrew words by individual Greek
Translation Technique 25

In the only thorough analysis of the translation technique of OG-Zechariah,


James Karol Palmer used Barrs and Tovs ideas as a point of departure.12 Palmer
set out to discover what kind of interpretation we may find in OG-Zechariah
and, as a part of that aim, found it necessary to describe the translation tech-
nique of the translator. Although Palmer based his analysis on the works of
Barr and Tov, he created his own categories, more suitable to the purpose of
his study.13
Palmer described the degree of literalism under three headings Paraphrase,
Stereotyping and Variety in Translation, and Word Order. The first category
is Palmers own invention. He defined a paraphrase in the following man-
ner: to call a translation a paraphrase is to claim that it is a translation that
communicates the sense of a Hebrew word or phrase, but does not make
an attempt to represent the form.14 In this category, Palmer studied many
of the same phenomena found in Tovs Representation of the constituents
of Hebrew words by individual Greek equivalents and Quantitative represen-
tation. The important difference is that Tov described the formal equivalence
between the texts, while Palmer included semantic aspects in the comparison.
Palmer designated four kinds of paraphrasing: Paraphrase of verbal form,
Change of word-class, Paraphrastic shortening, and Interpretative para-
phrase. With these groups, he demonstrated that the translation occasionally
deviates from the source text. For example, the translation uses finite verbs
for participles and for the Hebrew personal pronoun in nominal clauses.
Palmer furthermore gave examples of how the translator occasionally used a
different word class when rendering his source text or rendered the Hebrew
with fewer elements. In the group Interpretative Paraphrase, Palmer offered
examples of how some changes in the translation are a result of the translators
interpretation.
Palmers categories Stereotyping and Variety in Translation, and Word
Order resemble those we find in Tovs approach,15 but Palmer implemented

equivalents, while van der Louws 3rd and 4th categories are similar to respectively
Word order and Internal consistency. Van der Louw deems Tovs Linguistic adequacy
of lexical choices a problematic category given its subjective nature and therefore leaves
it out of his list (Transformations, 144). Van der Louws new category Adherence to ST
word class depends on the notion that the translators had a sence of word classes. This
assumption is possible, but difficult to prove, and one may question whether such an
uncertain assumption should be used as a basis for an analytical category.
12 Palmer, Tracing Paper, 40105.
13 Palmer, Tracing Paper, 25.
14 Palmer, Tracing Paper, 26.
15 Stereotyping and variety in translation covers Internal consistency and Linguistic
adequacy of lexical choices.
26 Chapter 2

them differently than Tov did. Palmer was content to demonstrate the freedom
of the translator by a number of examples.
In this manner, Palmers approach did not aim at giving a full impression
of the translator.16 Instead Palmer exemplified what sort of translations the
translator was capable of. The conclusion he drew allowed him to make further
inquiries:

If we are right in claiming that the translator of LXX-Zech was not primarily con-
cerned with representing the elements of the Hebrew text before him, but rather
intended to translate the sense as he understood it, whilst still remaining faithful
to the Hebrew text, this also opens the possibility that the translation reflects,
at least to some degree and in some ways, the cultural, historical and religious
context in which it was made.17

This is a fair statement, but Palmers insistence on describing the translation


technique by examples and without a comprehensive analysis, leaves the
reader in doubt about whether Palmer really paints the whole picture. It is,
as Palmer maintained, important to demonstrate what kind of freedom the
translator was capable of. But, this should be accompanied by a description of
how the translator normally worked.
In the following chapters I will attempt to do both. I will combine a descrip-
tion of how the translator normally worked with a description of his deviations
from the standard procedure.18 In this way, it is possible to describe not only
the broad overall picture, but also the peculiarities of this particular translator.
I will use the following categories:

1 Visually ambiguous phenomena


2 Representation of the constituents of Hebrew words by individual Greek
equivalents
3 Word order
4 Quantitative representation
5 Lexical choices

Categories 24 are similar to Tovs categories of the same name, while Lexical
choices combines Tovs categories Internal consistency and Linguistic
adequacy of lexical choices, as well as treating an additional aspect of the

16 Palmer, Tracing Paper, 25.


17 Palmer, Tracing Paper, 38.
18 I will use the insights of van der Louw wherever they are relevant.
Translation Technique 27

translators approach, namely how the translator handled words he did not
know. This aspect is included in this category because it operates on the
word level.
It is important to have the structural differences between Hebrew and Greek
in mind when analyzing translation technique. Some grammatical and syntac-
tical features are common in Hebrew but absent from normal Greek usage.
How the translator dealt with these structural differences will be an important
aspect of categories 24.
Another aspect of translation technique that is not part of Tovs categories
is how the translator dealt with Hebrew words that could be interpreted in
several ways. The unpointed Hebrew text of the translator presented the trans-
lator with a variety of interpretative choices. In the next chapter I will explore
this issue.
CHAPTER 3

Visually Ambiguous Phenomena

It is important to consider the state of the Hebrew text that the translator had
as his source. The manuscripts the Septuagint translators had differed in sev-
eral ways from the medieval Hebrew manuscripts upon which modern text
editions are based. Their texts were unpointed, which left open the possibility
of different vocalization on the word level.1 Furthermore, the usage of matres
lectiones and final letters was not fixed,2 and there may have been differences
in the word division.3 The following pages will examine the translators inter-
pretation of his Hebrew source when it comes to words that could be inter-
preted in two or more ways due to these matters.
When the translators understanding of the visually identical forms differs
from that in the MT, several explanations are possible. Palmer, followed by
Edward Glenny, suggests three: First, the translator could be unaware of read-
ings that were different from the one he used. Second, the immediate context
may have influenced the translator. Third, the translators wider knowledge of
other biblical books, Jewish belief, or cultural environment may have affected
the translation.4 I will add that some words and forms of words were more
common than others and therefore more likely to come to the translators

1 To what extent did the translators know a vocalized tradition connected to the text they
translated? The question has been a matter of discussion, especially between James Barr
and Emanuel Tov: James Barr, Vocalization and the Analysis of Hebrew among the Ancient
Translators, 111, in Hebrische Wortforschung: Festschrift zum 80. Geburtstag von Walter
Baumgartner, eds. Benedict Hartmann et al. (Leiden: Brill, 1967). He followed up and
defended his view in Guessing in the Septuagint, 1934, in Studien zur Septuaginta
Robert Hanhart zu Ehren, eds. Detlef Fraenkel et al. (Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht,
1990); Tov, Text-Critical Use, 107110.
2 See Bruce K. Waltke and M. OConnor, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (Winona
Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1990), 24; Emanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (Minneapolis:
Fortress, 2012), 221229; Tov, Text-Critical Use, 144146; Christian D. Ginsburg, Introduction
to the Massoretico-Critical Edition of the Hebrew Bible (New York: Ktav, 1966 [1897]), 137157;
16364.
3 A.R. Millard, Scriptua Continua in Early Hebrew: Ancient Practice or Modern Surmise?
215, JSS 15, (1970); Joseph Naveh, Word Division in West Semitic Writing, 206208 IEJ 23,
(1973); Ginsburg, Massoretico-Critical, 158162; Tov, Textual Criticism, 196197.
4 Palmer, Tracing Paper; Glenny, Finding Meaning, 118.

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Visually Ambiguous Phenomena 29

mind.5 This resembles a common phenomenon in languages where language


users, especially learners, for instance use regular verb conjugations on irregu-
lar verbs.

Homonyms

Homonyms are words that are phonetically identical but have different mean-
ings. These words are pronounced identically, though their spellings may dif-
fer. However, since students of the Septuagint study how the translator read
and understood his source text, the definition of homonym in this field has
come to require that the words are also graphically identical.6 The phenom-
enon of homonyms is rather complex and involves issues that are beyond the
scope of this study.7 I will focus on how the translator of Zechariah dealt with
the homonyms he encountered in his source text.
In 8:10 we find the Hebrew , which might represent any of three hom-
onyms with the respective meanings: narrow, tight, straits, distress, and
adversary, foe. In the following verse the translator read the second meaning.

8:10





And to the one who goes out and And to the one who goes out and
to the one who comes there is no to the one who comes there is no
peace from the adversary.8 peace from the affliction.

Here the meaning of the word may just as well be adversary, foe and it
seems quite improbable that the translator was unaware of this meaning.9
Although adversary, foe is preferred by most modern translators, the choice
of the Greek translator is possible in the context and reflects the translators
understanding of the words.

5 See James Barr, Comparative Philology and the Text of the Old Testament (Oxford: Clarendon,
1968), 125.
6 Glenny, Finding Meaning, 119.
7 For instance: the origin of homonym words, or the distinction between homonyms and poly-
semic words. For a longer treatment, see Barr, Comparative Philology, 125155.
8 The translations of the Hebrew and Greek texts are mine if not noted otherwise throughout
the study.
9 See Nah 1:2.
30 CHAPTER 3

The translator rendered some homonyms by a form which reflects the most
common of these Hebrew words. It is difficult to know why the translator did
this; perhaps he was not aware of the various meanings of the Hebrew word, or
he might have rendered the first word that came to mind.

1:21(2:4)


And these come to frighten And these have come forth to
them, to throw down the horns sharpen them for their hands,
of the nations the four horns of the nations

Here the translator understood as the plural form of the noun . In the
Hebrew text it is an infinitive construct of to throw. This verb is quite
rare,10 and the translator may not have known it.11
In 14:21 we find a difficult case; the word Canaanite was sometimes
used with the meaning merchant since the Canaanites were known for their
trading skills.12 In 14:21 it is reasonable to think that the second meaning is
intended,13 but the Greek translator represents it as the gentilic noun.

14:21

And there will no more be And there will be no more a
a merchant in the house of Canaanite in the house of the
Yahweh Lord

10 It only occurs 3 times in BHS: Jer 50:14; Lam 3:53; Zech 1:21.
11 There are also other differences in these lines, and the rendering to sharpen is
especially ambiguous. It seems likely that the Hebrew source text had a verb by the root
to be sharp and that the translation understood both and
as objects
of this verb. A third difference, the number four, reflects the same number as we find in
1:18(2:1) and 1:20(2:3); it appears secondary, but it is difficult to know whether the transla-
tor added it, or it was already found in his source.
12 See entry 1002 in TWOT.
13 For a different suggestion, see Carol L. Meyers and Eric M. Meyers, Zechariah 914
(New York: Doubleday, 1993) 491492.
Visually Ambiguous Phenomena 31

The translator makes a similar translation in Zeph 1:11.14 The claim that the
translator was not aware of the words meaning as merchant is a likely
explanation.

Homographs

Unlike homonyms, homographs are words which graphically look similar but
may be different phonetically.15 Homographs are quite numerous in Hebrew.
Here I will only consider instances where the translator has understood the
words differently than the tradition found in the MT. These instances are most
useful in describing the translator.16
In 9:1 we find the word . The translator interpreted it as his sac-
rifice and translated by his sacrifice. We find a different and less
common word in the MT.

9:1 17

The burden of the word of Yahweh An issue of the word of the Lord in
in the land of Hadrach and the land of Sedrach and Damascus,
Damascus, his resting place. his sacrifice.

In the MT his resting-place describes Damascus. No obvious exegeti-


cal reason appears for the translators interpretation as his offering. One may

14 As does the translator in Ezek 17:4 and in Prov 31:24.


15 Glenny, Finding Meaning, 125.
16 Glenny, Finding Meaning, 125.
17  may be a reference to the capital city of a state with the same name. The name was
also used to designate the Assyrian province in the area between Hamath and Aleppo
(E. Zolli, Eyn Adam (Zach. IX 1). VT 5 (1955): 9092, 90). For the Greek Sedrach, it has
been suggested that this is the personal name of Daniels friend (Dan 1:7) (Katrina J.A.
Larkin, The Eschatology of Second Zechariah: A Study of the Formation of a Mantological
Wisdom Anthology (Kampen: Kok Pharos, 1994) 55, and Wilhelm Rudolph, Haggai
Sacharja 18Sacharja 914Maleachi (Gtersloh: Gtersloher Verlagshaus Gerd
Mohn, 1976) 168). On the other hand, Eusebius does not indicate such a connection in his
Onomasticon but reads Sedrach as a toponym, as does Jerome in his Latin version of this
work (Erich Klostermann, ed. Eusebius Werke: das Onomasticon der biblischen Ortsnamen
(Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichssche Buchhandlung, 1904) 162163). Jerome does, however, claim in
his commentary on the Minor Prophets that the Greek text resulted from a misreading
(see DP).
32 CHAPTER 3

suspect that was chosen because it was a more common form in the
translators vocabulary.
The translator understood the line in 9:10 differently than the
Masoretes.

9:10

And his dominion shall be from And he shall rule the waters as far
sea to sea as the sea

Clearly, the Greek translator read instead of as we find in the MT. This
may not necessarily be a mistake, but rather a different understanding of
the passage.18
In 10:4, the rendering of by probably reflects the vocaliza-
tion which may mean turn and look.19 The clue to this vocalization lies
in the immediately preceding word . It appears that the translator under-
stood this word to refer to the preceding line. Here Israel is described as a horse
prepared for battle. This may account for the different vocalization.20

10:4

From him comes the cornerstone, From it he looked, from it he
from him the tent peg, from him arranged the army and from it
the battle bow came a bow in fury

In 10:9 it appears that the interpretation of one word affected the interpreta-
tion of a second. The translator rendered the verb to live by to live in
1:5 and 13:3, but in 10:9 he chose to feed, nourish, bring up (children).

10:9
,


,


And I will sow them among the And I will sow them among the
peoples, and they shall remember peoples, and they that are far away
me in far countries, and they shall shall remember me, they shall
live with their children and return. nourish their children and return.

18 See page 16263 for a further discussion.


19 BDB 815.
20 I discuss the same verse on page 113.
Visually Ambiguous Phenomena 33

Here the translator probably read the verb as a Piel. The MT has a Qal. The
translator likely understood as the direct object marker, not as a preposi-
tion, and the occurrence of children as the object may have influenced the
translators interpretation.
Above I looked at 8:10 where the translator rendered by . In 10:11
the translator interprets the cognate word and renders by narrow.

10:11
And he passed through the sea of And he shall pass through a narrow
distress21 sea

does not have a meaning narrow, and the deviation may stem from a dif-
ference in the source text. But the context offers the possibility that the transla-
tor did not distinguish between the words / and thus regarded as a
possible translation in this verse. The text in 10:1011 describes the ingathering
of the scattered people from Assyria and Egypt. It is possible that the translator
understood the line as a reference to a second Exodus.
In chapter 11 we find a passage where two staffs play a major role. The
Hebrew names of these staffs are delightfulness and union
(11:7,14). The Greek translator rendered the first adequately by beauty.
For the second he used piece of land, probably based on the word
territory. The vocalization found in the MT is derived from the verb
to bind, pledge.
In 11:16 a reliance on the context is the most likely explanation for the choice
of translation for . This word may mean boy, lad, youth, but also shake,
shake out or off. In this verse it is, however, suspected that the MT is corrupt.22
But given the Greek translation, it seems nevertheless likely that the source of
the translator read as the MT.23

11:16

He will not seek the young.24 He will not seek the scattered.

In 12:2 the translator probably read as threshold and not cup even though
the latter word was common and probably known to him. One may suggest

21 Modern translations disagree on the rendering of this line.


22 For a discussion see Sb, Sacharja, 8487, see also BHS.
23 Sb, Sacharja, 85.
24 BDB (654) notes the difficulty of this word.
34 CHAPTER 3

that the translator had passages like Amos 9:1 and Zeph 2:14 in mind where
thresholds are described as part of divine fury. The choice of to
render probably followed in due course.

12:2



Look, I will make Jerusalem a cup Look, I set Jerusalem as trembling
of reeling doorposts

Twice in 14:5 we find instances of a homograph which the Greek translator


understood differently from the tradition we find in the MT:

14:5


And you shall flee by the valley of And the valley of my mountains
my mountains shall be closed up

Here and in the next line of the verse, the translator read from the root
to stop up, shut up, keep close. One may assume that the previous verses
focus on eschatological calamity may have influenced the translator. We find
the same interpretation in the text of Symmachus and in Targum Jonathan.25
The final instance appears in 14:14. The word , which in the MT is vocal-
ized as a Pual waw-consecutive perfect: , is rendered by the future active
form . This, as I will argue in chapter 11, seems to be due to the transla-
tors understanding of the immediate context.26

Word Division

Reconstructions of the word division in the Hebrew source are hypotheti-


cal, and some suggestions are more tentative than others.27 It is likely that
the Hebrew source of the translator had word dividers,28 but if the space
that separated the words was narrow, these dividers may have been unclear.

25 See BHS.
26 For further discussion of this verse see pages 225230.
27 Jansma (Inquiry) frequently explains deviations in the Greek text in terms of differences
in word division.
28 The division in most of the Qumran scrolls by means of spaces suggests that there was
word division in the translators Hebrew texts.
Visually Ambiguous Phenomena 35

Alternatively, a different word division in the translators Hebrew source might


have been inherited from an earlier stage of the text history.29 The follow-
ing deviations in the Greek text may reflect a different word division in the
Hebrew source.30
In Zechariah 11 we find an instance which for a long time has been used
both as an example of difference in word division between the MT and the
OG, and to show that it was not until some time after the Assyrian script was
introduced that its final letters were consistently in use.31

11:7 -
11:11 -

Here the translator read in both cases.


In 7:3 we find another instance where difference in word division may have
played a role. Here we find the equivalents . From
the Greek expression we may reconstruct the following variant in the Hebrew
source text: .

Conclusions

The Hebrew text that the translator had at his disposal was visually ambiguous
in some places. The translators interpretation of the consonants of the text
sometimes differs from that reflected later in the MT. Overall, the number of
such instances32 is quite low considering the length of the book.
I can only make very modest conclusions concerning the plene or defec-
tive writing of the source text. I do not find indications that the translators
interpretation deviated from the sense of from the MT because of differ-
ences in the usage of matres lectiones. This does not mean that the source
was identical to the MT in this matter, merely that such differences did not
affect the translation.
The translation evidences only three instances of different word division.
This number is too small to suggest that the Hebrew text once existed without

29 For different views on the issue see: Millard, Scriptua Continua; Naveh, Word
Division; Tov, Textual Criticism, 19697; Ginsburg, Massoretico-Critical, 158.
30 Palmer (Tracing Paper, 103105) discusses and refutes some of Jansmas suggestions.
31 See Ginsburg, Massoretico-Critical, 164.
32 The presentation of these instances in the present chapter aims at being exhaustive for
Zechariah.
36 CHAPTER 3

word dividers. It is more likely that these differences developed during the
texts transmission. It seems beyond doubt that the translators source had
word dividers, and there is no reason to assume that it did not have final letters.
James Palmer concluded his chapter on the visually ambiguous phenom-
ena by stating that the translator had some difficulty with the Hebrew, he was
influenced by some exegetical concern or misreading in the immediate con-
text, or he was affected by some knowledge or lack of knowledge from a wider
theological or historical context.33 This conclusion needs clarification. The
present chapter has offered four explanations for the translators understand-
ing of homonyms and homographs.

He may have been unaware of readings that were different from the one he
used.
He may have interpreted the form based on the immediate context.
He may have inferred the meaning from his wider cultural/religious
background.
He may have opted for the word that first came to mind, that is, the most com-
mon of the potential words.

The first explanation is difficult to demonstrate though we may suspect it is the


case in 1:21(2:4). The second is the most likely explanation in 8:10; 10:4.9; 11:16;
14:5. The third explanation may be applied to 9:10; 10:11; 12:2; 14:14. One instance
may be explained by the fourth: in 9:1 it seems to be the case that the translator
simply read the consonants as which more common than
in the MT.
Although few, these instances in which the translator interprets difficult
words differently from the sense given in the MT nevertheless shed light on
how the translator worked. It appears that the translator used both the imme-
diate context and the wider cultural-religious background in order to interpret
ambiguous words. The analysis in chapter 6 Lexical choice will reinforce this
impression. This characteristic is an important justification for the search for
exegetical tendencies in Part Two of the present study.

33 Palmer, Tracing Paper, 105.


CHAPTER 4

Representation of the Constituents of Hebrew


Words by Individual Greek Equivalents

A sign of literalness in the Greek translations is that the translators often pre-
ferred to divide Hebrew words into meaningful elements, which they rendered
each by its own Greek word.1 For example, the rendering of consists
of a preposition, an infinitive, and a pronominal suffix. If each element is ren-
dered separately, as in the phrase (13:4), the rendering
should be regarded as literal. Further, the extent to which this manner of trans-
lation is implemented may, according to Tov, indicate the degree of literalness
in the LXX/OG translation unit.
Several scholars have studied the representation of the constituents of
Hebrew words. However, the analyses they have undertaken vary to some
degree when it comes to the selection of the material to study.
Benjamin Wright compares several translation units and describes the rel-
ative degree of literalness of each unit.2 He confines his material to render-
ings of Hebrew words that consist of several elements, such as the example
mentioned above.3 In Wrights approach literalness is distinct from whether
the translator chose to represent each element by the equivalent word class
in Greek (e.g., rendering a conjunction with a conjunction), an element he
addresses under the categories lexical consistency and lexical adequacy.4
In contrast, Edward Glenny, in his analysis of the translation of Amos,5 does
study the rendering of word classes under the rubric of constituent elements
of Hebrew words. He adopts the term paraphrase from James Karol Palmer
to describe non-literal renderings. Palmer defines paraphrase as a transla-
tion that communicates the sense of a Hebrew word or phrase, but does not
make an attempt to represent the form.6 Thus Glenny includes in his study
issues such as the extent to which the translator of Amos rendered Hebrew

1 Barr, Typology of Literalism, 303305; Tov, Text-Critical Use, 23.


2 Wright, No Small Difference, 65.
3 Wright, No Small Difference, 58.
4 Wright, No Small Difference, 57.
5 Glenny, Finding Meaning, 5156.
6 Palmer, Tracing Paper, 26.

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38 CHAPTER 4

participles by Greek participles, nouns, or finite verbs.7 This approach is differ-


ent from Tovs, nevertheless Glenny uses the name of Tovs category (namely,
the representation of the constituents of Hebrew words by individual Greek
equivalents) and draws on Palmers approach.
In this chapter I will attempt to paint the whole picture concerning this phe-
nomenon in OG-Zechariah. In my analysis I will follow the approaches of Tov
and Wright since their definition best captures the essence of this category.
Like Wright, I will distinguish between this category and the categories lexi-
cal consistency and lexical adequacy. In contrast to Wright, my aim is not to
measure the relative freedom or literalness of one translation unit compared
to other units. Instead, I will focus on the description of the way that the trans-
lator worked in the book of Zechariah.

Analysis

In order to give an overall description of how the translator rendered the


Hebrew words consisting of two or more elements, I have counted all such
words in the Hebrew text and studied how they are rendered in the translation.
This analysis informs us as to how often the translator rendered every constitu-
ent element of the Hebrew words by a Greek representation in the translation.
But, before we consider the results, we should make some reflections on the
method.

Methodological Considerations
Any categorization of a philological phenomenon will encounter challenges
in drawing the borders between categories. Some words or phrases defy sim-
ple categorization. I have used the following set of rules to place words and
phrases into their respective categories:

The constituent element of the Hebrew word must be visible in the conso-
nantal text for us to expect the translator to render it. This implies that a

7 Glenny, Finding Meaning, 5152. The extent to which the translators were familiar with word
classes, may be discussed. Theo van der Louw (Transformations, 144) points to Alexandrian
librarians interest in word classes as a justification for an analysis similar to Glennys. Such a
reference does not necessarily indicate that the translators of LXX/OG had the same knowl-
edge, but another indication is found in 8evXIIgr where it appears that the translator
made some revisions based on his understanding of word classes; see Tov, The Greek Minor
Prophets, 134.
Representation of the Constituents of Hebrew Words 39

definite article where the drops because a preposition is added, should not
be counted as a constituent element, even though the article is retained in the
Hebrew vocalization. Since the vocalization was not fixed in the source text
of the translator, we cannot assume that he always read the text as the
Masoretes did centuries later.8

The Greek word does not have to be of the same word class but does need to
have approximately the same function as the Hebrew equivalent. Let me
explain by referring to a few examples:

(2:9[13])
Here the Hebrew word has three elements, and the Greek transla-
tion also has three words: . The Greek definite article
stands formally in place of the Hebrew preposition, but does not render it
by itself; rather, the sense of the prepostion is conveyed by the use of the
dative case. The Greek definite article should therefore not be counted as
the equivalent of the Hebrew preposition.
(1:21[2:4])
The usage of the Greek definite article in this rendering is different from
the previous example. Here the Greek definite article serves the same func-
tion before the infinitive as the Hebrew preposition before the Hebrew
infinitive.9 The Greek definite article should therefore be counted as the
equivalent of the Hebrew preposition.

In MT-Zechariah there are 1433 words that consist of more than one constitu-
ent element. When we compare the MT with the OG text, however, we find that
12 of these words have to be removed from consideration because the transla-
tor had a different Hebrew source text.10 This leaves us with 1421. Of these, there

8 This approach differs from van der Louws approach, see Transformations, 92.
9 The difference here may be described as a difference between lexical and grammatical
meaning. John Lyons states: what is encoded lexically (lexicalized) in one language
may be encoded grammatically (grammaticalized) in another, Linguistic Semantics: An
Introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 52.
10 These are:

1:19(2:2) 

 1:21(2:4)
 3:5 

 4:13
 5:3
40 CHAPTER 4

are 29 words that belong to clauses that the translator thoroughly rephrases,
recasting the word consisting of two or more elements in the process. I have
counted these instances as a separate category (Rephrasing) in the analysis.
Such rephrasing is seen in the following example:

1:8

Here the translator probably had a different Hebrew text which may be tenta-
tively reconstructed as . The Greek indicates
in the translators source where the MT has , but the rest of the phrase
that are in the depths was apparently translated freely. He prob-
ably identified the word shadow in , and rendered by
the shady. The expression suits . Accordingly, the translator did not
render both constituent elements of the word .
Most of the words in the scope of the present chapter are more readily ana-
lyzed than the rephrasings and consist of two elements such as a conjunction
+ noun, preposition + noun, or definite article + noun. Some words consist of
three elements and a few consist of four. Examples from each of these catego-
ries follow:

Two Hebrew elements rendered by two Greek equivalents:

(1:3)
(1:3)

Three Hebrew elements rendered by three Greek equivalents:

(1:4)
(1:8)

Four Hebrew elements rendered by four Greek equivalents:

5:3

6:5

8:12

9:10

9:15

9:16



13:1 
minus the second hemistich in the Greek text
(see page 64).
Representation of the Constituents of Hebrew Words 41

(1:8)

(10:12)

Two Hebrew elements rendered by one Greek equivalent:

(1:4)
(3:7)

Three Hebrew elements rendered by two Greek equivalents:

(5:2)
(5:9)

The Results
The following table displays the results:

Category Actual numbers Percentage

Two Hebrew elements rendered by two 1052 74%


Greek equivalents
Three Hebrew elements rendered by three 123 8.7%
Literal
Greek equivalents
renderings
Four Hebrew elements rendered by four 3 0.2%
Greek equivalents
Subtotal 1178 82.9%

Two Hebrew elements rendered by one 192 13.5%


Greek equivalent
Free
Three Hebrew elements rendered by two 22 1.6%
renderings
Greek equivalents
Rephrasing 29 2%
Subtotal 243 17.1%

Totals 1421 100

The table above groups the categories into literal and free renderings. The two
columns on the right show the actual numbers of occurrences for each cat-
egory and their percentages of the total; these are summed to arrive at the
respective subtotals for the literal and free renderings.
42 CHAPTER 4

In all, the translator rendered 1178 of the 1421 instances of Hebrew words
with two or more constituent elements by an equal number of representations
in the Greek translation. That is, for 82.9 percent of these words, all the ele-
ments are rendered in the translation. Only 243 of the 1421 words are rendered
with one less representation in the Greek translation. This amounts to 17.3 per-
cent of the words. This indicates a translator that was inclined towards a literal
translation.
The strong tendency towards a literal translation can be emphasized more
when we subtract some very common renderings. The translator consistently
rendered demonstrative pronouns without the definite article when they fol-
lowed a noun with a definite article, for example,

(2:8). In all, these amount to 38 instances. The translator also did not
render the pronominal suffix in by a Greek equivalent. In all, this amounts
to 3 instances. The expression is, in all its seven occurrences, rendered by a
single conjunction and not as the famous from 8evXIIgr.

Deviations from the Hebrew Text

In the Greek text there are 243 free renderings of words consisting of more
than one constituent; this number of deviations is too large to permit a com-
ment on every instance. Of the several Hebrew word classes which are usually
prefixed or suffixed to other words, the most complex is the prepositions. The
rendering of prepositions therefore deserves special attention and may serve
as an example of the manner in which the translator worked with Hebrew
words of more than one constituent element.
In the analysis of the prepositions, I will distinguish real prepositions from
semi-prepositions (or, composite prepositions). An analysis of the rendering
of the semi-prepositions is a good indication of whether the translator was
inclined towards Hebrew or Greek idiom. The semi-prepositions represent a
structural difference between the languages; Greek has very few composite
prepositions.

Real Prepositions
The translator represents the Hebrew prepositions with separate words in his
Greek text quite frequently, whether by means of a preposition or, in the case
of , by a subordinating conjunction. The exception is , which the translator
often renders by means of the Greek cases. For this preposition there is no
obvious pattern, other than that the expression is consistently rendered
by a participle of .
Representation of the Constituents of Hebrew Words 43

The translator rendered this preposition 28 times by a Greek representation


(most commonly ),11 while 50 times he used the Greek cases to render the
same meaning without a direct equivalent to the Hebrew preposition.
The translator twice used the nominative case in clauses that he rephrased,12
and three times rendered by the possessive genitive. He used the accusative
nine times. Seven of these are instances where the word introduced by in
the Hebrew text is the direct object of the clause. The translator once used
the accusative when he rephrased a clause containing an interrogative.13 In 35
instances, the translator used the dative case; these include renderings of the
indirect object, as well as uses of the temporal dative,14 dative of possession,15
locative,16 and ethical dative.17 This shows that the translator had a good com-
mand of the dative case.
Of the 52 times prefixes a Hebrew infinitive, 29 are rendered without an
equivalent in the Greek text. Of these, 24 involve ( preposition + infini-
tive) which is rendered consistently by the Greek participle . Most of
the remaining preposition + infinitive-compositions are rendered with an
equivalent.18

The translator rendered by a Greek representation in the translation 152 times


and by means of grammatical cases 26 times. This stands in stark contrast to
the proportions observed above in the translation of .

11 18 times.
5 times.
once.
 once.
once.
once.
 once.
12 5:9; 9:1.
13 1:5.
14 Example: 1:7, see James Hope Moulton and Nigel Turner, A Grammar of New Testament
Greek, vol. 3, (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1963), 243.
15 Ex. 8:8. Moulton and Turner, Grammar, 239.
16 4:2.
17 9:9, see Moulton and Turner, Grammar, 239.
18  + inf.22 times.
Only inf.5 times.
 + inf.once (8:9).
44 CHAPTER 4

The translator rendered by a Greek preposition 150 times (131 of them ),


once by the relative pronoun and once by the subordinate conjunction .19
Of the 26 times he used the cases to render , two are uses of the nominative
case in clauses he rephrased,20 and 11 are uses of the accusative case to render
a direct object. Three times he used the dative casetwice temporal21 and
once instrumental.22 He used the genitive case 10 times, rendering in ways
including possessive,23 temporal,24 and partitive25 genitive as well as genitive
of measure.26 Once, the verb he chose required the genitive,27 and twice he
rephrased a clause containing such that the genitive was appropriate
Twice when this preposition is used with a pronominal suffix in nominal
clauses, the translator rephrased the clause in the Greek text and did not ren-
der the Hebrew preposition or its suffix.28 In one instance the translator appar-
ently regarded the element introduced by as superfluous in the clause.29

The translators tendency towards the use of a Greek representation when ren-
dering the preposition is even more pronounced than his tendency with . In
all its 41 instances, is represented by a Greek word. 25 times we find it rendered
by (other subordinate conjunctions are used in another five instances).30

19 131 times.
 9 times.
 3 times.
 3 times.
 once.
once.
 once.
 once.
20 10:9; 12:2.
21 1:7; 7:1.
22 5:4.
23 8:23; 9:2.
24 1:1, see Moulton and Turner, Grammar, 235.
25 6:15, see Moulton and Turner, Grammar, 233.
26 5:2.
27 2:12, see Moulton and Turner, Grammar, 232.
28 9:11; 13:8.
29 12:6.
30 25 times.
 3 times.
 twice.
Representation of the Constituents of Hebrew Words 45

Five times we find it rendered by a Greek preposition.31 Four times the transla-
tor rendered the preposition by the words (), three of which
occur as part of . Two times we find the use of the coordinate conjunc-
tion in the rendering of : in 1:21(2:4), the use of reduces the number
of representations as the expression is rendered as
; and in 14:10, ( and all the land shall be turned
as Arabah) is translated as (compass-
ing all the land and the wilderness), reflecting a different understanding of
the verb .

Apart from its use in semi-prepositions, occurs 59 times, of which 48 are ren-
dered by a Greek preposition (most frequently ).32 is rendered without a
preposition 11 times. Four of these are expressions in which is prefixed to an
infinitive, for instance from hearing. These expressions are adequately
rendered by the negative expression plus the infinitive.33 Twice this
preposition is combined with another preposition and the two are rendered
with one Greek equivalent; thus is rendered by or , and by
.34 Five times the translator rephrases the clause in the Greek text
and does not render an equivalent for the preposition.35

Semi-Prepositions
The Hebrew semi-prepositions are composed of a preposition and a noun,
which together function as a preposition.36 The translators perceived and dis-
tinguished the two elements and often translated them both instead of simply
using an appropriate Greek preposition. In the field of translation technique
studies, Raija Sollamo has worked with the renderings of the semi-preposi-
tions. I will base my study on her work.37 The following survey treats the most

31 4 times.
 once.
32 11 times.
 30 times.
 twice.
 5 times.
33 7:11,12; 9:8.
34 3:4, 11:13, 6:12.
35 3:4(2); 4:12; 9:10; 14:4,16.
36 Definition taken from Sollamo (Semiprepositions, 1).
37 For the sake of convenience I follow the same order of arranging the material as Sollamo
(Semiprepositions).
46 CHAPTER 4

common semi-prepositions in OG-Zechariah. It will convey a sense of how the


translator worked.

is the most common semi-preposition in the Hebrew Bible (1,025 times),


and it is rendered variously in the Greek translations. The most common ren-
dering is , followed by and .38
In OG-Zechariah the rendering of reflects an inclination towards
Hebrew idiom. The translator prefers to use when the Hebrew
preposition is used to indicate location. Only once did he use which is
most common in the LXX/OG as a whole. In Zech 8:10 the Hebrew preposition
refers to time and the Greek equivalent is .

. This equivalent of occurs 218 times in the LXX/OG. is


found in Koine Greek sources and is not an invention of the LXX/OG trans-
lators. It does, however, fit etymologically as it consists of the stem --
(//) with the preposition prefixed to it.39 The usage of
outside of LXX/OG is local and the reference is only to persons. In the LXX/OG
it has developed a wider usage and sometimes refers to inanimate objects. This
is not reflected in OG-Zechariah where the one occurrence refers to human
beings:

12:8

Like an angel of Yahweh before Like an angel of the Lord before
them. them.

. According to Sollamo, this expression is not found in texts com-


posed in Greek and may thus be referred to as a Hebraism.40 It does, how-
ever, not mean that it was unintelligible for Greek readers. The phrase is used
to render both intermediate41 and local usages of whether referring to
living beings or to objects. The intermediate usage is, however, not found in
OG-Zechariah.

38 Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 13.


39 Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 1819.
40 Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 17, 30.
41 Sollamo (Semiprepositions, 16) uses the term intermediate for the references that are
neither local nor temporal but indicate going (being) ahead of or preeminence. Micah 6:4
would be an example:
and I sent before you Moses.
Representation of the Constituents of Hebrew Words 47

Six times in OG-Zechariah it refers to living beings.42 Example:

3:9


The stone that I have set before The stone that I have set before
Joshua Joshua

Once it refers to objects:

14:20

Like the basins before the altar. Like bowls before the altar.

. This preposition is the most common rendering for in the temporal


sense.43 This is also how it is used in OG-Zechariah.44

8:10
For before these days For before these days

For , the stereotyping tendency in the LXX/OG is much stronger than for
the renderings of . The most common translation is , which
represents almost two thirds of the occurrences of in the MT.45
Although the semi-preposition is only used twice in OG-Zechariah,
these two instances are quite intriguing. The first is rendered by
which, according to Sollamo, does not comply with the normal Koine Greek
usage. This usage reveals an inclination towards Hebrew rather than Greek
idiom. The second occurrence of shows a different interest on the part of
the translator. Here the translator seems to have used the immediate textual
context in order to find a rendering for the semi-preposition.

. Only once is used as an equivalent for in


OG-Zechariah:

42 3:1,3,4,8,9; 4:7.
43 It is, however, not exclusively used to render temporal cases, though the exceptions are
rare, see Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 3738.
44 This is the only occurrence of in OG-Zechariah.
45 Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 81.
48 CHAPTER 4

2:13(17)


Be silent, all flesh, before Yahweh Let all flesh fear before the Lord

Although is common in Koine Greek, its usage in the LXX/OG is


often distinct from the regular Koine usage, which is limited to a local force,
indicating to flee, to destroy, to depart, to throw away from before a person,
out of a persons way. In addition to such uses, the usage peculiar to LXX/OG
is characterized by employment of in a causal sense and before
verbs such as , , and (as in 2:13[17], above).46

A free rendering. In Zech 14:5, has the equivalent .

14:5


As you fled from the earthquake As you fled in the days of the
in the days of Uzziah earthquake in the days of Uzziah

almost always reflects )(. One might suggest that the


source text in Zech 14:5 contained rather than . However, in the imme-
diate context we find . This occurrence may have influenced the trans-
lation since an expression like / would have been
strange. In Amos 1:1 we find a similar freedom in the rendering of a temporal
expression. For we find the Greek equivalent
, which avoids a similar Hebraistic expression. Therefore, there is no
need to assume a variant in the Hebrew source for this deviation in OG-Zech
14:5. We may rather ascribe it to the freedom of the translator.

47
This semi-preposition can have several meanings. Sollamo divides them into
two categories according to the options the translators had when rendering
into Greek. When meant in the face of, in sight of, before, facing,
opposite to the translator had several options for a good Greek rendering either
as a direct translation of the semi-preposition ( / ),
a literal (/), or a freer translation (/). When
meant on the surface of, upon, the translator was forced to render freely if

46 Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 8485.


47 Although this semi-preposition consists of two words and not one word with several ele-
ments, I have included it in this section since it may be regarded as a semi-preposition.
Representation of the Constituents of Hebrew Words 49

good Greek was desired.48 The more direct equivalents are unprecedented in
the Koine Greek sources. The one occurrence we have of this semi-preposition
in Zechariah is in 14:4: . There we find in the
translation.

is a rather common semi-preposition in the MT. The meaning is usually


among, in the midst of and it is used with reference to living beings, things,
and places. is by far the most frequently used Greek equivalent.49 This
phrase is common in Koine Greek outside the LXX/OG and thus represents
idiomatic Greek. In OG-Zechariah is employed for all eigth instances
of .50

The combination + is most commonly used as a preposition to mean


1) in(to) the inward part of the body, within referring to living beings; 2)
among, in(to) the midst of referring to persons; or 3) within, in(to) refer-
ring more generally to things and places.51 In Greek sources outside of LXX/
OG we find used to indicate all three of these meanings. The usage of
to render would therefore be consistent with idiomatic Greek.
is only used to indicate the second and third category and would represent
unidiomatic Greek if it was used as a translation of in the first sense.52 In
OG-Zechariah we find twice, translated both times by .53

The meaning of this semi-preposition varies according to the verb attached to


it. Sollamo divides its meanings into two categories. It means out of the hands
of, from the power of, from the possession of after verbs such as to deliver,
to flee, and to take/deprive. But after verbs such as to take/receive, to buy,
and to demand it means from.54 In OG-Zechariah this semi-preposition is
used only once, and this use conforms to the first sense: ( and

48 Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 102104.


49 Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 251.
50  Zech 5:4,7; 8:3,8.
 Zech 2:10(14),11(15).
 Zech 2:4(8),5(9).
51 Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 235.
52 Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 235236.
53  Zech 14:1.
 Zech 12:1.
54 Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 191.
50 CHAPTER 4

I will not deliver out of their hand) is translated by


(11:6). The phrase is found in Greek outside of LXX/OG and
therefore cannot be regarded as a Hebraism.

may be used in a concrete way to mean in the hand of. In such cases it
is not a semi-preposition.55 We have examples of this in Zech 2:1(5); 4:10 and
8:4. As a semi-preposition, may take on local or instrumental meanings.
According to Sollamo, prepositional expressions that use in concrete and
metaphorical local senses do occur in Koine Greek outside of the LXX/OG. The
use of in rendering in its local meanings is, then, in accordance with
Greek idiom. Uses of in an instrumental sense are not rendered by expres-
sions with in Koine Greek sources besides the LXX/OG,56 and therefore,
such renderings do not accord with Greek idiom.

() . When used to render in a local sense, this expression should


be considered normal Greek. It is, however, an unidiomatic Greek rendering
when is used with an instrumental sense.57 In OG-Zechariah we find one
example of each.

Local sense:58

4:12



What are these two olives What are the two branches of the
branches, which are beside the olive-trees that are by the side of the
two pipes two golden pipes

Instrumental sense:

7:759


Are not the words which Yahweh Are not these the words which the
proclaimed by the hands of the Lord spoke by the hands of the
prophets? prophets?

55 Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 156.


56 Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 156160.
57 Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 164166.
58 The Greek has local sense, see Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 16566.
59 See also 4:12 for a similar case.
Representation of the Constituents of Hebrew Words 51

. In the LXX/OG is often used to render in conjunction


with verbs such as , , , , and . This usage is in accordance with
Greek idiom.60
In Zech 11:6 we find the Hebrew verb , but the Greek combination of
and is, however, idiomatic Greek.61

11:6





But, behold, I will give every man But, behold, I will deliver up the men,
into the hand of his neighbor every one into the hands of his neighbor
and into the hand of his king. and into the hands of his king.

This semi-preposition usually means in the eyes of, in the judgment of, but
sometimes also before the eyes of, in the presence of. The most common
Greek renderings range from the direct translation to prepositions
attested in classical and Koine Greek such as , , and . In
sources outside of the LXX/OG, the latter three prepositions are attested only
in the sense before, in the presence of.62 In Zechariah, however, the only two
instances of the semi-preposition ( Zech 8:6 [2x]) are rendered, unidiom-
atically, by in spite of their meaning in the judgment of.63

Summary. Concerning the rendering of the semi-prepositions, we may say that


the translator was more inclined towards Hebrew idiom than towards Greek.
For several of these semi-prepositions he preferred direct translations that
were not commonly used in Koine Greek. However, we may also note that in
some cases the translator adapted the choice of preposition to the context, so
that the rendering was in accord with Greek idiom. We saw in the renderings
of that the translator used instead of when the context
required it. The same happened in the rendering of where he once used a
literal rendering and once inferred the rendering from the context. The same
pattern is apparent in the renderings of .

60 Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 168.


61 Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 168.
62 Sollamo, Semiprepositions, 123125.
63 In Zech 9:8 we find , but here the expression may not be regarded as a semi-
preposition since the concrete sense with my eyes is meant () .
Sollamo (Semiprepositions, 156) has a similar definition of when is a semi-preposition.
52 CHAPTER 4

Conclusions

The translators common mode was to render constituents of Hebrew words


by individual Greek equivalents; this reflects a literal approach. Most of the
exceptions we looked at are due to differences between the languages, while
some reflect stylistic concerns. In these exceptions we may observe the trans-
lators inclination towards Greek idiom, but they can do little to mask the
Hebrew flavor of the translation.
Concerning the prepositions, we usually find a Greek equivalent for every
element in a semi-preposition. The translator varied his rendering a few times,
especially as regards the preposition , where he often chose to render by a
Greek case instead of a preposition. The translators rendering of prepositions
is, nevertheless, best characterized as generally literal.
This conclusion complements the conclusion James Palmer draws when he
studies the same phenomenon. His categories, paraphrastic shortening and
interpretative paraphrase are somewhat wider than the present category, and
he spends only a couple of pages describing the issues. Palmer seems content
to demonstrate that the translator exercised freedom in his translation,64 but
as I have shown above, the translators exercise of freedom was infrequent in
comparison to his close adherence to the Hebrew source text. I do, however,
concur with Palmer when he states that the translator was capable of working
with a sensitivity to the material he is translating and that he had a desire to
communicate his understanding of it65 But, this sensitivity is coupled with an
inclination to represent the form of the source text.

64 Palmer, Tracing Paper, 31.


65 Palmer, Tracing Paper, 31.
CHAPTER 5

Word Order

Close correspondence between the word order of the Hebrew source and its
Greek translation has been understood as an indication of literalness, while
frequent deviations in word order suggest freedom in the translation.1 This cri-
terion has been studied in order to make comparable statistics of several trans-
lation units.2 I will limit my scope to OG-Zechariah, and analyze how closely
the translator followed the word order in his source text.

Methodological Considerations

There are several ways to describe the degree of a translations adherence to


(or deviation from) the word order in its source text. It appears that every
approach has benefits and detriments.
The most important methodological considerations in this analysis are the
decision about what texts to compare and the definition of the scope of the
basic unit for comparison. Galen Marquis, who bases his work on Tovs cat-
egory Word order, has some suggestions to how this should be done.
Marquis proposes that the verses should be the basic units. He compares
the MT with the OG and divides the number of verses where the OG has
a different word order by the total number of verses in the translation unit
he studies.3 He then arrives at ratios of subservience and non-subservience.
There are, however, some problems with this approach. First, the numbers
Marquis arrives at are used as part of the process of retroversion of the Hebrew
source of the translator. Therefore, the numbers he presents do not indicate
the translation technique of the respective translators, but rather the degree

1 Leslie C. Allen, The Greek Chronicles: The Relation of the Septuagint of I and II Chronicles to
the Massoretic Text, vol. 1 (Leiden: Brill, 1974), 39; Tov, Text-Critical Use, 23; Galen Marquis,
Word Order as a Criterion for the Evaluation of Translation Technique in the LXX and the
Evaluation of Word-Order Variants as Examplified in LXX-Ezekiel, 5984, Textus 13, (1986),
6061; Staffan Olofsson Studying the Word Order of the Septuagint, 105133, in Translation
Technique and Theological Exegesis: Collected Essays on the Septuagint Version, ed. Staffan
Olofsson (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2009).
2 Marquis, Word Order, 6465.
3 Marquis, Word Order, 63.

koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 6|doi .63/9789004302730_006


54 CHAPTER 5

of correspondence in word order between the MT and the OG. Marquis writes:
In a translation shown to be highly literal, any word-order differenceapart
from one which cannot be retroverted into grammatical Hebrewis not only
potentially (as is the case with any variant), but even probably likely to derive
from a Hebrew source.4 If the degree of correspondence between the MT and
the OG in a text unit is high, it is, according to Marquis, likely that the translator
was even more subservient to his source text than the numbers in his statistics
indicate. However, Marquis makes no attempt to describe exactly how much
more. This approach is problematic because Marquis regards all the differ-
ences (apart from one which cannot be retroverted into grammatical Hebrew)
as indications of a non-MT source text. Therefore, if the translation technique
of the translator is really what we are interested in, we have to reconstruct his
Hebrew source along the way, tentative as it may be, and use this text as the
basis for comparison.
Another problem with Marquis approach is his usage of verses as the unit
to be counted. A verse can contain several clauses and is therefore imprecise
as a unit of reference. A verse with five clauses, four of them rendered with
the same word order as the source text, is given the same value in Marquis
count as a verse where all five of the clauses were rendered with a deviating
word order.
In the present analysis I have used clauses as the basic unit. I have counted
the number of clauses, main and subordinate, in the translation and analyzed
whether they follow the word order of their source text. The benefit of this
approach is its simplicity, while the detriment might be that it does not show
how much the word order differs in the respective clauses. In the presentation,
I will address this problem by discussing in detail every deviation in word order
after I have presented the overall analysis.
Before I present the result of the count, a definition of what I mean by a
clause is in place. For this purpose I adopt Anneli Aejmelaeus definition:
A clause is defined as a construction with one and only one predicate.5
This has implications for the results since a Hebrew clause may be, and in
fact often is, very short. Obviously short clauses are less prone to changes in
word order than longer clauses. I have therefore divided the clauses into three
categories: 1) clauses consisting of a single word; 2) clauses consisting of two or
three words; 3) clauses consisting of four or more words.

4 Marquis, Word Order, 67.


5 Aejmelaeus, Parataxis, 9.
Word Order 55

Analysis

The statistics for OG-Zechariah are as follows:

Clauses with Clauses with two Clauses with four Total


one word or three words or more words

67 317 357 741


One change in word order 0 4 22 26
Two changes in word order 0 0 3 3
Total 0/67 4/317 25/357 29/741
0% 1.3% 7% 3.9%

There are 741 clauses in the book of Zechariah. In 29 of these there are changes
in the word order, that is 3.9 percent of the clauses. Of the total number of 741
clauses, 711 (that is, 96.1 percent) have the same order as their source.
The percentages vary for each category of clause length. The first category,
which consists of one-word clauses, is irrelevant as an indication of literalness.
It is included for the sake of completeness. In the second category, which con-
sists of two- or three-word clauses, we find that 4 out of 317 clauses deviate
from the MT in word order, that is 1.3 percent of these clauses. Among clauses
of four or more words, we find 25 out of 357 clauses with deviations in word
order, that is 7 percent of these clauses.
Having taken the length of the clauses into consideration, the impression
remains that the translator frequently adheres to the word order of the source
text. He follows the Hebrew word order in 93 percent of the longer clauses,
which significantly marks the character of his Greek translation.
Let me illustrate the kind of translation such strict adherence to the word
order produces. One trait is seen in the rendering of sentences where the ver-
bal expression precedes the subject. This is not common in Greek.

Examples:

1:10

1:20(2:3)
56 CHAPTER 5

Many other examples may be provided where the translator follows a pecu-
liar word order in the Hebrew source. Two will suffices to further illustrate the
character of the translation:

2:5(9)


3:4



Deviating Word Order

The translators deviations from the Hebrew word order appear to be accom-
modations to Greek language. The following catalogue of deviations in
OG-Zechariah aims at being exhaustive:

Adjectives and Pronouns


Only three times did the translator transpose adjectives and pronouns. This is
a small number given the flexibility of the Greek language. There is no obvious
reason why the translator changed the word order in these particular clauses
and not in others.

