The Vocabulary of the Septuagint and its Hellenistic Background 3161530209, 9783161530203, 9783161540875

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The Vocabulary of the Septuagint and its Hellenistic Background
 3161530209, 9783161530203, 9783161540875

Table of contents :
Table of Contents
Eberhard Bons, Patrick Pouchelle, Daniela Scialabba: Introduction
Anna Passoni Dell’Acqua: Le vocabulaire de la Septante à la lumière des papyrus
Nesina Grütter: Die Blöße der Stadt-Frauen: Überlegungen zur Verwendung der Substantive αἰσχύνη und ἀσχημοσύνη in der Septuaginta
Patrick Pouchelle: La main de Cyrus ou la main de Dieu? Étude de l’expression ἀποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα dans la Septante
Justus T. Ghormley: Coining Silver: The Translation of כסף in the Septuagint
Marieke Dhont: Why is God not designated as an ἄρχων in the Septuagint?
Daniela Scialabba: οὗτος δὲ οὐδὲν ἄτοπον ἔπραξεν (Luke 23:41) What Did the Good Thief Want to Say? A New Testament Citation and its Papyrological Background
David S. Hasselbrook: Nuances of Meaning with Compound Words in the Septuagint: A Case Study of διαγογγύζω and εἰσακούω in Contexts of Grumbling
Eberhard Bons: Die Übersetzungπαρὰ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὑδάτων in Psalm 1, 3 und ihr griechischer Hintergrund
Kyriakoula Papademetriou: The Semantic Evolution of the Word παρρησία through its Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic Fields
Beatrice Perego: Παράδεισος and Κῆπος: Thoughts about the Garden Terminology of the Septuagint
Miriam Carminati: The Verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι: The History of a New Compound Created in the Hellenistic Epoch
List of Contributors
Index of Ancient Sources
Index of Greek Words
Index of Hebrew Words

Citation preview

Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament · 2. Reihe Herausgeber / Editor

Jörg Frey (Zürich)

Mitherausgeber / Associate Editors Markus Bockmuehl (Oxford) ∙ James A. Kelhoffer (Uppsala) Tobias Nicklas (Regensburg) ∙ Janet Spittler (Charlottesville, VA) J. Ross Wagner (Durham, NC)


The Vocabulary of the Septuagint and its Hellenistic Background Edited by

Eberhard Bons, Patrick Pouchelle, and Daniela Scialabba

Mohr Siebeck

Eberhard Bons, born 1958; 1988 Dr. phil., University of Mainz; 1993 Dr. theol., Philosophisch-​ theologische Hochschule St. Georgen, Frankfurt/Main; 2000 Habilitation, University of Strasbourg; since 2004 Professor for Old Testament at the University of Strasbourg. Patrick Pouchelle, born 1973; studied Theology and Exegesis at the University of Strasbourg; 2009 MA; 2013 PhD, University of Strasbourg; currently assistant professor of Old Testament at the Centre Sèvres in Paris. Daniela Scialabba, born 1978; studied Theology at the Faculty of Theology of Sicily; 2011 Licence in Biblical Theology; 2017 Dr. theol., University of Strasbourg; since 2015 teacher of biblical exegesis and ancient languages at the Faculty of Catholic Theology of the University of Strasbourg; since 2018 staff member of the German-​French Research Project “Pluritext – Thinking from the Margins: Textual Plurality Outside the Masoretic Tradition”.

ISBN 978-3-16-153020-3 / eISBN 978-3-16-154087-5 DOI 10.1628/978-3-16-154087-5 ISSN 0340-9570 / eISSN 2568-7484 (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 2. Reihe) The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliographie; detailed bibliographic data are available at

© 2019 Mohr Siebeck Tübingen, Germany. This book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any form (beyond that permitted by copyright law) without the publisher’s written permission. This applies particularly to reproductions, translations and storage and processing in electronic systems. The book was typeset by Martin Fischer in Tübingen using Minion typeface, printed on nonaging paper by Laupp & Göbel in Gomaringen, and bound by Buchbinderei Nädele in Nehren. Printed in Germany.

Table of Contents Eberhard Bons, Patrick Pouchelle, Daniela Scialabba Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . VII Anna Passoni Dell’Acqua Le vocabulaire de la Septante à la lumière des papyrus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Nesina Grütter Die Blöße der Stadt-Frauen: Überlegungen zur Verwendung der Substantive αἰσχύνη und ἀσχημοσύνη in der Septuaginta . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Patrick Pouchelle La main de Cyrus ou la main de Dieu ? Étude de l’expression ἀποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα dans la Septante . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Justus T. Ghormley Coining Silver: The Translation of ‫ כסף‬in the Septuagint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Marieke Dhont Why is God not designated as an ἄρχων in the Septuagint? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Daniela Scialabba οὗτος δὲ οὐδὲν ἄτοπον ἔπραξεν (Luke 23:41) What Did the Good Thief Want to Say? A New Testament Citation and its Papyrological Background . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 David S. Hasselbrook Nuances of Meaning with Compound Words in the Septuagint: A Case Study of διαγογγύζω and εἰσακούω in Contexts of Grumbling . . . . . 80 Eberhard Bons Die Übersetzung παρὰ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὑδάτων in Psalm 1,3 und ihr griechischer Hintergrund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95


Table of Contents

Kyriakoula Papademetriou The Semantic Evolution of the Word παρρησίαthrough its Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Beatrice Perego Παράδεισος and Κῆπος: Thoughts about the Garden Terminology of the Septuagint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 Miriam Carminati The Verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι: The History of a New Compound Created in the Hellenistic Epoch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 List of Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 Index of Ancient Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145 Index of Greek Words . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 Index of Hebrew Words . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157

Introduction Eberhard Bons, Patrick Pouchelle, Daniela Scialabba The Septuagint did not originate in a kind of social or literary vacuum but in a specific environment determined by social, political and religious values, as well as political developments, legislation, administration and education in Ptolemaic Egypt. For more than 100 years, scholars of various countries have contributed to a better knowledge of the language of the Septuagint, especially its Hellenistic background. The aim of the Historical and Theological Lexicon of the Septuagint (HTLS,, edited by Eberhard Bons (University of Strasbourg) and Jan Joosten (University of Oxford), is to close a gap in contemporary philological, historical and biblical research by offering detailed studies of nearly 500 Septuagint words and word groups which trace their usage from early Greek authors, via Koiné Greek and the Septuagint translation itself, as far as JewishHellenistic and early Christian literature. The present volume gathers eleven contributions dealing with the Hellenistic background of the vocabulary of the Septuagint. Some of the contributions are a revision of papers presented at the annual workshops of the project HTLS (Bühl [Germany] 2013 and 2014, Syracuse [Sicily] 2015, Bologna 2016, Strasbourg 2017); others have been added later. Although dealing with different Greek words or word groups, they have in common that they take new avenues and raise methodological issues in order to attain a better understanding of a vocabulary used and developed at the crossroads between the Hellenistic and the Jewish worlds. In most of the cases studied in the following articles it is possible to give a better explanation of the usage of a Septuagint word or a specific Septuagint passage against the background of papyri and / ​or contemporary Greek literature. Of course, methodological issues cannot be treated in detail in the articles of the HTLS lexicon. Therefore, it appeared useful to publish them in a separate volume which completes another one published some years ago (E. Bons, R. Brucker, J. Joosten [eds.], The Reception of Septuagint Words in Jewish-Hellenistic and Christian Literature [WUNT II / ​367], Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014). In the following paragraphs we give a brief summary of each of the articles. One cannot study the Septuagint, especially its vocabulary, without keeping in mind that it is deeply influenced by the language of Greek papyri of the Ptolemaic period. This topic is dealt with in the introductory article written by Anna Passoni Dell’Acqua (Milan). The author firstly gives an overview of past research,


Eberhard Bons, Patrick Pouchelle, Daniela Scialabba

including the beginnings of studies on the Septuagint vocabulary in the 19th century as well as more recent research. New sources and new technological aides, e. g. computer-assisted concordances of Greek papyri, enable today’s scholars to gain an ever deeper knowledge of the cultural background of the Septuagint and the evolution of its vocabulary. In order to shed some light on specific terms of the Septuagint and the process of “transculturation” underlying the translation, the author singles out various examples taken from the Pentateuch, namely, ἀποσκηνόω (Gen 13:18), ἀδυνατέω (Lev 25:35) and ἐτασμός (Gen 12:17), tracing the evolution of these words and their cognates not only in the papyri and Greek literature, but also in the Septuagint and in Jewish literature in the Greek language. Nesina Grütter (Basel) investigates the passages where the city is symbolized as a woman (Nah 3:5; Ezek 16:36.37; 23:10.18.29; Isa 47:3.) in the Septuagint manuscripts. Her article deals not only with the Hebrew and Greek textual traditions but also with the culturally different concepts of gender underlying the source text, its translation and two other texts read by two different ethnic groups in Hellenistic Egypt (P.Eleph. I and Dtn 24,1LXX). The passages under discussion share three common features: 1) They use the political (‑religious) metaphor of the public stripping of a woman who represents a city and its inhabitants. 2) In the Hebrew text, the exposed body part is referred to as maʿar, ʿærwâ or ʿæryâ, all three derived from the root ʿrh. 3) For these lexemes, the Greek manuscripts read αἰσχύνη and ἀσχημοσύνη in each passage. In order to explain this oscillation between αἰσχύνη and ἀσχημοσύνη in particular, the investigation is divided into four parts: the first focuses on the Ancient Near Eastern background of the text; the second deals with the three Hebrew lexemes maʿar, ʿærwâ and ʿæryâ; the third provides an investigation of the Greek lexemes αἰσχύνη and ἀσχημοσύνη and the different gender concepts they refer to, especially in the cultural melting pot of Hellenistic Egypt; the fourth part analyzes in detail the distribution of the readings αἰσχύνη and ἀσχημοσύνη in the respective passages. Finally, the author gives a resume of the results and proposes two conclusive interpretations of the alternation of αἰσχύνη and ἀσχημοσύνη in the Septuagint manuscripts of the passages where women symbolize cities. The article by Patrick Pouchelle (Paris) deals with the expression ἀποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα, literally “to send the hand”, that is attested once in the whole corpus of classical Greek and five times in the Septuagint. The rarity in classical Greek is due to the fact that the Greek verb ἀποστέλλω implies that the object sent is separated from the sender. Hence “to send a hand” means to consider the hand as an object. The occurrences in the Septuagint are usually explained by the literal translation of šālaḥ yad “to extend one’s hand”. In fact, as šālaḥ is usually rendered by ἀποστέλλω and other compound verbs, ἀποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα would be a Hebraism. Moreover, one can observe that ἀποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα is usually used with God as subject. By contrast, when a human is subject of šālaḥ yad, the LXX normally uses the regular ἐκτείνω τὴν χεῖρα “to extend one’s hand”. By analyzing all the occurrences of ἀποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα in the Septuagint, this paper aims to



demonstrate that the use of ἀποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα with God as subject is not a Hebraism but a deliberate choice so as to emphasize the transcendent nature of God. The hand of God denotes the plagues sent by God. This is in line with the interpretation of Aristobulus who explains the expression “hand of God” as a metaphor for the power of God, just like the “the hand of a king” is a metaphor for the power of the king. The article by Justus Ghormley (Valparaiso, USA) explores how differences in the monetary system of the ancient Greek world and that of the ancient Israelite world created a linguistic dilemma for the translators of the Septuagint. These differences fostered the development of distinct conceptions of money, and, in turn, distinct terminology for money – ἀργύριον in Greek and kæsæp in Hebrew. While both words refer to silver money and to money in general, their semantic fields are not identical. The former typically identifies quantities of silver with a monetary function only; the latter refers to silver with either a monetary or decorative function. This is to say, kæsæp has a wider semantic field than ἀργύριον. When translating the word kæsæp, the translators did not employ a consistent approach: sometimes they represented the subtle nuances of this word with distinct Greek equivalents; but at other times they simply employed the single term ἀργύριον without regard for the different shades of meaning of kæsæp – a practice which stretched the semantic field of this Greek word. Yet, this seemingly innovative use of ἀργύριον did not impact largely on the written Greek of Jewish and Christian writers after the Septuagint, in part because the widespread monetary role played by ἀργύριον in the Greek economy exerted a stronger influence on the noun’s semantic field than any innovative use of the word in the Septuagint. The article written by Marieke Dhont (Cambridge, UK) deals with the question why the Septuagint does not generally use the verb ἄρχω in the sense of “to rule”, and the derivative ἄρχων, “leader”, to refer to God. The author analyzes the usage of these words, first in classical Greek sources and then the Septuagint, and concludes that both occur primarily in reference to human leadership. Hence, the use of ἄρχων in the Septuagint is in line with classical usage. There are a few exceptions, however, where the Septuagint translators have used ἄρχω / ​ἄρχων to designate God (Isa 33:22; 63:19; Judg 8:23; 1 Chr 29:12). After a brief analysis of each of these verses, Marieke Dhont argues that the main reason for incorporating ἄρχω / ​ἄρχων can be found in the literary context. Since God is only rarely referred to as an ἄρχων, she ends by briefly discussing the terms the Septuagint translators seem to have preferred to describe God’s rule . One of the features of the vocabulary of the Septuagint is its use of a very specific terminology of wrongdoing and transgression. In her article, Daniela Scialabba (Strasbourg) focuses on the adjective ἄτοπος, which has been neglected by past research. This word is attested in the Septuagint, especially in the book of Job. All of the occurrences have in common that the word is used in the neuter as a noun and is governed by verba faciendi, ποιέω and πράσσω. The same holds true for a New Testament quotation. Unlike the other two synoptic gospels (Matt


Eberhard Bons, Patrick Pouchelle, Daniela Scialabba

27:44; Mark 15:32), the Gospel of Luke quotes an explicit dialogue between the two criminals crucified with Jesus (Luke 23:39–42), putting into the mouth of the so-called “good thief” the following words: οὗτος δὲ οὐδὲν ἄτοπον ἔπραξεν, “but this man [= Jesus] has done nothing wrong” (Luke 23:41). The aim of Daniela Scialabba’s article is to show that these quotations can be explained against the background of Ptolemaic papyri: the expression ἄτοπον + ποιέω / ​πράσσω does not belong to the technical language of law-suits. It is mostly pronounced by people who profess their own innocence or that of people accused by other ones. In the article by David Hasselbrook (Waverly, Iowa) the meaning of two Greek verbs, διαγογγύζω and εἰσακούω, are examined in contexts where grumbling occurs in the Septuagint, focusing on the meanings of these words and on the nature of the grumbling with which they are connected. First, διαγογγύζω is compared with the uncompounded verb γογγύζω, where it is argued that the force of the preposition is still retained in the LXX uses of διαγογγύζω, distinguishing it from γογγύζω. Second, contrary to the generally negative understanding of the term “grumbling” with which διαγογγύζω and γογγύζω are typically translated (as well as with the underlying Hebrew terms that they render), it is seen that the contexts where these words are used support the idea that at times the “grumbling” that occurs is justifiable and even looked upon favorably by God. Such a favorable hearing of grumbling by God is seen to be supported by the use of εἰσακούω in these contexts, where the later stages of the Greek language are found to provide insights into the nuanced meaning of this word  – a nuanced meaning that is traceable from Modern Greek to Medieval Greek and back into the Hellenistic Greek in which the LXX is situated. Such a situation supports the idea that the lexicography of the LXX could benefit from a diachronic study of Greek words. The article by Eberhard Bons (Strasbourg) is about the Greek noun διέξοδος as rendering of the Hebrew word pælæg “watercourse, channel” in Ps 1:3. Comparing the two textual witnesses, the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint, the question arises as to how the Alexandrian translators understood the Hebrew word, and if they understood it correctly. In fact, a careful analysis of the different occurrences leads to the conclusion that there was no standard Greek translation of the Hebrew word in question. Thus, the question remains whether the Greek word διέξοδος means a watercourse or, rather, a source. As a careful analysis of some occurrences in Plato and Strabo shows, this specific meaning is actually attested in Greek literature. Consequently, it is possible that the Alexandrian translators were familiar with it even if they preferred words like ποταμός. The contribution by Kyriakoula Papademetriou (Thessaloniki) investigates the evolution of the meaning of the word παρρησία diachronically and the employment of the word by its users in each period, as well as its specific reference to concrete social situations. Based on the rules of Pragmatics and Sociolinguistics, the contextual frame of the word is explored at the level of communication on the one hand, and, on the other, at the level of the social and cultural environment. As evidence of these parameters, there is an examination of texts of the ancient



classical Greek era, of the Hellenistic and Graeco-Roman period, and, especially, of the Greek-speaking Jewish sphere, as well as of the New Testament. The conclusion is that a nuclear semantic feature of the word παρρησία is the social recognition of the right to speak without fear and with authority. Especially in the Septuagint, the notion of recognizing this right is determined by the relationship with God, by the fidelity and integrity of the human being who can speak and behave with παρρησία. The study shows that for the lexical understanding of a text, semantic analysis alone is insufficient. Rather, it is critical to examine the use of words in their social and cultural environment. The article by Beatrice Perego (Olgiate Molgora, Italy) focuses on the garden terminology of the Septuagint: why is the noun παράδεισος used to translate the “Garden of Eden”? Why do the translators choose another term, κῆπος, “garden”, in other contexts? To what degree do they distinguish both? Or do they use them indiscriminately, at least sometimes? Once more, it turns out to be necessary to answer these questions against the background of the semantic evolution of the two words in non-Biblical Greek texts. In a first step, the author gives a brief overview of the noun παράδεισος, its etymology, its usage in Greek literary sources and papyri as well as in the Septuagint. In a second step, she carries out similar research into the word κῆπος. The concluding section of the article deals with specific Septuagint occurrences where the semantic difference between the two terms appears to be blurred. This specific Septuagintal evidence is not surprising as can be illustrated by the particular usage of παράδεισος in non-Biblical sources, namely, in the papyri. The article by Miriam Carminati (Pavia / ​Bergamo, Italy) focuses on a double compound verb, συναντιλαμβάνομαι, and its specific use in the Septuagint. In general, the verb is very rare, both in the Septuagint and in non-Biblical Greek sources. Usually, it is translated with “to help”, “to come to the aid of someone”. But why this specific verb? What is its characteristic connotation? In order to answer these questions, the author investigates not only the few occurrences of the verb in Greek literature but also the papyri evidence where the verb has the specific connotation “to cooperate with someone”. This allows a better understanding of the occurrences in the Septuagint (Exod 18:22; Num 11:17; Ps 88:22LXX) as well as those in more recent literature of Jewish and Christian origin, namely Josephus and the New Testament (Luke 10:40; Rom 8:26). The author concludes that the verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι was probably a term used in bureaucracy and in middle classes writings while classical authors of the Hellenistic period appear to avoid it. This is probably the reason for its rarity. In conclusion, we would like to express our gratitude to the authors of the articles gathered in this volume as well as to the institutions who granted financial fundings: Agence Nationale de la Recherche (Paris), Armin Schmitt-Stiftung (Regensburg), Cercle Gutenberg (Strasbourg). The Équipe d’accueil 4377 of the University of Strasbourg provided the institutional framework enabling our research on the Septuagint. Dr. Michael Tait proof-read some of the articles of this


Eberhard Bons, Patrick Pouchelle, Daniela Scialabba

volume. Finally, thanks are due to Prof. Dr. Jörg Frey who agreed to publish the book in the series “Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament” and to Dr. Henning Ziebritzki, Dr. Katharina Gutekunst and Ms Susanne Mang, Mohr Siebeck Publishing House, Tübingen, for supporting this editorial project.

Le vocabulaire de la Septante à la lumière des papyrus Anna Passoni Dell’Acqua 1. Bible et papyrus Une feuille de papyrus évoque en nous une image de légèreté et de fragilité qui pourtant nous renvoie à un passé lointain dont elle représente un fragment, du point de vue matériel également. Le fait qu’elle soit arrivée jusqu’à nous est souvent le fruit du hasard, mais son témoignage est toujours précieux, par le texte qu’elle contient, par la langue dans laquelle celui-ci est rédigé et par son écriture. L’histoire de la Septante est étroitement liée aux papyrus, ne serait-ce déjà que par le nom qui, comme nous le savons, désigne les Ecritures dans leur traduction grecque. Τὰ βιβλία sont les rouleaux de papyrus, ‹ les livres › par excellence du Judaïsme de langue grecque qui, en grandissant dans la métropole d’Alexandrie, les associe à la Bibliothèque et au Musée, siège de la transcription et de l’édition des textes littéraires et scientifiques, emblème de la culture grecque de l’époque hellénistique. Le matériel d’écriture inventé par la civilisation égyptienne presque trois mille ans auparavant et exporté le long des voies commerciales de l’époque – dont le centre de triage était la ville phénicienne de Goubla / ​Gebal, justement rebaptisée ensuite Byblos par les Grecs – donne ainsi son nom au corpus de la Torâ qui, dans l’Alexandrie Ptolémaïque, deviendra la plus ancienne traduction écrite d’une œuvre littéraire attestée jusque là. La Lettre d’Aristée, dans la lettre d’Eléazar à Ptolémée (§ 46), nous offre un ultérieur témoignage de l’utilisation de τὰ βιβλία grâce aux rouleaux de parchemin de la Torâ provenant de la bibliothèque du temple de Jérusalem (§ 176: διφθέραι). Nous assistons donc déjà à une extension sémantique du terme qui tient compte de la forme livresque plutôt que du matériel d’écriture. Le lien entre Septante et papyrus va cependant bien au-delà, dans la mesure où il se fonde sur les copies les plus anciennes de la traduction, particulièrement précieuses qui, comme le PChester Beatty IX–X, classé par Alfred Rahlfs comme Papyrus 967, daté aux alentours de l’an 200, avec les livres d’Ezéchiel, de Daniel et d’Esther,1 font parvenir jusqu’à nous un texte pré-origénien. Il s’agit là de papyrus 1  [​t​ml], consulté le 30 août 2018.


Anna Passoni Dell’Acqua

littéraires, fondamentaux pour l’histoire ‹ tourmentée › du texte de la Septante et de sa critique textuelle. Mais pour nous, qui partageons l’engouement et la passion pour notre entreprise commune – le Lexicon HTLS – le plus intéressant est avant tout la connexion linguistique que l’on peut établir entre Septante et papyrus. Ce sont les textes documentaires, qui constituent la majorité des papyrus grecs d’Égypte, qui nous offrent du matériel de comparaison. Ces derniers sont en effet là pour témoigner, dans le cadre du grec de la κοινή de l’époque gréco-romaine, de la variété des formes et des registres linguistiques, conséquence directe du nombre particulièrement élevé de documents, de la diversité des typologies et des époques auxquelles ils appartiennent, de la différence des milieux culturels et sociaux dont ils sont issus. De la cour et de la chancellerie royale, on passe aux scribes des petits villages de la χώρα, le ‹ plat pays › aux portes d’Alexandrie, qui utilisent des formes fixes apprises à l’école en fonction de la nature et de la destination des documents. Ces scribes écrivent aussi bien pour des locuteurs grecs ignorants des procédures et de la bureaucratie que pour les indigènes égyptiens ou en tout cas ‹ au nom de celui / ​celle qui ne connaît pas le grec › (la formule est ἔγραψα ὑπὲρ αὐτοῦ / ​αὐτῆς μὴ εἰδότος / εἰδυίας γράμματα: sous-entendu ‹ grecques ›), mais ne sont pas pour autant analphabètes au sens strict du terme. Les lettres privées sont la source la plus intéressante, parce que leurs auteurs représentent toutes les couches sociales et toutes les composantes ethniques de la population extrêmement diversifiée de l’Égypte ptolémaïque et romaine, ce qui fait qu’elles nous offrent un aperçu de la vie quotidienne à différents niveaux. Ces documents peuvent être écrits personnellement ou dictés aux esclaves ou composés par les scribes sur la base de ce que l’expéditeur désirait communiquer. Il est évident que parler de ‹ langue des papyrus › est tout aussi abstrait que dire ‹ langue de la Septante ›. Pour une analyse des problèmes inhérents à la langue des papyrus, je renvoie au volume The Language of the Papyri édité par T. V.  Evans et D. D. Obbink : « The purpose of this book is to show the potential of that material. … Our objectives have been to indicate current directions of international research into the language of the papyri and to provide a stimulus for future work »2. Le grec des papyrus et de la Septante est marqué par l’influence d’autres langues de contact et se développe dans des situations que l’on peut pour le moins qualifier de bilingues,3 dans la mesure où il est utilisé par des personnes qui ont D. D. Obbink, « Introduction », iidem (éds.), The Language of the Papyri, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, 1–12, 3. 3 Atti del Seminario di studi ‹ Bilinguismo e traduzione nell’antico Oriente ›, Roma 20–22 mars 1980, Vicino Oriente 3, 1980, 1–14; 77–84 (Égypte); 15–31 (Asie anterieure); 209–223 (Juifs); F. Dunand, « Grecs et Égyptiens en Égypte lagide. Le problème de l’acculturation », G. Nenci (sous la direction de), Modes de contacts et processus de transformation dans les sociétés anciennes. Actes du colloque de Cortone (24–30 mai 1981) (CÉFR, 67), Pisa: Scuola Normale Superiore, 1983, 45–85; F. Briquel-Chatonnet (éd.), Mosaïque de langues mosaïque culturelle. Le bilinguisme dans le Proche-Orient ancien. Actes de la Table-Ronde du 18 novembre 1995 (Antiquités Sémitiques 1), Paris: J. Maisonneuve, 1996. 2 T. V.  Evans,

Le vocabulaire de la Septante à la lumière des papyrus


appris le grec hellénistique comme deuxième langue, et qui conservent la Weltanschauung, la philosophie de la vie, de la langue maternelle, d’origine totalement (hébreu et araméen4) ou partiellement (égyptien) sémitique. La Septante est l’exemple le plus ancien de transculturation.5 La comparaison que nous faisons pour notre Lexicon et qui s’adresse à toutes les personnes désireuses de comprendre l’histoire de la pensée biblique, concerne un des aspects linguistiques, à savoir celui du vocabulaire, des choix lexicaux effectués par les traducteurs des livres les plus anciens de la ‹ bibliothèque › de la Septante, ou par les auteurs des livres les plus récents, directement composés en grec. Tout comme la base de notre comparaison lexicale, particulièrement vaste dans la mesure où elle rassemble tous les écrits parvenus jusqu’à nous de l’époque de Ptolémée à l’époque romaine, aussi bien littéraires que documentaires, la désignation de papyrus doit être prise sensu lato, sans se limiter au seul matériel écrit: il comprend donc également les textes sur parchemin, pierre, ostraka, bois, tissu ou métal. Il nous est possible d’observer la profondeur de l’intuition de ceux qui nous ont précédés dans cette voie: sur la base de la connaissance du texte de la Bible de la Septante comme des papyrus qui étaient publiés, ceux-ci notaient l’utilisation des mêmes mots, des mêmes syntagmes, de constructions semblables. Nous pouvons rappeler, parmi les ‹ patriarches ›,6 G. Adolf Deissmann pour les Bibelstudien,7 les Neue Bibelstudien8 et celui qui est le mieux connu, Licht vom Osten,9 ouvrages 4 J. Joosten, « On Aramaizing Renderings in the Septuagint », M. F. J. Baasten, W.Th. van Peursen (éds.), Hamlet on a Hill. Semitic and Greek Studies Presented to Professor T. Muraoka on the Occasion of the Sixty-Fifth Birthday, Leuven: Peeters, 2003, 587–600; réimprimé in J. Joosten, Collected Studies on the Septuagint. From Language to Interpretation and Beyond (Forschungen zum Alten Testament 83), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012, 53–66; idem, « The Aramaic Background of the Seventy: Language, Culture and History », BIOSCS 43, 2010, 53–72. 5 Voir la synthèse de J. Joosten, « Traduire la Parole. La Septante à la lumière de l’histoire, de la philologie et de la théologie », RHPhR 93, 2013, 481–497. 6 Il faut mentionner aussi les savants de linguistique grecque: K. Dieterich, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der griechischen Sprache von der hellenistischen Zeit bis zum 10. Jahrhundert n. Chr., Leipzig: Teubner, 1898; G. N.  Hatzidakis, Einleitung in die neugriechische Grammatik, Leipzig: Breitkopf, 1892 []; A. Thumb, Die griechische Sprache im Zeitalter des Hellenismus, Strassburg: K. J. Trübner, 1901 [https://archive. org/details/diegriechisches00thumgoog]. 7 G. A.  Deissmann, Bibelstudien: Beiträge, zumeist aus den Papyri und Inschriften, zur Geschichte der Sprache, des Schrifttums und der Religion des hellenistischen Judentums und des Urchristentums, Marburg: N. G. Elwert’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1895 [ bibelstudienbei01deisgoog]; trad. anglaise: Bible Studies. Contributions chiefly from Papyri and Inscriptions to the History of the Language, the Literature, and the Religion of Hellenistic Judaism and primitive Christianity, Edinburgh: Hendrickson, 1901 [ biblestudiescon00deisgoog]. 8 Neue Bibelstudien: sprachgeschichtliche Beiträge zumeist aus den Papyri und Inschriften, zur Erklärung des Neuen Testaments, Marburg: N. G. Elwert’sche, 1897 [ details/neuebibelstudie01deisgoog]; trad. anglaise: New Light on the New Testament from records of the Graeco-Roman Period, Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1908 [ newlightonnewte00stragoog]. 9 Licht vom Osten: das Neue Testament und die neuentdeckten Texte der hellenistisch-römischen


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dont les sous-titres expriment pleinement les intérêts de leur auteur, qui réussit aussi à rassembler une collection personnelle de documents inédits.10 Le volume de A. Berger (2010), Deissmann the Philologist, met enfin en lumière l’importance de ce savant, également comme lexicographe.11 Il convient de rappeler dans son sillage Orsolina Montevecchi (2009†), qui me confia ce type d’études et qui fut particulièrement heureuse d’assister aux débuts de notre Lexicon. Le thème de nombre de ses études (de 1955 à 1995), également présentées aux ‹ Congrès Internationaux de Papyrologie › (Oslo 1961,12 Varsovie 196413), avait en quelque sorte contribué à ouvrir la voie à cette entreprise couronnée de succès. Je ne pense pas me tromper lorsque j’affirme que The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament illustrated from the Papyri and Other non-literary Sources de J. H.  Moul­ton et G. Milligan de 1914–15,14 est l’ancêtre de notre Lexicon. L’actualité de cet ouvrage réside dans le fait qu’à l’époque de son élaboration une grande partie des papyrus de la haute époque ptolémaïque, donc proche de la période de traduction de la Septante, était déjà connue. Il en a été donné de bons exemples, avec la citation de phrases et de syntagmes utiles à la comparaison avec la Bible grecque. Aujourd’hui, l’ouvrage de Moulton  – Milligan est disponible en ligne et téléchargeable en format pdf sur le site [ vocabularyofgree00mouluoft]. Une aide précieuse nous est également apportée par l’excellent Diccionario Griego–Español (Madrid: C. S. I. C., 1980) édité par F. Adrados et son équipe, qui procède lentement et qui commence à être mis en ligne [], mais qui s’arrête au Tome VII de 2009. En 1997–1998, a été annoncé un projet présenté dans deux articles signés par J. A. L.  Lee et G. H. R.  Horsley, parus dans la revue « Filología Neotestamentaria ».15 Il s’agissait d’une mise à jour de A Greek–English Lexicon of the New Welt, Tübingen: J.  C.  B.  Mohr  – P.  Siebeck, 1909.1923 [​i​c​h​t​v​o​m​o​s​t​e​ n​d​a​0​0​d​e​i​s​g​o​o​g​]; trad. anglaise: Light from The Ancient East. The New Testament Illustrated by recently discovered Texts of the Graeco-Roman World, New York, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1911 []. 10   P. M.  Meyer (éd.), Griechische Texte aus Ägypten: I Papyri des Neutestamentlichen Seminars der Universität Berlin; II. Ostraka der Sammlung Deissmann, Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1916 (ostraca et étiquette de momie [Mumientäfelchen] et papyrus), voir aussi G. H. R.  Horsley, « An Unpublished Septuaginta Papyrus from the Nachlass of Adolf Deissmann », APF 39, 1993, 35–38. 11 A. Berger, Deissmann the Philologist (BZNW 171), Berlin, New York: W. de Gruyter, 2010, 104–125. 12 O. Montevecchi,  « Quaedam de graecitate Psalmorum cum papyris comparata », Proceedings of the IX International Congress of Papyrology, Oslo, 19–22 août, 1958, Oslo: Norwegian Universities, 1961, 293–310. 13 O. Montevecchi, « Continuità ed evoluzione della lingua greca nella Settanta e nei papiri », J. Wolski (éd.), Actes du Xe Congrès International de Papyrologie, Varsovie–Cracovie 3–9 septembre 1961, Wroclaw: Wydawnictwo Polskiej akademii, 1964, 39–49. 14  London: Hodder, 1915; Grand Rapids (MI): W. M. B. Eerdmans, 1930. 15 G. H. R.  Horsley, J. A. L.  Lee, « A Lexicon of the New Testament with Documentary Paral-

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Testament and Other Early Christian Literature de W. Bauer, Revised and Augmented by F. W.  Gingrich and F. W. Danker from fifth edition (1958).16 Promu par ‹ The Ancient History Documentary Research Centre › de la Macquarie University, A Lexicon of the New Testament with Documentary Parallels, il avait pour objectif une meilleure compréhension du N. T., avec l’analyse des documents datés du IIIe siècle av. J.-C. jusqu’au IIIe siècle ap. J.-C. Mais le projet a disparu dans le réseau.17 Le même centre publie les neuf volumes des New Documents illustrating early Christianity: a review of the Greek inscriptions and papyri published in … au cours des années précédentes, avec d’intéressantes notes lexicales (1981–2002, volumes 1–5 édités par G. H. R. Horsley, volumes 6–9 édités par S. Llewelyn).

2. Limites chronologiques, géographiques et linguistiques. Les dernières décennies ont vu la publication de textes aussi bien littéraires que documentaires en grec, textes retrouvés également en dehors de l’Egypte,18 en divers endroits (grottes) du désert de Judée, et datant des deux premiers siècles de notre ère. Outre les découvertes des grottes 4 et 7 de Qumran,19 rappelons celles de Murabba‘ât (IIe siècle), de Masada (Ier siècle), de Naḥal Ḥever (IIe siècle),20 publiées dans les PYadin,21 PMasada22, PMurabba‘ât23 ainsi que dans le volume Miscellaneous Texts from the Judaean Desert (PJudDesMisc).24 lels: Some Interim Entries, 1 », FilNT 10, 1997, 55–84; « A Lexicon of the New Testament with Documentary Parallels: Some Interim Entries, 2 », FilNT 11, 1998, 57–84. 16 A translation and adaptation of the fourth revised and augmented edition of Walter Bauer’s Griechisch-Deutsches Wörterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der übrigen urchristlichen Literatur, Chicago: University of Chicago, 1957.1979. 17  [ research/lexicon/]. 18  H. M.  Cotton, W. E. H.  Cockle, F. G. B.  Millar, « The Papyrology of the Roman Near East. A Survey », JRS 95, 1995, 214–235: comptaient déjà 609 papyrus en dehors de l’Égypte. 19 E. Tov, « The Corpus of the Qumran Papyri », L. H. Schiffman (éd.), Semitic Papyrology in Context (Culture and History of the Ancient Near East, 14), Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2003, 85–103. 20 H. M.  Cotton, A. Yardeni (éds.), Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek Documentary Texts from Naḥal Ḥever and Other Sites, with an appendix containing alleged Qumran texts (the Seiyâl Collection II) (DJD XXVII), Oxford: Clarendon, 1997. 21 PYadin I = N. Lewis (éd.), The Documents from Bar Kokhba Period in the Cave of Letters. Greek Papyri, Jérusalem: The Israel Exploration Society, 1989 (Greek Papyri: papers of Babatha = PBabatha); PYadin II = Y. Yadin, J. C.  Greenfield, A. Yardeni, B. A.  Levine et alii (éds.), The Documents from Bar Kokhba Period in the Cave of Letters. Hebrew, Aramaic and NabateanAramaic Papyri, Jérusalem: The Israel Exploration Society, 2002 (Bar Kokhba Letters, Greek Letters: 52.59). 22 PMasada =  H.-M. Cotton, J. Geiger (éds.), Masada II, The Yigael Yadin Excavations 1963–1965, Final Reports: The Latin and Greek documents, Jérusalem: The Israel Exploration Society, 1989 (739–747: Greek papyri; 772–794: Greek ostraka = OMasada). 23 PMurabba‘ât = P. Benoit, J. T.  Milik, R. de Vaux (éds.), Les grottes de Murabba‘ât (DJD of Jordan, 2), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1961.


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Les PYadin comprennent les archives de deux femmes, Babatha (Βαβαθα / ​ας) et Salomé Komaïse (Σαλωμη Κομαϊση),25 retrouvés dans les grottes de Naḥal Ḥever, roulés, scellés et rangés dans un étui, et datant de l’époque d’Hadrien. Ces archives contiennent des textes importants du point de vue juridique,26 comme par exemple les ketubbôt,27 documents de succession et de tutelle, mais également du point de vue linguistique.28

3. La Septante « A. O. C. », le Pentateuque, un modèle de lexique créatif La fonction et l’importance du Pentateuque (autre nom lié aux rouleaux de papyrus, voir Lettre d’Aristée § 179: τὰ τεύχη) sur le reste des livres de la ‹ bibliothèque › de la Septante ont été objet de réflexion pour plusieurs chercheurs. E. Tov29 est d’avis que la Septante ‹ d’origine › a représenté un modèle pour les choix linguistiques des autres traducteurs. J. Barr,30 qui est d’accord avec les conclusions de J. Lust,31 avance quelques réserves fort raisonnables, comme par exemple la variété de traductions pour un même lexème, que l’on peut retrouver à l’intérieur du même livre comme 24  PJudDesMisc = J. Charlesworth, J. Vanderkam, M. Brady et alii (éds.), Miscellaneous Texts from the Judaean Desert (DJD XXXVIII), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000 (Jéricho, Naḥal Ḥever, Naḥal Mišmar, Naḥal Ṣe’elim). 25 H. Cotton, « The Archive of Salome Komaise Daughter of Levi. Another Archive from The ʿCave of Letters’», ZPE 105, 1995, 171–208 [​o​w​ n​l​o​a​d​s​/1995/105pdf/105171.pdf]. 26 J. G.  Oudshoorn, The Relationship between Roman and local Law in the Babatha and Salome Komaise Archives: general analysis and three case studies on law of successsion, guardianship, and marriage (StTDJ 69), Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2007. 27 Le PYadin 18, contrat de mariage, Maḥoza 128 ap. J.-C., est rédigé en grec et soussigné en araméen [;;18]. Il s’agit du premier mariage de Babatha (avec Jésus ben Jésus), contracté dans le pays d’origine de la femme, un petit village nabateén situé au sud de la Mer Morte, dans le district de Zoara, faisant partie de la province romaine d’Arabie depuis 106 ap. J.-C. 28   S. E.  Porten, « Buried Linguistic Treasure in the Babatha Archive » [http://quod.lib.u​mi​​ c​h​.edu/cgi/p/pod/dod-idx/buried-linguistic-treasure-in-the-babatha-archive.pdf?c=icp;idn​o​=​ 7​5​2​3​8​6​6​.​0​0​2​5​.171]. 29 « The Impact of the LXX Translation of the Pentateuch on the Translation of the Other Books », P. Casetti, O. Keel, A. Schenker (éds.), Mélanges D. Barthélemy. Études bibliques offertes à l’occasion de son 60e anniversaire (OBO 38), Fribourg (Suisse): Éditions universitaires / ​ Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1981, 577–592; « The Septuagint », M. J. Mulder, H. Sysling (éds.), Mikra. Text, Translation, Reading and Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (CRINT 2/1), Assen / ​Maastricht: Van Gorcum / ​Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1988, 161–188, 171. 30 « Did The Greek Pentateuch Really Serve as a Dictionary for the Translation of the Later Books? », M. F. J.  Baasten, W.Th. van Peursen (éds.), Hamlet on a Hill (voir note 4) 523–543. 31 « The Vocabulary of LXX Ezekiel and its Dependence upon the Pentateuch », M. Vervenne, J. Lust (éds.), Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic Literature, FS C. H. W.  Brekelmans (BETL 133), Leuven: Leuven University, 1997, 529–546.

