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LXX Translation Notes/Problems

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  • Sharon
    Found this is my travels re Messianic studies and just wanted to share about how the words in the LXX can originally be one thing but translated differently
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 28 2:52 PM
      Found this is my travels re Messianic studies and just wanted to
      share about how the words in the LXX can originally be one thing but
      translated differently depending on when the text was written. How do
      you find out which way someone translates??

      --------
      In Acts 15, Yaakov the brother of the Master quotes from the
      following passage to validate the inclusion of the Gentiles.


      "In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, and wall up
      its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in
      the days of old. That they may possess the remnant of Edom And all
      the nations who are called by My name," declares the Lord who does
      this. (Amos 9:11–12)

      The first part of verse twelve presents us with a translation
      problem. The NAS renders it, "…that they may possess the remnant of
      Edom and all the nations who are called by My Name." The LXX however,
      translates the same words, "…that the remnant of men, and all the
      Gentiles upon whom my name is called, may earnestly seek me…." The
      difficulty lies in how we are to understand the Hebrew, edom . With
      the traditional vowel pointing this word should be rendered Edom, but
      without the vowel points, it is the identical word for "man"
      or "mankind." When Amos was written, the vowel pointing did not
      exist. Hence, the Lxx may preserve for us not only the oldest
      translation of this verse, but also an ancient interpretation which
      agrees with the words of James in Acts 15:13–18. In the
      Septuagint/Acts reading, there is nothing in the verse about
      possessing Edom. Rather, it speaks about the remnant of men,
      especially those from among the Gentiles, seeking shelter in the
      tabernacle (sukkah) of David.

      SEE: http://ffoz.org/parashot/archives/000033.shtml#000033
    • Joel and Rachel Wilhelm
      John Sailhamer in his *Introduction to Old Testament Theology* has this to say: The theological impact of con-textuality on the meaning of the various parts of
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 28 6:09 PM
        John Sailhamer in his *Introduction to Old Testament Theology* has this to say:
         

        The theological impact of con-textuality on the meaning of the various parts of the Canon can be illustrated from the books of Amos and Obadiah. The book of Amos closes with the “salvation oracle” of Israel’s restoration. Consistent with the inter-textuality of the Hebrew Bible, the salvation of Israel is made to rest on God’s promise to the house of David in 2 Samuel 7. Amos says, “In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent…so that they may possess the remnant of Edom” (9:11-12 NIV). Not only does this oracle ground the prophetic hope in the Davidic Covenant (2 Sa 7), but, by the mention of the “remnant of Edom,” it traces that covenant back to the eschatology of the poetic seams in the Pentateuch: “A star will come out of Jacob…and Edom will be [his] possession” (Nu 24:17-19). The inter-textuality is transparent. The eschatology of Amos is the same as that of the Pentateuch. The future Davidic king will rule victoriously over Israel’s enemies and establish his eternal kingdom. Israel’s enemies are collectivized here in the form of the nation of Edom, not only because Edom was historically a perennial enemy of Israel, but more importantly because the Hebrew name Edom can also be read as “humanity.” Thus the imagery of the Davidic king’s subjugation of Edom can also be understood in terms of the universal rule of the future King  (cf. Da 7:10-14).

         

        At this point we should recall that the book of Amos is followed in the canonical sequence by the book of Obadiah. Ostensively about the destruction of Edom, the book of Obadiah is a composite of a poem about the future divine judgment of Edom (1-18) and a narrative epilogue which briefly recounts the events of the establishment of God’s messianic kingdom (19-21). Though the translation of this brief narrative is difficult, the gist of it is clear: Israel’s possession of Edom is taken as a sign of Edom’s (humanity’s) membership in God’s kingdom membership in God’s kingdom. The “survivors” of Edom will be no more (Ob 18b) because the “exiles” of their armies, who are Canaanites (!), will belong to Israel and God’s kingdom (Ob 20). The messianic Savior will rule over Edom from Mount Zion to Jerusalem (Ob 21). In the final composition of the book of Obadiah, the writer envisions the inclusion of Edom into God’s messianic kingdom as an image of the universal reign of the messianic king. The picture of Edom in the book of Obadiah, then, portrays the inclusion of the gentile nations into God’s blessings. The theology found here in the composition of the book is clearly that of the Pentateuch (cf. Ge 12:3).

        Viewed con-textually with the book of Amos, the book of Obadiah sheds much light on the imagery of Amos 9:12, Israel’s possession of the “remnant of Edom” in the days of the restored Davidic kingdom. By taking up precisely that theme from the close of the book of Amos, and employing the same terminology and imagery, the book of Obadiah provides a theological interpretation of Amos’s “remnant.” It represents the inclusion of the Gentile nations in God’s messianic kingdom. The Septuagint translation of Amos 9:12, “and the rest of mankind and all the nations will seek (the Lord)…” shows that such an interpretation was already known at that early period. The fact that the Septuagint’s translation is likely also based on a different Hebrew text shows that its interpretation antedates the process and time period of that translation. The hermenutical and theological interpretation reflected in the con-textual sequence of the Hebrew Canon has played a fundamental role in the interpretation of these crucial texts. The fact that a central issue in the NT, that is, the Gentiles’ relationship to Judaism, turns precisely on this passage (cf. Ac 15:16-21) and, in fact, on the very words of Amos 9:12, shows the important role which this passage played at the time, or at least shortly after the time, of the formation of the Hebrew Canon.
         
        I hope that is helpful.
        J.M. Wilhelm
        ad fontes
        Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
        and he who has no money,
        come, buy and eat!
        Come, buy wine and milk
        without money and without price.
        Isaiah 55:1 
         
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Sharon
        Sent: Monday, April 28, 2003 2:52 PM
        Subject: [lxx] LXX Translation Notes/Problems

        Found this is my travels re Messianic studies and just wanted to
        share about how the words in the LXX can originally be one thing but
        translated differently depending on when the text was written. How do
        you find out which way someone translates??

        --------
        In Acts 15, Yaakov the brother of the Master quotes from the
        following passage to validate the inclusion of the Gentiles.


        "In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, and wall up
        its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in
        the days of old. That they may possess the remnant of Edom And all
        the nations who are called by My name," declares the Lord who does
        this. (Amos 9:11–12)

        The first part of verse twelve presents us with a translation
        problem. The NAS renders it, "…that they may possess the remnant of
        Edom and all the nations who are called by My Name." The LXX however,
        translates the same words, "…that the remnant of men, and all the
        Gentiles upon whom my name is called, may earnestly seek me…." The
        difficulty lies in how we are to understand the Hebrew, edom . With
        the traditional vowel pointing this word should be rendered Edom, but
        without the vowel points, it is the identical word for "man"
        or "mankind." When Amos was written, the vowel pointing did not
        exist. Hence, the Lxx may preserve for us not only the oldest
        translation of this verse, but also an ancient interpretation which
        agrees with the words of James in Acts 15:13–18. In the
        Septuagint/Acts reading, there is nothing in the verse about
        possessing Edom. Rather, it speaks about the remnant of men,
        especially those from among the Gentiles, seeking shelter in the
        tabernacle (sukkah) of David.

        SEE:  http://ffoz.org/parashot/archives/000033.shtml#000033



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