12:86

14:6

8:17

Numerals
The translator changed the word order in clauses that contain numbers. Such
changes are common in the LXX/OG translations. That our translator also
made these changes is therefore not one of his defining traits.7 These changes
do, however, belong to our exhaustive presentation.

6 Compare with the beginning of 12:8 where the same expression is rendered:
.
7 Marquis, Word Order, 73.
Word Order 57

1:1
In the month, the eighth, in the In the eighth month of the second
year, the second year

1:7

... ...
On the twenty-fourth day of the On the twenty-fourth of the
eleventh month...in the year, the eleventh month...in the second
second year

5:2

Her length is twenty cubits, and The length twenty cubits, and the
her width is ten cubits. width ten cubits.

5:7
And this is a woman And behold a woman

7:1
And it happened in the year, the And it happened in the fourth year
fourth

13:8
Two parts therein The two parts

14:7
And there shall be one day And there shall be one day

Syntactical Structures
The following types of changes to the word order stem from syntactical differ-
ences between Hebrew and Greek.

Conjunctions. Eight times we find the usage of to render the conjunction


, which necessitates a change in word order since this Greek conjunction is
always placed second in its respective clause.8

Prepositions. The translator changes the position of the preposition in four


instances:

8 1:15; 6:14; 12:4,8; 13:8; 14:2,10,18.


58 CHAPTER 5

9:29


And also Hamath, which borders and Emath, in her territories
to it

10:5

Trampling on the mud of the Treading mud in the streets
streets

In the rendering of the phrase in 6:6, the relative pronoun and


the preposition have been transposed: .10 We find a similar
phenomenon in 8:9: .

Different word class. A few times, when Hebrew prepositions were rendered by
a different word class in Greek, the word order was changed.

9:13

, ,
For I have bent for me Judah For I have bent you, Judah, for me11

12:10




And they shall mourn for him, as And they shall mourn for him a
mourning for the only son and mourning, as for a beloved and
they shall be in bitterness for him, they shall grieve a grief, as for a
as bitterness for the first-born. first-born.

Twice in 12:10, the Greek text places the subordinate conjunction in a differ-
ent place from the equivalent preposition in the Hebrew text. The meaning
is hardly different.12

9 The Greek (cf. the Vulgate) may reflect a difference in the source text,
, but it more likely reflects the translators interpretation of this somewhat dif-
ficult Hebrew line.
10 The two references (relative particle, pronominal suffix) to the antecedent in the Hebrew
clause are redundant in Greek. In the process of retaining only one, the translator trans-
posed the relative pronoun. The translator usually reduced the number of references
to the antecedent in relative clauses, but 1:4 is an exception (
).
11 See page 16768 for a further discussion of this verse.
12 Compare 12:11, which has the same structure, but there the translator follows the Hebrew
word order.
Word Order 59

The subject, verbal expression, and object. The translator once moved the verb
closer to the subject:

9:1413

And Yahweh will be seen over them And the Lord will be over them

The translator once moved the subject to follow the verb:

4:1

Like a man who is wakened from As when a man is wakened from
his sleep. his sleep.

In 8:14 the translator moved the object up in the clause:

8:14


When your fathers provoked me When your fathers provoked me

Genitive absolute. In 14:12 the translator used the genitive absolute and then
changed the word order to accord with Greek syntax.

14:12



His flesh shall melt away, while he Their flesh shall melt while they
is standing on his feet. stand upon their feet.

13 It is possible that does not render but reflects a different verb, , in the
Hebrew source text; this change seems to be motivated by a pious concern to avoid a
reference to humans seeing Yahweh. On the other hand, such a change is just as likely to
have been made in the process of translation as at any other stage in the transmission of
the text. The other major deviation in the Greek clause, the different word order, complies
with Greek syntax and is therefore best ascribed to the translator.
60 CHAPTER 5

Conclusions

As shown by the statistics presented under Analysis, the translator of


OG-Zechariah follows his source closely when it comes to word order. I have
pointed out all the departures from the source text word order, but these are
exceptions to the translators pattern. Although these changes stem from lin-
guistic concerns, it is clear that the translator is inclined towards Hebrew word
order.
CHAPTER 6

Quantitative Representation

Literal LXX/OG translations are marked by the translators attempt to repre-


sent every word in the Hebrew source by an equivalent in the translation. In a
non-literal translation, the translator may have been inclined to clarify the text
or adjust it to Greek idiom either by adding elements or by not rendering every
word in the Hebrew source.1 An investigation of the quantitative representa-
tion of each word in the source text is therefore indicative of the manner in
which the translator worked. The concept of quantitative representation par-
allels the representation of the constituents of Hebrew words by individual
Greek equivalents (chapter 3), but it does not operate below the word level.2
Segmentation of words with several constituent elements is not the topic of
study in this chapter.
This topic involves instances where the Greek text is shorter than its
Hebrew source and instances where it is longer.3 A difficult but fundamen-
tal question regarding the quantitative representation is whether these differ-
ences between the texts stem from the translator, the Hebrew source text, or
the transmission of the Greek text. This must be discussed case by case and at
times we must leave the question open. In the analysis below, I will first point
out the deviations that probably stem from variants in the Hebrew source text,
and afterwards, discuss the instances where it is likely that the difference stems
from the translator.

Deviations that Stem from the Hebrew Source Text

The following instances in which OG-Zechariah presents a longer or shorter


text than MT-Zechariah may be ascribed to differences in the Hebrew source
text. Some of these are more certain than others, and therefore I distinguish

1 Tov, Text-Critical Use, 23.


2 For a discussion of the difference see Benjamin G. Wright, The Quantitative Representation
of Elements: Evaluating Literalism in the LXX, 311355, in VI Congress of the International
Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, ed. Claude E. Cox (Atlanta: Scholars, 1987),
314ff. See also Wright, No Small Difference, 6770.
3 Some studies deal with both these aspects: Glenny, Finding Meaning; Wright, No Small
Difference. While Wright in Quantitative Representation focuses on the additions.

koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 6|doi .63/9789004302730_007


62 CHAPTER 6

below between those that very likely reflect the source text (Different Source
Text), and those that are less certain, but still probably reflect a variant
(Possibly Different Source Text). These instances may of course be debated,
and the judgment one makes affects the evaluation of the translation tech-
nique. I will discuss this problem in the presentation of the statistics below,
under Deviations that Stem from the Translator.

Different Source Text


In the preceeding chapters, the picture of a literal translation emerged. This
indication should be taken into account when we study the following instances.

Pluses:
1:10

1:1617


1:19(2:2)
,

1:21(2:4)

2:2(6)

2:4(8)

4:12
4

7:3 5

8:19

8:21

8:22

12:8

4 The word may reflect or a pseudo-variant (BHQ 138*).


5 See comment on page 35.
Quantitative Representation 63

14:4

1:10; 1:19(2:2); 1:21(2:4); 2:2(6)In all of these formulas the addressee of the
utterance is expressed. This is a clarification of the text. In the Peshitta we
find excactly the same pluses. This indicates that they go back to the Hebrew
source text.

1:1617The plus probably relies on ( see 1:9,14) in the


Hebrew source.6

2:4(8); 12:8The pluses in the Greek text are typical renderings of the very
common Hebrew expressions and . It is highly likely that the pluses
represent variants in the Hebrew source text.

4:12The word renders in 4:2 and it seems probable that


the same Hebrew word occured in the source text of the translator.

8:19The Greek plus may reflect in the source text, see Deut 12:7,12.

8:2122The Greek pluses are typical renderings of the common Hebrew


expression .

14:4The Greek expression is more balanced than the expression in the MT.
The same deviation occurs in the Peshitta. It is therefore likely that the reading
stems form the Hebrew source text.

Minuses:
1:3

1:197

4:13

6 BHQ (120) describes this plus as amplification. That is a reading arising from the scribal
activity of filling out a text...It signals an initiative on the part of the copyist or translator,
but does not specify the nature of the motivation behind the initiative (xx). BHQ uses the
same term to explain in 4:12 and in 8:19.
7 See page 152.
64 CHAPTER 6

6:12

6:12

6:1213


7:2

8:16

11:7

12:14

13:1 8

1:3Seven of the nine instances of this Hebrew expression in Zechariah are


rendered as .9 In 13:2 we find . I will com-
ment on this minus later.10 In 1:3, there is no reason for the translator to omit
if existed in the source text.

4:13; 6:12(2x)In these three instances, the expression has no equivalent.


It is likely that the deviations stem from the source text since the translator
usually renders these infinitives by .

6:1213Possibly an instance of homoioteleuton either by the translator or a


scribe. This is, however, not the only option. Robert Hanhart suggests that this
repetition may have been conceived of as superfluous and therefore omitted.11
It would then be a conscious simplification of the apparent tautology.12 Another

8 For , see page 73.


9 Zech 1:16; 3:9,10; 5:4; 8:6,11; 13:7.
10 See page 6768.
11 Hanhart, Sacharja, 410.
12 Hanhart (Sacharja, 410) makes no judgments whether the translator or a scribe is respon-
sible for the deviation.
Quantitative Representation 65

option is that the translator omitted it for stylistic reasons.13 Given the literal
translation approach demonstrated in chapters 3 and 4, I prefer to ascribe the
deviation to the source text.

7:2The translator used for the same Hebrew expression


in 8:21,22. There is no reason to ascribe the deviation to the translators avoid-
ance of anthropomorphisms.14

8:16The phrase in the MT appears corrupt, and the OG probably represents


a different Hebrew text. BHS judges to be a result of dittography,15 while
Gelston in BHQ ascribes the minus to the Greek translator.16

11:7Apparently the Greek translation relies on a different word division


than the word division in the MT.17 The different word division made
superflous.

12:14This appears to be an instance of haplography,18 which most likely hap-


pened during the transmission of the Hebrew text. The similar expression in
12:12 would have made the translator aware of this mistake.

13:1It is difficult to find a reason why the translator would leave this phrase
out of his translation. Given the close adherence to the source text that the
translation usually displays, it appears reasonable to ascribe the minus to the
source text.

Possibly Different Source Text


General cases. In the following instances it is very difficult to know the origin
of the deviation.

13 Jan Joosten A Septuagintal Translation Technique in the Minor Prophets: The Elimination
of Verbal Repetitions, 217223, in Interpreting Translation: Studies on the LXX and Ezekiel
in Honour of Johan Lust, eds. F. Garcia Martnez and M. Vervenne (Leuven: Peeters,
2005), 219.
14 Note, however, the variation of the renderings of : (7:2),
(8:21), (8:22). See page 95.
15 BHS, 1072.
16 BHQ, 141*.
17 See page 35.
18 For a different suggestion, see Joosten, Septuagintal, 219.
66 CHAPTER 6

Pluses:
7:12

11:15

12:8

7:12The additional pronoun may reflect , as in Hos 8:1.

11:15This rendering may be an instance of the double translations found else-


where in the OG-MP,19 or it may reflect the Hebrew source .

12:8To compare the house of David to God, might have appeared problem-
atic either to a copyist or the Greek translator.

Minuses:
3:9

9:15

3:9It is difficult to know whether the lack of equivalent for stems from
the source text or from the translator, who might have regarded it as interrupt-
ing the flow of the clause.

9:15This minus could reflect either the translators abridging an expression


he did not fully understand, or a variant in the Hebrew source text.20

19 In two other instances, the translator renders one Hebrew word twice. In general, such
double translations may occur for words the translator did not fully understand (Glenny,
Finding Meaning, 49), but they may also reflect instances where the translator did not find
that one word sufficed to render the meaning of the Hebrew text. The first of the refer-
ences below may be an example of the first category, while the second reference may be
an example of the latter.
1:8 - *
10:1 -
*These two words are used to render and in 6:3,6,7.
 If 11:15 is another double translation, it appears to be an attempt to make the Greek
expression clearer.
20 BHQ, 135.
Quantitative Representation 67

Conjunctions. The origins of the following conjunctions are difficult to pinpoint.

1:4

1:16

7:10

8:15

9:1021

11:16

11:17

Divine name. The origins of the differences in the rendering of the divine name
and its epithets are difficult to determine. The difference may stem from devi-
ations in the Hebrew source text, some may stem from the translator, while
some may be the result of inner Greek developments.

Pluses:
1:13

8:17

10:3

10:12

12:4

14:20

21 See pages 162 and 16467.


68 CHAPTER 6

Minuses:
1:3

7:4

9:16

13:2

Plus and minus:


9:14

11:4

Deviations that Stem from the Translator

Only the deviations that stem from the translator are relevant for the evalua-
tion of translation technique. I will begin this section by presenting the overall
statistics of the study before I go into the details behind the numbers.

TABLE 1 This table assumes that all the deviations mentioned in the paragraphs Different
Source Text and Possibly Different Source Text reflect a different Hebrew source
and not the translator

Quantitative Representation at the Clause Level Actual Number Percentage

+ 1 word 89 12.01%
+ 2 words 19 2.56%
+ 3 or more words 2 0.27%

Subtotal (pluses) 110 14.84%

1 word 33 4.45%
2 words 3 0.4%
3 or more words 0 0

Subtotal (minuses) 36 4.85%


Quantitative Representation 69

Quantitative Representation at the Clause Level Actual Number Percentage

+ and in the same clause 6 0.81%


No change 589 79.49%

Total Clauses 741

As would be expected based on the close adherence to the word order of the
source in this translation unit (chapter 4), the translation is also very close to
its source when it comes to the representation of each word. We see that of
the 741 clauses in the text, 589, or almost 80 percent, have the same quantita-
tive representation as their source text. There are 152 clauses with differences
in the number of words represented; the majority of these clauses are clauses
with a one word plus.
The statistics presented in Table 1, above, do not include any of the the
instances already listed under Deviations that Stem from the Hebrew Source
Text. As I discussed in that section, there are uncertainties in the evaluation of
these instances. The following tables should nuance the impression.

TABLE 2 This table attributes the deviations treated under the paragraph Possibly Different
Source Text to the translator. The deviations listed under the paragraph Different
Source Text are still attributed to the Hebrew source

Quantitative Representation at the Clause Level Actual Number Percentage

+ 1 word 104 14%


+ 2 words 20 2,7%
+ 3 or more words 2 0.27%

Subtotal (pluses) 126 17%

1 word 39 5.26%
2 words 3 0.4%
3 or more words 0 0

Subtotal (minuses) 42 5.67%

+ and in the same clause 8 1.08%


70 CHAPTER 6

TABLE 2 This table attributes the deviations treated under the paragraph (cont.)

Quantitative Representation at the Clause Level Actual Number Percentage

No change 565 76.24%

Total Clauses 741

TABLE 3 This table attributes the deviations treated under the paragraphs Different Source
Text and Possibly Different Source Text to the translator

Quantitative Representation at the Clause Level Actual Number Percentage

+ 1 word 107 14.44%


+ 2 words 28 3.78%
+ 3 or more words 4 0.54%

Subtotal (pluses) 139 18.76%

1 word 46 6.21%
2 words 4 0.54%
3 or more words 3 0,4%

Subtotal (minuses) 53 7.15%

+ and in the same clause 8 1.08%


No change 541 73.01%

Total Clauses 741

The true numbers probably lie between those of Table 1 and Table 2. It is
nevertheless remarkable that even when we do attribute all the deviations
to the translator (Table 3), we find that his translation technique is rather
literal: 73 percent of the clauses are without changes in the quantitative
representation. This lends support to the evaluation given in the discussion of
Quantitative Representation 71

Table 1, namely that the translation technique in OG-Zechariah is literal when


it comes to quantitative representation.
A fuller understanding of how the translator worked with regard to quan-
titative representation can be gained through a closer examination of the
deviations that most likely stem from the translator. The examination aims
at being exhaustive. I will begin with the instances where the Greek text
is longer.

Longer Greek Text


I have ordered the material into three main categories: Difference in language,
Stylistic variation, and Explanatory additions.
Difference in language. As different as Hebrew and Greek are, it should not
surprise us that some expressions in Hebrew had to be rendered differently in
the translation. This sometimes resulted in a longer Greek text.

Prepositions:
1:8 22

1:10

1:11

3:7

5:9

6:13

7:2

11:14

22 For the usage of for , see Mur 25.


72 CHAPTER 6

13:4

Infinitives:
7:12

8:9

8:15 ...
...

Relative clauses:
1:15

Conjunction:
1:16

Stylistic variation. The instances below resemble those that are due to differ-
ences in language (above), but in these instances the translator apparently
made the changes out of stylistic concerns rather than being forced by a differ-
ence in the language.

Nouns:
1:1
23

1:7

Relative clauses:
4:1

7:1

11:13

Particle:
9:4

23 See page 93.


Quantitative Representation 73

Conjunction:
11:6

Explanatory additions. The majority of additions appear to function as clari-


fications. Some words are seemingly added for emphasis more than explana-
tion. I have included them in this section because emphasis and clarification
often converge. I will point these out in the sections below.
I have grouped the explanatory additions below as follows: (1) Adjectives
and adverbs, (2) Verbs, (3) Nouns (4) Prepositional expressions, (5) Pronouns,
(6) Conjunctions, (7) Particles, (8) Particle and adjective, (9) Negation,
(10) Double negation, (11) Double negation and pronoun, (12) Pronoun and
verb, (13) Conjunction and verb.

(1) Adjectives and adverbs


When the translator added an adjective or an adverb, it appears intended to
emphasize the expression.

Emphasis:
1:2 ... ...

1:11

3:9

4:6

10:11

11:2

13:1 24

14:18

24  may reflect in the source. See page 115 for a discussion.


74 CHAPTER 6

Clarification:
1:8 25

10:1026

(2) Verbs
Most of the verbs added in translation serve to make the nominal clauses in
the Hebrew text into verbal clauses in the translation. The most frequent verb
is .

:
1:7

1:10

1:19(2:2)

2:2(6)

3:9

4:4
,

4:7

4:13

5:8

6:1

6:4
,

6:5

25 See footnote 19 on page 66.


26 See page 14445.
Quantitative Representation 75

6:6

8:10

10:2

10:8

11:12

13:5

13:9

:
5:9

8:4

9:11

Other verbal additions


1:6



27

3:2

8:11

(3) Nouns
To add emphasis:
10:128

27 See page 110.


28 See footnote 19 on page 66.
76 CHAPTER 6

14:7

For exegetical reasons:


8:229

8:2130

(4) Prepositional expressions


It appears that the translator added prepositions in order to make the text clear.

Clarification:
6:15

7:9

8:10

8:13

8:13

8:1331

8:16

9:12

9:17

29 See pages 149.


30 See pages 214244.
31 See pages 78 and 80.
Quantitative Representation 77

10:7

11:10

13:6

14:10

(5) Pronouns
To make the subject explicit:
1:6

14:8

To make the object explicit:


4:9

9:13

, ,

9:15

9:15

11:5

To express the partitive or possessive state:


1:21(2:4)

1:21(2:4)

(6) Conjunctions
2:8(12)

3:2

8:6
78 CHAPTER 6

8:12

8:1332


8:23

33

9:17

9:17

12:2


14:6

(7) Particles
14:16

14:18

14:19

(8) Particle and adjective


14:17

(9) Negation
In 8:6 the choice of Greek verb creates the need for the negation in order to
convey approximately the same meaning as the Hebrew clause. It appears that
the translator wanted to make sure that the rhetorical question in the Hebrew
text was not misunderstood.

8:6

(10) Double negation


The double negation always appears to add emphasis.

32 See pages 76 and 80.


33 See page 74 for the usage of .
Quantitative Representation 79

7:13

9:5

9:8

11:6

11:16

11:16

11:16

11:16

(11) Double negation and pronoun


14:2
34

(12) Pronoun and verb


7:7

13:2

(13) Conjunction and verb


13:5

Shorter Greek Text


The three main groups in this section are: Difference in language, Stylistic
variation, and Omissions to avoid redundancy. At the end I include an omis-
sion that probably reflect ideological exegesis.

Difference in language. Sometimes differences between the languages and


their vocabularies resulted in a shorter Greek text.

34 See Zech 7:12.


80 CHAPTER 6

Prepositions:
3:10


4:2
...
...

6:5

6:6

Conjunction:
11:12

Particles:
1:4

5:5

Stylistic variation. The translator made the text shorter out of stylistic concerns.

Infinitives:
1:4

8:21

Pronouns:
1:12

Nouns:
8:7

Antonymic translation:
8:1335

8:15

35 See also pages 76 and 78.


Quantitative Representation 81

Negations:
1:21(2:4)

13:2

Relative clauses:
8:17


8:20

Prepositions:
9:1036

14:4

14:16

Omissions to avoid redundancy. In some cases the translator also abbreviated


the text when the Hebrew expression seemed redundant.

Prepositional expressions:
1:6

3:4

9:937


12:6 ...
...

12:10

13:8

Direct objects:
6:8

11:11

36 See page 16263.


37 See page 162.
82 CHAPTER 6

Verbal expressions:
6:10

...

...

14:6

14:7

14:8

14:13

Ideological exegesis:
12:1138

Conclusions

The results of the analysis of quantitative representation in OG-Zechariah


reflect a literal translation technique. The translator manages to represent
every element in the source in almost 80 percent of the clauses. Even when
we take into account the uncertainties concerning a possible different Hebrew
source behind the deviations, the number is quite impressive.
Most of the instances where the translator renders a longer or a shorter text
are attributable to differences between the languages or to stylistic variation.39
But in a number of cases, the translator appears to have made certain changes
due to the content of the text. It appears that he attempts to make sure the text
is understandable according to his reading. Given the fact that close adherence
to the source text is the translators normal practice, these instances are all the
more important as indications of the translators interpetation.

38 The Greek text has no reference to Hadad. The high significance of this word suggests that
its omission was intentional. In the next chapter I argue that the translator was respon-
sible for the minus (109).
39 LBA (1246) has some examples of pluses and minuses. LBA explains the pluses mostly as
harmonizations, but also as textual anticipation and assimialtion.
CHAPTER 7

Lexical Choice

This category of evaluation operates on the word level. It offers a description


of how the translator worked when he chose renderings of individual words.
Several aspects of the rendering of words will be analyzed in the three sec-
tions of this chapter: 1) consistency versus inconsistency in lexical choice,
2) ideological/theological interpretation, and 3) translation of unknown words.

Consistency versus Inconsistency in Lexical Choice

Emanuel Tov studies the degree to which translators tended to use preferred
renderings throughout the whole translation unit for a given Hebrew word,
element, root or construction in his category internal consistency.1 Tovs
category operates on the formal equivalence between the source text and
the translation. This approach has, however, been debated and an alternative
approach has emerged focusing on semantic accordance.
Formal equivalence. Tovs category has roots in James Barrs paper on liter-
alism in ancient translations. Barr has a category called Consistency or non-
consistency in the rendering, i.e. the degree to which a particular versional
term is used for all (or most) cases of a particular term of the original. Barrs
idea is that when the translator tended to choose the same Greek rendering
of one Hebrew word it is a sign of literalness. The translator who varied his
rendering of one and the same Hebrew word was demonstrating freedom in
translation.2 Tov concentrates on the first aspect: Many translators rendered
all occurrences of a given word, element (e.g. preposition), root or construc-
tion as far as possible by the same Greek equivalent, often disregarding the
effect of this type of translation upon its quality.3 Tov calls this mode of trans-
lation stereotyping. He describes it as a tradition rather than a system and
suggests that it reflects an ambition on the translators part to be faithful to
the source text. However, Tov does not define a stereotype in terms of how

1 Tov, Text-Critical Use, 20.


2 Barr, Typology of Literalism, 305.
3 Tov, Text-Critical Use, 20.

koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 6|doi .63/9789004302730_008


84 CHAPTER 7

frequently it was used,4 but suggests that a further designation of a rendering


as stereotyped should be based upon the statistical analysis of its distribution
in the LXX/OG.5
The approach to lexical consistency by means of formal equivalence does
not cover the semantics of the texts it compares. It simply notes the equiva-
lents on a superficial level. It notes how many times the word X is used as the
translation of the word Y in a certain translation unit. It does not make any
judgments concerning the quality of the translation. The scholars working
with formal equivalency then categorize their findings in order to make them
comparable entities.6 The two common categories are stereotyped versus non-
stereotyped translations.7
Two minor criticisms of this approach regard 1) the selection of words to be
studied, and 2) the interpretation of the results.8
1) Each word has a field/range of referents which differs from word to word.
Some words have many possible referents, others only a few. It follows that the
translations of different terms should not be judged by the same standards.
Consider, for example, the terms and . The referents of the latter may
vary, and a suitable Greek translation depends very much on the context in
which the Hebrew word occurs. The former is more specific and thus the trans-
lator has fewer options how to translate it. Therefore, the fact that a translator
frequently rendered with the same Greek word does not reveal very much
about his approach to the text.9

4 Sollamo (Semiprepositions, 13) operates with the notion that a word used as the translation for
more than 50% of one Hebrew word may be called a stereotyped translation. Benjamin G.
Wright uses three groups in his study of the Hebrew text of Sirach. He has one group of ren-
derings where the Greek word covers at least 75% of the occurrences of the Hebrew word,
one group with 66%, and one with 60% (Wright, No Small Difference). A third scholar, Galen
Marquis, has a different approach and suggests that the designation stereotype may be used
to words occurring more than once as the translation (Marquis, Consistency).
5 Tov, Text-Critical Use, 22.
6 See for instance Tov and Wright, Computer-Assisted Study.
7 The term stereotyp was used already by M. Flashar, Exegetische Studien zum
Septuagintapsalter, 81116, 161189, 241268, ZAW 23 (1912): 105. Chaim Rabin used verbal
linkage, The Translation Process and the Character of the Septuagint, 126, Textus 6 (1968):
8, (see Rabins note 29 for further examples).
8 For a short survey of some criticism of this approach, see Glenny, Finding Meaning, 38.
9 It has been discussed whether a translation like for functions as a mere symbol
for the Hebrew term, cf. Takamitsu Muraoka, Towards a Septuagint Lexicon, 255276, in
VI Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, ed. Claude
E. Cox (Atlanta: Scolars Press, 1987), 262263. For a discussion of the same issue confer
also Emanuel Tov, Three Dimensions of Words in the Septuagint, 8594, in The Greek and
Lexical Choice 85

2) A tendency towards stereotyping in the translation might not always


reflect the translators faithfulness to and reverence of the source text. It is also
possible that the translator at times adopted such an approach simply because
it was easy. Once a rendering was chosen, it was probably convenient to use
this choice for other occurrences of the same Hebrew word.

Semantic accordance. A different approach has been suggested for the analy-
sis of lexical choice. It derives from the concept of semantic fields.10 Timothy
McLay proposes a method based on these fields in his article Lexical
Inconsistency.11 What words were used by one translator for a certain Hebrew
word, compared to the words that were used by another translator? Here it
is not the number of stereotyped translations that is the most revealing, but
rather the departures from the standard translations. Where do the translators
go their separate ways? The answer to this question may be an important indi-
cation of the translation technique.
In order to answer, McLay maintains that the choices made by the transla-
tors have to be studied in their contexts. Different contexts imply interpreta-
tions that are reflected in a variety of ways by the translators. McLay argues that
the different words in question have to be studied in relation to their respec-
tive semantic fields, in both the source and the target language. Thereafter the
specific words have to be studied in relation to their context.12
However, the focus on the context for the choice of translations also sets
some boundaries for what texts may be studied with this approach. It has rightly
been contended that a real comparison of translations could only be done on
translations of the same text.13 When it comes to ancient translations, we sel-
dom have two different translations of the same text to study. Nevertheless,
comparison of translation technique between different translation units, as
suggested in the formal equivalence approach, has to take this into account.
With McLays focus on context, the problem is even more apparent. To avoid
this pitfall, McLay compares the OG and Theodotions version ofDaniel.
The following pages will describe how the translator worked on the
word level. My aim is not to measure the degree of literalness by comparing

Hebrew Bible: Collected Essays on the Septuagint, ed. Emanuel Tov (Leiden: Brill, 1999),
8889.
10 Staffan Olofsson, Consistency as a Translation Technique, 1430, SJOT 6 (1992): 2223.
11 McLay Lexical Inconsistency.
12 McLay (Lexical Inconsistency, 8997) uses expressions from linguistics and calls these
approaches paradigmatic and syntagmatic relationships between words.
13 Olofsson, Consistency, 22.
86 CHAPTER 7

stereotyped renderings to other translation units,14 but rather to describe some


matters that are characteristic of how the translator of Zechariah worked.
What words did the translator render by a stereotype and when did he use a
diversity of lexical choices? This is similar to the approach presented by McLay,
but since we are in a less privileged situation when it comes to textual wit-
nesses for OG-Zechariah than for OG-Daniel, the description will focus on the
OG translation of Zechariah and compare with 8evXIIgr whenever the text is
preserved.
The following analysis of lexical choice has two parts: First, a discussion
of the words that the translator renders stereotypically, and then an analysis of
the diversity of lexical choice in the translation.

Stereotyped Renderings
Words with High Cultural Significance
The translator used stereotyped renderings for a number of words with a spe-
cific meaning and significance.

Theological:
MT OG 8evXIIgr
*

15 16
* Paleo Hebrew tetragram

Ethnic:
MT OG 8evXIIgr

17

14 For such a study, see Tov and Wright Computer-Assisted Study, 219237.
15 See Thackeray, Grammar, 7ff.; Swete, Introduction, 315318, Ccile Dogniez, Le Dieu des
armes dans le Dodekapropheton: quelques remarques sur une initiative de traduction,
1936, in IX Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies,
ed. Bernard A. Taylor (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1997).
16 Col. B1:31.
17 See especially Col. 17:3435.
Lexical Choice 87

Cultic:
18 19
-

Religiouscultural:
-
20
21 -
22 -
23 -

Formulaic:
24

Many of these stereotyped renderings are common in all of the LXX/OG trans-
lations. Some of these words, for instance , possibly reflect spoken
equivalents that may have been in use in the Greek-speaking Jewish societies
before the work on the written translations commenced.25 For the usage of
to render it is debated whether the translators used this word or ren-
dered the divine name in a different way, such as by paleo-Hebrew letters as we
find in 8evXIIgr.26 We should therefore not place too much emphasis on the

18 See Zech 14:16,17.


19 Col. 20:37 (Zeph 1:5)
20 Col. 30:29; 31:3637
21 See Zech 9:11; 11:10. The usage of as a translation of , required a change of the
meaning of the word, see Tov, Dimensions, 9293.
22 See Zech 14:16,18,19.
23 See Zech 12:12,13,14; 14:17,18.
24 Col. 14:25; 20:32
25 See Anneli Aejmelaeus, The Septuagint and Oral Translation, 513, in XIV Congress
of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, ed. M.K.H. Peters
(Atlanta: SBL, 2013), 8; Jan Joosten, Language as a Symptom: Linguistic Clues to the Social
Background of the Seventy, 6980, Textus 23 (2007): 7576; Emanuel Tov, Theologically
Motivated Exegesis Embedded in the Septuagint, 257269, in The Greek and Hebrew
Bible: Collected Essays on the Septuagint, ed. E. Tov (Leiden: Brill, 1999), 260264.
26 Tov, The Greek Minor Prophets, 12, see also Albert Pietersma, Kyrios or Tetragram:
A Renewed Quest for the Original Septuagint, 85101, in De Septuaginta: Studies in
Honour of John William Wevers on his 65th Birhtday, ed. A. Pietersma and Claude E. Cox
(Mississauga: Benben, 1984); Gunnar Magnus Eidsvg, The Paleo Hebrew Tetragram in
8evXIIgr, 86100, JSCS 46 (2013).
88 CHAPTER 7

consistent use of . If goes back to the OG-Zechariah it is difficult


to know whether this feature distinguishes this translator from the other LXX/
OG translators.27 One feature of OG-Zechariah that is not common throughout
the LXX/OG is the usage of the divine epithet .28 This epithet is
used also in Jeremiah, Paraleipomenon, and sporadically in Kingdoms, while
we find in Isaiah and a few other passages, and in Psalms we find the
plural form of , as is the case in 8evXIIgr.29 This indicates different
translators or different groups of translators.
An interesting phenomenon in OG-Zechariah is the clear distinction in the
rendering of the two words and , the first by the second by . It
seems that the translator used for his own people while he used for
foreign nations.30
The renderings this translator used for words in the cultic and religious/
cultural sphere are words that are found throughout the LXX/OG. They may
represent common vocabulary in the Greek-speaking Jewish societies that pro-
duced the translations.31

General Words
The translator also used some renderings consistently for other, more general
words. A number of words have a narrow semantic field and are therefore ren-
dered each by a single Greek word. I have already mentioned ,32 but

27 This usage has been studied in detail in four volumes, see Wolf Wilhelm Graf von
Baudissin and Otto Eissfeldt, Kyrios als Gottesname im Judentum und seine Stelle in der
Religionsgeschichte, 4 vols. (Giessen: Tpelmann, 1929). However, text fragments that have
been discovered after this study, have led many scholars to a different conclusion, see
Eidsvg, Tetragram, 8687.
28 See also pages 15 and 107.
29 For the suggestion that this usage of may be a novelty of the translator
of the Minor Prophets see Dogniez, Le Dieu des armes. For a different opinion see
Evangelia G. Dafni, in Septuaginta-Amos 4,13: zur Theologie der Sprache
der Septuaginta, 443454, in The Septuagint and Messianism, ed. M.A. Knibb (Leuven:
Peeters, 2006), 444; Tov, Theologically Motivated Exegesis, 263 and Tov, Dimensions, 91.
30 14:14 is the single exception from this consistent usage.
31 A well-known example is the rendering of by when it refers to an altar
for Yahweh, while is used for altars to other deities; see for instance LXX-Num 23ff.
32 See 1:2,4,5,6; 8:14; 13:3.
Lexical Choice 89

we also find pairs like ,33 ,34 ,35


(bowl),36 (pot, kettle).37 Furthermore we find Hebrew
and Greek words with semantic fields that overlap to such a degree that they
are used consistently as renderings: (tongue, language),38
(fellow, neighbor),39 and (cattle).40 These renderings
are natural and are not very indicative of the characteristics of this particular
translator.
There are, however, other stereotyped renderings that appear to derive from
factors beyond semantic overlap. Some of these seem to have been used for
the sake of convenience, others for stylistic reasons. Yet others may have been
chosen because of their homophony with the Hebrew word in the source text.
In some metaphorical/idiomatic expressions, the consistency in lexical choice
is conspicuous.
Convenience. In a number of instances the translator appears to prefer a
rendering because it is the easiest option. We find this phenomenon in short
passages where a certain word recurs several times. It seems that once the
translator had opted for one translation, he stuck to it throughout a passage. In
Zechariah 1 we find the usage of the verb take ones stand, stand in verses
10 and 11. In both instances the translator rendered by the Greek , to
set, place, stand. The same Hebrew verb is used in Zechariah 3, six times in the
first seven verses. The translator chose to render all of them by to set,
stand. Another example is to be found in the word , garment, covering.
This word is rendered in Zech 3:35 by , garment, clothes. In 14:14, how-
ever, the translator used , clothing, apparel, as the rendering of the
same Hebrew word. Yet another example of the same tendency is seen with the
noun , blow, slaughter, plague, in Zech 14:12,15,18. The Greek text renders
this word by , fall, falling, calamity, in all occurrences.
Stylistic concerns. In some cases, it seems that the translator chose to be con-
sistent in lexical choices for stylistic reasons.

33 See 1:8; 6:2,3,6; 9:10; 10:3,5; 12:4; 14:15,20.


34 See 7:1; 9:5,9; 11:6; 14:5,9,10,16,17.
35 See 2:16,17; 8:3; 14:20,21.
36 See 9:15; 14:20.
37 See 14:20,21.
38 See 8:23; 14:12.
39 See 3:8,10; 8:10,16,17; 11:6; 14:13.
40 See 2:8; 8:10; 14:15.
90 CHAPTER 7

He renders the root by if it is a noun, and the stem - if it is a verb.

1:2 ... ...

1:15 ... ...


7:12

8:14

A similar phenomenon is seen in the rendering of the root .

1:14




8:2




Homophony. For a few words, homophony is a likely explanation for the choice
of rendering. The translator rendered the verb , to settle, to dwell, by one
and the same Greek verb throughout the translation, namely , to
encamp, to settle.41 This rendering is also common in the other LXX/OG trans-
lations and LEH suggests that it was preferred because of its homophony with
its Hebrew counterpart.
Another instance may be the rendering of the Hebrew word , mantle,
by , leather garment. This Hebrew word occurs only once in Zechariah
and we may therefore not speak of a consistent choice, but the phenomenon
of homophony is the same. Elsewhere in the LXX/OG is rendered by ,
skin, hide (Gen 25:25), , sheep skin (3 Kgdms 19:13, 19), and ,
mantle, robe (Jonah 3:6).
We find a third occurrence of this phenomenon in Zech 2:1,2,4 where is
rendered by . The translator uses this rendering consistently throughout
his translation.42

41 2:10,15; 8:3,8.
42 Am 3:13; Mic 4:13; Hab 3:4.
Lexical Choice 91

Metaphors. The word is used three times in Zechariah, each time as a met-
aphor. The translator rendered by in all these occurrences:

1:4

1:6

,

3:7

Diversity in Lexical Choice


One of the characteristics of the translation of Zechariah is, according to sev-
eral scholars, the diversity in lexical choice. The translation has therefore been
called a free translation on the word level.43
Timothy McLay suggests that we should study the semantic fields of the
words in the translation. He proposes the categories syntagmatic relations
and paradigmatic relations as analytical tools. McLays categories resemble
those in Ferdinand de Saussures work.44 Ferdinand de Saussure describes
how each word is related to other words in discourse as opposed to outside of
discourse. In discourse, words acquire relations based on the linear nature of
language. That is, on how they are chained to other words in expressions and
sentences. These relations are called syntagmatic. Outside of discourse the
relations a word might have to other words are based on the language users
mental associations. Words are associated in the memory of a language user
and grouped by a diversity of variables. This latter phenomenon has been
referred to as paradigmatic relations. It is useful to distinguish between these
two types of relations when analyzing a translators lexical choices.
The following description will use these categories. The category
Paradigmatic relations contains alternations of renderings in contexts that
are so similar that the alternation may be said to be between synonyms. The
category Syntagmatic relations consists of words that are rendered differ-
ently because of the relations the word has to other words in the context. This

43 Van der Kooij, The Septuagint of Zechariah, 53, see also Ziegler, Die Einheit, 3437;
Joosten, Septuagintal, 217.
44 Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics, trans. Wade Baskin (Glasgow: Collins,
1974), 123. There are also other suggestions for categorizations. John Lyons (Linguistic
Semantics, 3334) uses: Lexical meaning, sentence-meaning, and Utterance-meaning.
For the purpose of this chapter McClays (Lexical Inconsistency) categories are helpful.
92 CHAPTER 7

section will describe how specific word pairs may have influenced the choice
of translation, and it will also point out variations where the wider context
seems to have affected the translators choice. These instances are renderings
where more than one word appears to affect the choice of translation.

Paradigmatic Relations
One may question whether real synonyms actually exist. Words that come very
close to each other in meaning may still bear different connotations and thus
not be fully synonymous. When the term synonym is used here, it refers to
words that have approximately the same meaning and usage.
The translator varied his rendering among synonyms. This may occur within
the near context, as in the following examples:

1:13


Good words and comforting Good words and comforting
words words

4:2 45

What do you see? And he What do you see? and he said
said, I see I have seen

12:7




So that the glory of the house So that the boast of the house of
of David and the glory of the David and the pride of the inhab-
inhabitants of Jerusalem be itants of Jerusalem may not mag-
not magnified above Judah. nify themselves against Judah.

The translator sometimes used synomyms even when the words do not recur
in close proximity to each other.

45 Qere =. Here the Greek text agrees with the qere in the MT.
Lexical Choice 93

Nouns, adjectives, and adverbs


MT OG 8evXIIgr
(1:13; 11:12), (1:17; 9:17; 8:19) 46
(8:9), (6:12.14.15) -
(4:6; 9:4), (14:14) 47
(9:13; 13:7), (11:17)48 -
(9:9), (14:15) -
(12:2), (2:5[9]; 7:7; 12:6; 14:14) -

In the rendering of we should notice the difference between the OG and


8evXIIgr. The latter uses in 1:13, while the OG has , which may
indicate that the reviser was less inclined to vary between synonyms.
We find another instance of the translators tendency to use synonymous
renderings in the expressions dealing with genealogy. Here we see that the
translator held or to be synonymous. He thus varied his rendering for
stylistic reasons.

1:1,497
6:10
6:11
6:1450

For some words it appears that the translators sense of synonymity differs
from ours. In the rendering of , iniquity, guilt, the translator used both
, lawlessness (3:4), and , unrighteousness (3:9). These words are
related in meaning, but we would not regard them as synonymous.

Verbs
We find the same tendency to use synonyms in the translators rendering of
verbs. In the following example, the rendering in 8evXIIgr may again indicate
that the reviser did not use synonyms as often as the OG translator.

46 Col. 29:38 = Zech 1:13.


47 Col. B2:15 = Zech 9:4.
48 It seems that the translator preferred in all other instances of , see Muraoka,
Amos, 499500.
49 See page 72.
50 See pages 205213 for the Greek rendering of the names in this verse.
94 CHAPTER 7

MT OG 8evXIIgr
1:17
-
2:13(17)
][51
3:2
-

For the Hebrew verb , to send, the translator alternated between


, to send away, and , to send out, apparently with-
out any distinction in meaning:52

2:9(13)

And you shall know that And you shall know that the Lord
Yahweh Zebaoth has sent me Almighty has sent me

2:11(15)

And you shall know that And you shall know that the Lord
Yahweh Zebaoth has sent Almighty has sent me to you
me to you

Similarly, in rendering of the word , rejoice, be glad, the words and


are used interchangeably.53

10:7



,

And Ephraim shall be like And they shall be like the warriors of
a mighty man, their heart Ephraim their heart shall rejoice as
shall rejoice as with wine with wine, and their children shall
and their children shall see it see it and be glad, and their heart
and rejoice, their heart shall shall rejoice in the Lord.
be glad in Yahweh.

51 Col 31:15.
52 See also 1:10; 2:8(12); 4:9; 6:15; 7:2,12; 8:10; 9:11.
53 See also 2:10(14); 4:10.
Lexical Choice 95

We find further evidence of this tendency in the rendering of , to


clothe, wear. In Zech 3:34, the translator rendered it , to put
on, clothe in, while in 3:5 he shifted to , to throw around, put on.
Three times in Zechariah we find the Piel infinitive construct of the root
prefixed by the preposition . This expression is rendered in two different ways.
Two verses at the end of Zechariah 8 illustrate the alternation:54

8:21


Come, let us go to entreat the Let us go to entreat the face of the
favor of Yahweh Lord

8:22 ... ...



And many people shall And many people shall come...
come...and to entreat the and to appease the face of the
favor of Yahweh Lord

In the rendering of the verb , the translator alternated between ,


to go out of, and , to go forth, without any apparent distinction
in meaning. The following verse serves as an example:55

5:5



And the angel who spoke with And the angel who spoke with me
me came forth and said to me: came forth and said to me: look up
lift your eyes and see what this with your eyes. And see what this is
is that comes forth. that comes forth.

The verb , to put, place, is rendered both by () to put, place and


to set before.56 The verb , often used in Hiphil with the meaning to
strike, smite, is rendered by , to strike, smite,57 and also by ,

54 In 7:2 is used for .



55 See also 9:14, 10:4; 14:2,3,8 () and 2:3(7); 5:3,6,9; 6:1,5,6,7,8; 8:10 ().
The translator used to carry out to render the hiphil of this verb (4:7; 5:4).
56 See 12:2,3,6 (), 3:5; 6:11 (), 7:12,14; 10:3 ().
57 9:4; 10:11; 12:4; 13:7.
96 CHAPTER 7

to strike, smite.58 We find another Hebrew word with a related meaning, ,


to strike, smite, in 14:12,18. In the first of these two verses the translator used
, to smite, slaughter, while in the second, he used .

Usage of one Greek word to translate different Hebrew words. A less common
phenomenon is the translators use of the same Greek word to translate dif-
ferent Hebrew words. In the cases of this phenomenon, the Greek renderings
seem to fit the context well:
In 14:4 the Hebrew text uses two different words for east, and ,
while the Greek uses , east, for both.
The translator used to render ( 1:17) and ( 1:12). Apparently the
translator understood these two Hebrew words to have overlapping semantic
fields.59
We noted above that the translator used and for the word
( 10:7). Apparently the translator also connected the word , rejoice, be
glad, to the same semantic field. He used for in the same verse.60
In 1:15 he used to translate and .61
, to forsake, desert, renders several Hebrew words. In 11:9 we find
it twice for the verb in Niphal, to be effaced, and in 13:8 we find it for ,
to expire, die.
Similarly, words from different roots in the phrase , he will blow
in the shofar, in 9:14 are translated by Greek words from the same stem,
, he will blow in the trumpet.62

Syntagmatic Relations
Word pairs. Some words occur frequently together in sentences, for example
footkick, earhear, cardrive. These pairs are based on the syntag-
matic relations the words have in discourse. The pairs influence the associa-
tions language users have with these words.

58 13:6.
59 For a further description of the rendering of these words, see page 103.
60 See page 94.
61 See pages 111 and 151.
62 James Palmer (Tracing Paper, 36) argues for further examples of this phenomenon. These
should, however, be treated as other phenomena. That the translator used
for both and in 1:15 is rather an example of the translator inferring from the con-
text the meaning of a word ( )he probably did not know (see page 111). Furthermore,
that the translator used for once (14:14) while he elsewhere consistently retains
this Greek word for is probably more indicative of the translators interpretation of the
text than of a strict linguistic consideration.
Lexical Choice 97

Syntagmatic relations are important for analyzing translations since we are


dealing with a discourse. Some words may be chosen in the rendering because
they occur frequently in syntagmatic relations. Below are the renderings in
OG-Zechariah where the translator has deviated from his usual rendering
because the word occurs in a sentence with a frequent syntagmatic relation.
The word , flesh, is used with different meanings in Zechariah. The
Greek renderings show how well the translator understood the nuances of the
word. In 2:13(17) we find the words Be silent, all people ( )before Yahweh.
The translation renders by , flesh, meat. In 11:16 we find again:
For behold I will raise up a shepherd in the land...but he will eat the flesh
( )of the fat [sheep]. Here, however, the translator used , a word that
is more specifically used for meat prepared for food. It appears that when the
word eat () is used, the translator viewed as the most suitable
rendering of . The distinction that the translator makes puts the rendering
of the two other occurrences of in an interesting perspective. In 14:12 we
find a description of a calamity which will befall the nations: and this shall
be the plague by which Yahweh will smite all the peoples that have made war
against Jerusalem: his flesh ( )shall rot away while he stands upon his feet.
Here we find in the Greek text, used for human flesh. We find a similar
usage in 11:9: and I said: I will not feed you. Let what is dying die, and what
is perishing perish. Let those that are left eat () each others flesh
(). The use of alongside in this verse translates vividly the
severity of the oracle.
We find several Greek renderings of the word . is used eight times,
all adequately rendering the Hebrew text.63 is, however, used a number of
times in word pairs such as 64 and and .65 In these syntagmatic
relations is adequately rendered by .

63 In 1:8 and 10 refers to a horse rider and is an adequate translation. The same goes
for 2:1(5) where there is a reference to a man holding a measuring line. The Hebrew text
of 3:8 has the plural construct form , which refers to the assembly around Joshua the
high priest. The Greek plural is used in the translation. 6:12 has a reference to the
one who should build the temple. In the context of Zechariah (e.g. 4:9) we know that this
is referring to Zerubbabel. is thus an adequate translation. In 7:2 we find the men of
Regem Melech . The Greek text uses as the translation of . In
8:23 the twice occurring root is rendered adequately by .
64 7:9,10.
65 3:10; 8:10,16; 11:6; 14:13.
98 CHAPTER 7

The Hebrew word , hoof, is rendered by the Greek word ,


the joints of ankle, in 11:16.66 When this word was used for a bulls hooves, the
translator used , hoof.67 In 11:16 the reference is to sheep. The translators
knowledge of animals and the verb dislocate explain the Greek rendering.
The translators renderings of the verb vary. , to eat (7:6), is used
with a human subject, and , to consume (9:4, 15), is used with
fire as the subject. , to eat, consume, is used both with a human
subject (11:9, 16) and with fire (11:1). Notably, in 12:6 the chiefs of Judah will be
like a torch of fire among sheaves and they will devour () the nations.
For some verbs it is clear that the translator took into account the object
when he chose the Greek rendering. In 9:6,10 we find two instances of the verb
in the Hiphil stem rendered differently: in 9:6 the translator used ,
to take down, since the object is pride (/), while in 9:10 he used
, to destroy, twice since the objects are chariot (/) and
bow (/).68
Another example of a verb where the object of the verb apparently influ-
enced the translators choice of rendering is , lift, carry, take. The most
common translation is , lift, carry, remove. This verb is used seven times
in contexts such as to lift up my/your eyes,69 and to lift up his head.70 The
translator also used , to lift up, in the sentence to lift up the horn
against Judah,71 and , lift up/out, in and a talent of lead was lifted
up.72 We also find , take, receive, in he shall receive majesty
(),73 and , take up into/along, in the line and they lifted
up the measure between the earth and the heaven.74 The choices the transla-
tor made in rendering this verb reflect his tendency to adjust his translation
to the context. Against this background, the rendering of in 5:5 stands
out. The text reads lift up your eyes, a context similar to others in which
was translated by . In 5:5, however, the rendering is , to
look up: , look up with your eyes. It seems clear

66 See the entry in LSJ which also suggests one of the vertebrae of the neck. Mur (72)
prefers this meaning in 11:16.
67 See for example Mic 4:13.
68  is also used in 13:2,8; 14:2.
69 1:18(2:1); 2:1(5); 5:1,9; 6:1.
70 1:21(2:4).
71 1:21(2:4).
72 5:7.
73 6:13.
74 5:9.
Lexical Choice 99

that the translator chose because of its syntagmatic relation to the


noun eyes.