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dans des livres différents. Les considérations de ces chercheurs conduisent à une évaluation plus équilibrée du problème qui, comme toutes les questions linguistiques, présente de nombreuses facettes. Le processus de traduction, dans la mesure où il est interprétatif, suit des principes qui s’inspirent aussi au goût et à la sensibilité du traducteur et ne saurait être comparé à une traduction automatique faite sur ordinateur.

4. Des aides technologiques pour la recherche lexicale. Les nouvelles technologies nous apportent une aide précieuse par le biais de la création de sites web sur lesquels il nous est possible de consulter les textes des documents ( []) ou encore de faire des recherches lexicales (les ‘WörterListen de papyrus et des ostraka’, éditées par Dieter Hagedorn []. Les sites consacrés à des collections isolées, par exemple aux Papyrus de Oxyrynchus [], offrent à côté des textes des documents, et même des photographies digitales, qui permettent de procéder à une vérification personnelle des lectures. La disponibilité d’un tel nombre de publications sur la toile et la facilité des échanges entre les chercheurs ont fait tomber les barrières géographiques, et réduit les temps de travail, à partir de la recherche bibliographique. L’avenir nous réserve d’autres surprises agréables qui nous aideront à mieux connaître la langue de la Septante.32

5. ‹ Créations › de la Septante ou absence de papyrus? Dans le ‹ cycle › d’Abraham,33 on trouve un grand nombre de lexèmes dont la Septante est la première attestation littéraire, ce qui fait que le témoignage documentaire n’existe pas encore, ou est pour le moins fort pauvre: la question de savoir s’il s’agit là ou non de créations lexicales reste ouverte. Nous savons que les traducteurs, dans leur travail de transculturation, ont fabriqué de nouveaux termes, ce qui est un phénomène fréquent dans la κοινή, en vue de sa diffusion géographique et de son internationalité. La recherche d’autres attestations de la même époque est utile, ne serait-ce que pour comprendre les influences culturelles auxquelles les traducteurs étaient soumis. 32  T. V.  Evans, « The Potential of Linguistic Criteria for Dating Septuagint Books », BIOSCS 43, 2010, 5–22 []. 33 Cf. A. Passoni Dell’Acqua, « Da “Abram l’emigrante” ad “Abraam l’amato da Dio”. Sfumature del ritratto “abramitico” di scuola ellenistica (LXX) », A. Passaro, A. Pitta (éds.), Atti della XLII Settimana biblica nazionale ‹ Abramo tra storia e fede ›, Roma 8–12 settembre 2012, Ricerche Storico Bibliche 26, 2014, 169–203.


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Le dernier démenti de l’hypothèse d’une fabrication de la Septante est προσήλυτος: PDuke.inv. 727r, fin du IIIe siècle av. J.-C.,34 témoigne de son usage dans le sens de ‹ l’étranger ›, ‹ celui qui séjourne dans un lieu ›. Dans le document, qui parle d’une transaction de terrain, il n’y a pas d’indice d’origine judaïque: ces ‹ newcomers › (r. 5: τινες των προσηλυτων) auraient entraîné une émeute.35 a) Terme rare On ne trouve le verbe ἀποσκηνόω (sous la forme en ‑όω, avec une valeur durative),36 pour la période hellénistique, que dans Gn 13,18. Il est emprunté au vocabulaire militaire et est choisi pour indiquer les déplacements d’Abraham. Le seul et unique document trouvé serait PJand.inv. 480 (= SB VIII, 9660), 5, Fayyum, impossible à dater, trop fragmentaire pour établir le contexte et identifier avec précision le lexème, dont la désinence est lacunaire: αποσκη[….]. Il s’agirait par conséquent d’un hapax aussi bien lexical que sémantique. À l’époque romaine, le verbe réapparaît dans les Psaumes de Salomon 7,1 au milieu d’une invocation: μὴ ἀποσκηνώσῃς ἀφ᾽ἡμῶν ὁ θεός, « que toi, oh Dieu, tu ne t’éloignes pas de nous! », ainsi que dans quelques oeuvres de Plutarque,37 puis chez des auteurs ecclésiastiques qui dépendent de la Septante.38 Le seul témoignage hellénistique dont nous disposons est Xénophon (Anabase III.4.35), qui utilise cependant la forme attique en ‑εω, ‹ camper loin de ›, avec le génitif de l’objet dont on s’éloigne, régi par le préverbe ἀπο‑ (ἀπεσκήνουν τῶν Ἑλλήνων ‹ ils campaient loin des Grecs ›).39 On trouve dans Gn 13,18 le participe aoriste ἀποσκηνώσας (parallèle à ἐλθών) qui rend, en le subordonnant au verbe principal κατῴκησεν ‹ il s’installa ›, l’expression hébraïque wayyeʾĕhal « il déplaça sa tente »,40 premier des trois parfaits coordonnés du TM (ἀποσκηνώσας Αβραμ ἐλθὼν κατῴκησεν). Le sens de la Septante est donc: « s’étant éloigné avec le campement, Abraham, arrivé aux chênes de Mamre, s’y installa. » Je pense que par ce choix le traducteur voulait souligner le fait que le patriarche demeurait éloigné du lieu 34   D. M.  Moffitt, C. J.  Butera, « P.Duk. inv. 727r.: New Evidence for the Meaning and Provenance of the Word Προσήλυτος », JBL 132, 2013, 159–178; M. Thiessen, « Revisiting the proselytes in “the LXX” », JBL 132, 2013, 333–350. 35 R. 4: εστασιακασιν, le participe est lisible, mais seules les lettres du premier ‑σι‑ n’ont pas le point sous les lettres. 36 « Le verbe le plus usuel est généralement intransitif »: P. Chantraine, Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque. Histoire des mots, Paris: Klincksieck, 1984–1990, 1016, s. v. σκηνή. 37 Eumenes 15.4.3; Demetrius 9.6.2; De Alexandri magni fortuna aut virtute 334 B 11; Quaestiones convivales 627 A 3. 38 Origène (Commentarii in Romanos III.5–V.7 [PCair 88748 + cod. 762],182,9; Jean Chrysostome (In Genesim 53,317,61). 39 Il s’agit des soldats de Tissafernes, quand, pendant la retraite, Xénophon commandait l’arrière-garde. 40 La même forme verbale en Gn 13,12 est traduite par le verbe simple corradical ἐσκήνωσεν.

Le vocabulaire de la Septante à la lumière des papyrus


du campement précédent. Ces données nous confirment qu’il s’agit là d’un verbe extrêmement rare. b) Acception non attestée en dehors de la Septante Un autre verbe rare est le verbe ἀδυνατέω: on le retrouve douze fois dans la Septante pour traduire des racines hébraïque différentes.41 a) Le premier sens à signaler est celui de ‹ ne pas avoir de force > être faible, malade ›, à propos d’une partie du corps (au datif) (Lv 25,35 ; Jb 4,4 ; Is 8,15). On le trouve dans Lv 25,35, où ἀδυνατέω traduit la racine mwṭ (ûmāṭâ yādô), pour les mains, comme image de l’impossibilité de travailler et partant, comme cause d’appauvrissement. Dans Jb 4,4 le participe présent indique les ‹ genoux affaiblis › (γόνασίν τε ἀδυνατοῦσιν). C’est à ce dernier sens que renvoie la traduction d’Is 8,15, le seul et unique cas où ἀδυνατέω traduit la racine kāšal ‹ vaciller, chanceler ›; le contexte parle de personnes destinées à tomber, à être écrasées et capturées, donc affaiblies: διὰ τοῦτο ἀδυνατήσουσιν ἐν αὐτοῖς πολλοί). PEnteux 26,3, Magdola (Arsinoïte), 27 février 221 av. J.-C., pétition au roi de la part d’un père contre une fille ingrate [= SelPap II, 268], témoigne de la même signification avec la même construction pour les ‹ yeux ›: τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἀδυνατοῦντος. b) Sg 13,16 conserve la valeur classique du verbe: ‹ ne pas pouvoir / ​être incapable ›, plus souvent utilisé également dans les papyrus, mais avec un petit nombre de témoignages ptolémaïques (11), tous autour de la moitié du IIe siècle av. J.-C.42 c) Cependant, la plupart des passages de la Septante43 font état d’une nouvelle acception: ‹ être impossible / ​trop difficile › comme traduction du niqtal de pālāʾ (hăyippālēʾ), costruit avec mîn, rendu en grec par le préverbe παρά ‹ de la part de ›, qui renvoie souvent à Dieu, comme dans la Gn 18,14: μὴ ἀδυνατεῖ παρὰ τῷ θεῷ ῥῆμα. Dans 2 Par (= 2 Ch) 14,10 Asa invoque YHWH son Dieu en lui disant: « Seigneur, il n’est pas impossible de ta part de sauver » (οὐκ ἀδυνατεῖ παρὰ σοὶ 41  Gn 18,14; Lv 25,35; Dt 17,8; Jb 4,4; 42,2; Za 8,6 (2x); Is 8,15. Nous trouvons deux occurrences ajoutées dans le texte grec (2 Par [ = 2 Ch] 14,11; Jb 10,13) et deux dans la Sg (12,9; 13,16). 42 PPar 63, I–VI = UPZ I, 110,I,13, Memphis, 21 septembre 164 av. J.-C. (‹ ceux qui ne peuvent pas › cultiver la terre τῶν ἀδυνατούντων γεωργεῖν); III, 89–90 (τοὺς ἄλ[λ]ους τοὺς ἀδυνατοῦντας ἀναγκά / ​ζειν ἐπιδέχεσθαι τὰ τῆς γεωργίας); V, 132–133 (τῶν ἄλ[λων] τῶν ἀδυνατούντων); 140 (τοὺς ἀδυνατήσοντας προσκαλεῖται); 149–150 (ἀδυ / ​ν[ατ]ούντων γεωργεῖν, v. r. 13) (= CPJud I, 132), correspondance entre le dioiketes Herodes et Onias sur l’interprétation d’un prostagma royal); PPar 35,36 (163 av. J.-C.); 63,13–14.89–90 (165 av. J.-C.) = UPZ I, 6, pétition, Memphis, après le 19 octobre 163 av. J.-C.; StudPal 14,2 = UPZ I, 114,I,21, Memphis, 3 mai 150 av. J.-C., grec-démotique, quittances de la banque royale de Memphis et StudPal 14, 3 = UPZ I, 114,II,20, Memphis, 21 mai 148 av. J.-C. (ἀδυνατεῖ διαγράψαι τὰ ὀφειλόμενα « on ne peut pas transcrire les dettes »); PDryton I, 31,7, 140–130 av. J.-C.: καὶ διαγεγραφὼς εἰς ταῦτα μέρος τι τὸ δὲ λοιπὸν διασυνεσταμένος [τοῖς ἀ]ν̣δράσιν καὶ ἀ̣δ̣υ̣[νατ]ῶν τάξασθα̣[ι – ca.? –]. 43 Gn 18,14; Dt 17,8; 2 Par (= 2 Ch) 14,10; Za 8,6, deux fois; Jb 10,13LXX; 42,2; Sg 12,9.


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σῴζειν ἐν πολλοῖς καὶ ἐν ὀλίγοις au milieu de beaucoup comme au milieu de peu [d’ennemis]).44 C’est toujours à Dieu que se réfère Za 8,6, la deuxième fois qu’apparaît le syntagme ἀδυνατήσει ἐνώπιον « il sera impossible devant », pour traduire kî yippālēʾ beʿênê ([« si c’est impossible aux yeux de »]: εἰ ἀδυνατήσει ἐνώπιον τῶν καταλοίπων τοῦ λαοῦ τούτου ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις μὴ καὶ ἐνώπιον ἐμοῦ ἀδυνατήσει λέγει κύριος παντοκράτωρ). La première fois que la forme apparaît, elle se réfère au contraire à un sujet humain, comme Dt 17,8 (yippālēʾ), où il est question du comportement du peuple d’Israël: ἐὰν δὲ ἀδυνατήσῃ ἀπὸ σοῦ ῥῆμα. Quant à la façon d’agir de Dieu, Jb 10,13LXX reprend Jb 42,2, « je sais que tu peux tout faire, rien n’est impossible pour toi » (οἶδα ὅτι πάντα δύνασαι ἀδυνατεῖ δέ σοι οὐθέν). Le traducteur rend ainsi explicite l’expression du TM: « je sais que tu pensais de la sorte » (litt.: « je sais que ceci était avec toi ») en ajoutant πάντα δύνασαι ἀδυνατεῖ δέ σοι οὐθέν.45 Sg 12,9 reste sur la même ligne sémantique (οὐκ ἀδυνατῶν ‹ il ne t’était pas impossible ›, qui se réfère au Seigneur). Nous ne disposons pas, pour le moment, de témoignages documentaires quant à ce dernier sens. c) Attestations en dehors de la Septante. Il existe un autre cas, différent, celui de ἐτασμός ‹ preuve ›, dans Gn 12,17, où l’on trouve également le verbe corradical ἐτάζω:46 καὶ ἤτασεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν Φαραω ἐτασμοῖς μεγάλοις καὶ πονηροῖς καὶ τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ περὶ Σαρας τῆς γυναικὸς Αβραμ. C’est là le seul passage dans lequel nous avons un correspondant hébreu (negaʿ, ‹ coup ›); les deux autres se trouvent dans Jdt 8,27 et 2 M 7,37. Le verbe ἐτάζω est attesté par Euripide (Bacchae 478, fr. 1048,4) et Platon (Cratylus 410d) avec le sens d’enquêter, mais la forme simple est nettement moins fréquente que la forme composée. 44   L. C. L.  Brenton, The Septuagint with Apocrypha, London: Bagster, 1851; réimpression Grand Rapids (MI): Zondervan, 1995, 584: « O Lord it is not impossible with thee to save by many or by few ». D. Sänger (éd.), « Paraleipomenon II », W. Kraus, M. Karrer (éds.), Septuaginta Deutsch. Das Griechische Alte Testament in deutscher Übersetzung, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2009, 518–550, 529: « Bei dir ist es nicht unmöglich durch viele oder wenige Rettung zu verschaffen?» 45  L’allitération kî-kōl tûkāl de l’hébreu est conservée par les traducteurs, quoique les sons en soient différents (δύνασαι ἀδυνατεῖ δέ σοι οὐθέν). 46 Le verbe se retrouve 16x dans la Septante pour rendre 6 différentes racines hébraïques (5 passages ne sont pas accompagnés de l’original hébreu: 1 Es 9,16 ; Jb 33,17 ; DnSu 51 ; Sg 2,19 ; 6,6); v. aussi, en dehors de la Septante, TestJos 16,6; Apocryphe d’Ézéquiel 64,70,15 [cf. A.-M. Denis, Concordance Grecque des Pseudepigraphes de l’Ancien Testament, Louvain-la-Neuve: Université Catholique de Louvain, 1987, 906]. Le cod. Parisiensis gr. 2316, fol. 380v contient l’introduction et le préambule du texte grec de l‘Apocalypse de Daniel (VIII,175,22) – œuvre connue seulement en traduction en langue persane tardive – qui parle de faire un essai εἰς ἐτασμόν.

Le vocabulaire de la Septante à la lumière des papyrus


Dans la Septante ἐτάζω traduit ḥqr ‹ explorer, rechercher › (Jb 32,11;47 Jr 17,10; Lm 3,40), drš ‹ rechercher › (Dt 13,14; 1 Par [= 1 Ch] 28,9 où la tradition manu­ scrite oscille entre la forme simple et celle composée); bḥn ‹ distinguer, examiner › (1 Par [= 1 Ch] 29,17; Ps 7,9; 138[139],23) et bqš ‹ chercher, examiner › (Est 2,23; le TM est impersonnelle: « après enquête [wayebuqqaš] le fait se révéla exact… » mais dans la Septante c’est le roi qui ‹ mit sous enquête › les deux eunuques’: ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς ἤτασεν τοὺς δύο εὐνούχους). Dans JbLXX nous trouvons également le substantif ἔτασις, non documenté ailleurs dans la littérature grecque ancienne. Le substantif pourrait être une formation de la Septante (10,17; 12,6; 31,14) qui assume une valeur juridique étant donné qu’elle traduit deux expressions hébraïques d’un contexte légal ʿēd dans le premier cas et le verbe qûm ‹ agir comme juge › dans le dernier. In 12,6 il s’agit d’un ajout de la Septante. Dans les papyrus nous trouvons le PSorb 1, 9, lettre administrative, Hermoupolis Magna, 27 mai 268: φησὶν δὲ πρὸς τὸν ἐτασμὸν τῶν κατηγορουμένων σώματά αὐτῶι παεῖναι ‹ en vue de l’examen des chefs d’accusation certaines personnes sont à sa disposition ›. Le lexème est également extrêmement rare dans la littérature grecque, où apparaît le composé ἐξετασμός, employé par Démosthène (De corona 18,16) et par Dionyse d’Halicarnasse48 (Ier siècle av. J.-C.). De ce substantif composé, nous possédons une attestation ancienne: Théopompe de Chios (IVe siècle av. J.-C.), retrouvé par B. P. Grenfell et A. S. Hunt avec les Hellenica Oxyrynchia, qui présente la forme composée ἐξετασμός.49 Le substantif ἐξετασμός est utilisé 3x dans la Septante (Jg 5,16 pour ḥēqer, ‹ recherche ›, de la racine ḥāqar; Pr 1,32 pour šalwāh ‹ sûreté, confiance en luimême ›; et Sg 4,6 avec valeur de ‹ examen, interrogatoire ›). Le verbe corradical ἐξετάζω se trouve 14x, dont 3x pour traduire dāraš (Dt 13,14; 19,18; 1 Par [= 1 Ch] 28,9 [la tradition manuscrite oscille entre la forme simple et composée]) et 2x pour bāḥan (Ps 10[11],5–6 2x). Dans les 5x de Si, en Si 18,20; 23,10 le correspondant hébraïque n’est pas parvenu; en Si 3,21 nous trouvons ḥāqar dans le Ms A et dāraš dans le Ms C. Si 11,7 (Mss A et B) et 13,11 (Ms A) ont ḥāqar.50

47 Symmaque a le verbe composé, comme dans 36,23 et dans Qo 9,7 au lieu de εὐδόκησεν de la Septante (Dieu est le sujet), qui traduit rāṣāh. 48 Dionysius Halicarnassensis, Epistula ad Pompeium Geminum “Dionysii Halicarnasei quae exstant, volume 6” (éds. H. Usener, L. Radermacher), Leipzig: Teubner, 1929, 1965, 6, 8, 2 καί μοι δοκεῖ πως ὁ μυθευόμενος ἐν Ἅιδου τῶν ψυχῶν ἀπολυθεισῶν τοῦ σώματος ἐξετασμὸς ἐπὶ τῶν ἐκεῖ δικαστῶν οὕτως ἀκριβὴς εἶναι ὡς ὁ διὰ τῆς Θεοπόμπου γραφῆς γιγνόμενος. 49 Theopompus, Testimonia, FGrH #115,8 (Jacoby 2b,115,T, fr. 20a, 38: καί μοι δοκεῖ πως ὁ μυθευόμενος ἐν Ἅιδου τῶν ψυχῶν ἀπολυθεισῶν τοῦ σώματος ἐξετασμὸς ἐπὶ τῶν ἐκεῖ δικαστῶν οὕτως ἀκριβὴς εἶναι ὡς ὁ διὰ τῆς Θεοπόμπου γραφῆς γιγνόμενος); B. P. Grenfell, A. S.  Hunt, Hellenica Oxyrhynchia cum Theopompi et Cratippi fragmentis recognoverunt brevique adnotatione critica instruxerunt …, Oxford: Clarendon, 1909. 50  Cf. P. C.  Beentjes, A Text Edition of all Extant Hebrew Manuscripts & A Synopsis of all Parallel Hebrew Ben Sira Texts, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1997,


Anna Passoni Dell’Acqua

La Septante fait aussi état du substantif ἐξέτασις ‹ recherche, examen › (Sg 1,9; 3 M 7,5) qui se trouve chez les orateurs (Lysias, In Diogitonem 5; Or. 17, fr. 35; Demosthène, De corona 226,2; 310,2; 320,9; Adversus Leptinem 139,3), chez les philosophes (Platon, Charmides 172b; Theaetetus 210c; Philebus 55c; Apologia Socratis 22e) et chez les historiens (Thucydide, Historiae IV, 74,3; VI, 41,4; 45,1; 96,3; 97,3; Xénophon [5x: Anabasis, 3x: Hellenica, 1x: Oeconomicus]); Callimaque (Epigramma 53,3) utilise ἐξέτασις dans le sens de ‹ preuve ›. Dans la Septante, nous trouvons aussi l’adjectif verbal ἐξεταστέον ‹ à enquêter › (2 M 2,29) employé seulement par Platon (Res publica 599a).51 Dieu est souvent celui qui ‹ met à l’épreuve › (ἐτάζω: Gn 12,17; 1 Par [= 1 Ch] 28,9; 29,17; Jb 36,23; Ps 7,952 ; 138[139],23; Jr 17,1053 ; ἐξετάζω: Ps 10[11],5–6; Sg 6,3; 11,10] et l’objet, avec le verbe simple, est fréquemment l’homme ou son cœur (1 Par [= 1 Ch] 28,9 ; 29,17 ; Ps 7,9 ; 138[139],23 ; Jr 17,10]). La littérature juive en grec adopte le verbe ἐξετάζω en deux endroits très intéressants: la Lettre d’Aristée § 32 et le Testament de Gad 7,3. Le premier se trouve dans le discours de Démétrios de Phalère adressé au roi Ptolémée, où sont énoncées les caractéristiques des traducteurs et la méthode de traduction, qui doivent être spécifiées dans la lettre au grand prêtre Éléazar.54 Le verbe ἐξετάζω exprime la recherche d’un accord final: une seule traduction, exécutée avec soin, résultat des versions indépendantes des différents traducteurs : τὸ σύμφωνον ἐκ τῶν πλειόνων ἐξετάσαντες καὶ λαβόντες τὸ κατὰ τὴν ἑρμηνείαν ἀκριβές. Le Testament de Gad (7,3) met dans la bouche du patriarche une invitation, adressée à ses fils, de ‹ rechercher les jugements (c’est-à-dire la loi) de Dieu › (ἐξέτασον κρίματα κυρίου) (cf. Lv 18,4). Dans Jb 13,9 le traducteur Ἄλλος a choisi le verbe ἐτάζειν à la place de ἐξιχνιάζω de la Septante pour traduire la racine hébraïque ḥāqar. 51 Les fragments hexaplaires attestent l’emploi de ἐξεταστής ‹ contrôleur ›, attribué au Seigneur, par le traducteur Ἄλλος en Ps 10(11),5 où la Septante utilise le verbe corradical: κύριος ἐξετάζει τὸν δίκαιον. La seule attestation de ἐξεταστής dans la littérature grecque se trouve chez Aristote, Politica 1322b, 11 (au pluriel). In SB XXVII, 16652,2 [rééd. de PLod III, 1177], 166/167 ap. J.-C., Ptolemais Euergetis, le gymnasiarque Demetrios est défini ἐξεταστής de l’approvisionnement en eau de la ville. 52 Théodotion adopte le substantif ἐταστής, non utilisé par la Septante. 53 Ici le Seigneur se présente lui-même: ‹ celui qui met à l’épreuve les cœurs et essaye les reins ›: ἐγὼ κύριος ἐτάζων καρδίας καὶ δοκιμάζων νεφρούς. 54 …γραφήσεται πρὸς τὸν ἀρχιερέα τὸν ἐν ῾Ιεροσολύμοις, ἀποστεῖλαι τοὺς μάλιστα καλῶς βεβιωκότας καὶ πρεσβυτέρους ὄντας ἄνδρας, ἐμπείρους τῶν κατὰ τὸν νόμον τὸν ἑαυτῶν, ἀφ’ ἑκάστης φυλῆς ἕξ, ὅπως τὸ σύμφωνον ἐκ τῶν πλειόνων ἐξετάσαντες καὶ λαβόντες τὸ κατὰ τὴν ἑρμηνείαν ἀκριβές, ἀξίως καὶ τῶν πραγμάτων καὶ τῆς σῆς προαιρέσεως, θῶμεν εὐσήμως. A. Pelletier, Lettre d’Aristée à Philocrate. Introduction, texte critique, traduction et notes, index complet des mots grecs (SC 89), Paris: Cerf, 1962, 121–123: « on écrira au grand prêtre de Jérusalem d’envoyer des hommes des plus honorables, des Anciens, compétents dans la science de leur Loi, six de chaque tribu, afin qu’en faisant soumettre à l’examen ce qui aura obtenu l’accord de la majorité et en obtenant ainsi une interprétation exacte, nous établissons brillamment un texte digne de l’État et des intentions ».

Le vocabulaire de la Septante à la lumière des papyrus


Dans les papyrus, la famille lexicale de ἐτάζω est documentée seulement à l’époque impériale, à partir du IIe siècle ap. J.-C., et uniquement aux formes composées, surtout pour le verbe, avec la valeur de ‹ inspecter ›55. Les plus anciennes attestations des substantifs sont: pour ἐξετασμός, un ostrakon (O.Narm 2,13–14, IIe–IIIe siècles ap. J.-C.); pour ἐξέτασις PHamb I, 60,3, 90 ap. J.-C.; PGen I, 4,18, Ier siècle ap. J.-C.

6. Conclusion Les continuelles découvertes de nouveaux documents et la publication de centaines d’inédits chaque année, sans tenir compte des caisses provenant des fouilles de Grenfell et Hunt à Oxyrynchus, qui dorment à l’Ashmolaean Museum d’Oxford, font que nous ne sommes jamais sûrs des résultats obtenus, mais nous offrent la joie de grandes perspectives pour l’avenir, où nous assisterons à l’apparition d’un nombre croissant de données qui nous permettront de poursuivre dans la connaissance. En tant que témoins des débuts du Lexicon, nous avons une grande responsabilité: tradere, faire passer notre intérêt aux jeunes, aux plus jeunes, leur transmettre notre enthousiasme pour ce travail: la recherche future, fondée sur des textes nouveaux publiés au fur et à mesure, pourra offrir d’immenses satisfactions pour les nouvelles découvertes. Les conclusions que nous en tirerons devront être souvent revues, des formes classées comme des termes fabriqués par les traducteurs / ​ auteurs de la Septante pourront ne plus être considérées comme telles à partir du moment où elles seront retrouvées dans un autre document.

Appendice N. Reggiani, Digital Papyrology I: Methods, Tools and Trends, Berlin, Boston: W. de Gruyter, 2017. Éditions et études papyrologiques disponibles en libre accès sur internet à partir de la Checklist of Greek, Latin, Demotic and Coptic Papyri, Ostraca and Tablets [https://www. ​ ​L​1​1​3​6​8​ 3​8​5​6​4​6​3​8​9​0​1​6​4​1​_​C​h​e​c​k​l​i​s​t​_​a​v​e​c​_​u​r​l​_​d​e​s​_​p​d​f​_​_​9​X​I​I​1​7​_​.pdf] (dernière mise à jour: decembre 2017). P. Mastrandrea (éd.), Strumenti digitali e collaborativi per le Scienze delle Antichità (Antichistica Filologia e letteratura 14/3, Edizioni Ca’ Foscari, Digital Publishing, Venezia 2017 [] La sitographie a été mise à jour le 30 août 2018. 55 P. ex. PWorp (PLugdBat XXXIII), 19,16,144/145(?) ap. J.-C.; SB XXI, 14662,II,13, Arsinoites, 154 ap. J.-C.; édit de M. Sempronius Liberalis SB XXVII, 168, IIe sec. ap. J.-C.; PGen III,143; SB XXVII, 16506,2; 16731,5 du IIe sec. ap. J.-C. ; BGU IV, 1125,13 av. J.-C., contrat d’apprentissage de l’esclave Narkissos en qualité de auletes, serait le document le plus ancien du verbe, qui est en lacune.

Die Blöße der Stadt-Frauen: Überlegungen zur Verwendung der Substantive αἰσχύνη und ἀσχημοσύνη in der Septuaginta Nesina Grütter Den Ausgangspunkt für den vorliegenden Beitrag bildet ein uneinheitlicher Textbefund in verschiedenen Handschriften der Septuaginta-Übersetzungen1 der so genannten Stadt-Frauen-Passagen in Nah  3,5; Ez  16,36.37; 23,10.18.29 und Jes 47,3. Bei genauerer Betrachtung weisen diese Stellen drei Gemeinsamkeiten auf: 1. Sie schildern mit einer politisch(‑religiösen) Metapher die öffentliche Ent­blößung einer Frau, die im Text eine Stadt (und deren Bewohner und Bewohnerinnen) repräsentiert. 2.  Das von der Frau Entblößte wird im masoretischen Text mit mʿr, ʿrwh bzw. ʿryh, vokalisiert maʿar, ʿærwâ bzw. ʿæryâ bezeichnet (allesamt Derivate der Wurzel ʿrh).2 3.  Für jede Stelle bezeugen eine oder mehrere griechische Handschriften (in jeweils unterschiedlichen Kombinationen) zwei verschiedene Äquivalente für diese Derivate, nämlich αἰσχύνη und ἀσχημοσύνη. Wie sich der dritte Punkt der obigen Aufzählung, die Variationen der beiden Lesarten αἰσχύνη und ἀσχημοσύνη, erklären lässt, gilt es im Folgenden zu erhellen. Dazu erfolgt zuerst eine Diskussion der Bibelstellen und ihrer Bezüge zur Umwelt des Alten Testaments (1). Danach werden die drei Derivate der Wurzel 1 Der Begriff Septuaginta bezeichnet in diesem Beitrag „die jeweils ältesten bekannten Formen der Übersetzungen der einzelnen alttestamentlichen Bücher sowie der in Griechisch abgefassten Schriften […], wie man sie im Rahmen des Göttinger Septuaginta-Unternehmens wiederherzustellen bestrebt ist“, H.-J. Stipp, Das masoretische und alexandrinische Sondergut des Jeremiabuches. Textgeschichtlicher Rang, Eigenarten, Triebkräfte (OBO 136), Freiburg i.Ue.: Universitätsverlag / ​Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1994, 1–2 (dort auch Angaben zu anderweitigen Verwendungen des Begriffes). 2 Vgl. HALAT, 834–835. Eine weitere Stadtfrauen-Passage, Jer 13,22–27, wird hier nicht behandelt, da sie weder maʿar noch ʿærwâ noch ʿæryâ bietet und sich die Frage bezüglich αἰσχύνη und ἀσχημοσύνη nicht stellt. Nur am Rande (im fünften Teil dieses Beitrages) behandelt wird Hos 2,11(9); das Material, das Hosea seiner Modell-Ehefrau wegnehmen soll, diente ihr zwar zum Bedecken ihrer Blöße; es geht aber nicht um den direkten Vorgang des Entblößens und auch nicht um eine Stadtfrau. Auch Klgl 1,8 bleibt vorerst unberücksichtigt: Dort ist zwar ʿærwâ belegt, die Handschriften jedoch bieten einstimmig ἀσχημοσύνη. Dieser Befund muss in der Schlussauswertung aufgegriffen werden.

Die Blöße der Stadt-Frauen


ʿrh genauer erörtert (2). Anschließend wenden wir uns den griechischen Übersetzungen zu und analysieren die beiden zur Übersetzung der Stadt-Frauen-Passagen verwendeten Äquivalente für maʿar, ʿærwâ, ʿæryâ, ἀσχημοσύνη und αἰσχύνη (3). Darauf folgt ein Exkurs, der die beiden griechischen Lexeme auf dahinterstehende kulturelle Geschlechterkonzepte untersucht (4). Danach wird das Verhältnis der beiden Lesarten und ihre Gewichtung einzeln für jede Stelle und für die Stadt-Frauen-Passagen insgesamt ausgewertet (5). Abschließend werden verschiedene Erklärungen für den Befund erwogen (6).

1. Die Stadt-Frauen-Passagen: Charakterisierung und Rückbindung an die Umwelt des Alten Testaments Alle Stadt-Frauen-Passagen (Nah 3,5; Ez 16,36.37; 23,10.18.29 und Jes 47,3) bieten nicht nur einen gewalttätigen, sondern einen für heutige Ohren in seiner Bedeutung schwer erfassbaren Text. Uns fehlt der historische Kontext, und ohne diesen sind wir nicht in der Lage, die mit dem Code der damaligen Erfahrung verschlüsselte Botschaft beim ersten Hören oder Lesen zu dechiffrieren. Erst folgende Erläuterungen machen die Passagen für uns Heutige zugänglich: Im 8.–7. Jh. v. u. Z. gehörte die Levante zum Einzugsgebiet neuassyrischer Herrscher, die ihre Vasallenpolitik durchsetzten. Unterworfene Könige und Fürsten mussten sich an Verträge halten, die in ihren Formulierungen bereits die Strafen vorzeichneten, die dem unterworfenen Machthaber mitsamt seinem Gefolge widerfahren würden, sollte er den Vertrag brechen.3 Ein unseren Passagen sprachlich nahestehender, da in Aramäisch verfasster, Kontrakt liegt auf der Stele von Sefire vor. Dort werden die angedrohten Strafen mittels bildhafter Vergleiche ausgemalt. So würden beispielsweise der Herrscher und seine Entourage auseinandergeschnitten wie das Opfertier bei einem Bundesschluss, und allen ihren Frauen drohe wie einer Hure die öffentliche Entblößung.4 So wie beim angedrohten Zerteilen von Menschen wie dem von Opfertieren u. a. Szenen realer Kriegsgräuel anklingen, so schimmert auch beim Stadt-Frau-Bild die auch damaligen 3  Für Vergleiche neuassyrischer Verträge mit biblischen Texten vgl. z. B. C. R. Chapman, The Gendered Language of Warfare in the Israelite-Assyrian Encounter (HSM 62), Winona Lake. IN: Eisenbrauns, 2004; F. R. Magdalene, „Ancient Near Eastern Treaty-Curses and the Ultimative Texts of Terror. A Study of Language of Divine Sexual Abuse in the Prophetic Corpus“, A. Brenner (ed.), A Feminist Companion to the Latter Prophets (FCB 8), Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995, 326–352. 4 Stele I, A 40–41 (= KAI 222A 40–41): [… wʾyk z40y] ygzr ʿglʾ znh kn ygzr mtʿʾl wygzrn rbwh [wʾyk zy tʿ41rr z]n[yh] kn yʿrrn nšy mtʿʾl wnšy ʿqrh wnšy r[bwh …], [Just as] 40this calf is cut in two, so may Matiʿel be cut in two, and may his nobles be cut in two! [And just as] 41a [har]lot is stripped naked] [sic], so may the wives of Matiʿel be stripped naked, and the wives of his offspring, and the wives of [his] no[bles! …]. So die Rekonstruktion (in Umschrift) und die Übersetzung bei J. A.  Fitzmyer, The Aramaic Inscriptions of Sefîre (BibOr 19.2, überarbeitete Ausgabe), Rom: Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1995, 46–47.97–98; anders, aber weniger überzeugend die Übersetzung und Deutung in KAI II, 252.


Nesina Grütter

Adressatinnen und Adressaten bekannte Realität durch: sexuelle Übergriffe auf die weibliche Bevölkerung seitens erobernder Truppen.5 Nach dieser kurzen Anbindung der biblischen Stadt-Frauen-Passagen an ihr einstiges kulturelles Umfeld folgt hier eine Zusammenstellung der betreffenden Bibeltexte, bevor deren Rhetorik weiter erhellt wird:6 Nah 3,5: Sieh, ich gehe gegen dich [d.i. Ninive] vor, Spruch des HERRN der Heerscharen, und ich hebe dein Gewand hoch, bis über dein Gesicht, und lasse Nationen deine Blösse [maʿar] sehen und Königreiche deine Schande. Ez 16,36–37: So spricht Gott der HERR: Weil deine [d. h. Jerusalems] Monatsblutung sich ergossen hat und bei deiner Hurerei deine Scham [ʿærwâ] aufgedeckt wurde vor deinen Liebhabern und allen deinen abscheulichen Mistgötzen, und wegen des Bluts deiner Kinder, die du ihnen gegeben hast, 37darum, sieh, sammle ich alle deine Liebhaber, denen du gefallen hast, und all jene, die du geliebt hast, zusammen mit allen, die du gehasst hast! Und ich werde sie von ringsum gegen dich versammeln und deine Scham [ʿærwâ] vor ihnen aufdecken, und sie werden deine ganze Scham7 [ʿærwâ] sehen! Ez 23,10: Sie deckten ihre [d. h. Samaria] Blösse [ʿærwâ] auf, nahmen ihr die Söhne und Töchter, und sie selbst erschlugen sie mit dem Schwert, und so kam sie zu ihrem Ruf bei den Frauen, und man vollstreckte Strafgerichte an ihr. Ez 23,18: Und sie [d. h. Jerusalem] machte ihre Hurerei offenbar und deckte ihre Blösse [ʿærwâ] auf. Da wandte ich mich jäh von ihr ab, wie ich mich von ihrer Schwester abgewandt hatte. Ez 23,29: Und voll Hass werden sie mit dir [d. h. Jerusalem] verfahren: Alles was du erarbeitet hast, werden sie wegnehmen, und dich werden sie nackt und bloss [ʿæryâ] zurücklassen, und deine hurerische Blösse [ʿærwâ] wird aufgedeckt werden wie auch deine Schandtaten und deine Hurerei. 5  Vgl. Magdalene, „Ancient Near Eastern Treaty-Curses“, 333; P. Gordon, H.  C. Washington, „Rape as a Military Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible“, A. Brenner (ed.), A Feminist Companion to the Latter Prophets (FCB 8), Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995, 308–325. Die Texte sprechen von Abläufen, die sich bis heute nicht geändert haben, vgl. z. B. A. Lipinsky, „Kriegsgut Frau. Globale sexuelle Sklaverei in bewaffneten Konflikten“, P. Erbrath (ed.), Gewalt. Beiträge zur feministischen Theorie und Praxis 56/57, Köln: Eigenverlag des Vereins Beiträge zur feministischen Theorie und Praxis, 2001, 57–67. Dass bereits in den Vertragstexten respektive in den sich daran anlehnenden Bibeltexten eine sexuelle Schändung, teilweise gar seitens JHWHs vorliegt, räumen Magdalene, Fischer und Baumann ein, Berges und Berlejung wollen dies relativiert wissen. Vgl. Magdalene, „Ancient Near Eastern Treaty-Curses“, 326–352; G. Fischer, Jeremia (HThKAT), Freiburg i. Br.: Herder, 2005, 464; G. Baumann, „Das Buch Nahum. Der gerechte Gott als sexueller Gewalttäter“, L. Schottroff, C. Janssen (eds.), Kompendium Feministische Bibelauslegung, Gütersloh: Chr. Kaiser, Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 1998, 347–353; U. Berges, Das Buch Jesaja. Komposition und Endgestalt (HBS 16), Freiburg i. Br.: Herder, 1998, 485 f.; A.  Berlejung, „Erinnerungen an Assyrien in Nahum 2,4–3,19“, R. Lux, E.-J. Waschke (eds.), Die unwiderstehliche Wahrheit. Studien zur alttestamentlichen Prophetie. Festschrift für Arndt Meinhold (ArBG 23), Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2006, 323–356, hier 337 Fn. 64. 6 Geboten wird die Übersetzung des masoretischen Textes nach der Zürcher Bibel (2007), zur Verdeutlichung in Klammern ergänzt um das jeweilige Derivat der Wurzel ʿrh im status absolutus. 7 Die Zürcher Bibel bietet hier „Blösse“, um eine Wortwiederholung im selben Vers zu vermeiden.

Die Blöße der Stadt-Frauen


Jes 47,3: Deine [d.i. Babels] Scham [ʿærwâ] wird aufgedeckt, auch deine Schande kann man sehen!

