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The Originality of Aramaic Old Testament (aka Peshitta Tanakh)

Aramaic Old Testament (known as Peshitta Tanakh) is Old Testament written in Aramaic.
There is also another Aramaic Old Testament version known as Syro Hexaplaris version
which is a translation of Septuagint.
The originality and the importance of Aramaic Old Testament (known as Peshitta Tanakh)
can be seen through its consistency by solving the contradictions between Septuagint and
Hebrew Masoretic Text (Hebrew Old Testament written several centuries after Jesus
Christ).
EDOM/ARAM
Genesis 25:21-23 (NIV) - "Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she
was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The
babies jostled each other within her, and she said, Why is this happening to me? So she
went to inquire of the Lord. The Lord said to her,Two nations are in your womb, and
two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger."
Esau was the father of Edomites (Genesis 36:9) and Jacob became known as Israel
(Genesis 35:10). The importance of the prophesy in Genesis 25:21-23 can be seen a lot
more clear in Aramaic Old Testament (Peshitta Tanakh)
In Hebrew Masoretic Text, Aram ("Syria" or "Syrians") is mentioned 139 times while
Aram ("Syria" or "Syrians") is only mentioned 18 times in Peshitta Tanakh. On several
occasions, Edom is mentioned several times instead of Aram in Peshitta Tanakh. Edom is
mentioned 117 times in Peshitta Tanakh (Source - Vetus Testamentum - Vol. 18, Fasc. 2
(Apr., 1968), pp. 268-270).
Unlike Peshitta Tanakh, there are contradictions between Septagint and Hebrew
Masoretic Text. In some verses, it says Edom (or Idumea) in Septuagint while it says
Aram in Hebrew Masoretic Text. While in other verses, it says Aram in Septuagint while
it says Edom in Hebrew Masoretic Text.

Below are some examples.

1) 1 Kings 11:14 in Hebrew Masoretic Text, Septuagint, and Peshitta Tanakh (1 Kings
11:14 in Book "Translatio Syro Pescitto Veteris Testamenti Ex Codice Ambrosianus")
says Hadad was an Edomite and of the king's seed in Edom.

1 Kings 11:14 (JPS Tanakh translated from Hebrew Masoretic text) - "And the LORD
raised up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; he was of the kings seed in
Edom."

I Kings 11:14 (III Kings 11:14 in Septuagint) - "And the Lord raised up and enemy to
Solomon, Ader the Idumaean, and Esrom son of Eliadae who dwelt in Raama, and
Adadezer king of Suba his master; (and men gathered to him, and he was head of the
conspiracy, and he seized on Damasec,)and they were adversaries to Israel all the days of
Solomon: and Ader the Idumaean was of the seed royal in Idumaea."
Hadad is Ader in Septuagint.

But in 1 Kings 11:25, Hebrew Masoretic Text contradicts Septuagint and Peshitta Tanakh.

1 Kings 11:25 (Hebrew Masoretic Text) - "And he was an adversary to Israel all the days
of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over
Syria'."

1 Kings 11:25 (III Kings in Septuagint) - "So Ader returned to his country; this is the
mischief which Ader did, and he was a bitter enemy of Israel, and he reigned in the land
of Edom."

1 Kings 11:25 of Hebrew Masoretic Text contradicts 1 Kings 11:14 while 1 Kings 11:25
in Peshitta Tanakh (available in Book "Translatio Syro Pescitto Veteris Testamenti Ex
Codice Ambrosianus") and Septuagint is in agreement with 1 Kings 11:14 by saying
Edom.

2) 2 Samuel 8:12-13 (Septuagint) - out of Idumea, and out of Moab, and from the
children of Ammon, and from the Philistines, and from Amalec, and from the spoils of
Adraazar son of Raab king of Suba. And David made [himself] a name: and when he
returned he smote Idumea in Gebelem to [the number of] eighteen thousand.

But in Hebrew Masoretic Text, it says Aram and Arameans

2 Samuel 8:12-13 (Hebrew Masoretic Text) - "of Aram, and of Moab, and of the children
of Ammon, and of the Philistines, and of Amalek, and of the spoil of Hadadezer, son of
Rehob, king of Zobah. And David got him a name when he returned from smiting the
Arameans in the Valley of Salt, even eighteen thousand men."