Contextual influence. In quite a few places it appears that the translators gen-
eral understanding of the context caused him to vary his translation of indi-
vidual Hebrew words. The following analysis shows that the translator knew
different nuances of the Hebrew words and used suitable translations depend-
ing on the context. It also shows that the translator sometimes stretched the
meaning of words in order to make sense of the clause. This characteristic is an
important premise for the search of the translators interpretation of the text.
I therefore offer a number of examples in order to demonstrate this properly.
I have ordered the examples into two grops: verbs, nouns and adjectives.
The first group is the largest.
Verbs: The word may mean to sit and to dwell, reside. The translator
rendered adequately by and according to its context.75
The rendering of the verb was also adjusted to the context. The Hebrew
word can mean to turn, turn back, return and to answer depending on con-
text and binyan of the verb. The translator used different translations accord-
ing to his understanding of the text.
The most common translation is , to turn, return, but
, to turn away, also occurs frequently in OG-Zechariah.76

1:3

Thus says Yahweh Zebaoth: Thus says the Lord Almighty: return
return to me to me

1:4



Thus says Yahweh Zebaoth: Thus says the Lord Almighty: Turn
Turn from your evil ways away from your evil ways

It is of note that 8evXIIgr (Col. 28:42=1:4) has:

] * []
[

75 3:8; 5:7; 8:4 (), 1:11; 2:4(8),7(11); 7:7; 8:20,21; 9:5,6; 11:6; 12:5,6,7,8,10; 14:11 ().
76 See also 1:3,16; 4:1; 5:1; 6:1; 8:3; 10:9,10.
100 CHAPTER 7

This may be another instance where the revisor corrects the OGs tendency
toward lexical variation.77
In 7:14, however, contextual influence can be seen as the translator rendered
with , to turn back, in pair with , to pass through:




And the land was desolate after And the land will be annihilated behind
them, so that no one passed through them of anyone passing through and
nor turned back anyone turning back

We find a similar Hebrew expression in 9:8, though with different Greek words
to translate it:





And I will camp around my house And I will set up a garrison for my
against an army, so that no one house that they may not pass through,
passes through nor returns nor turn back

In the context of dialogue, in 1:6, is translated by , to reply.




They turned78 and said: As Yahweh They answered and said: As the
purposed Lord determined

The verb , to repay offers an adequate translation of in the


context of 9:12:




Even today I declare that I will repay And for one day of your exile I will
you double repay you double

In 13:7 the Hebrew source of the Greek translation may have been slightly dif-
ferent from the MT at the end of the verse, but the usage of to bring
upon is influenced by the preceding context.

77 See pages 93, 101, 108, and 119.


78 Several modern translations have the repented and said (e.g. NRSV, NIV).
Lexical Choice 101







Smite the shepherd and the sheep Smite the shepherds and draw out the
shall be scattered I will turn my sheep I will bring my hand against the
hand upon the little ones shepherds

The verb denotes several actions such as to call, summon, proclaim,


read. The translator rendered it with various Greek words that are suited to
the context:

, to charge
1:4







Be not as your fathers, unto And be not as your fathers, whom the
whom the former prophets former prophets charged
proclaimed

8evXIIgr (Col 28:3941) changes the verb:

[] [ ] [- ]

, to cry out79
1:14


And the angel that spoke to me, And the angel that spoke with me said
said to me: proclaim, saying to me: cry out, saying

8evXIIgr (Col. 29:3940) apparently retains the same verb:80

[...] [

, to call together
3:10

79 See also 1:17.


80 See pages 93, 100, 108, and 119.
102 CHAPTER 7

You shall invite; everyone his You shall call together; everyone his
neighbor under his vine tree neighbor under his vine tree

, to speak
7:781


Are these not the words which Are these not the words which the
Yahweh spoke Lord spoke

, to say, to speak, and , to cry


7:13



And it happened, just as he And it will happen, just as he spoke
called, and they would not and they would not listen, so they
listen, so they will call and I will cry and I will not listen
will not listen

, to call82
8:3



And Jerusalem shall be called and Jerusalem shall be called the true
the city of truth city

, to call upon
13:9 ,

He shall call on my name, and I He shall call upon my name, and I
will answer him will hear him

The verb is used in a variety of ways in Zechariah. In Qal the verb


means to pass over/through, and the Greek translator appropriately used
, to pass through,83 , to pass across/through,84 and
, to go/pass through.85 In 9:8, where occurs in conjunction with

81 See page 79 for the addition of .


82 See also 11:7.
83 7:14.
84 9:8.
85 10:11.
Lexical Choice 103

/ , over them, the translator accurately used , to


come upon.86 The Hiphil of , to cause to pass, is renderd with , to
remove,87 or , to lift up.88
The various senses of the verb were apparently well understood by the
Greek translator who rendered differently all three of its occurrences.

, to have mercy on89


1:17

And Yahweh shall again And the Lord shall again have mercy on
comfort Zion Zion

, to repent
8:14 ...
... ,

As I purposed to do evil As I purposed to harm you...says the
unto you...says Yahweh Lord Almighty, and I did not repent
Zebaoth, and did not repent

, to comfort
10:2 ...
...

And the diviners see lies... And the diviners [uttered] false
[and] comfort in vain visions...consoling with vanities

The translator rendered by two different Greek verbs: to have mercy


on, and to love.

1:12



Yahweh Zebaoth, until when Lord Almighty, until when will you not
will you not have compassion have mercy on Jerusalem
with Jerusalem

86 9:8.
87 3:4.
88 13:2.
89 See page 96.
104 CHAPTER 7

10:6






90 ,

And I will strengthen the And I will strengthen the house of
house of Judah, and I will save Judah, and I will save the house of
the house of Joseph, and I will Joseph, and I will settle them, for I have
bring them back, for I have loved them
compassion with them
90
The translators renderings of the verb , to flow, overflow, vary in the
two different contexts where it occurs. In 1:17 (my cities shall again overflow
[ ]with prosperity), it is rendered by in the passive voice,
meaning to be poured/spread about.91 In 13:7 (strike the shepherd and the
sheep will be scattered [)], the translator used , to draw out, in
the imperative voice.92
The verb , to answer, respond, is usually translated by the Greek
, to answer, but the translator deviated from this choice in a few
passages. In 4:4,12 we find , to ask, since that is what the subject of
the verb does in context. In 10:6 and 13:9 we find the Greek verb , to
hear, listen. The Greek translation refers to the action that precedes a pos-
sible answer. In these verses this shift should not be interpreted as if the sub-
ject of the verb, Yahweh, will listen but not respond, since the verses mention
several actions Yahweh performs, among them, listening. The Greek usage
of in these verses is therefore best viewed as an adjustment to the
context.
Another variation between two renderings of the same Hebrew verb is
found in 11:56. There the text runs and their own shepherds have no pity on
( )them. For I shall no longer have pity on ( )the inhabitants of the
land. The Greek translation varies in the rendering of : and their shep-
herds have not suffered () for them. Therefore I will no longer spare
() the inhabitants of the land. The alternation of the verbs does
not change the meaning of the sentence significantly, but it makes the Greek
text clear.

90 Here the translator read the root and not .


91 Brenton translates yet shall cities be spread abroad through prosperity while NETS has
cities shall again be flooded with good things.
92 Here Brenton translates smite the shepherds, and draw out the sheep while NETS has
smite the shepherds, and remove the sheep.
Lexical Choice 105

In 11:13 we find the Hiphil stem of the Hebrew verb twice, both times with
the thirty pieces of silver mentioned in 11:12 as its object. The Greek translator
chose , to drop, for the first rendering while he opted for ,
to cast into, for the second.93 The reason for this alternation is probably the
different place into which the pieces of silver are to be thrown in each context.
In the first occurence in the Greek text, they are put in a furnace.94 In the
second occurrence the words to the House of the Lord come before into the
furnace. This may have affected the choice of rendering in the Greek text.
The phrase
is rendered by
do not remember in your hearts in 7:10, and by
do not devise in your heart in 8:17. These renderings are influ-
enced by their contexts.

Nouns and adjectives: The word is used several times in Zechariah. In the
Greek translation we find , head, in the instances where is used
with this basic meaning (1:21[2:4]; 3:5 [2x]; 6:11). But in 4:2 where refers to
the top of a candlestick, it is rendered by the Greek preposition , upon.
Another polysemic word is , breath, wind, spirit. The translator ren-
dered this word by three different Greek words:
For wind he used either or .

6:595
The four winds of the heavens The four winds of the heaven

5:9
,


And look, two women coming And look, two women coming for-
forward, and wind was in their ward, and wind was in their wings
wings

For spirit, merciful or unclean, human or divine, is used (4:6; 7:12;


12:1,10; 13:2).

4:6


93 In 5:8 the translator used yet another Greek verb, to throw.
94 In the Hebrew text it is artist, potter.
95 See also 2:6(10).
106 CHAPTER 7

Not by might, not by power, but Not by mighty power, nor by


by my spirit, says Yahweh Zebaoth strength, but by my spirit says the
Lord Almighty

In 6:8, the word anger is used adequately:


They have set my spirit at rest in They have quieted my anger in the
the north country north country

The word , poor, afflicted, humble, is used with its basic meaning in 7:10
do not oppress the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, or the poor () .
Here the translator chose to render it by , poor, needy. In the proph-
ecy in 9:9, however, he renders by , humble, meek. The context
describes the coming King, and the translation is suitable in light of the ideal of
a humble leader, which stretches back to the descriptions of Moses as the
most humble man on earth in Num 12:3. The Greek translation of Num 12:3
uses in the description of Moses.96
In Zechariah 14 we find a description of the day of Yahweh. Yahweh will
come to Jerusalem where his enemies are gathered. When he comes the Mount
of Olives will split open and a great valley (, 14:4,5) will be formed. The
Greek translation first renders by , chaos, chasm, (14:4) and then by
the more conventional , chasm, ravine (14:5). LEH suggests that
was chosen because of its homophony with ,97 but the apocalyptic genre of
the text may have been just as important for this lexical choice.98

Summary
n this section I have studied aspects of the diversity in lexical choice in
OG-Zechariah by the categories: variation based on paradigmatic relations and
variation based on syntagmatic relations. To the first category belong words
that are nearly synonymous. The alternation of renderings was apparently
due to the translators stylistic concerns. Such variation was probably impor-
tant for the translator. This is also indicated by the fact that he rarely used the
same Greek word to render several Hebrew words. In the text of 8evXIIgr, we
may observe how the revisor corrected this approach, apparently preferring
consistency in the renderings.

96 See the paragraphs on pages 166 and 18084.


97 So also Jansma, Inquiry, 119.
98 See also Mic 1:6 for the same equivalent.
Lexical Choice 107

The second category shows a different form of variation in the choice of


translation. Here the variation is a result of the relation a word has to other
words in the discourse. It may be the influence of one specific word or of the
general context of the passage.
Both these categories shed light on different aspects of how and why the
translator varied his lexical choices in translation. A common concern among
all the renderings was to create a text that worked well in Greek. We may there-
fore say that the translators diversity in lexical choice reflects his orientation
towards the target language.
An orientation towards the target culture may be seen in the examples in
the next paragraph, in which I will look at a monotheistic tendency in the
renderings.

Ideological/Theological Exegesis

Sometimes the translators ideological and theological views seem to have


guided his choice of translation. In Part Two of this study, I devote several
chapters to possible cases of ideological exegesis. In the present section, I will
look at some examples where a theological motivation seems to lie behind the
translation.99
I have already mentioned the usage of the epithet , almighty.100
It appears that the translator preferred this majestic epithet to the war-inspired
Hebrew source word, . According to Ccile Dogniez, this may be seen as
part of the translators view of Yahweh as the universal god, without rivals.101 A
few other instances in the translation may reflect this view.
In Zech 9:1 we find the beginning of an oracle against the land of Hadrach
and Damascus. The second hemistich continues: for to Yahweh is the eye of
man () .102 This line is somewhat obscure and Katrina Larkin

99 I define theology to be teachings concerning god(s), while ideology includes matters


of a more general religious, cultural or political character.
100 See pages 15 and 88.
101 See Dogniez, Le Dieu des armes, 2930. Glenny (Finding Meaning, 185199) embraces
this view and developes it with a study of anthropomorphism, anthropopathisms, and
reverential language. Glenny does not find a systematic avoidance of anthropomor-
phisms. This conclusion is similar to Palmers (Tracing Paper, 167169) findings concern-
ing OG-Zechariah.
102 There have been several suggestions for textual emendations of . Magne Sb
(Sacharja, 45, n9) mentions many of them, but underlines that the Targum and the
108 CHAPTER 7

translates when the eyes of mankind are turned to the LORD.103 Larkin and
several other scholars assume that Isaiah 17 served as a source for the oracle in
Zech 9:18.104 In Isaiah 17 we find an oracle against Damascus and in Isa 17:7
we find the statement on that day shall a man ( )regard his Maker, and
his eyes ( )shall look to the Holy One of Israel. If we let Isaiah 17 guide our
understanding, the meaning of the line in Zech 9:1 would be that mankind
should turn their attention to Yahweh.
In the Greek translation of Zech 9:1 we find a different understanding; it
reads, for the Lord looks upon men ( ). The idea is
not that mankind should turn towards the true deity, but rather that the deity
watches over mankind. The deity thus has a more active role in the Greek text.
This change may be seen as a reflection of the translators theology.
In 8evXIIgr (Col. B2:37) this apparently free rendering is revised towards
the Hebrew text:

* [ ]
[ ,]
* [ ]
[
...[
*Paleo-Hebrew tetragram

It is also worth noting how the translator rendered references to idols. In 10:2
we find the words for the teraphim ( )have spoken vanity, and the divin-
ers have seen a lie. It appears that the LXX/OG translators understood as
a kind of an idol.105 The translator of Zechariah apparently wished to avoid the
notion of idols uttering words and rendered the line in 10:2 as for the speakers
() have spoken troubling things, and the seer false dreams.
In 11:17 we find a possible instance of this phenomenon in the line woe
to the worthless shepherd () . Although modern translations usually
render the word by an adjective, the LXX/OG translators understood

Peshitta support the MT. Anthony Gelston (BHQ 141*) maintains a similar view. He claims
that there is no textual support for the emendations.
103 Larkin, Eschatology, 5758.
104 Larkin, Eschatology, 58.
105 In Genesis it is translated by idol, in 1 Kgdms by idol, household god,
in Ezekiel by carved image, while in Judges we find the transliteration .
Lexical Choice 109

as a reference to an idol.106 The Greek version of Zech 11:17 renders this word
by in the line: woe to those who tend the empty things ( ).
In 12:11 we find the mentioning of the deity Hadad Rimmon (). It
appears that the translator rendered by pomegranate which is a possible
interpretation of these consonants, but left out . Note also that the transla-
tor probably read a participle form of the root to hew instead of and
rendered it by a passive participle of to cut out.

12:11



On that day the mourning in On that day the mourning in
Jerusalem will be as great as the Jerusalem will be great like the
mourning for Hadad-Rimmon in mourning for a pomegranate orchard
the plain of Megiddo. cut down in the plain.

These two changes result in a different, yet fully comprehensible Greek text.
We should of course consider whether the Greek text here reflects variant
readings; it is possible that the Hebrew source of the translator did not have
. On the other hand, reference to a variant source does not explain the
deviation in the rendering of ;and it should be noted that 4QXIIe con-
firms the text [ ]. In other words, there is no compelling reason to
assume a variant in the source text.107 Instead it appears likely that the transla-
tor may have wished to avoid a reference to the deity Hadad Rimmon.108 Why
should the mourning for Jerusalem be compared to the mourning for Hadad
Rimmon?109 The translator probably found no reason to mourn this deity and
simply attempted to avoid any reference to its cult.110

106 We find the following renderings: idol, made with hands,
abomination, god, omen from birds, and demon.
107 See Jansma, Inquiry, 119; Sb, Sacharja, 102; BHQ, 146*.
108 As opposed to Gelston (BHQ, 146*) who claims that G fails to recognize the proper name.
To interpret the name as a reference to the deity itself is preferred to a reference to a
town/village. For a brief introduction to the different positions see ABD Hadadrimmon.
109 In contrast, the Targum of Zechariah uses the reference to Hadad Rimmon to allude to
two historical events as the mourning for Ahab son of Omri whom Hadadrimmon son of
Tabrimmon killed, and as the mourning for Josiah son of Amon whom Pharao the Lame
killed in the valley of Megiddon. Translation from Dogniez, Some Similarities, 96.
110 Lucian/Pseudo-Lucian in The Syrian Goddess (second century CE) claims to have seen
this cult firsthand in Hierapolis.
110 CHAPTER 7

In 1:6 the translator added the verb , you receive, and the adver-
bial expression , by my spirit, which further describes the verb
I command.111 In addition, the verbs in the translation are in present tense
while the one verb in the Hebrew text is in the perfect. Here the translator
let the oracle address the audience directly, apparently to underline the rel-
evance of the words of the prophets. The addition of describes
the manner in which the deity communicates with his messengers, the proph-
ets; specifically it indicates that this communication took place on the spiri-
tual level. The addition brings to mind the words in 4:6 which are spoken to
Zerubbabel concerning his leadership in the rebuilding of the temple, not by
power, not by might, but by my spirit, says Yahweh Zebaoth. These changes
may be important clues to how the translator understood the prophetic texts.

Translation of Unknown Words

In this paragraph I will examine instances where the translator had difficul-
ties understanding the Hebrew text. I will discuss the conjectural manner by
which he arrived at his renderings. It seems fair to assume that the translator
did not always know the Hebrew words in his source text. But it is possible to
detect such instances only when the translator made wrong judgments about
the meaning of the source text.
Emanuel Tov has developed analytical tools in order to categorize the dif-
ferent forms of conjecture we find in the translations. He identifies six types
of conjectural renderings: untranslated words, contextual guesses, contextual
manipulation, reliance on parallelism, employment of general words, and
etymological renderings.112 There are no clear-cut borders between these cat-
egories, and several of the examples below could arguably have been placed
in another category. The categorization is, however, not the main point, but
rather a way to shed light on the description of this aspect of translation.

Untranslated Words
Some words were left untranslated because the translator did not know their
meaning, that is, the translator transliterated them.113 This group of renderings

111 See page 75.


112 Emanuel Tov, Did the Septuagint Translators Always Understand Their Hebrew Text?
203218, in The Greek and Hebrew Bible: Collected Essays on the Septuagint, ed. Emanuel
Tov (Leiden: Brill, 1999), 204.
113 For a discussion of transliteration in the LXX/OG see Emanuel Tov, Loan-Words,
Homophony, and Transliterations in the Septuagint, 165182, in The Greek and Hebrew
Bible: Collected Essays on the Septuagint, ed. Emanuel Tov (Leiden: Brill, 1999), 174180.
Lexical Choice 111

is considered to be the group where we may say with the most certainty that
the translator did not understand the Hebrew word.114 In OG-Zechariah we
only find one example that may be placed in this category. This categorization
is, however, not clear-cut since the transliteration is a toponym.

14:10
And she shall be lifted and sit Rama will remain in her place
in her place

The line is difficult because of the word itself, and because it seems mis-
placed in the context.115 The translator of the Greek text did not recognise the
root , but rather transliterated it as a toponym. The line follows a string of
toponyms which made such identification convenient. It may be argued116 that
this comes closer to contextual manipulation than the kind of transliterations
Tov mentions in his article.117

Contextual Guesses
In 1:15 we find the adjective , at ease, secure rendered by a middle parti-
ciple of , to join in attacking (mid). It appears that the translator
did not understand the Hebrew word.

1:15118


And I am angry with a great And I am angry with a great anger
anger with the nations that with the nations that join in attacking
are at ease

Here the translator found to join in attacking to be a likely cause of Yahwehs


anger.
The exact references of animal names are difficult to assert when we meet
them in a foreign language. We may lack knowledge of the language, and we

114 Tov, Septuagint Translators, 204.


115 This difficulty is also reflected in modern translations that vary their translation of the
line.
116 Palmer, Tracing Paper, 43.
117 Tov (Septuagint Translators, 204) uses examples like (Judg 8:7), and
(1 Chron 21:20).
118 See also pages 90, 96, and 151.
112 CHAPTER 7

may not be familiar with the animal in question. The same challenge faced the
translator of Zechariah. In 5:9 we find the mention of a bird.

5:9

And they had wings, like the And they had wings, like the wings of
wings of a stork a hoopoe bird

The translator understood from the context that was some kind of a
bird, but apparently he did not know exactly what species of bird. He solved
the problem by using the name of a bird he knew.
Zechariah 6:3 is another instance where the translator used the context to
find a rendering for a word it appears he did not understand.119 Here it is the
word that creates the problem.

6:3



And in the fourth chariot, And in the fourth chariot, spotted,
spotted, strong horses dappled horses

There is a debate among modern scholars what means,120 but it appears


that the translator inferred his translation from the context. Zechariah 1:8 also
describes the colors of some horses. Here the translator renders by
. It seems that the translator looked to 1:8 and described the color of
the horses by two synonymous adjectives.121
In 9:5 the Greek text has an unexpected equivalent for , her expec-
tations, namely, , over her transgressions.122 This
deviation has no obvious textual explanation.123 It is conceivable that the
Greek translator read as derived from the root /, to speak rashly,

119 See also 6:7.


120 B DB: strong, Holloday: flesh colored, piebald, TWOT: This adjective occurs only in the
plural and only in Zech 6:3,7 where it indicates horses harnessed to chariots. The word is
used to describe the fourth pair of horses in a series. The first three are given colors and it
seems incongruous to call the last pair strong. HALOT defines the meaning as piebald
from a cognate root in Arabic.
121 Hanhart, Sacharja, 3834.
122 The Alexandrian text group, Codex Syrohexaplaris, and some of the church fathers have
, see DP, 310.
123 Sb (Sacharja, 48) concludes similarly.
Lexical Choice 113

thoughtlessly.124 Such a suggestion, however, does not explain why he trans-


lated with transgression. Rather, it seems that the translator chose a render-
ing that he found suitable in the context.125
In 10:4 we find another instance where the Hebrew text is difficult, and again
the translator infers his translation from the context.

10:34



And he set them like his And he set them as his well prepared
majestic horse in war. From horse in war. From it he looked, from
him comes the cornerstone, it he arranged the army, from it came
from him the tent peg, from a bow in fury
him the battle bow

Here the translator apparently assumes that the image in 10:3 continues in 10:4.
Yahweh sits on his horse and arranges his troops. In this context, the transla-
tor also chose the renderings and for and . The first of
these verbs is the result of a different vocalization,126 while, as Palmer sug-
gests, the second may be a manipulation of the consonants. Palmer suggests
two options: either , to appoint/assign, or the Aramaic , which in the
Egyptian dialect means to prepare.127 Both explanations are possible.128
The word , load, burden, in 12:3 is a hapax legomenon. It is used in a
construct expression with the word stone and probably refers to a stone that
was lifted to prove ones strength.129 The translator probably did not under-
stand it, but attempted to interpret it from the context and rendered it with a
participle of the verb to trample.130

124 See Gelston, BHQ, 142*.


125 See Jansma, Inquiry, 66.
126 See the paragraph of homographs on pages 3134.
127 Palmer, Tracing Paper, 5152.
128 The rendering for at the end of the line probably reflects a different phe-
nomenon. There is no reason that the translator should not translate this Hebrew word. It
seems clear that reflects while may possibly reflect in the Hebrew source.
129 Sb, Sacharja, 92.
130 Sb, Sacharja, 93. See my discussion of these verses on page 159.
114 CHAPTER 7

12:3






And it shall happen on that day And it shall happen on that day I will
I will set Jerusalem as a stone of set Jerusalem as a trampled stone for
burden for all the nations, and all the nations; all who trample on her
all that burden themselves by it shall utterly mock her.
shall be severely wounded.

Another rendering in this verse seems to have been inferred the rendering
from the context: the Hebrew word , to incise, scratch is rare and the
translator has rendered it by , to mock.
In 14:20 we find the expression , which is usually understood
as on the bells of the horse. On these bells Holy to Yahweh is written. This
Hebrew word, , is a hapax legomenon, and it appears that the translator
did not fully understand it. The Greek text has on the
bridle of the horse.131
More examples of contextual guesses in OG-Zechariah may possibly be
argued for,132 and some of the examples I have given may perhaps be explained
otherwise. It is beyond doubt, however, that the translator, when he did not
fully understand a word in the Hebrew source, sometimes guessed the mean-
ing on the basis of the context.

Contextual Manipulation
The translators sometimes manipulated the Hebrew consonants in order to
arrive at words that would fit the context. As Tov suggests in his description of
this category, the translators either did not understand the source text or they
adapted the rendering in light of other changes or mistranslations.133 In this
connection we should note what Tov writes about pseudo-variants: variants
that only occurred in the mind of the translator.134 Such pseudo-variants are
very difficult to distinguish from real variants in the source of the translator.

131 Sb, Sacharja, 126; Gelston, BHQ, 148*.


132 See Palmer, Tracing Paper, 4447.
133 Tov, Septuagint Translators, 211.
134 See also Tov, Text-Critical Use, 162171.
Lexical Choice 115

James Palmer argues that contextual manipulation is the translators pre-


ferred way of rendering difficult Hebrew words.135 Palmer provides several
examples that he suggests attest to the phenomenon. Below, I will discuss the
most convincing instances, some of which Palmer also mentions.
In 10:10 we find the rendering (and
not even one of them will be left behind) for ( and it will not be
found for them). The discrepancy seems to depend on the translators under-
standing of the passage.136
In 11:14, we find the hapax legomenon in the line .
Usually it is taken to mean brotherhood, but the Greek text uses ,
the inheritance. This rendering probably reflects , possession, either
in the source text or as a manipulation by the translator. It is virtually impos-
sible to exclude one of these possibilities in favor of the other. But we should
note that the infinitive in this phrase, to break () , is rendered by to scat-
ter (), which is clearly an adjustment made by the translator. The
word may be part of the same change.
In 13:1 we find that the MT has , fountain, while the Greek rendering
, place, seems to stem from the word , place. Again it is very dif-
ficult to determine whether or not the reading in the Greek text reflects a vari-
ant or not. If it does, it should, as Sb suggests, be viewed as secondary to
since the verb , be opened, applies better to than to .137 A
further indication that the reading may be ascribed to the translator is that
we find the plus , all, before place. This may be a part of the translators
contextual manipulation.
The final example is from 14:6. In the MT, the first part reads and it shall
happen in that day, that there shall be no light, but the two words ending the
verse, , are difficult. Many commentators assume that the MT is
corrupt here.138 It is difficult to know what text the Greek translator read. The
text 139 and cold weather and frost may be explained by
an interchange of and for , either in the source text or in the mind of the

135 Palmer, Tracing Paper, 47.


136 See pages 14245 for a discussion.
137 Sb, Sacharja, 103.
138 See for instance BHS. See also Barthlemy, zchiel, Daniel et les 12 Prophtes, 10081009.
139 Codex Washington, Codex Vaticanus, Codes Sinaiticus, and a number of other text wit-
nesses have . Ziegler follows these manuscripts in his edition of the text while Rahlfs
prefers which is found in the remaining manuscripts.
116 CHAPTER 7

translator. The word probably relies on reading the noun , cold, in the
word , and agrees with the qere.140

Reliance on Parallelism
It seems that in OG-Zechariah the translator rarely inferred the meaning of an
unknown word from a parallel expression. I have found only two examples.141
The word , he-goat (10:3), is used only a few times in the Bible, and the
manner in which the translator handles it probably reveals that he was not
familiar with it.

10:3



My anger is kindled against My anger was kindled against the
the shepherds and I will visit shepherds and I will care for the lambs
the he-goats

The second line of the parallel has a different meaning in the Greek text than
it does in the Hebrew source. In the source, the second line states a negative
message parallel to the first line, but this is not so in the Greek. It appears
that parallelism with the shepherds made the translator chose lambs for
. The verb, , stands closer to the idea take care of than its
equivalent, , which is used in this context with a negative connotation.
In 12:6 we find the word , laver, pan. This word is used in cultic contexts.
In such texts we usually find , basin, in the translation. The rendering
seems to be influenced by the second comparison in 12:6, like a torch
of fire in stubble.

140 Palmer (Tracing Paper, 54) also suggests that the rendering of the insignifi-
cants in 13:7 by the shepherds may count as another example of contex-
tual manipulation. This is in my opinion a possible explanation, but it is difficult to find
arguments that clearly favour it. In 13:7 it appears that the translator read . The
consonants in and are fairly similar and in the context we find several
times, but this reading may just as well stem from the Hebrew source as from the transla-
tors conjecture.
141 Palmer (Tracing Paper, 5657) mentions three: (10:1);
(10:2); and (10:3). The two first are arguably exam-
ples of other strategies: see pages 120 (10:1), and 108 (10:2).
Lexical Choice 117

12:6




I will set the chiefs of Judah I will set the officers of thousands of
like a pan of fire among the Judah as a firebrand among wood and
wood and like a torch of fire as a torch of fire in stubble
among sheaves

Employment of General Words


Our translator rarely resorted to general words when he did not understand the
Hebrew text. James Palmer mentions two possible instances of this approach,
but it is, as he admits, difficult to prove the use of this technique.142 One pos-
sible example of this technique follows.
In 3:9 the Hebrew text uses the verb , to engrave, which the translator
seems not to have understood in this sentence. This verb has a much more
common homonym root , to open, but the translator rendered the text
rather freely.

3:9 ... ...



For, look, the stone which... For the stone which...
Look I am engraving its engraving look I dig a hole

The Greek text has to dig a hole which is more general than to engrave. In
the Greek text, moreover, there is no rendering of the pronominal suffix and
thus the connection to the stone that was to be engraved is lost. Instead, it
seems that the translator connects his reference to digging with the following
line in the text I will search out all the injustice in the land in one day.143

Etymological Renderings
Another strategy for translating unknown words appears nine times in
OG-Zechariah. It appears that the translator rendered unknown words etymo-
logically, that is, on the basis of a root which may graphically be associated
with the word. Tov uses two sub-categories: Root-linked renderings, where

142  (7:14), and (2:9[13]); Palmer, Tracing Paper,


5758.
143 Apparently also the Peshitta and the Targum had difficulties with this line, see BHQ.
Hanhart (Sacharja, 175) suggests that the lack of the actual inscription may explain the
variation among the renderings.
118 CHAPTER 7

the translator discovers a root in the unknown word and renders it by a com-
mon translation of this root; and Etymological guesses, where the transla-
tion is based a conjecture often disregarding some letters or elements of the
Hebrew word.144 There is, however, not a clear-cut division between these
groups and some of the examples below may be placed in either sub-category.

Root-linked renderings. In 4:7 it seems that the translator rendered the word
, level place, by its root, .145

4:7

, ,

Who are you, great mountain Who are you, great mountain, before
before Zerubbabel, that you Zerubbabel, that you should prosper
should become a plain?

The Greek word may mean to set upright, erect and also to suc-
ceed, prosper and thus has semantic links to the Hebrew verb which
means to be level, straight and also to be upright, just.146
The Hebrew root , to border, is used a few times as a verb in the Hebrew
Bible, but it is far more common to find this root as the noun , border,
area. In 9:2 the verb is used:147

9:12a



For to Yahweh is the eye of For the Lord looks upon men and all
man and all the tribes of Israel the tribes of Israel and Emath, in her
and also Hamath borders on it borders

The Greek equivalent of the Hebrew clause


is . This
may reflect a different Hebrew source, ,148 but given the changes such a

144 Tov, Septuagint Translators, 2168.


145 BHQ suggests that the translator here made a grammatical error, apparantly taking
to be an infinitive. Hanhart (Sacharja, 246) proposes that the difficult syntactical struc-
ture of the Hebrew clause made it hard to understand. This resulted in the peculiar
translation.
146 See Mic 7:2.
147 For 9:1 see page 108.
148 Or perhaps , Jansma, Inquiry, 63.
Lexical Choice 119

reconstruction requires, it is more likely that the translator had some difficul-
ties with this phrase and rendered it according to his interpretation of the root
. 8evXIIgr (Col B2:78) revises the line into: [ ].

Etymological guesses. In one of the vision sections of Zechariah, the prophet


sees several horsemen (1:8). The first man is sitting on a red horse among
myrtle trees, according to the MT. In the Greek text this horseman is standing
between shady mountains.

1:8

And he is standing between And he was standing between the
the myrtle trees which are shady mountains.
in the ravine.

The first deviation, , probably relies on a variant in the Hebrew


source, .149 This variant may have been influenced by the mentioning of
two mountains in the vision of the four chariots in 6:1.150 The second devia-
tion, , is more difficult to explain. Robert Hanhart traces the
Greek rendering back to a different Hebrew source that contained some vari-
ant of the root /, perhaps , shady, or , in the shade.151
is, however, a hapax legomenon and it is possible that the translator did not
understand it. He may therefore have tried to extract some meaning out of the
word and found the consonants . These consonants may have led him to use
which suits well.152
In 9:6 we find the word , bastard, in the Hebrew text. Here the Greek
translator used , foreigners, as the rendering.153

9:6

149 This seems to be the conclusion of several scholars: BHS; Hanhart, Sacharja, 54.
150 In many Greek manuscripts, it seems clear that this connection is made. They have
just as the two mountains described in 6:1. See the text in Rahlfs and the appa-
ratus in DP, Hanhart, Sacharja, 54, and BHQ.
151 Hanhart, Sacharja, 54.
152 See also page 40.
153 Sb (Sacharja, 48) reconstructs , but regards to be older than , since it is
the more difficult reading. However, is without any support from the manuscripts
and BHQ correctly suggests that the translator had in his text.
120 CHAPTER 7

And a bastard shall dwell in And foreigners shall dwell in Ashdod,


Ashdod, and I will cut off the and I will bring down the pride of the
pride of the Philistines. foreign tribes.

is rare in the Hebrew Scriptures and it appears that he translator was not
familiar with the word.154 It seems instead as if the translator made his choice
on the basis of the last two consonants in the Hebrew word and . is a com-
mon equivalent for .
In 10:1 we find the word , thunderbolt, lightning flash. This is a rare
word, used only in Job 28:26 in addition to this verse in Zechariah. It appears
that the translator etymologizes from the stem .155

10:1


Ask Yahweh for rain in Ask for rain from the Lord in the season,
the time of the latter rain, the early and the latter, the Lord has
Yahweh who makes lightning made manifestations156

In Zechariah 12 we find another rendering where the translator apparently


assumed a root that is not present in the Hebrew text.

12:5



And the chiefs of Judah will And the officers of Judah will say in their
say in their hearts: a strength hearts: we shall find for ourselves the
for me are the inhabitants of inhabitants of Jerusalem
Jerusalem

154 Deut 23:3 has the only other occurence of . Here the translator renders by .
Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion did not recognize the word and transliterated by
.
155 Jansma, Inquiry, 80; BHQ.
156 This Greek word is not easy to translate into English in this passage. I have chosen mani-
festations on the basis of Mur. NETS uses representations, Brenton bright signs, LBA
fulgurances, SD sichtbare Zeichen.
Lexical Choice 121

The Greek translator probably found the root in the word in order
to arrive at in the translation.157 The translator has furthermore
adapted the person and number of the verb and the reflexive pronoun to fit
the context.
There are other instances of this strategy in OG-Zechariah in 6:10, 14, and
12:11. I have discussed 12:11 above,158 and I will discuss Zechariah 6 at length in
chapter 11.159

Conclusions

This chapter has dealt with the rendering of single words. The rendering of sin-
gle words has often been studied through the use of the dichotomies literal
free or stereotypednon-stereotyped. The aim of this chapter was not to
place OG-Zechariah in one of these categories, but to look more closely at how
the translator worked and to analyze his choices from a variety of perspectives.
Regarding words the translator consistently rendered by the same Greek
word, I found that some of these were words of high religious and cultural
significance. Sometimes this approach seems to have been chosen for stylistic
reasons, and at other times for the sake of convenience.
More striking is the translators tendency to vary his renderings. I classified
the types of variation into two groups: 1) variation based on the paradigmatic
relations a word might have, 2) variation based on the syntagmatic relations
a word has in its context. The main conclusion from the analysis is that the
translator was mindful of his source text, but at the same time was interested
in producing a Greek text that made sense to the reader. When he rendered
with various synonyms, it was for stylistic reasons, but his variations on the
basis of syntagmatic relations usually serve to make the text clear.
Palmer draws a similar conclusion when he writes that the translator
prefers to give his readers a text which, while authorised by the original, is
coherent in its own terms.160 The conclusions Glenny draws concerning the
translation of Amos are consistent with Palmers.161
I have also mentioned a few instances where the translator seems to have
theological or ideological motivations for his renderings. Several of these

157 Sb, Sacharja, 93; BHQ.


158 See pages 82 and 109.
159 See pages 205213.
160 Palmer, Tracing Paper, 65.
161 Glenny, Finding Meaning, 105108.
122 CHAPTER 7

examples may be indications of the translators monotheistic faith. In this


section I looked at a change in 1:6, which seems to reveal some of the trans-
lators understanding of prophetic texts. The translator directed the message
to his audience, probably attempting to underline the relevance of the text.
This attitude further encourages the search for the translators understanding
of thetext.
The consideration of different strategies the translator used for unfamiliar
words, like the analysis of his diveristy of lexical choice, seems to show that
the translator was concerned with producing a meaningful text. His preferred
strategies were to infer meaning from the context and to make etymological
conjectures based on the consonants of difficult words (other strategies are:
transliteration, reliance on parallellism, and employment of general words).
CHAPTER 8

Conclusions to Part One

Based on the preceding analyses of translation technique (chapters 27),


I conclude that the translator adopted a literal translation approach. At the
same time, he was careful to use words and expressions that made the text
intelligible.
I find that the translator is literal based on an analysis of word order
(chapter4) and quantitative representation of both the words (chapter 5)
and the constituent elements of words (chapter 3). Apparently the translator
attempted to attain a certain ideal of accuracy. The aim for accuracy may have
served to secure that the translation was well received in the Jewish commu-
nity. The Letter of Aristeas (310) describes accuracy as one of the characteristics
of LXX, which secured the acclamation of the Jewish community. Reading The
Letter of Aristeas in its second century context the description of LXXs accu-
racy was probably intended in order to enhance the translations authority.1
Although the findings in these chapters demonstrate a source oriented
translation, there are also indications that the translator attempted to produce
a readable Greek text. This appears to be the motivation for the few times he
rearranged the clauses, or omitted or added words or elements. This motive
is even clearer in the chapter on lexical choice. The translator apparently felt
free to vary his translation of individual words to a high degree and was bound
only to a very small degree by default translations; at times he varied his ren-
derings for mere stylistic reasons. Nevertheless, it appears that he had an inter-
est in what he perceived as the meaning of the text and tried to incorporate
this meaning into his translation.2 He chose the translation he found best
suited to render the text, varying his renderings of the same word on the basis
of the discourse of the text.

1 See discussion on pages 1112.


2 Other scholars draw similar conclusions. James Palmer (Tracing Paper, 174) writes: The
translation of LXX-Zech can be compared to the performance of music; the translator/
performer is faithful to the Vorlage/score within certain parameters and is not free to make
any change that he wishes. However, within the framework created by literalism (whether
of word order or of melody), other freedoms (such as semantic equivalence, or tempo) are
possible. Edward Glenny (Finding Meaning, 6869) finds this image a suiting description
also of the translation of Amos. Jan Joosten (Septuagintal, 223) concludes: the Greek trans-
lator of the Minor Prophets, in his creatively faithful mode, cared not only for the correct
transfer of meaning, but was attentive also to stylistic considerations.

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124 CHAPTER 8

The translators seemingly opposing tendencies towards literalness and


freedom appear to reinforce each other. If the tendency towards literalness
may be interpreted as a claim for authority, we should pay all the more atten-
tion to the variation in the rendering of single words. And if the tendency to
adjust the rendering of single words to the textual context may be interpreted
as an interest in what the text meant, we should pay all the more attention to
the readings claim for authority.
In the five chapters that follow, I will assess the translators work from a
different angle. In each chapter, I will look at a text in the book of Zechariah
where the Greek translation differs substantially from the MT with a view to
what these differences might reveal about the translators interpretive under-
standing of the text.
In each case, I will first look briefly at the MT and describe its structure and
message. Then I will turn to the Greek text and comment on the character of
the specific translation unit and the Hebrew text behind the translation. I will
also give a translation of the Greek text and comment on the reconstruction
of the OG text for that unit. On this basis, I will discuss the most important dif-
ferences between the Greek text and the MT in that passage, identify possible
contextual exegesis in the translation, and draw conclusions pertaining to its
character.
Part 2
Contextual Exegesis


CHAPTER 9

OG-Zechariah 2: Zion and Jerusalem

At the outset of chapter 1, I raised questions concerning method. How can we


find traces of the translators understanding of the text? The root of the prob-
lem is the uncertain nature of text critical reconstructions of the source text.
When can we say that the text preserved in the manuscripts represents the
translators interpretation? And, what kind of interpretation are we dealing
with? As argued in chapter 1, part of the solution is to analyze the translation
technique of the translator in order to identify his approach to translation.
Such an analysis will help us in the text critical work and provide insights into
what kind of renderings we might expect from the translator.
How can circular arguments be avoided in the search for traces of the trans-
lators interpretation? A footing outside OG-Zechariah would be welcome, but
we have little material to work with. One may look to the Qumran material,
but while we have pesher scrolls of the Minor Prophets, no pesher of Zechariah
has been preserved. Comparisons involving the pesher texts of the other Minor
Prophets can lead only to very general statements. The same is the case for
comparisons with the Targum of Zechariah. The Targum may at best be said to
reflect similar traditions to those we might find in OG-Zechariah.1
The approach I will use is to look for tendencies. I will start by presenting a
hypothesis that explains the deviations in a text in OG-Zechariah. Then I will
test this hypothesis on other texts. If the hypothesis appears to offer a convinc-
ing explanation for several texts, it is likely to be correct. Since we may assume
that there was one translator behind OG-Minor Prophets,2 I will look at texts
not only from OG-Zechariah but also from other books in the Minor Prophets
collection.
In the present chapter, I will look at Zech 2:113(517), which explains that
Yahweh will again choose to dwell in Jerusalem and that his people, followed
by the foreign nations, will gather there. I will explore the role ascribed to
Jerusalem in light of the deviations we find between the Greek and Hebrew
texts, and in light of other passages in Zechariah that center on Jerusalem.

1 Dogniez, Some Similarities, 102.


2 See excursus 1.

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128 CHAPTER 9

The Text

Zechariah 2:113(517) is part of the dream visions of Zechariah. It starts with


the formula and I lifted my eyes, which separates this vision from the previ-
ous one and introduces a new scene. The prophet sees a man with a measuring
rod coming to measure Jerusalem. As he proceeds, the angel who guides the
prophet meets with another angel and commissions this angel with a mes-
sage to the man measuring Jerusalem. This message consists of several themes.
First, Yahweh will be the walls protecting Jerusalem, whose inhabitants will
dwell as in open country. Second, there are several exclamations introduced
by followed by short explanations. The MT seems to be corrupt in these
passages and the meaning of the verses can only be discerned by reading
the whole passage. It seems, however, that Jerusalem is the place of refuge
to the dispersed people of Israel. Third, there is a message to the daughter of
Zion to rejoice because Yahweh will come to Jerusalem and dwell there, and
then the nations will follow.

The Greek Translation


A translation of OG-Zech 2:113(517) follows:3

1 I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a man and in his hand there was a mea-
suring line. 2 And I said to him, Where are you going? And he said to me, To
measure Jerusalem, to see how great her width is and how great the length is.
3 And behold, the angel who talked with me stood by4 and another angel came
forward to meet him, 4 and he spoke to him, saying: Run and say to that young
man, saying: Abundantly shall Jerusalem be settled because of a multitude of
people and animals in her midst. 5 And I will be to her, says the Lord, a wall of
fire round about, and I will be a glory in her midst. 6 Oh, oh! Flee from the land
of the north, says the Lord; for from the four winds of the sky I will gather you,
says the Lord. 7 Escape to Zion, you that live with the daughter of Babylon. 8 For
thus says the Lord Almighty after glory he has sent me to the nations that plun-
dered you. For one who touches you is like one who touches the apple of my eye.
9 For behold, I bring my hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil for the ones

3 Here the versification of the Gttingen edition is different from BHS. I follow the Gttingen
edition.
4 The translator used to render . The translation appears to be influenced by the
following line in the translation. See the paragraph Syntagmatic relations for further exam-
ples, especially 96106.
OG-Zechariah 2 129

who slave for them, and you shall know that the Lord Almighty has sent me. 10
Rejoice and be glad, O daughter Zion! For behold, I will come and dwell in your
midst, says the Lord. 11 Many nations will take refuge in the Lord on that day and
they will be a people for him and they will dwell in your midst and you shall
know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. 12 The Lord will inherit Judah,
his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be reverent, all
flesh, before the Lord; for he has risen from his holy clouds.

Textual Notes
Before discussing the Greek text, some text critical remarks are in order. It is
vital to establish a text as close to the OG translation as possible. This is the aim
of the editions published by the Gttingen Unternehmen. Joseph Ziegler pre-
pared the text of the Greek Minor Prophets and his text has been well received
among scholars. Nevertheless, the discussion concerning the most ancient
readings should continue. I will examine a few words that are important for
this chapter.

4 (8) Abundantly: , an adverb meaning fully, abundantly, is in


some manuscripts found as very fruitful. The difference between
these alternatives must be ascribed to inner Greek corruption. The manuscripts
containing the latter are a hexaplaric correction of Codex Marchalianus, three
groups of minuscule manuscripts, and Jerome in his commentary to the Minor
Prophets.
The Greek translation seems to rely on a variant Hebrew text, namely
bearing fruit,5 while the MT has . If this is the case, seems to
be the more literal of the two Greek variants. On the other hand, the manuscripts
clearly favor , which is also among the words we might expect as a
translation of . is therefore to be preferred. The Hebrew source
text for OG-Zechariah described the city of Jerusalem as a safe and fruitful place,
while according to the MT, Jerusalem would be so full that people must live out-
side its walls. In the Greek revisions, is corrected to [ ]
(8evXIIgr),6 (Symmachus), and (Theodotion).
8 (12) The apple of my eye: I prefer to Zieglers
. is found in Codex Washington, which is a very important
manuscript from the third century CE.7 In addition, both Tertullian and the

5 Palmer (Tracing Paper, 59) ascribes the deviation to the translator.


6 Tov, The Greek Minor Prophets, 70.
7 Published in Sanders and Schmidt, The Minor Prophets.
130 CHAPTER 9

Vulgate have the same variant. Scholars quite often assume, based on these
manuscripts,8 that the original Hebrew text here read ,9
and that this text has been corrected to the present MT.10 The same manuscripts
have, however, not been considered weighty enough to convince scholars con-
cerning the OG. In both Rahlfs and Zieglers versions we find which has
support in the majority of manuscripts. It appears that Ziegler often assumes
that the Hebrew source text was very similar to the MT. He therefore tends to
choose forms resembling this text.11 In this case Rahlfs and Ziegler apparently
assume that the text in the Washington manuscript is a later correction towards
a Hebrew text preserving .12 This is possible, but it deviates from the
more common presumption that the form which does not resemble the MT is to
be preferred. It may be argued that the Greek reading results
from a correction towards a Hebrew text at a later stage. One indication that
points in this direction is Justins use of this text in Dialogue 137:
, which according to Barthlemy is likely to be a correction of
.13
9 (13) The ones who slave: is found in the best manuscripts, but a
few variants appear in others. Some manuscripts, mainly from the Alexandrian
group, contain an aorist participle of this verb. A Lucianic manuscript and a
manuscript containing the Syrohexaplar translation have and a few
other manuscripts . These variants probably stem from the near

8 See BHS and BHQ. Dominique Barthlemy (zchiel, Daniel et les 12 Prophtes, 940) and
Carmel McCarthy (The Tiqqune Sopherim (Freiburg: Universittsverlag Freiburg, 1981), 67)
suggest that also 4QXIIe attests to , though others are less certain: Fuller, The Twelve,
261; Gelston, BHQ, 136*.
9 There has also been discussion around the meaning of the word , but this is of less
importance for our discussion. See Thomas J. Finley, The Apple of His Eye (Babat Eno)
in Zechariah II 12, 337338, VT 38 (1988).
10 See Hanhart, Sacharja, 118. Already the rabbis in antiquity suggested that the reading
was a correction made by some scribe, see Dominique Barthlemy, Les tiqqun sopherim
et la critique textuelle de lAncien Testament, 185304, in Congress Volume Bonn 1962, eds.
G.W. Anderson et al. (Leiden: Brill, 1963), 285292 and McCarthy, Tiqqune, 6162.
11 Examples from Zechariah: minus (1:8); word order (3:5); (7:6); (7:9);
minus (7:13); (9:17); (10:1); minus
(11:12); minus (12:12);
(14:10); word order/ (14:11); (14:20).
12 The editors of Codex Washington assume 33 accommodations to the Hebrew text of
which 30 have no known parallels in the other Greek manuscripts, Sanders and Schmidt,
The Minor Prophets, 2526.
13 Barthlemy, Devanciers, 211. See also McCarthy, Tiqqune, 67.
OG-Zechariah 2 131

context in the Greek text (v. 8 and 9). Here we should follow Ziegler and rely on
the best manuscripts.
11 (15) Take refuge: ... , which has the support of the
major manuscripts, is in Justins Dialogue (115) corrected to ...
. This translation is closer to the MT and thus probably a revision towards
the Hebrew. This implies that ... was not perceived as a
literal translation.
In this verse, Justins text has instead of . Justins text probably reflects
a revision towards the Hebrew. It even corrects the divine epithet
to , which is the common epithet in the scroll from Naal ever
(8evXIIgr). We find a similar correction in Justin in the verb ,
which is changed to the first-person singular. This corresponds to the MT.
Justins (a third-person plural verb in the future tense) is an unex-
pected departure from the corrections towards the Hebrew. The form does not
correspond to the MT, which is reflected in (a second-person singular
verb), as seen in the major manuscripts and as preferred by Ziegler. Justins third
person plural form, however, suits the rest of the Greek translation, in
which the nations will dwell among his people; and, in Justin, the nations
are also the subject of the following verb. Nevertheless, we should not embrace
Justins text too hastily as the OG, since he quotes this verse as a part of an on-
going argument, into which this form fits perfectly. This diminishes the reliabil-
ity of Justins text on this point, and we should not dismiss the main manuscripts
on this evidence alone.

The Nature of the Differences in the Greek Text

Having discussed some issues concerning the OG text, I will turn my atten-
tion to the differences between the Greek and the Hebrew texts that occur in
2:6(10), 7(11), and 10(15).