Den Passagen ist gemeinsam, dass den Stadt-Frauen öffentliches Ausziehen angedroht wird und sie im unmittelbaren Kontext als Huren beschimpft und / ​oder der Hurerei bzw. hurerischer Taten bezichtigt werden.8 Im prophetischen Kontext geht die Benennung von (Stadt‑)Frauen als zônâ (Hure, Prostituierte) oft Hand in Hand mit der Androhung oder der Vision von (sexueller) Gewalt gegen jene. Möglicherweise führte der Rechtsstatus einer zônâ dazu, dass das Gewalthandeln an ihr als gerechtfertigt erachtet wurde.9 Die Typisierung einer Stadt als Hure ist zudem dankbar, weil sie auch – metaphorisch verschlüsselt – Wirtschaftskritik zum Ausdruck bringt: Die Naturalien und die Gegenstände, die die zônâ (oder allenfalls ihr Besitzer) als Tausch für sexuelle Leistungen erhält, stehen in dem Fall für Waren der politischen Handelspartner.10 Letztere lassen sich anhand der Waren identifizieren, die als Zahlgüter oder Tauschgeschenke (daher besser nicht als „Lohn“ bezeichnet) aufgeführt werden.11 Besonders bei einer kanonischen Lektüre der prophetischen Schriften zeigt sich die Vielfalt der Assoziationen, die mit der hurerischen Stadtfrau verbunden sind: Eine gesellschaftliche Rolle12, die vornehmlich Frauen innehaben, wird negativ bewertet, und wirtschaftlich sowie sozial, juristisch, moralisch, religiös und / ​oder sexuell konnotiert als Metapher auf eine Stadt angewendet. Die Metapher bringt dabei in schillernden Facetten, je nach Assoziation der Lesenden, verschiedene negative Aspekte der Stadt-Frau zur Geltung. Dabei bedient die

 8 In

dieser Hinsicht bildet die Jesaja-Stelle eine Ausnahme. Magdalene, „Ancient Near Eastern Treaty-Curses“, 326–352, und G. Baumann, „Das Buch Nahum“, 351. 10 Vgl. A. Ipsen, „Political Economy, Prostitution, and the Eschaton of the Whore Babylon. A Feminist Integration of Sex into an Economic Analysis of Revelation 17–19“, F. Crüsemann et al. (eds.), Dem Tod nicht glauben. Sozialgeschichte der Bibel. Festschrift für Luise Schottroff zum 70. Geburtstag, ed. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2004, 504–527. Leider arbeitet Ipsen, was das Vorkommen der Prostitutions-Metapher in den Prophetenbüchern des Alten Testaments anbelangt, mit einem den Texten nicht entsprechenden Vorverständnis der Schamdebatte. Sie wertet den wirtschaftlichen Aspekt der Metapher erst für die neutestamentlichen Texte aus, und zwar mittels außerbiblischer Quellen. 11 So z. B. in Ez 16 und 23, aber auch in Hos 2,11–14. 12  Vgl. W. G.  Lambert, „Prostitution“, V. Haas (ed.), Aussenseiter und Randgruppen. Beiträge zu einer Sozialgeschichte des Alten Orients (Xenia 32), Konstanz: Universitätsverlag, 1992, 127– 157. Demgegenüber wurde in der alttestamentlichen Wissenschaft lange Zeit fälschlicherweise auch von der sogenannten Kultprostitution ausgegangen, einem reinen Konstrukt der Wissenschaftsgeschichte des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts, vgl. hierzu: Chr. Stark, ‘Kultprostitution’ im Alten Testament? Die Qedeschen der Hebräischen Bibel und das Motiv der Hurerei (OBO 221), Freiburg i.Ue: Universitätsverlag / ​Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2006. Dieses Konstrukt verstellte den Blick auf die vielschichtige Realität hinter den Texten. Für eine Bearbeitung des Themas ohne das genannte Konstrukt siehe den Artikel von P. A. Bird, „To Play the Harlot. An Inquiry into an Old Testament Metaphor“, ead., Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities. Women and Gender in Ancient Israel, Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1997, 219–236.  9 Vgl.


Nesina Grütter

Metapher diverse Vorurteile gegen Huren (tyrannisch, unberechenbar, gierig, gefährlich, unmoralisch usw.) und schreibt diese zugleich (neu) fest.13 Zusammenfassend halten wir fest: Die prophetischen Texte, die den Stadt-Frauen die öffentliche Entblößung androhen, bedienen sich der Sprache der Verträge ihrer Zeit und deren bildlicher Drohgebärden, die in der Regel asymmetrische Machtverhältnisse voraussetzen. Dabei wollen die prophetischen Texte politisch-theologische Aussagen machen. Zumindest in ihrer Entstehungszeit konnte dieser Bezug wohl noch verstanden werden. Wie lange jedoch den Hörerinnen und Hörern der prophetischen Texte dieses kontextuell geformte Verständnis noch gegeben war, und ab wann sich die Metapher als innerbiblisches Motiv selbstständig und losgelöst vom einstigen Kontext weiterentwickelt hat, bleibt offen.

2. Bedeutung und Vorkommen von maʿar, ʿærwâ, ʿæryâ Nach diesen Bemerkungen zu den Stadt-Frauen-Passagen werden nun die drei hebräischen Lexeme besprochen, deren griechische Übersetzung mit αἰσχύνη bzw. ἀσχημοσύνη anschließend untersucht werden soll. Allen drei Bildungen, maʿar, ʿærwâ und ʿæryâ, liegt das Verbum ʿrh zugrunde, das im Mittelhebräischen (in den verschiedenen Stämmen Qal, Nifal, Piel, Hifil und Hitpael mit den entsprechend aktiven, passiven, faktitiven, reflexiven Bedeutungen) zwischen „(sich) entblößen“ und „ausschütten“, „ausleeren“ oszilliert.14 Die Nominalbildung ʿærwâ bezeichnet den Genitalbereich von Mann und Frau.15 Sie ist in der hebräischen Bibel 55mal belegt, davon 32mal in Lev 18,6–19 und 20,18–21. Dort sowie in Gen 9,22.23 (V. 23 mit zwei Belegen), in Ex 20,26; 28,42, in 1 Sam  20,30, sowie in Ez 16,8.37; 22,10, in Klgl 1,8, in Hos 2,9(11) und in den sieben im vorliegenden Artikel behandelten Belegen (Nah  3,5, Ez  16,36.37; 23,10.18.29 und Jes  47,3) bezeichnet das Wort die Genitalien an sich. Aus dem Kontext wird klar, dass es sich um etwas Privates handelt, dessen Anblick durch „Unbefugte“ sich nicht ziemt, weder für die Exponierten noch für die Betrachtenden. Das Substantiv ʿærwâ wird darüber hinaus zweimal in Gen 42,9.12 für eine geographische Beschreibung („Blöße des Landes“) benutzt. In Dtn 23,15; 24,1 ist das Lexem im status constructus, gefolgt von dābār, belegt. Diese Verbindung wird verwendet, wenn von Grenzüberschreitungen im sozialen 13 Es sind dies Typisierungen, die auch heute noch greifen und Realitäten schaffen, vgl. G. Pheterson, Huren-Stigma: Wie man aus Frauen Huren macht, Hamburg: Galgenberg, 1990. Aufgrund dieser negativen Assoziationen und der androzentrischen Perspektive der Texte ist (trotz der ebenfalls anklingenden wirtschaftlichen Implikationen) für die deutsche Übersetzung das Substantiv „Hure“ den Äquivalenten „Prostituierte“ oder „Sexsklavin“ vorzuziehen. 14 Vgl. HALAT, 834 f. Eine Verwandtschaft besteht zudem zum akkadischen erû(m) V und arû VII, „nackt sein“, im D-Stamm „entblößen“; vgl. W. von Soden, Akkadisches Handwörterbuch, 3 Bände, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1965, 247–248. 15 Vgl. HALAT, 835.

Die Blöße der Stadt-Frauen


Zusammenleben die Rede ist, und zwar wenn Dinge, die mit Genitalien oder Exkrementen zu tun haben und verborgen bleiben sollen, offen sichtbar werden. Hinsichtlich der Übersetzung ins Griechische gilt festzuhalten, dass der Begriff in Gen 9,22.23 mit γύμνωσις „Nacktheit, Entblößung“, in Gen 42,9.12 mit ἴχνη „Pfade“ und in 1 Sam 20,30 (einziger Beleg in den Samuelbüchern) mit ἀποκάλυψις „Aufdeckung, Enthüllung“ übersetzt wird. Ansonsten wird ʿærwâ stets mit ἀσχημοσύνη „Schande“ übersetzt16, wobei präzisiert werden muss, dass hier für wenige Stellen die beiden Lesarten αἰσχύνη und ἀσχημοσύνη belegt sind. Und zwar ist dies fast nur in den Stadt-Frauen-Passagen der Fall17, also wenn weibliche Blöße bezeichnet wird. Demgegenüber kommt es nicht einmal in Ez 22,10, wo es um diejenige des Vaters geht, zu einer Verwirrung; es wird dort mit ἀσχημοσύνη übersetzt. Das Substantiv ʿæryâ bedeutet „Nacktheit“, „Blöße“18 und ist lediglich sechsmal belegt, zweimal davon im Zwölfprophetenbuch, so in Mi 1,11 als Bezeichnung für eine Stadt-Frau, die „nackt“ in Schande gehen muss. Wörtlich zu übersetzen ist die Konstruktusverbindung mit bōšæt am besten mit „die Entblößung, die Schande ist“. Durch diese Übersetzung wird sichtbar, dass das Nacktsein, das Entblößtwerden, erst im Kontext einer erniedrigenden Bestrafung als Schande gedeutet wird, nicht an sich, was sich auch in der parallelen Nennung von qālôn in Nah 3,5 bzw. ḥærpâ in Jes 47,3, beide in der Bedeutung von „Schande“, zeigt. In Hab 3,9 steht ʿæryâ als Beschreibung für einen vorbereiteten (entblößten, da ausgepackten) Bogen. In Mi 1,11 liest der griechische Text eine andere Vorlage oder deutet seine Vorlage anders. Jedenfalls bietet er kein Äquivalent für das Substantiv ʿæryâ des masoretischen Textes. In Hab 3,9 wird als Äquivalent das Partizip aktiv von ἐντείνω „spannend“ für den bereiten Bogen geboten. Die vier verbleibenden Belege von ʿæryâ finden sich in Ez  16,7.22.29 und 23,29, also den Stadt-Frauen-Passagen. Die Übersetzer markierten den Unterschied zwischen ʿæryâ und ʿærwâ dadurch, dass sie im Griechischen ʿæryâ mit dem Partizip des zu ἀσχημοσύνη gehörigen Verbums ἀσχημονέω wiedergaben. Die einzige Variation bezüglich der zu ἀσχημοσύνη bzw. αἰσχύνη gehörigen Verben liegt in Ez 23,29 vor: Neben der zu erwartenden Übersetzung mit dem Partizip von ἀσχημονέω bietet der Codex Vaticanus als alleiniger Zeuge das Partizip von αἰσχύνω. Das Wort maʿar ist neben Nah 3,5, wo es ebenfalls den Genitalbereich bezeichnet, nur noch in 1 Kön 7,36 belegt. Dort beschreibt es einen Leerraum zwischen kunstvollen Gravuren auf den Kesselwagen des Hauses des Herrn. Auch 16 Eine Ausnahme stellt die (scheinbare) Übersetzung des ersten Beleges von ʿærwâ in Ez 16,37 mit dem Plural von κακία dar. Es dürfte sich dabei aber um eine andere Lesart der hebräischen Vorlage handeln, vgl. die Anmerkungen hierzu im Schlussteil dieses Beitrages. 17 Die zwei Ausnahmen bilden Ex 20,26 und Lev 18,9. In Ex 20,26 (Blöße beim Altar) wird αἰσχύνη von zwei Minuskeln (15 und 125), in Lev 18,9 von einer Minuskel (71), für das zweite ἀσχημοσύνη, geboten. Für die übrigen 31 Belege von ἀσχημοσύνη in Lev 18 sind keine Varianten mehr bezeugt. 18 Vgl. HALAT, 836.


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hier lasen die Übersetzer eine andere Vorlage oder deuteten ihre Vorlage so anders, dass der griechische Text kein Äquivalent für das Substantiv maʿar des masoretischen Textes bietet. Die bisherigen Ausführungen haben somit folgendes gezeigt: 1.  Für unsere drei Begriffe ʿærwâ, ʿæryâ und maʿar kommt das griechische Standardäquivalent ἀσχημοσύνη zum Einsatz. 2.  Das Substantiv ἀσχημοσύνη konkurriert fast nur in den Stadt-Frauen-Texten mit der Lesart αἰσχύνη.19 Das Substantiv αἰσχύνη tritt sonst als Äquivalent für Derivate der Wurzel bwš I (qal: „sich schämen“, hi. „zu Schanden machen“, „schändlich handeln“, „beschämt werden“)20 auf. In insgesamt 48 Belegen kann αἰσχύνη ein formales Äquivalent im masoretischen Text zugeordnet werden. Dabei entspricht es 23mal bōšæt „Schande“, „Scham“, „Schändlichkeit“21, viermal bûšâ „Beschämung“22 und viermal einer finiten Form von bwš I.23 Die übrigen Belege rufen bei einem Blick auf die hebräischen Äquivalente u. a. in Erinnerung, dass in den hebräischen Texten neben bwš I noch andere Wurzeln für die Thematik von Scham und Schande benutzt werden, so auch noch Wortbildungen zu klm, qlh, und ḥrp.24 Derivate von ʿrh fallen zwar auch manchmal im Kontext von Scham und Schande. Mit ihnen selbst sind aber im Hebräischen keine moralischen Wertvorstellungen verbunden, wie sie in Diskursen um Scham und Schande verhandelt werden. Hingegen werden  – wenn eine Wiedergabe mit αἰσχύνη erfolgt  – die weiblichen Genitalien der Stadtfrauen in den griechischen Übersetzungen direkt mit Scham und Schande in Verbindung gebracht, nicht aber die männlichen, wie bereits erwähnt die Übersetzung mit γύμνωσις in Gen 9,22–23 und jene mit ἀσχημοσύνη in Ez 22,10 gezeigt hat. Bereits an dieser Stelle muss ein erstes Mal darauf aufmerksam gemacht werden, dass beim Übersetzen der Stadt-Frauen-Passagen ja auch verschiedene Konzepte von Scham und Schande aufeinandertreffen: Die hebräischen sind nicht von vornherein mit den griechischen gleichzusetzen.25 Zudem dürften viele der Septuaginta-Übersetzer wohl in einem kulturellen  Detailliert wird der Handschriftenbefund im fünften Teil dieses Beitrages analysiert.  Vgl. HALAT, 112. 21  Vgl. HALAT, 158. 22 Vgl. HALAT, 113. 23 Vgl. E. Hatch, H. A.  Redpath, A Concordance to the Septuagint and the other Greek Versions of the Old Testament (Including the Apocrypha), Oxford: Clarendon, 1897–1906; revised second edition, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998, 37. 24  Diese Wurzeln und die damit verbundenen Bedeutungen und Konstrukte von Scham‑ und Schandevorstellungen wurden verschiedentlich behandelt, vgl. z. B. M. A. Klopfenstein, Scham und Schande nach dem Alten Testament. Eine begriffsgeschichtliche Untersuchung zu den hebräischen Wurzeln bôš, klm und ḥpr (AThANT 62), Zürich: Theologischer Verlag Zürich, 1972; J. Stiebert, The Construction of Shame in the Hebrew Bible. The Prophetic Contribution (JSOTSupp 346), Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002; T. M. Lemos, „Shame and Mutilation of Enemies in the Hebrew Bible“, JBL 125, 2006, 225–241. 25 Vgl. M. Herzfeld, „Honour and Shame. Problems in the Comparative Analysis of Moral Systems“, Man, New Series 15, 1980, 339–351; J. Stiebert, The Construction of Shame, 165–173. 19 20

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Schmelztiegel gewirkt haben. Ob sie aber noch die Beziehungen zu den neoassyrischen Vasallenverträgen herstellen konnten, lässt sich jedoch kaum sagen.

3. Die Substantive ἀσχημοσύνη und αἰσχύνη in der griechischen Sprachentwicklung Die Tatsache, dass in den hier thematisierten Passagen erstaunlicherweise beide Lesarten αἰσχύνη und ἀσχημοσύνη belegt sind, spiegelt die historische Komplexität wider, in der die Übersetzungen entstanden und weiter überliefert wurden. Hebräische Konzepte mussten nämlich in die griechische Sprache, der wiederum ein anderes Scham‑ und Schande-Konzept zugrunde lag, übersetzt werden. Nach der Erörterung der hebräischen Lexeme kommen daher jetzt die griechischen Äquivalente und ihre sprachgeschichtliche Entwicklung in den Blick. Wie bei vielen Wörtern ist bei ἀσχημοσύνη (seit Platon und Aristoteles bezeugt), einem Derivat des Aorists von ἔχω mit alpha privativum, über die Zeit hinweg eine Bedeutungsveränderung festzustellen. Vereinfacht gesagt, lässt sich diese so skizzieren, dass ἀσχημοσύνη sich von der Bedeutung „Unschicklichkeit“, „Hässlichkeit“, „Missgestalt“, „Unehrenhaftigkeit“ (neben „Formlosigkeit“ in mathematischen und physikalischen Diskursen) hin zu der Bedeutung „unmoralisches oder obszönes Verhalten“ in römischer Zeit entwickelt hat. Dabei konnte zu jeder Zeit ein moralisch negatives Urteil mit der Verwendung des Wortes impliziert sein.26 Auch αἰσχύνη  – abzuleiten von αἰσχρός „hässlich“  – hat eine ähnliche Bedeutungsentwicklung durchlaufen, die man mit wenigen Worten wie folgt skizzieren kann: Die Bedeutung „Schande“, „Schändung“, „Entehrung“ – diese hing ursprünglich mit dem Verständnis von Schändung u. a. als körperliche Verunstaltung zusammen  – im attischen und ionischen Griechisch weicht mehr und mehr der Bedeutung „Scham“, „Schamgefühl“ (wodurch αἰσχύνη mit αἰδῶς überlappte und letzteres in der Alltagssprache immer mehr verdrängte).27 26 Vgl. H. Frisk, Griechisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, 3 Bände, Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1954–1972, 602–604; H. G. Liddell, R. Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon. Ninth Edition, revised and augmented throughout by Sir Henry Stuart Jones with the assistance of Roderick McKenzie (=  LSJ), Oxford: Clarendon, 1940, 269; J. H. Moulton, G. Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament illustrated from the papyri and other non-literary sources (= MM), London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1914–1929, 88; N. Grütter, R. Vergari, art. „ἀσχημονέω – ἀσχημοσύνη – ἀσχήμων“, E. Bons, J. Joosten (eds.), Historical and Theological Lexicon of the Septuagint (= HTLS), Band 1, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, erscheint 2019. 27 Vgl. P. Chantraine, Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque: Histoire des mots, 4 fasc., Paris: Klincksieck, 1968–1980; Neuedition 2009, 38–39; LSJ, 43–44; MM, 15; T. Muraoka, Hebrew / ​Aramaic Index to the Septuagint. Keyed to the Hatch-Redpath Concordance. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998, 24; B. Snell et alii (eds.), Lexikon des frühgriechischen Epos, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1955–2010, 384–386; R. Bultmann, Art. αἰσχύνω, ThWNT 1 (1933) 188–190; N. Grütter, R. Brucker, Art. αἰσχύνη – αἰσχύνω, HTLS, Band 1 (erscheint 2019).


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Die beiden Lexeme αἰσχύνη und ἀσχημοσύνη sind nicht miteinander etymologisch verwandt, obwohl sie sich, je länger man sich mit ihnen beschäftigt, gedanklich und auch in der sprachlichen Entwicklung einander annähern. Jedoch sind αἰσχύνη und ἀσχημοσύνη zwei unterschiedliche Begriffe, die im Griechischen nicht einfach verwechselt werden konnten, weil sie etwa deckungsgleiche Synonyme wären  – auch wenn in unserer Sprache der Unterschied zwischen „unehrenhaft“ und „schamvoll“ schwer zu benennen ist.28 Zudem bleibt anzumerken, dass αἰσχύνη ein gebräuchliches Wort ist, währenddessen ἀσχημοσύνη seltener belegt ist. Bereits in der Wahl von ἀσχημοσύνη als Äquivalent für die Derivate von ʿrh wird im griechischen Text eine Negativbewertung ausgedrückt. Weshalb? Eine neutrale und vom Wortsinn her nahe Übersetzung der fraglichen Lexeme finden wir demgegenüber lediglich in 1 Sam 20,30 mit ἀποκάλυψις „Enthüllung“. Manchmal kann man den Pentateuch heranziehen, der als erstes Übersetzungswerk für viele spätere Übersetzungen als gewissermaßen einziges verfügbares Wörterbuch diente. Dort findet sich zuweilen eine Erklärung für die Entscheidungen, die den jeweiligen griechischen Übersetzungen zugrunde liegen. Lässt sich hier auch eine Antwort für die Wahl des Äquivalentes ἀσχημοσύνη finden? Besonderes Augenmerk diesbezüglich gilt in unserem Fall den 32 Belegen von ʿærwâ in den sogenannten Inzestverboten29 Lev 18,6–19 und 20,18–21, wo die Wendung glh (Piel) ʿrwt X (status absolutus), „die Scham von jemand (X) aufdecken“ als Euphemismus für den Geschlechtsverkehr verwendet wird.30 In der Übersetzung hingegen wird das Inzestverbot rhetorisch genau umgekehrt akzentuiert: Statt mit einem Euphemismus wird der sich in inzestuösen Beziehungen abspielende Geschlechtsverkehr (und auch seine Auswirkung auf den legalen männlichen Sexualpartner einer Frau) mit einem negativen Ausdruck tabuisiert, also gleichsam durch die Wortwahl und nicht wie im hebräischen Text lediglich durch den Kontext.31 28 So findet man beispielsweise im LSJ für das Adjektiv ἀσχήμων die Übersetzungsvorschläge „unseemly“, „shameful“, „indecorous“, vgl. LSJ, 267. 29  Zu „Inzest” liegt im Alten Testament kein begriffliches Äquivalent vor. Vgl. C. Eberhart, Art. „Blutschande“, Wibilex (2008), 30 Andernorts wird eine Übersetzung mit „beschlafen“ vorgeschlagen, vgl. HALAT, 184. 31 Das Übersetzungsmuster des Verbotes lautet ἀσχημοσύνην X (Genitiv) σου οὐκ ἀποκαλύψεις. P. Harlé, D. Pralon, La Bible d’Alexandrie. Le Lévitique. Traduction du texte grec de la Septante, Introduction et Notes (BibAlex 3), Paris: Cerf, 1988, 160–163.175, lassen die Übersetzung unkommentiert. Anders interpretiert Martin Vahrenhorst die Übersetzung, wenn er sie als „recht wörtl. Äquivalent“ bezeichnet, weil er für die Bedeutung ʿærwâ nicht nur „Blöße“, „Scham“, sondern auch „Hässlichkeit“ angibt, ohne jedoch diese letzte Übersetzung zu begründen, vgl. M. Karrer, W. Kraus et alii (eds.) Septuaginta Deutsch: Erläuterungen und Kommentare, 2  Bände, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2011, 388 f. Auch kann nicht nachgewiesen werden, dass ʿrwh im Aramäischen eine negativere Bedeutung gehabt hätte, was das griechische Äquivalent erklären würde (allein der metaphorische Gebrauch in Esra 4,14 könnte vorsichtig dahingehend befragt werden). Auch in den rabbinischen Schriften ist meist ein Zusammenhang mit den Geboten der Thora gegeben, und der Begriff ist dort erst wegen des Inzestbezuges in Levitikus in der Bedeutung negativ geprägt und dann als Unkeuschheit oder

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Doch auch vor diesem Hintergrund ist noch nicht einsichtig, weshalb die Derivate von ʿrh mit αἰσχύνη und ἀσχημοσύνη in griechischen Handschriften unterschiedlich tradiert wurden, geschweige denn, wieso in den Stadt-Frauen-Texten überhaupt mit αἰσχύνη übersetzt wurde. Möglicherweise bringt der folgende Exkurs weitere Einsichten.

4. Exkurs: Kulturelle Konzepte: Übersetz(ung)en nach Ägypten Bislang blieb offen, wie das Nebeneinander der Lesarten αἰσχύνη und ἀσχημοσύνη im Handschriftenbefund der Stadt-Frauen-Passagen zu erklären ist. Da dieses Nebeneinander nicht an den Stellen zu beobachten ist, wo von männlicher Blöße die Rede ist, liegt es nahe, den Befund noch hinsichtlich der Implikationen von Genderrollen zu untersuchen. Was für ein Rollenverständnis der Frau steht dabei hinter der Verwendung von αἰσχύνη und ἀσχημοσύνη? Diese Frage wird nun anhand zweier Beispieltexte erörtert. Die hebräischen Prophetentexte wurden wahrscheinlich in der Zeit vom 3.– 1. Jh. v. u. Z. ins Griechische übersetzt, nicht als ganzes Corpus, sondern wohl als einzelne Schriftrollen. Ob dies, wie im Falle der Thora, in Ägypten geschah oder doch in Jerusalem, ist noch nicht restlich geklärt, doch weist vieles eher Richtung Ägypten.32 Aus dieser Region sind zwei Texte erhalten, die uns einen Einblick in unterschiedliche Rollenkonzeptionen hinsichtlich αἰσχύνη und ἀσχημοσύνη im hellenistischen Ägypten geben: ein Elephantine-Papyrus und die griechische Übersetzung von Dtn 24,1. Wenn die beiden Quellen auch eine quantitativ schmale Textbasis bilden, so eignen sie sich doch aus verschiedenen Gründen: wegen ihrer gemeinsamen geographischen Herkunft, wegen ihrer zeitlichen Nähe zueinander und wegen ihres juridischen Themas. Erwähnt werden müssen jedoch auch die weniger vergleichbaren Eigenschaften: Dtn 24,1 ist eine Übersetzung eines Standardtextes und keine private Urkunde, und der Elephantine-Papyrus ist ein Originaltext, keine Übersetzung. Für unsere Fragestellung ist wichtig, dass in beiden Zeitdokumenten ein genderspezifischer Blick auf Missverhalten in der Ehe artikuliert wird. Es handelt sich um griechische Texte, die jedoch zwei unterschiedlichen ethnischen Gruppen zuzuordnen sind. Der Elephantine-Papyrus stammt von griechischen Kolonisten, die größtenteils um die Zeit herum ins ptolemäische Ägypten einwanderten, als

Obszönität zu verstehen. Vgl. M. Jastrow, A Dictionary of the Targumim, Talmud Babli, Talmud Yerushalmi and Midrashic Literature, London: Luzac / ​New York: Putnam, 1886–1903, 1114 f.; J. H. Tigay, Deuteronomy = Devarim (The JPS Torah Commentary), Philadelphia et al.: Jewish Publication Society, 1996, 221. 32 Vgl. J. Joosten, „The Aramaic Background of the Seventy. Language, Culture and History“, BIOSCS 43, 2010, 53–72.


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die andere ethnische Gruppe, die Juden, dort ihre Thora übersetzten, also den zweiten hier herangezogenen griechischen Text. a) P.Eleph. I P.Eleph. 1.6 (= M.Chr. 283.6 = Sel. Pap. I 1.6 = Jur. Pap. 18.6, Elephantine, 311 v. u. Z.) ist der älteste bislang bekannte griechische Papyrus aus Ägypten. Es handelt sich um einen Heiratsvertrag, der die Ehe zwischen zwei griechischen Personen regelt, einem Mann mit Namen Herakleides aus Temnos, einer Stadt an der kleinasiatischen Küste, und einer Frau mit Namen Demetria, die von der Insel Kos stammt. Das Heiratsgut entspricht dem damaligen Einkommen mehrerer Jahre und zeigt, dass es sich um finanziell gutgestellte Griechen handelt. Es wird angenommen, dass unter Griechen dieses gesellschaftlichen Status die Heiratsbräuche konservativ blieben.33 Dies wiederum erlaubt es uns, allfällige regionale Einflüsse auszuschließen. Hinsichtlich der Geschlechterrollen sind die Restriktionen unterschiedlich: Während Demetria alles untersagt wird, was dazu führen könnte, dass sie Schande über ihren Ehemann bringt, muss Herakleides zusagen, keine Zweitfrau zu nehmen, nur mit Demetria Kinder zu zeugen und nichts Schlechtes gegen sie zu tun. Die Formulierung hinsichtlich Demetrias Verhalten lautet wie folgt: Εἰὰν δέ τι κακοτεχνοῦσα ἁλίσκηται ἐπὶ αἰσχύνηι τοῦ ἀνδρὸς Ἡρακλείδου Δημητρία, … Wenn aber Demetria dabei entdeckt wird, dass sie der Scham ihres Mannes irgendetwas Schlechtes tut… (P.Eleph. 1.6)

Ein nicht genauer erläutertes Verhalten einer Ehefrau fügt in diesem Genderkonzept der Scham bzw. dem Schamgefühl des Ehemannes Schaden zu. Dass ihr Verhalten ihrem eigenen Ansehen schaden könnte, ist nicht im Blick, nur der Schaden, der damit auf ihren Mann fällt. Nun soll dieses Konzept mit jenem aus Dtn 24LXX verglichen werden. b) Deuteronomium 24LXX In der Übersetzung von Dtn 24,1, die sich inhaltlich u. a. auch mit dem Fehlverhalten der Ehefrau befasst, wird ein anderes Konzept sichtbar. In Dtn 24,1–4 geht es eigentlich nicht um eine Scheidung, sondern um die erneute Heirat einer zuvor 33 Zu Text und Übersetzung des Vertrags vgl. J. Rowlandson, R. S.  Bagnall, Women and Society in Greek and Roman Egypt. A Sourcebook, Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998, 165. Der Vertrag folgt den Heiratspraktiken, wie sie von der damaligen griechischen Gesellschaft bekannt sind. Die Rolle des Brautvaters ist dominant und zeigt, zusammen mit der Nennung der zwei männlichen Helfer Demetrias, dass Frauen einen männlichen Beistand brauchten. Dies wiederum spiegelt die griechische Praxis klassischer Zeit wider. Die einzige Abweichung von der Tradition liegt darin, dass das Heiratsverbot zwischen Personen unterschiedlicher Städte nicht mehr beachtet wurde – möglicherweise war ein Festhalten an diesen Regeln in den Kolonien nicht mehr praktikabel.

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verstoßenen Frau.34 Der Text nennt keine Details, doch wird quasi im Vorübergehen ἄσχημον πρᾶγμα (der masoretische Text bietet ʿærwat dābār) als unspezifischer Scheidungsgrund genannt35: ᾿Εὰν δέ τις λάβῃ γυναῖκα καὶ συνοικήσῃ αὐτῇ, καὶ ἔσται ἐὰν μὴ εὕρῃ χάριν ἐναντίον αὐτοῦ, ὅτι εὗρεν ἐν αὐτῇ ἄσχημον πρᾶγμα, καὶ γράψει αὐτῇ βιβλίον ἀποστασίου καὶ δώσει εἰς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῆς καὶ ἐξαποστελεῖ αὐτὴν ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας αὐτοῦ … Wenn jemand eine Frau heiratet und mit ihr zusammenlebt, dann wird es (so) sein, wenn sie bei ihm nicht (mehr) Gefallen findet, weil er an ihr etwas Ungebührliches gefunden hat, dann soll er ihr einen Verzichtsbrief schreiben und in ihre Hände geben und sie aus dem Haus wegschicken (Dtn 24,1LXX).

Hier wird das Fehlverhalten der Frau noch mit „nicht standesgemäßen“ oder „unziemlichen Taten“ übersetzt, die dem Mann einen Scheidungsgrund geben, aber nicht – wie in P. Eleph. 1.6 – seine Scham verletzen oder seiner Ehre Schande machen. Die beiden Texte verorten die Auswirkungen des möglichen Fehlverhaltens der Ehefrau in ihrer sprachlogischen Landschaft jeweils an verschiedenen Orten. Der Elephantine-Papyrus erinnert an die Ehre-und-Scham-Thematik mit ihren Implikationen für die Geschlechter. Für die Übersetzung der Thora hingegen liefert das (möglicherweise sexuell konnotierte) Fehlverhalten der Frau dem Mann zwar einen Scheidungsgrund, allerdings wird ʿærwat hier mit dem zu ἀσχημοσύνη gehörenden Adjektiv ἀσχήμων übersetzt, nicht aber mit αἰσχύνη und also sicher nicht mit der Ehre‑ und Scham-Thematik in Verbindung gebracht, auf die P. Eleph. 1.6 rekurriert. Doch in den Jahrhunderten unter hellenistischem Einfluss entstanden dann auch jüdische Texte, die durch ihre genderkorrelierte Verwendung von αἰσχύνη das griechische Ehre-und-Schamkonzept, erkennen lassen.36 Aus androzen­tri­ scher Perspektive verfasst, rät das Buch Jesus Sirach in Sir 25,22 beispielsweise, sich nicht vom Besitz der Ehefrau abhängig zu machen:37

34  Vgl. Tigay, Deuteronomy, 220–221; ausführlich zum Text und zu seiner Interpretation A. Tosato, Il matrimonio israelitico: una teoria generale (AnBib 100), Roma: Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 22001, 144–166. 35 Geboten wird der Text der Göttinger Septuaginta und die Übersetzung nach der Septuaginta Deutsch (2009). 36 Vgl. W. Loader, „The Beginnings of Sexuality in Genesis LXX and Jubilees“, M. Karrer, W. Kraus (eds.), Die Septuaginta  – Texte, Kontexte, Lebenswelten (WUNT I / ​219), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008, 300–312, bes. 303. Zur Differenzierung zwischen sex und gender siehe z. B. J. Butler, Das Unbehagen der Geschlechter (Edition Suhrkamp 1722), Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp, 1991. 37 Die deutsche Übersetzung ist der Septuaginta Deutsch entnommen. Für diese Stelle ist keine hebräische Vorlage erhalten. Aus anderen Übersetzungen von biblischen Schriften, die weder den Propheten noch der Thora zuzurechnen sind, wird ersichtlich, dass αἰσχύνη zunehmend zum Äquivalent für verschiedene hebräische Wurzeln wurde, so zu sehen in Job 32,21; 34,19; Spr 20,4; 28,21; 29,25. Vgl. Hatch, Redpath, Concordance to the Septuagint, 37.


Nesina Grütter

ὀργὴ καὶ ἀναίδεια καὶ αἰσχύνη μεγάλη γυνὴ ἐὰν ἐπιχορηγῇ τῷ ἀνδρὶ αὐτῆς. Zorn und Schamlosigkeit und große Schande, wenn eine Frau für ihren Mann sorgt.

Dieser Text jüdischer Provenienz verknüpft also αἰσχύνη mit an Geschlechterrollen gebundenen Ehre-und-Scham-Thematik, wie sie im griechischen Raum beheimatet ist. In den Jahrhunderten, über die sich die Übersetzung der verschiedenen Bücher der hebräischen Schriften ins Griechische erstreckte, fand auch eine Assimilation an das griechische Geschlechterkonzept statt. Für Jesus Sirach ist es eine Schande für den Mann, von der Frau abhängig zu sein. Umgekehrt formuliert: Ihr Status und / ​oder ihre Arbeit, durch die sie ihn versorgt, da seine Mittel nicht ausreichen, werten ihn in seiner Männerrolle ab, beschämen ihn also. Ganz anders war der Blick auf den Mann und die Familie ernährende Frauen noch im Geschlechterkonzept in Sprüche 31,10–23. Dort versorgt die findige Textilkauffrau die Familie und ermöglicht so ihrem Mann das Sitzen im Tor, also das Diskutieren und Richten. Von der Arbeit zum Zweck des Lebensunterhalts scheint er aber befreit zu sein. Im Buch Jesus Sirach hat sich der Blick auf die Geschlechter verändert, er hat sich assimiliert. Wann sich dieser Wandel endgültig vollzogen hat, lässt sich nicht sagen. Aufgrund der schmalen Textbasis kann auch kein allgemeingültiges Paradigma abgeleitet werden. Dennoch sind die an Dtn 24,1LXX und an P.Eleph. 1.6 gemachten Beobachtungen zu Geschlechterrollen-Implikationen vorerst als eine mögliche Erklärung für das Nebeneinander der Lesarten αἰσχύνη und ἀσχημοσύνη in den Stadt-Frauen-Texten zu erwägen.

5. Analyse der Handschriftenbelege Nach diesem Exkurs wenden wir uns endlich den Belegen von αἰσχύνη und ἀσχημοσύνη in den Stadt-Frauen-Passagen der Septuaginta zu. Dazu wird der Handschriftenbefund der griechischen Überlieferung erörtert, und zwar nach den einzelnen Prophetenbücher geordnet.38 Beginnen wir mit der Belegstelle im Dodekapropheton: In Nah 3,5 haben für maʿar nur Handschriften, die einen alexandrinischen Texttyp bieten, die Lesart ἀσχημοσύνη.39 Die Sonderlesarten des alexandrinischen Texttyps lassen sich meist als grammatisch-stilistische Änderungen erklären, manchmal werden aber Synonyme überliefert. Letzteres könnte bei unseren Stellen der Fall sein. Allerdings ist eine abschließende Interpretation des unterschiedlichen Handschriftenbefundes zu spekulativ.40 38 Zu den Stellen wird eine auf unsere Fragestellung hin ausgerichtete Auswertung des textkritischen Apparates des jeweiligen Bandes der Göttinger Septuaginta geboten, ohne dass dies jedes Mal eigens erwähnt oder dass explizit aus diesem zitiert wird. 39 So der Codex Alexandrinus, die Minuskeln 26, 49 und 106 sowie der Zwölfpropheten-​ Kommentar Cyrills von Alexandrien (Kodex F) und der des Basilius von Neopatrae. Zur Klassifizierung der Zeugen vgl. Gö 13.2, 40–43. 40 Interessanterweise ist der Befund in Hos 2,9 (11), wo es um das Bedecken der Blöße geht,

Die Blöße der Stadt-Frauen


Im Ezechielbuch lassen sich folgende Beobachtungen machen: Die gewichtigeren Textzeugen bieten αἰσχύνη in den fünf Fällen, in denen das hebräische Äquivalent ʿærwâ lautet. Die Belege von ἀσχημοσύνη können folgendermaßen geordnet werden: Einerseits wird ἀσχημοσύνη in Ez 16,36.37 und Ez 23,10.18 von Handschriften des alexandrinischen Texttyps41 geboten, andererseits von Handschriften, die der lukianischen Rezension42 bzw. der Catenen-Gruppe43, die bei Ezechiel am ehesten von Texten der lukianischen Rezension abhängig ist, zugerechnet werden.44 Hier zeichnet sich also zusätzlich zu Sonderlesarten im alexandrinischen Text die Bezeugung von ἀσχημοσύνη vornehmlich in Textzeugen der lukianischen Rezension ab. Ein Einblick in den Vorgang der Rezension bietet die Minuskel 36, die – zwar nicht mehr in Ez 23,29 – aber in Ez 23,18 noch beide Worte nebeneinander bietet: ἀσχημοσύνην αἰσχύνην. Dies weist darauf hin, dass jemand beide Lesarten erhalten wollte. Ein anderer Fall liegt in Ez 23,29 vor, wo der Codex Vaticanus als einziger die Sonderlesart αισχυνουσα für ʿæryâ bietet – anders als in der Parallelstelle Ez 16,39, wo er, wie die übrigen Handschriften, das Partizip von ἀσχημονέω bezeugt. Im Jesajabuch sind es nur zwei griechische Handschriften, die in Jes 47,3 ἀσχημοσύνη bieten: die Minuskel 88, die meist der hexaplarischen Texttradition zugerechnet wird, und ein Bibelzitat des Hippolyt von Rom.45 Als Zwischenergebnis ist somit festzuhalten: In den Stadt-Frauen-Passagen handelt es sich bei αἰσχύνη stets um die ursprüngliche Übersetzung. Demgegenüber genau umgekehrt: Die gewichtigeren Handschriften belegen ἀσχημοσύνη für ʿærwâ, wohingegen αἰσχύνη nur in einigen Handschriften bezeugt ist, die meist den alexandrinischen Texttypus vertreten: Der Codex Marchalianus, die Handschriften 106, 233, 534, 407, 410 und 829 sowie der Zwölfpropheten-Kommentar Cyrills (IV) und der des Basilius von Neopatrae. Differenzierend bleibt anzumerken, dass die Minuskel 534 manchmal auch der Catenen-Gruppe zugerechnet wird. Es ist schwierig zu entscheiden, wann sie im Dodekapropheton hexaplarischen Einfluss zeigt und wann nicht. Zur Klassifizierung der Zeugen vgl. Gö 13.2, 91.102. 41 Im Fall von Ez 16,36.37 ist ἀσχημοσύνη in den Minuskeln 239 und 306 belegt, im Fall von Ez 23,10 im Codex Alexandrinus und in den Minuskeln 26, 106, 403, 410, 544 und 613, im Fall von Ez 23,18 vom Codex Alexandrinus und von der Minuskel 410. Die Charakterisierung des alexandrinischen Texttyps erfolgte bereits bei den Dodekapropheton-Belegen; sie kann hier übernommen werden, vgl. Gö 16.1, 29–32. 42 Die Lesart ἀσχημοσύνη ist im Fall von Ez  16,37 in der Minuskel 36 belegt, im Fall von Ez 23,10 im Codex Venetus und in den Minuskeln 46 und 449, im Fall von Ez 23,18 in den Minuskeln 22, 48, 51, 96, 231, 499 und 763 sowie im Kommentar des Theoderet von Cyrus, im Fall von Ez 23,29 in den Minuskeln 22, 36, 48, 51, 96, 231 und 763 und wiederum im Kommentar des Theoderet von Cyrus. 43 Die Lesart ἀσχημοσύνη findet sich in folgenden Handschriften der Catenen-Gruppe: zu Ez 16,36.37 in den Minuskeln 49, 87, 90, 91, 130, 233, 490, 534, 710 und 764, zu Ez 23,10 in den Minuskeln 87, 130 und 534. Zu Ez 23,10 ist noch die wohl den hexaplarischen Texttyp bezeugende Minuskel 62 zu nennen. 44 Die koptischen Übersetzungen und auch die Syrohexapla werden hier nicht in die Untersuchung einbezogen. Hierzu müssten zuerst die Übersetzungsäquivalente in den koptischen Übersetzungen und in der Syrohexapla eingehend untersucht werden. Zur Klassifizierung der zuvor für die Ezechielstellen genannten Zeugen vgl. Gö 16.1, 32–61. 45 Vgl. Gö 14, 38–44.