This contradiction is solved by Peshitta Tanakh which says Edom and it is in agreement
with Septuagint for 2 Samuel 8:12-13.

3) 2 Chronicles 20:2 (NIV) Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, A vast army is
coming against you from Edom,[b] from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in
Hazezon Tamar (that is, En Gedi).

[b] - 2 Chronicles 20:2 One Hebrew manuscript; most Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint
and Vulgate Aram.

Note - The [Old Latin] has Edom for Aram (2 Chr 20:2). Peshitta Tanakh says Edom.

4) Ezekiel 16:57 (NIV) - "before your wickedness was uncovered. Even so, you are now
scorned by the daughters of Edom and all her neighbors and the daughters of the
Philistinesall those around you who despise you."

Note - Many Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and
Vulgate Aram.

Ezekiel 16:57 (Septuagint) - "before thy wickedness was discovered, even now thou art
the reproach of the daughters of Syria, and of all that are round about her, even of the
daughters of the Philistines that compass thee round about."

Peshitta Tanakh says Edom.


5) Ezekiel 27:16 (NIV) - "Aram did business with you because of your many products;
they exchanged turquoise, purple fabric, embroidered work, fine linen, coral and rubies
for your merchandise."

Note - Most Hebrew manuscripts; some Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac Edom.

6) 2 Kings 5:1 (JPS Tanakh translated from Hebrew Masoretic Text) - "Naaman, the
commander of the Aramean king's army, was respected and highly honored by his master.
The LORD had given Aram a victory through Naaman. This man was a good soldier, but
he had a skin disease."

2 Kings 5:1 (of Septuagint) - "Now Naiman, the captain of the host of Syria, was a great
man before his master, and highly respected, because by him the Lord had given
deliverance to Syria, and the man was mighty in strength, but a leper."

But 2 King 5:1 (of Peshitta Tanakh) has Edom instead of Aram (aka Syria) and mentions
Edom throughout 2 King 5 instead of Syria in Hebrew Old Testament and Septuagint.

Additional Notes - Greeks called Arameans or Aramites as "Syriacs" or "Syrians." So


Aramaic is also known as "Syriac." That is why Aram is Syria and Arameans are Syrians
in Septuagint.

Poseidonios from Apamea (ca. 135 BC - 51 BC) - "The people we Greek call Syriacs,
they call themselves Arameans." [Source - J.G. Kidd, Posidonius (Cambridge Classical
Texts and Commentaries, 1988), vol. 2, pt. 2, pp. 955-956].

Josephus wrote - "Aram had the Aramites, which the Greeks called Syrians."(Antiquities
of the Judeans, translated by William Whiston in 1737, Book I, Chapt. 6, Paragraph 4)
Verses that are not in Peshitta Tanakh (Aramaic OT)
There are several verses in Hebrew Old Testament and Septuagint that are not in Aramaic
Old Testament. Below are some examples from the second book of Chronicles. Below
information about Peshitta Tanakh is from this source .
1)Both Septuagint and Hebrew OT have 16 verses in 2 Chronicles Chapter 12. Aramaic
OT only has 2 Chronicles 12:13-16.
2)Both Septuagint and Hebrew OT have 23 verses in 2 Chronicles 11. Aramaic OT only
has 17 verses in 2 Chronicles 11.
3)Both Septuagint and Hebrew OT have the verses 2 Chronicles 9:25 & 2 Chronicles
9:29. But Aramaic OT does not have 2 Chronicles 9:25 & 2 Chronicles 9:29.
4)Both Septuagint and Hebrew OT have the verses 2 Chronicles 28:16-22. But Aramaic
OT does not have 2 Chronicles 28:16-22.
5)Both Septuagint and Hebrew OT have the verses 2 Chronicles 29:10-19. But Aramaic
OT does not have 2 Chronicles 29:10-19.
Other errors corrected by Peshitta Tanakh
1) Did Moses' father marry his aunt?