Zech 2:6(10)

,
,
,
Ho! ho! Flee from the land of the Oh, oh! Flee from the land of the
north, says the Lord; for like the four north, says the Lord; for from the
winds of the heavens I have spread you, four winds of the heaven I will
says the Lord. gather you, says the Lord.
132 CHAPTER 9

In 2:6(10), the MT and the OG differ in the second hemistich. This line is some-
what difficult in the MT,14 but it appears to state that Yahweh caused the dis-
persion of his people. The meaning of the Greek text is clear and continues the
thought of ingathering found in the first part of the verse.
Specifically the Greek text deviates from the MT on two points. First it
has , from the four, where the MT has , like the four.
Furthermore, it has , I will gather, where the MT has , I have
spread. The two differences in the Greek are closely related and should be
explained as a single phenomenon. Several explanations are plausible.
Different Hebrew source text. In many cases, the Hebrew text of the transla-
tor was different from our MT. However, it is not easy to prove such variants.15
In our verse, scholars suggest reconstructing a different Hebrew text for the
Greek word .16 This word is used extensively in the Septuagint, mostly
to translate the roots and , but also for , , and . Hence, Karl
Elliger suggests in the text critical apparatus to BHS, the reconstructed form
, apparently from the root . This variant orthography is rare but can
be compared to the Aramaic form .17 One problem with this suggestion
for the development from to is that it assumes that changed to
and to . Another objection to this suggestion is that there are no Hebrew
manuscripts or other ancient versions attesting to such a text. The reconstruc-
tion rests solely on the OG.18
Partially different source text. Another possibility is that the source text was
partially different. Although it is difficult to reconstruct a variant Hebrew read-
ing for , a variant in the source text might underly the reading
where the MT has .
is an unusual equivalent for . Although is rendered by a wide vari-
ety of terms,19 Zech 2:6(10) is the only verse in the Minor Prophets where

14 Hanhart, Sacharja, 116.


15 For the standard treatment of this issue, see Tov, Text-Critical Use.
16 Hanhart, Sacharja, 116; Gelston, BHQ, 136*, BHS.
17 Hanhart, Sacharja, 116.
18 A text similar to the OG appears as a doublet in three manuscripts to the Vulgate. Robert
Hanhart (Sacharja, 116) uses these doublets as indications of a Hebrew text reading
)(. These Latin manuscripts are, however, not very reliable as witnesses to a Hebrew
text, since they may be influenced by the Greek text.
19 Distribution of the renderings of in the Minor Prophets:
160
23
16
No equivalent 3
OG-Zechariah 2 133

is the equivalent. , on the other hand, frequently translates .20 Furthermore,


the letters and are graphically similar and were therefore sometimes erro-
neously exchanged in the transmission of a text.21 There are three other exam-
ples where such an interchange is the most likely explanation for a deviating
Greek text in the Minor Prophets: Amos 3:4; Hab 2:4; and Zech 14:12. Given the
rarity of the equivalence of and , it is likely that in 2:6(10) an interchange of
and has happened in the Hebrew text and that the source text read
instead of .
If the source text read , the preposition
may have influenced the choice of translation for the verb. The four winds of
the heavens designate the four corners of the world, and the shift from
to has caused confusion. To spread someone from the four winds of
the heavens does not make sense, and the translator may instead have chosen
to refer to the ingathering of Israel and Judah.
A free translation. A third possibility is that the equivalents
and represent free renderings.22 Regarding the first
rendering, the two verbs have opposite meanings, being to spread out
(BDB), while means to gather, bring together (LSJ). In the Minor
Prophets the root is used in Joel 2:2 and Micah 3:3. In Joel we find the
equivalence .

3
3
2
1
1*
1
1
1
* Doubtful Vorlage (Joel 1:8).
20 Distribution of the equivalents of in the Minor Prophets:
124
is a + in the Greek 13
3
1
1
Doubtful Vorlage 1
21 Tov, Text-Critical Use, 73.
22 Dogniez (Some Similarities, 99) concludes that these renderings are free renderings and
calls them a converse translation.
134 CHAPTER 9

Joel 2:2



Like dawn spread upon the moun- Like dawn, a numerous and mighty
tains a great and powerful people. people shall pour onto the mountains 23

In Micah we find .

Micah 3:3




And chop them as if in a kettle, like And cut them to pieces like meat in a
flesh in a caldron. caldron, like flesh in a caldron.24

It seems that both renderings are adapted to their contexts. In Joel we find a
great and powerful people spread on a mountain. The passive voice of is
used of living beings with the meaning to pour or stream in dense mass (LSJ).
In Micah the metaphor relates to crushing and chopping bones like meat that
goes into a cooking pot, suitably rendered by , to cut in pieces (LSJ).
This variation in renderings does not necessarily indicate that the translator
did not understand the Hebrew word.25 is a fairly common word in the
Hebrew Bible, and the translator likely knew the root.26 It seems that the varia-
tion of renderings stems from the translators attempt to adjust his translations
to their contexts. This may also be the case for Zech 2:6(10).
The Greek verb is used often in the translations of the Prophets.
common reference is the ingathering of the people in exile.27 Likewise, we
find in similar contexts in the Minor Prophets.28 Examples include
declarations that Jacob and the rest of Israel will be gathered together

23 NETS.
24 NETS.
25 See the paragraph Diversity in lexical choice, 91107.
26 See the entrance for this word in BDB.
27 Jer 37:21(30:21); 38:8,10(31:8,10); 39:37(32:37); Ezek 11:17; 28:25; 34:13; 37:21; 38:4.
28  is also used in other contexts. In Joel 4:12 it is used when Israel and Judah
are released from captivity and the nations will be gathered () for judgment.
In Habakkuk 1:9 we find the verb used in a passage where the Chaldeans take captives in
their campaigns, while in Zech 14:14 is used for gathering wealth and strength.
OG-Zechariah 2 135

(Mic 2:12), that Yahweh will gather to Zion the lame and those who have been
driven away (Mic 4:6), and that the afflicted ones will be gathered (Zeph 3:18).29
The context in Zechariah 2 may therefore have caused the translator to
choose . In 2:45(89) we read that Jerusalem will dwell safely and
in abundance. This lays the foundation for the gathering of the people.
Furthermore, as we shall see in the next section, the following verse in the
Greek version conveys an idea very similar to 2:6(10).30
In sum, there is no self-evident, text-critical explanation or any textual
witness affirming the assumption of a different Hebrew source for the word
in Zech 2:6(10). Instead it seems best to regard the Greek text as stem-
ming from the translator. His reading of the whole passage, whether he read
or , accords with his shift from to .

Zech 2:7(11)





Ho, Zion, escape, you that dwell Escape to Zion, you that live with the
with the daughter of Babylon. daughter of Babylon.

There are several deviations between the Greek and the Hebrew texts of this
verse. First, we may notice the equivalents , , and
. Second, we may observe that the syntax of the Greek is
different from what we find in the MT.
Perhaps the most striking rendering is the Greek for . This is the only
occurrence of such an equivalent in all of the LXX/OG collection.31 is some-
times confused with and thus translated by , but in most cases
is transcribed into or .32

29 The Greek text deviates from the MT in this verse. The MT has while
the Greek text has . The Greek has thus a wider expression
than the MT.
30 Ccile Dogniez (Similarities, 99) draws a similar conclusion. She calls it a converse
translation motivated by the ideology of the translator. She finds the same kind of trans-
lation in the Targum.
31 Due to the complicated situation of the Hebrew text of Sirach I have not included this
book in the count.
32 Distribution of the renderings of in the LXX/OG translations (except Sirach)a
30
12
136 CHAPTER 9

is used for several Hebrew prepositions, , , and are the most


common.33 It is not impossible that the source text had one of these preposi-
tions, but none of them can easily be reconstructed from the MT. The transla-
tors understanding of the syntax of the verse, however, may account for the
deviation.
The other notable equivalents in this verse appear in the clause
. The Greek text has
a plural verb and subject, while the MT has feminine singular forms. On this
basis, BHS suggests that the source text of the OG read ) (
,
though no Hebrew witnesses attest to this reading.
It is, however, not necessary to ascribe the differences to a variant source
text in order to explain the relationship between these equivalents. The ref-
erence of the Hebrew feminine participle is to a larger group, not a single
individual, namely those who dwell in Babylon. The plural Greek rendering
therefore provides the sense of the Hebrew text. It is not uncommon to find
Hebrew singular elements referring to a group rendered by plural forms in the
Greek translations.34 The plural noun in the Greek, in due course, influenced
the number of the verb .
Let us now turn to the syntax of the two texts.35 I will start by analyzing the
syntax of the Greek text:

Def. art. (G read )2b


2
 1
 a In Isa 45:9 and 55:1 occurs with a deviating Greek text. The origins of the deviations
are difficult to assert and I have not included these instances in the count.
b Isa 45:10; Jer 29:6 (47:6).
33 Statistics for the equivalents of in the Minor Prophets.
125
43
39
10
3
3
2
1
34 For example: is translated by plural forms in Hos 4:3; Amos 1:4,8; Zech 12:8,10.
is translated by a plural form in Isa 12:6.
35 LBA mentions the possibility that to Zion may also be attached to the preceeding line in
verse 6 for from the four winds of the sky I will gather you, says the Lord, to Zion. I find
this less convincing since it leaves says the Lord in an awkward position. In any case, this
reading does not change the meaning of verses 67 considerably.
OG-Zechariah 2 137

Adv. Expr. Verb. Expr. Subject


is the subject of the clause. The preposi-


tional phrase, , is an adverbial expression designating the place to seek
refuge. This understanding is reflected in the verbal expression, which agrees
in number with .
In the MT, the syntax is different. Scholars disagree on the syntactical role
Zion has in the clause. From a grammatical point of view it seems to be the
subject.

Subj. app Verb. Expr. Subject (vocative) Interjection


According to the above analysis, the subject and the subject apposition is split
by the verbal expression.36 A translation may then be: Hoy, Zion, flee, you who
dwell with the daughter of Babylon. One issue that troubles scholars is that,
in Zechariah, Zion is usually a name of a place.37 Thus interpreters have sug-
gested a different solution based on a different understanding of the syntax:

Subject (vocative) Verb. Expr. Adv. Expr. Interjection


Here, the latter part of the verse, , is the subject of the clause, and
Zion designates where she should seek refuge. The problem with this under-
standing is that the adverbial expression does not have a preposition, or a direc-
tional he, which would be expected in such a Hebrew sentence. Nevertheless,
interpreters have opted for this solution and both of these understandings are
reflected in modern translations.38

36 See Hanhart, Sacharja, 117.


37 See Rudolph, Haggai Sacharja, 87.
38 For example:
Luther 1545: Hui, Zion, die du wohnest bei der Tochter Babel, entrinne! NB 88: Hr! Sion,
berg deg unna, du som bor hos Babels datter! JPS 1917: Ho, Zion, escape, thou that dwellest
with the daughter of Babylon. BFC: Hol! gens de Jrusalem exils Babylone, dpchez-
vous de vous chapper.
On the other hand we find:
 N RSV: Up! Escape to Zion, you that live with daughter Babylon. DB 1931: Op, red jer til
Zion, I, som bor hos Babels Datter!
138 CHAPTER 9

The latter interpretation is similar to the Greek translation. We saw in


2:6(10) that the Greek text recounts how the people will be gathered from the
four winds of the heavens. This verse seems to pursue the same idea. Those
who dwell in Babylon should flee to Zion. Thus it appears that the translators
understanding of the whole passage made him render the text as he did. Even
though the equivalent is unprecedented in the LXX/OG, I find this con-
textual issue, and not a variant in the source text, to be the best explanation for
the deviations in 2:7(11).39

Zech 2:11(15)







And many nations shall join them- Many nations take refuge in the Lord
selves to the Lord in that day, and on that day and they will be a people
shall be my people; and I will dwell in for him and they will dwell in your
the midst of you, and you shall know midst and you shall know that the
that the Lord Zebaoth has sent me to Lord Almighty has sent me to you.
you.

There are several differences between these verses. The first is that the Hebrew
word , they will join, is rendered in Greek by , they will take
refuge. In the Hebrew text, the people join Yahweh, while in the Greek, they
take refuge in him. The Greek verb implies a stronger form of subservience to
Yahweh.
Eiji Asada suggests that the source text of the translator read . This
requires a few changes to the Hebrew consonants; instead of and there is .40
This interchange is not impossible but would be uncommon.41 Further, such
a reconstruction is not necessary in order to explain the Greek text because in

39 BHQ suggests a similar solution. It characterizes the deviation as exegesis.


40 Eiji Asada, The Hebrew Text of Zechariah 18, Compared with the Different Ancient
Versions, 173196, AJSL 12 (189596): 190.
41 Emanuel Tov Interchanges of Consonants between the Masoretic Text and the Vorlage
of the Septuagint, 255266, in Shaarei Talmon: Studies in the Bible, Qumran, and the
Ancient Near East Presented to Shemaryahu Talmon, eds. Michael Fishbane and Emanuel
Tov with the assistance of Weston W. Fields (Winona Lake, Eisenbrauns, 1992), 265.
OG-Zechariah 2 139

OG-Jer 27:5 (50:5) we have another example in which renders the


root .42 The passages in Jeremiah and Zechariah are thematically similar
and we may assume that the use of as a translation of the root
was considered a semantically possible choice.43 This choice then discloses
how the translator understood the text.
In OG-Jer 27:5 (50:5), we read about judgment against Babylon. When
Babylon is judged, Israel and Judah will take refuge () in Yahweh
at Zion. The passage in MT-Zechariah describes the judgment of the nations
( 2:8[12]) who oppress the exiles of Zion ( 2:7[11]). The exiles should
therefore flee to Zion. In Jerusalem they should rejoice because Yahweh will
come and dwell among them, and the nations will join Yahweh in Jerusalem
(2:11[15]). The Greek text of 2:11(15) says that the nations will take refuge in
Yahweh.
In 2:11(15) it appears that the verb designates the act of gentiles
embracing the religion of Israel.44 The act of embracing the religion of the Jews
helps the nations to escape the judgment. Thus the translation underscores
Jerusalem as a place of refuge, not only for Jews but even for the nations.
As we noted above, there are other deviations in the Greek translation.
The text differs from the MT when it comes to the speaker and the characters.
In general, the Greek text is smoother than the MT. A few differences in the
second clause are worth mentioning:

In the MT, the speaker of this clause, Yahweh, states, they [the nations] will
be my people. This implies a shift of speaker from the first clause in this verse,
which refers to Yahweh in third person. The Greek translation, in contrast, con-
tinues with the same speaker, referring to Yahweh by the third person in both
clauses. These lines essentially say the same thing as the MT, but in the second
part of the second clause, the Greek text has a third-person, plural verb for
dwell, while the MT has a first-person singular verb. Thus in 2:11(15), the Greek
speaks of the nations dwelling among the inhabitants of Zion, while the MT
refers to Yahweh who will dwell among his people.

42  is translated by in Num 18:2, in Num 18:4 and Isa 14:1, and


in DanTh 11:34.
43 Gelston (BHQ, 136*) arrives at a similar conclusion.
44 This use of is also found in Isaiah 54:15 and 55:5. See the entry on this word in
Mur, 308.
140 CHAPTER 9

BHS suggests that the deviations stem from the source text. Both and
are suggested as possible Hebrew variants on the basis of the readings
in the Greek text.45 But a more likely explanation arises from a consideration
of the flow of the Hebrew text. The Hebrew verse has several changes in the
subjects of the different clauses. It starts by referring to Yahweh in third person,
then Yahweh is the speaker claiming that the nations will be his people and
that he will dwell among you (a second singular suffix), which most likely
refers to the audience of the prophecy. In the next clause, Yahweh is again
referred to in the third person and the first person reference of the object suffix
in this clause probably refers to the prophet. These sudden changes are confus-
ing. In the Greek text, however, we find smoother changes between the agents.
The subject in the Greek text is the nations until the text refers to the audience,
and thus the Greek text flows more naturally, having resolved the discrepancy
between the first and second clauses by keeping the same speaker. The pecu-
liarities in the Greek text are therefore likely to be the work of the translator
trying to smooth out the sudden changes of the Hebrew text.46
In sum, none of the differences in 2:11(15) discussed above seems to be based
on a variant source text. Rather, the Greek translation conveys the understand-
ing of the translator: The nations will take refuge in Yahweh. This verb empha-
sizes that the nations are subservient to Yahweh and will live among his people.
From 2:10(14) we know that his people are the inhabitants of Zion. By these
changes, the translator underlines the importance of Zion (i.e., Jerusalem) as a
place of refuge, even for the nations.

Hypothesis: Suggested Interpretational Differences in


the Greek Text

In the textual deviations presented above I found some changes that are likely
to rest on the ideology of the translators milieu. I suggest that the following
passages all reflect aspects of the translators emphasis on the importance of
Zion/Jerusalem: 1) In 2:6(10) the Greek text says that Yahweh will gather his
people to Zion. 2) In 2:7(11) the people should take refuge in Zion. 3) In 2:11(15)
many nations will take refuge in Yahweh and live in Jerusalem as his people.
These changes underline the importance of Zion/Jerusalem as the place
where Yahweh gathers and protects his people. The three particular aspects of

45 David L. Petersen (Haggai and Zechariah 18 (Philadelphia: Westminster John Knox, 1984),
173) suggests yet another reconstruction: . But this appears to be merely conjecture.
46 Hanhart (Sacharja, 119) and Gelston (BHQ, 136*) arrive at similar conclusions.
OG-Zechariah 2 141

Zions importance that these changes reflect are also found elsewhere in the
book of Zechariah. I will mention the most important passages.
Ingathering from dispersion. The premise for the ingathering of Israel and
Judah is that Yahweh will again choose Jerusalem and dwell there. Zechariah
1:717 addresses this premise through a vision in which Zechariah is informed
that Yahweh will punish the nations and be merciful towards Jerusalem.
Yahweh will again choose Jerusalem and have his temple built there. A similar
idea is conveyed in 8:18. Yahweh will return to his city where there will be
peace and prosperity. The people will again be Yahwehs people.
In 10:112 the gathering of Israel and Judah is the main theme, as is espe-
cially evident in 10:6,8, and 10. After the ingathering the people shall rejoice
in Yahweh (10:7). (Because of its focus on the ingathering, some variants in
this passage will be further discussed below; see Supplementary Evidence for
Interpretational Changes).
There are no direct textual links between these texts and 2:10,47 but, as parts
of the same book, it is not farfetched to suggest that the translator was influ-
enced by these other passages.
Refuge in Zion/Jerusalem. Jerusalem is described as a safe place in several
passages in Zechariah. In the passage mentioned above, 8:18, Jerusalem will
have peace, people will have long lives and childrens laughter will fill the
streets. In 12:19 Yahweh defends Jerusalem and her inhabitants, and the city
will be saved from her enemies. The most important premise for Jerusalems
safety and prosperity is the presence of Yahweh. We see in these passages that
this is a recurrent theme in Zechariah.
The nations will take refuge in Yahweh. Although in this passage and in other
passages the nations are enemies of Jerusalem,48 we find a passage where
the nations will come and worship Yahweh. Verses 8:2023 describe a time
when many people will seek Yahweh in Jerusalem. People of every tongue will
take hold of the Jews and join their religion.

Conclusion. Several prophecies in Zechariah speak about Yahweh gathering


and leading his people, about Jerusalem being a place of refuge, and about
many nations seeking Yahweh. These places and themes may have influenced
the translator in 2:10, 11, and 15. The message of the Greek text is not radi-
cally different than of the Hebrew text, but the deviations between them are

47 We should, however, note that in 8:8 and 10:10 the verb is used for in pas-
sages where Yahweh will gather his people and lead them to Jerusalem. This Greek verb is
cognate to the verb which we find in 2:10.
48 1:15; ch. 12; ch. 14.
142 CHAPTER 9

indications of the ideological perspective of the translator. Jerusalem and Zion


were important to the translator.

Supplementary Evidence for Interpretational Changes

Changes in other passages of the OG-Minor Prophets may reflect the theme of
the importance of Zion/Jerusalem outlined in the hypothesis above. Let us first
consider texts that relate to two of the three particular aspects of this empha-
sis seen in Zechariah 2 (Ingathering from Dispersion, and Refuge in Zion/
Jerusalem), and then continue with texts that relate to other aspects of the
importance of Zion/Jerusalem (The Name Jerusalem in the Greek Text, and
Yahwehs Zeal for Jerusalem and the Temple).

Ingathering from Dispersion


Zechariah 10:312 speaks of Yahweh as a divine warrior with the house of Judah
as his soldiers, conquering an enemy. Yahweh will bring back his people from
Assyria and from Egypt; a return described as a second exodus from Egypt. The
people will be brought back to a land and a kingdom of Solomonic proportions
and be settled as far as Gilead and Lebanon.
The Greek text of this passage follows the Hebrew text quite closely, but
10:612 merits closer examination:

6 And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and save the house of Joseph, and
I will settle them; because I have loved them: and they shall be as if I had not
turned them away: for I am the Lord their God, and I will listen to them. 7 And
they shall be like the warriors of Ephraim, and their heart shall rejoice as with
wine: and their children shall see it, and their heart shall be glad and rejoice in
the Lord.49 8 I will make a sign to them, and gather them in; for I will redeem
them, and they shall be multiplied according to how many they once were. 9 And
I will sow them among the peoples; and they that are far away shall remember
me: they shall bring up their children and return. 10 And I will bring them back
from the land of Egypt, and I will gather them in from the Assyrians; and I will
bring them to Galaaditis and to Lebanon; and not even one of them will be left
behind. 11 And they shall pass through a narrow sea, they shall strike the waves in
the sea, and all the deep places of the rivers shall dry up: and all the pride of the
Assyrians shall be taken away, and the scepter of Egypt shall be removed. 12 And

49 NETS has: And their children shall see it and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord.
See the textual notes for further discussion.
OG-Zechariah 2 143

I will strengthen them in the Lord their God; and they shall boast in his name,
says the Lord.

Textual Notes

6 I have loved them: Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, the Lucianic and
the Catenae groups, and Theodoret have this verb in the aorist tense: .
Rahlfs therefore chooses this form in his text. Ziegler opts for the perfect
(), which is found in the rest of the manuscripts. Ziegler chooses the
form which accords with the MTs perfect tense form of .50
7 Shall be glad: Ziegler chooses to rely on Codex Washington, which has the
third-person singular verb . Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus,
Codex Venetus, and a number of other manuscript groups and translations have
the third-person plural . This form agrees with the plural form of
the MT. The latter group of manuscripts represents the children as the subject
of the verb, while Codex Washington understands the subject as their heart,
which occurs in the following sentence. The reading of Codex Washington is to
be preferred since it is likely that the translator read ( therefore
) rather than the word division found in the MT:
. The Greek codices with the plural form probably reflect a correction
towards the MT, although these manuscripts also kept the conjunction, . LBA
(318) also prefers the reading in Codex Washington, noting that these two verbs
occur together several times in OG-MP (Hos 9:1; Joel 2:21,23; Hab 1:16).
10 And not even one of them will be left behind: This reading is supported by
all the major manuscripts. One manuscript from the Catenae group has a differ-
ent word order for the last four words, instead of
. One manuscript attesting to the Lucianic text and two manuscripts attesting
to the text of Cyril of Alexandria and Theodoret have instead of .
Shall be taken away: is supported by the major manuscripts,
with the exception of Codex Venetus, the Lucianic recension, and Theodoret
who have , shall be taken down. But, the latter is probably a cor-
rection of the text towards the Hebrew which has , will be brought down.
12 They shall boast: The major manuscripts, with the exception of Codex
Washington and some manuscripts from the Catenae group, have the Greek verb
, they shall boast. This reading may rely on a Hebrew source
text which is different from MTs , they shall walk. In a Hebrew manu-
script from Qumran, 4QXIIg, we find the text ] [ which has led scholars

50 See page 130, note 11.


144 CHAPTER 9

to reconstruct:... ] on the basis of the OG.51 Codex Washington and


the Catenae group have , they shall be burned, which is an
inner Greek development of the text.

The most fascinating verse in the translation of this passage is 10:10:









,

I will bring them back from the land And I will bring them back from the
of Egypt, and gather them from land of Egypt, and I will gather them
Assyria; and I will bring them to the in from the Assyrians; and I will bring
land of Gilead and to Lebanon, until them to Galaaditis and to Lebanon;
there is no room for them. and not even one of them will be left
behind.

The Hebrew phrase has


as the equivalent in the Greek text. This is not a direct translation and an expla-
nation is needed. Let us consider the different possibilities.
Different source text: The Greek word usually translates the
Hebrew roots , , and sometimes . The closest parallel to this Greek
phrase in the OG-MP is found in Mal 3:19. There,
(and there shall not be left of them a root or a branch) trans-
lates ( it will not leave them root or branch). It is possible
that the Hebrew source of the translator in Zech 10:10 had a similar phrase,
although is not easily interchangeable with in the MT.
The Greek text in 10:10 also has a plus at the end of the sentence,
. This Greek expression translates , , and in different books in
the LXX/OG, and any of these might have been in the source text. As a result,
a precise reconstruction of a different Hebrew source is not possible on this
point, but based on what these Greek words normally translate, the words
can be suggested.
There are, however, no manuscripts to support this or a similar reconstruc-
tion, and the verbs in the MT ( ) and the reconstructed phrase
( ) are so graphically different that it is not easy to reconstruct
their relationship. It is impossible to say that one of them is a corrupted

51 Fuller, The Twelve, 317.


OG-Zechariah 2 145

form of the other, likely to have occurred as a mistake during the transmis-
sion of the text. Rather they must be regarded as two independent readings,
and the difference between them must have been intentional. Hence, to
explain the deviating Greek text by recon-
structing a different Hebrew text seems to create more problems than it solves.
We should therefore consider other explanations.
Free translation: The phrase in the MT is very brief and the subject of the
verb is not mentioned. The close context does not help much; a direct if
wooden translation of the last part of the verse would be and to the land of
Gilead and Lebanon I will bring them, and it will not be found for them. The
Vulgate translates the last line as and place shall not be found for them [et non
invenietur eis locus], an interpretation which many modern translations have
followed.
The fact that the reader has to infer the subject of the verb from the con-
text leaves the text open to interpretation. The unpointed Hebrew text also
increases the number of possible interpretations. The verb may be taken
as a Niphal, as in the MT, or as a Qal.52 The line is thus cryptic and it is likely
that the translator had some difficulty in understanding it.53 The Greek text he
produced fits nicely into the context and underlines the completeness of the
ingathering: not even one of the exiles will be missing.54
In relation to the interpretative changes that the translator made to the text
in Zecharaiah 2, we see that the line and not even one of them will be left
behind fits not only the close context of Zecharaiah 10, but also the outlook
of the Greek text in Zecharaiah 2. The translator again seems to emphasize the
theme of ingathering from dispersion.

Refuge in Zion/Jerusalem
In a few instances we find that words connected to Jerusalem and Zion are
translated in a particular manner. In Obad 1:17 we find the following text:


,




.

52 See the paragraph Homographs, 3134.


53 BHQ explains the Greek text as a result of the translators ignorance of lexical informa-
tion. It seems, however, that it is the lines relation to the context that is difficult, not the
individual words.
54 See the paragraph Contextual manipulation, 114116.
146 CHAPTER 9

But in mount Zion there shall be But on mount Zion there shall be deliv-
those that escape, and it shall be erance, and there shall be a sanctuary;
holy; and the house of Jacob shall and the house of Jacob shall take for an
possess their possessions. inheritance those that took them for an
inheritance.

Textual Notes

Deliverance The Greek text is widely attested in various manuscripts from


different manuscript groups. The single most important manuscript is Codex
Washington. Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, some Lucianic manuscripts,
one manuscript from the Catenae group and Theodoret omit the definite arti-
cle, but this may be an adjustment to the Hebrew text. An interesting variant
is found in Codex Venetus which has , settlement, colony, but this
seems rather strange and probably represents an inner Greek development.

The Hebrew word usually refers to a group that has escaped, or to


a remnant group; and in a few cases it may refer to the concept of escape/
deliverance.55 Elsewhere in the Minor Prophets, all the occurences have the
former meaning and they have been translated into Greek as
those who are escaping.56 In OG-Joel 3:5(2:32), for example, we find this text:

And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be
saved: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall the saved one (, MT
)be as the Lord has said, and they that have glad tidings preached to them,
whom the Lord has called.

The usage of in OG-Obad 1:17 thus stands out from the other ren-
derings of in the OG-Minor Prophets. We do, however, find this word
translated as in a few cases throughout the OG translations,57 so there
is no reason to assume that the source of the Greek text had a different word
than .
One may question why the translator did not use also in OG-Joel
3:5(2:32); the clauses are almost identical.58 However, the contexts are

55 See the entrance in BDB.


56 Joel 2:3; 3:5(2:32); Amos 9:1 ( ;)Obd 1:14 ().
57 2 Sam 15:14; Ezra 9:8.13.
58 Hans Walter Wolff, Dodekapropheton 2: Joel und Amos (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener,
1975), 81; LBA, vol 23.49, 109.
OG-Zechariah 2 147

different. The mention of whoever calls on the name of the Lord in Joel
may have influenced the translators choice of the saved one ()
to render .
The effect of the rendering instead of in OG-Obd 1:17
is that the place Zion takes on a more important role. If the translator had
used , as he did in the other occurrences of , it would be a
description of who shall be in Zion: those who were saved. On the other hand,
the Greek usage of connects salvation itself to Zion: salvation will be
on Zion.

The Name Jerusalem in the Greek Text


The Greek text sometimes differs from the MT regarding the usage of the name
Jerusalem. In each of these instances, we must consider whether the deviation
stems from a different Hebrew source or from the translator.
Amos 1:1. In the opening formula of the book of Amos, the Greek text refers
to Jerusalem, not Israel as in the MT.







The words of Amos, who was among Words of Amos that came in Accarim
the herdsmen of Tekoa, which he out of Thecue, which he saw concern-
saw concerning Israel in the days ing Jerusalem, in the days of Ozias king
of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam
days of Jeroboam the son of Joash the son of Joas king of Israel, two
king of Israel, two years before the years before the earthquake.
earthquake.

The occurrence of Jerusalem in the Greek text is attested throughout the


manuscripts, which strongly affirms its presence in the OG text.59 A more dif-
ficult question is whether the source text of the translator had or .
Even though we do not have any Hebrew manuscripts with , and the
change cannot be explained as a common mistake that occurred during the
transmission of the text, we cannot exclude the possibility that

59 Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, followed by Jerome and the Syrohexapla, have
changed the text to Israel.
148 CHAPTER 9

reflects a variant in the source text.60 At the same time, it seems quite certain
that reflects a secondary development, whether it relies on a dif-
ferent source or not, and that in the MT is older, because Israel fits bet-
ter with the general outlook of the book of Amos. The change from Israel to
Jerusalem is also not likely to be merely an unconscious mistake of a scribe;
rather it seems to have been influenced by the following verse in the text.61

Amos 1:2




And he said: Yahweh roars from And he said, The Lord has spoken
Zion, and from Jerusalem he utters from Zion, and has uttered his voice
his voice. out of Jerusalem.

In addition to the fact that Jerusalem occurs in Amos 1:2, we note that the
Hebrew , roars is translated by , proclaim, speak loud and
clear. Thus, in the Greek text, Zion is the place where Yahweh issues procla-
mations, not terrifying roars. This rendering seems to accord with the intro-
duction of Amoss words as concerned with Jerusalem. If so, it seems that the
translator places the focus on Jerusalem here just as in Zechariah 2.
OG-Zeph 3:14. In the Greek text, this verse has a deviation similar to the previ-
ous one.


, , ,


,
Sing, O daughter of Zion, shout, O Rejoice, O daughter of Zion; cry aloud,
Israel; be glad and rejoice with all O daughter of Jerusalem; rejoice and
the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem delight yourself with all your heart, O
daughter of Jerusalem

The Greek manuscript traditions clearly support the reading daughter of


Jerusalem and the OG text may quite confidently be affirmed. The expression
daughter of Jerusalem in the Greek text is influenced by the same expression

60 Wolff (Dodekapropheton 2, 145) suggests that the deviation should be seen as a scribal
mistake. He claims that it probably happened because the names were abbreviated.
61 BHQ explains it as assimilation to the context. Dines (Amos, 45) also concludes that the
change seems to be intentional, but without stating why, she ascribes the change to the
transmission of the Hebrew text.
OG-Zechariah 2 149

at the end of the verse. The reading of the Greek text appears to be later than
that of the MT, and the change does not seem to be accidental. It is noteworthy
that the scroll from Wadi Murabaat, MurXII, has and thereby confirms
the antiquity of the MT reading. The Targum and the Vulgate both have Israel
and thus attest to the same tradition. There is therefore no compelling reason
to ascribe the deviation to the source text; rather it may be regarded as a reflec-
tion of the translators focus on Jerusalem.
Zech 8:2. The Greek text presents a related change in the plus, for Jerusalem.






Thus says Yahweh Zebaoth: I am Thus says the Lord Almighty; I have
jealous for Zion with great jealousy, been jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion
and I am jealous for her with great with great jealousy, and I have been
fury. jealous for her with great fury

The plus in the Greek text is attested in all the major manuscripts except Codex
Venetus. In Codex Vaticanus it is found with the note ,
does not repose in the Hebrew, inserted by a corrector of the manuscript. The
original text in the manuscript does, however, support the plus.
The feminine singular pronominal suffix at the end of the verse refers to
Zion in the first hemistich. The MT is thus sound and probably reflects an
earlier text than the Greek. The singular pronominal suffix could also refer to
both Jerusalem and Zion, as it does in the Greek translation, but that is less
straightforward than the text of the MT. It is more likely that the occurrence of
Jerusalem in this verse has to do with the following verse, which states Thus
says the LORD: I will return to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem,
and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the LORD
of hosts, the holy mountain (Zech 8:3, NRSV). The strong focus on Jerusalem
in this verse may have led to the insertion of Jerusalem in 8:2. This may reflect
the translators work. Notably, we find the same phrase in Zech 1:14 (see below),
followed by other differences in the context.62

Yahwehs Zeal for Jerusalem and the Temple


The translators view regarding the importance of Zion/Jerusalem may also be
reflected in his portrayal of Yahwehs zeal for it and for his temple there. Two
texts offer potential support for the idea that he shaped his translation with

62 See Hanhart, Sacharja, 512; BHQ.


150 CHAPTER 9

this in view: Zech 1:1421(1:142:4), and Zeph 1:713. These translations indicate
that the temple had been under pressure.

Zech 1:1421(1:142:4)

Translation

14 And the angel that spoke with me said to me cry out and say, thus says the
Lord Almighty; I have been jealous for Jerusalem and Zion with great jealousy.
15 And with great anger I am angry with the nations that combine to attack. For I
was a little angry, but they combined to attack for evil. 16 Therefore thus says the
Lord: I will return to Jerusalem with compassion; and my house shall be rebuilt
in her, says the Lord Almighty, and a measuring line shall again be stretched out
over Jerusalem. 17 And the angel that spoke with me said to me cry out and say,
Thus says the Lord Almighty; again shall cities be flooded with good things; and
the Lord shall again have mercy upon Zion, and again choose Jerusalem. 18 And
I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold four horns. 19 And I said to the angel
that spoke with me, What are these, lord? And he said to me, These are the
horns that have scattered Judah, and Israel. 20 And the lord showed me four
craftsmen. 21 And I said What are these coming to do? And he said to me these
are the horns that scattered Judah and broke Israel in pieces, and no one of them
raised a head. And these came to sharpen them by their hands, the four horns.
The nations that raised a horn against the land of the Lord to scatter it.

Textual Notes

15 That combine to attack: The Greek reading is supported by


all the major witnesses. A few manuscripts belonging to the Lucianic group and
one manuscript from the Catenae group add the object , but this is clearly a
later addition.
16 I will return: Codex Venetus contains the second-person plural, ,
but this form is probably secondary to the first-person singular, , which
is attested in Codex Washington and Codex Sinaiticus. Codex Vaticanus has
, I will look upon, but as Ziegler points out, there seems to have been
a confusion in the Greek tradition between and , see
Isa 63:15,17; 64:9(8).
In her: This phrase is lacking in Codex Washington, two manuscripts related to
this recension, two manuscripts belonging to the Catenae group, and the
Ethiopian and Armenian translations. All the other major witnesses attest to the
reading .
OG-Zechariah 2 151

17 Again...Jerusalem: This reading is found in Codex Washington. Codex


Alexandrinus adds and transposes to the end on the phrase.
Codex Vaticanus and some related manuscripts, along with some of the daugh-
ter translations and Basil of Neopatria, do not have . It appears that might
easily have dropped out during the textual transmission of the majuscule Greek
text, . The text of Codex Washington is therefore to be
preferred.
19 (2:2) Scattered Judah, and Israel: This text is attested in Codex Washington.
The MT has and Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus,
Codex Venetus, and other manuscripts have a text which is similar to the MT. It
is, however, likely that these manuscripts reflect an adjustment towards the
Hebrew text. In the Syrohexapla, it occurs with an asterisk. The Greek scroll from
Naal ever, 8evXIIgr, has the reading ] [ in this verse, but the reliability
of this manuscript for the OG is rather limited since it must be considered an
early revision of the translation. The reading in the scroll should be taken as an
indication of a Hebrew source text that was similar to the MT.
21 (2:4)To me: This reading is found in Codex Washington but is lacking in
Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Venetus, groups of Lucianic and
Catenae manuscripts, the Syrohexapla, and some of the church fathers. Since
the reading is not found in the MT, its disappearance in these latter manuscripts
may be attributed to influence from the MT.
Israel: A group of Lucianic manuscripts and the Ethiopian translation have
Jerusalem instead of Israel here, but the rest of the manuscript traditions read
Israel.
Came to: Codex Washington reads while Codex Vaticanus and Codex
Sinaiticus read . Codex Venetus, manuscripts belonging to the Lucianic
and Catenae groups, and some other witnesses read . There is no reason
to doubt that the reading in Codex Washington represents the OG.
Land of the Lord: This reading deviates from the MT, , but it is firmly
based in all the major manuscripts of the Greek text.

1:15



,
And I am very angry with the And with great anger I am angry with the
nations that are at ease; for I was nations that combine to attack. For I was
but a little angry, and they helped a little angry, but they combined to attack
for evil. for evil.
152 CHAPTER 9

In verse 15 the Greek text differs from the MT. The Hebrew verb , those
who are at ease, in the first hemistich of the verse is translated by Greek
, those who combine to attack.63 The same Greek verb is also
used towards the end of the verse as a translation for the root . The word is
used once more in the OG-MP, in Obad 1:13:
(you should not have attacked their army in the day
of their calamity), which translates ( you should
not have looted his goods in the day of his calamity, [NRSV]). In the other LXX/
OG books the verb is used only three times, two times with put, place as
the equivalent,64 and once probably with recognize [Piel].65 This Greek
verb was used for a variety of Hebrew words, and a pattern of usage is hard to
discern. The verbs usage in Zech 1:15 as a rendering for two different Hebrew
verbs66 likely reflects the ideas of the translator and not a Hebrew source that
differed from the MT.67
In the Hebrew text, Yahweh is angry with the nations who are at ease, who
lived carelessly and in ignorance, while in the Greek text Jerusalem is under
pressure from the nations that join together and attack her. The Greek text
states that Yahweh is angry with the attacking nations. Who the nations attack
must be inferred from the context, and the most likely option is Jerusalem,
mentioned as an object of Yahwehs jealousy. As an outcome of these attacks
Yahweh will return and have mercy on Jerusalem, and his house will be rebuilt
in her midst.

1:19 (2:2)






And I said to the angel who talked And I said to the angel that spoke with
with me, What are these? And he me, What are these, lord? And he said
answered me, These are the horns to me, These are the horns that have
which have scattered Judah, Israel, scattered Judah, and Israel.
and Jerusalem.

63 For the meaning of the Greek verb, see Mur; LBA 23.49, 1067.
64 Num 12:11; Ps 3:7.
65 Deut 32:27, here the Greek text deviates on several points and the Hebrew source is not
easy to reconstruct.
66 See pages 96 and 111.
67 Hanhart, Sacharja, 56; Gelston, BHQ, 134*.
OG-Zechariah 2 153

The most interesting word in this verse is the one that is missing from the
Greek text: Jerusalem. Scholars disagree, however, as to which text pre-
serves the original reading. Hanhart suggests that Jerusalem has been added
to the text and that the Greek translation attests to a better Hebrew text than
the MT.68 Some find it likely that Israel is secondary; others that both Israel
and Jerusalem are additions,69 still others find it possible that the MT pre-
serves the original reading, in spite of its oddity.70
In light of the texts I discuss in this chapter, which suggest that the transla-
tor emphasizes the role of Jerusalem, the Greek text in 1:19 might be regarded
as part of the same tendency. In this verse we find four horns that scatter Israel
and Judah, but not Jerusalem according to the Greek text.71

Zephaniah 1:713. The Greek text differs from the MT in these verses, which are
concerned with the Day of Yahwehs sacrifice. According to the MT, Yahweh
will punish the leaders and the wealthy in Jerusalem for their extravagance
and arrogance. In the Greek translation, however, this was understood in a dif-
ferent manner.

Translation

7 Show reverence before the Lord God, for the day of the Lord is near, for the Lord
has prepared his sacrifice, and has consecrated his called ones. 8 And it shall be
on the day of the Lords sacrifice, that I will take vengeance on the princes, and
on the kings house, and upon all that wear foreign dress. 9 And I will openly
take vengeance upon all on the porches in that day, on those who fill the house
of the Lord their God with impiety and fraud. 10 And there shall be on that day,
says the Lord, a sound of cry from the gate of men slaying, and a howling from
the second, and a loud crashing from the hills. 11 Lament, you who inhabit that
which has been destroyed, for all the people has become like Canaan, and all

68 Hanhart, Sacharja, 97.


69 For different suggestions see Meyers and Meyers, Haggai, Zechariah 18, 138; Barthlemy,
CTAT, 3.9367.
70 Meyers and Meyers, Haggai, Zechariah 18, 138.
71 In 1:21(2:4) the Greek text refers to the land of the Lord, while the MT has the land of
Judah. Hanhart (Sacharja, 97) suggests that the Greek text probably reflects
instead of MTs . Even though the graphic difference is so small that it pos-
sibly could have been a scribal mistake, it is probably better to view the deviation as an
exegetical change. The meaning of the phrases strongly indicates intention. The change
may stem from some Hebrew scribe or from the Greek translator (see Palmer, Tracing
Paper, 116). It is difficult to find conclusive arguments in favor of any of the explanations.
154 CHAPTER 9

who were exalted by silver have been utterly destroyed. 12 And it shall be on that
day, that I will search Jerusalem with a candle, and will take vengeance on the
men that despise the things committed to them. They say in their hearts, the
Lord will not do any good, neither will he do any evil. 13 And their power shall
be for a spoil, and their houses for utter desolation, and they shall build houses,
but shall not dwell in them; and they shall plant vineyards, but shall not drink
the wine of them.

Textual Notes

7 Show reverence: Codex Washington adds all flesh, which would


be very similar to Zech 2:13(17). It seems more likely that these two words have
been added in this manuscript to specify the subject of the verb, than that all the
other manuscripts should have dropped them.
Has prepared...has consecrated: The perfect tenses of the Greek verbs are
attested in Codex Washington, Codex Vaticanus, Codex Venetus, in some
Lucianic manuscripts, and manuscripts belonging to the Catenae group. The rest
has the aorist tense. The manuscripts mentioned above give reason to think that
the aorist tense is a later development.
9 Openly...upon all: The Greek text , has the support of
the major manuscripts except for Codex Vaticanus, which omits . The
MT reads , all who leap. LEH suggests that the original Greek transla-
tion was , all who spring/leap, which, during textual
transmission, developed into . This is possible, but lacks the
support of the manuscripts.
The house of the Lord their God: This text is supported by the major manu-
scripts, although Codex Venetus, the Lucianic main group, and a few of the
church fathers do not have the Lord, while two minuscule manuscripts and the
Syrohexapla lack their God.
11 Lament: Codex Washington has , which seems to be an error for
; it has also been corrected in the manuscript.72 The Lucianic recen-
sion, the Catenae main group, and some church fathers have the present impera-
tive instead of the aorist imperative .
Silver: Codex Washington adds , and gold, while the other major
manuscripts have a text similar to the MT at this point.
12 That despise: All the textual witnesses affirm the reading ,
those who despise. The deviation this reading represents in relation to the MT
, those who are thickening, has made some scholars suggest the Greek

72 Sanders and Schmidt, The Minor Prophets, 108 and 199.


OG-Zechariah 2 155

reading , those who are carrying down.73 This emendation is


possible if one compares these words only, but does not appear as
well integrated into the Greek text as does, and since all the
manuscripts have the latter form, there is no reason to question it.
They say: Codex Vaticanus has the conjunction which puts this sentence in
sharper contrast to the preceding line: but they say. This reading should, how-
ever, be regarded as secondary since it is not found in the other major manu-
scripts. The Lucianic recension and a few church fathers preserve another
variant, namely which corresponds to earlier in the
verse. This reading is found in the revisions and must be deemed Hexaplaric.

There are several differences in the Greek text. Two verses in particular pertain
to Yahwehs zeal for Jerusalem and the temple and therefore require comment.

Zeph 1:9



,

.
On that day I will punish all who And I will openly take vengeance upon
leap over the threshold, who fill their all on the porches in that day, on those
masters house with violence and who fill the house of the Lord their God
fraud. with impiety and fraud.

Zeph 1:12










At that time I will search Jerusalem And it shall be on that day, that I will
with lamps, and I will punish the search Jerusalem with a candle, and
people who rest complacently on will take vengeance on the men that
their dregs, those who say in their despise the things committed to them.
hearts, Yahweh will not do good, They say in their hearts, The Lord will
nor will he do harm. not do any good, neither will he do any
evil.

73 See the apparatus in DP, 277.


156 CHAPTER 9

The equivalence is strange (Zeph 1:9). The Greek word has no


semantic link to the Hebrew participle. All the places this Hebrew root is used
elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible we find a semantically adequate equivalent in
the LXX/OG translations.74 There is no obvious textual explanation that would
account for a variant in the Hebrew source of the translator. In the textual
notes I mentioned the possibility that resulted from an inner Greek
development from (, to come/spring upon). This is a
plausible scenario, but we lack any manuscripts pointing in this direction.
Another, larger difference is the OG reading those who fill the house of
the Lord their God with impiety and fraud where the MT has who fill their
masters house with violence and fraud (Zeph 1:9). The Greek text makes a
clear reference to the temple, while the MT has nothing to do with Yahwehs
temple. With the insertion of their God, the Greek text ensures that
(rendering )will be understood as referring to the deity. The Greek tex-
tual tradition firmly attests to this reading, which is found with slight varia-
tions several times in the LXX/OG translations. With one exception, all of these
reflect / .75 It is not impossible that the Hebrew source of the
translator had a similar line, or for that matter though such a
line is never found elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible. But the differences between
such a reconstruction and the MT cannot have happened incidentally. It
appears that the line found in the Greek text reflects an interpretation of the
text and this interpretation has to be explained, whether one ascribes it to a
scribe of the Hebrew text or to the translator of the Greek.
Although a Hebrew source that would account for the Greek text is possible
to imagine, it is not the best explanation. The Greek translation is not very
different from the MT when we look at the formal equivalents. The Hebrew
is accurately translated by .... The rendering
of by is widely attested in the LXX/OG translations, and used for all
the occurrences of in the OG-MP. It is likely that precisely this usage of
to render a common and profane word made the translator come up
with the specification of as a reference to the deity. He thereby found
it necessary to add the words to the sentence. The translator prob-
ably interpreted the Hebrew verse as having something to do with the temple,

74  to step/leap over (2 Kgdms 22:30, Ps 18:30); to leap (Song 2:8);


to spring, to leap upon (Isa 35:6).
75 Exod 23:19; 34:26, Deut 23:19, 2 Chr 34:8. In Isa 38:22 we find the Greek phrase
while the MT has .
OG-Zechariah 2 157

and therefore also used earlier in the verse, which is very much con-
nected to temple architecture.76
The Greek text therefore presents a quite different scenario from the one in
the MT. In the MT it is the leaders and the wealthy men of Jerusalem and their
servants who are condemned (1:89). They acquire their wealth through injus-
tice and are arrogant towards Yahweh. In the Greek text it is the leaders, the
house of the king, and those who wear foreign garb who will be judged (1:8). In
OG-Zeph 1:9, this group is enlarged to include those who fill the temple with
ungodliness and deceit. This may indeed be the priest and the ones respon-
sible for the temple.
OG-Zephaniah 1:12 arguably has another reference to this group. In the MT
according to Zeph 1:12, Yahweh will search Jerusalem and punish those who
arrogantly ignore him; these people are described as lazy and drunk. The Greek
text, however, asserts that the deity will take vengeance on the people who
despise the things committed to them. If this refers to the same people as
OG-Zeph 1:89 does, it would indicate the political leaders and the religious
leaders responsible for the temple. The text accuses them of not fulfilling their
responsibilities.
The deviations in OG-Zeph 1:12 may be explained as the translators inter-
pretation. The Hebrew phrase is not straightforward. The
root is not used very often, and when it is, it conveys a variety of mean-
ings. The basic meaning of the root has to do with to thicken, to congeal. This
meaning is present in Job 10:10, did you not pour me out like milk and curdle
( )me like cheese? (NRSV), and in Exod 15:8, At the blast of your nos-
trils the waters piled up, the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed
( )in the heart of the sea (NRSV). In other contexts the meaning seems
to be different, as in Zech 14:6, and it will be on that day, that there shall be
no light, and the precious ( )will congeal ( Kethib).77 The usage in
Zeph 1:12 seems to be a metaphorical reference to people who are drinking
themselves senseless.
The Greek word that renders in Zeph 1:12, , belongs
to a different semantic field. This verb usually translates Hebrew words

76 See LSJ.
77 In 14:6, also the word has been discussed by interpreters. The uncertainty is present
in modern translation: there shall not be light, but heavy clouds and thick (JPS 1917);
there shall not be either cold or frost (NRSV); weder Klte noch Frost noch Eis sein
(LUT 1984).
158 CHAPTER 9

like , , and once each it renders ,78 ,79 ,80 and .81 It is not
impossible that the Hebrew source of the translator had one of these roots, but
such a reconstruction cannot be assumed as a simple mistake in the transmis-
sion of the Hebrew text; the graphical differences between the words are too
great. It is better to look at the whole phrase in the Greek text before making
judgments concerning this rendering.
The Hebrew word , dregs, lees, in the phrase is translated
by , observance, obligation, commandment. This Greek word usually
translates the Hebrew word , guard, watch, charge, function, which
is derived from the root . A failure to recognize the word in Zeph 1:12
left the translator to think of the root that means guard, watch, keep and to
render with the related substantive.82
From this interpretation the translator may have arrived at for
the rendering of the root in the same phrase. fits such a con-
text well and makes the Greek phrase coherent and comprehensible: those
who despise their commandments/the things committed to them. It appears
therefore that the translator has rendered this line on the basis of his interpre-
tation of the text.83
In Zeph 1:713, then, we find differences that are likely to stem from the trans-
lator and his interpretation of the passage. While the Hebrew text addresses
the leaders and the wealthy people of Jerusalem, the translator understood the
passage to be concerned with the temple. He included the people responsible
for ungodliness and fraud in the temple in a prophecy of judgment. The trans-
lator probably aims at the same group in Zeph 1:12.