Nesina Grütter

stellt ἀσχημοσύνη die sekundäre Lesart, also eine jüngere Variante dar. Allerdings ist hinsichtlich der Verteilung dieser Variante auf die verschiedenen Stellen bzw. Zeugen keine Regelmäßigkeit erkennbar.

6. Schlussbemerkungen Auffallend am Handschriftenbefund der Stadt-Frauen-Passagen ist nach den obigen Ausführungen, dass die Derivate von ʿrh in den griechischen Übersetzungen ursprünglich mit αἰσχύνη – statt, wie zu erwarten, mit ἀσχημοσύνη – wiedergegeben wurden. Erst in der innergriechischen Überlieferung findet sich vereinzelt eine Korrektur oder eine anderweitig motivierte Änderung hin zum sonst üblichen Äquivalent ἀσχημοσύνη.46 Dieser Befund soll nun abschließend erklärt werden. Es versteht sich von selbst, dass die folgenden zwei Interpretationsvorschläge für die Wahl von αἰσχύνη einen mehr oder weniger starken hypothetischen Charakter haben. 1. In den Stadt-Frauen-Texten wurde ursprünglich mit αἰσχύνη übersetzt, weil die Beziehung zwischen der jeweiligen Stadt-Frau und den Liebhabern bzw. JHWH (unbewusst) neu in den Mustern des griechischen Geschlechterrollenverständnisses (siehe Exkurs) und der Ehre-und-Scham-Thematik kodiert wurde. Die Entblößung einer Frau vor den Augen anderer galt den Übersetzern als eine Schande. Die Neucodierung gelingt aber nicht vollständig: Durch die Determination der Derivate von ʿrh mit den auf die Frauen verweisenden Suffixpronomen im hebräischen Text und der formal korrekten Übersetzung dieser Pronomen ins Griechische bleibt die αἰσχύνη im Zieltext diejenige der jeweiligen Stadt-Frau und wird nicht zu der des Mannes, wie dies z. B. im erwähnten Papyrus von Elephantine der Fall ist. 2. Die Übersetzer der prophetischen Schriften kannten das seltenere Wort ἀσχημοσύνη (fast) nur als Teil einer stehenden Wendung für inzestuöse Beziehungen: Die Formulierung glh (Piel) ʿrwt X (Status absolutus), die als Verbot in Lev 18 und 20 vorliegt, wurde in der griechischen Übersetzung mit ἀσχημοσύνην X (Genitiv) σου οὐκ ἀποκαλύψεις gefasst und möglicherweise stereotyp als unmoralischen Geschlechtsakt haben verstanden. Eben diese Formulierung glh (Piel, medial: Nifal) ʿrwt X (Status absolutus) findet sich nun aber auch in Ez 16,36.37; 23,10.18.29 und Jes 47,3. Hätte man an diesen Stellen stereotyp mit ἀσχημοσύνη übersetzt, wäre der Zieltext im besten Fall unverständlich gewesen, oder im schlimmsten Fall so verstanden worden, dass von einem öffentlichen Geschlechtsakt (einer Vergewaltigung) die Rede sei  – ein Verständnis, das die Übersetzer entweder selbst nicht hatten oder das sie gerade vermeiden wollten. Darum wich man auf αἰσχύνη aus. In Hos 2,9(11), Nah 3,5 und Klgl 1,8 hingegen 46 Eine

Ausnahme bildet dagegen Klgl 1,8 mit der einheitlichen Bezeugung von ἀσχημοσύνη.

Die Blöße der Stadt-Frauen


konnte ohne Problem mit ἀσχημοσύνη übersetzt werden, weil eine andere Formulierung vorlag.47 Schließlich bleibt eine Randnotiz festzuhalten: Das Wort ʿærwâ wurde zwar in Ez 16,36; 23,10.18.29, wo die Liebhaber Subjekt sind, mit αἰσχύνη übersetzt, nicht aber in Ez 16,37, wo JHWH Subjekt der (möglicherweise sexuell konnotierten) Handlung ist; dort wird das einzige Mal mit dem Plural von κακία übersetzt (im Kontext flektiert und mit Possessivpronomen: τὰς κακίας σου).48 Dahinter steht bereits ein uneinheitlicher Befund in den hebräischen Handschriften: Wie der textkritische Apparat der BHS zeigt, bezeugt in Ez 16,57 die Mehrheit der masoretischen Handschriften den Konsonantentext bṭrm tglh rʿtk, „bevor deine Bosheit aufgedeckt worden ist“ (die Septuaginta übersetzt auch hier τὰς κακίας σου). Einige wenige Manuskripte hingegen lesen ʿrwtk, deine Scham. Die Differenz besteht in einer Vertauschung der beiden Konsonanten ʿ und r und der Weglassung / ​ Hinzufügung eines w (resp. Defektiv- / ​Pleneschreibung). Derselbe Sachverhalt steht hinter der Übersetzung mit τὰς κακίας σου in Ez 16,37: Der masoretische Text bietet wglyty ʿrwtk, „und ich werde deine Scham aufdecken“, doch vermutlich wurde in der Vorlage der griechischen Übersetzung bereits in Ez 16,37 rʿtk, „deine Bosheit“, gelesen.49

47 Für ἀσχημοσύνη sind in Klgl 1,8 keine alternativen Lesarten belegt, in Hos 2,9(11) ist αἰσχύνη als sekundäre Lesart zu bewerten, vgl. dazu die Angaben im fünften Teil dieses Beitrages. Nicht erklärt wird damit die ursprüngliche Übersetzung mit αἰσχύνη in Nah 3,5. 48  Einzig die Minuskel 534 bietet die Variante ἀδικίας. 49 Ob es sich bei der Vertauschung der Buchstaben um einen Schreibfehler oder um eine absichtliche Veränderung handelt, muss offen bleiben. Allerdings spricht der Umstand, dass in beiden Versen (37 und 57) JHWH das handelnde Subjekt ist, für eine Änderung von ʿrwtk zu rʿtk aus theologischen Gründen: JHWH ist so weder möglicher sexueller Gewalttäter noch potenziell mit Inzest assozierbar (die Wendung glh (Piel) ʿrwt X (Status absolutus) wie in Lev 18 und 20 wird so umgangen). Demnach besteht möglicherweise eine inhaltliche bzw. rhetorisch-theologische Nähe zwischen der Lesart rʿtk und der Motivation, wie sie laut 2. hinter der Übersetzung bestimmter Stelllen mit αἰσχύνη vermutet werden könnte.

La main de Cyrus ou la main de Dieu ? Étude de l’expression ἀποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα dans la Septante Patrick Pouchelle 1. Introduction Cyrus, le jeune, frère d’Artaxerxès, s’était révolté contre ce dernier. Il fut battu et tué à la bataille de Counaxa. L’historien Ctésias raconte que la mère de Cyrus, Parysatis, chercha ses restes et trouva sa tête et l’une de ses mains, qu’elle fit envoyer à Babylone pour qu’il soit dignement traité1. Pour décrire cette action, Ctésias utilise le verbe ἀποστέλλω avec le mot χείρ à l’accusatif 2. Cette utilisation est conforme à l’usage d’ἀποστέλλω en grec classique. En effet, le verbe ἀποστέλλω est un composé du verbe στέλλω dont l’usage est divers3. Le préfixe ἀπο implique l’idée de distance et de séparation. En conséquence, le verbe dégage trois principales nuances, que possède également « envoyer au loin » en français : expulser quelqu’un4, convoyer quelqu’un, par exemple un prisonnier5, et envoyer quelqu’un avec une mission spécifique. Cette dernière nuance est particulièrement présente chez Thucydide, où le verbe est utilisé pour décrire des missions militaires6 ou diplomatiques7. Les missions sont variées : un homme peut être envoyé pour espionner8, fonder une colonie9, consulter un oracle10, faire du commerce11, faire office de porte-parole12, apporter un présent13. Certaines de ces utilisations ont d’ailleurs conduit 3c.688F.16.33 = Photius, Bibl. 72 Bekker p. 44a. Παρύσατις εἰς Βαβυλῶνα ἀφίκετο πενθοῦσα Κῦρον, καὶ μόλις ἐκομίσατο τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν χεῖρα· καὶ ἔθαψεν, καὶ ἀπέστειλεν εἰς Σοῦσα.  3  « Disposer, préparer, pourvoir d’armes, vêtir, préparer pour le départ, envoyer » (DELG).  4 Euripide, Med. 934.  5 Hérodote, Hist. 4.164.  6 P. ex. Thucydide, Hist. 1.45.1, 3.49.2.  7 P. ex. Thucydide, Hist. 1.91.3, 3.28.1.  8 Hérodote, Hist. 1.152.  9 Hérodote, Hist. 1.123. 10 Sophocle, El. 669. 11 Démosthène, Dionys. 7. 12  Hérodote, Hist. 3.53. 13 Hérodote, Hist. 4.33.  1 Jacoby  2 Ὡς

La main de Cyrus ou la main de Dieu ?


à une ellipse. Alors qu’initialement, l’objet du verbe ἀποστέλλω est toujours un homme, l’expression « envoyer quelqu’un pour donner quelque chose » est devenue « envoyer quelque chose » faisant d’ἀποστέλλω un synonyme de πέμπω14. La complexité administrative et la prospérité commerciale du royaume des Ptolémée fait que le verbe ἀποστέλλω est fréquent dans les papyrus et les inscriptions. Ainsi, le roi envoie des copies de lois15, des troupes militaires16, des messagers17. Les papyrus commerciaux montrent également les marchands envoyant des marchandises18, des esclaves19 ou de l’argent20. À notre connaissance, la mention de Ctésias est le seul cas dans la littérature non judéo-chrétienne où une main est envoyée (ἀποστέλλω). Ceci n’est pas étonnant, tant il est rare de voir une main être traitée comme une marchandise. Pourtant, dans la Septante ce cas apparaît quatre fois21, et même cinq fois si on prend en compte ἐξαποστέλλω22. Dans l’ensemble des cas, la main envoyée appartient au sujet du verbe. Cela pose un problème, puisque le verbe ἀποστέλλω implique une séparation entre l’envoyeur et la chose envoyée. On ne peut envoyer (ἀποστέλλω) sa main qu’en la séparant de son corps. Cependant, on peut se demander si les traducteurs étaient vraiment conscients d’une telle nuance. En effet, l’expression (ἐξα / ​ἀ)ποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα23 correspond toujours à l’expression hébraïque šālaḥ yad « étendre la main ». Cela pourrait s’expliquer par le fait que le verbe ἀποστέλλω et ses composés correspondent principalement à šālaḥ, avec lequel ils forment un couple assez stable. Seulement 5 % de leur millier d’occurrences correspondent à d’autres verbes hébraïques, tandis que 10 % des occurrences de šālaḥ correspondent à d’autres verbes qu’ἀποστέλλω ou l’un de ses composés. Cette correspondance n’est pas étonnante en soi. En effet, beaucoup d’emplois de šālaḥ correspondent à ceux d’ἀποστέλλω. Ainsi, Jacob envoie un cadeau à son frère24, Moïse envoie des espions25, Josué déploie des troupes militaires26, Israël envoie de l’argent à Moab27, Abraham expulse Agar28… 14 Envoyer de l’argent (Démosthène, Dionys. 8), des présents (Plutarque, Cam. 8.3), des livres ou des lettres (Hippocrate, Ep. 7, 18). 15  P.Rev. 37.6, 259/258 avant notre ère, Arsinoites ? 16 OGIS 45.5–6, 266/262 avant notre ère, Itanos. 17 P.Hal. 1.124, 147, 154, 259 avant notre ère, Apollonopolites, voir aussi A. Bernand, Pan du désert, Leiden : Brill, 1977, 256. 18 O. Douch 630.5–6, 12, 18, 4ème siècle de notre ère, P.Lond. 2057.8 3ème siècle de notre ère. 19 P.Lond. 2007.22, 248 avant notre ère, Philadelphia (date et provenance incertaine) 20 P.Lond. 2007,12, 1 avant notre ère, Alexandria. 21  Ex 9,15, Ct 5,4 et Job 1,11 ; 2,5. 22 Ps 143,7, voir p. 36. 23 Ἀποστέλλω et ἐξαποστέλλω étant synonyme, voir p. 36. Nous utiliserons la forme (ἐξα / ​ ἀ)ποστέλλω pour traiter des deux lemmes. 24 Gn 32,19. 25 Nb 13,2. 26 Jos 3,15. 27  Jg 3,15. 28 Gn 21,14.


Patrick Pouchelle

Il y a cependant une différence sur le sens fondamental. Si ἀποστέλλω signifie « envoyer au loin », šālaḥ désigne plutôt le fait de mettre quelque chose ou quelqu’un en mouvement en vue d’une mission29. En soi, cette nuance n’est pas étrangère à ἀποστέλλω, mais elle n’implique pas de facto l’idée de séparation30. Au contraire, un lien reste toujours existant entre l’envoyé et l’envoyeur31 : l’envoyé représente l’envoyeur. L’expression šālaḥ yad ne pose alors aucun problème en hébreu : la main est « projetée » vers l’avant mais reste liée à la personne qui la dirige. Cette expression existe déjà en Ougaritique32 et se trouve dans le TM en concurrence avec nāṭâ yad qui lui est synonyme33. Selon Humbert, l’expression šālaḥ yad reste profane et désigne un acte de pouvoir et de possession, y compris lorsqu’elle a Dieu comme sujet34. Ainsi, il n’y a pas de différence notable entre les utilisations dans un simple contexte humain ou divin. L’expression désigne le fait de prendre un objet35, d’où l’idée d’un geste de puissance et de conquête36 ou de possession37. Il s’agit souvent d’un geste hostile : « porter la main contre quelqu’un »38 notamment pour le tuer39. Or, comme ἀποστέλλω et ses composés correspondent de manière quasi-systématique à l’hébreu šālaḥ, (ἐξα / ​ἀ)ποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα serait alors une « expression stéréotypée »40. Les traducteurs auraient simplement appliqué une correspondance systématique entre le lemme hébreu šālaḥ et le lemme grec ἀποστέλλω ou son composé ἐξαποστέλλω. L’expression (ἐξα / ​ἀ)ποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα serait alors à traduire « étendre la main », en fonction de son substrat hébraïque et non en fonction de ce qu’un grec ne connaissant pas l’hébreu pourrait comprendre. 29 « To set someone or something in motion toward a goal », U. Dahmen, « šālaḥ », TDOT 15, 2006, 59. 30 Lorsque que l’idée de séparation doit être exprimée, l’hébreu utilise le verbe au piel ou l’utilise avec la préposition mîn (TDOT 15, 69–70). 31  TDOT 15,50. 32  P. ex. KTU 1.15 IV 24. 33 Voir P. Humbert, « ‹ Étendre la main › (Note de lexicographie hébraïque) », VT 12, 1962, 383–395. Pour cet auteur, les deux expressions ne sont pas complétement synonymes (p. 392– 395), bien qu’il note que la Septante, traduisant les deux expressions par la même tournure grecque ἐκτείνω τὴν χεῖρα, les considère comme pleinement synonymes (p. 383 et 384 n. 1). En fait, dans la LXX, ni šālaḥ yad, ni nāṭâ yad ne correspondent systématiquement à ἐκτείνω τὴν χεῖρα (pour šālaḥ yad voir cet article, pour nāṭâ yad, voir par exemple ἐπιβάλλω τὴν χεῖρα en Is 5,25). 34 Humbert, « Étendre la main », 388–389. 35 Un pieu (Jg 5,26), les fruits de l’arbre de vie (Gen 3,22), voir Humbert, « Étendre la main », 388 pour d’autres exemples. Elle est parfois utilisée en parallèle avec en parallèle avec lāqaḥ « prendre », voir O.  Keel, Wirkmächtige Siegeszeichen im Alten Testament (OBO 5, Fribourg (Suisse) : Éditions universitaires / ​Göttingen : Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1974), 153–154. 36 Dn 11,42. 37 Ex 22,7[8], Dt 12,7. 38 P. ex. Gn 37,22 ; Ps 125,3. 39 P. ex. Gn 22,12, voir aussi Keel, Wirkmächtige Siegeszeichen, 154 40 A. Le Boulluec et P. Sandevoir, L’Exode (La Bible d’Alexandrie 2), Paris : Cerf, 1989, 132, n. 9.15.

La main de Cyrus ou la main de Dieu ?


Pourtant, la réalité est plus subtile car à l’expression šālaḥ yad correspond principalement la locution ἐκτείνω τὴν χεῖρα41 qui est, quant à elle, parfaitement classique42 et correspond à l’idée d’« étendre la main ». Or l’expression (ἐξα / ​ἀ)ποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα correspond toujours à šālaḥ yad et, à part l’occurrence dans le Cantique des cantiques, est toujours utilisée avec Dieu comme sujet. Il se pourrait alors que le choix de cette expression avec toutes ses nuances soit délibéré de la part des traducteurs, peut-être pour éviter un anthropomorphisme. Ainsi, Dieu est transcendant. Ainsi quand Dieu étend la main, celle-ci se dirige vers le Monde, mais Dieu reste au-delà du monde : Dieu « envoie » donc sa main plus qu’il ne l’« étend ». Ce faisant, la Septante aurait effacé un anthropomorphisme. Ce point pourrait être confirmé par l’effacement total de cette image en Ex 24, 11, où l’expression šālaḥ yad correspond au verbe διαφωνέω, « être en désaccord » ou « manquer, déserter »43. Il convient maintenant d’étudier plus en détail la présence de l’expression dans la Septante pour tester cette hypothèse.

2. La Septante a. Le Cantique des cantiques L’occurrence en Ct 5,4 ne peut être utilisée pour infirmer ou confirmer l’hypothèse évoquée ci-dessus. ἀδελφιδός μου ἀπέστειλεν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῆς ὀπῆς, καὶ ἡ κοιλία μου ἐθροήθη ἐπ’ αὐτόν mon chéri a étendu sa main par le trou et mon ventre s’est ému pour lui (traduction personnelle).

En effet, la traduction en grec de ce livre est réputée pour son « littéralisme »44. Bien sûr, on pourrait objecter que le choix de l’expression ἀποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα plutôt que ἐκτείνω τὴν χεῖρα traduise le fait que le traducteur envisageait une lecture allégorique où l’amant de la femme serait Dieu. Cependant, l’unique autre occurrence d’un mot de la racine de šālaḥ y correspond au mot grec ἀποστολή45 et le contexte impose un sens à ce dernier totalement inconnu dans le monde grec :

41 P.

ex. Gn 3,22 ; 8,9 ; 19,10 ; 22,10 ; Dt 25,11 ; Jg 3,21 ; 15,15 ; 2 R 24,16; 3 R 13,4; 4 R 6,7 , etc. Choeph. 9 ; Euripide, Alc. 768. 43 Voir G. B. Caird, « Towards a Lexicon of the Septuagint I », JTS 19, 1968, 468 (453–475). 44 Voir par exemple J.-M. Auwers, « Le traducteur grec a-t-il allégorisé ou érotisé le Cantique des cantiques », M. K. H.  Peters (éd.), XII Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, Leiden, 2004 (SBLSCS 54), Leiden : Brill, 2006, 161 (161–168). 45 Ct 4,13, et le controversé šælaḥ qui signifie probablement « jeunes pousses », tandis que le mot ἀποστολή ne possède pas une telle signification en grec. Cf. L. Prijs, Jüdische Tradition in der Septuaginta, Leiden : Brill, 1948, 39. 42 Éschyle,


Patrick Pouchelle

ἀποστολαί σου παράδεισος ῥοῶν μετὰ καρποῦ ἀκροδρύων (Ct 4,13) Tes surgeons un paradis de grenades avec des fruits d’arbres fruitiers (traduction personnelle).

Il est alors plus simple de penser que le traducteur du Cantique a appliqué sa technique de traduction sans mettre en avant une interprétation spécifique. On peut ainsi observer que c’est la technique utilisée par Aquila dans les rares endroits où on a conservé la façon dont il a traduit šālaḥ yad : šālaḥ yadâw bišlōmâw (TM Ps 55,21) Ἀπέστειλε χεῖρα αὐτοῦ ἐν εἰρηνικοῖς αὐτοῦ (Aq Ps 55,21)46 ἐξέτεινεν τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ ἀποδιδόναι (LXX Ps 54[55],21)

b. Job L’expression šālaḥ yad apparaît quatre fois dans le livre de Job, dont deux fois à un verset d’écart, en Job 1,11 et Job 1,12. La troisième se situe en Job 2,5, et la quatrième en Job 28,9, mais cette dernière ne possède pas de correspondant dans le vieux-grec de Job47. Il s’agit pour les trois premiers cas de l’épisode narratif qui précède l’œuvre poétique : L’adversaire négocie avec Dieu la souffrance de Job. 9 Mais l’Adversaire répliqua au SEIGNEUR: « Est-ce pour rien que Job craint Dieu? 10 Ne l’as-tu pas protégé d’un enclos, lui, sa maison et tout ce qu’il possède? Tu as béni ses entreprises, et ses troupeaux pullulent dans le pays. 11 Mais veuille étendre ta main (šālaḥ yad ) et touche (nāgaʿ) à tout ce qu’il possède. Je parie qu’il te maudira en face!» 12 Alors le SEIGNEUR dit à l’Adversaire: « Soit! Tous ses biens sont en ton pouvoir. Evite seulement de porter la main (šālaḥ yad) sur lui. » Et l’Adversaire se retira de la présence du SEIGNEUR (TOB, Job 1,9–12)

et Mais veuille étendre ta main (šālaḥ yad), touche (nāgaʿ) à ses os et à sa chair. Je parie qu’il te maudira en face!» (TOB, Job 2,5)

Le traitement de ce passage par la Septante48 montre que la traduction de l’expression šālaḥ yad possède un enjeu théologique. ἀλλὰ ἀπόστειλον τὴν χεῖρά σου καὶ ἅψαι πάντων, ὧν ἔχει (LXX Job 1,11) mais envoie ta main et touche à tout ce qu’il a (traduction personnelle)

46 Voir également Ἰδουμαία καὶ Μωὰβ ἀποστολὴ χειρὸς αὐτῶν (Aq Is 11,14) où ἀποστολὴ χειρὸς correspond à mišlôḥ yādām (LXX : τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιβαλοῦσιν). 47 Il possède un correspondant dans le matériel sous astérisque. Avec ἐν ἀκροτόμῳ ἐξέτεινεν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ, ce matériel utilise l’expression ἐκτείνω τὴν χεῖρα. Les mains désignent ici celle des hommes. 48 Tous ces passages appartiennent au « vieux grec » de Job et non au matériel rajouté par Origène.

La main de Cyrus ou la main de Dieu ?


ἀλλὰ αὐτοῦ μὴ ἅψῃ (LXX Job 1,12) mais lui, ne le touche pas (traduction personnelle)

Le changement principal est l’apparition en Job 1,12 du verbe ἅπτομαι, là où on aurait attendu ἀποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα ou ἐκτείνω τὴν χεῖρα. Dans la Septante et ailleurs dans Job49, le verbe ἅπτομαι correspond toujours à nāgaʿ. On le trouve notamment en Job 1,11 et 19, où le vent touche la maison de Job qui s’écroule et fait mourir les enfants de Job. Ce verbe ἅπτομαι évite d’attribuer à l’adversaire le même pouvoir que Dieu, à savoir « envoyer la main ». Ce pouvoir est attribué deux fois à Dieu en Job 1,11 et Job 2,5 : οὐ μὴν δὲ ἀλλὰ ἀποστείλας τὴν χεῖρά σου ἅψαι τῶν ὀστῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ τῶν σαρκῶν αὐτοῦ (LXX Job 2,5) Si seulement en envoyant ta main tu touchais à ses os et sa chair (Traduction personnelle)

Ici, dans le TM, comme dans la Septante, l’expression « envoyer la main » est associée au verbe « toucher ». En revanche pour l’adversaire, la Septante, contre le TM, utilise seulement le verbe « toucher ». À vrai dire, le principal problème lié à Job est plutôt sa traduction littérale de šālaḥ yad quand il s’agit de Dieu, alors qu’ailleurs il cherche parfois un vocabulaire grec teinté d’homérisme50. Gerleman envisage que le traducteur évite les anthropomorphismes51. Il s’agirait d’une métaphore adoucie52 : la main de Dieu serait en fait une puissance divine, ce qui expliquerait l’utilisation du verbe ἀποστέλλω. En revanche, le verbe ἐκτείνω aurait conduit à un anthropomorphisme trop fort. Il ne semble pas nécessaire d’aller aussi loin. Deux options sont possibles : 1. La Vorlage de Job 1,12 a comporté le verbe nāga‘ plutôt que l’expression šālaḥ yad ; 2.  Le traducteur a refusé de rendre šālaḥ yad et fait plutôt référence au verbe nāgaʿ pour dénier à l’adversaire une puissance qu’il ne saurait attribuer qu’à Dieu. On ne peut répondre de manière certaine à cette question. J’inclinerais volontiers vers la deuxième possibilité au vu de la faculté du traducteur d’effectuer sa traduction en utilisant d’autres endroits de son œuvre53.

49 Sauf

en Job 31,7.

W. Kraus et alii (éds.), Septuaginta Deutsch: Erläuterungen und Kommentare, 2 volumes, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2011, 2055. 51 G. Gerleman, Studies in the Septuagint Book of Job (LUA 43/2), Lund: Gleerup, 1946, 58–60. 52 « A faded metaphor », expression que Gerleman utilise certes pour Job 2,10, mais qui pourrait tout aussi bien s’appliquer ici (ibidem, 59). 53 Il s’agit de la thèse principale de H. Heater, A Septuagint Translation Technique in the Book of Job (CBQMS 11), Washington, D. C. : The Catholic Association of America, 1982. Heather ne traite cependant pas de ce point particulier. 50 Cf. M. Karrer,


Patrick Pouchelle

c. Psaumes L’expression šālaḥ yad apparaît quatre fois dans ce corpus. La Septante y fait trois fois correspondre ἐκτείνω τὴν χεῖρα, y compris en Ps 137[138],7 où, pourtant, le sujet est Dieu : ἐπ’ ὀργὴν ἐχθρῶν μου ἐξέτεινας χεῖρά σου Contre la colère de mes ennemis tu as étendu ta main (Traduction personnelle)

Cependant en Ps 143[144],7, elle correspond à ἐξαποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα  : ἐξαπόστειλον τὴν χεῖρά σου ἐξ ὕψους Envoie ta main du haut des cieux (traduction personnelle)

Il ne semble pas y avoir de différence entre l’expression ἀποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα et ἐξαποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα. En effet, le verbe ἐξαποστέλλω apparaît pour la première fois chez Démosthène54. Il n’y a pas de différences notables d’utilisation avec ἀποστέλλω. Le verbe est un double composé où le préfixe ἐξ‑ marque une sorte d’intensification du verbe caractéristique de l’époque hellénistique ; ἀποστέλλω aurait été perçu comme trop fade55. Il est commun chez Polybe où il supplante ἀποστέλλω56, tandis que ce dernier revient en grâce chez Diodore de Sicile57 et ἐξαποστέλλω disparaît des auteurs non judéo-chrétiens à l’époque romaine58. On observe la même évolution dans les papyrus et les inscriptions, les occurrences du verbe ἐξαποστέλλω atteignent un pic vers le troisième siècle avant notre ère, avant de disparaître, tandis que le verbe ἀποστέλλω suit une évolution opposée59. Il serait alors possible d’utiliser la présence du verbe ἐξαποστέλλω pour dater une œuvre, et notamment les traductions de la Septante60. Cependant ce critère doit être utilisé avec prudence. Il semble, en effet, qu’il existe une plus grande correspondance, pour certains livres de la Septante, entre ἐξαποστέλλω et une certaine utilisation du piel šillaḥ, ce qui peut fausser la datation61.

 Démosthène, Cor. 77. de Foucault, Recherches sur la langue et le style de Polybe, Paris : Les Belles Lettres, 1972, 29. 56 Plus de 200 occurrences pour ἐξαποστέλλω contre 90 pour ἀποστέλλω. 57 Un peu plus de 100 occurrences pour ἐξαποστέλλω contre plus de 450 pour ἀποστέλλω. 58 Plutarque utilise plus de 200 fois ἀποστέλλω et six fois ἐξαποστέλλω seulement. J. A. L. Lee, « Ἐξαποστέλλω », J. Joosten, P. J. Tomson (éds.), Voces Biblicae. Septuagint Greek and its Significance for the New Testament (CBET 49), Leuven : Peeters, 2007, 102–103 a raison de dire que la survie du verbe est due à sa présence dans la Septante. 59 Voir Lee, « Ἐξαποστέλλω », 99–103. Il serait alors possible d’utiliser la présence du verbe ἐξαποστέλλω pour dater une œuvre, et notamment les traductions de la Septante (ibidem, 104–105). 60  Ibidem, 104–105. 61 P. Pouchelle, « ἀποστέλλω, κτλ. », HTLS, à paraître. 54

55  J. A.

La main de Cyrus ou la main de Dieu ?


Dans le livre des Psaumes, ἀποστέλλω apparaît 9 fois et ἐξαποστέλλω 21 fois. Il ne semble pas y avoir dans ce livre de distinction entre le qal šālaḥ et le piel de šillaḥ62. Ici le verbe ἐξαποστέλλω apparaît une autre fois au verset 6, correspondant comme pour le verset 7 au qal de šālaḥ: ἐξαπόστειλον τὰ βέλη σου envoie tes flèches

Ainsi, les deux stiques, comme dans le TM, commencent par le même verbe. Cela peut également expliquer le choix du traducteur pour ἐξαποστέλλω plutôt qu’ἐκτείνω. D’autre part, on peut remarquer qu’ici la main est mise en parallèle avec les flèches, suggérant que la main sauve le psalmiste en détruisant ses ennemis. d. Exode Notre expression n’apparaît qu’une seule fois dans l’édition de Rahlfs ainsi que dans l’édition de Göttingen du livre de l’Exode. En Ex 9,15, Dieu demande à Moïse d’aller voir Pharaon et de le menacer : νῦν γὰρ ἀποστείλας63 τὴν χεῖρα πατάξω σε καὶ τὸν λαόν σου θανάτῳ Maintenant, en effet, quand j’aurais lancé ma main, je vous frapperai de mort, toi et ton peuple (Bible d’Alexandrie)

Cependant, en Ex 3,20 réside un problème de critique textuelle intéressant qui permet d’approfondir la portée de l’expression ἀποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα. Ici, Dieu demande à Moïse de parler au fils d’Israël : καὶ ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα πατάξω τοὺς Αἰγυπτίους ἐν πᾶσι τοῖς θαυμασίοις μου Étendant la main, je frapperai les Égyptiens par tous mes actes extraordinaires (La Bible d’Alexandrie)

Dans les deux cas, le TM possède šālaḥ yad. Comme pour Ps 137[138],7, l’expression ἐκτείνω τὴν χεῖρα existe, correspondant à šālaḥ yad, avec Dieu comme sujet. Pourtant ici, le philosophe juif hellénistique Aristobule témoigne d’une autre version. Quand il cite Ex 3,20 pour discuter des anthropomorphismes64 il donne : Ἀποστελῶ τὴν χεῖρά μου καὶ πατάξω τοὺς Αἰγυπτίους (Aristobule, fr. 1, l.64 =  Eusèbe, Praep. Ev. 8.10.8). 62 Mais dans le Psaume 77[78] le qal de šālaḥ correspond à ἀποστέλλω (v. 25) et les pi‘el du même verbe à ἐξαποστέλλω (v. 45, 49). Il s’agit du seul psaume où les deux verbes grecs apparaissent. Dans tous les autres psaumes, seul un des deux apparaît (le cas du Psaume 104[105] est controversé, les deux occurrences d’ἀποστέλλω aux versets 17 et 20 font l’objet de variantes avec ἐξαποστέλλω déjà présent aux versets 17, 20, 26 et 28, toutes les occurrences de šālaḥ sont au qal dans le MT) 63 Quelques témoins possèdent ἐξαποστείλας. Il est inutile d’effectuer une critique textuelle poussée, les deux verbes sont synonymes, voir p. 36. 64 Voir aussi p. 39.


Patrick Pouchelle

Comme l’a bien remarqué Wevers dans l’édition de Göttingen, Aristobule est ici plus proche du TM. En effet, alors que la Septante propose un participe, Aristobule donne un futur à la première personne, ce qui correspond assez bien à la forme weqatal du TM : wešālaḥtî65. La version d’Aristobule serait donc secondaire. D’autre part, en hébreu, les deux versets sont très similaires : wešālaḥtî ʾæt yādî wehikkêtî ʾæt miṣrayim (Ex 3,20) J’étendrai donc ma main et je frapperai l’Egypte (TOB) kî ʿattâ šālaḥtî ʾæt yādî wāʾak ʾôtkā weʾæt ʿammkā badābær (Ex 9,15) Si j’avais laissé aller ma main, je t’aurais frappé de la peste, toi et ton peuple (TOB)

Le fait que dans les deux cas, la Septante fasse correspondre la forme šālaḥtî à un participe milite pour l’originalité des deux leçons. Bien sûr, on ne peut complétement exclure une autre hypothèse, à savoir que la Vorlage de Ex 9,15 ne possédait pas une forme du šālaḥ mais du verbe nāṭâ, puisque l’expression nāṭâ yad correspond souvent avec ἐκτείνω τὴν χεῖρα, y compris quand Dieu est le sujet66 comme en Ex 7,5 : ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος ἐκτείνων τὴν χεῖρα ἐπ’ Αἴγυπτον Moi, je suis le Seigneur qui tend la main contre l’Égypte. (Bible d’Alexandrie)

Cependant, ce changement de verbe en hébreu n’est pas attesté et n’est pas nécessaire. En effet, le contexte d’Ex 3,20 et d’Ex 9,15 n’est pas complétement identique : dans la première occurrence, les actes de Dieu sont des actes merveilleux, tandis que dans le deuxième verset, il s’agit d’envoyer la peste (dæbær) sous la forme de la mort (θάνατος67). Ainsi, l’examen du livre de l’Exode montre que l’expression ἐκτείνω τὴν χεῖρα peut être appliquée à Dieu, tandis que (ἐξα / ​ἀ)ποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα n’est appliquée qu’à Dieu. La différence entre les deux pourrait résider dans le mode d’action divine attaché au l’expression šālaḥ yad. Alors que Dieu peut étendre la main dans une action de puissance, il envoie sa main quand il veut envoyer la mort sous la forme de la peste68.

3. Envoyer la main, envoyer la mort ? Au terme de ce parcours des occurrences de l’expression (ἐξα / ​ἀ)ποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα dans la Septante, il est possible de dresser quelques conclusions sur la 65 En toute rigueur il manquerait une conjonction en grec, telle que καί. Cependant, comme il s’agit d’une citation de la part d’Aristobule, il est tout à fait possible qu’il n’ait pas mentionné cette conjonction, même si elle était présente dans le texte qu’il possédait. 66 P. ex. So 1,4 ; 2,13 ; Jr 6,12 ; 15,6; Ez 6,14 ; 14,9.13 … 67 Comprise non comme la fin de la vie mais comme une pestilence, cf. BDAG. 68 Il faut se garder de systématiser ; Ez 6,14 montre bien que l’expression ἐκτείνω τὴν χεῖρα convient bien à Dieu, même quand il s’agit d’apporter la mort sur Terre.

La main de Cyrus ou la main de Dieu ?


question de l’anthropomorphisme. De fait, l’expression šālaḥ yād peut être interprétée comme un anthropomorphisme. On retrouve même des spéculations sur la dimension de la main de Dieu jusqu’au moyen-âge dans la littérature juive69. Or, après une période où les chercheurs pensaient que anthropomorphismes étaient évités dans la Septante70, cette assertion a été contredite de nombreuses fois. De nombreux changements, initialement attribués au rejet de l’anthropomorphisme, ne seraient qu’affaire de style71. Cependant, Rösel tend à montrer, notamment par de petits changements, que la Septante accentue la transcendance de Dieu72. Ainsi, dit Rösel, si les hommes peuvent pécher contre Dieu dans le TM, dans la Septante, ils se contentent de pécher devant Dieu. Il est assez tentant de penser que le choix d’ἀποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα résulterait de la même tendance. La main de Dieu ne serait que l’émanation d’un Dieu qui, lui, reste inaccessible. Il s’agit d’ailleurs de l’interprétation d’Aristobule dans le fragment que nous avons étudié plus haut73. Moïse parle de la « main de Dieu » de la même manière qu’on parle de la « main du roi » pour désigner sa puissance. Il est donc indéniable que l’expression ἀποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα a pu être interprétée de manière non anthropomorphique. Cependant, il n’est pas certain que tel était le but du traducteur. Ainsi, Munnich74 invite à rester prudent. L’anthropomorphisme est probablement un concept moderne. Quand un ancien attribue à Dieu une caractéristique humaine, rien ne permet réellement de savoir s’il « humanise » Dieu ou s’il donne au mot une valeur divine. Ainsi l’utilisation des deux expressions ἀποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα et ἐκτείνω τὴν χεῖρα en Exode 3,20 et 9,15, dans des contextes relativement similaires, semblent indiquer que ce n’est pas l’anthropomorphisme qui est en jeu, mais bien plutôt la conséquence de l’action divine : phénomène de 69 M. Bar-Ilan, « The Hand of God. A Chapter in Rabbinic Anthropomorphism », G. SedRajna, Rashi 1040–1990. Hommage à Ephraïm E. Urbach. Congrès européen des études juives (Patrimoines Judaïsme), Paris : Cerf, 1993, 321–335. 70  Cf. C. T.  Fritsch, The Anti-Anthropomorphisms of the Greek Pentateuch, Princeton : Princeton University Press, 1943, mais ce dernier reconnaît qu’il n’y a pas une méthode cohérente (p. 62) mais une tendance (p. 65). 71  H. M.  Orlinsky « Review of the Anti-Anthropomorphisms of the Greek Pentateuch », Crozier Quarterly 21, 1944, 156–160 pense que c’est simplement une affaire de style. Idem, « Studies in the Septuagint of the Book of Job. Chapter III : On the Matter of Anthropomorphisms, Anthropopathisms, and Euphemisms », HUCA 30, 1959, 153–167, spécialement p. 156, critique la vue d’un anti-anthropomorphisme chez Job. Voir A. Soffer, “The Treatment of Anthropomorphisms and Anthropopathisms in the Septuagint of Psalms”, HUCA 28, 1957, 85–107. 72  Cf. M. Rösel « Theo-Logie der griechischen Bibel. Zur Wiedergabe der Gottesaussagen im LXX-Pentateuch », VT 48, 1998, 49–62, spécialement 58–59 : Les hommes ne peuvent pas pécher contre Dieu, mais devant Dieu (Ex 10 16) ou Nb 23,19: « Dieu n’est pas un homme » (TM) contre « Dieu n’est pas comme un homme » (LXX). La Septante démontre une plus claire transcendance de Dieu par rapport au TM. Voir aussi Idem, « Towards a ‘Theology of the Septuagint’ », W. Kraus, R. G. Wooden (éds.), Septuagint Research. Issues and Challenges in the Study of the Greek Jewish Scriptures (SBLSCS 53), Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2006), 247 n. 28. 73 Aristobule, fr. 1 l.40–77 = Eusèbe, Praep. Ev. 8.10.5–9 74 O. Munnich, « Problèmes de méthode posés par l’emploi du concept d’anthropomorphisme dans les études septantistes », BIOSCS 14, 1981, 48–49.