Exodus 6:20 (1917 JPS Tanakh English translation of Hebrew Masoretic Text) - "And
Amram took him Jochebed his fathers sister to wife; and she bore him Aaron and Moses.
And the years of the life of Amram were a hundred and thirty and seven years."

Exodus 6:20 (Samuel Bagster & Sons' Translation from Septuagint) - "And Ambram took
to wife Jochabed the daughter of his father's brother, and she bore to him both Aaron
and Moses, and Mariam their sister; and the years of the life of Ambram were a hundred
and thirty-two years."

Lets also look at John Wycliffes translation.


Exodus 6:20 (John Wycliffes translation) Forsothe Amram took a wijf, Jocabed,
douytir of his fadris brother, and sche childide to hym Aaron, and Moises, and Marie;
and the yeeris of lijf of Amram weren an hundred and seuene and thretti.

Here is a link -
http://wesley.nnu.edu/fileadmin/imported_site/biblical_studies/wycliffe/Exo.txt

Peshitta Tanakh has "Amram took his uncle's daughter Yokhaber" in Exodus 6:20.
Compared to Peshitta Tanakh and Wycliffes translation, the difference with Septuagint is
that it says the years of the life of Ambram were a hundred and thirty-two years.

Peshitta Tanakh and Wycliffes translation agree with Hebrew Masoretic Text about
Amrams age.

2) Genesis 2:2 (1917 JPS Tanakh English translation of Hebrew Masoretic Text) - And
on the seventh day God finished His work which He had made; and He rested on the
seventh day from all His work which He had made.

Lets look at Septuagint.

Genesis 2:2 (Translation from Septuagint) And God finished on the sixth day his
works which he made, and he ceased on the seventh day from all his works which he
made.

Here is the link to check this verse - http://ecmarsh.com/lxx/Genesis/index.htm

Genesis 2:2 (Lamsa Translation of Peshitta Tanakh) And on the sixth day God,
finished his works which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his
works which he had made.

In Hebrew Masoretic Text, it says "seventh day" (in Genesis 2:2), is in contradiction to
Exodus 20:11 (in Hebrew Masoretic Text) where it says "six days."

But Peshitta Tanakh has no such contradiction.

3) Exodus 20:7 (look at the differences below)


Peshitta Tanakh - "You shall not swear falsely in the name of MarYA your Alaha, for
MarYA will not consider him innocent who swears falsely in his Name... for MarYA
made the heavens and the earth, the seas and all that is with them in six days, and rested
on the seventh day; for that reason, Alaha blessed the seventh day and made it holy {or,
sanctified it}."

LXX - (Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord thy God
will not acquit him that takes his name in vain... For in six days the Lord made the
heaven and the earth, and the sea and all things in them, and rested on the seventh day;
therefore the Lord blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it. - Brenton)

Hebrew Masoretic - You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain; for
Yahweh will not allow to go unpunished he who takes his name in vain... For in six days
Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all which is in them. And he rested
on the seventh day; thus, Yahweh blessed the seventh day and sanctified it.

KJV (King James Version) - Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain;
for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain... For in six days
the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh
day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

4) 2 Kings 8:26 & 2 Chronicles 22:2

2 Kings 8:26 (Hebrew Masoretic Text) - "Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he
began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mothers name was
Athaliah the daughter of Omri king of Israel."

2 Chronicles 22:2 (Hebrew Masoretic Text) - "Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when
he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem; and his mothers name was
Athaliah the daughter of Omri."

2 King 8:26 of Hebrew Masoretic Text, it says Ahaziah was 22 years old. But in 2
Chronicles 22:2, it says Ahaziah was 42 years old.

Does Peshitta Tanakh has this contradiction?

Both 2 Kings 8:26 and 2 Chronicles 22:2 (of Peshitta Tanakh) says Ahaziah was twenty-
two years old when he began to reign.

Peshitta Tanakh clears the contradiction found in Hebrew Masoretic Text.

5) Did Joram marry the daughter of Ahab or the sister of Ahab?

2 Kings 8:16-18 (Hebrew Masoretic Text) - "And in the fifth year of Joram the son of
Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being the king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat
king of Judah began to reign. Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign;
and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel,
as did the house of Ahab; for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife; and he did that which
was evil in the sight of the LORD."