Summary and Conclusions

Several texts show the same tendency that we identified in the translation of
Zechariah 2. The translators emphasis on the importance of Jerusalem is also
found in other texts in OG-Zechariah and the other OG-books of the Minor
Prophets. Jerusalem is seen as a place of refuge for the people of Israel and
for those of the nations who turn to it. The nations who opposed Jerusalem

78 Gen 27:12.
79 Prov 13:13.
80 Prov 25:9.
81 Jer 2:36.
82 See the paragraph Etymological renderings, 117121.
83 See the paragraph Contextual guesses, 111114.
OG-Zechariah 2 159

will be punished. In the translation of Zechariah 1 we found that the transla-


tor draws attention to nations attacking Jerusalem and the punishment which
awaits them. The translator also seems to bear a grudge against a group who
has filled the temple with violence and fraud. The same people, apparently,
have despised the thing that had been entrusted to them and are punished
rightfully.
In his study of Zechariah, James Palmer also concludes that the translator
emphasized the role of Jerusalem.84 He claims that the translator underlined
the return of the exiles to Jerusalem and the expectation that the nations will
worship Yahweh there.85 However, he contends that some passages contradict
the emphasis on Jerusalem. These are passages in which we would expect the
translator to give Jerusalem a greater role than he does. Palmers explanation
for these contradicting tendencies is that the translator was trying to trans-
late the text as he understood it without an over-arching theological purpose
or vision.86
The texts that lead Palmer to this conclusion are the translation of Zech
12:23 and 14:10.87 The weakness of Palmers argument from these passages
is that he does not read them in their contexts. Palmer is quite correct in
demonstrating that the Greek text of 12:23 describes Jerusalem as weak
(a trembling doorpost) and subjugated to the nations (a stone trampled on).
But 12:23 are merely setting the stage for the battle that commences in 12:4.
That Jerusalem is weak and under foreign rule only serves to magnify the sal-
vation that follows. In 14:10 the translator reads as the toponym Ramah
and not a derivative of the verbal root , to be high, exalted. Due to this
Greek reading, Jerusalem, which is likely to be the subject of the verb, is not
said to be exalted. But given the context, the translators reading is a fair inter-
pretation. The text refers to several places around Jerusalem and these names
seemingly lead the translator to read as a toponym. It seems therefore
farfetched to claim, as Palmer does, that the translator missed a chance to exalt
Jerusalem.
Ccile Dogniez made a different kind of conclusion when she studied the
presentation of the temple in OG-Zechariah. She writes that the translation
turns the reconstruction of the temple into a metaphor for the reconstruction
of the community. The translation designates the community as the heritage

84 Palmer, Tracing Paper, 123.


85 Palmer, Tracing Paper, 145.
86 Palmer, Tracing Paper, 123.
87 I discuss 14:10 on page 111.
160 CHAPTER 9

of Israels God.88 Her argument is based on the usage of the perfect tense in
8:9 and the rendering of , top stone, by ,
stone of inheritance, in 4:7. The perfect tense in 8:9 makes the reconstruction
of the temple a fait accompli,89 and the usage of inheritance may, according
to Dogniez, refer to the expression , mountain of inheritance,
in Exod 15:17. In this verse Yahweh promises to form the mountain of inheri-
tance by his own hands. A reference to this promise may therefore convey a
hope of a new heritage like the one after the exile. The stone of inheritance
is thus, according to Dogniez, used in a metaphorical way of the people of
Yahweh.90
Dogniez is correct in pointing out that the translation of 8:9 places the
reconstruction of the temple in the past, but that the usage of
for
should be an intertextual reference to LXX-Exod 15:17 is harder to
prove. Even if it is an intertextual reference, it seems less than self-evident
that in Zechariah should be seen as a metaphor for the people
of Yahweh. It appears that this explanation needs proof in order to assert its
description of how the translator arrived at his rendering; see the paragraph on
etymological renderings above.91

88 Dogniez, La Reconstruction, 64.


89 Dogniez, La Reconstruction, 47.
90 Dogniez, La Reconstruction, 63.
91 See pages 117121. Dogniez (La Reconstruction, 61) also mentions this explanation.
CHAPTER 10

OG-Zechariah 9:913: The King is Coming

Zechariah 9 is famous for its prophecy of a king and the theme of the Day of
Yahweh. I will point out some peculiarities in the translation that may indicate
how the translator understood the passage.

The Text

Zechariah 9 describes Yahweh saving his people from their enemies. Yahweh
acts as a warrior who brings about peace and material abundance. The people
will again have a king, and his kingdom will extend to the ends of the earth.
The chapter is divided into three units: 9:18, 9:910, and 9:1117.1 The first unit
is a prophecy of doom for Hadrach and Damascus, Hamath, and the coastal
cities from Sidon to Gaza. The second unit prophesies the restoration of a king
to Jerusalem, and the third unit describes the future salvation of Yahweh. The
passage develops from the judgment of the nations surrounding Judea to the
salvation of Yahwehs people. The unity of this passage appears even stronger
in the Greek version than in the MT. The Greek text follows the structure of the
Hebrew, but differs in numerous smaller instances. Some of these deviations
reveal a pattern that may represent the translators interpretation of the text.
Here I am interested in Zech 9:913. These verses contain the famous prophecy
in which a king will be restored to Jerusalem and Yahweh will bring salvation
to his people.

The Greek Translation


A translation of OG-Zech 9:913 follows:

9 Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion; proclaim aloud, daughter of Jerusalem;


behold, your King is coming to you, he is just and saving; he is meek and riding
on an ass, and a young foal. 10 And he shall destroy chariots from Ephraim, and
cavalry from Jerusalem, and the bow of war shall be utterly destroyed; and there
will be abundance and peace from the nations; and he shall rule over the waters
as far as the sea, and the rivers to the ends of the earth. 11 And you have by the
blood of the covenant sent forth your prisoners out of the pit that has no water.

1 Rudolph, HaggaiSacharja, 166189; Larkin, Eschatology, 5486.

koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 6|doi .63/9789004302730_011


162 CHAPTER 10

12 You shall dwell in fortresses, you prisoners of the congregation: and for one day
of your exile I will repay you double. 13 For I have bent you, Judah, for myself as a
bow, I have filled Ephraim; and I will raise up your sons, Zion, against the sons of
the Greeks, and I will handle you as the sword of a warrior.

Textual Notes

9 Proclaim aloud: , proclaim aloud, renders MTs , to shout. The


major Greek manuscripts are consistent on this verse. Most of the variant read-
ings are found in quotations in the New Testament or the church fathers. The
translation of this root in the Hiphil by is only found in the OG-MP
(Hos 5:8; Joel 2:1; Zeph 3:14).
Saving: The MT has the Niphal form (being saved, having salvation)
while the Greek text uses an active participle (he who is saving). Brenton
translates the participle as a Savior, while SD has ein Retter. See 166 for further
discussion.
10 He shall destroy: is found in all the major codices except Codex
Washington, which has the subjunctive (a very slight change to the
meaning), and Codex Sinaiticus, which has the passive form ,
likely due to influence from the form later in the same verse.
Only in Theodore of Mopsuestias commentary on the Minor Prophets (DP
1213) do we find a form in the first person singular, which corresponds to the
MT. In the MT, Yahweh acts as the subject for this verb.
Abundance and peace from the nations: The Greek text is firmly based in the
major manuscripts. It may rely on a different Hebrew source, ,2
which would be secondary to the MT reading, possibly a response to the MT
being too positive towards the nations.3 But the Greek text may also stem from
the translator and reflect his exegesis of the text.4
Waters as far as the sea: The peculiar reading , waters, is well attested
in the manuscripts. Some manuscripts, with Codex Sinaiticus as the most impor-
tant, add , which is a clear conflation of this reading with the tra-
ditional vocalization found in the MT. We may safely assume that our translator

2 Kaminka, Studien, 249.


3 See Rudolph, HaggaiSacharja, 178.
4 Van der Kooij, The Septuagint of Zechariah, 5960.
OG-Zechariah 9:913 163

read and not with the Masoretes.5 The translators reading


appears to be a misconception, but it is fair to mention the suggestion of Heinz-
Joseph Fabry. He connects the reading to Nah 1:12 where the OG has
while the MT has .
Although the Hebrew source text here may possibly be slightly different
,6 Fabry claims that these translations may reflect the old Canaanite
Chaoskampf-Motiv.7 This explanation suits Nah 1:12, where Yahweh is the ruler,
but in OG-Zech 9:10, the ruler is the king and it is not likely that the translator
would ascribe such an attribute to him.
11 The covenant: This text, lacking the pronoun, is found in Codex Washington,
Origen, and an inscription in Santa Maria Antigua in Rome. The MT reads your
covenant, and the pronoun is reflected in Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus,
Codex Venetus, the Lucianic recension, some of the versions, and some church
fathers. Both Rahlfs and Ziegler follow the first option in their text editions.
12 You shall dwell: The Greek text has , a reading which Codex
Washington and Origen attest to, and Codex Sinaiticus has a third-person sin-
gular form of the same verb. This reading probably stems from the Hebrew root
, either or , where the translator rendered the imperative by the
future passive. The MT has the plural imperative , return.
Congregation: The Greek rendering, , is firmly based in the manu-
scripts. It probably reflects a variant, , gathering (see Lev 11:36), in the
source text rather than , as in the MT.8
13 I will handle you: The rendering I will handle you is
well based in the manuscripts. The line is, however, a peculiar equivalent for
, I will put you, but it may be explained by supposing a metathesis in the
transmission of the Hebrew source of the translator. The Hebrew root is a
common equivalent for , found not only in the translation of the Minor
Prophets but also in those of Job and the Psalms. In Zech 3:9 renders
, and it is likely that this was also the form in the Hebrew source text.

5 I use the Tiberian vocalization system for the sake of convenience. Regarding the Hebrew
source of our translator, it is anachronistic.
6 Heinz-Joseph Fabry, The Lord over Mighty Waters, 151165, in Translating a Translation:
The LXX and its Modern Translations in the Context of Early Judaism, eds. Hans Ausloos et al.
(Leuven: Peeters, 2008), 152.
7 Fabry, Mighty Waters, 156.
8 See Palmer, Tracing Paper, 49.
164 CHAPTER 10

The Nature of the Differences in the Greek Text

Zech 9:910


9
9


,


10
10





9 Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! 9 Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion; pro-
Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! claim aloud, daughter of Jerusalem;
Behold, your King is coming to you. behold, your King is coming to you, he is
He is just and saved, lowly and riding just and saving; he is meek and riding on
on an ass, a colt, the foal of an ass. an ass, and a young foal.
10 I will cut off the chariot from 10 And he shall destroy chariots out of
Ephraim and the horse from Ephraim, and cavalry out of Jerusalem,
Jerusalem. The battle bow shall be and the bow of war shall be utterly
cut off. He shall speak peace to the destroyed; and there will be abundance
nations. His dominion will be from and peace from the nations; and he shall
sea to sea, and from the river to the rule over the waters as far as the sea, and
ends of the earth. the rivers to the ends of the earth.

It has been noted that the Hebrew text of these two verses alludes to other bib-
lical texts. The most obvious are Genesis 49 and Psalm 72, though the literary
context of the passage is possibly even more complex.9
In Genesis 49 we find Jacobs farewell blessing of his sons. The blessing
of Judah, which promises eternal kingship for his descendants, is believed
to have served a political purpose as a pro-Judean, pro-Davidic propaganda.10

9 See Terry Collins, The Literary Contexts of Zechariah 9:9, 2940, in The Book of Zechariah
and its Influence, ed. Christoffer Tuckett (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), and Adrian M. Leske,
Context and Meaning of Zechariah 9:9, 663678, CBQ 62 (2000).
10 See Michael Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel (Oxford: Clarendon, 1985),
501, and Rex Mason, Why is Second Zechariah so full of Quotations? 2128, in The Book
of Zechariah and its Influence, ed. Christoffer Tuckett (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), 25.
OG-Zechariah 9:913 165

In Zechariah this blessing is turned into prophecy with eschatological over-


tones of an ideal king. The most direct reference is in the description of the
humble king riding on an ass ( ) , which uses the same lan-

guage as Gen 49:11. The words I have sent forth your prisoners ( ) out
of a pit that has no water ( ) in 9:11 also plays on the patriarchal
story of Joseph and his brothers.11 Joseph was thrown into a pit without water
(Gen 37:24 ) and was later a prisoner in Egypt (Gen 39:20).
Zechariah 9:910 combine Jacobs blessing with Psalm 72. This Psalm speaks
about a king who will be a righteous judge and a savior to the poor and the
meek of the people. Zechariah 9:10b is close to a quotation of Ps 72:8.12 But also
Ps 72:7 is probably reflected in Zechariah 9. In 72:7 we find the line
( in his days shall the righteous flourish, and abun-

dance of peace, till the moon is no more) to which Zechariahs
and may be referring.
Note the interplay between these texts and consider the way they are com-
bined in order to construct the passage in Zechariah 9: 1) The peace spoken
of in the Psalm sees the enemies destroyed and humiliated, while the peace
in Zech 9:10 is one in which the king will speak peace to the nations.13 2) The
pro-Davidic agenda of Genesis 49 is not included in these verses in Zechariah.
Judah is mentioned in 9:13, but there as a reference to the Judean army along-
side the army of Ephraim.14 The reluctance to mention the Davidides claim to
royalty seems to be in line with Zech 12:7 where we find a more direct critique
of the House of David: And the LORD will give victory to the tents of Judah
first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of
Jerusalem may not be exalted over that of Judah (NRSV).15

11 See Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation, 502.


12  His dominion will be from sea to sea, and from
the river to the ends of the earth (Zech 9:10). He
shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth
(Ps 72:8).
13 It has been argued that in Zech 9:10 should be understood not only as external peace
but also an inner peace, see Walter Eisenbeis, Die Wurzel im Alten Testament (Berlin:
de Gruyter, 1969), 215221.
14 One characteristic of how Zech 9:1117 portrays Yahweh as a divine warrior, is that
Yahweh will use human agents, the armies of Judah and Ephraim. See Collins, Literary
Contexts, 31.
15 Mason, Quotations, 25.
166 CHAPTER 10

The prophecy in Zechariah 9, then, combines multiple images of the


ideal king in order to create its own image of a non-Davidic, humble and
peace-seeking monarch.16 This image is taken over by the Greek text, but with
the following changes:

1) The role of the king is more prominent than in the Hebrew text. In the
Hebrew text the king is described as being saved by Yahweh, and it is
Yahweh who will cut off the chariots from Ephraim and the horses from
Jerusalem (9:10). In the Greek text the role of the king is enhanced in
several ways. The most eyecatching change is the active participle
rendering the Niphal participle .17 Thus the king is no longer one who
has been delivered but rather one who delivers. One might suggest the
variant in the Hebrew source text, but such a defective form is rare.18
On the other hand, a similar enhancement of the role of the king is found
in the first verb in 9:10. In the Hebrew text, Yahweh acts as the subject
of this verb, which spells out the saving acts ascribed to the king in the
Greek text. He will act as a warrior who defeats his enemies.
2) In the description of the king the translator used the word , hum-
ble, meek. The Hebrew word translates, , can take several mean-
ings and the translator accordingly had several options how to translate
it. He was careful to choose the positive whenever the context
required,19 but used , poor, needy, and , poor, when he per-
ceived a negative connotation to .20 It is, therefore, no accident that
appears in Zech 9.21
The ideal of a humble leader goes back to the description of Moses in
Num 12:3 as the most humble man on earth. In the Greek version of this
verse we find the use of . Another text which uses in a similar
manner is 2 Macc 15:12 where we find it in Judah Maccabees dream vision
of Onias III. It seems therefore that was an honorable designation
for a leader.

16 Scholars have discussed who this king may be. Adrian Leske (Context, 671673) suggests
that the king is the faithful people of Judah.
17 Pola, Sach 9,917LXX, 46; LBA 23.1011, 302; Sb, Sacharja, 51; Van der Kooij, The
Septuagint of Zechariah, 58. Similar renderings are found also in the Peshitta, the Targum
and the Vulgate.
18 The defective form only occurs once with pronominal suffix (2 Sam 22:3). The plene form
is more common, e.g. Isa 45:21.
19 Zeph 3:12.
20 Amos 8:4; Hab 3:14; Zech 7:10.
21 We should notice that Symmachus and Quinta have , while Theodotion has
.
OG-Zechariah 9:913 167

The changes described above appears to be the work of the translator. The
translator enhances the kings role as an agent of God, describing him as pow-
erful and pious.

Zech 9:1113

11
11

12
12


13 13





11 As for you also, because of the 11 And you have by the blood of the
blood of your covenant, I will set covenant sent forth your prisoners out
your prisoners free from the water- of the pit that has no water. 12 You shall
less pit. 12 Return to the stronghold, dwell in fortresses, you prisoners of the
you prisoners of hope. Even today I congregation: and for one day of your
declare that I will restore double to exile I will repay you double. 13 For I
you. 13 For I have bent Judah, for me have bent you, Judah, for myself as a
as a bow and filled it with Ephraim, bow, I have filled Ephraim; and I will
and raised up your sons, Zion, raise up your sons, Zion, against the
against your sons, Greece, and put sons of the Greeks, and I will handle you
you like the sword of a mighty man. as the sword of a warrior.

Between 9:10 and 9:11, the addressee of the message in the text shifts from third
to second person. In the Hebrew text we find the feminine personal pronoun,
which refers back to the parallel expressions daughter of Zion and daughter
of Jerusalem (9:9). The Hebrew text in 9:11 describes how Yahweh will deliver
the captives of Zion/Jerusalem.
In the Greek text we also find a second-person pronoun, but since Greek
does not have gender forms in the second singular, the translator had more
room for his own interpretation of the identity of the addressee. Unlike the
Hebrew, the Greek text of 9:11 casts the verb in second person singular. This
means that it is the addressee rather than Yahweh who will deliver the cap-
tives. It is, however, unlikely that the translator intended that the daughter
of Zion/daughter of Jerusalem should save the captives. They are the ones in
need of salvation in 9:910. Instead, the pronoun in 9:11 may refer to the king,
who has already been given a more active role in the Greek text of 9:910 than
168 CHAPTER 10

in the Hebrew. In OG-Zech 9:11 it is not Yahweh who acts, but a human agent,
as in 9:910.
In 9:12 the captives are addressed, but the second person singular pronoun
recurs in 9:13. In the Hebrew text, the reference is Zion; I will raise up your
sons, Zion. In the Greek text the referent of the pronoun again differs from
the Hebrew. The Greek translator adds the pronoun to the first sentence: For I
have bent you, Judah, for myself as a bow. In the last clause the same pronoun
is again used and now the Greek text has: and I will handle you as the sword
of a warrior. In these verses Yahweh will act through his human agents, Judah
and the sons of Zion. As in 9:910, the human agents take a more active role
than in the Hebrew text, and Judah is specifically appointed to the task.
If we follow the context from 9:910 through 9:11 to 9:13, it appears that Judah
is the ruler in question. Naturally, the Judah of the Hebrew text refers to the
tribe of Judah, but the addition of the personal pronoun in the Greek text may
indicate a different interpretation.

Hypothesis: Suggested Interpretational Differences


in the Greek Text

The changes analyzed above lead to the question of whether it is probable that
the translator had a specific person in mind while he translated.22 Arie van
der Kooij suggests that the king described in the Greek text was Simeon son of
Mattathias.23 Thomas Pola proposes that the king is Judah Maccabee.24 Both
scholars are suggesting that the translator had one of the Maccabees in mind.25
Arie van der Kooij focuses on the expression
in 9:10. Although he admits that the deviation may stem from a variation in the
Hebrew source text, ,26 he questions whether this is likely. The
meaning of such a phrase would, according to van der Kooij, be unclear. The
phrase in the translation may, however, be seen in connection with phrases

22 Ccile Dogniez (Larrive du Roi, 237) ascribes the translations and to the
exegesis of the translator, but she sees them as reflexions of Jewish traditions rather than
a novelty of the translator.
23 Van der Kooij, The Septuagint of Zechariah, 62.
24 Pola, Sach 9,917LXX; Von Juda zu Judas. See also the note to Zech 14:14 in SD.
25 Also Fabry (Mighty Waters, 153) suggests that it must be either Judah or Simon. Schaper
(Eschatology, 143) suggests that the late Hasmonean ruler Judas Aristobulus Is epithet
Philhellene was in fact playing on Zech 9:10 as a fulfilment of the prophecy.
26 See the discussion in the Textual notes.
OG-Zechariah 9:913 169

in OG-Zech 8:22 and 14:16. Both passages state that many nations will go to
Jerusalem. In light of these passages, in 9:10 may refer to a large crowd
of people.27 Van der Kooij finds a similar emphasis in the Greek translation of
Hos 3:5 and Amos 9:1112 and suggests that the tendency reveals the transla-
tors interpretation.
The translation of Zech 9:910, then, depicts a royal figure who will save his
people by military efforts. Following the victory there will be a period of peace,
and the nations will seek Jerusalem. This image fits well, according to van der
Kooij, with the description of Simon in 1 Maccabees 1314.28
Thomas Pola reads the enhanced role of the king in 9:9 in light of other exe-
getical changes in OG-Zechariah. Especially in Zechariah 14 he finds that the
translator makes the text universal, more focused on military terminology, and
more eschatological.29 He then proposes that Judah in 14:14 refers to Judah
Maccabee.30
In light of the changes we analyzed in 9:913 it appears that Pola may be cor-
rect. In these verses the Greek text addressed Judah as Yahwehs human agent.
Reading the tribal name Judah as the personal name of Judah Maccabee lies
close at hand in such a text. This kind of identification is known from other
ancient sources. The author of 1 Maccabees used this kind of interpretation
in his praise of Judah Maccabee. 1 Maccabees 3:19 draws, like Zechariah 9,
upon Jacobs blessing of his son, Judah, especially where Judah Maccabee is
described in the image of a lion.

1 Maccabees 3:1 Then his son Judas, who was called Maccabeus, took command
in his place. 2 All his brothers and all who had joined his father helped him; they
gladly fought for Israel. 3 He extended the glory of his people. Like a giant he put
on his breastplate; he bound on his armor of war and waged battles, protecting
the camp by his sword. 4 He was like a lion in his deeds, like a lions cub roaring for
prey. 5 He searched out and pursued those who broke the law; he burned those
who troubled his people. 6 Lawbreakers shrank back for fear of him; all the evil-
doers were confounded; and deliverance prospered by his hand. 7 He embittered
many kings, but he made Jacob glad by his deeds, and his memory is blessed
forever. 8 He went through the cities of Judah; he destroyed the ungodly out of
the land; thus he turned away wrath from Israel. 9 He was renowned to the ends
of the earth; he gathered in those who were perishing (NRSV).

27 Also Mur (462) arrives at this meaning.


28 Van der Kooij, The Septuagint of Zechariah, 5863.
29 See pages 213235 for a discussion on these suggestions.
30 Pola, Sach 9,917LXX; Von Juda zu Judas.
170 CHAPTER 10

Genesis 49:812 8 Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on
the neck of your enemies; your fathers sons shall bow down before you. 9 Judah
is a lions whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He crouches down, he
stretches out like a lion, like a lionesswho dares rouse him up? 10 The scepter
shall not depart from Judah, nor the rulers staff from between his feet, until
tribute comes to him; and the obedience of the peoples is his. 11 Binding his foal
to the vine and his donkeys colt to the choice vine, he washes his garments in
wine and his robe in the blood of grapes; 12 his eyes are darker than wine, and his
teeth whiter than milk (NRSV).

First Maccabees 3:14 uses elements from Genesis 49. The mention of both
Judahs position among his brothers and of his battle against Israels enemies
has parallels in Genesis 49. The most obvious link is the imagery of Judah as a
lion.31 The peculiar aspect of this kind of interpretation is the identification of
the name Judah. In 1 Maccabees it is no longer the tribe of Judah that is to be
like a lions cub, but rather Judah Maccabee.
The author of 1 Maccabees does not utilize the full range of elements found
in Genesis 49, but rather goes on to describe the heroic acts of Judah. He fought
the wicked and the ungodly as well as kings. He received those who were
ready to perish and, 1 Macc 3:79 state, his memory is blessed forever...he
was renowned to the ends of the earth. This description brings Psalm 72 to
mind, where the salvific acts of the king are described. Especially in Ps 72:917
we find enemies and kings bowing to the king as he saves the meek and poor.
Psalm 72:17 closes the royal hymn with the words May his name endure for
ever, may his name continue as long as the sun, may men bless themselves by
him, may all nations call him blessed.
Whether the author of 1 Maccabees also used Zechariah 9 is difficult to
assess, but it is remarkable that he collocates the same two scriptural passages.
The reinterpretation of these passages to fit Judah Maccabee is illuminating,
and the combination of these two texts provides us with a parallel for under-
standing Zechariah 9.32

31 Cf. also Isa 31:4 and Ps 104 (103): 2022. Jonathan Goldstein (I Maccabees (New York:
Doubleday, 1976), 244) suggests that the author in 1 Macc 3:34 compares Judah to David,
cf. 1 Sam 17:3439.
32 The ancient interpretation of references to the tribe of Judah as concerning the Maccabees
has been suggested for other passages in the Septuagint. As mentioned, Thomas Pola
(Sach 9,917LXX; Von Juda zu Judas.) makes a reasonable argument that the transla-
tor had Judah Maccabee in mind in Zech 14:14, and Judah shall fight in Jerusalem and
gather the strength of all the peoples round about, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great
OG-Zechariah 9:913 171

Summary. There are signs of interpretative elements in the translation.


Zechariah 9:910 predicts that Yahweh will save Jerusalem and that a new king
will come and reign there. In the Greek text, the king is ascribed a more active
role in this salvation than in the MT. Also, in 9:11 and 13 we find Yahweh using
a human agent, who is most likely to be identified with the king. The agent is
addressed as Judah in 9:13, and there are reasons to believe that the translator
read this name as referring to his contemporary, Judah Maccabee.

Supplementary Evidence for Interpretational Changes

Joel 3(4)
Joel 3(4) is a text that has many similarities with Zechariah 9. It describes the
Day of Yahweh, in which the exiled will return and Yahweh will battle the
nations and judge them.
The passage in Joel is complex and the different parts are apparently of vari-
ous origins, but the themes of judgment and salvation on the Day of the Lord
connect them and unify the passage as a whole.

The Greek Translation

1 For, behold, I will, in those days and at that time, when I shall turn the captivity
of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 also gather all the nations, and bring them down to
the valley of Josaphat. And I will plead with them there for my people and my
heritage Israel, who have been dispersed among the nations. They divided my
land 3 and casted lots over my people, and gave boys to harlots, and sold girls for
wine, and drank. 4 And what are you to me, Tyre, and Sidon, and all Galilee of the
foreign tribes? Surely, you do not render me recompense? Or do you bear a sharp
grudge against me? Swiftly I will return your recompense on your own heads, 5
because you took my silver and my gold, and you brought my choice things and

abundance. (I will discuss this passage in chapter 10.) In his study on the Greek Psalter
(Eschatology, 4243), Joachim Schaper claims that the translation
Judah, my king for , Judah, my scepter (Schapers translation) in Pss 59
(60):9 and 107 (108):9 represents a messianic interpretation. Schaper calls this change
a personalization of the phrase, and suggests that this rendering was influenced by
the same kind of hermeneutical decision found in the Greek translation of Gen 49:10.
Schaper then places these Greek Psalms within a Hasmonean context and finds reason to
believe that they show signs of pro-Hasmonean exegesis.
172 CHAPTER 10

my good things into your temples 6 and you sold the sons of Judah and the sons
of Jerusalem to the sons of the Greeks, on order that you might expel them from
their territories. 7 Therefore, behold, I raise them up out of the place where you
sold them, and I will return your recompense on your own heads. 8 And I will
sell your sons and your daughters into the hands of the sons of Judah, and they
shall sell them into captivity to a far distant nation: for the Lord has spoken.
9 Proclaim these things among the nations, sanctify a war, arouse the warriors,
draw near and go up, all you men of war. 10 Beat your ploughshares into swords,
and your sickles into spears. Let the weak say: I am strong. 11 Assemble, and
go in, all you nations round about, and gather yourselves there. Let the meek
become a warrior. 12 Let all the nations be aroused, let them go up to the valley
of Josaphat, for there will I sit to judge all the nations round about. 13 Send forth
sickles, for the vintage has come. Go in, tread, for the press is full, the vats over-
flow; for their wickedness has been multiplied. 14 Noises have resounded in the
valley of judgment: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of judgment. 15
The sun and the moon shall grow dark, and the stars shall withdraw their light.
16 And the Lord shall cry out of Zion, and lift his voice from Jerusalem, and the
heaven and the earth shall be shaken. But the Lord will spare his people, and
the Lord will strengthen the sons of Israel. 17 And you will know that I am the
Lord your God, who dwells in Zion, in my holy mountain. And Jerusalem shall be
holy, and strangers shall not pass through her anymore. 18 And it will happen on
that day that the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with
milk, and all the channels of Judah shall flow with water, and a fountain shall go
forth of the house of the Lord, and water the valley of reeds. 19 Egypt will be a
desolation and Idumea will be a desolate plain, because of the injustice against
the sons of Judah, because they have shed righteous blood in their land. 20 But
Judea shall be inhabited for ever, and Jerusalem to all generations. 21 And I will
avenge their blood, and will by no means leave it unavenged. And the Lord shall
dwell in Zion.

Textual Notes

1 I: This pronoun is well based in the mansucripts. It may rely on a different


source text ( see Joel 3[4]:7), or it may have been added in the Greek text.33 It
anticipates Yahweh as the subject of the verb that comes in the second part of
the verse.

33 LBA, 23.49, 71, suggests that it harmonizes the expression with 2:19 and 3:7.
OG-Zechariah 9:913 173

When: The MT has while other Hebrew manuscripts lack this particle. The
Greek and in the Targum cover the sense of the passage well.34
I shall turn: The MT has the consonants of the intransitive , corrected to
in the Qere. The Greek text has a transitive form as the Qere.
2 The valley of Josaphat: A place by this name ( MT) is not known
from other sources. Eusebius identifies it with the Valley of Hinnom, while
Jerome identifies it with the Valley of Kedron.35 Theodotion (who renders the
phrase by ) and the Targum (which has )
were probably correct in interpreting the name symbolically.36
Who have been dispersed: In the MT the equivalent verb is in Piel. This rela-
tive clause must then be translated whom they [the nations v. 1] spread among
the nations. The Greek translation probably bears witness to a situation where
many Jews were living in the diaspora and my heritage Israel, who have been
dispersed among the nations simply states the factual situation.
They: The subject of the verb probably refers to the nations.
3 Boys...harlots...girls: The MT has singular forms.
4 All Galilee of the foreign tribes: The reading is well based in the manuscripts.
The MT has . See 176177 for further discussion.
Do you bear a sharp grudge against me: The MT has , if you
are paying me back.
5 Because: The MT has .
My choice things and my good things: The Greek text has a conjugation,
which makes two separate entities. The MT has , my good, pleas-
ant things.
8 Into the hands: The MT has , by the hand.
Captivity: The MT has while the Greek may reflect
37 or / .38 But it is also possible that such a Hebrew word existed
only in the mind of the translator, perhaps because the manuscript was dam-
aged.39 In Job 1:15 we find a similar set of equivalents.
10 The weak: The MT has . We find in Codex Washington and
the majority of manuscripts. In the course of the transmission of the Greek text,

34 Wolff, Dodekapropheton 2, 87.


35 G.S.P. Freeman-Greenville, Rupert L. Chapman III, and Joan E. Taylor, eds., The Onomasti-
con by Eusebius of Ceasarea (Jerusalem: Carta, 2003), 67, 94, and 141.
36 John Barton, Joel and Obadiah: A Commentary (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press,
2001), 99.
37 Rudolph, HaggaiSacharja, 77; LBA, 23.49, 75.
38 Wolff, Dodekapropheton 2, 87.
39 Gelston, BHQ, 77*.
174 CHAPTER 10

the form occurred instead of . This form may reflect an inter-


pretative change, and various manuscripts attest to it: Codex Sinaiticus, man-
uscripts in the Hexaplaric recension, Jerome, and, perhaps most interestingly,
Symmachus and Theodotion.
I am strong: The MT has while the Greek translation uses a verb:
.
11 Assemble: Here the MT has the hapax legomenon and different emenda-
tions have been proposed.40 H.W. Wolff suggests that ( see Amos 4:8) may be
behind the Greek .41 A. Gelston, on the other hand, suggests that
the translator simply guessed at its meaning.42
Let the meek become a warrior: The Greek text is well based in the manu-
scripts. The MT has , Cause your mighty ones to go down there,
Lord. Like the Greek text, the Targum and the Vulgate differ from the MT.
Commentators have accordingly made several reconstructions of Hebrew vari-
ants lying behind these texts. BHS reconstructs the line based
on the Greek text, and places it after in Joel 3(4):10. Wolff
proposes a number of possible reconstructions for the different versions. He
suggests that the Targum there will Yahweh break ( )the strength of your
(pl.) warriors and the Vulgate there will the Lord cause all your strong ones to
fall down [ibi occumbere faciet Dominus robustos tuos] probably witness to
or perhaps . He further suggests that underlying the Greek text we should
assume either or .43 W. Rudolph disagrees with these
reconstructions and instead suggests that the source text was only partly differ-
ent, , and based on a similar root in Syriac, that may have been
understood as meek.44 I will argue below that this line is best understood in
light of the entire passage and that it attests to the translators interpretation. See
p. 179184 for a discussion.
12 All the nations: The Greek text adds all to the first mention of the nations.
13 The vintage has come: The MT reads the vintage boils (). Here the
Greek translator probably translated according to his understanding of the con-
text and no Hebrew variant should be reconstructed.
14 Noises have resounded: The Greek deviates slightly from
in the MT (compare Aquilas and Symmachus

40 BHS has two options: or .


41 Wolff, Dodekapropheton 2, 87.
42 Gelston, BHQ, 77*.
43 Wolff, Dodekapropheton 2, 8788.
44 Rudolph, HaggaiSacharja, 7778.
OG-Zechariah 9:913 175

and Theodotions ). Wolff proposes the reconstruction ,45


but there are no compelling reasons for such a reconstruction.
The valley of judgment: The MT reads valley of decision () . The Targum
here uses as it did for in Joel 3(4):2, 12.
16 But the Lord will spare his people, and the Lord will strengthen the sons of
Israel: The Greek has verbs (, ) where the MT has nouns ( ,
) , and it adds in the last sentence. The Lords role is thus emphasized.
Codex Washington attests to the addition of . Codex Vaticanus, Codex
Sinaiticus, Codex Alexandrinus, the Catenae group, some of the early trans-
lations, and Jeromes commentary on the Minor Prophets seem to reflect the
Hexaplaric version without .
17 Jerusalem shall be holy: Codex Washington, Codex Venetus, and the Coptic
and Ethiopic versions have Jerusalem shall be a holy city. Rahlfs prefers these
manuscripts in his edition, while Ziegler prefers the reading in Codex Vaticanus
and Codex Sinaiticus, which resembles that of the MT.
18 The valley of reeds: The MT has probably referring to the place
east of Jordan where the Israelites engaged in the Baal-Peor cult (Num 25:19).
There is no reason to assume that the Hebrew text of the translator differed from
the MT. The Hebrew means acacia tree and the translator may have mis-
understood it,46 or intended, as James Aitken suggests, to convey how much
water will arise, since reeds grow by the side of rivers.47 These explanations
of the Greek text are preferable to Muraokas a place-name or a mechanical
rendering.48
20 Judea shall be inhabited for ever: The MT has literally: and Judah shall
dwell forever.
21 And I will avenge...leave it unavenged: Codex Washington attests to the
Greek verb . Both Rahlfs and Ziegler prefer this form. The other great
codices and a number of other mansucripts have , which is preferred
by Barthlemy.49 On the basis of , Wolff reconstructs for in
the MT.50 But this has correctly been dismissed on the basis of Zech 5:3 where
we find a similar translation.51

45 Wolff, Dodekapropheton 2, 88.


46 Rudolph, HaggaiSacharja, 78.
47 James K. Aitken, in the Septuagint, 433444, VT 50 (2000): 434.
48 Mur, 544.
49 LBA, 23.49, 79.
50 Wolff, Dodekapropheton 2, 88.
51 Rudolph, HaggaiSacharja, 78.
176 CHAPTER 10

Possible Interpretation in the Greek Text


Galilee of the foreign tribes. The setting this text describes, involving Yahwehs
future judgment and salvation, resembles the setting in Zechariah 9, par-
ticularly in its theme of a battle (Joel 3[4]:911) followed by sweet relief
(Joel 3[4]:18). The focus on Jerusalem and the promise that Yahweh will dwell
there is mentioned twice, the second instance concluding the book of Joel.
Among the adversaries we find once again Tyre, Sidon, the foreign tribes,
and the Greeks. In addition, we find Egypt and Idumea towards the end of
the passage.
Regarding the adversaries, the most striking deviation in the OG is the phrase
, and all Galilee of the foreign tribes (Joel 3[4]:4).
In the MT, the equivalent is , and all the regions of Philistia.
The Hebrew name for Galilee, , is not far from , and one might
suggest that the source text read . But such a Hebrew expression
does not make much sense and these words never occur together in the
Hebrew Bible.
On the other hand, if we look at how the word has been rendered in
the LXX/OG we find a variety of forms. In Josh 13:2 for instance, we find the
phrase translated adequately by . However, in
the same book we find with the equivalents , , and
.52 In two other books, 4 Kingdoms and Ezekiel, we find the singular
form , rendered by .53 Given this variety of renderings, it seems
likely that our translator is responsible for the different text in Joel 3(4):4.54
The second part of the expression also
deserves attention. The word which very often renders ,
the Philistines, is found a few times in the Psalms for .55 It is there-
fore not very surprising in Joel 3(4):4. Nevertheless, it should not be assumed
that functioned strictly as a demonym in the Greek translation,
since other ancient texts used it with the meaning another/foreign tribe.56
Muraoka accordingly suggests that the translators used it with a similar sense.57
In Isa 2:6 it translates foreigners, and although we only find it used for
in the Minor Prophets, the places associated with
/

52 Jos 18:7; 22:10; 22:11.


53 4 Kgdms 15:29; Ezek 47:8.
54 See LBA, 23.49, 73, for a similar conclusion.
55 Ps 60(59):10; 83(82):8; 87(86):4; 108(107):10.
56 See the entrance in LSJ, 71.
57 Mur, 20.
OG-Zechariah 9:913 177

vary from the traditional Philistine cities Ekron and Gath, to the larger areas of
Cappadocia and Canaan.58
Another argument for the idea that the line and all Galilee of the foreign
tribes reveals the interpretation of the translator is that the words seem to
relate to an eschatological idea. Ever since the Northern Kingdom was cap-
tured by the Assyrians, the Israelites dreamed of reclaiming the area. The intel-
lectuals in Jerusalem claimed that the people living in the Galilee and the areas
of the former Northern Kingdom were foreigners and that the Israelite tribes
that once lived there had been driven away.59 The idea of recapturing these
areas found its way into the literature and it is reflected in several scriptural
passages. One of them is Psalm 80 (79):13:

<To the leader: on Lilies, a Covenant. Of Asaph. A Psalm.> Give ear, O Shepherd
of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cher-
ubim, shine forth 2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your
might, and come to save us! 3 Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may
be saved (NRSV).

Another, perhaps better known, text that conveys this idea is Isa 8:239:1:

23 But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time
he brought into contempt the land of Zebulon and the land of Naphtali, but in
the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the
Jordan, Galilee of the nations () . 1 The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darknesson them
light has shined.60

These verses introduce the messianic prophecy of the prince of peace in Isa
9:27. The passage connects the expectation of a Messiah to the restoration
of the Northern Kingdom to Israel. This gave rise to the idea that the Galilee
would be restored to Israel with the coming of the Messiah. The New Testament
writers, who were particularly interested in the messianic prophecies, picked
up on this idea in their narratives of Jesus. Especially in the Gospel of Matthew,
Galilee plays an important role in the description of Jesus as the Messiah.
Jesus lived, worked and taught in the Galilee, and this is the place where

58 See Amos 1:8; 6:2; 9:7; Zeph 2:5.


59 2 Kings 17.
60 From NRSV which uses a different versification where 9:1 equals 8:23 in the MT, 9:2 equals
9:1 etc.
178 CHAPTER 10

he commissioned his disciples at the end of the Gospel. The importance of


Galilee is most clearly expressed in 4:1216, where Jesus work in Galilee is seen
as a direct fulfilment of the prophecy in Isaiah:

12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13
He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory
of Zebulon and Naphtali 14 so that what had been spoken through the prophet
Isaiah might be fulfilled: 15 Land of Zebulon, land of Naphtali, on the road by the
sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles ( )16 the people
who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region
and shadow of death light has dawned (NRSV).

The importance of Galilee was not only emphasized by the authors of the
Gospels. We also find it in texts that predate the New Testament. An intriguing
passage is the description of the Maccabean campaign in the Galilee found in
1 Macc 5:1417:

14 While the letter was still being read, other messengers, with their garments
torn, came from Galilee and made a similar report; 15 they said that the people
of Ptolemais and Tyre and Sidon, and all Galilee of the Gentiles (
), had gathered together against them to annihilate us. 16 When Judas
and the people heard these messages, a great assembly was called to determine
what they should do for their kindred who were in distress and were being
attacked by enemies. 17 Then Judas said to his brother Simon, Choose your men
and go and rescue your kindred in Galilee; Jonathan my brother and I will go to
Gilead (NRSV).

The liberation of Gilead and Galilee was an important part of the Maccabean
wars.61 The idea in 1 Maccabees is that Judah and his brothers restored these
areas so that the Israelites could live there. The enemies were foreigners who
had come and taken possession of the land, which belonged to the Israelites.
We should note here that the list, the people of Ptolemais and Tyre and Sidon,
and all Galilee of the Gentiles ( ), in 1 Macc 5:15 is
strikingly similar to the list in the Greek text of Joel 3(4):4, Tyre, and Sidon,
and all Galilee of the foreign tribes ( ).

61 1 Macc 5 and 11 both describe battles against the in Galilee.


OG-Zechariah 9:913 179

In 1 Maccabees the word appears to be used as a translation for


Philistines/Philistia,62 but we also find it used with a wider reference. In
1 Maccabees 4 it seems to be used as a synonym of ,63 and in 1 Maccabees
11, the army of Demetrius is called an army of . Jonathan and his army
march to meet them and engage in battle at Hazor. Also in 1 Maccabees 5, it
appears that is used as a synonym for . is the designation
of the enemies throughout the passage, and when 1 Macc 5:15 uses it
is with the same referent.
It appears that the translator of Joel 3(4):4 rendered the Hebrew text
by due, at least in part, to mes-
sianic ideas connected to the restoration of the Galilee in the late Second
Temple period. The translator links this text to the Day of Yahweh, which is
also connected to messianic expectations several times in the Minor Prophets,64
though not in the Hebrew version of Joel 3(4).
Holy war. Because of the offenses committed by their adversaries, the people
are urged to go to war. The command to beat the ploughshares into swords and
pruning hooks into spears encourages the uprising and equips the warriors.
These verses play on the prophecy in Isa 2/Micah 4 where the reverse action is
described and peace is proclaimed. In Joel 3(4) a holy war should be waged and
everyone is encouraged to take up arms. Let us look at Joel 3(4):911:

9 9






101 10


62 A few times there is no doubt that the reference is the Philistines, like 4:30, and 5:68.
Several times the phrase the land of the foreign tribes may be referring to
the area associated with the Philistines, see 3:41; 4:22; 5:66.
63 See especially 1 Macc 4:1114: 11 Then all the Gentiles () will know that there is one
who redeems and saves Israel. 12 When the foreigners () looked up and saw
them coming against them, 13 they went out from their camp to battle. Then the men with
Judas blew their trumpets 14 and engaged in battle. The Gentiles () were crushed, and
fled into the plain (NRSV).
64 See Amos 9:11; Hag 2:23; Zech 3:38; Hos 1:11.
180 CHAPTER 10


11 11



9 Proclaim this among the nations: 9 Proclaim these things among the
Prepare war, stir up the warriors. nations, sanctify a war, arouse the
Let all the soldiers draw near, let them warriors, draw near and go up, all you
come up. 10 Beat your plowshares men of war. 10 Beat your ploughshares
into swords, and your pruning hooks into swords, and your sickles into
into spears; let the weakling say, spears. Let the weak say: I am strong.
I am a warrior. 11 Come quickly, all 11 Assemble, and go in, all you nations
you nations all around, gather your- round about, and gather yourselves
selves there. Bring down your warriors, there. Let the meek become a
O LORD (NRSV). warrior.

Both texts are somewhat vague when it comes to specifying the subjects of
the verbs. The first verb in Joel 3(4):9 is clear enough, but the demonstrative
pronouns in the Hebrew and the Greek texts create a problem. What does
/ refer to? What must be proclaimed to the nations?65 One possibil-
ity is that it refers to what follows. Then we should, like the NRSV translation
quoted above, add a colon and make the nations the subject of the string of
verbs. Another possibility is that the demonstrative pronoun refers to what
was said in the preceding verses, where the judgment of the nations is declared
and punishment promised. If this is the reference of /, then the ones
who proclaim it to the nations are the ones who should also prepare for war.
In Joel 3(4):11 the battle lines are drawn. In the Hebrew text we find a com-
mand to the nations to gather and then, in the second hemistich, Yahweh is
entreated to bring down his warriors. In the Greek version we find a different
text: let the meek become a warrior.
For the two latter words in this Greek sentence , a textual
explanation appears reasonable. The verb may rely on a variant in the
source text, /, and is a common translation of . Thus, instead
of
in the MT, the source may have been .
But this does not explain the whole reading. The Greek word which is most
puzzling is , the equivalent of . The root , to descend, is used

65 The problem may come from the formation of the book. It has been suggested that
verses 48 is a later interpolation and that verse 9 originally continued verse 3 (Barton,
Joel and Obadiah, 100). If this is true, the original reference of the Hebrew demonstrative
pronoun must have referred to what comes afterwards. With the introduction of verses
48 the ambiguity of the demonstrative pronoun occurs for the interpreter.
OG-Zechariah 9:913 181

a few times in the Hebrew Bible, but elsewhere in the LXX/OG it is never trans-
lated by or its derivatives. It is possible that the Greek word relies on a
variant in the source text like the rest of this line and the BHS suggests recon-
structing the word .66 Similarly, Wolff contends that either or
should be assumed to underlie the Greek text. However, the prob-
lem with the first reconstruction is that never occurs as the translation of
elsewhere.67 When it comes to , it is true that is used as a render-
ing for it in other texts, but there are no manuscripts to support such a reading
in Joel 3(4):11. One may therefore question why it is more likely that should
occur during the transmission of the Hebrew text rather than ascribing the use
of to the translator.
On the other hand, Rudolph argues that the use of for is possible
since the root has cognate meanings in Syriac. Rudolph therefore suggests
that the translator read the word as a participle .
The strength of this suggestion is that we do not have to reconstruct a dif-
ferent Hebrew source, but we allow for the possibility that the translator made
his own judgments. Furthermore, the statement Let the meek become a war-
rior appears to be a parallel to the line that ends Joel 3(4):10, Let the weak say:
I am strong. This parallel may have influenced the translators understanding
of the line in Joel 3(4):11. If this is correct, the ambiguity we saw in Joel 3(4):9
10, regarding who the text refers to, continues in Joel 3(4):11.
We should then ask why the translator chose the rendering . Although
semantically related, it is not synonymous with , weakling, having no
power, in the preceding verse. On the contrary, was used to describe
positive traits. In a Jewish religious context, humility and meekness were vir-
tues that contrasted with being stubborn, arrogant, and haughty in relation to
Yahweh.68 We find a similar usage in the Qumran Scrolls and in later rabbinic
sources.69
In Num 12:3 Moses is described as , a phrase that has
been widely discussed.70 In Hellenistic times there is, however, no doubt that

66 BHS suggests that the reconstructed line , in the MT found as


at the end of v 11, should be placed after in verse 10.
67 TDNT, , , 647.
68 For instance Prov 15:3233: 32 Those who ignore instruction despise themselves, but
those who heed admonition gain understanding. 33 The fear of the LORD is instruction
in wisdom, and humility goes before honor. For further references, see TRE, Demut I,
459461.
69 The Rule of the Community especially, see 1QS 2.24; 3.11; 5.25; 11.1. For an example of rab-
binic usage, see b. Erub. 13b.
70 See Cleon Rogers, Moses: Meek or Miserable? 257263, JETS 29, (1986).
182 CHAPTER 10

the description was interpreted as indicative of Moses piety. As mentioned


above, the Greek translation of the passage was
which must be translated the man Moses was very meek. In Sirachs
description of Moses (45:16), it is precisely Moses faithfulness and humility
that made him a suitable leader: for his [Moses] faithfulness and meekness
() he consecrated him, choosing him out of all humankind (Sir 45:4).71
This tradition continued to develop, and in the Talmud Moses is presented
as the prime example of proper humility before God. Further, the Talmud por-
trays humility as one of the most important qualities of leading figures and a
virtue that separates the chosen people from the Gentiles. Abraham, Moses,
Aaron, and David are all characterized by humility, even after greatness was
bestowed upon them.72 These examples of humility are extended to the rabbis
themselves. Hillel, for example, is characterized by piety and humility, and this
made it appropriate for the Shechina to rest on him as it did on Moses.73
Returning to books from the Hellenistic era, we find that 2 Maccabees
describes Onias III in a similar manner. 2 Maccabees shows high regard for
Onias, and expresses it especially in 2 Maccabees 3 and 15. In 15:12 we find this
line put into the mouth of Judah Maccabee: Onias, who had been high priest,
a noble and good man, of modest bearing and humble () manner, one
who spoke fittingly and had been trained from childhood in all that belongs
to excellence, was praying with outstretched hands for the whole body of the
Jews (NRSV).
The same high regard for meekness is found in the books of the New
Testament in sayings such as blessed are the meek ( ), for they will
inherit the earth (Matt 5:5) and rather, let your adornment be the inner self
with the lasting beauty of a gentle () and quiet spirit, which is very pre-
cious in Gods sight (1 Pet 3:4).74 In the Gospel of Matthew we find Jesus desig-
nating himself as humble: Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am
gentle () and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matt
11:29). We later find an abridgement of Zech 9:910 describing Jesus as humble:
Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble (),
and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Matt 21:5).
Humility was a central aspect of Jewish and early Christian piety. The word
was commonly used to designate this attitude, and this preference may
have arisen through the LXX/OG translations. In classical Greek, was

71 NRSV.
72 B. Hul. 89a.
73 B. Sanh. 11a.
74 Both quotes from NRSV.
OG-Zechariah 9:913 183

used with a wide range of meanings and could designate something as gentle
or pleasing, whether it was a thing, an animal, or a person.75 The translators
of the LXX/OG applied it in a much narrower sense and seem to have reserved
the word for the religious humility that was so highly valued in their time. In
the LXX/OG, with the exception of Joel 3(4):11, is only used to translate
or . This means that its usage was quite specific and narrower than the
cognate Greek words , , and , which were used for the
Hebrew , , and , as well as for and .
The translator of the Greek Minor Prophets used three times. In Zeph
3:12 he used it to describe the remnant of Israel in the end time: and I will
leave in you a meek () and lowly () people; and they shall fear
the name of the Lord.76 Here translates and thus seems to interpret
the Hebrew description of the people as afflicted and poor ( ) to be pious
attributes.
In Zech 9:9 the translator used as a designation of the messianic king:
behold, your King is coming to you, he is just and saving; he is meek ()
and riding on an ass. The text thus combines the virtue of humility with the
image of the savior king. This seemingly contradictory combination is not
unique; we find the same collocation of ideals in the description of a royal
wedding in Ps 45:36(44:36). A translation of the Greek version follows:77

You are more beautiful than the sons of men: grace has been shed forth on your
lips: therefore God has blessed you for ever. 4 Gird your sword upon your thigh, O
Mighty One, in your comeliness, and in your beauty; 5 and bend your bow,78 and
prosper, and reign, because of truth and meekness () and righteous-
ness; and your right hand shall guide you wonderfully. 6 Your arrows are sharp-
ened, Mighty One, the peoples shall fall under you, in the heart of the kings
enemies.