Patrick Pouchelle

puissance dans le premier cas, envoi d’un agent mortel dans le second. Cette idée que Dieu envoie un agent bénéfique ou maléfique correspond à l’utilisation de šālaḥ avec Dieu comme sujet75 mais se retrouve aussi quand (ἐξα / ​ἀ)ποστέλλω ne correspond pas à šālaḥ. Ainsi, en Ex 15,10, le TM possède nāšaptā berûḥakā « Tu fis souffler ton vent », alors que la Septante donne ἀπέστειλας τὸ πνεῦμά σου « tu envoyas ton esprit ». Wevers76, envisage que le traducteur évite un anthropomorphisme en renonçant au verbe « souffler » nāšap, pour ἀποστέλλω plus « neutre ». Cette explication est possible mais il se pourrait qu’il s’agisse de la même interprétation que pour la main : Dieu « envoie » une manifestation de sa puissance. On trouve le même choix en Lv 25,21 et Dt 28,8 où le grec ἀποστέλλω τὴν εὐλογίαν μου « envoyer la bénédiction » remplace la collocation ṣiwwâ ʾæt habberākâ, « ordonner la bénédiction », rendant implicite ce que le TM évoque. Dans le TM, Dieu ordonne sa bénédiction vers » ; dans la LXX, Dieu envoie sa bénédiction. On retrouve un changement similaire en Ez 34,26 : dans le TM, Dieu fait tomber une pluie de bénédiction ; dans la LXX, il envoie une pluie de bénédiction. Cependant, Dieu envoie également des agents maléfiques. Ainsi, en Dt 29,22 la LXX fait correspondre ἀποστέλλω au verbe ḥālâ « rendre malade » : ils verront les blessures de ce pays, et les maladies dont l’aura frappé (ḥālâ) le SEIGNEUR (TOB Dt 29,22) ils verront les plaies de cette terre et les maladies que le Seigneur a envoyées (ἀποστέλλω) sur elle (Bible d’Alexandrie)

Même si la collocation (ἐξα / ​ἀ)ποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα n’est pas utilisée en dehors de la Septante, à part la citation d’Aristobule, les écrits ultérieurs témoignent d’une conception de Dieu qui envoie des agents qui témoigne de sa puissance sur terre77. En conclusion, le choix d’utiliser ἀποστέλλω τὴν χεῖρα n’est donc pas un hébraïsme mais résulte d’un choix délibéré du traducteur. Ce choix se retrouve dans l’utilisation avec Dieu comme sujet, par la Septante, d’ἀποστέλλω alors que le TM ne le requiert pas. Cet usage correspond à un usage assez fréquent de šālaḥ dans les textes hébreux plus tardifs, ou d’ἀποστέλλω dans les textes écrits directement en grec. Il désigne en fait une activité divine qui envoie sur terre une forme de sa puissance, qu’elle soit bénéfique ou maléfique. L’envoi de la main serait synonyme à l’envoi d’une peste. D’autre part, ce choix de traduction n’a pas été réalisé pour diminuer un anthropomorphisme divin, puisque le choix concurrent : ἐκτείνω τὴν χεῖρα notamment quand il correspond à nāṭâ yad peut s’appliquer à Dieu. Ainsi, la main d’Ez 2,9 se tend pour montrer le livre au Prophète, de même en Ez 8,3, il s’agit bien d’un être semblable à un homme qui étend la main et saisit le prophète. 75 Et

où (ἐξα / ​ἀ)ποστέλλω correspond en grec, voir par exemple Ex 15,7; 23,20 ; Nb 21,6. Notes on the Greek Text of Exodus (SBLSCS 30), Atlanta, GA : Scholars Press, 1990, 231. 77 p. ex. Bar 3,33 ; Ep Jer 59.61 ; 2 Macc 11,6 ; 15,2.23 ; Bel 37; Sir 15,9 ; 34,6. 76  J. W.  Wevers,

La main de Cyrus ou la main de Dieu ?


Cette expression se retrouve d’ailleurs en Act 4:30. En conséquence, la disparition complète de l’image de la main étendue en Ex 24,11 doit s’expliquer autrement78.

78 Voir aussi R. Hanhart, « Die Bedeutung der Septuaginta für die Definition des ‚Hellenistischen Judentums‘ », J. A.  Emerton (éd.), Congress Volume Jerusalem 1986 (VTSup 40), Leiden : Brill, 1986, 70 (67–80). Gö rapporte que des exemplaires de la Vulgate annotée rapportent une traduction latine de la LXX comportant misit manum tuam : il peut s’agir d’une version concurrente mais peut-être d’une influence de la Vulgate. Mais il ne s’agit pas d’un évitement d’anthropomorphisme puisque l’expression est donnée en Ex 9,15.

Coining Silver: The Translation of ‫ כסף‬in the Septuagint Justus T. Ghormley Of the various challenges that the creators of the Septuagint faced when translating the Jewish Bible, the rendering of Hebrew economic terms into Greek pres ente d an interesting dilemma. For behind these terms stood an entrenched monetary system which was alien to the Greek world. Every monetary system produces its own unique linguistic pressures that foster the development of a certain lexicon of economic terms. Different systems require different terminology. For both ancient Greece and the ancient Near East, the metallic element silver became the predominant means of exchange; however, since the monetary systems of these two worlds were distinct, each world developed its own unique way of referring to silver money linguistically. For example, the words ‫ כסף‬in Hebrew and ἀργύριον in Greek – both of which correspond roughly with the concept of “silver” or of “silver money” – do not enjoy identical semantic fields; each word possesses its own nuances that are a direct result of the linguistic pressures created by the monetary system of their particular world. In this chapter I explore how the different monetary systems of Greece and of the Near East shaped the connotations of these two words, ἀργύριον and ‫כסף‬, respectively. Following this, I investigate how the translators of the Septuagint solved the puzzle created by the unequal semantic fields of these comparable economic terms. I demonstrate that the translators did not employ a consistent approach in their translation of the term ‫כסף‬: sometimes they represented the subtle nuances of this word with distinct Greek equivalents; but at other times they simply employed the single term ἀργύριον without regard to the different shades of meaning of ‫כסף‬ – a practice which stretched the semantic field of this Greek word. Yet, this seemingly innovated use of ἀργύριον largely did not impact the written Greek of Jewish and Christian writers after the Septuagint. At the conclusion of this chapter, I provide some suggestions for why this impact did not occur, arguing in part that the widespread monetary role played by ἀργύριον in the Greek economy exerted a stronger influence on the noun’s semantic field than any innovative use of the word in the Septuagint.

Coining Silver


1. The Semantic Field of ἀργύριον The semantic field of the word ἀργύριον reflects the monetary system of ancient Greece, a point underappreciated by Greek lexicons. While lexicons recognize ἀργύριον as the Greek word for silver coinage and for money, collectively,1 they also present the word as a synonym of ἄργυρος meaning silver material in general. As evidence, lexicons flag occurrences of the word in lists of metals as in ἀργύριον καὶ χρυσίον (“silver and gold,” e. g. Isocrates, Antid. 15.307) and references to uncoined silver pieces (e. g. ἄσημον ἀργύριον, “unmarked silver,” Aristotle, Oec. 2.1351a; cf. Plutarch, Quaest. Conv. 5.1). Usually noted is the reference to ἀργυρίου ἄνθος (lead oxide) in Hippocrates (Nat. Mul. 33). In such cases ἀργύριον appears to signify silver as a material rather than as silver coins or as money in general. While the observation that ἀργύριον may function as a synonym of ἄργυρος – meaning silver material – is correct, it is possible to detect a subtle distinction in the use of these two words even when they refer to the metallic element silver. Silver material can be put to various uses: it may be utilized for economic purposes, e. g. in the minting of coins or the payment of wages; or it may be used for decorative purposes, for instance in the molding of silver vessels or the plating of statues. Upon closer examination, when silver material plays a markedly decorative function, the word ἄργυρος (or the derivative adjective ἀργυροῦς) – but not ἀργύριον – is typically employed. The word ἀργύριον is reserved for silver material that has an economic function, a subtly not usually marked by lexicons. For most of the examples given above where ἀργύριον refers to silver material, the monetary function of that silver material is easily apprehended. For example, to describe silver material as “uncoined” – as in the references to ἄσημον ἀργύριον noted above – is to highlight the monetary potential of that silver. In fact, such silver – i. e. silver described as “unmarked” – is elsewhere employed monetarily (cf. Thucydides Hist. 6.8.1). Additionally, since the term χρυσίον may connote gold coins, the occurrence of ἀργύριον alongside of this term – as in the phrase “silver and gold” – may simply refer to money rather than to silver material with another purpose (e. g. Xenophon, Lac. 7.6; Appian, Bell. civ. 4.5.31). What is more, in texts where both ἀργύριον and ἄργυρος occur in proxymity, a clear semantic difference is noticeable. Aristotle (Oec. 2.1350b), for instance, seems to make a distinction between silver to be coined (ἀργύριον) and the silver of silver vessels (ἄργυρος). Telling a story of a certain officer, Didales the Persian – who needed to pay his soldiers – Aristotle writes that Didales seized κοῖλος ἄργυρος (“hollow silver,” i. e. silver vessels) from various temples, and loaded them on mules in such a way that they had the appearance of a load of ἀργύριον, that is silver to be coined and used as payment. In other words, 1 E. g.



Justus T. Ghormley

Aristotle refers to the same mass of silver material as ἄργυρος when its state is decorative (in the form of temple furnishings), but in the following sentence as ἀργύριον when its purpose in purportedly monetary. Likewise, Aristophanes (Plut. 809–814) uses distinct words when referring to silver and gold pieces stored in chests (ἀργυρίου καὶ χρυσίου) and when describing shaped silver (πινακίσκους … ἀργυροῦς). This same distinct use of ἀργύριον and ἄργυρος is apparent in later periods. Polybius (Hist. 5.88.5) recounts how after the earthquake of Rhodes, patrons Hiero and Gelo gave the Rhodians one hundred talents of silver including seventy-five talents of ἀργύριον towards the cost of repairing the gymnasium alongside λέβητας ἀργυροῦς, or silver cauldrons. While Polybius catalogues both of these donations as part of the same gift of one hundred talents of silver, the historian utilizes a different word for silver depending on whether the silver has a monetary or decorative function. Somewhat comparably, Strabo (Geogr. 15.3.21) – in his depiction of the Persians – makes distinct use of ἀργύριον and ἄργυρος. He describes how Persians obtain silver from the coastlands, employing the term ἀργύριον for silver in general, perhaps unconventionally. He employs this Greek term – with its monetary connotation – seemingly in order to flag for his readers how surprising he finds the Persian use of this silver to be. The greater part, Strabo tell us, is not used for coining money (νόμισμα) as one would expect, but as crafted silver (ἄργυρον ἐν κατασκευαῖς εἶναι), that is shaped into forms easily stored and given as presents. Here Strabo likely refers back to the luxurious Persian furnishings and vessels formed out of such ἄργυρος mentioned two sections earlier (15.3.19). Similarly, Plutarch (Quaest. conv. 5.1) in the same breath mentions ἀργύριον ἄσημον (“uncoined silver”) and ζῴδιον ἀργυροῦν ἢ ἔκπωμα (“a silver figure or cup”). While both entities consist of silver, Plutarch employs distinct Greek terms when referring to them. Bulk silver with monetary potential – a potential indicated by the adjective ἄσημος – is marked as ἀργύριον, and crafted silver, by the modifier ἀργυροῦν (cf. Ant. 1.2). The monetary function of ἀργύριον is confirmed in texts where the value of ἄργυρος (“silver material”) is measured εἰς ἀργυρίου λόγον (“by the silver standard”) (e. g. Diodorus Siculus, Bibl. 16.56.6; cf. Thucydides, Hist. 2.97.3). In these cases, the word ἀργύριον defines a means of measuring value, which – as discussed below – is a basic function of money. In short, many authors from various periods appear to distinguish ἀργύριον and ἄργυρος, using the latter for decorative silver and the former for monetary silver. Note, however, a few later exceptions where ἀργύριον atypically indicates decorative silver (e. g. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Ant. Rom. 7.72.13; Plutarch, Pomp. 45.3). In spite of these cases, one may conclude that when ἀργύριον connotes silver material, the silver in view typically has a monetary as opposed to a decorative purpose.

Coining Silver


2. Historical-Economic Explanation for the Semantic Field of ἀργύριον The use of the word ἀργύριον for monetary silver, whether coined or in bulk, and collectively for money in general reflects the nature and development of the monetary economy of ancient Greece. Prior to the spread of coinage in the sixth and fifth centuries B. C. E., ancient Greeks had not developed what economic historians refer to as general-purpose money. This terminology requires some explanation: such historians make a distinction between general-purpose (or all-purpose) money and limited-purpose (or special-purpose) money.2 There are four basic purposes or functions of money: 1) a means of exchange, 2) a means of payment, 3) a unit of measuring value, and 4) a means of storing wealth. If, in a given economy, a medium of money plays all of these roles, it is classified as general-purpose money; if its function is limited to one or a few of these roles, it is classified as limited-purpose money. Before the development of coinage in ancient Greece, various commodities operated as limited-purpose money; no medium, however, served as general-purpose money.3 Silver bullion, for example, served as a means of storing value;4 and in Homer, cattle are used as a measure of value.5 Neither media, however, appears to have functioned as a means of exchange. On the other hand, wine and grain were exchanged for other goods in the market; and slaves, textiles, and metallic vessels served as means of payment; yet, none of these commodities developed into general-purpose money. The emergence of general-purpose money in ancient Greece was delayed until the adoption and spread of coinage.6 Given this correlation, it 2 S. von Reden, Money in Classical Antiquity (Key Themes in Ancient History), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, 3–4; D. M. Schaps, “What Was Money in Ancient Greece?,” W. V. Harris (ed), The Monetary Systems of the Greeks and Romans, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, 39–40. 3 I. Carradice, M. J.  Price, Coinage in the Greek World, London: Seaby, 1988, 20; von Reden, Money in Classical Antiquity, 22; Schaps, “What Was Money in Ancient Greece?”; idem, The Invention of Coinage and the Monetization of Ancient Greece, Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press, 2004; idem, “The Conceptual Prehistory of Money and Its Impact on the Greek Economy,” M. Balmuth (ed.), Hacksilber to Coinage: New Insights into the Monetary History of the Near East and Greece (Numistic Studies 24), New York: American Numismatic Society, 2001, 93–103; J. H. Kroll, “The Monetary Use of Weighted Bullion in Archaic Greece,” W. V. Harris (ed.), The Monetary Systems of the Greeks and Romans, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, 12–37; H. S. Kim, “Archaic Coinage as Evidence for the Use of Money,” A. Meadows, K. Shipton (eds.), Money and Its Uses in the Ancient Greek World, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001, 7–21. 4 The monetary function of silver bullion prior to the birth of coinage is debated; see: Kroll, “The Monetary Use of Weighted Bullion in Archaic Greece”; Schaps, “What Was Money in Ancient Greece?”; idem, The Invention of Coinage and the Monetization of Ancient Greece; idem, “The Conceptual Prehistory of Money and Its Impact on the Greek Economy.” 5 Carradice, Price, Coinage in the Greek World, 20. 6 Von Reden, Money in Classical Antiquity, 23–25. As noted by Carriage, Price, Coinage in the Greek World, 22, coinage possesses several inherent qualities that make it a suitable candidate for all-purpose money. Coins can be struck in various denominations: large denominations


Justus T. Ghormley

is not surprising that a Greek word for coinage (i. e. ἀργύριον) would secondarily come to signify “money” in general. That ἀργύριον, in particular, would develop this secondary meaning reflects the predominance of silver coins in ancient Greece, once coins were widely in circulation.7 The first coins – struck in Lydia sometime in the 6th century B. C. E. – were actually made of electrum, an alloy occurring naturally in western Anatolia; but by the end of that century, most coin-producing cities in Asia Minor had switched to minting silver coins exclusively.8 By the mid-fifth century, the practice of striking coins was established on the other side of the Aegean; and although many coins were struck from gold or bronze, silver was by far the preferred metal used in the minting of coins.9 The word ἀργύριον came to signify money in general because silver coins in particular circulated widely as all-purpose money.10 Put concisely, the secondary meaning of the word ἀργύριον is a direct result of the peculiar way in which general-purpose money emerged with the spread of silver currency in ancient Greece.

3. Silver Money in the Ancient Near East Turning to consider the economic world of Mesopotamia, one sees a notably different picture of the formation of general-purpose money.11 Although coinage were useful for storing value, and small denominations for circulation in the common market as a means of exchange and of payment. Moreover, the possibility of the standardization of coinage by governing officials presents the opportunity for this medium to serve as a measure of value. While these inherent qualities of coinage do not guarantee that coinage becomes generalpurpose money, these qualities do help explain why the emergence of general-purpose money in ancient Greece coincided with the spread of coinage across the lands of the Aegean.  7 Even bronze coins may be collectively referred to as ἀργύριον (cf. Plutarch, Cic. 29.4).  8 N. K.  Rutter, “Coinage, Greek,” The Oxford Classical Dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 4th ed. 2012, 342–44.  9 C. J.  Howgego, Ancient History from Coins (Approaching the Ancient World), London: Routledge, 1995, 15. 10 In Greek literature ἀργύριον predominately functions as a means of exchange (e. g. Xenophon, Anab. 7.3.5; Plato, Resp. 1.333b; 2.371c–d; much later, Dio Chrysostom, Serv. 14) or as a means of payment (e. g. Plato, Resp. 1.337d; Demosthenes, Mid. 21.47), but also as measure of value (e. g. εἰς ἀργυρίου λόγον, Diodorus Siculus, Bibl. 16.56.6; Plutarch, Ant. 45.4) and as a means of storing value (e. g. Xenophon, Ages. 8.6; Polybius, Hist. 18.35.4; Plutarch, Sera 11; Dio Chrysostom, 1 Regn. 62). In the Greek inscriptions and papyri, ἀργύριον functions as a means of exchange (e. g. SIG 691.15, 131/130 B. C. E., Salamis Island), as a means of payment (e. g. SEG 53.503.4, 9, 200/150 B. C. E., Korkyra; SIG 58.5, c.450 B. C. E., Miletus), or as a specific monetary standard (e. g. P.Hib. 70a10, 229/228 B. C. E., Hibeh; SEG 54.533, 159/158 B. C. E., Delphi). 11 For the following, see: G. le Rider, La naissance de la monnaie: Pratiques monétaires de l’Orient Ancien (Histoires), Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2001; R. Kletter, “Coinage Before Coins? A Response,” Levant 36, 2004, 207–10; idem, Economic Keystones the Weight System of the Kingdom of Judah (JSOTSup 276), Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998; D. C.  Snell, “Methods of Exchange and Coinage in Ancient Western Asia,” J. M. Sasson (ed.), Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, Vol. 3, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1995, 1487–97.

Coining Silver


was not introduced to the Near East until the Persian period, silver had served as all-purpose money for well over a thousand years. As early as the late third millennium, Mesopotamians were using silver as a means of payment and exchange. Records from this period indicate that workers were paid in silver and grain; and both could be used in the purchase of other goods. By the Old Babylonian period, silver functioned throughout the Near East as a measure of value, as indicated by records of the prices of various goods given in silver. At the close of the second millennium, silver had become the predominant medium of currency. Importantly, this silver did not circulate in the form of coins, but as bits and pieces of Hacksilber that when exchanged were first clumped or chipped into an approximate size and then weighed on scales.12 Silver also seems to have circulated in the form of rings or coils that could be easily cut off and weighed. In fact, the Akkadian word for silver, kaspum, originally carried the meaning “broken thing.”13 In other words, there was no conceptual or linguistic distinction between monetary silver and craft silver. The bits of silver used for paying workers’ wages could easily be melted and cast into a decorative form; and molded silver could just as easily be cut up and distributed as currency. For this reason, Akkadian did not require a separate word for money. Akkadian speakers simply used the word kaspum to mean both money and silver material. This is not to say that silver was the only commodity – or even the only precious metal – that served as money; but, silver, more than any other media, enjoyed status as general-purpose money, and thus came to signify money in general.

4. Silver in Ancient Israel and Biblical Hebrew The situation in Ancient Israel, itself residing under the shadow of the ancient Near East, was very much the same: weighed Hacksilber served as money long before the introduction of coinage.14 Consequently, the Hebrew word for silver material, ‫כסף‬ – like its Akkadian cognate kaspum – also signified all-purpose money. This secondary meaning of ‫ כסף‬is evinced by the word’s distribution in the Hebrew Bible: ‫ כסף‬frequently serves as a means of exchange; for instance, Jacob’s sons in Genesis 42–44 use ‫ כסף‬to purchase grain. The Hebrew noun also serves as a means of payment – as in Judg 16:5 when the Philistines bribe Delilah with ‫ כסף‬to betray the secret of Samson’s strength. Additionally, it functions as a means of storing value: ‫ כסף‬is amassed in great hoards by rulers such as King Solomon (e. g. 1 Kgs 7:51). Finally, ‫ כסף‬is used as a measure of value: for example, in the book of Leviticus (e. g. 5:15) where sacrificial animals are valued in shekels 12 Ibid., 13 Ibid.


14 See Kletter, “Coinage before Coins?”; idem, “Iron Age Hoards of Precious Metals in Palestine: An ‘Underground Economy’?,” Levant 35, 2003, 139–52; idem, Economic Keystones the Weight System of the Kingdom of Judah; G. Mayer, “Silver”, TDOT 7, 270–82.


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of ‫כסף‬. In short, Hebrew knows no independent word for money. The predominance of silver material as all-purpose money meant that one word, ‫כסף‬, could signify both silver material and money in general. Even payments of gold with silver could be referred to collectively as ‫( כסף‬e. g. 2 Kgs 12:14 [v13 Eng.]; cf. 2 Chron. 24:14).

5. The Translation of ‫ כסף‬in the Septuagint Unlike ancient Greek, which distinguishes craft silver from monetary silver linguistically, Hebrew refers to both with a single world. For this reason, when the creators of the Septuagint set out to translate the Hebrew Bible, the word ‫כסף‬ presented them with an interesting puzzle. Since no exact Greek term could be found, translators had to decide whether to represent this Hebrew lexeme with a single Greek word, thereby distorting the meaning of their translation, or to represent it with multiple words, in which case the translation would lack a consistent word-for-word correspondence with the original Hebrew text. It appears that these translators did a little of both. a. Dynamic Translation of ‫ כסף‬in the Septuagint In the majority of cases, the translators simply represented the Hebrew lexeme ‫ כסף‬with the word ἀργύριον. Of the roughly four hundred occurrences of the word ‫( כסף‬and its Aramaic equivalent ‫)ּכְסַף‬, around three hundred – or about 75 % – are translated as ἀργύριον in the Septuagint. The word ἀργύριον (as opposed to ἄργυρος) was an obvious candidate for expressing in the meaning of ‫כסף‬ in Greek; both words refer to monetary silver and to money in general. Additionally, since monetary and non-monetary silver were indistinguishable in ancient Israel, references in the Hebrew Bible to ‫כסף‬ – meaning silver material – always, even if tacitly, implied the monetary potential of that material, and so could reasonably be translated by ἀργύριον. Thus, in the majority of cases, where ‫ כסף‬signifies either silver material with monetary potential or money in general, ἀργύριον worked as an approximate Greek equivalent. When ‫ כסף‬represents decorative silver, however, employing the word ἀργύριον would stretch this word beyond its conventional usage. Sensitive to ἀργύριον’s limitations in such cases, the translators looked for other words to capture the decorative, non-monetary nuance of ‫כסף‬. Of the approximately four hundred instances of ‫ כסף‬in the Hebrew Bible, nine occurrences, or about 2 %, are expressed by the noun ἄργυρος, and another seventy-four occurrences, or 18.5 %, by the adjective ἀργυροῦς.15 15 The remaining occurrences of ‫ כסף‬have peculiar translations: five occurrences of the phrase ‫ מקנת־כסף‬are rendered ὁ ἀργυρώνητος (Gen 17:12,13,23,27; Exod 12:44); the amount ‫ אלף כסף‬in

Coining Silver


Beginning with the first, ἄργυρος repeatedly translates ‫ כסף‬when the silver material in view has a decorative function. For instance, in the construction of the tabernacle, the hooks and fillets of the pillars of the outer court are “of silver” (‫ ;)כסף‬the Septuagint expresses this with the phrase περιηργυρωμέναι ἀργύρῳ, or “plated with silver” (Exod 27:11).16 Similarly, in Ezra 1:11 (2 Esdr 1:11), one reads of vessels of gold and silver (‫ )כלים לזהב ולכסף‬which in Greek reads as τὰ σκεύη τῷ χρυσῷ καὶ τῷ ἀργύρῳ. In three places, ἄργυρος refers to silver refined by fire (Prov 17:3; 27:21; Ezek 22:20), a process required in the production of silver regardless of that silver’s specific function, monetary or otherwise. In other occurrences of ἄργυρος, the silver material in view either plays a definite decorative function (cf. Dan 2:35, 45) or at the least does not have an overtly monetary pur p os e (cf. Prov 10:20; Isa 60:9). The two occasions of ἄργυρος in the nontranslated books of the Septuagint agree with this observation. There, in Wis 7:9 and 13:10, the noun marks silver in general, that is without an explicit monetary purpose. In sum, when the translators of the Septuagint came across places when ἀργύριον would not work as a natural rendering of ‫כסף‬, they occasionally made use of the basic noun for silver, ἄργυρος. This noun could also be employed when the si lver in view did not have an overt monetary function. Following Greek convent i on, however, the translators never employed this noun on occasions when the silver material under consideration had a definite monetary function. Similarly, the translators employed the adjective ἀργυροῦς – itself derived from ἄργ υ ρο ς  – in places where the use of ἀργύριον would be forced. In the vast majority of instances,17 this adjective translates ‫ כסף‬when it stands at the end of a construct chain, for example: ‫כלי־כסף‬, “vessels of silver” (e. g., Gen 24:53; Exod 3:22; 2 Sam [2 Kgdms] 8:10; Ezra [2 Esdr] 5:14 [‫)]ּכְסַף‬, ‫גביע הכסף‬, “a cup of silver” (e. g. Gen 44:2), ‫אלהי כסף‬, “gods of silver” (e. g. Exod 20:23), ‫אדני־כסף‬, “bases of silver” for the tabernacle (e. g. Exod 26:19), ‫קערת־כסף‬, “a plate of silver” (Num 7:13), and, ‫חצוצרת כסף‬, “silver trumpets” (Num 10:2).18 In all of these instances, Gen 20:16 stands as χίλια δίδραχμα; the same words in Isa 7:23 occur as χιλίων σίκλων in Greek; the longer form ‫ בערכך כסף‬in Num 18:16 occurs in a shorter form ἡ συντίμησις (cf. varitions in Lev 5:15,18,25; 27:2,27); in Psalm 68:14 [v13 Eng.] (67:14 G), the words ‫ נחפה בכסף‬are translated as περιηργυρωμέναι in Greek; the same Greek participle translates ‫ צפוי… כספך‬in Isa 30:22; the Vorlage of Esth 4:7 in the Septuagint seems to be a different text than the MT, though ταλάντων μυρίων may represent ‫ ;הכסף‬and twice, perhaps in order to express a more realistic or impressive su m of m oney, ‫ כסף‬is translated with χρυσοῦς “gold” (Gen 37:28; 45:22); see J. A. L.  Lee, A Lexical Study of the Septuagint Version of the Pentateuch (SBLSCS 14), Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1983, 64–65; Mayer, TDOT 7, 272, notes a few places where ‫ כסף‬is interpreted slightly differently to clarify the word’s sense: λύτρα (“ransom”) in Num 3:51; χρήματα (“wealth”) in Job 27:17; τιμῆς (“price”) in Job 31:39; and ὁρμίσκῳ σαρδίου (“a necklace of sardius”) in Prov 25:11. 16 In Exod 27:11 G, the bases of the pillars are also plated with silver. 17 Note the following exceptions: Jer 52:19, where the Hebrew form is unusual; Hos 2:10, in which ἀργυροῦς is a plus in G; Zech 11:12–13, where ἀργυροῦς is unconventionally used for monetary silver (see below); and Dan 2:32, in which ἀργυροῦς translates the Aramaic phrase ‫ּדִ י‬ ‫ כְסַף‬. 18 In the tabernacle narrative of Exodus, ἀργυροῦς also translates decorative ‫ כסף‬when it functions as a predicate nominative (Exod 26:21,25; 27:10,17; 37:15 [=38:17 M]; 37:17 [= 38:19 M]).


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the silver material under consideration lacks an explicit monetary function but has a clear decorative purpose. Moreover, all fifteen occurrences of ἀργυροῦς in the books of the Septuagint not found in the Hebrew Bible refer to decorative silver. The s i ngle exception to this rule falls in Zech 11:12–13. Twice these verses mention thirty pieces of ‫ כסף‬that are given in payment; in both cases the Septuagint reads τριάκοντα ἀργυροῦς. This uncharacteristic use ἀργυροῦς for monetary silver could be the result of translation or scribal error; and many manuscripts of this text have a form of ἀργύριον in place of ἀργυροῦς.19 Without solving this problem, one may conclude that the translators of the Septuagint – as was the case with the noun ἄργυρος – employed the adjective ἀργυροῦς almost exclusively on occasions when ‫ כסף‬signified decorative silver, that is on occasions when the use of ἀργύριον would be unconventional. Thus, one sees some effort by the translators to reflect the nuances of the word ‫ כסף‬with more than one Greek equivalent. In fact, a few Septuagintal texts, where ἀργύριον and ἄργυρος (or its derivate ἀργυροῦς) occur in proximity, evince the translators’ commitment to capturing the various senses of ‫ כסף‬with distinct and appropriate Greek diction.20 For insta n c e, twelve plates of silver in Num 7:84 are described with the adjective ἀργυροῦς (φιάλαι ἀργυραῖ). Yet in the following verse (v. 85), this same silver, when calculated for its monetary value, is called ἀργύριον. The text of 2 Chronicles 24:14 (cf. its parallel, 2 Kgs [4 Kgdms] 12:14 [v. 13 Eng.]) mentions a quantity of ‫ כסף‬that is both used as money – for paying workers and buying supplies – and for making of temple vessels: ‫הביאו לפני המלך ויהוידע את־ׁשאר הכסף ויעׂשהו כלים‬ ‫ לבית־יהוה … וכלי זהב וכסף‬. The translators, distinguishing the nuances of the word ‫ כסף‬in this verse, utilized distinct Greek lexemes in their translation: they render e d the monetary ‫ כסף‬with ἀργύριον and the molded ‫ כסף‬with ἀργυροῦς: ἤνε γ κ αν πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα καὶ πρὸς Ιωδαε τὸ κατάλοιπον τοῦ ἀργυρίου καὶ ἐποίησαν σκεύη εἰς οἶκον κυρίου … καὶ θυίσκας χρυσᾶς καὶ ἀργυρᾶς. Similarly, in 2 Sam (2 Kgdms) 8:10–11, King David’s great stores of wealth, consisting of ‫“( הכסף והזהב‬the silver and the gold”), are mentioned alongside of ‫כלי־כסף וכלי־זהב‬ (“vessels of silver and gold”). In the Greek translation, the stores of silver are marked as ἀργύριον, while the crafted silver of the vessels stands as ἀργυροῦς. The identical distinct usage is employed in the parallel text of 1 Chr 18:10–11. Compare, as well, Genesis 44:1–2, where Joseph has his servant place in his brothers’ sacks both their ‫כסף‬ – i. e., the money with which they purchased grain – and In three places, the Hebrew Vorlage of the tabernacle account is uncertain; but the grammatical use of ἀργυροῦς in those cases does not veer from the examples attested above: in 38:20 (≈ 36:34 M) the adjective most likely stands for the rectum of a construct chain and once in 37:4 (≈ 36:36 M) for a predicate nominative. 19 See the Göttingen edition of the Septuagint 20 Consider also occurrences found the books of the Septuagint not found in the Hebrew Bible: e. g., 1 Esdr 8:56 where ἀργύριον distinctly signifies monetary silver, weighed in talents, while ἀργυροῦς describes the silver of vessels; see also, Bar 1:8,10.

Coining Silver


Joseph’s own drinking cup made of ‫ ;כסף‬following Greek convention, the first instance of ‫ כסף‬is translated with ἀργύριον and the second with ἀργυροῦς.21 That said, in two places where ἀργύριον and ἄργυρος occur in proximity, the distinct usage of these terms appears to break down. First, in 2 Esdr 1:6–11, silver v e s sels are both referred to as σκεύεσιν ἀργυρίου (v. 6) and τὰ σκεύη … τῷ ἀργύρῳ (v. 11).22 Second, in Ezek 22:20–22, the Hebrew text twice mentions ‫כסף‬ refined in a furnace: while the sense of this word in the two occurrences is syno n ymous, the first mentioning is translated as ἄργυρος, but the second as ἀργύριον.23 Importantly, the first example from 2 Esdras showcases an unconventional usage of ἀργύριον that is widespread in the Septuagint. To such unconventional usage I will now turn. b. The Unconventional use of ἀργύριον in the Septuagint While in the majority of cases the translators followed Greek convention in their translation of ‫כסף‬, about thirty-nine times out of four hundred (almost 10 %) the translators employed the word ἀργύριον unconventionally for decorative silver.24 One reads of idols made of ἀργύριον in Deut 7:25; 29:16; Judg 17:3–4; Ps 113:12 ( 1 15:4 MT); Jer 10:4,9; Hos 8:4; and Hab 2:19. Similarly, Hos 13:2 mentions χώνευμα ἐκ τοῦ ἀργυρίου (“molten images of silver”). The word ἀργύριον also signifies silver used (or potentially used) in the forming of vessels (3 Kgdms 10:21, 2 Chr 9:20, 2 Esdr 1:6), of a crown (Zech 6:11), of decorative bands (Song 1:11), and of furnishings of the tabernacle (Exod 25:3; 27:17; 35:5,24 37:15,17 [38:17,19 MT]; 39:4 [38:27 MT]). Additionally, craftsmen are described as being skilled in working in ἀργύριον (Exod 31:4; 35:32; 2 Chr 2:6). God describes Jerusalem as a girl adorned in ἀργύριον in Ezek 16:13,17. Further, the hoard of ‫ כסף‬amassed by D a vid designated as building material for the construction of the temple is marked as ἀργύριον (1 Chr 22:14; 29:2). The sheer quantity and pervasiveness of these exceptions – where the translators employed ἀργύριον for decorative silver – seem to argue against the explanation that such exceptions are the result of scribal or translation error. Instead, these exceptions appear to indicate that the translators did not always intend to represent the various nuances of ‫ כסף‬with distinct Greek equivalents, but on certain occasions had reason to translate this Hebrew word with a single Greek equivalent.  Cf. Hos 2:10 (G ≈ MT). evidence favors the difficult reading of v. 6: ἀργύριον] αργυρου Eus un Is. 23 For Ezek 22:20–22, only one manuscript (967) offers a variant reading; however, this reading – which has αργυριον for ἄργυρος in v. 20 and αργυρος for ἀργύριον in v. 22 – is no better than the majority reading since it merely presents the same inconsistency of translation in reverse order. 24 In three places where the MT and the Greek text have different readings, the function of silver in the MT is clearly decorative while function of the silver in the Greek text is at most uncertain (Prov 25:4; 26:23; Hos 9:6). In these cases, the different reading in Greek either reflects a different Hebrew Vorlage or is a result of free translation. 21

22 Manuscript


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Significantly, the translators’ break with convention – woodenly translating ‫כסף‬ with ἀργύριον even when decorative silver is in view – appears to be bound up w i th a larger translation tendency. In the large majority of instances where ἀργύριον is used atypically for decorative silver, this word occurs in proximity with the Greek word χρυσίον, meaning “a piece of gold” (roughly thirty out of thirty-nine times). In only nine places (out of thirty-nine) does ἀργύριον mark decorative silver in the absence of the word χρυσίον.25 It appears that whenever the Hebrew (or Aramaic) nouns for silver and gold stood together in the same verse (e. g. in the phrases ‫ זהב וכסף‬or ‫)כסף וזהב‬, the translators simply employed t he Greek lexemes ἀργύριον and χρυσίον, regardless of whether decorative or non-decorative silver was in view. When adjectives are expected, as when ‫ כסף‬and ‫ זהב‬stand at the end of parallel construct chains (e. g. ‫ אלהי כסף ואלהי זהב‬in Exod 20:23), one typically finds ἀργυροῦς and χρυσοῦς.26 But when ‫ כסף‬and ‫ זהב‬occur together as nouns, in almost every case (about 95 % of the time) the Septuagint employs ἀργύριον and χρυσίον. The words ἄργυρος and χρυσός translate these H e brew words (when used in tandem) only seven out of about one hundred thirty-one times. This tendency to translate these Hebrew lexemes with ἀργύριον and χρυσίον is itself reflective of the translators’ more primary inclination to always render the noun ‫ זהב‬with χρυσίον rather than χρυσός. The former marks ‫ זהב‬around three hundred times; the latter, only thirteen times. Importantly, the semantic field of 25  Five of these nine exceptions – all in the tabernacle narrative of Exodus – present ἀργύριον in the dative following a passive participle: κατηργυρωμένοι ἀργυρίῳ in 27:17, and περιηργυρωμέναι / ​οι ἀργυρίῳ in 37:15 (twice), v. 17,18 (≈ 38:17,19,20 MT). In Exod 27:17, the Greek phrase translates the pual participle phrase ‫ ְמ ֻחּׁשָקִים ּכֶסֶף‬. This same Hebrew phrase occurs in 37:15b [≈ 38:17b MT] and thus probably stands behind the occurrence of περιηργυρωμένοι ἀργυρίῳ in the Septuagint’s rendering of that verse. One cannot be certain, however, since the Vorlage of the Septuagint in these chapters differs from the MT. The same Hebrew phrase may also have stood behind the other occurrences of περιηργυρωμέναι / ​οι ἀργυρίῳ in 37:15a,17,18 (≈ 38:17a,19,20 MT). Alternatively, the Greek phrase in 37:17a (≈ 38:17a MT) and 37:17 (≈ 38:19 MT) may be the result of midreading ‫ ֲחׁשֻקֵיהֶם ּכָסֶף‬as ‫ ְמ ֻחּׁשָקִים ּכֶסֶף‬. In any case, the distinct use of ἀργύριον with a passive participle seems to be a deliberate construction. For, throughout these verses, the translators show sensitivity to the various conno tations of the He brew lexeme ‫כסף‬. For example, in 37:15 (38:1 7 MT) one reads of hooks (ἀγκύλαι) made of silver (ἀργυραῖ), and then distinctly of capitals and pillars (κεφαλίδες and στῦλοι) that are plated in ἀργύριον (περιηργυρωμέναι / ​οι ἀργυρίῳ). A loose pattern emerges: ce rtain structural elements of the tabernacle – namely t he sock ets of the tabernacle frames (called βάσις in 26:19,21,25,32; 37:4 [36:36 MT]; cf. 27:11; but called κεφαλίδας in 38:20 G; 39:4) an d the rings and c lasps (κρίκοι and ψαλίδες) of the pil lars of the court, also called hooks (ἀγκύλαι) – are made of silver, ἀργυροῦς (27:10; 37:15,17 [38:17,19 MT]; 38:20 G), or, in one place, are plated with ἄργυρος (27:11). The pillars of the court, however, are plated in ἀργύριον (27:17; 37:15 [38:17 MT]). The pattern is not perfect, however: the capitals of the pillars of the court (κεφαλίδες) are both described as being made of silver, ἀργυροῦς (27:17; 38:20 [≈ 36:34 MT]), but also plated with ἀργύριον in Exod 37:15,17 (38:17,19 MT). Moreover, when the silver used in the building of the tabernacle is described collectively, it is referred to as ἀργύριον (Exod 25:3, 35:5,24), even in references to the silver of the tabernacle’s sockets (Exod 39:4 [38:27 MT]), which as noted are typically signified by ἀργυροῦς. 26 About forty-one times the adjectives ἀργυροῦς and χρυσοῦς occur together.