2 Kings 8:24 (Hebrew Masoretic Text) - "And Joram slept with his fathers, and was
buried with his fathers in the city of David; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead."

Through this, we know that Athaliah was the wife of Joram and their son was Ahaziah.
But in 2 Kings 8:26 & 2 Chronicles 22:2, it says Athaliah was the daughter of Omri and
Athaliah was the mother of Ahaziah. But in 2 Kings 8:16-18, we read Athaliah was the
daughter of Ahab. In 1 Kings 16:29-30, we know that Ahab was the son of Omri.

What does Peshitta Tanakh say about this contradiction?

2 Kings 8:16-18 (Lamsa Translation of Peshitta Tanakh) - "And in the fifth year of Joram
the son of Ahab king of Israel. Joram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, began to
reign. He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in
Jerusalem. And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab; for
the sister of Ahab was his wife; and he did evil in the sight of the LORD."

Unlike 2 Kings 8:16-18 of Hebrew Masoretic Text, Peshitta Tanakh points out that Joram
married a sister of Ahab. Through this, the contradictions in Hebrew Masoretic Text are
cleared by Peshitta Tanakh. Ahab was the son of Omri and Athaliah was the daughter of
Omri.

Lamsa translation of Peshitta Tanakh is the only current available English Translation of
Peshitta Tanakh. His translation is an alright translation. Its not great.

6) Was Jehoiachin 8 years old (2Chronicles 36:9) or 18 years old (2Kings 24:8) when he
began to reign?

2 Kings 24:8 (Hebrew Masoretic Text) - "Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he
began to reign; and he reigned in Jerusalem three months; and his mothers name was
Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem."

2 Chronicles 36:9 (Hebrew Masoretic Text) - "Jehoiachin was eight years old when he
began to reign; and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem; and he did that
which was evil in the sight of the LORD."

It says Jehoiachin was eighteen years old in 2 Kings 24:8 and Jehoiachin was eight years
old in 2 Chronicles 36:9. What does Peshitta Tanakh say about this contradiction?

Both 2 Chronicles 36:9 and 2 Kings 24:8 of Peshitta Tanakh says Jehoiachin was
eighteen years old. This contradiction in Hebrew Masoretic Text is cleared by Peshitta
Tanakh.

7) 1 Samuel 13:5
1 Samuel 13:5 (Hebrew Masoretic Text) - "And the Philistines assembled themselves
together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and
people as the sand which is on the sea-shore in multitude; and they came up, and pitched
in Michmas, eastward of Beth-aven."
There are 30,000 chariots. But there are only 6000 horsemen? There is something strange
here.
Let's look at Peshitta Tanakh.
In 1 Samuel 13:5 of Peshitta Tanakh, it says there were 3000 chariots instead of 30,000
chariots in Hebrew Masoretic Text. This makes much more sense.
In Peshitta Tanakh, it says Bayth-eil. But Hebrew Masoretic Text has Beth-aven.
8) Psalms 104:3 (1917 JPS Tanakh translation of Hebrew Masoretic Text) - "Who layest
the beams of Thine upper chambers in the waters, Who makest the clouds Thy chariot,
Who walkest upon the wings of the wind;"

It says God makes the clouds his chariot. God travels on his chariots above the clouds.
The clouds are not his chariots. For Example, 2 Kings 2:11-12, 2 Kings 6:17, Jeremiah
4:13, Isaiah 66:15.

Let's look at Peshitta Tanakh.

Psalms 104:3 (Bauscher's translation of Psalms 104 of Peshitta Tanakh) - "He makes his
lofty dwellings in the waters and sets his chariot above the clouds and walks upon the
wings of the wind."

So we see that this error in Masoretic Text is cleared by Peshita Tanakh. .

9) Genesis 8:4 - 17th day in both Peshitta Tanakh, Hebrew Masoretic Text, and Samaritan
Pentateuch. But in Septuagint, 27th day.

There are several other errors in Hebrew Old Testament and Septuagint corrected by
Peshitta Tanakh.