75 TDNT, , , 645.
76 They probably refers to the rest of Israel in the beginning of the next verse.
77 It has been debated whether the OG translation of this Psalm bears the marks of a
messianic interpretation, see R. Tournay, Les affinits du Ps. XLV avec le Cantique des
Cantique et leur interprtation messianique, 168212, in Congress Volume Bonn 1962,
eds. G.W. Anderson et al. (Leiden: Brill, 1963); Schaper, Eschatology, 7883; Hans Ausloos,
Psalm 45, Messianism and the Septuagint, 239251, in The Septuagint and Messianism,
ed. M.A. Knibb (Leuven: Peeters, 2006).
78 Here the MT has and your splendour while the Greek translation and
bend [a bow] seems to be based on ( see Zech 9:13).
184 CHAPTER 10

The third instance of in the OG-MP, in Joel 3(4):11 ( ),


can now be understood in light of this brief survey of humility and messian-
ism. This passage in Joel describes Yahwehs judgment and salvific acts. The
Greek translation follows the Hebrew faithfully with a few exceptions. In Joel
3(4):4 we saw that Galilee of the foreign tribes was listed among Yahwehs
enemies. Galilee had such an important role in the messianic traditions that it
seems plausible that the usage of Galilee in the Greek text reflects the transla-
tors interpretation of this passage.
The rest of the setting in Joel 3(4) with the enemies and their offenses is
similar to the one we find in Zechariah 9, and to the religio-political setting
in the second century BCE. In this text, Yahweh will save his people and judge
those who oppose him. In Joel 3(4):911 the people prepare for war and the
armies are lined up. And it is in this preparation for war that we find the line
let the meek become a warrior. Given the similar contexts, the prophecy of
Zech 9:910 (with its use of ) provides the key to understanding the use
of meek () in Joel. Both probably refer to a messianic concept and quite
likely have the same referent in mind.
CHAPTER 11

OG-Zechariah 14: The Festival of Booths

The hypothesis, presented in chapter 9, that the translator had Judah Maccabee
in mind when he translated Zechariah 9 can be further tested by investigating
whether a similar interpretation is apparent in other texts that our translator
produced. The next text we will look at is Zechariah 14.

The Text

Zechariah 14, like Zechariah 9, concerns the Day of Yahweh. This theme is
introduced in 14:1 by the phrase and recurs throughout the
chapter in the lines ( 14:6,8, and 13)/( 14:7)/
( 14:9,20)/( 14:4,21). These phrases bind the passage together as
they mark beginnings and ends of the different descriptions of the Day of
Yahweh. In 14:16 the nations will gather against Jerusalem and take her and
her inhabitants captive. Yahweh will, however, come to fight the nations; he
will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of the city, and split the mountain in
two. These verses conclude with a description of the darkness that accompa-
nies this day.1 In 14:712 the light will eventually prevail and the living water
will flow continually from Jerusalem. Yahweh will rule over all the earth.
Jerusalem with her surrounding areas will dwell safely, while the enemies will
suffer painfully for their attack. This leads to the next section, 14:1315, which
further describes the defeat of the nations. Whoever is left will (14:16) come
peacefully to worship Yahweh, the king, and to celebrate the feast of booths.
Verses 1719 express a calling to everyone to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem on
this feast, accompanied by a threat to those who refuse. Verses 2021 conclude
the whole section, describing the renewed temple service with holy vessels
and the absence of merchants in the temple precincts.
The Greek translation follows the Hebrew text closely and has the same
structure.

1 See Joel 2:2; Amos 5:18.

koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 6|doi .63/9789004302730_012


186 CHAPTER 11

The Greek Translation


A translation of OG-Zech 14:121 follows:

Behold, the days of the Lord will come, and your spoils shall be divided in you.
2 And I will gather all the Gentiles against Jerusalem to war, and the city will be
taken, and the houses plundered, and the women defiled; and half of the city
will go into captivity, but the rest of my people shall not be completely cut off
from the city. 3 But the Lord shall go forth, and set up in battle order against those
nations as a day of his marshalling on a day of war.2 4 And his feet shall stand
in that day on the Mount of Olives, which is opposite Jerusalem to the east, and
the Mount of Olives will cleave asunder, half of it to the east and half of it to the
west,3 a very great abyss; and half of the mountain shall lean to the north, and
half of it to the south. 5 And the valley of my mountains shall be blocked up, and
the valley of the mountains shall be joined on to Iasol, and will be blocked up
as it was blocked up in the days of the earthquake, in the days of Ozias king of
Judah; and the Lord my God shall come, and all the holy ones with him. 6 And
on that day there will be neither light nor cold weather nor frost. 7 It shall be for
one day, and that day is known to the Lord, and it shall not be day or night; but
towards evening there will be light. 8 And in that day living water shall come out
of Jerusalem; half of it to the first sea, and half of it to the last sea: and so shall it
be in the summer and the spring. 9 And the Lord will be king over all the earth:
in that day there will be one Lord, and his name one 10 compassing all the land
and the wilderness, from Gabe unto Remmon south of Jerusalem, but Rama shall
remain in its place, from the gate of Benjamin to the place of the first gate, to the
gate of the corners, and to the tower of Ananeel, as far as the kings winepresses.
11 They shall dwell in it; and accursed items shall be no more, and Jerusalem shall
dwell confidently. 12 And this shall be the calamity with which the Lord will smite
all the nations, as many as have marched against Jerusalem; their flesh shall melt
away while they stand on their feet, and their eyes shall ooze out of their holes,
and their tongue shall melt away in their mouth. 13 And there shall be in that day
a great panic from the Lord upon them; and each man will lay hold of the hand of
his neighbor, and his hand shall be clasped with the hand of his neighbor. 14 And
Judah will draw up in battle order in Jerusalem, and gather together the wealth of
all the nations round about, gold, and silver, and garment, in great abundance.4

2 Set up in battle order/his marshalling: The translator used to set in battle order
to render the Hebrew niphal of . Mur (437) suggests that it in this verse (and Zech 10:5)
means to do battle. Brenton translates by fight/he fought and SD by kmpfen/seines
Kampfes. See the analysis of this verb on pages 194195.
3 To the west: Lit.: to the sea.
4 Wealth: Greek . See Mur (273), and LEH (291).
OG-Zechariah 14 187

15 And this shall be the calamity of the horses, and mules, and camels, and asses,
and all the beasts that are in those camps, according to this calamity. 16 And it
will happen that whoever is left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem,
shall come up every year to worship the king, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate
the feast of booths. 17 And it will happen that whoever of all the tribes of the
earth will not go up to Jerusalem to worship the king, the Lord Almighty, even
these shall be added to the others. 18 And if the tribe of Egypt shall not go up,
nor come; then upon them shall be the calamity with which the Lord shall smite
all the nations who do not come up to celebrate the feast of booths. 19 This shall
be the sin of Egypt, and the sin of all the nations, who do not come up to cel-
ebrate the feast of booths. 20 In that day that, which is upon the bridle of every
horse, will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and the caldrons in the house of the
Lord shall be as bowls before the altar. 21 And every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah
shall be holy to the Lord Almighty. And all who sacrifice shall come and take of
them, and shall boil in them. And there will be no Canaanite in the house of the
Lord Almighty on that day.

Textual Notes

2 Defiled: stands parallel to the MTs , to be violated.


The Masoretes provided a similar form of the root , to lie down [with], in
the margin. This is a more common way of expressing the same idea although it
is taken as a euphemism.5 It is virtually impossible to tell which of the Hebrew
forms was in the source of the translator.6 All the Greek mansucripts support the
reading except two minuscules (233, 710), which have , an adjust-
ment towards the Qere.
The rest of my people: The possessive pronoun in the Greek text is a plus:
( MT). We find the reading in most manuscripts, including the
major codices. The same equivalent is used in Zech 8:12, which may suggest that
it stems from the translator.
5 Blocked up: The Greek to stop up, block up/ to be
joined indicates that the translator read )( , to stop up, shut up, keep
close, in the verbs three occurrences in this verse.7 The MT has )( , to
flee, for all three while the Targum first read , then twice.8 Magne Sb
suggests that there are different reading traditions behind these differences and

5 See Deut 28:30 with the corresponding passage in the Samaritan Pentateuch, and Isa 13:16.
6 Sb, Sacharja, 108109.
7 There are some disagreements between the codices on these words, but they appear to be
inner Greek corruptions.
8 See Jansma, Inquiry, 131132.
188 CHAPTER 11

that the tradition of the Targum represents the earliest of them.9 For the ques-
tion of vocalization traditions, see page 28 note 1.
Iasol: This word is found only in Codex Venetus and the Boharic translation,
while Codex Washington, Codex Vaticanus, and Codex Sinaiticus and a few
other manuscripts have . This is probably an inner Greek corruption from
.10
All the holy ones: The major manuscripts support while one manu-
script from the Alexandrian group and the Boharic translation attest to .
Angels is surely a later interpretation.
With him: The MT has while the Greek has . The third person
suffix is found in several Hebrew manuscripts and in all the major versions.11 It
therefore seems likely that the Hebrew source of the translator read .
6 And on that day: This text is supported by Codex Washington and several
quotations in the works of Origen. Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus, Codex
Venetus, and a number of other text witnesses begin the verse by . The
latter manuscripts are closer to the MT. The short Greek text ( ) may be
explained as a stylistic improvement, i.e. a reduction of redundant elements.12
Nor cold weather nor frost: Rahlfs and Ziegler disagree on (Rahlfs)/
(Ziegler) in the line . Ziegler prefers a plural, as in the MT
and in Codex Washington, Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Venetus,
a number of manuscripts from the Alexandrian group, the Sahidic translation,
and a work of Basil of Neopatria. This form is preferable to the singular form in
Rahlfs edition, which is attested by the rest of the manuscripts. The Greek text
is also used to reconstruct ( is also Qere) which is preferable to
lit.: the glorious ones will congeal in the MT.13
8 The first sea...the last sea: The Greek text has ...
for ... . The same translation is found
in Joel 2:20.
Summer and spring: The MT has summer ( ) and winter () . The same
Greek rendering of this phrase is, however, attested in Gen 8:22 and in Ps 74:17.
10 Compassing all the land opposite the wilderness: Ziegler follows Codex
Washington, Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus, manuscripts from the Catenae
group, and Basil of Neopatria in the reading , compassing. Codex
Venetus has a completely different text , and he

9 Sb, Sacharja, 110113.


10 Jansma, Inquiry, 132.
11 See Sb, Sacharja, 114.
12 See page 9495; BHQ.
13 BHS, see also Larkin, Eschatology, 190.
OG-Zechariah 14 189

will turn all the land to Araba. This is, however, secondary and Sb suggests
that it may stem from Theodotion.14 The rest of the manuscripts, including the
Alexandrian group, has a neuter participle, .
And () the wilderness: Ziegler emended the Greek text to although all
of the manuscripts and the versions have . This emendation is based on the
assumption that the Hebrew text of the translator in this instance was identical
with the MT. On the other hand, it is possible, as Jansma suggests, that the source
text had instead of or at least that the translator may have read it as such.15
11 And accursed items shall be no more: Some manuscripts, including the
Washington and Alexandrian groups, have . Rahlfs followed
these manuscripts. Ziegler preferred (=MT), which is found in
the rest of the manuscripts.
13 Great panic from the Lord upon them: Rahlfs prefers
found in manuscripts from the Alexandrian group. The rest of the
manuscripts, followed by Ziegler, have (=MT).
14 And Judah: Codex Venetus, the Alexandrian group, and a few other wit-
nesses have . Rahlfs preferred this reading, while Ziegler concurred
with the rest of the manuscripts, which lack the definite article.
17 Even these shall be added to the others: Codex Washington, a number of
Lucianic manuscripts, and Theodoret of Cyrus add (with minor variations) a
translation that resembles the MT.
18 Shall not go up: The Washington group, the Alexandrian group, a Lucianic
subgroup, the Boharic, Ethiopian, and Arabic translations, and a number of the
church fathers add , there. This is a plus in relation to the MT. Rahlfs fol-
lowed these manuscripts, while Ziegler relied on the rest of the manuscripts,
among them Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, and rendered the text with-
out .
Then upon them shall be the calamity: The MT is difficult, as it appears to
have a contradiction: if the tribe of Egypt does not come up to the festival, there
will not be a disaster upon it, like the disaster with which Yahweh has stricken
the people (see 14:19).16 The Masoretes tried to solve the problem by placing
the atnach between and , with the result that the prepositional
expression is not connected to any phrase. Based on some Hebrew manuscripts,
the OG, and the Syriac, BHS suggests omitting , but a fragment of 14:18 in
4QXIIa contains ( ] [only is certain) and ( ] [

14 Sb, Sacharja, 117.


15 Jansma, Inquiry, 135.
16 For a discussion, see Barthlemy, CTAT, 3:101215.
190 CHAPTER 11

is certain), indicating the antiquity of the MT.17 The Greek text has
, which may be the translators attempt to harmonize the two parts
of the verse rather than an indication of a different Hebrew text.18
19 Whoever does not: Codex Vaticanus, some manuscripts, belonging to the
Alexandrian group, the Catenae group, and a number of church fathers have
(=Ra). The rest of the manuscripts have (=Ziegler), which is pref-
erable due to the recurrence of this phrase in the passage.
20 The caldrons in: The Washington group, the Alexandrian group, a Lucianic
subgroup, the Coptic, Ethiopian, and Arabic translations, and some church
fathers include a relative use of the article: (=Ra). Ziegler did not
include this and rendered a text close to the MT.
The Lord Almighty: The MT only has . Codex Venetus, a corrector of Codex
Sinaiticus, some manuscripts belonging to the Catenae group, the Syriac, and the
Aramaic translations have a Greek text similar to the MT, while the rest of the
manuscripts attest to .

The Nature of the Differences in the Greek Text

The text describes the final battle between the nations and the people of
Yahweh. The nations will gather against Jerusalem and capture it. Yahweh will,
however, not tolerate this situation and will rescue the city and dwell there as
king. The nations, those who are left, will then again come to Jerusalem, not as
invaders but as worshippers, partaking in the feast of booths. The temple will
be plentifully equipped with holy vessels in order for the service to be carried
out lawfully.
On a few points the Greek text has translations that seem to reveal the trans-
lators understanding of the text: the eschatology of the passage, the war sce-
nario, and the feast of booths at the end of the passage.

17 For an explanation of how such a text may have worked, see Larkin, Eschatology, 191. Other
scholars have tried to emend the text in order to make sense of it. Rudolph (Haggai
Sacharja, 233) suggests that the Targum text the Nile will not rise for
them points in the right direction and on that basis reconstructs the Hebrew text
( ) . This leads to another emendation in the next line; instead
of . A.S. van der Woude (Sacharja 14,18, 254255, ZAW 97 (1985): 255) finds
this solution unsatisfying and suggests instead the pasture will remain arid for
... in the MT.
18 See Gelston, BHQ, 148*.
OG-Zechariah 14 191

Zech 14:4,8
The eschatology of Zechariah 14 has many parallels both in the Bible itself and
also in texts from the surrounding cultures. The theme of divine warriors is
found in several of the cultures of the ANE. The best known are the stories
in the Enuma Elish, in which the storm god Marduk defeats Tiamat, the sea
goddess, and the Ugaritic texts, which present the storm god Baals fight with
Yamm, the sea god. The idea of a divine warrior was adopted by the Israelites
and applied to Yahweh. The image of Yahweh in this role developed through-
out the premonarchic, the monarchic, and the postmonarchic era, adding to it
the images of Yahweh as king and savior of the people.
The descriptions of Yahweh as warrior were also combined with the image
of him as a judge. Thus, his fight with the nations was a just punishment for
their opposition to him. In the postmonarchic texts a new genre of apocalyptic
visions developed in which the image of the cosmic conflict was used anew.
This time it was not referring to the primordial battle, but to the final battle
with chaos and death.
Zechariah 14 makes use of the rich tradition of the divine warrior.19 Angeline
Schellenberg claims that it is one of the most developed of the biblical apoca-
lyptic texts.20 It depicts Yahweh as a warrior accompanied by powerful natural
phenomena, and as the almighty king to whom all nations will bow. Jerusalem
will be a source of living watera much used biblical motif21attracting
people to come and worship in the temple. The imagery underlines Zion as the
cosmic center.22
This imagery is preserved and arguably even elaborated in the Greek trans-
lation. In 14:4 Yahweh stands on the Mount of Olives, which splits in two. The
Hebrew text describes the result of the cleavage of the mountain as
, a great valley, while the Greek text uses the words ,
a great abyss. The Greek word is only used twice in the LXX/OG. The other
instance is in Mic 1:6, where it also translates the Hebrew . In classical Greek
literature, however, it is used by Hesiod in his Theogony (8th/7th century BCE),

19 Several scholars comment upon the intertextuality of Zech 914. See for example Mason,
Quotations, and Konrad R. Schaefer, Zechariah 14: A Study in Allusion, 6691, CBQ 57
(1995).
20 Angeline Schellenberg, One in the Bond of War: The Unity of Deutero-Zechariah, 101
115, Did 12 (2001): 111.
21 See Michael Fishbane The Well of Living Water: A Biblical Motif and its Ancient
Transformations, 316, in Shaarei Talmon: Studies in the Bible, Qumran, and the Ancient
Near East Presented to Shemaryahu Talmon, eds. Michael Fishbane and Emanuel Tov with
the assistance of Weston W. Fields (Winona Lake, Eisenbrauns, 1992), 45.
22 Meyers and Meyers, Zechariah 914, 435.
192 CHAPTER 11

as he tells of the first state of the universe: in truth at first Chaos () came
to be, but next wide-bosomed Earth. Hesiods poem was widely known, and
this line was cited in many ancient Greek works.23 The word is, however,
also used for a wider range of meanings. LSJ lists space, the expanse of air,
the nether abyss, and infinite darkness, and any vast gulf or chasm, the latter
largely with reference to Mic 1:6 and Zech 14:4.24
Of the dictionaries devoted to the LXX/OG, the meaning gaping abyss,
chasm is suggested by LEH, which also adds that may have been used by
the translator because of its homoeophony with .25 The lexicon of Muraoka
also suggests chasm.26 This meaning is possible for in both Zech 14:4
and Mic 1:6, and since the word only occurs twice in the LXX/OG, it is
hard to assert a special use of it. But on closer inspection, the choice of
in these texts may reveal some clues as to how the translator understood
the texts.
In 14:4 he used for , while in 14:5 he twice translated by ,
cleft, chasm. and its cognates, and , have clear topographi-
cal references. None of these words has the mythological aspect which
has. Given the eschatological context in Zechariah 14, the choice of seems
to be a deliberate reference to the cosmological battle that was so prominent
in the apocalyptic literature.
Also Micah 1 may be understood as an eschatological passage. It describes
how Yahweh comes with an earthquake and a storm to judge Samaria and the
house of Judah. In Mic 1:6 we find this line concerning Samaria: I will pull
down her stones to the abyss ( ) and reveal her foundations.
In both these instances it appears that the meaning of is more in line
with an abyss, with dimensions similar to the word , cosmic deep
(LXX-Gen 1:2). As mentioned above, it was one of the characteristics of the
apocalyptic genre to use old mythologies of the cosmic powers the gods had to
overcome in order to create the world. The translator was probably acquainted
with this genre and understood Zechariah 14 and Micah 1 as such texts.

23 Pausanias, Description of Greece 9.27, Laertius Diogenes, Lives and Opinions of Eminent
Philosophers 10.1, Aristotle, The Metaphysics 1.948b, and Plato, Symposium 178b.
24 LSJ, 1976.
25 LEH, 659.
26 Mur, 594.
OG-Zechariah 14 193

The translation of 14:8 points in the same direction.







On that day living waters shall flow And in that day living water shall
out from Jerusalem, half of them to come out of Jerusalem; half of it to the
the eastern sea and half of them to first sea, and half of it to the last sea:
the western sea; it shall continue in and so shall it be in summer and
summer as in winter. (NRSV) spring.

The Greek rendering of the two seas is different from the Hebrew.
and may be interpreted both as temporal, the former and the last
sea, and as local, the eastern and the western sea. In context, the local meaning
appears reasonable, with Jerusalem situated between the Mediterranean Sea
to the west and the Persian Gulf to the east. The following verse has Yahweh
as king of the whole land/earth. The idea of this area as the ideal kingdom
stems from the Babylonians and is also reflected in Ps 72:8 and Zech 9:10.27 The
Greek text has, however, rendered the temporal meaning of by
and by . It appears that the idea of world dominion as we find
it in the Hebrew text has been replaced by an eschatological understanding
of the text.

Zech 14:35,1315
The image of Yahweh as a divine warrior is a recurring theme in Deutero-
Zechariah (chs. 914). Angeline Schellenberg suggests that this theme binds
this collection of oracles together.28 A notable feature of the portrayal of the
Divine Warrior in Deutero-Zechariah is the use of human agents. In other
texts, the Divine warrior may act alone (e.g., Isa 63:3 I have trodden the wine
press alone, and from the peoples no one was with me).29
I argued above that the king in Zech 9:910 has a more active role in the
Greek translation than he has in the Hebrew source. The king is the savior (9:9)
who shall fight the enemies, and rule over the land (9:10). The active role of the

27 Magne Sb, Vom Grossreich zum Weltreich: Erwgungen zu Pss. lxxii 8, lxxxix 26;
Sach. ix 10b*, 8391, VT 28 (1978), 8687.
28 Schellenberg, One in the Bond of War, 114.
29 Collins, Literary Contexts, 31.
194 CHAPTER 11

human agent continues in 9:11 (he frees prisoners) and culminates in 9:13 with
the words for I have bent you, Judah, for myself as a bow.
In OG-Zechariah 14, Yahweh again fights alongside his companions. In
14:5 we find the line and the Lord my God shall come, and all the holy ones
( ) with him. The Hebrew text uses the word , which in its basic
use designates something as sacred or holy, whether it is God, a place, a
person, or a thing. is a common translation for this Hebrew word, and
overlaps well with all its meanings. which may refer to priests, proph-
ets and angels and could be understood as referring to celestial beings.30 On
the other hand, the mention of holy vessels in 14:2021 has convinced several
scholars that may refer to these items. They are then part of the purifica-
tion of Jerusalem.31
In the Greek text it appears that refers to Yahwehs warriors. There are
indications in the Greek text that the translator pictured Yahweh acting with
an army. While the Hebrew text of 14:3 reads, Then Yahweh will go forth and
fight ( ) against those nations, as in the day when he fought () , in
the day of battle the Greek translator used different verbs: But the Lord shall
go forth, and set up in battle order () against those nations as a day
of his marshalling ( ) on a day of war.
The use of to render the root is not unprecedented,
but , to fight, to make war, is a more common rendering. In fact
seems to fit better the Hebrew , to set in array for war,
and it is also used as a translation for this Hebrew expression.32 In any case,
the usage of indicates that there is an army or a company fighting,
not a single warrior.
It is interesting to see how is used throughout the translation of
the Minor Prophets. In Zech 1:6 the Greek text has:

But receive my words and my ordinances, which I command by my spirit to my


servants the prophets. Did they not overtake your fathers? And they answered
and said: As the Lord Almighty drew up in battle array () to do to
us according to our ways and according to our practices, so has he done to us.

The equivalent line in the MT is: as Yahweh Zebaoth purposed ( ) to do


unto us.

30 BDB, 872.
31 Sb, Sacharja, 296; Meyers and Meyers, Zechariah 914, 430.
32 OG-Joel 2:5, for example, translates by .
OG-Zechariah 14 195

In Zech 8:1415 the Greek text has:

For thus says the Lord Almighty: As I purposed to afflict you when your fathers
provoked me, says the Lord Almighty, and I did not repent; so have I drawn up in
battle array () and purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem
and to the house of Judah: be of good courage.

Here the MT has so again I have purposed ( ) in these days


In Zech 10:5:

And they shall be as warriors treading clay in the ways in war; and they shall
draw up in battle array (), because the Lord is with them, and the
riders on horses shall be put to shame.

The MT here has and they shall fight () , because Yahweh is with them
In Mal 1:4:

Because Idumea will say: It is destroyed, but let us return and rebuild the des-
olate places. Thus says the Lord Almighty: They shall build, but I will throw
down, and they shall be called The borders of wickedness, and, The people
against whom the Lord has drawn up in battle array () for ever.

The MT has: The people against whom Yahweh has indignation ( ) for ever.
The use of may, as Thomas Pola suggests, be an actualization of
the text to the translators own time.33 It seems clear that the translator believes
that the promises of Yahweh are to be fulfilled through military means: either
his angels or his human agents.
In Zech 14:14 we find the line And Judah will draw up in battle order
() in Jerusalem, and gather together the wealth of all the nations
round about. Pola argues that the usage of the name might be a refer-
ence to Judah Maccabee,34 and it seems like a few manuscripts attest to such
an understanding as they have .35 However, the usage of to ren-
der , either as a name of the tribe or the geographical area, is common

33 Pola, Von Juda zu Judas, 577.


34 Pola, Von Juda zu Judas, 574, 576.
35 Codex Venetus, a number of Alexandrian manuscripts, a correction in a Lucianic man-
uscript, and Cyrill of Alexandria. For this kind of anaphoric usage of the article, see
Moulton and Turner, Grammar, 166.
196 CHAPTER 11

and does not by itself allow firm conclusions concerning the reference in Zech
14:14. The context of this verse may nevertheless point us in that direction, as
Pola suggests.
If we look at 14:1315 together we find that they all relate the confusion and
the blow that Yahweh will strike against his enemies. The Greek translation of
14:14 stands out in the passage.

13 13
,

,
.
14 14

,
.
151 15




.
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, 13 And there shall be in that day a
that a great tumult from Yahweh will great panic from the Lord upon them;
be among them, and they shall lay and each man will lay hold of the
hold every one on the hand of his hand of his neighbor, and his hand
neighbor, and his hand shall rise up shall be clasped with the hand of his
against the hand of his neighbor. 14 neighbor. 14 And Judah will draw up
Even Judah shall fight at Jerusalem, in battle order in Jerusalem and
and the wealth of all the nations gather together the wealth of all the
round about shall be gathered nations round about, gold, and silver,
together, gold, and silver, and gar- and garments, in great abundance.
ments, in great abundance. 15 And so 15 And this shall be the calamity of
shall be the plague on the horse, on the horses, and mules, and camels,
the mule, on the camel, on the ass, and asses, and all the beasts that
and on all the beasts that will be in are in those camps, according to this
those camps, as this plague. calamity.
OG-Zechariah 14 197

Zechariah 14:13 describes the confusion that Yahweh will lay upon the nations.
Everyone will attack his neighbor, a scenario which resembles the story of
Gideons victory over the Midianites.36 In the Hebrew text this confusion
seems to go on in 14:14 as well, and here it appears that even Judah will fight
against Jerusalem.37 The combination of in niphal and the preposition is
somewhat ambiguous. The preposition may indicate the location of the battle,
but usually it designates an enemy which is fought or prevailed against.38 In
Zech 14:14 it seems that the latter meaning is the most likely and that Judah will
be stricken by the same confusion as the nations in 14:13.
In the Greek text it is not so. The translator again uses the word .
t appears that Judah will set up his army for battle in Jerusalem. In the next
line, the Greek translator uses the future active form to render ,
which in the MT is vocalized as a Pual () . In the Greek text, Judah will not
only draw up in battle array, but also gather in the wealth of the surrounding
nations.
We should note here that the translator interprets a Hebrew text that is
ambiguous. But, as I demonstrated in chapter 3,39 the translator used his under-
standing of the textual context when he struggled with such ambiguoities.

Zech 14:1621
There are further differences between the texts that may indicate the transla-
tors interpretation. According to the MT, after the victory (14:1315) the nations
will gather in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of booths (14:1619); and the
vessels and the temple service will be holy and pure (14:2021). The foreign
merchants, regarded as unwelcome at the service, will be excluded from the
temple precincts.40
This description in Zechariah 14 resembles that of the cleansing of the tem-
ple that Judah and his companions carried out and is especially close to the

36 Especially Judg 7:22. The same image is also found in Isa 19:2.
37 Rudolph, HaggaiSacharja, 233; Meyers and Meyers, Zechariah 914, 457459. The
Vulgate translates: sed et Iudas pugnabit adversus Hierusalem And also Judah shall fight
against Jerusalem. The Targum explains this strange phenomenon:
And even the house of Judah shall the
nations bring by force to wage war against Jerusalem.
38 BDB, 535; Ges, 604.
39 See pages 2836.
40 Meyers and Meyers (Zechariah 914, 491492) argue that simply means Canaanite
here.
198 CHAPTER 11

description in 2 Macc 10:18, where Judahs cleansing of the temple is described


as accompanied by an immediate celebration.41
2 Maccabees 10:18

Now Maccabeus and his followers, the Lord leading them on, recovered the
temple and the city; 2 they tore down the altars that had been built in the public
square by the foreigners, and also destroyed the sacred precincts. 3 They purified
the sanctuary, and made another altar of sacrifice; then, striking fire out of flint,
they offered sacrifices, after a lapse of two years, and they offered incense and
lighted lamps and set out the bread of the Presence. 4 When they had done this,
they fell prostrate and implored the Lord that they might never again fall into
such misfortunes, but that, if they should ever sin, they might be disciplined
by him with forbearance and not be handed over to blasphemous and barba-
rous nations. 5 It happened that on the same day on which the sanctuary had
been profaned by the foreigners, the purification of the sanctuary took place,
that is, on the twenty-fifth day of the same month, which was Chislev. 6 They
celebrated it for eight days with rejoicing, in the manner of the festival of booths,
remembering how not long before, during the festival of booths, they had been
wandering in the mountains and caves like wild animals. 7 Therefore, carrying
ivy-wreathed wands and beautiful branches and also fronds of palm, they offered
hymns of thanksgiving to him who had given success to the purifying of his own
holy place. 8 They decreed by public edict, ratified by vote, that the whole nation
of the Jews should observe these days every year. (NRSV)

This passage dates the cleansing and celebration of the rededication of the
temple to the twenty-fifth of Chislev. This celebration is said to resemble the
festival of booths, which they had celebrated in their caves not long before.
That they used the feast of booths as a model for the celebration of the rededi-
cation of the temple seems to have been a deliberate choice considering the
importance of this feast among the Jews.
The week-long festival of booths was celebrated beginning on the fif-
teenth of the seventh month according to the biblical sources (Lev 23:34,39;
Num 29:1234), though Jeroboam redated it to the fifteenth of the eighth
month (1Kgs 12:3233), a regulation which was not popular in Jerusalem. The
festival required the participants to build and live in booths for its seven-day
duration in order to remember the time when Yahweh brought the people out
of Egypt (Lev 23:4043).
The festival became an important occasion for state affairs. The feast of
booths was one of the three festivals that required the participation of all men

41 Pola, Von Juda zu Judas, 574.


OG-Zechariah 14 199

of Israel (Deut 16:16). In Deut 31:1012 we read that Moses commanded the
Israelites to read the law at this festival, when all men of Israel were gathered
together. 1 Kings 8:2 and 8:6566 state that Solomon dedicated the temple on
this festival; there the seventh month is called Ethanim. In the parallel story of
the temple dedication in 2 Chronicles, the connection to this festival is restated
(2 Chr 5:3; 7:810) and both 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles mention a great assembly
taking part in this celebration, with people coming from Lebo Hamath in the
north and from the wadi of Egypt in the south. In Ezekiels vision of the temple,
the festival of booths is celebrated (Ezek 45:25). We read in Ezra 3:46 that,
after the exile, the altar was rededicated during this festival, and Neh 8:1318
speaks of Ezra gathering all the Judeans in the seventh month to celebrate this
festival. During the festival he read the Law of Moses to them. In the Hellenistic
era, the importance of the feast of booths is attested by Josephus, who writes
that the feast was celebrated by the Hebrews as a most holy and most
eminent feast.42
In Zech 14:1621 the festival of booths acquires a new dimension as it includes
not only all men of Israel but also all the nations. The stately importance and
flavor of the festival is reflected in the nations coming to bow down to the
king, Yahweh Zebaoth, and to celebrate the feast of booths (14:16). Yahweh is
again referred to as king in 14:17 in the context of a threat against those who
will not come to Jerusalem for the feast. Thus this text underlines the impor-
tance of the festival by positioning it as an eschatological event.
The importance of the festival of booths made it a suitable association
for the celebration of the temples rededication in the time of Judah and the
Hasmoneans.43 The first celebration included many of the characteristic fea-
tures of the feast of booths, and although it was soon called feast of dedica-
tion, some referred to it as the festival of booths in the month of Chislev
(2 Macc 1:9), reflecting the connection of the two occasions at an early stage.
In the Greek translation of Zech 14:1621 we find a few notable deviations
from the MT.


16 16






42 Josephus, Ant. 8:100.


43 Goldstein, I Maccabees, 273284.
200 CHAPTER 11

17 17






18 18




19 19




16 And it shall come to pass that every- 16 And it will happen that whoever is
one who is left of all the nations which left of all the nations that came
came against Jerusalem shall go up against Jerusalem, shall come up
from year to year to worship the King, every year to worship the king, the
the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the
Feast of Tabernacles. 17 And it shall be feast of booths. 17 And it will happen
that whichever of the families of the that whoever of all the tribes of the
earth do not come up to Jerusalem to earth shall not come up to Jerusalem
worship the King, the LORD of hosts, to worship the king, the Lord
on them there will be no rain. 18 If the Almighty, even these shall be added
family of Egypt will not come up and to the others. 18 And if the tribe of
enter in, they shall have no rain; they Egypt shall not go up, nor come; then
shall receive the plague with which upon them shall be the calamity with
the LORD strikes the nations who do which the Lord shall smite all the
not come up to keep the Feast of nations who do not come up to cele-
Tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punish- brate the feast of booths. 19 This shall
ment of Egypt and the punishment of be the sin of Egypt, and the sin of all
all the nations that do not come up to the nations, who do not come up to
keep the Feast of Tabernacles. (NKJV) celebrate the feast of booths.

In 14:17 we find a threat to those who do not go up to Jerusalem to celebrate


the feast of booths. In the Hebrew text the threat is that there will be no rain.
The feast of booths was originally a celebration of the harvest and the fertil-
ity of the land was an important element.44 The prospect of barrenness was

44 Meyers and Meyers, Zechariah 914, 468.


OG-Zechariah 14 201

therefore an effective threat against the people who refused to participate in


the celebration.
On this point, the Greek text has a deviation from the MT. The threat of
drought is rendered by even these shall be added to the others. Taeke Jansma
mentions a suggestion that the Greek text reflects a Hebrew text in scriptua
continua, . This was interpreted leaving out the
negation in the process.45 But, as mentioned in chapter 3, explanations based
on scriptua continua should not be embraced too hastily, and the sugges-
tion does not satisfactorily explain the lack of a negation in the Greek text.
Furthermore, Jansma himself expresses doubts since never renders
the root .46 W. Rudolph suggests a similar reconstruction,
, but the same objection should be raised against his suggestion.47
Instead of making assumptions about the Hebrew text in front of the trans-
lator, Magne Sb suggests that the Greek text may carry traces of the Egyptian
origin of the translation.48 A translator living in Egypt would undoubtedly have
found the lack of rain no real threat to the Egyptians because Egypts irrigation
depended on the flooding of the Nile rather than on rain. Since Egypt is men-
tioned in 14:18, he may have altered the translation.
Whether the translation should be viewed as stemming from the Egyptian
environment or not, it carries its own logic and makes sense in the context,
claiming that no one should refuse to come up to Jerusalem to celebrate
the feast of booths. The call to come to Jerusalem is thus made universal.
This is apparent in the Hebrew text already,49 but underlined in the Greek
translation.
The universal aspect of the Greek text is found also earlier in the same verse.
In the MT the verse starts by stating that it will happen to whomever from the
tribes of the earth ( ) does not go up. The Greek translator
adds of all the tribes in his translation which again underlines the claim to be
universal. The translator then made a similar addition in 14:18 where he adds
to the line the Lord shall smite all () the nations who do not come
up to celebrate the feast of booths.

45 Jansma, Inquiry, 139.


46 Jansma, Inquiry, 139.
47 Rudolph, HaggaiSacharja, 233.
48 Sb, Sacharja, 124.
49 For a discussion see Walter Harrelson, The Celebrations of the Feast of Booths According
to Zech XIV 1621, 8896, in Religions in Antiquity: Essays in Memory of Erwin Ramsdell
Goodenough, ed. Jacob Neusner (Leiden: Brill, 1970), 94.
202 CHAPTER 11

This may also provide the key to the difficult Hebrew text in 14:18
, in which the negation seems out of place. Quite early interpretes
solved the problem by separation the two halves of the clause.50 The Vulgate
has neither shall it be upon them (nec super eos erit), but there shall be a
destruction with which the Lord will strike. It apparently refers to the rain
in the previous verse. Similar solutions are applied in several modern transla-
tions such as the NKJV cited above. The Targum, however, seems to take into
consideration the special conditions in Egypt and renders a text that makes
more sense: if the kingdom of Egypt does not ascend and does not come the
Nile will not rise for them (/) . The fit of this line to the
context is striking and it has lead scholars reconstruct the Hebrew text
.51
( )
This reconstructed text, however, was not the Hebrew text of the Greek
translator who rendered the text and if the tribe of Egypt shall not go up, nor
come; then upon them shall be the calamity. There is no reason to suggest that
the translator has a different text. We should rather assume that he arrived at
his rendering, which is understandable and accords with the sense of the pas-
sage, by simply dropping the negation that makes the Hebrew text so difficult.
These changes are indicative of the translators understanding of the pas-
sage and it appears that the festival of booths was important for him. From the
middle of the second century BCE and onwards, the festival of booths received
a new meaning, namely the commemoration of the cleansing of the temple by
the Maccabees.
The Hasmonean authorities in Jerusalem in the second century were also
concerned that people should come to the temple and participate in the
holiday. The Maccabees decreed a public edict which should ensure that the
whole nation would participate in this feast (2 Macc 10:8). Furthermore, in
2 Maccabees 12, we find two letters from Jerusalem to the Jews of Egypt
exhorting them to celebrate the feast of booths in the month of Chislev
(i.e. the feast commemorating Judahs rededication of the temple). The first
letter (2 Macc 1:19), which is commonly regarded authentic, probably quotes
an earlier authentic letter of the same genre (2 Macc 1:78).52 The letter must
be read with the background that there was a Jewish temple in Leontopolis in

50 See the atna in the MT.


51 Rudolph, HaggaiSacharja, 233. For other possible explanations, see page 190 (note 17).
52 See E.J. Bickerman, A Jewish Festal Letter of 124 BCE (2 Macc 1:19), 408431, in Studies
in Jewish and Christian History. Vol 1, ed. Amram Tropper (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 417; and
Goldstein, I Maccabees, 35.
OG-Zechariah 14 203

Egypt, which was ruled by the priestly family of the Oniads. An exhortation of
the Jews of Egypt to celebrate the feast of booths in the month of Chislev was
not simply an encouragement to celebrate a new festival; it was a call to sup-
port the temple in Jerusalem and also the rule of the Hasmoneans.53
The second letter (2 Macc 1:102:18), which was purportedly written before
the first celebration of the temple cleansing (1:18), is probably inauthentic.54
Jonathan Goldstein suggests that it was written about 103/2 BCE by a Jew liv-
ing in Alexandria, who wished to take advantage of the weakened position the
Oniads had in Egypt at that time. This letter is anti-Oniad propaganda that
uses several stories to reinforce the importance of the rededication of the tem-
ple in Jerusalem. It draws a line from Mosess dedication of the Tent of Meeting
through Solomons dedication of the temple during the feast of booths to the
time of Nehemiahs restoration of the temple and the altar. In a similar manner
Judahs cleansing of the temple should be understood and celebrated. The let-
ter concludes by expressing a wish that God would gather all Jews from every
nation to the holy place in Jerusalem (2:18).
The importance of the celebration of the temples rededication should not
be underestimated. Zechariah 14 may well have been used as a reminder that
the people should come and celebrate. This may also be one of the reasons the
translator rendered the text as he did in 14:17: ...even these should be added
to the others, thus making the charge universal.

Hypothesis: Suggested Interpretational Differences in the


Greek Text

OG-Zechariah 14 is an eschatological text that describes the coming of Yahweh


as a warrior. Alongside Yahweh, Judah is mentioned; Judah should fight by
basing his army in Jerusalem. We noted Thomas Polas suggestion that in the
Greek text, Judah may refer to Judah Maccabee. The description of the victory
of Judah is immediately followed by a text exhorting the nations to come to
Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of booths. The feast of booths was the feast
that inspired the Maccabees and their followers to celebrate the rededication
of the temple; this celebration was even called the feast of booths in the
month of Chislev.

53 Bickerman, A Jewish Festal Letter, 426431.


54 Goldstein, I Maccabees, 545550.
204 CHAPTER 11

Several of the deviations we observed in the translation of this passage


seem to be of an exegetical character. These probably reflect the translators
understanding of the passage, which may be summarized as follows: the text
is eschatological; the Day of Yahweh will come; Yahweh will fight alongside his
army, Judah will fight in Jerusalem with his army, and in the celebration of the
feast of booths that follows, everyone must participate.
CHAPTER 12

OG-Zechariah 6:915: Getting Rid of Rivals

In chapters 9 and 10, I have presented a few passages where some of the pecu-
liarities in the Greek text may stem from the translators interpretation and
reflect his sympathies with the Maccabees. Below I explore whether Zech 6:9
15 shows some of the same interpretative tendencies.

The Text

These verses immediately follow a vision of four chariots inspecting the earth
but seem to be independent from that vision. They depict the coronation of
Joshua the high priest by the prophet and are concerned with leadership after
the return from the exile. In Haggai and earlier in Zechariah, it is clear that
this leadership should be dual in nature, with Zerubbabel as the royal heir and
Joshua as the high priest. In this passage, however, the name Zerubbabel is con-
spicuously absent and scholars suspect a deliberate editing of the text in order
to remove it.1 This suspicion is sustained by some phrases that may be rem-
nants of an earlier version of the text. The text mentions crowns. A line in 6:13
mentions two thrones with a counsel of peace between them. Furthermore,
6:12 mentions a sprout () , who will build the temple.2 Sprout ( ) may
refer to Zerubbabel.3

1 Hanhart, Sacharja, 408409, and Henning Graf Reventlow, Die Propheten Haggai, Sacharja
und Maleachi (Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993), 71.
2 Scholars have come up with several attempts to reconstruct a text with Zerubbabel and
already Hans Ewald suggested that was lost due to homoioteleuton:...
( in Julius Wellhausen, Die Kleinen Propheten (Berlin: de
Gruyter, 1963), 185). Wellhausen (Die Kleinen Propheten, 185) does not think that the disap-
pearance of Zerubbabel was a mistake, but rather the work of someone who whished to
promote the leadership of the high priest over the Davidides. BHS also reflects this assump-
tion and suggests that the original line was instead of
in the MT. For a more recent suggestion along the same
line, see Theodore J. Lewis, The Mysterious Disappearance of Zerubbabel, 301314, in
Seeking out the Wisdom of the Ancients: Essays Offered to Honor Michael V. Fox on the Occasion
of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday, eds. Ronald L. Troxel et al. (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2005).
3 See 3:8; 4:114.

koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 6|doi .63/9789004302730_013


206 CHAPTER 12

The text introduces several of the leading figures of the returnees from
Babylon and grants them important roles. They are witnesses to the corona-
tion and the owners of the crowns, which should be kept as a memorial in the
temple.

The Greek Translation


A translation of OG-Zech 6:915 follows:

9 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 10 Take the things of the captivity
from the chief men, and from its useful men, and from the men who have come
to know it. And you shall enter in that day into the house of Josiah the son of
Sophoniah who came out of Babylon. 11 And you shall take silver and gold, and
make crowns, and put upon the head of Jesus the son of Josedec the high priest.
12 And you shall say to him: Thus says the Lord Almighty; Behold a man, Rising4
is his name and under him he shall rise up, and he shall build the house of the
Lord. 13 And he shall receive excellence, and he will sit and rule on his throne
and the priest will be to his right,5 and a peaceable counsel shall be between
them both. 14 And the crown shall be to them that wait patiently, and to its use-
ful men, and to the men who have come to know it,6 and to the favor of the son
of Sophoniah, and for a psalm7 in the house of the Lord. 15 And they who are far
from them shall come and build in the house of the Lord, and you shall know
that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. And this will come to pass, if you will
diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God.

Textual Notes

10 The men who have come to know it: A few manuscripts belonging to the
Alexandrian group have the plural pronoun , resulting in who have come
to know them, but this seems to be a later form. The best Greek manuscripts
as well as the Hebrew equivalent argue for . After the translation of these
names, a number of Lucianic manuscripts add transliterations of the names,

4 The Greek word is which usually refers to east or sun rise. The modern transla-
tions differ in their renderings; Brenton Branch, NETS Shoot, SD Aufgang, LBA Surgeon.
5 Brenton adds hand.
6 he personal pronouns and , here rendered by it, seem to refer to the captivity,
compare verse 10.
7 N ETS has music which also is possible. The setting is in any case cultic since the music or
psalm is performed in the temple.
OG-Zechariah 6:915 207

a few of them with asterisks. Transliterations are also found in Aquila and the
other revisions.
11 Crowns: Manuscripts belonging to the Lucianic group, the Catenae group,
some manuscripts of the Armenian translation, and two of the church fathers
have the singular form . This is consistent with the singular in 6:14, but
the plural form is preferable since we find it in the best manuscripts.
13 Rule: Codex Sinaiticus here records a mistake, duly corrected by a later hand,
which also occurs in Zech 9:10. Instead of the manuscript has ,
to bring down. This is a scribal error that occurred during the transmission of
the Greek text. The mistake is also recorded in a few other manuscripts.
The priest: The definite article is lacking in a few manuscripts from the
Alexandrian and Catenae groups. This agrees with the MT, which does not have
a definite article. But the best manuscripts, as well as a majority of the manu-
scripts, contain the definite article, and it should therefore be included in the
reconstructed OG text.

The Nature of the Differences in the Greek Text

Zech 6:10,14
In 6:10,14, the Greek text translates the names Heldai, Helem, Tobiah, and
Jedaiah. The translation of personal names is rare in the OG-Minor Prophets
and it is unlikely that the translator did not recognize these words as personal
names. Instead, it appears that he deliberately translated the names for a spe-
cific purpose. Let us first compare the Hebrew and the Greek texts of 6:10,14:

6:10











Take of them of the captivity, even Take the things of the captivity from
of Heldai, of Tobiah, and of Jedaiah, the chief men, and from its useful men,
who have come from Babylon; and from the men who have come to
and come you the same day, and go know it. And you shall enter in that day
into the house of Josiah the son of into the house of Josiah the son of
Zephaniah. Sophoniah who came out of Babylon.
208 CHAPTER 12

6:14









And the crowns shall be to Helem, And the crown shall be to them that wait
and to Tobiah, and to Jedaiah, and patiently, and to its useful men, and to
to Hen the son of Zephaniah, as a the men who have come to know it, and
memorial in the temple of Yahweh. to the favor of the son of Sophoniah, and
for a psalm in the house of the Lord.