Coining Silver


χρ υσίον is only par tially comparable to that of ἀργύριον. Both words refer to pieces of precious metal, to coins struck out of that metal, and to money in general. But there is also a significant difference between these two words. While ἀργύριον frequently refers to silver material when it has a monetary as opposed to decorative function, the word χρυσίον appears to refer to both monetary and decorative gold.27 For this reason, χρυσίον is a much closer approximate of ‫ זהב‬than ἀργύριον is of ‫כסף‬. In seemingly every case, the translators could simply insert χρυσίον whenever their text read ‫זהב‬. Furthermore, it is worth noting that for verses where the Hebrew nouns gold and silver are both mentioned, almost without exception, wherever χρυσίον is us ed, ἀργύριον is f ound as well; and wherever one finds χρυσός, there sits ἄργυρος.28 Not surprising, the adjectives ἄργυρος and χρυσός are almost always exclusively paired with each other, too. The translators were highly consistent in their pairing of root noun with root noun, diminutive with diminutive, and adjective with adjective. It appears, for instance, that they were very unwilling to pair χρυσίον with ἄργυρος even when the latter would better fit a given context, e. g. when decorative silver was in view. This strong tendency to employ the diminutive ἀργύριον alongside its fellow diminutive χρυσίον whenever the Hebrew text presented ‫ זהב‬and ‫ כסף‬side-by-side – a tendency which is itself reflective of the translators’ practice of translating ‫ זהב‬with χρυσίον – accounts for the vast majority of occasion when ἀργύριον unconventionally represents decorative silver. In other words, the unconventional use of ἀργύριον seems primarily to be an accident of this tendency (to pair diminutive with diminutive) rather than an intentional innovation on the part of the translators.

6. The Semantic Field of ἀργύριον after the Septuagint Before concluding this chapter, it should be noted that this uncharacteristic use of ἀργύριον in the Septuagint for decorative silver is almost exclusively a feature of the translation Greek utilized in the translation of the books of the Hebrew Bible. Other texts of the Septuagint (i. e. those not found in the Hebrew Bible) do not reflect such usage. The lone exception to this rule is the Epistle of Jeremiah, where silver-plated idols are twice described as sources of ἀργύριον (9 [v10 Eng.], 57). The image of an ἀργύριον-covered idol is probably dependent upon the satire against idols in Jer 10:1–11, a passage where ἀργύριον is already atypically employed for decorative silver. Apart from these lines, the distinct use of ἄργυρος and ἀργυροῦς for decorative silver and ἀργύριον for monetary silver is upheld in 27 LSJ; for the use of χρυσίον for monetary gold, see e. g. Euripides, Cycl. 161; for the use of χρυσίον for decorative gold, see e. g. Demosthenes, Olymp. 48:55; Hippocrates, Artic. 32 describes a gold thread used to mend a fractured jaw. 28 As the only exceptions to this rule, ἀργύριον is thrice paired with χρυσός (2 Esdr 1:6; Sir 51:28; Job 3:15), and χρυσίον once with ἄργυρος in Dan 2:35 (not Theodotion).


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the Septuagint. Once more, such distinct use of these terms is evidenced in texts where these terms are juxtaposed (e. g., 1 Esdr 8:56; Bar 1:8, 10). The same is true of the Jewish writings not found in the Septuagint.29 Within this body of literature, ἀργύριον holds to its standard meaning, connoting silver money, coinage, or silver metal used monetarily. Josephus, for example, maintains a distinction between ἀργύριον for monetary silver and ἀργυροῦς for the silver of molded vessels (Ant. 11:136). In a few places, Josephus even “corrects” the Septuagint’s unusual “decorative” use of ἀργύριον, employing instead the more typical ἄργυρος – e. g., in the list of materials used in the tabernacle (Ant. 3.102; cf. Exod 25:3–7) – or ἀργυροῦς – e. g., of the silver capitals of the courtyard pillars (Ant. 3.109; cf. Exod 37:15 = 38:17 MT). His distinction is softened by only one verse (Ant. 7:379), which lists ἀργύριον with other materials such as iron and precious stones for the building of the temple; ἄργυρος is used synonymously a few verses earlier (Ant. 7.377). In short, the innovated use of ἀργύριον in the Septuagint did not make a significant impact on the written Greek of Jewish authors after the Septuagint. The story of ἀργύριον in the early Christian writing follows the same script.30 Nowhere in the New Testament31 or in the writings of the apostolic fathers32 does this word veer from its traditional usage as evinced by Greek literature. Instead, decorative silver is everywhere signified by the noun ἄργυρος or the adjective ἀργυροῦς. The nineteenth chapter of Acts – where ἀργύριον and ἀργυροῦς stand in relatively close proximity – offers a clear illustration: in 19:19, the former is used monetarily as a measure of value; a few verses later, in v24, the latter signifies 29   See J. T.  Ghormley, “Ἀργύριον,” in HTLS, forthcoming; in these writings, ἀργύριον either connotes a store of value (e. g. T. Levi 2.12; T. Jos 11.7; Jos. Asen. 2.7; 7.4), a means of exchange (e. g. Philo Deus 1.169; T. Zeb. 4.6; T. Jos 15.7; 17.4; T. Job 23.4, 7; 24.8–9), or a means of payment (e. g. Jos. Asen. 23.4). The distinct use of ἀργύριον for monetary silver and ἄργυρος or ἀργυροῦς for decorative silver is also confirmed in the Sibylline Oracles (cf. ἀργύριον in 2.44; 8.18; 11.258; ἄργυρος in 12.192; and ἀργυροῦς in 3.59). A possible exception to this distinction occurs in Ep. Arist. 1.33: there, ἀργύριον appears to refer to silver that is to be used in the crafting of temple vessels. However, when the vessels are made, they are described with the word ἀργυροῦς (1.76–78), and so the occurrence of ἀργύριον in 1.33 may be a reference to the economic value of the raw silver material (cf. the distinct use of ἀργύριον and ἀργυροῦς in Ep. Arist. 1.42). A true exception to this pattern is found in Eupolemus: there, following Septuagint usage, ἀργύριον functions exclusively as decorative silver (fr. 2.6,17,24; though cf. the use of ἄργυρος for decorative silver in 2.8). Note, however, that this passage, like the exception pointed out in the Epistle of Jeremiah above, is dependent upon the unconventional use of ἀργύριον in the Septuagint, which in the case of Eupolemus is the Septuagint’s descriptions of the building supplies of Solomon’s temple. 30 See, Ghormley, “Ἀργύριον,” in HTLS, forthcoming; 31 In the New Testament, ἀργύριον functions monetarily only: as a means of payment (e. g. Matt 26:15) and of exchange (e. g. Acts 7:16) and as a measure of value (e. g. Acts 19:19). 32 Thrice in the Didache, ἀργύριον refers to money (11.6,12; 13.7). The word also appears in a fragmentary Greek text of the Acta Pauli: although nested in a list which includes χρυσός (“gold”) and λίθος τίμιος (“precious stones”), the occurrence of the word may only reflect the broader usage of ἀργύριον in Greek indicating silver material and not its special usage in the Septuagint for decorative silver (Act. Paul. 1.11).

Coining Silver


decorative silver utilized in making shrines to the goddess Artemis. In passing one could also note that when the evangelist Matthew loosely cites Zech 11:12–13 (the passage noted above for its surprising use of ἀργυροῦς for monetary silver), he “fixes” the text replacing ἀργυροῦς with ἀργύριον (Matt 27:9–10).33 Here the evangelist reasserts, perhaps emphatically, that when monetary silver is in view, ἀργύριον is expected.34

7. Conclusion That the Septuagint’s unconventional use of ἀργύριον for decorative silver did not impact Jewish or Christian writing after the Septuagint is not surprising based on what I have already discussed. First, the translators of the Septuagint did with some frequency model a nuanced approach to translating the Hebrew word ‫;כסף‬ in these instances, the distinct use of ἀργύριον for monetary silver was reaffirmed f or Greek authors a fter the Septuagint. Second, in the vast majority of places w here ἀργύριον is e mployed atypically, the lexeme is paired with χρυσίον in contexts where the words ‫ כסף‬and ‫ זהב‬stand together. In such cases the atypical usage of ἀργύριον seems to be an accident resulting from the translators’ inclination to represent ‫ כסף‬and ‫זהב‬ – when used in tandem – with matching diminutives, i. e. ἀργύριον and χρυσίον, rather than an intentional widening of the semantic field of ἀργύριον. In other words, the translators were not setting a new precedent for later Jewish and Christian Greek authors to follow; their seemingly innovative use of ἀργύριον may actually be a reaffirmation of convention, namely the pairing of the diminutive ἀργύριον with its diminutive kin, χρυσίον. Third, and perhaps most importantly, the pervasive presence of silver coinage as genera l-purpose money d id not wane after the production of the Septuagint. This ubiquity of silver money across the Greek-speaking world probably ensured that the lexeme ἀργύριον would maintain its distinct semantic field regardless of any apparent widening of this field by the Septuagint’s translators. If so, it seems that t he monetary system of a given society is a cultural force whose influence on linguistic convention may at times be relatively stronger than even the usually dominating pressure exerted on language by prominent scriptural texts.

33 For a discussion of this text in Matthew see: M. J. J.  Menken, Matthew’s Bible: The Old Testament Text of the Evangelist (BETL 173), Leuven: Peeters, 2004. 34 The only possible exception is Matt 10:9, where Matthew’s Jesus tells his disciples not to carry ἄργυρος with them on mission; cf. the synoptic parallel in Luke 9:3 where Jesus prohibits carrying ἀργύριον.

Why is God not designated as an ἄρχων in the Septuagint? Marieke Dhont Introduction In the process of writing the lemmata ἄρχω and ἄρχων for the HTLS1, words that are very frequent in non-translated Greek, it came as no surprise that both occur often in the Septuagint (LXX) as well. What was surprising, however, is that God is hardly ever designated as an ἄρχων, nor does he appear as the subject of ἄρχω. Questions pertaining to the reasons behind this observation almost automatically arise. In what follows, I will discuss the usage of ἄρχω in the LXX and the LXX’s reluctance to use it with reference to God. This study consists of five parts. I will first present the background of both verb and noun (1). I then discuss their use in the LXX. It will become clear that the noun as well as the verb occur mainly in reference to human leadership (2–3). However, some examples can be found in which ἄρχω or ἄρχων refers to God; these cases will be discussed in the fourth section (4). If these cases are indeed exceptional, the question then arises what terms are used in reference to God’s leadership in the LXX. This question will be addressed in the last part of the present article (5) before, finally, presenting some general conclusions.

1. Greek background a. Basic meaning2 The root of ἄρχω originally means “to be first”. It can have a temporal connotation – hence the meaning “to begin” – or a metaphorical one regarding the point “ἄρχω, ἄρχων”, HTLS, vol. 1, 1000–10. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Transl. Arndt & Gingrich, Chicago, London: University of Chicago Press, 1979, 113–114; R. Beekes, “ἄρχω”, Etymological Dictionary of Greek, vol. 1, Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2010, 114–115; G. Delling, “ἄρχω, ἀρχή, ἀπἀρχή, ἀρχαῖος, ἀρχηγός, ἄρχων”, TWNT, vol. 1, Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1933, 476–488; M. Dhont, “ἄρχω, ἄρχων” (forthcoming); H. Liddell et alii, A GreekEnglish Lexicon, Oxford: Clarendon, 1996, 254. 1 M. Dhont, 2 W. Bauer,

Why is God not designated as an ἄρχων in the Septuagint?


of place  – thus meaning “to rule” and derivations thereof, such as “to be the leader” or “to command”. In Homeric Greek, both the active and the middle voice of ἄρχω are frequently used to indicate either of these connotations3. However, in Attic prose, and from then onwards consistently, the voices came to be used to indicate a difference in connotation. The middle indicates “to begin”, while the active voice means “to rule”. The noun ἄρχων is originally the participle of the verb ἄρχω, and became a common noun to indicate “ruler” or “commander”. Within the framework of this paper, it is justified to leave the middle voice of the verb aside, since the difference in connotation between the voices is consistent from the 6th century B. C. E. onwards, and this consistency is reflected in the LXX. This article thus focuses on the root’s connotations within the semantic field of “to rule”. b. A variety of contexts4 Both ἄρχω and ἄρχων occur in a variety of contexts. Usages of the verb in a more general way occur sometimes in literature and rarely in documentary sources5. We may cite the following example from Plato (Meno, 86d). ἐπειδὴ δὲ σὺ σαυτοῦ μὲν οὐδ᾽ ἐπιχειρεῖς ἄρχειν, ἵνα δὴ ἐλεύθερος ᾖς, ἐμοῦ δὲ ἐπιχειρεῖς τε ἄρχειν καὶ ἄρχεις, συγχωρήσομαί σοι6. But as you do not so much as attempt to control yourself – you are so fond of your liberty – and both attempt and hold control over me, I will yield to your request.

Most attestations of ἄρχω, both in literature and in papyri and inscriptions, refer to a person being the leader in a concrete situation. The context in which one can be an ἄρχων is diverse. One could be ἄρχων of a bout (τῆς πόσεως, Plato, Symp. 213e, perhaps ironic), for example, or the leader of a group of dancers (Euripides, Bacchae 681). However, it is most often used within a socio-political context. The term generally reflects an official title applied to political figures. It does not correspond to a clearly defined political, military or administrative function. It is a general term to indicate different types of authorities of a city or a village, of either the Greek mainland or the colonies. It could refer to the chief magistrate of a polis (e. g., Aeschylus, Pers. 73; Thucydides, Hist. 1.126.8; P. Mich. 1.3, line 2 example Il. 2.433, 576; 11.781.  See M. Dhont, “ἄρχω, ἄρχων”, 1000–10. At this point, I limit myself to presenting a concise summary. Recourse was taken to the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) for literature and to the indices to Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum (SEG) as well as the online databases ‘Searchable Greek Inscriptions’ (Packard Humanities Institute) and the ‘Papyrological Navigator’ ( for inscriptions and papyri. 5 The sources we have are generally late, e. g., SEG 36.349.4, 2nd century C. E., Moni Loukous; 42.370.12, 3rd century C. E., Elis. 6 Opera Platonis, 5 volumes, ed. J. Burnet (Oxford Classical Texts), Oxford: Clarendon, 1967– 1968 (translation: W. Lamb [Loeb Classical Library, 165], Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999). 3 For 4


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[3rd century B. C. E.]) or a governor (e. g., Polybius, Hist. 6.26.5). In plural, it could indicate a board consisting of a number of civic officials (e. g., Xenophon, Hell. 2.4.19) or on a more general level “the authorities” (e. g., Herodotus, Hist. 6.83.2; Plato, Phaed. 116c). Sometimes ἄρχων can carry the connotation of officials who were temporarily appointed, in opposition to a βασιλεύς, a member of a leading aristocratic family and hence a permanent title7. It is striking that the noun is hardly ever used in the context of divine beings. One noteworthy exception can be found in Plato’s writings: in the tenth book of the Laws, the plural noun ἄρχοντες indicates cosmic rulers, each in charge of a specific part of creation (Plato, Leg., 10.903b): πείθωμεν τὸν νεανίαν τοῖς λόγοις ὡς τῷ τοῦ παντὸς ἐπιμελουμένῳ πρὸς τὴν σωτηρίαν καὶ ἀρετὴν τοῦ ὅλου πάντ᾽ ἐστὶ συντεταγμένα, ὧν καὶ τὸ μέρος εἰς δύναμιν ἕκαστον τὸ προσῆκον πάσχει καὶ ποιεῖ. τούτοις δ᾽ εἰσὶν ἄρχοντες προστεταγμένοι ἑκάστοις ἐπὶ τὸ σμικρότατον ἀεὶ πάθης καὶ πράξεως, εἰς μερισμὸν τὸν ἔσχατον τέλος ἀπειργασμένοι8. Let us persuade the young man by our discourse that all things are ordered systematically by Him who cares for the World – all with a view to the preservation and excellence of the Whole, whereof also each part, so far as it can, does and suffers what is proper to it. To each of these parts, down to the smallest fraction, rulers of their action and passion are appointed to bring about fulfillment even to the uttermost fraction.

In conclusion to this short overview of the background of the words ἄρχω and ἄρχων, we can say that most attestations of ἄρχω refer to a person being the leader in a concrete situation, primarily within the socio-political realm. Only exceptionally is it used to refer to deities.

2. The Septuagint – general remarks a. Statistical observations In the LXX, ἄρχω appears about 50 times, most frequently in the books of JudgesA9 and Isaiah. There are no passive occurrences of the verb. The noun ἄρχων is much more frequently attested than the verb from which it is derived; it has over 600 occurrences10. Nearly half of these attestations are found in the Pentateuch  7 B. Helly, L’état thessalien: Aleuas le Roux, les tetrades et les tagoi (Collection de la Maison de l’Orient méditerranéen 25, Série Épigraphique 2), Lyon: Maison de l’Orient méditerranéen, 1995, esp. 69–130.  8 Ed. Burnet, cf. note 6 (translation: R. Bury [Loeb Classical Library, 192], Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1968).  9 In the A-version, there are 17 occurrences: 5:2.29; 7:19; 8:22.23tris; 9:; 10:18; 13:5; 15:11; 19:6; 20:39. In the B-version, there are only 8 occurrences: Judg 5:29; 8:22.23tris; 9:22; 10:18; 13:5. 10 A caveat should be added that this depends on the tagging of forms of ἄρχων as a noun or the participle of the verb. For this paper I consulted Accordance, as well as A Concordance to the Septuagint and the Other Greek Versions of the Old Testament (including the Apocryphal Books), ed. E. Hatch & H. Redpath, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1998.

Why is God not designated as an ἄρχων in the Septuagint?


(with a notable concentration in Numbers) and the historical books (mostly in 1 and 2 Chronicles). In over two-thirds of the cases, the noun appears in the plural. Both noun and verb serve as the translation of a wide variety of Hebrew words within the semantic domain of “to rule”. Within one and the same book, the verb can be used as the equivalent of different Hebrew words. Most frequently, ἄρχω or ἄρχων translate a form of the roots mšl (“to rule, to dominate”11) and śrr (“to reign”), and less frequently the root mlk (“to be king”). Another rather frequent source word for ἄρχων is nāśîʾ (“prince, leader”)12. b. The verb13 The verb refers almost exclusively to human sovereigns. There are a few occurrences of the verb that can be considered to be more abstract, for example in Proverbs: πλούσιοι πτωχῶν ἄρξουσιν. (Prov 22:7) “The rich rule over the poor.”

The most common context in which this verb is used is political, as is demonstrated in the following examples. Ὁ υἱός σου Ιωσηφ ζῇ, καὶ αὐτὸς ἄρχει πάσης γῆς Αἰγύπτου. (Gen 45:26) “Your son Ioseph is alive, and he rules over all the land of Egypt.” Καὶ ἀπεστράφη Ἰησοῦς ἐν τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ καὶ κατελάβετο Ασωρ καὶ τὸν βασιλέα αὐτῆς· ἦν δὲ Ασωρ τὸ πρότερον ἄρχουσα πασῶν τῶν βασιλειῶν τούτων. (Josh 11:10) “And Iesous turned back at that time and took Hasor and its king. And Hasor was earlier chief of all those kingdoms”. Καὶ ἦρξεν Αβιμελεχ ἐπὶ Ισραηλ τρία ἔτη. (Judg 9:22) “And Abimelech ruled over Israel for three years.”

The subject of ἄρχω is primarily man. We find one instance in which an object is the subject, namely δύο φωστῆρας τοὺς μεγάλους, “the two great luminaries” (Gen 1:16) which ἄρχειν τῆς ἡμέρας καὶ τῆς νυκτὸς, “rule the day and the night” (Gen 1:18). However, the verb ἄρχω mainly focuses on human leadership. I refer to some additional examples. ὅτι κύριος ὁ θεός σου εὐλόγησέν σε, ὃν τρόπον ἐλάλησέν σοι, καὶ δανιεῖς ἔθνεσιν πολλοῖς, σὺ δὲ οὐ δανιῇ, καὶ ἄρξεις σὺ ἐθνῶν πολλῶν, σοῦ δὲ οὐκ ἄρξουσιν. (Deut 15:6) 11 As reference work for these translations was used L. Koehler, W. Baumgartner et alii, Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, 5 volumes, Leiden: Brill, 1994–2000. 12 For a detailed overview of equivalences, cf. Dhont, “ἄρχω, ἄρχων,” 1000–10. 13 The editions used are, for the Greek, the series Septuaginta Vetus Testamentum Graecum, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1926– or, when unavailable, A. Rahlfs, R. Hanhart (eds.), Septuaginta, id est Vetus Testamentum graece iuxta LXX interpretes, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2006 (translation: NETS), and for the Hebrew, K. Elliger, W. Rudolph (eds.), Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1990) (translation: NRSV).


Marieke Dhont

“Because the Lord your God has blessed you, as he said to you – you will even lend to many nations, but you will not borrow, and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you”. ἔχρισέν σε κύριος ἐπὶ κληρονομίαν αὐτοῦ εἰς ἄρχοντα. (1 Kgdms [1Sam] 10:1) “The Lord anointed you ruler over his heritage.”

Interestingly, the verb also appears in God’s command to man in Gen 1:26: καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεός Ποιήσωμεν ἄνθρωπον κατ᾿ εἰκόνα ἡμετέραν καὶ καθ᾿ ὁμοίωσιν, καὶ ἀρχέτωσαν τῶν ἰχθύων τῆς θαλάσσης καὶ τῶν πετεινῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ τῶν κτηνῶν καὶ πάσης τῆς γῆς καὶ πάντων τῶν ἑρπετῶν τῶν ἑρπόντων ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς. (Gen 1:26) “Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind according to our image and likeness, and let them rule the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky and the cattle and all the earth and all the creeping things that creep upon the earth’”.

This verse has led the Church Fathers to use the term ἀρχικόν to indicate the specific characteristic of man being created according to the image of God14; man is described as the ἄρχων of the creation15. c. The noun As with the verb ἄρχω, its derivative ἄρχων primarily occurs in reference to human leaders. In accordance with the noun’s use in Greek literature, papyri, and inscriptions, ἄρχων is employed as an indication of a variety of different authoritative figures in the LXX, either Jewish or non-Jewish. A qualifying clause in the genitive is often attached to indicate the object of the ἄρχων or ἄρχοντες. The noun can designate the ruler of a local tribe or a land, such as in the following examples: ἄρχοντα πάσης γῆς Αἰγύπτου (Gen 45:8, “Leader of the whole land of Egypt”), ἄρχοντες Μωαβιτῶν (Exod 15:15, “Leaders of the Moabites”), οἱ ἄρχοντες Ισραηλ (Num 1:44, “The leaders of Israel”), ἄρχοντας Φυλιστιιμ (Sir 46:18, “Leaders of the Philistines”), οἱ ἄρχοντες Ιουδα (Hos 5:10, “The leaders of Judah”), ἄρχων περιχώρου Βηθαχαρμ (2 Esdr 13:14 [Neh 3:14], “Leader of the district of Bethacharim”), ἄρχοντες τῶν Λευιτῶν (2 Esdr 13:14 [Neh 12:24], “Leaders of the Levites”), οἱ ἄρχοντες Περσῶν καὶ Μήδων (Esth 1:14, “The leaders of the Persians and the Medes”), ἄρχοντες Σοδομων (Isa 1:10, “Leaders of Sodomon”), ἄρχοντα τῆς πόλεως (2 Chr 34:8, “Leader of the city”),


 See for example Theodorete of Cyrus, QG 20.105a. et alii, La Genèse (La Bible d’Alexandrie, 1), Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1986, 96.

15 M. Harl

Why is God not designated as an ἄρχων in the Septuagint?


τοῖς ἄρχουσιν τῶν σατραπῶν (Esth 1:3, “To the leaders of the satraps”), ἄρχοντος ἐχθρῶν ἡμῶν (Jdt 13:18, “Of the leader of our enemies”).

It can also indicate the leader of an army: ἄρχοντας τῆς στρατιᾶς (Deut 20:9; 3 Kgdms[1 Kings] 11:15, “Leaders of the army”), ἄρχοντας τοῦ πολέμου (2 Chr 32:6, “Leaders of the war”).

Moreover, also religious leaders are sometimes designated as ἄρχων, such as the leader of a συναγωγή (Exod 16:22; Josh 9:15; also in later papyri: P.Lond. 3.1177.57, 2nd century C. E., unknown provenance: ἄρχόντων Ἰουδαίων προσευχῆς Θηβαίων, “the Jewish leaders of the synagogue of the Thebaeans”) or a chief priest (ὁ ἱερεὺς ὁ ἄρχων, 1 Chr 27:5; 2 Chr 31:10). It can also refer to other, less formal leading figures, such as the pater familias (υἱοῦ Αβδιηλ υἱοῦ Γουνι ἄρχων οἴκου πατριῶν, “son of Abdiel son of Gouni, ruler of a paternal house”, 1 Chr 5:15) or even the most important slave of a household (τῷ παιδὶ αὐτοῦ τῷ πρεσβυτέρῳ τῆς οἰκίας αὐτοῦ τῷ ἄρχοντι πάντων τῶν αὐτοῦ, “to his servant, the elder of his household, the ruler of all that was his”, Gen 24:2). One also finds ἄρχοντα φορολογίας (“a chief collector of revenue”, 1 Macc 1:29) or ἄρχων συστρέμματος (“leader of a band”, 3 Kgdms [1 Kings] 11:14).

3. Remarkable translational choices a. Introductory remarks So far, a concise overview of the ways in which ἄρχω and ἄρχων are most commonly used has been presented, both in non-translated literature and in the LXX. Since especially ἄρχων is frequently used in the LXX as a translation for a large number of Hebrew words, we are invited to look more closely at the equivalences, especially those cases in which it seems to be an ‘unexpected’ rendering of the Hebrew. I opt to consider the verb and the noun together, since the noun appears more frequently than the verb. Some LXX books use ἄρχων as a consistent equivalent. The translator of Jeremiah, for instance, uses it 33 times, but only to render two Hebrew words, namely the participle mōšēl and the noun śar. The translator of Hosea uses ἄρχων only to render śar as a stereotyped translation16. The translator of Numbers, who incorporates the noun 80 times, uses it to render three Hebrew words: nāśîʾ, śar, and roʾš (“head, top”). The nouns nāśîʾ and śar are translated fairly consistently17, 16 F. Raurell, “‘Archontes’ en la interpretació midràshica d’Is-LXX”, RCT 1, 1976, 315–374, 334–335. 17 The Hebrew nāśîʾ is translated consistently in Numbers. There are only two exceptions, namely 13:2 and 16:2 (ἀρχηγός). Also śar is translated consistently. The only exceptions are found in chapter 31, where śar in the Hebrew is used in reference to military leaders, and is translated with military terminology, notably derived from ἄρχων: χιλιάρχος or ἑκατοντάρχος.


Marieke Dhont

and roʾš is rendered as ἄρχων in those contexts in which it is used to indicate an authoritative figure (e. g., Num 25:15; 30:2). There are, however, some examples of translators who are less consistent in their lexical choices. The translator of Genesis, for example, uses ἄρχων 11 times for 8 different Hebrew words. The translator of Isaiah, in turn, uses ἄρχων 37 times to render 17 different Hebrew words. Especially in those cases in which ἄρχων represents a unique or rare equivalent of a Hebrew word, we are invited to look at the context to be able to gain insight into the nature of the rendering. Given the different ways in which the noun is used in different LXX books, we should discuss the usage of ἄρχων first per book, before attempting to draw some general conclusions. In the next paragraph, some notable examples will be discussed. I have opted to focus on cases in which the use of ἄρχων as an equivalent can be contrasted to other equivalents and might tell us something about the underlying notions of leadership in the book in question, so as to build up to the use of the noun in reference to God. b. Examples of ‘unexpected’ renderings A first noteworthy illustration is provided by the book of Ezekiel. In the LXX translation, the supreme leader of the people is indicated as ἄρχων in chapters 1–39. It appears as a translation of six Hebrew terms, most frequently nāśîʾ and mælæk18, in contexts in which the ruler is portrayed in a negative way19. It does not occur in chapters 40–48, even though the MT uses the same terms to refer to the ruler throughout the book, in particular nāśîʾ. In those eight final chapters, the LXX uses mainly ἀφηγούμενος, a word typical of LXX Ezekiel20, in contexts in which the same figure is pictured positively21. As such, ἄρχων and ἀφηγούμενος became a representation of two ideas of monarchy: the wicked king versus the ideal king22. A comparable but different example can be found in Deuteronomy. In the course of this book, the root mlk corresponds consistently with a derivation of βασιλ-, except in Deut 17:14–20 (and later in 28:36), where it is rendered as ἄρχων. The translator of LXX Deuteronomy uses ἄρχων only in reference to the king of Israel, as opposed to the non-Israelite kings, for whom βασιλεύς is used23. occurs 15 times for nāśîʾ and 5 times for mælæk. Other base words are śar twice, and nāg- îd, ʾēl and nāsîḵ once each, cf. F. Raurell, “The Polemical Role of the ἄρχοντες and ἀφηγούμενοι in Ez LXX”, J. Lust (ed.), Ezekiel and his Book. Textual and Literary Criticism and their Interrelation (BETL 74), Leuven: Peeters, 1986, 85–89, 86. 19 Raurell, “The Polemical Role”, 88. 20 Ibid., 88–89. 21 Note, however, that ἀφηγούμενος does occur in chapters 1–39. In all 6 occurrences the context is negative (Raurell, “The Polemical Role”, 89). 22  Raurell, “The Polemical Role”, 89. 23 H. Ausloos, “The ‘Law of the King’ (Deut 17:14–20) in the Septuagint: Between Ideal 18 It

Why is God not designated as an ἄρχων in the Septuagint?


This is a surprising observation, the reasons for which can only be hypotheses24. Maybe the translator wanted to avoid an anachronism, since at the time of the composition of Deuteronomy Israel did not have a king yet25, or maybe God was considered to be the only real βασιλεύς of Israel26. There are some examples of cases in the LXX in which ἄρχων is by some considered to be a title indicating a deity or heavenly being. The first example can be found in Lev 18:21. In this case, the translator possibly read the Hebrew title mlk (MT: mōlæk) as the participle môlēk, and interpreted it as a royal title of a god the translator did not want to refer to as king in his translation27. The same reasoning might lie behind the LXX rendering of Isa 8:21, where the translator possibly read mlk as the title of a foreign god28. In the book of Isaiah, however, ἄρχων is in most instances used to refer to human leaders in an overtly negative way29, as in Ezekiel. The ἄρχοντες are generally represented as the enemy of ὁ λαός, “the people”. οἱ ἄρχοντές σου ἀπειθοῦσιν, κοινωνοὶ κλεπτῶν, ἀγαπῶντες δῶρα, διώκοντες ἀνταπόδομα, ὀρφανοῖς οὐ κρίνοντες καὶ κρίσιν χηρῶν οὐ προσέχοντες. (Isa 1:23) “Your rulers are disobedient: they are companions of thieves, loving gifts, running after a reward, not defending orphans and not paying attention to the widows’ cause”.

and Reality”, Semitica 55, 2013, 157–172; C. Dogniez, M. Harl, Le Deutéronome (La Bible d’Alexandrie, 5), Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1992, 39 and 225; B. Grillet et alii, Premier livre des Règnes (La Bible d’Alexandrie, 9/1), Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1997, 194; J. Lust, “Molek and Archôn”, Phoenicia and the Bible. Proceedings of the Conference held at the University of Leuven on the 15th of March 1990 (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta, 44; Studia Phoenicia, 11), Leuven: Peeters, 1991, 193–208, 202. 24 For an overview, see H. Ausloos, “The ‘Law of the King’”, 166–171; C. Dogniez, M. Harl, Le Deutéronome, 225. 25  H. Ringgren, K. Seybold, H.-J. Fabry, “‫”מלך‬, TWAT, vol. 4, 1984, col. 926–957, esp. col. 934: “Bei den Pentateuch-Stellen (Gen 49,20; Num 23,21; Deut 17,14.15 [2mal]; 28,36) erklärt sich das aus der offensichtlichen Annahme (vgl. Deut 17; 28), daß Israel in der ‘mosaischen’ Zeit noch keinen König hatte”. 26 Ausloos, “The ‘Law of the King’”, 171–172; Lust, “Molek and Archōn”, 202–203. See also J. W.  Wevers, Notes on the Greek Text of Deuteronomy (SBLSCS 39), Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1995, p. 286: “The translator divides sharply between Israel as God’s people and all other peoples; they have kings; only rulers are permitted for us”. A similar reasoning might lay behind the rendering of Numbers 23:21, where mælæḵ is rendered by ἄρχων. See Lust, “Molek and Archōn”, 202–203. 27 E. Bickerman, Studies in Jewish and Christian History. Part One (AGJU 9), Leiden: Brill, 1976, 194; D. Büchner, “‘You Shall Not Give of Your Seed to Serve an Archon’: Lev 18:21 in the Septuagint”, H. Ausloos et alii (eds.), Translating a Translation: The LXX and its Modern Translations in the Context of Early Judaism (BETL 213), Leuven: Peeters, 2008, 183–196; P. Harlé, D. Pralon, Le Lévitique (La Bible d’Alexandrie, 3), Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1988, 162–163; Lust, “Molek and Archōn”, 204–205. 28 Lust, “Molek and Archōn”, 205. See also Raurell, “‘Archontes’”, 315–374 – pace R. Troxel, LXX-Isaiah as Translation and Interpretation: The Strategies of the Translator of the Septuagint of Isaiah (SJSJ 124), Leiden: Brill, 2008, 232. 29 See Raurell, “‘Archontes’”, 315–374.


Marieke Dhont

αὐτὸς κύριος εἰς κρίσιν ἥξει μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων τοῦ λαοῦ καὶ μετὰ τῶν ἀρχόντων αὐτοῦ Ὑμεῖς δὲ τί ἐνεπυρίσατε τὸν ἀμπελῶνά μου καὶ ἡ ἁρπαγὴ τοῦ πτωχοῦ ἐν τοῖς οἴκοις ὑμῶν; τί ὑμεῖς ἀδικεῖτε τὸν λαόν μου καὶ τὸ πρόσωπον τῶν πτωχῶν καταισχύνετε. (Isa 3:14–15) “The Lord himself will enter into judgment with the elders of the people and with their rulers. But you, why have you burned my vineyard, and why is the spoil of the poor in your houses? Why do you wrong my people and shame the face of the poor?” συνέτριψεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν ζυγὸν τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν, τὸν ζυγὸν τῶν ἀρχόντων. (Isa 14:5) “God has crushed the yoke of sinners, the yoke of rulers”.

The ἄρχοντες are ascribed various negative characteristics. The latter verse gives an indication of the fact that the Lord has to intervene on behalf of the people. His divine rule stands in contrast to the foolish reign of the human ἄρχοντες. As such, ἄρχων seems to have become the preferred term to describe the ruler of Judah, depicted as a foreign tyrant. It is therefore all the more surprising that one of the very few instances in which God is indicated as an ἄρχων occurs in the same book, namely in Isa 33:22. Starting with this instance, we will now turn to the use of ἄρχων with respect to God.

4. God as ἄρχων a. Isaiah In Isa 33:22, God is referred to as the ἄρχων of the people. ὁ γὰρ θεός μου μέγας ἐστίν, οὐ παρελεύσεταί με κύριος· κριτὴς ἡμῶν κύριος, ἄρχων ἡμῶν κύριος, βασιλεὺς ἡμῶν κύριος, οὗτος ἡμᾶς σώσει. (Isa 33:22) “For my God is great, the Lord will not pass by me. The Lord is our judge; the Lord is our ruler; the Lord is our king; he will save us”.

In this verse, ἄρχων serves as the translation of meḥōqeqēnû, the polel participle of ḥqq, “to decide, to rule” (HAL). The Hebrew verb occurs five times in Isaiah. The qal stem of this root means “to inscribe”, “to engrave”, “to decree” (HAL). Of the four occurrences in the qal, ḥqq is translated with γράφω twice (Isa 10:1; 22:16) and once with a derivation thereof, ζωγραφέω (Isa 49:16). It is left untranslated once (Isa 30:8). Only in Isa 33:22 does the verb appear in the poel stem. The participle poel occurs seven times in the entire MT and corresponds regularly with words belonging to a similar semantic field as that of ἄρχων, such as ἡγούμενος (Gen 49:10) or βασιλεύς (Ps 59[60]:9; Ps 107[108]:9). Only in Deut 33:21 and Isa 33:22 is it rendered by means of ἄρχων. In the former, however, the noun designates human leadership. The use of ἄρχων in Isa 33:22 is interesting because the noun is used frequently in Isaiah (37x), and here in a specific, strikingly positive context as a divine epithet: God will be judge, commander, king, and saviour30. 30 J. Watts, Isaiah 1–33 (Word Biblical Commentary, 24), Waco, TX: Word Books, 1985, 428.

Why is God not designated as an ἄρχων in the Septuagint?


The reason why the translator chose ἄρχων here is unclear. Perhaps he was influenced by the word choice in Deuteronomy. Isa 33:22 also brings to mind Isa 32:1: ἰδοὺ γὰρ βασιλεὺς δίκαιος βασιλεύσει, καὶ ἄρχοντες μετὰ κρίσεως ἄρξουσιν. It is possible that the latter passage influenced the word choice in 33:2231. In 33:22, ἄρχων might have been incorporated to emphasize the fact that it is not the case that the people have a God and a king, but rather, only God as king, as highest authority in every aspect of life. God is the subject of ἄρχω once more in the book of Isaiah. ἐγενόμεθα ὡς τὸ ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς, ὅτε οὐκ ἦρξας ἡμῶν οὐδὲ ἐπεκλήθη τὸ ὄνομά σου ἐφ᾿ ἡμᾶς. (Isa 63:19) “We have become as at the beginning, when you did not rule us, nor was your name called upon us.”

In this verse, ἄρχω corresponds to mšl. Two remarks are pertinent to our discussion of this equivalence. Firstly, in the Hebrew Bible, mšl is only rarely used in reference to God. This will be discussed below in section 5. Secondly, in the book of Isaiah, mšl is mostly translated as ἄρχω or κυριεύω. The usage of these two verbs in LXX Isaiah seems to overlap for the most part, but we may note that in all 7 instances of κυριεύω in the book of Isaiah32, the connotation is negative, whereas ἄρχω can also occur in a positive setting. Against this background, the choice for ἄρχω over κυριεύω in Isa 63:19 seems to be a rather consistent one, especially since the translator had already used ἄρχων to refer to God earlier, in 33:22. One could additionally note the stylistic aspect of this rendering, namely the polyptoton (i.e., two words derived from the same root, ἀρχῆς and ἦρξας)33. Hence, in my opinion, there is no clear indication for a more theologically based motivation for the use of ἄρχω / ​ἄρχων in reference to God in the book of Isaiah. b. Judges & 1 Chronicles Aside from these instances in Isaiah, God is referred to as the subject of ἄρχω twice more in the LXX, namely in Judges (in both versions) and in 1 Chronicles. These cases are taken together, because in both instances, ἄρχων renders the qal participle of mšl. καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς Γεδεων Οὐκ ἄρξω ἐγὼ ὑμῶν, καὶ οὐκ ἄρξει ὁ υἱός μου ὑμῶν· κύριος ἄρξει ὑμῶν. (Judg 8:23)

31 The translator of Isaiah often incorporates intertextual references. See M. van der VormCroughs, The Old Greek of Isaiah: An Analysis of its Pluses and Minuses (SBLSCS 61), Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature Press, 2014, esp. 299–454. 32 Isa 3:4, 12; 7:18; 14:2bis; 19:4; 42:19 33 On the use of various forms of lexical repetition in LXX Isaiah as an aspect of the translator’s technique, see van der Vorm-Croughs, The Old Greek of Isaiah, 221–261.