The Names in the Hebrew Text. The Hebrew text refers to a group of people
returning from the exile in Babylon. Their identities and the reason for their
mention have been a matter of discussion. Rodney Hutton suggests that the
persons in Zechariah 6 are mentioned because they have resisted the royal
aspirations of Zerubbabel and Joshua. The crowns are a memento of their
disobedience, preserved in the temple, similar to the production of a bronze
covering for the altar from the brazen censers used by Korah and his rebel
flock (Num 17:5).8 This suggestion, however, lacks contextual support; there is
no hint of any insurrection. On the contrary, the text depicts the crowning as
a part of the reshaping of the post-exilic community. More likely, these per-
sons are witnesses to the act the prophet was to perform. They were probably
prominent figures in the early post-exilic community.9 The information we
have concerning these men is sparse and any identification of them with per-
sons known from other sources can only be conjectural. Nevertheless, scholars
have made inquiries into who these persons might be and references in Ezra,
Nehemiah, 1 Chronicles and other sources allow us to make some assumptions.
Heldai and Helem. Heldai and Helem are not known from the biblical texts.
(Chronologically, the Heldai mentioned in the lists of Davids heroes [1 Chr
27:15] cannot be the Heldai to whom Zech 6 refers.) That the two names Heldai
and Helem originally refer to the same person is quite possible given the simi-
larity of the names ,.10

8 ABD, Jedaiah, 654.


9 Meyers and Meyers, Haggai, Zechariah 18, 340343.
10 The Heldai of Davids heroes is a few verses later, in 1 Chr 27:30, called and in the
parallel text in 2 Sam 23:29. These may serve as examples of similar scribal errors. It is also
possible that these names are two alternative forms of this name: see also Meyers and
Meyers, Haggai, Zechariah 18, 340.
OG-Zechariah 6:915 209

Tobiah. We find the name Tobiah several times in the biblical books. It is
used for a Levite under the reign of Jehoshaphat (2 Chr 17:8). In Neh 2:10 we
find an Ammonite officer by this name who, alongside Sanballat, opposes
Nehemiah and his work. Another Tobiah is mentioned in the list of the fami-
lies returning from the exile that could not prove their Israelite heritage
(Ezra 2:60; Neh 7:62). There is also the apocryphal book of the pious Tobiah
who was led into exile in Thisbe by the Assyrians, and finally we have the
Tobiah whom both Josephus, and 12 Maccabees name as the head of an influ-
ential family in the third and second centuries BCE. From the extra-biblical
material we know of a Tobiah, arm of the king, in the Lachish letters, and a
Tobiah mentioned as prince in the land of Tobiah in the Zenon Papyri. None of
these is, however, a likely candidate for the Tobiah mentioned in Zech 6.
Benjamin Mazar proposed an intriguing theory that connects the Tobiah
of Zech 6 with many of these Tobiahs. The principle of papponomy where
the ancestral name was passed from grandfather to grandson would tie these
names neatly together and connect them to an influential family from Trans-
Jordan. Mazar singles out several members of this family tree.11

Tobiah, arm of the king, in the Lachish letters 590


X
Tobiah of Zech 6 520
X
Tobiah the Ammonite officer in Nehemiah 440
Jehohanan in Neh 6:18 420
X .
X .
Tobiah, prince in the land of Tobiah in the Zenon papyri 259
Joseph in Josephus 230
Tobiah in Josephus, 1, and 2 Maccabees 200

One may object to Mazars theory on the basis that the name Tobiah com-
mon in the Second Temple period and the information about these different
Tobiahs is scant, but Mazars argument remains reasonable. All of the Tobiahs
we meet in these sources were influential figures, and we know that at least
some of them came from east of the Jordan river.12

11 Benjamin Mazar, The Tobiads, 229238, IEJ 7 (1957): 235, see also Meyers and Meyers,
Haggai, Zechariah 18, 342.
12 Mazar gains support from several scholars, see Victor A. Tcherikover, Hellenistic Civilization
and the Jews (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1999 [1959]), 430, n. 71; Meyers and Meyers, Haggai,
210 CHAPTER 12

It is beyond doubt that the Tobiad family played an important role in the
first half of the second century BCE. In Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus tells
the story of Joseph son of Tobiah, who becomes a tax farmer for the Ptolemies.
One of his seven sons, Hyrcanus, rises to power but ends own his life, while
Antiochus Epiphanes takes over all his property.13 In 2 Macc 3:11 we meet a
Hyrcanus, son of Tobiah, a man of great dignity who has a large sum of money
in the temple when Heliodorus comes to confiscate the temple treasury. The
historicity of these accounts is debated, but the position of the Tobiads is
confirmed by the archaeological site at Araq el-Amir in Trans-Jordan. This
site, connected to the Tobiads,14 revealed a temple, probably of a syncretistic
character.15 Furthermore, the position of the family seems to be confirmed by
the references in 1 Macc 5:13 to Jews who were in the land of Tobiah (
) and 2 Macc 12:17 who were called Toubiani (
).16
Jedaiah. The name Jedaiah is prominent in the books of Ezra, Nehemiah,
and 1 Chronicles. In these books the name figures in the lists of the priests
returning from the exile. The oldest of these lists appears to be that in Ezra
2:3639 and Neh 7:3942; it mentions Jedaiah as the first of four priestly fami-
lies, specifically of the house of Jeshua () , probably Joshua the son of

Zechariah 18, 341342 and also Chang-Ho C. Ji, A New Look at the Tobiads in Iraq
Al-Amir, 417440, Studium Biblicum Franciscanum: Liber Annuus XLVIII 48, (1998). We
should also note the occurrence of a Tobiad family in the lists of people who could not
prove that they were Israelites (Ezra 2:60; Neh 7:62). Again, it is difficult to demonstrate a
decisive link to the Tobiad family in the third and second centuries. One indication may
be that Tobiah in the Zenon papyri is not concerned with Jewish law and this does com-
ply well with the image of the family presented in Ezra-Nehemiah, see Martin Hengel,
Judaism and Hellenism, vol. 1 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1974), 268.
13 Josephus Ant. 12.160236.
14 Hengel, Judaism, 273; Ji, Tobiads, 419.
15 For a discussion of the cult of this temple, see Ji, Tobiads, 432436 and Hengel,
Judaism, 274.
16 2 Macc 12:35 has also been suggested as an indication of the position of the Tobiads (Hengel,
Judaism, 276). For the text critical situation, see Robert Hanhart, ed. Maccabaeorum Liber
II, Septuaginta: Vetus Testamentum Graecum, (Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht,
1976). From the texts in 1 and 2 Maccabees one may get the impression that the Maccabees
and the Tobiads were allied. However, there are no reports of any agreement between
the Maccabees and the Tobiad family, the texts rather recount how the Maccabees res-
cue Jews living in the area connected to the Tobiads and that a few of the officers in the
Maccabean army may have had some connections to the Tobiads, perhaps to a Tobiad
cavalry, see Hengel, Judaism, 276.
OG-Zechariah 6:915 211

Jehozadak, the first high priest after the exile. In this early list it is evident that
Joshua is the important eponym in this family.
Jedaiah is mentioned in another list (Neh 11:10) as one of several priests liv-
ing in Jerusalem after the return from Babylon: Of the priests: Jedaiah the son
of Joiarib, Jachin, Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of
Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the ruler of the house of God.
The text of this list appears to be corrupt (lacking the son of for a couple of
names, and mentioning Joiarib as the father of Jedaiah), leading scholars to
reconstruct variant lists. Hutton suggests that the list did not originally include
Joiarib but rather provided the genealogy of Jedaiah, which connected him
with Zadok and gave him the title ruler of the house of God ( ) .17
In 1 Chr 9:1011 we find a similar list of priests: And of the priests: Jedaiah,
and Jehoiarib, and Jachin; and Azariah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam,
the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the ruler of the house
of God. In comparison to Neh 11:10 we should note the following: the names
Seraiah and Azariah are apparently confused. Jedaiah is not the son of
Joiarib, but copulas are put in between the names in the beginning of the list.
Two lists in Nehemiah 12 mention Jedaiah among the returning priests, but
several discrepancies strongly suggest that these lists have been altered during
their transmission. Jedaiah is mentioned late in the list and, importantly, after
Joiarib.
Similarly in 1 Chronicles 24, in a list of the order of the priestly service in the
temple, Jedaiah gets the second lot, after the lot of Joiarib. Interpreters debate
the date of this list and several suggest that it is of late origin.18
Jedaiah played an important role in the second century BCE because he was
the ancestor of the leading high-priestly family, the Oniads. Their claim to be
descendants of Jedaiah was fundamental for their position. The Hasmoneans
traced their genealogy back to Joiarib (1 Macc 2:1) and thus they could claim
to be legitimate heirs to the office of high priest.19 Some scholars read the list
in 1 Chronicles 24 against this background and suggest that the Hasmoneans

17 ABD, Jedaiah, 654.


18 Ralph W. Klein and Thomas Krger, 1 Chronicles: A Commentary (Minneapolis: Fortress,
2006), 462. For a different view see Sara Japhet, I and II Chronicles: A Commentary
(London: SCM Press, 1993), 430.
19 Scholars debate whether the Hasmoneans really were Zadokites, see Tcherikover,
Hellenistic, 492493; Goldstein, I Maccabees, 71, 75; Alison Schofield and James C.
VanderKam, Were the Hasmoneans Zadokites? 7387, JBL 124 (2005).
212 CHAPTER 12

placed Joiarib first in order to promote their own position.20 I will not go into
the details of the lists mentioned above, but will assume that the Hasmoneans
likely attempted to legitimize their position by associating themselves with a
recognized priestly lineage.21 The same underlying interest may lie behind the
peculiar translations of the names in Zechariah 6.

The Names in the Greek Translation. The Greek translation of Zechariah 6


avoids the use of three/four of the names the text mentions, only Josiah
with his father Sophoniah are rendered by their names. The other names are
translated in this manner: Heldaithe chief men ( ), Helem
them that wait patiently ( ), Tobiahthe useful men of it
( ), and Jedaiahthe men who have come to know it
( ).
The translations are not without links to the Hebrew roots. The transla-
tor obviously used from , and from . For , and on
the other hand, the translations are not taken from the names, but seem to
be rather free interpretations. All of the Greek forms are in the plural, which
seems to underline that a group of distinguished persons were witnesses to the
prophetic act. The words used for these groups are all positive words, which
excludes the possibility that the translator understood them as rebels. They are
leading and pious men who have known exile.22
In the context of 6:915 these men have a key role. They witness the corona-
tion of Joshua the High Priest and the prophecy given to Joshua concerning
Growth who will build the temple and be a future ruler. The crown remained
an important symbol of the high priestly office during the Second Temple
period and is referred to several times in literature from that period. A crown is
mentioned among the treasures Antiochus took from the temple (1 Macc 1:22),
and crowns of gold were used to decorate the temple when the Maccabees

20 This suggestion has been contested; see H.G.M. Williamson, 1 and 2 Chronicles (Grand
Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982), 164; Japhet, Chronicles, 430.
21 Luc Dequeker claims that the question of Zadokite lineage may have been the basis of the
conflict between Qumran and Jerusalem, see 1 Chronicles XXIV and the Royal Priesthood
of the Hasmoneans, 94106, in Crises and Perspectives: Studies in Ancient near Eastern
Polytheism, Biblical Theology, Palestinian Archaeology and Intertestamental Literature, ed.
J.C. de Moor (Leiden: Brill, 1986), 95.
22 The final of the two latter names are rendered by a personal pronoun in the feminine
genitive. These pronouns seem to refer back to the captivity ( ) in the begin-
ning of verse 10. In verse 14 the names are again rendered with personal pronouns, and
here also is it most likely that they refer back to the captivity even though this anteced-
ent only occurs in verse 10.
OG-Zechariah 6:915 213

rededicated it (1 Macc 4:57). Finally, when Jonathan became high priest, there
was a coronation (1 Macc 10:20).
Given the importance of the names Jedaiah and Tobiah in the second cen-
tury BCE and their opposing position to the Hasmoneans, it may well be that
these names were replaced by translations that made the text easier to inter-
pret in favor of the Hasmoneans.

Hypothesis: Suggested Interpretational Differences in the


Greek Text

In Zech 6:915 we find a description of the coronation of the high priest Joshua.
The crowning takes place in the presence of four witnesses, mentioned by
name in the Hebrew text. The Greek text translates only three of these names,
which seems odd since the names were prominent and should have been read-
ily identified by the translator. Two of the names that were translated, Jedaiah
and Tobiah, are names of influential families in the second century BCE.
The translation of these names makes perfect sense for a supporter of the
Hasmoneans who claimed their high priestly status from the line of Jehoiarib
and not from Jedaiah as their rivals, the Oniads, did. The translation of the
name Tobiah also excluded this family from the important position of wit-
ness to the coronation of Joshua.
CHAPTER 13

OG-Zechariah 8:1823: Critique of the Oniads

At the end of Zechariah 8 there is a perplexing deviation in the Greek text that
may bear the mark of the translators interpretation. It is worthwhile to exam-
ine the relevant verses.

The Text

Zechariah 8:1823 forms the conclusion to the chapters traditionally labelled


Proto-Zechariah. The passage is introduced with and the word of Yahweh
Zebaoth came to me saying (8:18). We find these words in the introduction
of the book (1:1) and in five additional places (1:7; 7:1,4,8; 8:1). The passage con-
tains three oracles. The first (8:19) is concerned with the different fasts and
their favorable consequences for the house of Judah. The second oracle (8:20
22) speaks of many nations who will seek Yahweh in Jerusalem. This theme is
followed up in the concluding oracle (8:23), in which the nations will join the
Judeans in their pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem.
We find the themes of fasting and of the nations gathering to Jerusalem and
its temple elsewhere in Proto-Zechariah. Zechariah 7 mentions fasting and
Zecharaiah 2 and 8 contain oracles stating that the nations will seek the city.1
The same theme is resumed in Deutero-Zechariah, (cf. Zechariah 14). In other
words, 8:1823 address issues that are essential to the whole booknamely,
religious observance and the centrality of the temple in Jerusalem.

The Greek Translation


A translation of OG-Zech 8:1823 follows:

18 And the word of the Lord Almighty came to me saying: 19 Thus says the Lord
Almighty: the fourth fast, and the fifth fast, and the seventh fast, and the tenth
fast shall be to the house of Judah for joy and happiness and for good festivals.
You shall rejoice and love truth and peace. 20 Thus says the Lord Almighty: Yet
shall many peoples come, and the inhabitants of many cities, 21 and the inhab-
itants of five cities shall come together to one city, saying: Let us go to entreat
the face of the Lord, and to seek the face of the Lord Almighty; I will go also. 22

1 See pages 140142.

koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 6|doi .63/9789004302730_014


OG-Zechariah 8:1823 215

And many peoples and many nations shall come to seek the face of the Lord
Almighty in Jerusalem, and to appease the face of the Lord. 23 Thus says the Lord
Almighty: In those days if ten men of all the languages of the nations should take
hold, even take hold of the hem of a Jew,2 saying, We will go with you, for we have
heard that God is with you.

Textual Notes

21 Five cities: LBA suggests that five was not part of the OG. It is rather a
contamination from Isa 19:18.3 However, the reading is found in the major tex-
tual witnesses.4 Codex Washington and Jeromes commentary to the Minor
Prophets have the inhabitants of cities to one city. The reading is suspicious,
as it lacks an equivalent for the first number, even though the noun is plural.
The word five has probably been dropped accidentally in these manuscripts,
while the plural form of noun has been retained. A group of Lucianic manuscripts,
the Catenae group, one medieval minuscule belonging to the Alexandrian group,
the Syrohexaplar, the Armenian translation, and Theodore of Mopsuestia have
one instead of five. This may be an adjustment towards the Hebrew text.5
The Lord Almighty: The end of the verse is damaged in Codex Washington,
but the text that is preserved contains in a position that would follow imme-
diately after the Lord Almighty. Henry Sanders, who first published the manu-
script, reconstructed in [Jerusalem] on this basis,6 a reconstruction that Ziegler
accepted and included as a variant in his text critical apparatus. The reconstruc-
tion, which perfectly fits the lacunae in the text, is modeled on the next verse and
seems probable. The assumption that this reading stems from the OG translation
is, however, questionable since none of the other witnesses attest to the reading.
22 The Lord Almighty in Jerusalem: Codex Sinaiticus does not have Almighty
in Jerusalem. The reading is, however, found in all the other manuscripts and is
therefore fairly certain.
To appease: The reading (aorist middle infinitive) is found in
Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Venetus, the Lucianic main group,
the Catenae group, and Theodoret. Codex Washington has (present
middle infinitive), a reading which is preferred by both Ziegler and Rahlfs.

2 N ETS has Judean, Brenton has Jew, LBA has Juif, and SD judischen Mannes.
3 L BA, 293.
4 Codex Sinaiticus has been changed from five to one by a later corrector.
5 See Sanders and Schmidt, The Minor Prophets, 216.
6 Sanders and Schmidt, The Minor Prophets, 132 and 216.
216 CHAPTER 13

The Nature of the Differences in the Greek Text

Zech 8:21









And the inhabitants of one shall And the inhabitants of five cities shall
go to another, saying, Come, let us come together to one city, saying: Let us
go to entreat the favor of Yahweh, go to entreat the face of the Lord, and
and to seek Yahweh Zebaoth, to seek the face of the Lord Almighty;
I myself am going. I will go also.

The Greek words the inhabitants of five cities shall come together to one city
differ from the MT: the inhabitants of one shall go to another. The Greek text
has a plus, , and the word, (five) is different from MTs equivalent,
( one).
Variant in the Hebrew source text. Based on the Greek text we may suggest
that the source text read . The differences between
this reconstruction and the MT ( ) cannot be explained as
the result of textual corruption. The Hebrew word for five ( )is not easily
confused with the word for one (), and the plus does not appear to be a
simple mistake. The changes seem to be intentional. If we accept this recon-
structed Hebrew variant, the next question is whether it is likely older than the
reading of the MT.
The MT phrase is common in biblical Hebrew. It is used
when persons come to join each other, like in Zech 8:21, or when one object is
joined to another. In the context of Zech 8:1823, this expression makes sense
because the text speaks about many nations and many cities turning their
attention towards Jerusalem and coming to the city. The inhabitants of one
city will say to the inhabitants of another that they should seek the favor of
Yahweh in Jerusalem.
The usage of five cities to one seems more peculiar, not because of its syn-
tax, but rather on account of its semantics in context. The text gives no hint to
a specific number of cities, but rather uses the phrase many cities ()
in 8:20. To what, then, does the expression five cities refer?
In judging between the MT and the translation, we have on the one hand an
expression well suited for the context in the MT. On the other hand, we have an
OG-Zechariah 8:1823 217

expression that introduces a new element to the text. The presence of this new
element suggests that the Greek text represents a secondary development.
Free translation. We saw that the reconstruction of a possible Hebrew
source behind the deviations is conjectural. Since the changes probably are
intentional and secondary, it may be the case that it stems from the translator.
The equivalent expression in the MT, , is condensed. It is
likely that the word city ( )is implied in the line. The previous line (8:20)
mentions , and the feminine form further supports this assumption
since it corresponds to the gender of . One might suggest that the Hebrew
text once had this word, but no manuscripts attest such a reading. Furthermore,
it is not necessary to assume a Hebrew variant in order to make sense of the
text. The Greek text probably uses the word in order to make explicit what
the Hebrew text implies. In chapter 5, I mentioned several similar instances.7
However, the plural form is more than an explication. The form
depends on the shift from one to five. It is therefore reasonable to see the
explication and the usage of five as part of the same change. This indicates
that the deviations may stem from the translator.

The Five Cities of Isaiah 19:18 and OG-Zech 8:21


We should therefore look for an interpretive background that might explain
the textual deviations in OG-Zech 8:21. Did the number five have any specific
usage that can explain its occurrence in the text? In 8:23 we find the number
ten, which seems to indicate completeness. The ten men in 8:23 thus repre-
sent all mankind other than the Judeans.8 Is it possible that the number five
has been used here in a similar manner?
There are some texts which use the number five symbolically. Lev 26:8 uses
five as a small number, five shall chase one hundred, while Gen 43:34 uses
five as a large number, and Benjamins portion was five times larger than any
of theirs. If we return to how five functions in Zech 8:1823, we would expect
that a symbolic use would enhance the point that these verses stress, namely
that many nations and cities will come to seek Yahweh in Jerusalem. But the
opposite is the result. Five cities in 8:21 reduces many cities (8:20) consider-
ably. It is therefore unlikely that five is used as a rhetorical device to under-
score the message of the text.
Another possibility is that five cities refers to five specific cities. Several cit-
ies in and around Palestine were either founded or renamed in early Hellenistic
times. This was probably the work of the Ptolemies since many of the new

7 See especially pages 7379.


8 Meyers and Meyers, Haggai, Zechariah 18, 440.
218 CHAPTER 13

names end in polis, an ending the Ptolemies used often in naming cities
in Egypt.9 We know of five cities in and around Palestine that were military
and administrative centers. They were important bases of Ptolemaic control
of the area.10 These cities were Acco-Ptolemais, Philotheria at the southern
end of lake Gennesaret, Pella-Berenice in the Jordan valley, Rabbath Ammon-
Philadelphia in Trans-Jordan, and Arsinoe whose location is uncertain. But
while we know that these five cities functioned as such centers, there may
have been more cities like them. In addition, they lay at quite a distance from
each other and were not referred to as the five cities, in contrast to the exam-
ple of the Decapolis in the region east of Jordan and Lake Gennesaret. When
the Seleucids took control of Palestine, Acco became the seat of the king, but
there are no indications that the Seleucids had five administrative and military
centers throughout Palestine.
Another candidate for the referent of five cities is more promising. Isaiah
19:18 mentions five Canaanite-speaking cities in Egypt, and these five may be
the same referred to in Zech 8:21. Isaiah 19:18 and its context are much debated.
In order to decide whether it is a likely referent for the five cities of OG-Zech
8:21, we must investigate the status of Isa 19:18 in the last centuries BCE. If it
was an important text, it increases the likelihood that OG-Zech 8:21 refers to
this text.
Isaiah 19:1819 (MT) reads as follows:

18 On that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language
of Canaan and swear allegiance to Yahweh Zebaoth. One of these will be called
the city of destruction. 19 On that day there will be an altar to Yahweh in the
midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to Yahweh at its border.

These verses are part of a pericope which is usually understood as a cluster of


five editorial addenda, each with the opening formula on that day. The units
are Isa 19:1617; 19:18; 19:1922; 19:23; and 19:2425.11 Isaiah 19:1617 predict that
Yahweh and the land of Judah will terrify Egypt. This accords with the theme
of the first part of the chapter that curses Egypt. Then, from Isa 19:18 the text
gradually changes in tone. Isaiah 19:18 mentions five cities that will speak the
language of Canaan and swear allegiance to Yahweh. In Isa 19:1922 an altar
will be erected to him in Egypt. The Egyptians will come to know Yahweh

9 A.H.M. Jones, The Cities of the Eastern Roman Provinces (Oxford: Clarendon, 1937), 242.
10 Hengel, Judaism, 14.
11 Joseph Blenkinsopp, Isaiah 139 (New York: Doubleday, 2000), 316317; Paul M. Cook, A
Sign and a Wonder: The Redactional Formation of Isaiah 1820 (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 98122.
OG-Zechariah 8:1823 219

and they will worship him with sacrifices and gifts, presumably at the altar
described in Isa 19:19. Egypt will then be healed. Isaiah 19:23 predicts peace
between the Egyptians and the Assyrians, and Isa 19:2425 states that Israel
will be the third part, a blessing in the middle of the world. The final verse ends
by naming Egypt my people and Assur the work of my hands. These epithets
are usually reserved for Israel and the oracle thus speaks of an extraordinary
reconciliation in the Yahwistic religion.12
The date and provenance of these passages are disputed and not easy to
establish. The oracles may have different origins, which complicate the matter,13
but the verses are usually dated to the post-exilic period.14 Especially Isa 19:18
and 19 have been used in attempts to determine the date and origin of the
passages.
If we look more specifically at Isa 19:18, it seems that the five cities15 that
speak the language of Canaan most likely refer to an Israelite population in
Egypt.16 It is not certain whether the number five in Isa 19:18 should be con-
sidered as a round number, or as a reference to specific cities.17 It is, however,
noteworthy that we may recover the names of five cities of the Egyptian dias-
pora from the book of Jeremiah. In the delta we have Tahpanes, also named
Baal Zaphon and later Daphne (Jer 2:16; 43:7; 44:1). East of Tahpanes we find
Migdol (Jer 44:1; 46:14; Ezek 29:10; 30:6). At the southern end of the delta we find
Heliopolis/On (Jer 43:13) and Memphis (44:1). The fifth name from Jeremiah is
Pathros (Jer 44:1, 15; Isa 11:11). This name was used to designate Upper Egypt in

12 For a summary of the usage of these expressions, see L. Monsengwo-Pasinya, Isae XIX
1625 et universalisme dans la LXX, 192207, in Congress Volume: Salamanca 1983, ed.
J.A. Emerton (Leiden: Brill, 1985), 197198.
13 Hans Wildberger, Isaiah 1327 (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1997), 264265; Brevard S. Childs,
Isaiah (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001), 144.
14 Csaba Balogh, Stele of YHWH in Egypt: The Prophecies of Isaiah 1820 concerning Egypt and
Kush (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 29; Wildberger, Isaiah, 265; Childs, Isaiah, 142. For a dating to the
first temple period see Hallvard Hagelia, A Crescendo of Universalism: An Exegesis of
Isa 19:1625, 7388, SE 70 (2005): 7677.
15 Anton Jirku (Die fnf Stdte bei Jes 19,18 und die fnf Tore des Jahu-Tempels zu
Elephantine, 247248, OTZ 15 (1912)) suggested that the original text was not five cities
( ) but rather five gates ( ) referring to the gates of the Yahu tem-
ple in Leontopolis. But this suggestion has not gained wide acceptance since the sentence
five gates...speaking the language of Canaan is unlikely, see Wildberger, Isaiah, 262.
16 It has also been suggested that these cities refer to Egyptians who has converted, see
George Buchanan Gray, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Isaiah, vol. 1
(Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1919), 333 and Wildberger, Isaiah, 268.
17 Gray, Isaiah, 334.
220 CHAPTER 13

general.18 The connection between these cities and the five cities in Isa 19:18
may be purely coincidental. They nevertheless attest to an old and significant
representation of Israelites in Egypt. The papyri from Elephantine near Aswan
in Upper Egypt also attest to such a representation. These papyri indicate that
the Judaeans living there, at least partly, kept to their cultural and religious
heritage. The language of many of the papyri is Aramaic, which presumably is
the language the Judaites used.
It is not certain what the language of Canaan in Isa 19:18 refers to. The most
common assumption is Hebrew,19 but it may also be Aramaic.20 Paul Cook
suggests that the phrase is deliberately ambigous.21 The religious allegiance
to Yahweh is, however, explicitly expressed in the verse. The usage of
instead of might indicate that the group the author had in mind was
made up of converts,22 but we cannot draw firm conclusions.
The altar mentioned in Isa 19:19 led some commentators in the nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries to link the origin of the passage to the estab-
lishment of the Jewish temple of Leontopolis.23 This is the only known Jewish
temple that would fit the description given in the text. Leontopolis is situated
near Heliopolis in the middle of Egypt. But the occurrence of these verses in
the Isaiah scrolls from Qumran, 1QIsaa especially, makes this unlikely.24 1QIsaa

18 See Blenkinsopp, Isaiah, 318.


19 We may ask why the language of Canaan is used and not Judaite as in Isa 36:11,13. In
Neh 13:24 Judaite is sharply distinguished from Ashdodite, another language in Canaan,
see Georg Fohrer, Das Buch Jesaja, vol. 1 (Zrich: Zwingli, 1966), 230; Gray, Isaiah, 334.
Jean Calvin goes as far as suggesting that this expression is a parallel to swear allegiance
to and therefore a methaphor for conversion; see Walter Brueggemann, Isaiah 139
(Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1998), 162. Van der Kooij (Isaiah 19:1625, 135) sug-
gests that the translator of OG-Isa 19:18 understood the language as the Phoenician
Hebrew language.
20 In the papyri from Elephantine it appears that the Jews spoke Aramaic. We may con-
sider whether the language of Canaan could be a broader term where also Aramaic was
included. Modern linguistic classification of these languages would not be relevant here.
But, even though we may assume that Jews in Egypt spoke Aramaic, it is also possible that
the language of Canaan may refer to Hebrew as the language used in the cult, see the
discussion in Wildberger, Isaiah, 269270.
21 Cook, A Sign, 107.
22 Wildberger, Isaiah, 268.
23 Bernhard Duhm, Das Buch Jesaia (Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1968 [1892]), 145;
Gray, Isaiah, 333.
24 Wildberger, Isaiah, 273; John F.A. Sawyer, Blessed be my People Egypt [Isaiah 19:25]:
The Context and Meaning of a Remarkable Passage, 5771, in A Word in Season: in Honour
OG-Zechariah 8:1823 221

probably dates to the latter part of the first century, only a few decades after
Onias III/IV established the temple in Leontopolis.25 The Israelite/Jewish pop-
ulation in Egypt in the latter part of the first millennium BCE was probably
considerable, and the knowledge we have of their altars and masseboth is too
sparse to pinpoint the provenance of Isa 19:1625.26
My main concern regarding Isa 19:1819 is how this text was read in the
second century BCE, at the time when the Minor Prophets were translated to
Greek. The question of the status of the text at that time can be approached
from two angles. The first is through textual variants in Isa 19:18, and the second
is through other ancient texts that refer to the pericope.

Textual variants in Isa 19:18. When we compare the different textual witnesses
for this passage, we find several differences. I will look at variants concern-
ing the name of the city in Isa 19:18. These are indicative of how the text
was used.
Isaiah 19:18 singles out one of the five cities with a name. There is no reason
to take this as a secondary addition to the verse. That one of the cities is named
may indicate that the author had five specific cities in mind,27 and that the
number five is not merely a round one.28 Which city the name refers to was
discussed already in antiquity.29 The variants in the textual witnesses indicate
that the reference was problematic.

of William McKane, eds. James D. Martin and Philip R. Davies (Sheffield: JSOT Press,
1986), 59.
25 See pages 229231 for a discussion of the temple.
26 The Aramaic Cowley papyri have been adduced to indicate the presence of Jews in Egypt.
The papyri mention several priests. One of the papyri connects a priest to Thmius in the
south of Egypt. Martin Hengel (Judaism, 16) even opens for the possibility that this may
be the altar which Isa 19:19 refers to.
27 Cook, A Sign, 106, and Sawyer, Blessed, 60, do, on the other hand, not believe that the
name refers to a specific city.
28 Wildberger, Isaiah, 270.
29 Jerome wrote: It is known that in Hebrew this name is written as Aares, which some
translate as in the sun, others as brick, thinking that it means either Heliopolis or
Ostracine. You can find much more debate about this matter at greater length in the Books
of Hebrew questions. Translation from G.S.P. Freeman-Greenville, Rupert L. Chapman III
and Joan E. Taylor, eds. The Onomasticon by Eusebius of Ceasarea (Jerusalem: Carta, 2003),
28. The suggestion that the city should be Ostracine requires the Hebrew text . This
possibility finds little credence among moderen commentators.
222 CHAPTER 13

Codex Leningradensis
1QIsaa and 4QIsab30
OG-Isa
Codex Sinaiticus
Aquila, Theodothion
Symmachus
Vulgate civitas solis
Targum
Syrohexapla

The text-critical discussion of these variants centers around two related issues:
which reading is the oldest, and which best explains the others.
Not many scholars argue for the primacy of MTs the city of
destruction.31 The word is not attested elsewhere as a noun and the mean-
ing is therefore uncertain. Destruction/ruins seems reasonable on the basis
of the verb from the same root.32 If this is the meaning, the whole expression
seems out of place. Why would one of the cities be called by this name?
Bernhard Duhm attempted to solve this problem by claiming that the
Masoretic vocalization is misguiding. He proposed that should not be read
as destruction but as lion. In Arabic the word haris was used as an epithet
for lions. The word in the Hebrew text is, Duhm suggested, a cognate word. The
name would then be The city of the Lion, a reference to Leontopolis in Egypt.
Duhm also dated the verse to the establishment of this temple in the middle of
the second century BCE.33
Most scholars have, as mentioned above, rejected this dating. Scrolls from
Qumran (1QIsaa and 4QIsab) attest to the reading city of the sun. The
discovery of these scrolls has made it likely that the date of the verse must be
earlier than the middle of the second century.34 In light of the scrolls, it appears
that the reading in the MT is not the original text, but an intentional distortion

30 Also 16 massoretic manuscripts attest to this reading, see Balogh, Stele, 222.
31 Balogh (Stele, 229) is one exception.
32 See Cook, A Sign, 103.
33 Duhm, Jesaia, 145.
34 Blenkinsopp, Isaiah, 317. 1QIsaa is dated to 125100 BCE, see Eugene Ulrich and Peter W.
Flint, eds. Qumran Cave 1: II: The Isaiah Scrolls: Part 2 Introductions, Commentary, and
Textual Variants, DJD XXXII (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2010), 61.
OG-Zechariah 8:1823 223

of the name city of the sun.35 Also the Vulgate and the Targum attest
to the city of the sun, although the Targum conflates the two interpretations
into the city of sun which is about to be doomed to desolation.36
The OG version of the verse is intriguing. It has the city Asedek (
). The reading seems to presuppose the Hebrew text .37 A num-
ber of interpreters argue that this is the oldest reading.
Paul Cook connects * in 19:18 to an identical expression in 1:26
where Jerusalem is called the city of righteousness. Cook suggests that the
expression in 19:18 draws a comparison of the worship of Yahweh in Jerusalem
and in Egypt. * in 19:18 is not referring to a new Jerusalem. It is a gen-
eral reference to the adherents of Yahwism in Egypt.38
Isac Leo Seeligmann does not attempt to explain what may refer to,
but finds it easier to explain that the ordinary term predates the more
specific . Seeligmann suggests that is a gloss added as a legitimation
for the temple in Leontopolis in the nome of Heliopolis.39
However, once again 1QIsaa and 4QIsab throw new light on earlier schol-
arship. These documants attest that manuscripts in Palestine had . The

35 Balogh (Stele, 224) ascribes to supporters of the Leontopolis temple. He


assumes that there were close connections between the Qumran community and the
Oniads in Leontopolis.
36 See for instance Childs, Isaiah, 144 or Franz Delitzsch, Jesaja (Giessen: Brunnen Verlag,
1984 [1887]), 232. Many modern translations of Isaiah follow this reading in their render-
ing of the passage, see NRSV, BFC.
37 Monsengwo-Pasinya, Isae, 201. This reconstrucion is, however, not universally accepted.
Johann Fischer, followed by Balogh, suggests that the OG was and not
. would, according to Fischer, reflect the Hebrew variant in the
source text (Johann Fischer, In welcher Schrift lag das Buch Isaias den LXX vor? (Giessen:
Alfred Tpelmann, 1930), 35; Balogh, Stele, 2267). On the other hand, Alberto Vaccari
maintains the OG reading . But he suggests that the Greek phrase did not
transliterate but rather . Vaccari proposes that this reading is a corrupted
form of which is an orthographical variant of ( Jos 24:30 and Judg 2:9)
(Alberto Vaccari, Polis Asedek Is. 19,18, 353356, Bib 2 (1921)). Neither of these sugges-
tions are convincing. The first lacks support in the manuscripts. is only found
in Symmachus which is a too narrow textual basis to reconstruct the Old Greek text.
The second suggestion is quite complicated and seems therefore less probable than to
assume in the Hebrew source. See also Arie van der Kooij, Die alten Textzeugen des
Jesajabuches (Freiburg (Schweiz): Universittsverlag Freiburg, 1981), 53.
38 Cook, A Sign, 106. Sawyer, Blessed, 60 has a very similar suggestion.
39 Isac Leo Seeligmann, The Septuagint Version of Isaiah and Cognate Studies (Tbingen:
Mohr Siebeck, 2004), 220. See also Gray (Isaiah, 335) for a similar suggestion.
224 CHAPTER 13

change Seeligmann proposes presumably occurred in Egypt. This does not


work well when we take the manuscripts from Qumran into account.40
Godfrey Driver and Arie van der Kooij suggest that the relation *has
to is the other way around. It was Leontopolis that was called the city
of righteousness. According to Driver, was used as a name for
the city. He suggests that the translator knew such an appellation as an oral
tradition. The translator introduces the tradition into the text. Driver suggests
two possible explanations for such a change. The tradition may refer to Simon
the Just who was one of the ancestors of the founder of the temple. Or, the
tradition may refer to the rightful priestly line, the Zadokites. The Oniads who
governed the temple represented this line.41
Van der Kooij does not agree with the theory of an oral tradition.42 He main-
tains that is the translators invention. Van der Kooij contends that
the translator borrowed the expression from 1:26. But in 19:18 the translator
had Leontopolis in mind, not Jerusalem.43 In this manner, according to van der
Kooij, the Greek text supports the Oniad temple. Van der Kooij strenghtens his
view by pointing to Isa 36:7. Here the Hebrew text has a phrase which speaks
of only one legitimate altar. The important point for van der Kooij is that this
phrase is missing in the Greek version. Van der Kooij maintains that the trans-
lator edited the phrase out. If so, this is another instance where the translator
legitimizes the existence of the temple in Leontopolis.44
Drivers suggestion is, however, more convincing. It seems likely that
the supporters of the Oniads may have used the appellation on
Leontopolis. But the transliteration in OG-Isaiah rather suggests an oral tradi-
tion than the translatiors exegesis.45 In fact it seems unlikely that the transla-
tor should use the transliteration if he wanted to legitimize Leontopolis
by the same epithet that was given to Jerusalem in Isa 1:26. In his translation of
this expression in 1:26 he used rather than . Why, then

40 However, we should note that some scholars suggest that there were connections between
the covenanters in Qumran and the Oniads, see Balogh, Stele, 224.
41 Godfrey Rolles Driver, The Judean Scrolls: The Problem and a Solution (Oxford: Blackwell,
1965), 227228.
42 Van der Kooij, Textzeugen, 5455.
43 See also Blenkinsopp, Isaiah, 317.
44 Van der Kooij, Textzeugen, 5455.
45 This is a better explanation than Monsengwo-Pasinyas explanation that the trans-
literation is the translators reluctance to call the city a city of righteousness (
), Isae, 201.
OG-Zechariah 8:1823 225

would he choose in 19:18 unless already meant something to


the reader?46
Summary: It appears likely that the oldest reading is . This is what
we find in several textual witnesses, among them 1QIsaa and 4QIsab. The
Masoretic would then be a distortion of this text. That this change
of the reading occurred quite early is confirmed by an equivalent form in the
Syrohexaplar and Targum Jonathan and possibly also by the transliteration
found in Aquila and Theodotion,47 though an exact dating of it is diffi-
cult to ascertain.48 The OG version, , reflects , which also
appears to be a secondary reading.
We therefore have the expression the city of the sun which spurred reac-
tions in several directions. The dating of the textual variants is very difficult,
but the Greek translation of Isaiah attests to the positive variant
in the second century. That this variant is not attested in any other manuscript
but occurred in a translation which is connected to Egypt is conspicuous.49 It
is possible that this reading relates to the temple in Leontopolis.
The other variant we have to the expression is a negative judgment of the
city, the city of destruction. This variant is preserved in the MT. Although
the dating of this variant is uncertain, it seems to have been a reaction to the
name city of the sun. That the temple in Leontopolis, which was in the nome
of Heliopolis, could have provoked such a reaction is beyond doubt and may
therefore be a possible explanation.50

Josephus and Isa 19:1819. Josephus may also give us an indication of how Isa
19:1819 was used in the second century BCE. Josephus describes the founda-
tion of the temple in Leontopolis. He refers to these events on several occa-
sions. He recounts the story in J.W. 7.420436 and Ant.13.6273, but also in
J.W. 1.33 and Ant.12.237239, 20.236237 he mentions the foundation of the
temple. Josephus accounts diverge on several important points, most notably
on which of the Oniads founded the temple. In J.W. 7.423 he claims that it was
Onias III while in Ant. 13.62 he says that it was Onias IV.

46 Van der Kooij connects the transliteration to the expression language of Canaan, (The
Old Greek of Isaiah 19:1625: Translation and Interpretation, 127166, in VI Congress
of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, ed. Claude E. Cox
(Atlanta: Scholars, 1987), 137. Balogh (Stele, 226) finds van der Kooijs view unconvincing.
47 It is possible that could transliterate , see Judg 8:13.
48 Gray (Isaiah, 335) suggests that it goes back to at least the first or second century BCE.
49 Van der Kooij (Textzeugen, 6062) argues that OG-Isaiah was translated in Leontopolis.
50 Sawyer, Blessed, 62.
226 CHAPTER 13

There are problems with both suggestions. Concerning Onias III 2 Macc
4:3038 reports51 that Onias III never escaped to Egypt. He was murdered by
Andronicus, a high-ranking officer in the Seleucid administration, on the order
of Menelaus, at the time High Priest in Jerusalem. If this is correct, Onias III
cannot have been the founder of the temple in Leontopolis.
Concerning Onias IV Josephus writes in Antiquities that Onias IV came to
Egypt after the execution of Menelaus, when Alcimus was nominated to the
High Priesthood. This means sometime after 162 BCE. One difficulty with this
version is that we have a papyrus from Egypt containing a letter which is, if the
reconstruction can be trusted, addressed to a certain Onias. This Onias must
have been a high-ranking officer, probably the strategos of the Heliopolite
nome, and quite likely also a member of the kings court.52 The letter is dated
to 164 BCE. It is conceivable that Onias of this letter may be a different Onias
altogether, but that would be quite a coincidence. On the other hand, it is pos-
sible that this may be Onias IV, which means that Josephus is wrong about the
time Onias IV arrived in Egypt. If it is Onias III, it means that the report we find
in 2 Macc 4 concerning Onias IIIs death is incorrect. Now, depending on how
these different sources are evaluated, some scholars believe the founder of the
temple was Onias III, while others believe that it was Onias IV.53 The historic-
ity of Josephus reports is thus a complicated matter which is well beyond the
scope of this study. Here I am more interested in what kind of legitimation and
arguments the founder of this temple, whether it was Onias III or IV, used in
order to materialize his ambitions. On this issue I believe we may glean impor-
tant information from Josephus reports.
Josephus describes how Onias convinced the Ptolemies to grant him per-
mission to establish the temple. Onias claimed that such a temple would help
the Ptolemies to gain support among the Jews. Onias also promised to contrib-
ute Jewish troops in the service of Ptolemy. This information appears plausible.
It is likely that the Ptolemies would be interested in securing the support of
their subject. And, we know of Jewish soldiers in service of foreign kings, not

51 Perhaps supported by Dan 9:26; 11:22 and 1 Enoch 90:8.


52 Victor A. Tcherikover and Alexander Fuks, eds. Corpus Papyrorum Judaicarum, vol. 1
(Cambridge: Harvard University, 1957), 244245.
53 For the suggestion that it was Onias III, see Fausto Parente, Onias IIIs Death and the
Founding of the Temple of Leontopolis, 6998, in Josephus and the History of the Greco-
Roman Period, eds. Fausto Parente and Joseph Sievers (Leiden: Brill, 1994). Volkmar Keil,
Onias III.Mrtyrer oder Tempelgrnder? 221233, ZAW 95 (1985). For Onias IV, see
Wildberger, Isaiah, 272.
OG-Zechariah 8:1823 227

only from the Elephantine papyri but also from other antique sources.54 Also
Josephus reports that the Oniads were military leaders in the service of the
Ptolemies.55
Furthermore Josephus writes that Onias used the prophecy from Isaiah 19
in order to convince the Ptolemies.56 This appears more uncertain since this
kind of argumentation hardly would have convinced the Ptolemaic king.57 On
the other hand, Josephus does refer to the prophecy of Isaiah in both his longer
accounts of the foundation of this temple and it seems unlikely that Josephus
should have made up such a reference himself.58 Josephus is after all negative
towards this temple in his accounts.59 It appears likely that the connection
between the temple and Isa 19 stems from the propaganda the supporters of
this temple used for the temple. George G. Gray suggest such an explanation
but claims that the reference to Isa 19 is more indicative of the propaganda the
priesthood of this temple put forward in the first century CE when Josephus
wrote, than it is of Onias argumentation before the king.60 It is probably cor-
rect that the priests of Leontopolis used Isa 19 in their argument that this
temple was legitimate, but there is a third option which should be considered.
It is possible, as Fausto Parente suggests, that Onias may have used Isa 19 in
order to convince his fellow Jews that the establishing of a temple in Egypt was
legitimate.61 If Onias had any ambitions to perform temple service he would
have needed to attract followers who would prefer this temple to the temple
in Jerusalem. Isa 19 may have been a perfect text to use in such an argumenta-
tion.62 Such a temple must have had some sort of a theological foundation. It

54 See Joseph Mlze Modrzejewski, The Jews of Egypt: From Ramess II to Emperor Hadrian
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997), 2126; 8387.
55 J.W. 1.190, perhaps also Ag. Ap. 2:4950.
56 For a discussion of what may have been the Ptolemaic motivations for granting permis-
sion for the establishment of the temple in Leontopolis, see Gideon Bohak, Joseph and
Aseneth and the Jewish Temple in Heliopolis (Atlanta: Scholars, 1996), 23.
57 The letter which Josephus conveys in Ant. 13.7072, where it is said that the king is per-
suaded particularly by the prophecy from Isa 19, is most likely not authentic.
58 Isa 19 plays a part in the legitimation also in some references in the Baylonian and the
Jerusalem Talmud to the founding of the temple in Leontopolis, see Parente, Onias, 77.
59 Especially Ant. 13.6273.
60 Gray, Isaiah, 338.
61 Parente, Onias, 80 and 97.
62 Gideon Bohak (Joseph, 27) even considers the possibility that Onias wished to build five
cities in the area he was allotted in accordance with Isa 19:18.
228 CHAPTER 13

appears likely that Isa 19 was part of that foundation.63 I therefore agree with
Gray who maintains that the clergy of the temple in Leontopolis at the time
of Josephus used Isaiah 19 to legitimize this temple in encounters with other
Jews. But it is also likely that this kind of argumentation was important when
the temple was founded.64 The founder probably used this reference in order
to win followers among the Jews.
It appears that the text in Isaiah 19 played an important role in the second
century BCE. The textual variants we looked at in Isa 19:18 attest that the text
was a matter of discussion, and Josephus reports that Isaiah 19 was used in con-
nection with the establishment of the temple in Leontopolis.

Hypothesis: Suggested Interpretational Differences in the


Greek Text

The role of Isa 19:18 in the second century as a text used to legitimate the
Leontopolis temple suggests that it may indeed be the background for the
wording five cities to one city in OG-Zech 8:21. The textual variants in the verse
indicates that the verse was debated in the second century BCE. Although only
a modest allusion, as a reference to an important or much debated text, such a
covert reference would be enough to make a statement. In OG-Zech 8:21, these
five cities are to seek Yahweh in Jerusalem; in conjunction with the issues sur-
rounding Isa 19:18, it would seem the intent was to emphasize the importance
of Jerusalem and sharply criticize the idea that Jews in Egypt could seek an
altar to Yahweh in Egypt at the temple in Leontopolis.

Supplementary Evidence for Interpretational Changes

There are other passages in the OG-Minor Prophets which indicate a simi-
lar critique. Before I discuss these passages, I will describe the relationship
between Leontopolis and Heliopolis and consider some relevant LXX/OG texts
outside of the Minor Prophets.

63 For a discussion of the theological foundation of the temple in Leontopolis, see Robert
Hayward, The Jewish Temple at Leontopolis: A Reconsideration, 429443, JJS 33 (1982).
64 Parente, Onias, 80 and 97.
OG-Zechariah 8:1823 229

Leontopolis and Heliopolis


The Hebrew Bible makes no mention of the village of Leontopolis. In fact we
find the name Leontopolis only in a highly disputed letter, which Josephus
quotes.65 The village was, however, located in the vicinity of Heliopolis.
Heliopolis also gave name to the administrative nome in which it was located.66
When Josephus refered to the temple he always refered it to it by situating it in
the Heliopolite nome.
In the second century the condition of the city of Heliopolis itself was prob-
ably fairly poor. According to Strabos description, dated around the turn of the
era, the city was deserted.67 Although some priest remained in the temples.
The rise of Alexandria probably led to the citys decline. For the Ptolemies it
was not an important place.
Josephus writes that Ptolemy not only permitted Onias to establish a temple
but also granted him a considerably large area to administer.68 Josephus uses
the expression the land of Onias. In inscriptions from this area we find a simi-
lar expression.69 This is consistent with the letter we have in the papyri men-
tioned above. In this letter the recipient, reconstructed to Onias, has a high
position in the administration, probably the strategos of the Heliopolite nome.
On the basis of the letter, we may also assume that he has personal acquain-
tance with the royal family and thus might be a member of the royal court.
If the recipient indeed is Onias, he would not only function as a leader of a
Jewish temple in the small village Leontopolis, but as the leader of the whole
Heliopolite nome.
There is another interesting point of contact between Leontopolis and
Heliopolis. As I argued above, Onias used Isaiah 19, which seems to have
referred initially to Heliopolis, as a legitimation of the temple in Leontopolis.
That the temple was located near Heliopolis may therefore have been impor-
tant for Onias as he founded it. The city of Heliopolis was also very attractive
because of its long history as a religious centre.
The city also had a certain position in Jewish ideology. In Genesis we read
that the father-in-law of Joseph was a priest in Heliopolis, or On as it is called

65 See Ant. 13:65.


66 Bohak (Joseph, 2730) discusses the possible identifications of the ancient Leontopolis.
67 Strabo, Geogr. 17.1.2729.
68 J.W. 1:33; 7:426430; Ant. 12:388. Josephus (Ant. 13:287) also quotes a similar expression
from Strabo.
69 Ant. 14:131; J.W. 1:190. For the inscriptions see (William Horbury and David Noy, eds. Jewish
Inscriptions of Graeco-Roman Egypt (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 38
Plate XII; CIJ II no.1530 p. 90ff; possibly also 44 CIJ II no.1455 p. 111f.
230 CHAPTER 13

in Genesis. The story in Joseph and Aseneth attests that this tradition was an
issue in Hellenistic times. Gideon Bohak has made the intriguing suggestion
that the composition of this story was done by a supporter of the Oniad temple
in the nome of Heliopolis.70 In Josephus Against Apion we find quotations of
Manethos and Apions works which connect Moses to Heliopolis.71
Isaiah 19:18 indicates that there were five cities with a considerable Israelite/
Judaite population and that the city of Heliopolis was one of them. That we
may recover the names of five cities with Judaite settlement in Jeremiah may
as mentioned, be a mere coincidence, but the fact that Jeremiah refers to
Heliopolis may indicate that there was a Judaite settlement here quite early.72
The inscriptions found in excavations from the area indicate a viable Jewish
population in the centuries around the turn of the era.73
For the city and the area around it, where Leontopolis was situated, the
foundation of a temple to Yahweh must have increased the importance of the
place for the Jews even more. Whether this temple ever was considered an
alternative to the temple in Jerusalem by the Jews in Egypt, or it simply func-
tioned as a sanctuary for the Jewish military encampment which was located
in Leontopolis, its mere existence must have created some reactions in the
religious-intellectual milieus of the Jews.74
At least, this is the impression we get from the LXX/OG. The translators
were clearly interested in the place. In the Hebrew text of Genesis we find
this city referred to by the name On. The Greek translator used the name
Heliopolis.75 In Exod 1:11 the MT has they built for Pharaoh store cities,
Pithom and Raamses. The text in the LXX has Pithom and Raamses and On,

70 See Gideon Bohak, Aseneths Honeycomb and Onias Temple: The Key to Joseph
and Aseneth, 163170, in Proceedings of the Eleventh World Congress of Jewish Studies
(Jerusalem: The World Union of Jewish Studies, 1994); Bohak, Joseph.
71 Ag. Ap. 1:250; 2:10. The authenticity of this quote from Manetho is disputed and scholars
have suggested a later date for it, see Menahem Stern, Greek and Latin Authors on Jews
and Judaism, vol. 1 (Jerusalem: The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1976),
6364, 86.
72 Jer 43:13. See Blenkinsopp, Isaiah, 318.
73 Walter Ameling, Die jdische Gemeinde von Leontopolis nach den Inschriften, 117133,
in Die SeptuagintaTexte, Kontexte, Lebenswelten, eds. Martin Karrer and Wolfgang Kraus
(Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008), 123; Horbury and Noy, Jewish Inscriptions, 51196.
74 C.T. Robert Hayward, The Jewish Temple: A non-biblical source book (London: Routledge,
1996), 3.
75 Gen 41:45,50; 46:20.
OG-Zechariah 8:1823 231

which is Heliopolis. Whether this line stems from the translator or from some
scribe during the transmission of the Hebrew text,76 it attests to an interest in
the city, and perhaps even to a Judaite population in it. The line also attests to
the tendency we find in several Jewish-Hellenistic texts to increase the status
of the Jews by their glorious past.77
The Hebrew text of Jer 43:13 refers to Heliopolis as . In the Greek text,
the translator not only translated this name into , but also added,
which is in On. Here the MT has which is in the land of Egypt. This stands
in sharp contrast to the manner the translators of Joshua, Judges, 1 Kingdoms,
1 and 2 Paraleipomenon transliterated the name of Beth Shemesh in Palestine
into .78 The name Heliopolis was apparently reserved for the city in
Egypt. Also Ezek 30:17 mentions the city. Although here the Masoretes vocal-
ized the consonants as while the Greek translator preserved the original
reference to Heliopolis.

Heliopolis in the OG-Minor Prophets. In the Hebrew text of the Minor Prophets
Heliopolis is not mentioned. But in the OG translation of these books we find
the name On several times. In the MT we find the words vocalized as
, probably a derogatory reference to Bethel. The Greek text partly trans-
lates and partly transliterates the name into .
This kind of rendering should not be interpreted a misconception of the
expression. The translator knew of the word and probably considered it as
a possible interpretation of the expression. On the other hand, the name On
cannot have been a neutral transliteration since this is the name of the famous
temple city Heliopolis. Let us have a closer look on these texts.

76 It appears unlikely that the reading in the LXX is older than the Masoretic reading.
Eusebius notes in his Onomasticon that the problem with such a contention is that
according to Genesis the city of On antedates the arrival of the Israelites. He assumes
therefore that the Hebrew version of Exod 1:11 is the oldest, see also Jeromes translation
of the Onomasticon. One may object to this and suggest that the line in LXX-Exod 1:11 was
removed by a scribe/redactor in order to adjust it to the chronology of Genesis, but this
seems to be much less likely than that the LXX represents a later text.
77 Erich S. Gruen, Heritage and Hellenism: The Reinvention of Jewish Tradition (Berkely:
University of California, 1998).
78 We find in Josh 15:10.
232 CHAPTER 13

OG-Hos 4:1519

15 But you, Israel, be not ignorant, and Judah, do not go to Galgala; and do not go
up to the house of On, and do not swear by the living Lord. 16 For Israel was mad-
dened like a mad heifer, now the Lord will feed them as a lamb in a wide place.
17 Ephraim, joined with idols, has laid stumbling-blocks in his own way. 18 He has
chosen the Canaanites, fornicating they have committed fornication. They have
loved dishonor because of her insolence. 19 You are a gust of wind in her wings,
and they shall be ashamed because of their altars.

Textual Notes

15 On: The textual situation concerning this reading is complex. We find On


as a marginal gloss in Codex Marchalianus, in the Onomasticon of Eusebius,79
and we find Og in the Latin manuscript Codex Wirceburgensis. This manuscript
is a translation of a Greek text which may account for the textual corruption. In
the minuscule, manuscript 49, we find plus , which may be a trans-
lation of . is the most common reading in the text witnesses. These
are: a marginal gloss in Codex Vaticanus, the Alexandrian group, the Catenae
group, the Coptic and the Arabic translations, and some church fathers. In
Codex Marchalianus a corrector wrote on as a marginal gloss using a hexaplaric
manuscript.80 However, in this case Aquila and Symmachus has ()
useless, and Theodotion has which means that must stem from
the fifth column in the Hexapla. The reconstruction of this reading is connected
with the reconstruction in 5:8; 10:5.8; 12:4; Amos 1:5, for further comments, see
the textual notes to these texts below.

Comments on the Text


The text here is a condemnation of the idolatry of Israel and Judah. They have
indulged in the practices of the people surrounding them and the prophet here
warns them of the consequences. The Greek text is fairly literal in this passage,
but there are some noteworthy differences.

79 Klostermann, Onomasticon, 176.


80 Ziegler, DP, 43.
OG-Zechariah 8:1823 233

OG-Hos 4:15







.
Though you play the whore, O Israel, do But you, Israel, be not ignorant,
not let Judah become guilty. and Judah, do not go to Galgala;
Do not enter into Gilgal, and do not go up to the house of On,
or go up to Beth-aven, and do not swear by the living Lord.
and do not swear, As Yahweh lives.

Many commentators understand the MT verse to be the work of a Judean


redactor.81 The Greek text has a different clause division in the beginning of
the verse. The equivalent of is found in the preceding verse in the Greek
text. The Greek text opens with a vocative expression, but has to
put the following verb in 2 sg, while the MT has a verb in 3 sg. After the second
vocative, the verbs are in the 2 pl. in both texts.
, to let be guilty (jussive), is rendered by , be ignorant (impera-
tive). We find the same equivalents in Gen 26:10. In the OG-Minor Prophets
there are three more renderings of this Hebrew word: cause to
disappear, destroy (Hos 5:15; 10:2); to propitiate (Hab 1:11);
regret, repent (Zech 11:5).82 This is another instance of the rela-
tive freedom the translator exercises in his translation.
The most interesting deviation is that is rendered by .
Judah and Israel are warned not to go to Galgala. Galgala is a transliteration
of . Hosea and Amos mention this place several times as a symbol of apos-
tasy and this symbolism is conveyed in the OG translations of these books.83
The second destination mentioned in the verse is , the house of sor-
row. This is probably a dysphemism for the name Bethel.84 The translitera-
tion On should not be disregarded as a simple misconception of the Hebrew

81 For the most common arguments, see A.A. Macintosh, Hosea (Edinburgh: T & T Clark,
1997), 162. Hans Walter Wolff suggests that only the word Judah is a later addition
(Dodekapropheton 1: Hosea (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener, 1961), 89.
82 In Hos 13.1 we also find , but this verb probably depends on a different Vorlage;
instead of .
83 Hos 9:15; 12:12; Amos 4:4; 5:5.
84 See Amos 5:5.
234 CHAPTER 13

expression. The translator could have rendered the word by or


as he does elsewhere in the Minor Prophets.85 The translator also knew the
word vigor, wealth which he translates quite freely by , relief,
refresh.86 He was therefore not without alternatives for a translation of the
expression. Furthermore, the name On was most likely not a neutral place
name for the translator. The rendering of this toponym in the Greek seems
therefore to be intentional. The Greek text directs the judgment towards the
house of On and warns Israel and Judah not to go there.87

OG-Hos 5:58

5 And the pride of Israel shall be brought low before his face; and Israel and
Ephraim shall become weak in their iniquities, and Judah shall also become
weak with them. 6 They shall go with sheep and calves to seek the Lord, but they
shall not find him, for he has turned away from them. 7 For they have forsaken
the Lord, for strange children have been born to them. Now shall the rust devour
them and their allotments. 8 Blow the trumpet on the hills, sound aloud on the
heights; proclaim in the house of On, Benjamin is amazed.

Textual Notes

8 On: The reading is supported by the major manuscripts. As in 4:15 we find


Og in the Latin manuscript Codex Wirceburgensis.88 Aquila again has
useless house, while Symmachus has , and Theodotion
.

Comments on the Text


These verses are part of another condemnation of Israel and Judahs idolatry. In
them we find another instance of rendered by . The verses
in the context also contain some interesting elements.
In these verses, the Hebrew text has several references to toponyms in
Palestine. The Greek text tones them down. In 5:1 we find Mizpah rendered by
the lookout. In verse 8 we find further instances of this:

85 Respectively Hos 6:8 and Hos 12:4; Mic 2:1; Hab 1:3; 3:7; Zech 10:2.
86 Hos 12:9, but in 12:4 he interprets these Hebrew letters as while the Massorets have .
87 The noun used as a vocative is rendered by a participle . This has less the charac-
ter of an oath than the Hebrew version.
88 See page 232.
OG-Zechariah 8:1823 235

Hos 5:8






Blow the horn in Gibeah, Blow ye the trumpet on the hills,
the trumpet in Ramah. sound aloud on the heights:
Sound the alarm at Beth-aven; proclaim in the house of On,
look behind you, Benjamin! Benjamin is amazed.

Verse 8 continues the judgment which is announced in the preceding verses.


In verse 6 the people shall seek the Lord with sacrifices but they will not find
him because he has turned away from them. Verse 7 follows up with a depen-
dent clause. Yahweh has turned away from them because they have turned
away from him, and engaged in relationships with foreigners. Now punish-
ment awaits them.
Hosea 5:8 specifies the places where the punishment will be announced.
The Hebrew text mentions Gibea, Rama, and Beth-aven. The translator ren-
dered the two first toponyms by the common nouns hill, and
height. These are possible interpretations of the Hebrew roots. The transla-
tor did, however, not interpret the third Hebrew toponym as a common noun.
It is rendered by , the house of On. That the translator translated
two of the names, while he rendered the third by a toponym is conspicuous.
He could easily have translated the third name. The rendering of the Hebrew
place names into Greek seems therefore to be intentional. Once again the
Greek translator directs the judgment towards the house of On.

OG-Hos 10:110

1 Israel is a well-growing vine, her fruit is abundant. According to the multitude


of her fruits she multiplied altars; according to the wealth of his land, they set
up pillars. 2 It divided their hearts; now shall they be utterly destroyed. He shall
break down their altars, their pillars shall be ruined. 3 Because now they shall say,
We have no king, because we feared not the Lord, and what should a king do
for us? 4 Speaking words, false excuses, he will make a covenant: judgment will
spring up as grass on a dry field. 5 The inhabitants of Samaria shall dwell near the
calf of the house of On, for his people mourned for him. And as they provoked
him, they shall rejoice at his glory, because it had been removed from him. 6 And
having wrapped him for the Assyrians, they carried it away as presents to king
Jarim. Ephraim will accept with a gift, and Israel shall be ashamed of his counsel.
236 CHAPTER 13

7 Samaria has cast off her king as a dry stick on the surface of the water. 8 And
the altars of On, the sins of Israel, shall be taken away. Thorns and thistles shall
come up on their altars, and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us, and to
the hills, Fall on us. 9 From the time of the hills Israel has sinned, there they
stood. A war will not overtake them in the hill, against the children of injustice.
10 I have come to discipline them, nations shall be gathered against them, when
they are disciplined for their double injustice.

Textual Notes

5 On: All the major text witnesses attest to the reading On. Some manuscripts
belonging to Alexandrian and Catenae groups have , which is an orthographi-
cal development. Only two minuscule manuscripts have , but then as a
plus (manuscript 68) or as a marginal gloss (manuscript 87). Also Symmachus
has the reading , while Aquila has
the heifers of the house which are worshipped, and Theodotion has . We
should also note that one minuscule from the Alexandrian group has a plus,
, which makes clear the connection to Heliopolis.
8 On: Also here the major text witnesses attest to the reading On. The same
two minuscules as in verse 5 have the reading ; as a plus (manuscript 68)
and as a marginal gloss (manuscript 87).

Comments on the Text


This chapter pronounces judgment over Israel and Samaria. They will be
punished because of their rebellion. The Greek text twice renders by On.

Hos 10:5







The inhabitants of Samaria tremble The inhabitants of Samaria shall
for the calf of Beth-aven. dwell near the calf of the house of
Its people shall mourn for it, and its On, for his people mourned for him.
idolatrous priests shall wail over it, And as they provoked him, they shall
over its glory that has departed rejoice at his glory, because it had been
from it (NRSV). removed from him.
OG-Zechariah 8:1823 237

OG-Hosea 10:5 has several differences from the MT. All of them may be
explained as the translators reading of his Hebrew source.89
they fear in the MT is read as the homonym root to live as a
stranger and translated by . The following noun inhabitant,
neighbor probably influenced this reading. is rendered by a present par-
ticiple of to settle, dwell, inhabit. The verb in the MT is plural and
the noun may have been understood as a collective noun and caused the plural
form in the translation.
The translations of this first line are then:
Hebrew: The inhabitants of Samaria fear the calves of Bet Aven.
Greek: The inhabitants of Samaria live as strangers at/near the calf of the
house of On.
and its priests in the MT has the Greek equivalents

and as they provoked him. The translator likely read a
comparative particle , the root to rebel, and the suffix as the object. The
Greek text therefore does not indicate a different Hebrew source, but rather a
different understanding of the same Hebrew consonants.
The Greek rendering may be a counterpart to the following clause. In the
MT we find
[ the idolatrous priests] shall wail over it, over its
glory. The Greek text has they will rejoice at
his glory.
NETS has translated as follows: And as they provoked him, they will rejoice
over his glory, for it had been deported from him. All the references by 3. m. sg.
seem to have the calf as the antecedent.
The verses thus have different meanings. In the Hebrew text the critique is
against Samarias worship of the calves. In the Greek there is no obvious cri-
tique of the inhabitants of Samaria as they are probably not to be understood
as the people of the calf (the inhabitants of Samaria will dwell as strangers
near the calf). But the Greek is not at all easy to understand, so a firm conclu-
sions cannot be drawn.

89 In addition to the differences commented upon in the text above, we find the following
deviations: A) The Greek equivalent of is rendered by the singular . There is
no reason to assume a different Hebrew source. B) In the second line, the pronominal suf-
fix in singular in the MT is unexpected. In the Greek text there is no doubt that it refers to
the calf. C) The last clause is difficult in the MT as it lacks an object for the verb. The Greek
text renders the verb in passive voice and avoids this difficulty.
238 CHAPTER 13

Hos 10:8








The high places of Aven, And the altars of On, the sins of
the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed. Israel, shall be taken away. Thorns
Thorn and thistle shall grow up on their and thistles shall come up on their
altars. altars, and they shall say to the
They shall say to the mountains, mountains, Cover us, and to the
Cover us, and to the hills, Fall on us. hills, Fall on us.
(NRSV)

Here the texts are similar, except for the rendering of the high places of Aven
by the high places of On. I should also mention that the translator read
in the first hemistich as plural, and rendered the sins of Israel. Furthermore,
the Greek text has a slightly different verb in the beginning of the clause,
and they will be taken away for they will be destroyed
referring to the high places. The meanings of the two verbs are, however, related
and we find the same equivalents also elsewhere in the Minor Prophets.90 We
do not have to assume a different Hebrew source in order to explain the choice
of the translator.
In Hos 10:9 we find a significant difference between the Greek transla-
tion and the MT. The MT has From the days of Gibeah ( ) you have
sinned, O Israel. There they stood; no battle was to overtake them in Gibeah
() , nor the children of arrogance. The Greek translation makes no refer-
ence to Gibeah, but rather understands this noun as the common noun hill:
From the time of the hills ( ) Israel has sinned: there they stood:
on the hill ( ) war shall not overtake the children of iniquity. This
replacement of the toponym may be seen as a continuation of the judgment
of the high places mentioned in verse 8. The high place of On is thus placed in
the context of the high places of old times which are so heavily condemned in
the historical books of the Hebrew Bible.
Summary: Hosea 10:110 is a judgment over Israel because of their idola-
trous worship. The passage in the Hebrew version is concerned with Israel
and Samaria, while the Greek version removes the references to Gibeah and

90 Amos 2:9; 9:8; Zech 12:9.


OG-Zechariah 8:1823 239

introduces the name On into verses 5 and 8. By these small changes, the pas-
sage assumes a different character, one that seems adjusted to an Egyptian
setting.

OG-Hos 11:1212:6 (12:112:7)

12 Ephraim has surrounded me with a lie, and the house of Israel and Judah
with ungodliness, but now God knows them, and the holy people shall be called
Gods. 1 But Ephraim is an evil wind, he has chased the hot wind all day, he has
multiplied empty and vain things, and made a covenant with the Assyrians, and
traded oil with Egypt. 2 And the Lord has a judgment against Judah, in order to
punish Jacob according to his ways, and according to his practices will he repay
him. 3 In the womb he outwitted his brother, and in his struggles he prevailed
against God. 4 And he prevailed with the angel and was strong. They wept and
entreated me, they found me in the house of On, and there a word was spoken
to him. 5 But the Lord God Almighty shall be his memorial. 6 You shall there-
fore return to your God, guard mercy and judgment, and hope for your God
continually.

Textual Notes

4(5) On: Almost all the manuscripts have while Origen in a passage
in the Philocalia has On.91 Some Lucianic manuscripts have /(
).
Origen devotes the passage the Philocalia to show that there is no need to
correct solecistic phrases in the Bible. He does not specifically have On in mind
but rather the change between plural and singular in this verse (see below). It is
in Origens quotation of the verse that we find On.
The MT here has . This was probably changed to in the Hebrew
source of the translator. Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion all have .
Our translator also used when he found in his source. He never
renders by . should, as Joseph Ziegler suggests, be
counted as a later reworking.92
Him: Origen supports this reading (see above), although his argument is of a
rather homiletic character.93 But he is correct in claiming that the expected read-
ing would be them as we indeed find in many of the text witnesses, including

91 George Lewis (ed.), The Philocalia of Origen (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1911), 4547.
92 DP, 129.
93 Lewis, Philocalia, 4647.
240 CHAPTER 13

Codex Vaticanus and Codex Venetus. In the Alexandrian group we find the sin-
gular form. This may rely on a variant in the Hebrew source of the translator,
and not as in the MT.94

Comments on the Text


The text pronounces judgment against Judah and Jacob (Hos 12:2[3]). The fol-
lowing verses give the reasons for the judgment. He outwitted his brother in
the womb and prevailed in his struggle with an angel.
The last clause of Hos 12:3(4) is different in the Greek version. It does not
appear to be due to a different Hebrew source but rather a different under-
standing of the Hebrew text. The word that the Masoretes vocalized as ,
our translator understood as the root ( trouble, iniquity). He translated it
by (trouble, difficulty). He probably understood this line to refer to the
same event as in the following line, Jacobs struggle in Peniel (Gen 32:2232).
In Hos 12:4(5) the Greek text deviates still more:






So he strove with an angel, and And he prevailed with the angel and was
prevailed; strong.
he wept, and made supplication They wept and entreated me,
unto him; they found me in the house of On,
at Beth-el he would find him, and there a word was spoken to
and there he would speak with us; him.

The MT continues the story from the previous verses with Jacob as the sub-
ject. Jacob cried and sought favor and Yahweh, presumably, met him and spoke
with him.
The Greek text, on the other hand, has an abrupt change in the verse. The
second clause has the verbs in plural. They wept and they beseeched the deity
in the house of On. The deity is here refered to in first person. In the house of
On a word was spoken to them. The changes appear to be minor, but the mean-
ing is different. The Greek text does not have the same agent.
The usage of the plural forms likely stems from the translator. The Greek
clause is coherent in its usage of these forms and such a change is not likely to
happen by chance.

94 DP, 130.
OG-Zechariah 8:1823 241

We may attribute one variant to a different Hebrew source. prop-


abaly reflects and not MTs . Scholars assume that the
house of iniquity was used as a replacement for Bethel in order to disqualify
the place as a place of rightful worship.95 It seems therefore likely that this
is from the Hebrew source of the translator.96 But it is nevertheless striking
that the translator again chose to transliterate by , especially since he in
the verse before translated by . Given the similarity of the message
in these verses to the verses we treated above, it appears that the translator
wished to direct this message to the worshippers in the house of On. We may
therefore ascribe this change to the translator.
The last clause in the Hebrew text is straightforward; , and
there he spoke with him. Here the subject, probably Yahweh, speaks to Jacob.
In the Greek text we find the verb in the passive voice. The subject is unknown.
The translator may have preferred the passive voice in order to avoid that
Yahweh actually spoke to the worshippers in the house of On.

OG-Amos 1:35
Translation

3 And the Lord said: For three ungodly acts of Damascus, and for four, I will
not turn away from him. Because they sawed with iron saws pregnant women
in Galaad. 4 And I will send a fire on the house of Azael, and it shall devour the
foundations of the son of Ader. 5 And I will break to pieces the bars of Damascus,
and will destroy the inhabitants out of the plain of On, and will cut in pieces a
tribe out of the men of Charrhan, and the important people of Syria shall be
taken captive, says the Lord.

Textual Note

5 On: Here the major text witnesses support the reading On. Also Theodotion
has On on this place, while Aquila has useless, and Symmachus
unjust.

Comments on the Text


The text is a judgment on the inhabitants of Syria and particularly Damascus.
The Hebrew version mentions names as the house of Hazael, the s trongholds

95 See for instance Amos 5:5; Francis I. Anderson and David Noel Freedman, Hosea (New
York: Doubleday and Company, 1980), 372.
96 DP, 130; Wolff, Dodekapropheton 1, 268.
242 CHAPTER 13

of Ben-Hadad, valley of Aven, Beth-Eden, Aram, and Qir. The translator


rendered the first two adequately by the house of Azael and the foundations
of the son of Ader. But the names in verse 5 are somewhat more difficult to
explain.

Amos 1:5






And I will break the bar of Damascus, And I will break to pieces the bars of
Damascus,
and cut off the inhabitant from and will destroy the inhabitants out of
Bikath-aven, the plain of On,
and him that hold the sceptre from and will cut in pieces a tribe out of the
Beth-eden; men of Charrhan,
and the people of Aram shall go into and the important people of Syria
captivity unto Kir, says the Lord. shall be taken captive, says the Lord.

Here we find another instance where the translator used On in his text. Yahweh
utters judgment from Zion. In Amos 1:5 is understood as
. Those who dwell in the plain of On will be utterly destroyed.97
There are also a few other changes in the verse. We find as
the equivalent of in the next line. The origin of this reading is not clear.
Wolff suggests that the translator knew Genesis 28:57, 10 where is identi-
cal with .98 The translator of Amos 1:5 would then have inferred the
location of from appearing in the next line. Another possibility is that
the Hebrew source of the translator was different. We do find the plural of
as the equivalent of the construct form .99 If we assume that may have
developed into in the transmission of the Hebrew text we may reconstruct
the variants . The best argument in favor of a different Hebrew source

97 Glenny (Finding Meaning, 6364) suggests that the Greek text may refer to the city
Baalbek which was renamed Heliopolis in the third or second century BCE. This seems
unlikely since the name On is the Egyptian name of Heliopolis in Egypt and never used
for Baalbek, see Friedrich Ragette, Baalbek (Park Ridge: Noyes, 1980), 1517.
98 Wolff, Dodekapropheton 2, 161.
99 1 Sam 11:8; 17:53; 2 Chr 10:17; 28:6; Neh 7:34.
OG-Zechariah 8:1823 243

is the use of the transliteration. I have elsewhere argued that our translator was
careful to render the geographical names whenever they occured.100 The trans-
lator did translate a number of names, but rarely replaced a name by another.
There may, however, be an exception in this verse. In the following line, the
translator read to Qir (indicated by the directional heh) as the root
and translated by the adjective called upon. This Greek transla-
tion agrees better with a Niphal form of , and if we assume the common
rules of Hebrew this form would require a definite article, hence
(MT: ) . The development of such a Hebrew text requires more than
just inaccuracy in the transmission of the Hebrew source. Therefore, instead of
reconstructing a variant reading it is better to assume that the translator came
up with as he struggled with the text.101
In Amos 1:35, the different usage of names in the Greek text seems partly
due to a deviant Hebrew source, and partly due to the inclinations of the trans-
lator. The reference to On seems out of place in the text since all the other
places mentioned are found in Syria. Nevertheless, On is included in the
judgment.

Summary and Conclusions

The five cities of OG-Zech 8:21 most likely refer to the prophecy recorded in
Isa 19:18. Isaiah 19:18 deals with Egypt, and with a possible Yahweh-altar there.
We may infer that people debated the meaning of this pericope in the second
and first centuries BCE from the variety of textual variants found in the dif-
ferent witnesses to the verse. In addition, we have Josephus report that Onias
used this text as a legitimation of a temple to Yahweh in Leontopolis, close
to Heliopolis. It therefore seems likely that the translator or a Hebrew scribe
knew this text and referred to it in Zech 8:21 in order to disqualify the temple of
Onias in Leontopolis, near Heliopolis.
The question of whether the deviation stems from the translator or from
a Hebrew scribe cannot be settled with absolute certainty, but I find it likely
that they originate with the translator. I have pointed out some texts in Hosea

100 Eidsvg, Toponyms, 445455.


101 Also in Amos 9:7 we find in the MT. Here the Greek translation has pit as the
equivalent. It is difficult to explain why the translator chose this Greek rendering. Was his
Hebrew source different (), or did the translator not know the place and translated
according to his own preferences?
244 CHAPTER 13

and Amos where the translator shows an interest in Heliopolis. It appears that
the translator read the name the house of On into the prophecies of doom
originally aimed at Israel, Samaria, and Judah. The name On must have been
well known and it seems unlikely that the translator used it incidentally. He did
always have the choice of translating the word as a common noun.
CHAPTER 14

Summary and Conclusions

I began this study with questions concerning the origin of OG-Zechariah. The
scarcity of source material for this event makes these questions difficult to
answer. The main source for any suggestion must be the translated text itself. In
the translation we may find traces of the translators interpretation from which
hints of his religious and cultural setting may be gleaned. The basic foundation
for such an endeavor is that the common mode of reading prophetic literature
in the late Second Temple period was to read the text as directly relevant for
the readers own situation.
However, attempting to place the translation of Zechariah in a historical
and cultural setting based on peculiarities in the text itself involves method-
ological challenges. The deviations we observe between the translation and
the MT may be explained in different ways. How should we choose among the
competing explanations, and how can we avoid circular arguments?
My first step to face these challenges was to find out how the translator of
a particular unit worked. Should we see him as first and foremost interested
in producing a text that was close to the Hebrew source, or should we assume
that the translator was concerned with presenting a text that would make
sense to his contemporaries? This motivated part 1 of the study: the analysis of
the translation technique in OG-Zechariah.
I divided the analysis into five chapters. I started in chapter 3 by focussing
on the state of the Hebrew text of the translator. The text he had looked differ-
ent from the text in our modern editions. It appears that the translator used
the immediate textual context and the wider cultural-religious background in
order to interpret ambiguous words.
In chapter 4 I looked at Representation of the constituents of Hebrew
words by individual Greek equivalents. Here I concluded that the translator
was inclined towards Hebrew idiom. This was true not only for the special
cases of semi-prepositions but also for the many other Hebrew words which
consist of several constituent elements. There are exceptions to this approach
where we may observe the translators attempt to make a good Greek text, but
it would be wrong to let these examples dominate the picture.
Chapters 5 and 6 dealt with similar topics, respectively word order and
quantitative representation in the target text of every word in the source text.
These chapters also yielded a picture of the translation as source-oriented. The
translator followed the word order of the Hebrew text and usually rendered

koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 6|doi .63/9789004302730_015


246 CHAPTER 14

each word in the Hebrew text by a Greek word in the translation. He some-
times deviated in the word order when he attempted to enhance the readabil-
ity of the Greek text. He also occasionally added or subtracted words in his
translation, usually in order to clarify the meaning.
In chapter 7, I studied how the translator rendered single words. Several
scholars have noted that the translator of the Minor Prophets varied his choice
of rendering throughout the translation. My analysis confirmed this impres-
sion, but I also pointed out that insistence upon the same rendering as well
as variation among alternatives may be a result of the translators attempt
to produce a good translation. I also found that it is advisable to single out
variation based on paradigmatic relations, which are relations words have
out of discourse, from syntagmatic relations, which are relations words have
in discourse. The analysis of the variation based on the syntagmatic relations
showed that the translator was concerned with what words he used in differ-
ent settings. He attempted to make a text that conveyed the meaning of the
source text.
As a conclusion to Part One, I stated that the translator chose a literal trans-
lation approach. That is, the translator was literal in his choice of word order
and in rendering every word and constituent element of words. On the lexical
level, he was careful to use words and expression that made the text intelli-
gible. He was in many cases inclined towards Hebrew idiom, but that does not
mean that he rendered the text mechanically. Rather to the contrary, the many
examples I studied in the chapter on lexical choice showed that the translator
was concerned with the discourse of the text he translated. The issues involved
in the discourse of the text influenced the choices of the translator. We may
safely assume that the translator was concerned with the contents of the text
he translated.
The translators literal inclinations make the freedom on the lexical level
stand out quite distinctly. The strict adherence may indicate reverence for the
text. It certainly indicates that the translator aimed at accuracy. This makes
the deviations and the nuances on the lexical level very interesting as a win-
dow into the translators thought world. Part One drew the picture of a transla-
tor who aimed at precision. We may assume this precision not only for formal
matters such as number of words, elements of words and word order, but also
for semantic issues.
Based on this assumption, it is likely that the translator left traces of his
understanding of the text he translated. I mentioned some examples in the
chapter on lexical choice where we may observe a tendency to avoid references
to other deities. This may well be a reflection of the translators monotheis-
tic world view. In chapters 913 I looked for further traces of the translators
Summary And Conclusions 247

i nterpretation. In my search for interpretation I explored differences between


the Greek text and the MT. In these chapters I presented some instances where
we may observe how the translator understood the passages.
In practical terms, I identified deviations between the texts and proposed
various ways to explain them. These competing explanations all have their
strengths and weaknesses. It is difficult to assert that one is superior to the oth-
ers and easy to resort to unfounded assumptions about the translator. Through
my analysis of the translation technique I arrived at a description of the trans-
lators working style. This description laid the premises for Part Two of the
study, but every text presented in Part Two still had to be evaluated on its own
terms. Therefore I tested whether the suggestion that best explained the devia-
tions in one text was also preferable for other texts. If a similar explanation
applied there too, it increased the likelihood that this explanation is correct.
In chapter 9 I looked at the translation of Zechariah 2 and found that the
translator emphasized the role of Jerusalem both as the place of return for
Yahwehs dispersed people and as a place of refuge for the nations. I then pre-
sented other texts where I found a similar focus on the importance of Jerusalem
reflected in differences found in the Greek text.
In chapters 10 through 12 I studied respectively Zech 9:913, 14, and 6:915.
These texts have differences that seem to be the work of the translator. I sug-
gested that the translator had pro-Hasmonean sympathies. In Zech 9:913 he
emphasized the role of the redeemer king as a warrior and directed the text to
Judah. In Zech 14 the translator also emphasized Judah as an important part in
the war scenario and made the call to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast
of booths universal. That the translator had Judah Maccabee in mind when he
translated these texts has to be based on several issues. I looked at the implica-
tions of the usage of the personal name to render in Zech 14, but
concluded that we should be careful not to place too much emphasis on this
rendering alone. The LXX/OG translators as well as authors who composed in
Greek used Judah not only as a personal name but also as a toponym. On the
other hand, we should note that the Hasmoneans themselves used prophe-
cies concerning Judah, the tribe, directly to Judah Maccabee. We may therefore
assume that such identification is possible.
Furthermore, we may observe that the translator was concerned with names
in his rendering of the last part of Zech 6. This passage describes the corona-
tion of the high priest Joshua and names several witnesses to the act. These
witnesses should also keep the crown as their possession. We cannot be sure
to whom these names refer in the Hebrew text, but two of the names were of
high significance in the second century BCE. Jedaiah was the priestly patriarch
of the Oniads, and Tobiah was a name connected to a powerful family based
248 CHAPTER 14

in Trans-Jordan. It seems that the translator blotted out the references to these
names by translating the names in the Greek text. Also here I found that a
pro-Hasmonean interpretation works well as an explanation for the rendering.
In chapter 13 I looked at another text that may indicate that the transla-
tor bore a grudge against the Oniads. At some point during the 160s BCE,
either after Alcimus gained power in Jerusalem, or earlier as indicated by the
papyri letter to Onias, the Oniads established a temple in Leontopolis in the
Heliopolite nome. In order to do so they needed to persuade the Ptolemies
to allow them and the Jews in Egypt of the legitimacy of such a temple. It
appears from the sources we have that they used the text in Isaiah 19:1819
for this purpose. One may question whether the Ptolemies found this argu-
ment effective, but it seems likely to have gained a hearing in Jewish religious
circles. The prophecy mentions five cities in Egypt and singles out one of them
as Heliopolis. It furthermore states that there shall be an altar to Yahweh in the
middle of Egypt, which the Oniads understood as Heliopolis.
At the end of Zechariah 8 we find a text that underlines the role of Jerusalem
as the city of Yahweh. In Jerusalem he will be sought by his people and by the
nations. In this unit the Greek text introduces the line five cities shall come
together to one city, saying, let us go to entreat the face of the Lord (8:21).
I argue that the translator may have inserted these words in order to counter
the Oniad usage of the prophecy in Isaiah.
It is difficult to argue for references to the temple of Leontopolis in the
Hebrew Bible, although there have been several attempts. In the OG transla-
tions it is more likely since at least some of them were contemporary with
the temple. In the OG of Hosea and Amos I found several prophecies of doom
in which the translator downplayed Palestinian geographical references and
instead used the name On. On is the Egyptian name of Heliopolis. The
Hebrew text in these cases uses the word in order to discredit the place
mentioned in the text, which in several cases is Bethel. That the translator read
this Hebrew word as the name cannot be dismissed as a simple mistake
given the importance this place had and given the fact that the translator knew
other ways to translate the Hebrew consonants . It appears therefore that
the translator made small intentional changes to include On, and often the
house of On, in these prophecies of doom. The Greek rendering of Zech 8:21
may well reflect an interpretation along the same lines.
These texts thus indicate that the translator may have had pro-Hasmonean
sympathies.1 This does not necessarily mean the translator made the translation

1 Robert Hayward (Temple, 7576) makes a similar judgment concerning the grandson of ben
Sira. Arie van der Kooij agrees with Hayward in this matter, and argues that also OG-Ezekiel
Summary And Conclusions 249

in order to propagandize the Hasmonean leadership in Jerusalem.2 There were


probably other and more effective ways to do that. It rather means that these
texts give us a glimpse into the translators reading of the texts and in what fac-
tion of Jewish society the translation originated.
The conclusions reached in this study seem to confirm the dating to around
the middle of the second century BCE. The decades prior to the translation of
Sirach are likely. Concerning the place of origin, one may be inclined to con-
nect pro-Hasmonean sympathies with a Jerusalemite setting. However, I am
hesitant to draw such a conclusion. There is no reason to limit pro-Hasmonean
sympathies to Jerusalem. As I mentioned in chapter 1, there are other, less
ambiguous, indications pointing to an Egyptian setting.

shows signs of pro-Hasmonean interpretation (The Claim of Maccabean Leadership and


the Use of Scripture, 2949, in Jewish Identity and Politics between the Maccabees and Bar
Kokhba: Groups, Normativity, and Rituals, ed. Benedikt Eckhardt (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 3243.
2 Van der Kooij has proposed this as a working hypothesis, Claim, 36. See also Johann Cook
and Arie van der Kooij, Law, Prophets, and Wisdom: On the Provenance of Translators and their
Books in the Septuagint Version (Leuven: Peeters, 2012), 11.
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Index of Modern Authors

Aejmelaeus, A.54 Marquis, G.5354


Aitken, J.175 Mazar, B.209
Asada, E.138 McLay, T.85, 91
Munnich, O.8
Barr, J.23, 83 Muraoka, T.7, 1819, 175
Barthelemy, D.3, 10, 130, 175
Baumgrtel, F.1617 Palmer, J.K.5, 12, 2526, 28, 36, 3738, 52,
Bohak, G.230 113, 115, 117, 121, 159
Parente, F.227
Cimosa, M.6 Parsons, P.J.3
Cook, P.223 Pola, T.6, 9, 168169, 195, 203

De Saussure, F.91 Rahlfs, A.130, 175, 188, 189, 215


Dines, J.12 Rudolph, W.174, 201
Dogniez, C.6, 107, 159160
Driver, G.224 Sb115, 187, 201
Duhm, B.222 Sanders, H.215
Schellenberg, A.191, 193
Fabry, H.J.163 Seeligmann, I.L.8, 223224
Sollamo, R.4551
Gelston, A.12, 65
Glenny, E.28, 3738, 121 Thackeray, H.St.J.7, 1516, 19
Gray, G.G.227228 Tov, E.1819, 2427, 3738, 53, 83, 110, 114, 117

Hanhart, R.64, 119 Van der Kooij, A.6, 168169, 224


Harrison, C.R.1819 Van der Louw, T.24
Herrmann, J.1617
Howard, G.1718 Wolff, H.W.174, 175, 242
Hutton, R.208, 211 Wright, B.18, 3738

Jansma, T.189, 201 Ziegler, J.7, 17, 19, 129, 130, 131, 143, 175, 188,
189, 190, 215, 239
Kaminka, A.7, 16

Larkin, K.107108
Index of Subjects

Alexandria910 Matres lectiones28, 35


Anthropomorphism65 Metaphors91
Anti-Oniad sentiments203, 214244, 248 Method45, 38, 53, 127

Clauses5455 On230243, 248


Conjunctions67 Oniads211, 213, 224, 227, 247248
Onias III221, 225226
Differences in language7172 Onias IV221, 225226
Dispersion142145
Dittography65 Paradigmatic relations9196, 121, 246
Divine name67, 87 Prepositions4251
7, 15, 86, 88, 107 Pro-Hasmonean6, 213, 247248
Divine warrior161, 191 Pseudo-variants114
Ptolemies226227
Egyptian origin910, 201
Elephantine220 Quantitative representation6182, 123,
245246
Festival of Booths198, 203
Final letters28 Semantic accordance8586
Finnish school23 Simon son of Mattathias168169
Formal equivalence8385 Simon the Just224
Free translation/non-literal 53, 61, 91107, Stereotype83, 8691
123124, 246 Stylistic variation72
Synonym92
Galilee (of the foreign tribes)176179 Syntagmatic relations91, 96106, 121, 246

Hadad Rimmon109 Targum (of Zechariah)127


Heldai208 Tobiah209210, 247
Helem208 Toponyms910, 111, 234235, 238
Heliopolis220, 223, 248 Theological exegesis107110
Homographs3134, 36
Homoioteleuton64 Untranslated words110111
Homonyms2931, 36
Homophony90 Vocalization28

Jedaiah210212, 247 Word division28, 3435


Jerusalem910, 127, 139, 147149, 152153, Word field/semantic field84, 91
155, 159, 214, 247 Word order5360, 123, 245246
Joiarib211212 Word pairs96
Judah Maccabee168171, 195, 199, 203204,
247 Zadokites224
Zerubbabel205, 208
Leontopolis220231 Zion137138
Lexical consistency8385
Literal-free2324
Literalness37, 53, 61, 82, 83, 123124, 246
Index of Ancient Sources

Biblical Texts 3:4(4:4) (OG) 173


3:5(4:5) (OG) 173
Genesis 3:8(4:8) (OG) 173
28:57 242 3:911(4:911) (OG) 179, 184
39:20 165 3:10(4:10) (OG) 173
49 164 3:11(4:11) (OG) 174, 180, 184
49:812 170 3:12(4:12) (OG) 174
49:11 165 3:13(4:13) (OG) 174
3:14(4:14) (OG) 174
Exodus 3:16(4:16) (OG) 175
1:11 230 3:17(4:17) (OG) 175
15:7 (LXX) 160 3:18(4:18) (OG) 175
3:20(4:20) (OG) 175
Numbers 3:21(4:21) (OG) 175
12:3 106, 166, 181
Amos
Isaiah 19 (OG) 18
1:26 224 1:1 147
17 108 1:2 148
8:239:1 177 1:35 (OG) 241243
19:1819 217228, 248 5:2527 15
8:11 18
Jeremiah 9:1 34
27:5(50:5) (OG) 139 9:1112 15
43:13 230231
Obadiah
Hosea 1:17 145
4:1519 (OG) 232234
5:58 (OG) 234235 Micah
10:110 (OG) 235239 3:3 (OG) 133134
10:5 (OG) 236237
10:8 (OG) 236, 238 Nahum
10:9 (OG) 238 13 (OG) 1819
11:1212:6 (12:112:7) 239241 1:12 (OG) 163
(OG)
12:4(5) (OG) 239241 Habakkuk
1:5 15
Joel
14 1819, 133134 Zephaniah
2:32(3:5) (OG) 146 1:713 153158
3(4) (OG) 171184 1:11 31
3:1(4:1) (OG) 172 2:14 34
3:2(4:2) (OG) 173 3:12 183
3:3(4:3) (OG) 173 3:14 148
index of ancient sources 267

Zechariah 4:7 (OG) 74, 118


1:1 (OG) 57, 72, 93 4:9 (OG) 77
1:2 (OG) 73, 90 4:12 (OG) 50, 6263
1:3 (OG) 40, 6364, 68, 99 4:13 (OG) 39n10, 6364, 74
1:4 (OG) 40, 67, 80, 91, 99, 101 5:2 (OG) 57
1:6 (OG) 75, 77, 81, 91, 100, 5:3 (OG) 39n10, 40n10
110, 122, 194 5:5 (OG) 80, 95, 98
1:7 (OG) 57, 72, 74, 93 5:7 (OG) 57
1:717 (OG) 141 5:8 (OG) 74
1:8 (OG) 40, 71, 74, 112, 119 5:9 (OG) 71, 75, 105, 112
1:10 (OG) 55, 6263, 71, 74 6:1 (OG) 74
1:11 (OG) 71, 73 6:3 (OG) 112
1:12 (OG) 80, 103 6:4 (OG) 74
1:13 (OG) 67, 92 6:5 (OG) 40n10, 74, 80, 105
1:14 (OG) 90, 101 6:6 (OG) 58, 75, 80
1:1421(1:142:4) 150153 6:8 (OG) 81, 106
(OG) 6:915 (OG) 205213, 247
1:15 (OG) 72, 90, 111, 150, 6:10 (OG) 82, 93, 206, 207213
151152 6:11 (OG) 93, 207
1:16 (OG) 67, 72, 150 6:12 (OG) 64
1:1617 (OG) 6263, 6:1213 (OG) 64
1:17 (OG) 94, 103, 151 6:13 (OG) 71, 207
1:19(2:2) (OG) 39n10, 6263, 74, 6:14 (OG) 93, 207213
151, 152 6:15 (OG) 76
1:20(2:3) (OG) 55 7:1 (OG) 57, 72
1:21(2:4) (OG) 39n10, 30, 36, 39, 7:2 (OG) 6465, 71
6263, 77, 81, 151 7:3 (OG) 35, 62
2.113(517) (OG) 127142 7:4 (OG) 68
2:2(6) (OG) 6263, 74 7:7 (OG) 50, 79, 102
2:4(8) (OG) 6263, 129 7:9 (OG) 76
2:45(89) (OG) 135 7:10 (OG) 67, 105
2:5(9) (OG) 56 7:12 (OG) 66, 72, 90
2:6(10) (OG) 131135, 140142 7:13 (OG) 79, 102
2:7(11) (OG) 135138, 140142 7:14 (OG) 100
2:8(12) (OG) 77, 129 8:18 (OG) 141
2:9(13) (OG) 39, 94, 130 8:2 (OG) 76, 90, 149
2:11(15) (OG) 94, 131, 138142 8:3 (OG) 102, 149
2:13(17) (OG) 48, 94, 97 8:4 (OG) 75
3:2 (OG) 75, 77, 94 8:6 (OG) 51, 77, 78
3:4 (OG) 56, 81 8:7 (OG) 80
3:5 (OG) 39n10 8:9 (OG) 58, 72, 160
3:7 (OG) 71, 91 8:10 (OG) 29, 36, 46, 47, 75, 76
3:9 (OG) 47, 66, 73, 74, 117 8:11 (OG) 75
3:10 (OG) 80, 101 8:12 (OG) 40n10, 78
4:1 (OG) 59, 72 8:13 (OG) 76, 78, 80
4:2 (OG) 80, 92, 105 8:14 (OG) 59, 90, 103
4:4 (OG) 74 8:1415 (OG) 195
4:6 (OG) 73, 105, 110 8:15 (OG) 67, 72, 80
268 index of ancient sources

Zechariah (cont.) 11:6 (OG) 4950, 51, 73, 79


8:16 (OG) 6465, 76 11:7 (OG) 33, 35, 6465
8:17 (OG) 56, 67, 81, 105 11:9 (OG) 97
8:1823 (OG) 214228 11:10 (OG) 77
8:19 (OG) 6263 11:11 (OG) 35, 81
8:20 (OG) 81 11:12 (OG) 75, 80
8:21 (OG) 6263, 76, 80, 95, 11:13 (OG) 72, 105
215, 216228, 248 11:14 (OG) 33, 71, 115
8:22 (OG) 6263, 95, 215 11:15 (OG) 66
9:1 (OG) 31, 36, 107 11:16 (OG) 33, 36, 67, 79, 9798
9:12 (OG) 118 11:17 (OG) 67, 108
9:2 (OG) 58 12:19 (OG) 141
9:4 (OG) 72 12:2 (OG) 33, 36, 78
9:5 (OG) 79, 112 12:23 (OG) 159
9:6 (OG) 119 12:3 (OG) 113114
9:8 (OG) 79, 100, 102 12:4 (OG) 67
9:9 (OG) 81, 106, 162 12:5 (OG) 120
9:910 (OG) 164167 12:6 (OG) 81, 116117
9:913 (OG) 161171, 247 12:7 (OG) 92
9:10 (OG) 32, 36, 40n10, 67, 81, 12:8 (OG) 46, 56, 62, 66
162 12:10 (OG) 58, 81
9:11 (OG) 75, 163 12:11 (OG) 82, 109
9:1113 (OG) 167168 12:14 (OG) 6465
9:12 (OG) 76, 100, 163 13:1 (OG) 40n10, 6465, 73,
9:13 (OG) 58, 77, 163 115
9:14 (OG) 59, 68 13:2 (OG) 68, 79, 81
9:15 (OG) 40n10, 66, 77 13:4 (OG) 72
9:16 (OG) 40n10, 68 13:5 (OG) 75, 79
9:17 (OG) 76, 78 13:6 (OG) 77
10:1 (OG) 75, 120 13:7 (OG) 100
10:112 (OG) 141 13:8 (OG) 57, 81
10:2 (OG) 75, 103, 108 13:9 (OG) 75, 102, 104
10:312 (OG) 142145 14 (OG) 185204, 247
10:3 (OG) 67, 116 14:2 (OG) 79, 187
10:34 (OG) 113 14:4 (OG) 49, 63, 81, 96
10:4 (OG) 32, 36 14:45 (OG) 106
10:5 (OG) 58, 195 14:5 (OG) 34, 36, 48, 187
10:6 (OG) 104, 143 14:6 (OG) 56, 78, 82, 115, 188
10:7 (OG) 77, 94, 143 14:7 (OG) 57, 76, 82
10:8 (OG) 75 14:8 (OG) 77, 82, 188, 193
10:9 (OG) 32, 36 14:10 (OG) 45, 77, 111, 159, 188
10:10 (OG) 74, 115, 143, 144 14:11 (OG) 189
10:11 (OG) 33, 36, 73 14:12 (OG) 59, 97
10:12 (OG) 67, 143 14:13 (OG) 82, 189
11:2 (OG) 73 14:1315 (OG) 196197
11:4 (OG) 68 14:14 (OG) 34, 36, 189
11:5 (OG) 77 14:16 (OG) 78, 81
11:56 (OG) 104 14:1621 (OG) 199203
index of ancient sources 269

14:17 (OG) 78, 189 48:10 15


14:18 (OG) 73, 78, 189 49:10 7, 14
14:19 (OG) 78, 190
14:20 (OG) 47, 67, 114, 190 1 Maccabees
14:21 (OG) 30 3:19 169170
5:1417 178
Malachi 1314 169
1:4 (OG) 195
2 Maccabees
Psalms 1:19 202
45:25 (OG) 183 1:102:18 203
72 165, 170 3:11 210
72:7 165 4:3038 226
72:8 165 10:18 198
80:13 177 10:8 202
15:12 166, 182
Ezra
2:3639 210 Letter of Aristeas 3, 8, 11, 12, 123

Nehemiah Joseph and Aseneth 230


7:3942 210
11:10 211
Dead Sea Scrolls
1 Chronicles
9:1011 211 1QIsaa 220, 222223
24 211 1QIsab 222223
4QXIIa 7, 189
Matthew 4QXIIag 10, 14
4:1216 178 4QXIIe 109
5:5 182 4QXIIg 143
21:5 182 8HevXIIgr 3, 10, 14, 88,
106, 131
Acts Col. 14:25 87
7:4243 15 Col. 17:3435 86
13:4041 15 Col. 20:32 87
15:15 15 Col. 20:37 87
Col. 28:42 99
1 Peter Col. 29:38 93
3:4 182 Col. 29:3940 101
Col. 30:29 87
Col. 31:3637 87
Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha Col. B1:31 86
Col. B2:37 108
Sirach 19 Col. B2:78 119
Prologue 3, 8, 11, 13 Col. B2:15 93
45:16 182 Murabbaat scroll (Mur88) 10, 14
270 index of ancient sources

Jewish authors Christian authors

Josephus Justin
Ant. 12.160236 210 Dialogue 115 131
Ant. 12.237239 225 Dialogue 137 130
Ant. 13.6273 225
Ant. 20.236237 225
J.W. 1.33 225 Greek and Latin authors
J.W. 7.420436 225
Ag. Ap. 1:250 230 Strabo
Ag. Ap. 2:10 230 Geogr. 17.1.2729 229