Marieke Dhont

“And Gedeon said to them, ‘I will not rule over you; and my son will not rule over you; the Lord will rule over you’”. παρὰ σοῦ ὁ πλοῦτος καὶ ἡ δόξα, σὺ πάντων ἄρχεις, κύριε ὁ ἄρχων πάσης ἀρχῆς, καὶ ἐν χειρί σου ἰσχὺς καὶ δυναστεία, καὶ ἐν χειρί σου, παντοκράτωρ, μεγαλῦναι καὶ κατισχῦσαι τὰ πάντα. (1 Chr 29:1234) “From you are riches and honor, you rule over all, Lord, the ruler of all rule, and in your hand are strength and dominance, and it is in your hand, Almighty one, to make all things great and strong.”

In Judges A, mšl occurs 8 times in 5 verses. The LXX translator renders it consistently with a form of ἄρχω, except in 9:2 and 14:4, where κυριεύω is used.35 The use of a common equivalent in 8:23 indicates that the translator of Judges was not sensitive to the issue of having God be the subject of the verb ἄρχω. The translation reflects the repetition of the verb found in the Hebrew text of this verse, thus emphasizing that it is not Gedeon who will rule, but God. The rendering in 1 Chronicles is more difficult to evaluate. The verb mšl occurs only once in the Hebrew text of 1 Chronicles. In 2 Chronicles, however, it occurs 4 times, twice rendered as ἡγούμενος (2 Chr 7:18; 9:26), once with κυριεύεις (20:6, see below), and once with ἄρχοντας (23:20 – as part of an enumeration of people from all classes: ἔλαβεν τοὺς πατριάρχας καὶ τοὺς δυνατοὺς καὶ τοὺς ἄρχοντας τοῦ λαοῦ καὶ πάντα τὸν λαὸν τῆς γῆς). In 1 Chr 29:12 the phrase σὺ πάντων ἄρχεις, κύριε ὁ ἄρχων πάσης ἀρχῆς does not correspond to the Hebrew of the MT in a one-by-one manner. When looking at the way in which ἄρχων is used in the rest of the book, we observe that this noun appears 93 times in 1 Chronicles. Every occurrence outside 1 Chr 29:12 refers to a specific person being a leader in a concrete situation. Some argue that κύριε ὁ ἄρχων πάσης ἀρχῆς in LXX v. 12 is the result of a transposition of wehammitnaśēʿ lekōl lerōʿš of MT v. 1136. The Greek would have been constructed in order to amplify God’s prestige. When looking at the use of ἀρχή in Chronicles, one observes that it is a consistent rendering of rōʿš or riʿšôn. I would suggest that the words mšl and rōʿš in the Hebrew text suggested to the translator the use of the root ἄρχ‑ in LXX 29:12. The verbal form was chosen in function of the literary context: in the Greek we find a polyptoton of the noun ἀρχή, the verb ἄρχω, and the noun ἄρχων. In conclusion, even though there are some instances throughout the LXX in which ἄρχων is thought to refer to deities (e.g., Lev 18:21; Isa 8:21), it only rarely occurs in reference to God (Isa 33:22; 63:19; Judg 8:23; 1 Chr 29:12). In these verses, the use of ἄρχων is, in my opinion, explainable on the basis of the literary 34 Cf. 2 Chr 20:6, where the Hebrew text is similar to 1 Chr 29:12, but the LXX rendering is different; see below. 35 These are the only two occurrences of κυριεύω in this version of the book of Judges. 36 L. Allen, The Greek Chronicles: The Relation of the Septuagint of I and II Chronicles to the Massoretic Text, 2 volumes (VTSupp 25; 27), Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1974, I.151–152; II.65; W. Rudolph, Chronikbücher (HAT 21), Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1955, 192.

Why is God not designated as an ἄρχων in the Septuagint?


context. This leads to our next question: if God is not referred to as an ἄρχων, what terms do appear to designate God’s position of leadership?

5. God as leader in the LXX The most common source words for ἄρχω / ​ἄρχων are the roots mšl, mlk, and śrr. These Hebrew roots are in itself only rarely used in reference to God, except for mlk. Let us look at those instances in which words derived from these roots are used in reference to God in the Hebrew text of the MT, and at the way in which they are translated in the LXX. a. The rendering of God as mælæk The representation of God as a king is a very common image in the Bible. In Greek, the most common rendering in this regard is βασιλεύς and its derivatives. Looking more closely into this equivalence is beyond the scope of this paper37. At this point, it should suffice to say that God is often seen as the true king, for whom in many instances the title βασιλεύς was reserved. Abraham, the Patriarchs, and foreign monarchs are, however, sometimes afforded the title, too38. It is generally a relatively consistent translation of the root mlk. Under God’s divine reign, several human leaders (ἄρχων or ἄρχοντες), whether or not in successive monarchies and on different social and political levels, have earthly authority39. b. The rendering of God as mōšēl The root mšl does not occur often in reference to God in the Hebrew Bible. Some instances in which mšl was perhaps unexpectedly rendered with ἄρχω or ἄρχων have been discussed, namely in Isa 63:19, Judg 8:23, and 1 Chr 29:12. There are, however, some instances in which it is rendered differently, namely in 2 Chronicles and the Psalter. Let us first look at 2 Chr 20:6. καὶ εἶπεν Κύριε ὁ θεὸς τῶν πατέρων ἡμῶν, οὐχὶ σὺ εἶ θεὸς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ σὺ κυριεύεις πασῶν τῶν βασιλειῶν τῶν ἐθνῶν καὶ ἐν τῇ χειρί σου ἰσχὺς δυναστείας καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν πρὸς σὲ ἀντιστῆναι; (2 Chr 20:6)

37 See Harl et alii, La Génèse, 49–54; E. Tov, “The Translation of the Divine Names in the Greek Pentateuch”, H. Ausloos, B. Lemmelijn (eds.), Handbuch zur Septuaginta. IV: Theologie, Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, forthcoming. 38 Büchner, “‘You Shall not Give’”, 195. 39 See P. Aune, “Archon”, K. van der Toorn et alii (eds.), Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, Leiden: Brill, 1995, 82–85, 82; Büchner, “‘You Shall not Give’”, 189.


Marieke Dhont

“And he said, ‘Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven, and you govern all the kingdoms of the nations, and in your hand is the power of dominance, and there is no one able to withstand you?’”

It can be observed, without discussing this more extensively at this point, that the Hebrew text behind this rendering is very similar to that of 1 Chr 29:12. The LXX rendering, however, differs. The translator here opts for the use of κυριεύω. Two remarks are pertinent to this observation. Firstly, when looking at the Hebrew text, mšl appears 4 times in 2 Chronicles. In these instances, it is translated as ἡγούμενος twice (7:18; 9:26) and as ἄρχοντες once (23:20). Secondly, when looking at the Greek text, κυριεύω occurs twice in 2 Chronicles. In 14:7 it corresponds to lepānênû (“[the land is] ours”). In the whole LXX, this verb occurs about 50 times (of which about a third in non-translated books), and renders 9 different Hebrew words,with mšl being the most frequent source root. Except for the example in 2 Chronicles, κυριεύω is used almost exclusively to refer to human leadership. The use of κυριεύω in the LXX could be a fruitful topic for further investigation. The second book in which mšl in the qal appears in reference to God, several times even, is the Psalter (9x)40. Its LXX renderings present us with an interesting case study. Let us consider the following five verses. ὅτι τοῦ κυρίου ἡ βασιλεία, καὶ αὐτὸς δεσπόζει τῶν ἐθνῶν. (Ps 21[22]:29) “Because kingship is the Lord’s, and it is he who is master over the nations.” καὶ γνώσονται ὅτι ὁ θεὸς δεσπόζει τοῦ Ιακωβ, τῶν περάτων τῆς γῆς. (Ps 58[59]:14b) “And they will know that God is master over Iakob, over the ends of the earth.” τῷ δεσπόζοντι ἐν τῇ δυναστείᾳ αὐτοῦ τοῦ αἰῶνος· οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τὰ ἔθνη ἐπιβλέπουσιν, οἱ παραπικραίνοντες μὴ ὑψούσθωσαν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς. (Ps 65[66]:7) [verse 6: There we shall be glad in him] “who rules the age [or eternity] in his dominance; his eyes keep watch on the nations, those that provoke – let them not be exalted in themselves.” σὺ δεσπόζεις τοῦ κράτους τῆς θαλάσσης, τὸν δὲ σάλον τῶν κυμάτων αὐτῆς σὺ καταπραΰνεις. (Ps 88[89]:10) “It is you who rule the might of the sea, and the surge of its waves you calm.” κύριος ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ ἡτοίμασεν τὸν θρόνον αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἡ βασιλεία αὐτοῦ πάντων δεσπόζει. (Ps 102[103]:19) “The Lord prepared his throne in the sky, and his kingdom rules over all.”

In these instances, mšl is used to refer to God. The Greek translator uses the verb δεσπόζω.41 We may compare these five instances with the other four verses in the 40 The other one occurrence of mšl in the Psalter is in the hifil (Ps 8:7), which is rendered as κατέστησας, from καθίστημι “to appoint”. 41 See also the correspondence of mæmśælteḵā in Ps 145:13 with ἡ δεσποτεία σου.

Why is God not designated as an ἄρχων in the Septuagint?


Psalter where mšl in the qal is used. These four cases each time refer to a human ruler. καὶ ἀπὸ ἀλλοτρίων φεῖσαι τοῦ δούλου σου· ἐὰν μή μου κατακυριεύσωσιν, τότε ἄμωμος ἔσομαι καὶ καθαρισθήσομαι ἀπὸ ἁμαρτίας μεγάλης. (Ps 18[19]:13) “Also from strangers spare your slave! If they will not exercise dominion over me, then I shall be blameless and be cleansed from great sin.” ἀπέστειλεν βασιλεὺς καὶ ἔλυσεν αὐτόν, ἄρχων λαῶν, καὶ ἀφῆκεν αὐτόν· κατέστησεν αὐτὸν κύριον τοῦ οἴκου αὐτοῦ καὶ ἄρχοντα πάσης τῆς κτήσεως αὐτοῦ. (Ps 104[105]:20–21) “A king sent and released him, a ruler of peoples, and set him free. He made him lord of his house and ruler of all his possessions.” καὶ παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς εἰς χεῖρας ἐθνῶν, καὶ ἐκυρίευσαν αὐτῶν οἱ μισοῦντες αὐτούς· (Ps 105[106]:41) “And he gave them into the hands of nations, and those who hated them ruled over them.”

In 18[19]:13, the translater renders mšl with κατακυριεύω, in 104[105]:20–21 with ἄρχων twice, and in the last example with κυριεύω. The translator of the Psalter only uses δεσπόζω in the context of divine rule. The use of ἄρχω in reference to God appears to be avoided. When looking at the LXX in general42, one observes that the verb δεσπόζω occurs in reference to God in a number of other instances43. It is worth mentioning that the title δεσπότης is almost exclusively used for God in the LXX44. K. Rengstorf states that δεσπότης traditionally indicated the master of the house who unconditionally rules his family and household45. It was already in classical Greek literature used as an epithet for the gods, such as in Aristophanes, Vespae 875; Xenophon, Anabasis 3.2.13; Euripides, Hippolytus 88. The fact that this title has been chosen for God in the LXX, is thus in line with Greek usage of the term. While the title appears often to be reserved for God, the cognate verb δεσπόζω is not exclusive to God in the LXX: it also occurs in reference to human leadership, particularly in ‘later’ LXX books46. In LXX Psalter, however, it is only used for God. When talking about human leadership, the translator uses other words, including ἄρχω. This is interesting, as LXX Psalter is traditionally characterized as a ‘literal’ translation47. As lexical consistency is

that, in the translated books, it is always a translation of māšal. 29:11; 1 Esdr 4:3; 2 Macc14:46; 3 Macc 7:9; Wis 9:2; 12:16.18. 44  In the LXX, δεσπότης is used mainly in reference to God. Only in Proverbs does it occur in reference to human leadership, and in 4 Macc it is used in an abstract way (i. e., ruling over emotions, see 1:5; 2:16; 5:38). In the Psalter, this title does not occur. However, one does encounter δεσποτεία twice (in fact, the only two occurrences of this noun in the LXX), to indicate God’s kingdom, namely in Ps 102[103]:22 and 144[145]:13. 45 K. Rengstorff, “δεσπότης”, TWNT, vol. 2, Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1935, 44–48, 44. 46 1 Esdr 4:14; 4 Macc 1:5; 2:13,16; 5:38. 47 A. Pietersma, “Psalms”, A. Pietersma, B. Wright (eds.), A New English Translation of the Septuagint and the Other Greek Translations Traditionally Included Under that Title, New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007, 542–619, 542–547. 42 Note

43 1 Chr


Marieke Dhont

one of the aspects of this ‘literalness’, A. Pietersma has observed that there are only a limited number of instances in which one Hebrew word is rendered by different Greek words48. The rendering of mšl is an example of this, and clearly demonstrates a certain rationale on behalf of the translator, indicating that there is more to this ‘literalness’ than meets the eye49. c. The rendering of śōrēr The root śrr is not used in reference to God. Neither is the noun śar. However, as a title which often indicates a position below the king, such as a chief, a ruler, or a captain, it is sometimes used as a title for heavenly beings, in three instances. Firstly, we encounter the śar ṣebāʾ YHWH, the angel-captain in Josh 5:14–15, in Greek translated as ἀρχιστράτηγος. Secondly, in Isa 9:5, the śar šālôm, “prince of peace”, is mentioned, which can be understood as a military name, but is commonly considered a Messianic title50. Like other versions, the LXX appears to have been at a loss to translate this title51. It renders śar as ἄρχοντας, but the translation deviates in meaning: wayyiqrā’ šemô pælæ’ yô‘eṣ ’el gibbôr ’abî‘ad śar šālôm (Isa 9:5) “And he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Μεγάλης βουλῆς ἄγγελος· ἐγὼ γὰρ ἄξω εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τοὺς ἄρχοντας, εἰρήνην καὶ ὑγίειαν αὐτῷ. “He is named Messenger of Great counsel, for I will bring peace upon the rulers, peace and health to him.”

Lastly, śar is used to indicate patron-angels in the book of Daniel (OG). Though this is not a reference to God, it is interesting to consider as a reference to heavenly beings. On the one hand, one encounters śar pārās and śar yāwān, the princes of respectively Persia and Greece (10:20), twice translated as στρατηγός52. On the other hand, in 10:13 mention is made of Archangel Michael as ʾaḥad haśśarîm hāriʾšōnîm, translated as εἷς τῶν ἀρχόντων τῶν πρώτων53, “one of the chief rulers”. This reading is considered to have significantly influenced the later usage of the noun in the New Testament to designate heavenly powers54, though this is outside of the scope of this paper to go into this more deeply. 48 Ibid.,

542. has also been demonstrated by E. Bons, “Rhetorical Devices in the Septuagint Psalter”, in: E. Bons, T. Kraus (eds.), Et sapienter et eloquenter: Studies on Rhetorical and Stylistics Features of the Septuagint (FRLANT 241), Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011, 69–82. 50 J. Watts, Isaiah 1–33, 131; R. F.  De Sousa, Eschatology and Messianism in LXX Isaiah 1–12, London: T&T Clark, 2010, 103–137 (especially 115–119). 51 Watts, Isaiah 1–33, 131. 52 Note, however, that in DanTh 10:20, the translator renders śar twice as ἄρχων. See Delling, “ἄρχων”, 486–487. 53  Both in OG and Theodotion. 54 Delling, “ἄρχων”, 487. 49 This

Why is God not designated as an ἄρχων in the Septuagint?


General conclusion Having presented above the background of both verb and noun in Greek (1), their use in the LXX and its diverse contexts (2–3), its reference to God (4) and the other ways in which God is referred to more commonly (5), it is now time to come to a general conclusion. As to the central question of the present paper, namely why God is not an ἄρχων in the LXX, I have demonstrated that already in classical Greek, there was a tendency to use ἄρχων almost exclusively to designate human leadership, albeit in a wide variety of contexts: military, political, social, and so on. In the single instance in which it was used to refer to heavenly beings, namely in Plato’s Leges, ἄρχων designated heavenly beings lower than the δημιουργός. Hence, it is safe to conclude that the term was not applied to the highest beings. The use of ἄρχων in the LXX is in line with classical and post-classical usage. In the LXX, the term indicates human leadership on different societal levels. In the books of Ezekiel and Isaiah, it has an overtly negative connotation, in opposition to ‘ideal’ or ‘Israelite’ leadership. This might be a later development, when compared to the use of ἄρχων in Deuteronomy. We encountered less than a handful of instances in which ἄρχων was used as a title for God – perhaps the exceptions which prove the rule. Rather, God is a βασιλεύς, or a δεςποτής, the highest authority, only to be referred to with titles that emphasize this supreme position. Only under his divine rule could man be an ἄρχων.

οὗτος δὲ οὐδὲν ἄτοπον ἔπραξεν (Luke 23:41) What Did the Good Thief Want to Say? A New Testament Citation and its Papyrological Background* Daniela Scialabba Introduction In the Passion narrative of the Gospel of Luke – in Luke 23:41 – the so-called good thief, manifesting his repentance for the sins committed by him and the other thief, says: καὶ ἡμεῖς μὲν δικαίως, ἄξια γὰρ ὧν ἐπράξαμεν ἀπολαμβάνομεν· οὗτος δὲ οὐδὲν ἄτοπον ἔπραξεν, “And we indeed justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but He [Jesus] has done nothing which is ἄτοπος”.

The aim of this short article is to reach a better understanding of the words that the repentant thief pronounces referring to Jesus in this verse. In particular, I will try to answer the following two questions: What is the meaning of the adjective ἄτοπος in the Lukan Passion narrative? Does this quotation have a particular theological value in this specific context? Comparing the modern versions of the Bible, we can note that they render the meaning of ἄτοπος following an interpretation which underlines the innocence of Jesus. However, in which sense is Jesus innocent? On closer inspection, the translations seem to diverge. In fact, we can observe several ways of understanding the adjective: the English translations read: “but this man has done nothing wrong” (ESV, NRSV and several other recent translations); the French Traduction Œcuménique de la Bible (TOB) is similar: “Lui n’a rien fait de mal”; the same holds true for the version of the Italian Episcopal Conference: “Lui invece non ha fatto nulla di male”. The current German Bibles, however, opt for other translations: the “Elberfelder Bibel”, which is renowned for its literality, reads: “dieser aber hat nichts Ungeziemendes getan” (=  nothing indecent) while the recent “Zürcher Bibel” reads: “dieser aber hat nichts Unrechtes getan”. * I wish to express my sincere thanks to Prof. Dr. Anna Passoni Dell’Acqua (Catholic University of Milan) and Prof. Dr. Eberhard Bons (University of Strasbourg) with whom I was able to discuss several aspects of this article.

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Interestingly, detailed studies on this lemma which could support one of these translations are still lacking.1 On the one hand, studies on the language of the Gospel of Luke as well as commentaries take into account the quotation. On the other, they only point out that the adjective ἄτοπος is a hapax in the Gospels2 and that, generally, it is rarely attested in the New Testament.3 Moreover, scholars note that the affirmation of the repentant thief οὗτος δὲ οὐδὲν ἄτοπον ἔπραξεν is used by Luke in order to stress the motif of Jesus’ innocence. In the context of the Passion narrative, Pilate has already claimed: οὐδὲν εὑρίσκω αἴτιον ἐν τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ τούτῳ “I find no basis for a charge against this man” (Luke 23:4; see for the same idea vv. 14–15.22). After Jesus’ death, another pagan, the Roman centurion, states: ὄντως ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὗτος δίκαιος ἦν “surely this was a righteous man” (Luke 23:47). The quotation οὗτος δὲ οὐδὲν ἄτοπον ἔπραξεν, however, appears to come from an unofficial source, being pronounced by somebody who is suffering under the same condemnation as Jesus.4 This arises the question: if the adjective ἄτοπος appears so rarely in the New Testament, why does Luke employ it in such an important passage of his Gospel, as important as the scene of the crucifixion? What kind of innocence is the repentant thief talking about? What is the specific purpose of the statement? In order to better understand the background of the words of the repentant thief, a fresh look at the problem is necessary. In this paper, I will therefore address the following question: in which sense has the adjective ἄτοπος been employed? This will be explored in the following fields: (1.) in classical and Hellenistic Greek; (2.) in the Papyri of the Ptolemaic era and (3.) in the Septuagint. In the light of these texts (4.) I will draw some conclusions on the use of ἄτοπος in Luke 23:41.

1. Classical Greek Literature The adjective ἄτοπος, whose literal meaning is “out of place” (alpha privative + τόπος), is frequently attested in Greek literature, particularly in the works of 1 For some basic information see e. g. J. Jeremias, Die Sprache des Lukasevangeliums, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1980, 307; A. Denaux / ​R .  Corstjens, The Vocabulary of Luke. An alphabetical presentation and a survey of characteristic and noteworthy words and word groups in Luke’s Gospel, Leuven / ​Paris / ​Walpole, MA: Peeters, 2009, 89. 2   E. g. H. J. Cadbury, The style and literary method of Luke, Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press, 1920, 13; A. Plummer, A Critical And Exegetical Commentary Gospel According To St. Luke, New York: Scribners, 1920, lix; J. Jeremias, Die Sprache des Lukasevangeliums, 307. 3 G. Rossé, Il Vangelo di Luca. Commento esegetico e teologico, Roma: Città Nuova, 1995, 981. 4 In particular, the declaration of Jesus’s innocence by the good thief appears only in the Passion narratives of Luke. This joins those of Pilate and the centurion. For this detail, see J. A.  Fitzmyer, The Gospel according to Luke (X–XXIV). Introduction, Translation and Notes, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1986, 1509–1510.1520; M. D. Goulder, Luke. A New Paradigm, vol. 2, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1989, 767–768; L. T. Johnson, The Gospel of Luke, Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991, 378.


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Plato. Over time we can observe that this term has assumed other meanings concerning three principal senses. a)  The first meaning is “strange, absurd, rare”. It is used in reference to feelings, human behaviors or persons. In this sense for example, in Plato’s Philebus, Socrates qualifies envy as a “strange mixture of joy and pain” (49a: φθόνον ἄτοπον ἡδονῆς καὶ λύπης ὄψεσθαι μεῖξιν). In Phaedrus, Socrates is said to look like “a very strange person” (230c: ἀτοπώτατός τις φαίνῃ) because he behaves like a foreigner in his own town.5 A similar formulation appears in Aristotles’ Nicomachean Ethics: Aristotle affirms that a happy man, who is neither rich nor powerful, “looks like a strange person to the mass” (1179a: τις ἄτοπος φανείη τοῖς πολλοῖς) because the mass judges only by the material possessions. Furthermore, in his Republic Plato considers “strange educators” (493c: οὐκ ἄτοπος ἄν σοι δοκεῖ εἶναι παιδευτής;) those citizens who teach what is obvious to the masses, yet demand a fee for it. Actually, they are not able to distinguish good from bad, just from unjust according the principles of the true philosophers, but they act only in order to please the mass. b)  The second sense is “extraordinary, unusual, uncommon”. It is found, for example, in reference to emotions. In Iphigenia in Tauris, Iphigenia says to “have found an extraordinary joy” (Euripides, Iph. Taur. 842: ἄτοπον ἡδονάν ἔλαβον) when she saw again Orestes, her brother, who she thought to be dead. In his History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides reports the speech of Cleon, son of Cleaenetus, who warns the assembly of Athenian citizens. They appear to be duped by the dexterity of the speakers so that they become “slaves to every novelty” (Hist. 3.38.5: δοῦλοι τῶν αἰεὶ ἀτόπων). Therefore, they risk becoming beguiled losing the sense of reality and no longer willing to pursue the common good. c)  The third sense of ἄτοπος is “disgusting, repugnant, evil”. Frequent in the Koiné Greek, it is used in order to indicate something “improper” or “wrong”6. In this sense Plato, in his Letter 7, applies the adjective to the triumph of slanderers who were saying that Dionysus was plotting against the tyranny of Dion. Their slander spread in Syracuse where they had a very “unfair and shameful triumph” (Plato, Ep. 7, 333c: καὶ μάλα ἀτόπῳ τε καὶ αἰσχρᾷ νίκῃ). Finally, some centuries later, in Plutarch’s writings ἄτοπος is employed in an ethical sense. In particular, the adjective is used for persons or to human behaviors. In order to explain what young people have to learn by studying literature, Plutarch criticizes Sophocles because “he is wont to provide for mean characters and unnatural actions alluring words and human reasons” (Quomodo adolescens poetas audire debeat 2.27F: εἴωθεν ἤθεσι φαύλοις καὶ ἀτόποις πράγμασι λόγους ἐπιγελῶντας καὶ φιλανθρώπους αἰτίας πορίζειν [F. C. Babbitt, LCL 197, p. 145]). In Coniugalia Praecepta we find the following idea: if women do not receive the this idea, see also T. Eide, “On Socrates’ ἀτοπία”, Symbolae Osloenses 71 (1996), 59–67. W. G.  Arnott, “The Confrontation of Sostratos and Gorgias”, Phoenix 18, 1964, 110– 123, 121. 5 For 6  See

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seed of good doctrines, they, left to themselves, conceive in their minds “many wicked and worthless ideas” (Conj. praec. 145E: ἄτοπα πολλὰ καὶ φαῦλα βουλεύματα). In conclusion, in classical and post-classical Greek the adjective ἄτοπος has a range of meanings going from “strange, unusual” to “repugnant, evil”. This latter meaning, which deals with what has to be considered “wrong, evil”, is prevailing in the Septuagint and in the papyri where ἄτοπος is generally used to indicate “bad” or “wicked” actions.

2, The use of ἄτοπος in the Septuagint In the Septuagint the adjective ἄτοπος is only scarcely attested: six times in the book of Job and twice in Proverbs and in 2 Maccabees. Most of these occurrences of ἄτοπος have two features in common: The word is used in the neuter as a noun, and it is governed by verba faciendi, ποιέω and πράσσω. However, the book of Job prefers the plural form ἄτοπα whereas the two remaining quotations read the singular ἄτοπον. In the Septuagint ἄτοπος assumes an ethical connotation: “wrong, wicked, evil”, as can be shown by the following examples. In the first part of chapter 27, Job7 professes his innocence by a solemn oath. He is determined to defend it before his friends who accuse him to be afflicted as a consequence of his sins. In 27:6 Job affirms that he will stand firm in his rightness: his conscience, in fact, is clear because he has done nothing wrong with what to reproach himself (οὐ γὰρ σύνοιδα ἐμαυτῷ ἄτοπα πράξας). In Job 34:12, however, the expression ἄτοπα ποιέω refers to God. Elihu is concerned to argue God’s innocence and asks the rhetorical question: “do you think the Lord will do anything wrong?” (οἴῃ δὲ τὸν κύριον ἄτοπα ποιήσειν;). No doubt this question requires a negative answer. According to Elihu, God rewards every man according to his conduct (v. 11). A similar argument can be found in Zophar’s discourse: God acts only according to a retributive justice: since He knows wicked actions he will not overlook them (Job 11:11: αὐτὸς γὰρ οἶδεν ἔργα ἀνόμων ἰδὼν δὲ ἄτοπα οὐ παρόψεται). In fact, as is said in Job 35:13, God is as an observer who knows all the acts of men and who does not desire to see wrongs (ἄτοπα οὐ βούλεται ὁ κύριος ἰδεῖν αὐτὸς γὰρ ὁ παντοκράτωρ ὁρατής ἐστιν). In accordance with this view of justice, Elihu admonishes his friend Job not to act wrongfully (Job 36:21: μὴ πράξῃς ἄτοπα). Similarly Eliphaz, alluding to a saying quoted by Prov 22:8 and Sir 7:3, exhorts Job to reflect on the certainty of the doctrine of retribution8, according to which evil conduct produces fruits of sorrow (Job 4:8: εἶδον τοὺς ἀροτριῶντας τὰ ἄτοπα 7 For the specific vocabulary of the LXX of Job, see also C. Cox, “Vocabulary for Wrongdoing and Forgiveness in the Greek Translation of Job”, Textus 15, 1990, 119–130.  8 For further details concerning this quotation, see also E. Hartley, The Book of Job, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988, 106; D. J. A. Clines, Job 1–20 (WBC 17), Dallas, TX: Word Books,


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οἱ δὲ σπείροντες αὐτὰ ὀδύνας θεριοῦσιν ἑαυτοῖς “I saw those who plow wrongs, and those who sow them reap torments for themselves” [NETS]). Furthermore, the expression ἄτοπον πράσσω appears in 2 Macc 14:23 and Prov 30:20, also with regard to human behaviour. 2 Macc 14:23 relates the actions of Nicanor who, staying in Jerusalem, just dismissed the crowds without doing anything out of place (ἔπραττεν οὐθὲν ἄτοπον). In Prov 30:20 the author presents the irresponsibility of the adulterous woman’s conduct. Though acting sinfully she is not aware of the fact that her actions are wrong (οὐδέν φησιν πεπραχέναι ἄτοπον).

3. The meaning of ἄτοπος in the light of papyri In the extant Ptolemaic papyri the adjective ἄτοπος appears frequently.9 In most of the occurrences, the meaning is “amiss, improper, wicked”. Just like in the Septuagint, ἄτοπος occurs in the neuter as a noun with one of the verba faciendi (e. g. ποιέω, πράσσω, τελέω). In these texts the claim that somebody has committed something ἄτοπος is often connected with an accusation of guilt. Therefore, a judgement or a punishment is required. A good example is P.Cair.Zen. 59484 (mid 3rd century B. C. E.) which reports a letter from Pais, a carpet-weaver, to the village’s chief, Zenon. Pais accuses his fellow-workman Nechtembès of committing several misdeeds. In particular, Pais accuses Nechtembès of soaking a carpet in order to make it heavier than its true weight. Moreover, Nechtembès is said to have shortened the length and breadth of the carpets, so that they are too small for a couch. And when they were to be weighed he put some additional material into the scale. Finally, he has corrupted the other carpet-weavers. For all of these wrong actions he deserves to have his hands cut off 10 (lines 6–9: ἔτι τούτων ἀτοπώτερα ἀπείργασται … δίκαιόν ἐστιν τὰς χείρας … αὐτοῦ ἀποκόψαι)11. By contrast to this document, other papyri address the opposite problem: somebody who is considered to be guilty is innocent in reality. This holds true for P.Petr. 2.19 fr. 1A (3rd century B. C.E), a petition of a prisoner who wants to be released from prison. “In the name of God and of justice” he asks Mezakos to testify in front of Kleonymos that he has never said anything unsuitable against him (lines 4–6: μηθέν με εἰρηκέναι σοι καθ’ αὐτοῦ μηδέποτε ἄτοπον). Slightly 1989, 125; V. Morla Asensio, Libro de Job. Recóndita armonía, Estella (Navarra): Editorial Verbo Divino, 2017, 170.191.  9 For more detailed information, see D. Scialabba, art. ἄτοπος  – ἀτοπία, in: E. Bons, J. Joosten (eds.), Historical and Theological Lexicon of the Septuagint, vol. 1, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming. 10 C. C.  Edgar, Catalogue Général des Antiquités Égyptiennes du Musée du Caire. Zenon Papyri, vol. 3, Le Caire: Imprimerie de l’Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale, 1928, 201. 11 For the interpretation of the papyrus, see also C. Orrieux, Les Papyrus de Zénon: l’horizon d’un Grec en Egypte au IIIe siècle avant J. C., Paris: Macula, 1983, 121–122.

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different is P.Cair.Zen. 59482 (mid 3rd century B. C. E.), a pathetic appeal to Zenon’s feelings. In his petition of mercy, Patiophis asks his employer to release his wife from prison. Indeed, she is wearing out her heart over her children and he himself is unable to attend to his work.12 He appeals to the fact that “no one has ever suffered unrighteous actions from you” (= Zenon; lines 17–19: καὶ οὐθεὶς διὰ σοῦ οὐθὲν πέποσχεν ἄτοπον). P.Petr. 3.43 fr. 3rp (241/240 B. C. E.) is a letter from the architect Theodorus to Hermogenes. Theodorus asks him to send the surveyors as soon as possible in order to measure the work of the labourers, otherwise they will do something improper (lines 17–18: … μὴ ἄτοπ[ό]ν τι πράξωσιν) if they are idle longer. Theodorus argues, that the workers complain of being treated unjustly because they have been kept at work for ten months till now.13 It needs to be underlined that the expression μὴ ἄτοπόν τι πράξωσιν does not specify the nature of the action to be avoided. A similar expression can be found in P. Brem. 2rp (119/120 C. E.), line 12: παραφυλάξετε εἰς τὸ μηδὲν ἄτοπον ὑπ’ αὐτῶν πραχθῆναι “be on guard that nothing strange is done by them”. Furthermore, in UPZ 1.5 (163 B. C. E.) the expression “nothing of ἄτοπος” appears in the context of a search executed by policemen. However, the latter observe that the suspects do not reveal any strange behaviour (lines 12–13: οὐθὲν ἄτοπο[ν] ποιήσαντες, see also for a textual variant UPZ 1.6, line 11, 163 B. C. E.). In BGU 757 (12 C. E.), line 21, ἕτερα ἄτοπα “other improper acts”, are imputed to some predators: having unmade a farmer’s sheaves, they had thrown them to their pigs.

4. Remarks on the sense of ἄτοπος in Luke 23:41 The use of ἄτοπος in the context of Luke 23:41, as we have seen above, refers to the innocence of Jesus. In contrast with the “right” sentence that the thieves crucified with him receive because of their actions (καὶ ἡμεῖς μὲν δικαίως, ἄξια γὰρ ὧν ἐπράξαμεν ἀπολαμβάνομεν), Jesus is condemned unjustly because “He has not done anything ἄτοπον” (οὗτος δὲ οὐδὲν ἄτοπον ἔπραξεν). In the light of the examples already presented, it can be shown that the good thief’s statement οὐδὲν ἄτοπον ἔπραξεν has a corresponding use especially in several papyri and in the Septuagint. In both of them the expression ἄτοπος + ποιέω / ​πράσσω is used to underscore the morally wrong aspect of an action rather than its precise nature. In particular, the expression appears in contexts which 12 C. C.  Edgar, Catalogue Général des Antiquités Égyptiennes du Musée du Caire. Zenon Papyri, vol. 3, 199. 13 For the interpretation of the document, see J. P.  Mahaffy, G. J.  Smyly, The Flinders Petrie Papyri, vol. 3, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Dublin: Academy House, 1905, 30; and W. Schubart, Ein Jahrtausend am Nil. Briefe aus dem Altertum, Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1923, 28–29.


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underline that somebody has or has not committed evil actions which require the disapproval or the punishment of men or God. In the Septuagint, especially in the book of Job, the expression ἄτοπος + ποιέω, πράσσω is closely connected with the wrongdoing of a person which has negative effects on their life. This is explained by the metaphor of plowing and harvesting in Job 4:8: εἶδον τοὺς ἀροτριῶντας τὰ ἄτοπα οἱ δὲ σπείροντες αὐτὰ ὀδύνας θεριοῦσιν ἑαυτοῖς “I saw those who plow wrongs, and those who sow them reap torments for themselves” [NETS]). Therefore, according to the opinion of his friends, the misfortune of Job has certainly to be attributed to his bad behaviour and on no account to God. It is he who never acts wrongly and who practises justice, paying every man according to his conduct. To this might be added one more observation which goes in the same direction: In the extant Ptolemaic papyri, the expression ἄτοπος + ποιέω, πράσσω specifically appears in contexts which underline one idea: whoever has committed wrong actions has received or has to receive a corresponding punishment. Accordingly, anyone who did not commit anything ἄτοπος, does not merit any punishment. Nevertheless, in contrast with the Septuagint, in the Ptolemaic papyri the expression ἄτοπον + ποιέω / ​πράσσω is part of a more colloquial language. In fact, it seems to be used in less formal or literary contexts. As the papyri evidence shows, it occurs in situations concerning: (1.) everyday life (see, for ex., the petition from a carpet-weaver to the chief of the village [P.Cair.Zen. 59484]; the letter of an architect regarding the strike of the labourers [P.Petr. 3.43 fr. 3rp; cf. also P. Brem. 2rp]; a report by policemen [UPZ 1.5]); (2.) requirements of remission by common people (see, for ex., the prayer of a prisoner to Mezakos [P.Petr. 2.19 fr. 1A14] and the request for mercy by the husband of the prisoner [P.Cair.Zen. 59482]). These observations enable us to put forward the following hypothesis: The expression ἄτοπον + ποιέω / ​πράσσω does not belong to the technical language of law-suits. It is mostly pronounced by people who profess the innocence of their own or the innocence of people accused by other ones. As for the linguistic level, we find it in everyday language, and perhaps it is not too farfetched to imagine that this non-technical expression was used by the middle-lower class of the population. In the light of these observations about the papyri we try to draw some conclusions on the use of ἄτοπος in Luke 23:41: a)  When the good thief declares: “He [Jesus] has done nothing which is ἄτοπος”, he does not refer to any specific wicked act. The good thief underlines the total innocence of Jesus who has done nothing wrong.15 Accordingly, he does not 14 As far as I see, only the commentary of the Gospel of Luke by the French scholar MarieJoseph Lagrange quotes this papyrus, see M.-J. Lagrange, Évangile selon Saint Luc, Paris: Gabalda, 1927, 591. 15 In contemporary non-Christian literature, a similar use of ἄτοπος can be found in Dio Chrysostom, Oratio 11.65: ὅτι ἠπίσταντο ἀδικοῦντας τοὺς Ἀχαιοὺς καὶ τὸν Ἀλέξανδρον οὐθὲν

οὗτος δὲ οὐδὲν ἄτοπον ἔπραξεν (Luke 23:41)


deserve any punishment. This statement is all the more significant if we compare it with the immediately preceding one in v. 41a: καὶ ἡμεῖς μὲν δικαίως, ἄξια γὰρ ὧν ἐπράξαμεν ἀπολαμβάνομεν, “and we indeed justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds”. In other words, the culpability of the thieves exalts the innocence of Jesus. b)  In this scene, Luke employs the language of ordinary life. Instead of choosing a juridical term, the good thief uses a rather common and colloquial language. Unlike Pilate, he has no official function. Neither has he to talk to the public nor to pronounce a sentence of life or death before it. On the contrary, he is condemned and like Jesus he is hanging on the cross. Nevertheless, as for the alleged guilt of Jesus, he is able to say few words. By putting these words into the mouth of a person who is marginal in the society and suffering like Jesus, Luke underlines in an immediate and expressive way the message pronounced by two other protagonists, Pilate and the Roman centurion: Jesus is not guilty, but innocent.

ἄτοπον πράξαντα “for they [= the Trojans] knew that the Achaeans were in the wrong and that Paris had done nothing improper” (see also M. Wolter, Das Lukasevangelium [HNT 5], Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008, 760). For a different interpretation, see F. Bovon, Das Evangelium nach Lukas (Lk 19,28–24,53) (EKK III / ​4), Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag / ​Düsseldorf: Patmos: 2009, 467, who focuses on the meanings “strange” and “reprehensible” of the adjective ἄτοπος.

Nuances of Meaning with Compound Words in the Septuagint: A Case Study of διαγογγύζω and εἰσακούω in Contexts of Grumbling David S. Hasselbrook 1. Distinctions Between διαγογγύζω and γογγύζω The compound verb διαγογγύζω and the uncompounded γογγύζω both first occur in extant written documents in the LXX. The latter is found a total of 16 times, occurring in the Pentateuch (Exod 2x, Num 6x), the historical writings (Judg 1x), the Psalms (2x), the prophets (Isa 2x, Lam 1x), Sirach (1x) and Judith (1x). The former is found a total of 10 times, occurring in the Pentateuch (Exod 4x, Num 3x, Deut 1x), a historical writing (Josh 1x) and Sirach (1x).1 The verb γογγύζω serves to translate lûn hi. “murmur, cause to murmur”, lûn ni. “murmur”, ’nn hithpo. “complain, murmur”, rgn qal “murmur”, rgn ni. “murmur”, and lûz ni. “be devious”.2 In Judg 1:14 γογγύζω appears to have no Hebrew counterpart in the MT. The verb διαγογγύζω serves to translate lûn hi., lûn ni., rgn ni., and possibly rgn qal.3 In the LXX διαγογγύζω, like γογγύζω,4 always refers to an activity of expressing dissatisfaction in the form of complaining or grumbling. The verb is used intransitively. The object of dissatisfaction associated with διαγογγύζω is given in the dative in Sir 34[31]:24. For the other occurrences of the word, similar to the usage with γογγύζω, the object of discontent is either implicit from the context (Deut 1:27) or explicitly expressed by means of a preposition: ἐπί τινα (Exod 1 In Exod 16:7, γογγύζω occurs as a variant for διαγογγύζω in Α against Β and has been counted in the total number of 16 occurrences of γογγύζω. Γογγύζω and διαγογγύζω are found as variants of each other in some of the other passages included in the counts for these two words, but these occur in later medieval manuscripts, and are not included in the totals above. For this article, the text given in Gö is followed. For the books of Joshua and Judges, which are not currently available in this resource, the text given in Rahlfs is used. 2 Regarding the meanings of the Hebrew words, see BDB, s. v. II. lûn, s. v. ’nn, s. v. rgn, and s. v. lûz. For the rendering of lûz with γογγύζω, which only takes place in Isa 30:12, the translator may have mistook lûz for lûn or translated from a different Vorlage; 1QIsa has ‘lz here. 3 In Sir 34[31]:24. See K.-H. Rengstorf, “γογγύζω, διαγογγύζω, γογγυσμός, γογγυστής”, in TDNT (vol. 1; ed. Gerhard Kittel; trans. and ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964; repr., 2006), 735n2. 4 See D. S. Hasselbrook, “γογγύζω–γόγγυσις–γογγυσμός”, HTLS, forthcoming.

Nuances of Meaning with Compound Words in the Septuagint


15:24; 16:2; 17:3 A; Num 14:2), κατά τινος (Exod 15:24 A; 16:7, 8; Num 14:36; 16:11), πρός τινα (Exod 17:3 B), and ἐπί τινι (Josh 1:14). The object of discontent consists of God (Deut 1:27), one or more representatives of God (e. g., Exod 15:24; 16:2, 7, 8; 17:3; Num 14:2, 36; 16:11), the leaders of the Israelites (Josh 9:18), or another person (Sir 34[31]:24). The object of discontent is similar for the uses of γογγύζω.5 The fact that διαγογγύζω and γογγύζω both translate, for the most part, the same Hebrew words, refer to expressions of dissatisfaction, and have similar syntactical constructions and usages, appears to have led the current LXX lexicons to essentially treat the words as synonyms. LEH defines both words as “to mutter, to murmur, to grumble”, while MSL3 defines both as “to grumble”.6 However, perhaps there is more here than initially meets the eye. According to LSJ, the verb διαγογγύζω has the same meaning as γογγύζω but with the added sense that the activity conveyed by the verb is carried out among the plurality of people which comprise the subject.7 ΜΛΕΓ, however, suggests that διαγογγύζω has the same meaning as γογγύζω but with the added sense of being carried out excessively or persistently.8 Both lexicons list Exod 16:7 and Num 14:2 in support of their definition. The revised supplement to LSJ by Peter Glare and Anne Thompson adds Exod 15:24, Num 16:11, Deut 1:27, Josh 9:18 and Sir 31:24 to the list.9 The idea that the verb highlights persistent action does not find great support in the usage of the word in the LXX, where the focus on continuing activity is conveyed through the use of verbal aspect.10 The use for highlighting grumbling among the plurality of subjects seems to be a better possibility for διαγογγύζω. Such highlighting may suggest excessiveness by virtue of the number of participants involved. However, since γογγύζω is used to translate the same Hebrew words as are rendered by διαγογγύζω, it seems unlikely that in the LXX the latter refers to excess over the former apart from the plurality of subjects. We now test out the possible sense for διαγογγύζω of expressions of dissatisfaction carried out among a plurality of subjects. In Exod 15:24 the verb refers to the complaint of the people in reference to or against (ἐπί) Moses, where they say, “What will we drink.” The use of διαγογγύζω by the translator can be taken to indicate that the complaining question, which implicated Moses as the leader, was expressed among the people themselves and, as 15:25 reveals, was either overheard by Moses or was also spoken directly to him  5 Ibid.

 6 LEH,

s. v. γογγύζω and s. v. διαγογγύζω, and MSL3, s. v. γογγύζω and s. v. διαγογγύζω. s. v. γογγύζω and s. v. διαγογγύζω.  8 ΜΛΕΓ (Ἰωάννη Σ. Ζερβοῦ [Ioannis S. Zervos], ed., Μέγα Λεξικὸν τῆς Ἑλληνικῆς Γλώσσης (9 volumes); Ἀθῆναι [Athens]: Ἐκδοτικός Οἶκος Δημητράκου, 1936–1950, s. v. διαγογγύζω.  9 P. G. W.  Glare, A. A.  Thompson (eds.), Greek-English Lexicon, Revised Supplement, Oxford: Clarendon, 1996, s. v. διαγογγύζω. 10 For 7 out of 10 times it occurs in the imperfect tense, the present tense, or as a present participle. Also, for one of the passages where, according to Gö, the word occurs in the aorist, Deut 1:27, the reading in B has the imperfect.  7 LSJ,


David S. Hasselbrook

in addition to being expressed among the group. In Exod 16:7 and 8, the grumbling against (κατά) Moses and Aaron refers to the grumbling in reference to or against (ἐπί) them among the people in 16:2, a grumbling whose content is also directly voiced to the two leaders in 16:3. Such an understanding of διαγογγύζω here assumes that the translator understands the w rendered with καί at the beginning of 16:3 as pertaining to chronological succession rather than epexegesis: διεγόγγυζεν πᾶσα συναγωγὴ υἱῶν Ισραηλ ἐπὶ Μωυσῆν καὶ Ααρων, 3 καὶ εἶπαν πρὸς αὐτοὺς οἱ υἱοὶ Ισραηλ Ὂφελον ἀπεθάνομεν πληγέντες ὑπὸ κυρίου ἐν γῇ Αἰγύπτῳ … 2

In Num 14:2 the verb again has the sense of complaints expressed among the people in reference to or against (ἐπί) Moses and Aaron, where in the latter part of the verse the content of the grumbling is directly spoken to Moses and Aaron (similar is the use of the verb in Num 16:11, where the content of the discontent is spoken directly to Moses and Aaron in 16:1–3). Again, we are assuming that the translator understands the w rendered with καί that introduces the latter part of 14:2 as indicating succession in time rather than functioning epexegetically: καὶ διεγόγγυζον ἐπὶ Μωυσῆν καὶ Ααρων πάντες οἱ υἱοὶ Ισραηλ, καὶ εἶπαν πρὸς αὐτοὺς πᾶσα ἡ συναγωγή Ὂφελον ἀπεθάνομεν ἐν γῇ Αἰγύπτῳ …

This idea is supported by the use of διαγογγύζω in Deut 1:27, where Moses recalls the situation of Num 14:1–2a, indicating that the Israelites grumbled among themselves in their tents. Further support for seeing the grumbling as being conducted among the Israelites is found in the pattern of the people’s conduct revealed in 14:4, where we are told that “ἕτερος τῷ ἑτέρῳ” they said, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt.” In Num 14:36 the murmuring of the returning spies among themselves and against the land11 is conducted in the hearing of the congregation,12 resulting in it carrying off evil words against the land. In Josh 9:18 διαγογγύζω is used of the people of the congregation who grumble among themselves in reference to or against (ἐπί) the leaders of the people. From 9:19 we learn that the grumbling was then overheard by the leaders or possibly directly spoken to them. The verb is used in Sir 34[31]:24 of the murmuring of a city among its citizens against (dative) a person who is evil with regard to bread, and we are told that the testimony of his evil which is murmured among the people is accurate. In this case the murmuring may consist of or include whispering talk among people without the discernment, or apart from the presence, of the person who is the object of discontent. As was mentioned, in Deut 1:27 διαγογγύζω is used of the people of Israel. They complain in their tents, ultimately against the Lord, perhaps thinking that he won’t hear them. The context reveals that the complaining is carried out in the tents among the people in the tents. 11 Against

Moses in MT. translator renders ’t kl h‘dh with πρὸς τὴν συναγωγὴν. For ’t as “near” or “beside”, see BDB, s. v. II. ’t, 2. For πρός τι / ​τινα with the same sense, see LSJ, s. v. πρός, C.2.a; LEH, s. v. πρός, [τι, τινα]; MSL3, s. v. πρός, III.14. 12 The

Nuances of Meaning with Compound Words in the Septuagint


This last mentioned passage is alluded to in Ps 105:25 (106:25 MT), where the complaining conducted by the Israelites in their tents is described using the verb γογγύζω. The Hebrew in both passages is rgn ni. A plausible explanation for the use of the uncompounded form of γογγύζω in the psalm would be that the translator’s focus is not on how the complaining took place in the tents (i. e., among the Israelites), but that the complaining took place, period, rather than listening to the Lord. A similar use of γογγύζω occurs in Num 11:1, where it could be said that the focus is not on whether or not the grumbling was carried out among the Israelites, but on the fact that the act was carried out before the Lord at all. Of note is the situation that, when the words recorded are spoken directly by God, γογγύζω, not διαγογγύζω, is used to describe the grumbling of the people against him or his representatives (Num 14:27 [2x], 29; 17:5 [17:20 MT]), again most likely because the focus is not on the fact that the grumbling was done among the people, but on there being any grumbling at all. At other times γογγύζω occurs for murmuring that seems to have more of a focus on the individual’s participation in the act rather than on the shared nature of the act (e. g., Isa 29:24; 30:12; Lam 3:39; Sir 10:25; Ps 58:16 [59:16 MT]). With the use of γογγύζω in Jdt 5:22, there is a communal aspect, but the translator does not seem to focus on the interaction among themselves of the grumbling people, but on the concentrated direction of the grumbling against the object of discontent (Achior) toward the ears of the one (general Holofernes) who could take action against him. In addition to these usages, γογγύζω is used for a specific statement of complaint expressed directly to the object of complaint. Such occurs in Exod 17:3, where the translator renders wymr epexegetically with λέγοντες: καὶ ἐγόγγυζεν ὁ λαὸς επὶ Μωυσῆν λέγοντες Ἵνα τί τοῦτο ἀνεβίβασας ἡμᾶς ἐξ Αἰγύπτου ἀποκτεῖναι ἡμᾶς καὶ τὰ τέκνα ἡμῶν καὶ τὰ κτήνη τῷ δίψει;

So also in Num 16:41, where the Hebrew l’mr is translated with λέγοντες: καὶ ἐγόγγυσαν οἱ υἱοὶ Ισραηλ τῇ ἐπαύριον ἐπὶ Μωυσῆν καὶ Ααρων λέγοντες Ὑμεῖς ἀπεκτάγκατε τὸν λαὸν κυρίου.

Similar may be the use of γογγύζω in Judg 1:14. In the portion of the verse in which the verb is used, which is without Hebrew counterpart in the MT, an epexegetical καί appears to be employed to introduce the statement of grumbling: καὶ ἐγόγγυζεν ἐπάνω τοῦ ὑποζυγίου καὶ ἒκραξεν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὑποζυγίου Εἰς γῆν νότου ἐκδέδοσαί με.13

Whether or not the καί is functioning epexegetically, the subject of γογγύζω here is an individual, not a group of people. Two alternatives to the analysis presented thus far exist. The first would be to see no distinction in usage between γογγύζω and διαγογγύζω in the LXX, in line 13 This

follows the reading of A. B is the same except without ἐπάνω τοῦ ὑποζυγίου.


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with the current LXX lexicons, so that the latter means the same as the former without the nuance of being carried out among the plurality of the people who comprise subject.14 The second alternative would be to maintain that such a nuanced meaning for διαγογγύζω holds only in certain cases. Such seems to be the understanding of TDNT, which appears to indicate that the distinction is valid for the use of διαγογγύζω in Deut 1:27 and Sir 34[31]:24.15 However, the consistency in patterns of usage that differentiate the two verbs suggests that the distinctions between γογγύζω and διαγογγύζω can be seen as being maintained in the LXX.16 The question then arises as to whether or not such distinctions have any basis in the Hebrew original. Given the fact that διαγογγύζω is used to translate Niphal and Hiphil forms of the verbs lûn and rgn (with the possible exception in Sir 34[31]:24), the translators may have felt, based on context, that these verbs in the Hebrew were functioning as reciprocal or causative-reflexive Niphals and as internal Hiphils, where the subjects murmur with each other or cause one another to murmur, resulting in the activity of murmuring among themselves.17 In the case of the use of γογγύζω for the same Hebrew words, the translators may have still seen a causative function, which, however, was not putting a focus on the communal aspect and responsibility, but on the individual or united source of responsibility. Turning to the New Testament writings, it is found that, consistent with LXX usage, the verb γογγύζω is used in Matthew and Luke in reference to a specific statement of discontent expressed directly and clearly to the object of discontent. In Matthew the laborers who worked the whole day, bearing the burden and heat of the day, complain to the master of the house because he paid them the same amount as those workers who only labored for one hour (Matt 20:11). In Luke the Pharisees and scribes grumble against Jesus’ disciples, asking them why they are eating with tax collectors and sinners (Luke 5:30). The verb γογγύζω is used twice in 1 Cor 10:10, where the Apostle Paul warns the Corinthians not to murmur (μηδὲ γογγύζετε) as the Israelites murmured (ἐγόγγυσαν) and were destroyed by the destroyer. In this verse Paul makes reference to some or all of the events that occurred in Num 16:1–50 (16:1–17:15 MT).18 Here the murmuring of the Israelites is against the leadership of Moses and Aaron, a fact that parallels the murmuring of the Corinthians against Paul’s leadership (see 1 Cor 1:12; 4:1, 14–16). In the passage from Numbers, the 14 While γογγύζω can be used in association with a plurality of people, it is not the meaning of the verb itself in such cases that conveys this feature, but the subject of the verb when it is plural. 15 Rengstorf, “γογγύζω, διαγογγύζω, γογγυσμός, γογγυστής”, TDNT 1:735. 16 The interchange of the two words in the later medieval manuscripts would then likely be due to the loss of the feel for the distinction between them. See footnote 1 of this article. Also, in Exod 16:7, where γογγύζω occurs as a variant for διαγογγύζω in Α, if γογγύζω is the original reading, then it could be said that the translator was not focusing in this particular verse on the communal aspect of the grumbling, but on the act of grumbling in general or at all. 17 See B. K. Waltke, M. O’Connor, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990, 389–91, 439–441. 18 Paul may perhaps include here the situation recorded in Num 11:1 as well.

Nuances of Meaning with Compound Words in the Septuagint


murmuring of the people who are on the side of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram is described with the verb διαγογγύζω (16:11; διαγογγύζετε), while that of the congregation of Israel, after the destruction of these men and those gathered with them, is described with the verb γογγύζω (16:41 [17:6 MT]; ἐγόγγυσαν). Since Paul uses ἐγόγγυσαν in referring to the incident, he may be only pointing to the events occurring in Num 16:41–50 (17:6–15 MT), where after the destruction of Korah, Dathan, Abiram and those siding with them, the Israelites murmur against Moses and Aaron, blaming them for the deaths of these people. God then sends a plague that begins to destroy the Israelites (16:46–49 [17:11–14 MT]). If Paul is also making reference to the murmuring of Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and those gathered with them, which was described with διαγογγύζω, then the use of γογγύζω by Paul can be taken either as pointing not to how the grumbling was carried out (i. e., among the Israelites in this former incident), but to the action of grumbling taking place, period, or as a matter of providing the superordinate term that encompasses all types of grumbling. In John 6 γογγύζω is used as an action of expressing discontent. The usage in this chapter, however, appears to not conform with that of LXX in that it is used in contexts where the LXX would use διαγογγύζω. In 6:41 γογγύζω is used instead of διαγογγύζω of the “Ἰουδαῖοι” who grumble among themselves about Jesus’ words. Their grumbling is voiced when, in reference to Jesus’ statement that he is the bread which came down from heaven, they say, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, of whom we know the father and mother? How now is he saying that he has come down from heaven?” (6:42). While in this usage the verb is used in reference to their specific words, their grumbling is not directly expressed to the object of their complaint (i. e., Jesus). Jesus, however, seems to overhear what they say. Jesus then responds in 6:43 by saying, μὴ γογγύζετε μετ’ ἀλλήλων. In this verse John could have used μὴ διαγογγύζετε, but instead uses the uncompounded verb followed by the preposition μετά to convey the same meaning. In the usage of γογγύζω in 6:61, we learn that Jesus knew “in himself” that his disciples were grumbling over what he had said. The fact that Jesus knew in himself what his disciples were saying suggests that their words were whispered or spoken in low tones among themselves. In particular, the disciples’ grumbling refers to their specific statement in response to Jesus’ words, where they say, “This saying is hard. Who is able to hear it?” (6:60). Again, John could have used διαγογγύζω in this context, but does not. Perhaps, as we have seen also in the LXX, John’s usage in this regard is shaped by a desire to focus more on the act of grumbling itself than on the fact that it is carried out among a plurality of people. The verb γογγύζω is used once more in John 7:32. Here the word has the sense of talk that is whispered or spoken in low tones among the people, and may also refer to expressions of discontent if the talk consists of complaints against Jesus or the rulers of the people.19 Again, John does not use the compound verb 19 See

Hasselbrook, “γογγύζω–γόγγυσις–γογγυσμός”, s. v. γογγύζω, 5.


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διαγογγύζω, even though the murmuring is carried out among the people and is not directly expressed to either Jesus or the rulers of the people, perhaps because the murmuring is not of a consistent or cohesive nature. The compound verb διαγογγύζω occurs two times in the New Testament, both in Luke. Each of the occurrences is consistent with LXX usage, being used of the action of expressing dissatisfaction among the plurality of the subjects. In 15:2 the Pharisees and scribes grumble against Jesus saying, “This one receives sinners and eats with them”. In 19:7, when Jesus goes to stay with Zacchaeus, all the people grumble saying, “He has gone in to lodge with a sinful man”.

2. Grumbling Viewed Favorably and εἰσακούω In the LXX usage, the complaining or grumbling conveyed by the word γογγύζω may either be justified or not.20 In the case where the act of expressing dissatisfaction by γογγύζω is directed toward God (directly or indirectly), it is for the most part seen as sinful. In Num 11:1 the people of Israel: ἦν … γογγύζων πονηρά before the Lord, to which the Lord responded by sending a fire that consumed a certain part of the camp. In Num 14:27, 29 the grumbling of the Israelites, who feared entering the land of Canaan and who expressed a wish to have rather died in Egypt or in the wilderness than fall by the sword in Canaan (see 14:2), is answered by God with the punishment of them not being able to enter Canaan (14:23) and, in a sense, with the granting of their request to die in the wilderness (14:29). The granting of the grumbled request here is ultimately a form of punishment in that the people are given over to their sinful unbelief. In Exod 16 and 17, however, the grumbling of the Israelites is responded to by God favorably. In Exod 16:7 the complaint about not having food is answered by God sending quail in the evening and manna in the morning (16:8, 13–15, 31). In Exod 17:3 the complaint about not having water is answered by God sending water forth from the rock (17:6). That the grumblings in these two instances are regarded as requests for food and water is seen from Ps 104:40–41 (105:40–41 MT), where God’s granting of these items in the two situations is done after the people “asked” (š’l MT; ᾔτησαν LXX). In Exod 16:3, to which 16:7 refers, the Israelites say, Ὂφελον ἀπεθάνομεν πληγέντες ὑπὸ κυρίου ἐν γῇ Αἰγύπτῳ ὃταν ἐκαθίσαμεν ἐπὶ τῶν λεβήτων τῶν κρεῶν καὶ ἠσθίομεν ἂρτους εἰς πλησμονήν· ὃτι ἐξηγάγετε ἡμᾶς εἰς τὴν ἒρημον ταύτην ἀποκτεῖναι πᾶσαν τὴν συναγωγὴν ταύτην ἐν λιμῷ.

20 Ibid., s. v. γογγύζω, 3.; cp. also s. v. γογγυσμός, 5. For an example of justified grumbling in regard to the verb γογγύζω, see Judg 1:14, where land is given to be inhabited that apparently is deficient in water supplies. Regarding γογγυσμός, see Acts 6:1 for a situation where grumbling can be maintained as being justifiable.

Nuances of Meaning with Compound Words in the Septuagint


Would that we had died after being struck by the Lord in the land of Egypt when we sat by the kettles of the meats and we were eating loaves of bread to satiety. For you led us out into this wilderness with the result that (or in order that) you kill this whole assembly with hunger.

In 17:3 they say, Ἵνα τί τοῦτο ἀνεβίβασας ἡμᾶς ἐξ Αἰγύπτου ἀποκτεῖναι ἡμᾶς καὶ τὰ τέκνα ἡμῶν καὶ τὰ κτήνη τῷ δίψει; Why this (thing), (namely, that) you caused us to go up from Egypt with the result that (or in order that) you kill us and the children of ours and the livestock with thirst?

Using Ps 104:40–41 (105:40–41 MT) as the interpreter of these verses, the former is a sarcastic or roundabout way of saying, “Can we please have some food!”, while the latter, likewise, is a way of saying, “Can we please have some water!”.21 In these two cases the grumbling of the Israelites appears to be justifiable. This is demonstrated by the very fact that God responds to their discontent in a positive way.22 While the grumbling in Num 11:1 and 14:27, 29, for example, flows from a lack of faith in God’s goodness, control, and protection (similar are the other uses of γογγύζω not mentioned thus far, where God is the expressed or implied object of discontent), the grumbling of the Israelites in Exod 16:7 and 17:3 ultimately stems from the expectation that they should and must be provided with sustenance as they follow where the Lord leads. In 17:7 we learn that in the situation where God sent forth water from the rock, the Israelites sinned, not in expecting God to supply water, but at some point in turning the granting of water into a test of whether or not the Lord was among them (cp. Deut 6:16; 9:22; Ps 94:8–9 [95:8–9 MT]).23 21 We find a similar situation with Samson in Judg 15:18, where, after he kills a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey, we read, “And he thirsted exceedingly; and he cried out to the Lord and said, ‘You gave by the hand of your servant this great deliverance, and now I will die from thirst and I will fall into the hand of the uncircumcised’” (καὶ ἐδίψησεν σφόδρα· καὶ ἐβόησεν πρὸς κύριον καὶ εἶπεν Σὺ ἔδωκας ἐν χειρὶ τοῦ δούλου σου τὴν σωτηρίαν τὴν μεγάλην ταύτην, καὶ νῦν ἀποθανοῦμαι ἐν δίψει καὶ ἐμπεσοῦμαι ἐν χειρὶ τῶν ἀπεριτμήτων). Here, Samson’s statement, “and now I will die from thirst and I will fall into the hand of the uncircumcised”, is basically a form of complaint or discontent, also made in a sarcastic or roundabout way, essentially meaning “Can I please have some water!” In answer to this request, we learn in 15:19 that the Lord opens the “wound of the jawbone” (τὸ τραῦμα τῆς σιαγόνος) so that water flows out of it and Samson drinks and is revived. 22 In Deut 28:48 and 32:24, Moses indicates that, if the Israelites are unfaithful to the Lord in the future, they will be in hunger and thirst. Elsewhere in the Old Testament, hunger and thirst are punishments sent on those who are unfaithful to the Lord (see e. g., Isa 65:13; 5:13; etc.). On the contrary, those who are faithful to the Lord are given the promise that God will provide them with food and water (see e. g., Ps 33:11 [34:10 Eng; 34:11 MT]; 36:25 [37:25 MT], Prov 10:3; Isa 33:16; etc.). It would be odd for the Lord in Exod 16 and 17 to reward the people with food and water without any punishment if they were actually doing something against his will. Also, in Deut 8:2–5, 15–16 we are told that the Lord is the one who afflicted Israel in the wilderness with hunger and thirst, not because they were unfaithful, but in order to train and test them. 23 It seems that Moses’ reference to the Israelites tempting the Lord in 17:2 refers not to when the people say to him, “Give us water”, but to what is revealed in 17:7, where the people are said to test the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”. The words of the people in 17:2, “Give


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For the use of διαγογγύζω in the LXX, the discontent expressed by the word can also be either justified or not. In the two instances where the object of discontent is other than God (or his representative[s]), the complaining or grumbling is fully (Sir 34[31]:24) or partially (Josh 9:18) justified. Similar to the usage of γογγύζω, when the act of expressing dissatisfaction by the verb διαγογγύζω is directed toward God (directly or indirectly), it is for the most part viewed as sinful, except in its occurrences in Exodus (15:24; 16:2, 7, 8), where it can be maintained that the Israelites justifiably expect to be supplied with food and water as they follow where God leads them. The idea of the grumbling of the Israelites in Exodus being viewed favorably by God is in opposition to the understanding of TDNT. For example, regarding the usage of γογγύζω in the LXX, TDNT states, “Here already γογγύζειν always signifies an ungodly attitude on the part of man and not merely dissatisfaction at an unfulfilled promise, as in ordinary Greek”. In terms of the apparent congruence between secular Greek and the LXX, it says, Nor should we ignore the subsidiary element of censure. The attitude denoted by [γογγύζω] is not seemly in those who display it. We can see this already in the first example in the pap[yri]. The writer of the letter uses the γογγύζειν of his workers as a means of pressure, but he makes it plain that their attitude is unusual and therefore that attention should be paid to it, though he does not identify himself with it but merely reports it. It is in keeping with this aspect that the term is always used of others. In other words, this is a trait which even on Greek soil marks one as a ἁμαρτωλός … .

Regarding the murmuring of the Israelites, TDNT sees “a certain justification for it” in the “election of the people in the exodus”. By turning this election, which is grace, into “a claim to be cared for in every respect and to be brought to the goal [i. e., the promised land] without effort”, the people act to rob God “of His sovereignty in relation to the people”. As a result, the grumbling of the Israelites “incurs guilt which must be punished”.24 As can be seen here, TDNT makes no distinction relative to the contexts and content of the grumbling in the LXX. Instead, it maintains a negative overarching understanding of γογγύζω, which it applies also to διαγογγύζω (as well as to the noun γογγυσμός), finding support for this in “ordinary Greek” usage.25

us water” (Δὸς ἡμῖν ὕδωρ), seem very similar to Jesus, in Matt 6:11, telling his disciples to pray “Give us today our daily bread” (τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον δὸς ἡμῖν σήμερον). If, however, Moses’ reference to the Israelites tempting the Lord in 17:2 does include the people saying, “Give us water”, then the people would be tempting the Lord, not in expecting him to give them water, but in expecting God to give the water on demand, immediately at their insistence. With this scenario, it could be said that the Lord does not respond to these words of the Israelites of 17:2, but to the words of complaint regarding the thirst of the people in 17:3 (after which we learn that Moses seeks the Lord’s help in 17:4), words that are very similar to those of 16:3 which are interpreted by Ps 104:40–41 (105:40–41 MT) as an “asking”. 24  Rengstorf, “γογγύζω, διαγογγύζω, γογγυσμός, γογγυστής”, TDNT 1:729–730. 25 Ibid., 1:735–736.

Nuances of Meaning with Compound Words in the Septuagint


The text from the papyrus that TDNT refers to, P.Petr. (240 B. C. E.),26 is as follows: ἔτι δὲ τὸ Μεγῆτος πλήρωμα ἀναβέβηκεν κ[αὶ] τὰ λοιπὰ τὰ ἐνταῦθα ὥστε μηθένα εἶναι ἐνταῦθα ἀλλ’ ἢ ἡμᾶς καὶ τὸ πλήρωμα γογγύζει φάμενοι ἀδικεῖσθαι ἐνταῦ[θα] ἐν τῶ[ι ἔργωι] ἤδη μῆνας τοῦτο δὲ πάσχειν διὰ τὸ μὴ παρεῖναι αὐτοῖς τὸν τριήραρχον. ἔρρωσο. And yet the Μεγῆτος crew and the remaining (crews) which were here have gone up, with the result that no one is here except us. And the crew is grumbling, saying that they are being wronged here in the work already for months, and that this (thing) they are suffering because the captain of the trireme is not present with them. Farewell.

One has difficulty finding support for the conclusion of TDNT that the writer here is censuring the activity of the workers, identifying their action as unusual, or implying that they are sinful. The writer is serving as some type of middleman between the workers and the recipient of the letter. In this final portion of letter, he merely reports the situation and then abruptly ends with “Farewell”, adding no further commentary on the workers’ actions. In fact, the abrupt ending of the letter could be understood as the writer’s way of indicating that the workers have a valid point, although his relationship to the recipient of the letter may prevent him from explicitly taking sides. Another difficulty with the view presented by TDNT is its understanding that the grumbling of the Israelites “incurs guilt which must be punished”. While this is often the case, it does not apply to the grumbling accounts of the Israelites in Exodus. As was mentioned, in the instances in Exodus, the Israelites are not punished, but rewarded with the granting of their grumbled requests. Also, in these cases, the people are not robbing God “of His sovereignty in relation to the people”, but expecting God to fulfill his role as the one who provides for the sustenance of his people. While the Israelites other grumbled expectations of how God was to manifest himself as their God were off, this expectation was not. We find support for this, for example, in Ps 32:18–19 (33:18–19 MT), which says, “Behold the eyes of the Lord are upon the ones who are fearing him, the ones who are hoping in his mercy … to sustain them in famine” (cp. also Ps. 110:5 [111:5 MT]; 144:15–16 [145:15–16 MT]). The idea that God will and must provide for the physical sustenance of his people is also carried through in the NT (see, e. g., Matt 6:25–33 and the use of the imperative in Matt 6:11). The complaining of the Israelites in Num 14:4, 13 and Num 21:5 is of a different nature, since in these passages the people are not complaining because they have no food, but because they are not satisfied with the food that God has given them. In the former instance, God grants their request for meat, giving them over to their sinful desire, but then sends a plague upon them (11:31–34; see also Ps 77:17–31 [78:17–31 MT]; Ps 106:14–15 MT). In the latter instance, God responds to their complaint by sending serpents among the people which bite them, leading to the death of many Israelites (21:6). In the case of Num 20:2–5, the people of Israel complain against 26 See

ibid., 1:728.


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Moses and Aaron, not only because there is no water for them to drink, but also because they are in a place where there is no grain, figs, vines, or pomegranates. While Moses is provoked to sin by the people in this situation (see Num 27:14; Deut 32:51; Ps 105:32–33 [106:32–33 MT]), yet God still provides the people with water. God does nothing, however, regarding grain, figs, vines, and pomegranates, which are beyond the needs of the Israelites for daily sustenance. Further support that God looked favorably upon the grumbling of the Israelites in the Exodus accounts is found in the use of a particular word by the translator of Exod 16. In Exod 16:7, 8, 9, 12 it is stated that the Lord hears the grumbling of the people.27 The word used for the Lord’s “hearing” in the Hebrew is šm‘ qal “hear”,28 which the translator renders with εἰσακούω. According to LEH, εἰσακούω can have the meaning of “to listen”, “to give ear to”, and “to hear”.29 For the same word, MSL3 provides the definitions of “to give ear to”, “to act in accordance with the terms proposed or dictated by”, and “to act obediently”. Under the first sense, MSL3 indicates that the “giving ear to” is carried out “respectfully or sympathetically” in some occurrences. It excludes Exod 16:7, however, from having this nuance.30 LSJ provides the glosses for εἰσακούω of “hearken or give ear to one”, “give way, yield to a request”, “hear”, and “perceive, feel effect of”.31 If we turn to the understanding of εἰσακούω by the Greeks of modern times, we get a little different perspective on the word. According to Λεξικό τής Νέας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας by Georgios Babiniotis, the verb in daily usage today is defined as: “to hear with a positive / ​favorable disposition and comply with the request, petition”.32 The ΜΛΕΓ indicates that this sense of the word is attested from modern times back through medieval to Hellenistic times and applies especially to the case where the one doing the hearing is God.33 If we look at the usage of εἰσακούω 27 The

word used for the grumbling here is γογγυσμός, the noun form of γογγύζω.  BDB, s. v. šm‘. 29 LEH, s. v. εἰσακούω. 30 MSL3, s. v. εἰσακούω. 31  LSJ, s. v. εἰσακούω. 32 “ακούω με θετική διάθεση και ανταποκρίνομαι σε παράκληση, αίτημα”. Γεωργίου Μπαμπινιώτη [Georgios Babiniotis], Λεξικό τής Νέας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας: Με σχόλια για τη σωστή χρήση των λέξεων (2nd rev. ed.). Αθήνα [Athens]: Κέντρο Λεξικολογίας, 2005, s. v. εισακούω, 1. 33 “ἐπὶ τοῦ θεοῦ, ἐπακούω, δέχομαι εὐμενῶς, ἐκπληρῶ ἀπευθυνομένην μοι παράκλησιν”. ΜΛΕΓ, s. v. εἰσακούω, 3. In support of this sense it lists Ps 4:2, Digenes Akritas 4574 (10th cent. C. E.), and Ioannis Zervos, transl. Iliad, Α 708 (modern / ​contemporary). To this list can be added: Matt 6:7; Luke 1:13; Acts 10:31; Heb 5:7; Josephus, Ant. 1.190.5 (1st cent. C. E.); T. Ab. (recen. A) 7.20 (1st cent. C. E.); Epictetus, Gnom. 3.3 (1/2nd cent. C. E.); Ap. John (vers. tert.) 319.4; 322.9 (2nd cent. C. E.); Vitae Sancti Mamantis 19.2 (3rd / ​7th cent. C. E.); Acts Phil. (e cod. Xen. 32) 3.4.17 (4th cent. C. E.); Callinicus, Vit. sanct. Hypatii, Dedication-prologue 28.44.2 (5th cent. C. E.); Joannes Moschus, Frag. e Prat. Spirit. (e cod. Marc. gr. II, 21, saec. 10) 9.16 (6th / ​7th cent. C. E.); Vit. et Mir. Nicolai Myrensis, Vit. seu Περίοδοι (rec. II) 4.8 (7th / ​11th C. E.); Vit. Barlaam et Joaseph 10.129 (8th / ​10th cent. C. E.); Digenes Acritas (sub auct. Meletio Vlasto a. 1632) 5.352.31 (10th cent. C. E.); Theoleptus Philadelphiensis, Carm. 1.41 (13th / ​14th cent. C. E.); Gennadius Scholarius, Epit. Summ. contr. gent. Thom. Aquin. 3.96.12 (15th cent. C. E.); Damascenus Studites, Thesaur. 21.907 28

Nuances of Meaning with Compound Words in the Septuagint


in the Pentateuch, this understanding of the word fits well with the cases where God is the subject of the verb (Gen 21:17; Exod 2:24; 6:5; 16:7, 8, 9, 12; 22:22 [23 Eng], 26 [27 Eng]; Num 20:16; 21:3; Deut 1:45; 3:26; 9:19; 10:10 [in A, R]; 23:6 [5 Eng]; 26:7; 33:7). In all of these instances, εἰσακούω translates šm‘ qal. Outside of the Pentateuch, this sense of εἰσακούω also occurs in the vast majority of its uses where God is the one who does the hearing (e. g., 3 Kgdms 8:29 ff.; Jdt 4:13; Job 35:12; Pss 5:3; 38:13 [39:13 MT; 39:12 Eng]; Sir 3:5; Hos 9:17; Mal 3:16; Isa 1:15; Jer 14:12; Bar 2:14; etc). Where a Hebrew Vorlage exists in these cases, the verb most frequently translates šm‘ qal, somewhat frequently ‘nh qal “answer, respond”,34 and a few times other Hebrew verbs, nouns, or constructions.35 While the understanding that εἰσακούω includes a favorable attitude is lacking in the current LXX lexicons, BDB does recognize this aspect to some degree for the Hebrew words that εἰσακούω translates. For šm‘ qal and where the subject is God, it notes under two of its sense distinctions: “usually with favor implied” and “hear … favourably”. Similarly, for ‘nh qal, it indicates that the verb is used “of God answering (graciously)”.36 Since εἰσακούω usually includes not just hearing but also the granting of the request, the idea that the verb includes a favorable attitude when God is the hearer could in a sense be seen as a theological meaning, for God only answers without punishment requests that are in accordance with his will and that he views favorably. He is not forced to act as others may be. Rather, he acts in such cases because it pleases him and suits his purposes, as in Exod 16, where he responds to the grumblings of the Israelites that essentially were requests for him, in accordance with him being their God, to provide them with their daily sustenance. We could also say that the “theological” understanding of the sense of εἰσακούω could be maintained not only for the use of the verb where God is the hearer, but also for the use of the verb where God’s people are the hearers and God is the one being heard, for God does not just want his people to carry out

(16th cent. C. E.); Papa Synadinus, Χρον. τῶν Σερρ. 3.23.41 (17th cent. C. E.); Τὰ Ἱερὰ Γράμματα: Μεταφρασθέντα ἐκ τῶν Θείων Ἀρχετύπων ὑπὸ τοῦ Ἀρχιμανδρίτου Νεοφύτου Βάμβα (1851: repr., Αθήνα [Athens]: Ελληνική Βιβλική Εταιρία), transl. Matt 6:7, Luke 1:13, Acts 10:31, Heb 5:7 (19th cent. C. E.); Η Αγία Γραφή (Παλαιά και Καινή Διαθήκη): Μετάφραση από τα πρωτότυπα κείμενα (Αθήνα [Athens]: Ελληνική Βιβλική Εταιρία, 1997), transl. Matt 6:7; Luke 1:13; Heb 5:7 (20th cent. C. E.). See also D. S. Hasselbrook, Studies in New Testament Lexicography: Advancing toward a Full Diachronic Approach with the Greek Language (WUNT II 303), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011, 195. 34 BDB, s. v. ‘nh. 35 In addition to šm‘ qal and‘nh qal, for the sense under consideration, εἰσακούω translates each of the following once: ’zn hi. (Job 9:16), rṣh qal (Job 33:26, variant), glh ’zn (Job 36:10), yš‘ hi. (Ps 54:17 [55:17 MT; 55:16 Eng]), ḥûš qal (Ps 140:1 [141:1 MT, Eng]), m‘nh (Mic 3:7, variant), ‘tr ni. (Isa 19:22, variant), qšb hi. (Jer 18:19, variant), and šm‘ ni. (Dan 10:12). See HRCS, s. v. εἰσακούειν. 36 BDB, s. v. šm‘, qal, 2.a. and 2.h., and s. v. ‘nh, qal, 1.b.


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his will outwardly, but also to have a heart that is favorably disposed to him and his will.37 Such appears to be the sense of the verb for example in Deut 30:16–17: ἐὰν δὲ εἰσακούσῃς τὰς ἐντολὰς κυρίου τοῦ θεοῦ σου, ὅσας ἐγὼ ἐντέλλομαί σοι σήμερον, ἀγαπᾶν κύριον τὸν θεόν σου, πορεύεσθαι ἐν ταῖς ὁδοῖς αὐτοῦ, φυλάσσεσθαι τὰ δικαιώματα αὐτοῦ καὶ τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ καὶ τὰς κρίσεις αὐτοῦ … καὶ ἐὰν μεταστῇ ἡ καρδία σου καὶ μὴ εἰσακούσῃς καὶ πλανηθεὶς προσκυνήσῃς θεοῖς ἑτέροις καὶ λατρεύσῃς αὐτοῖς … and if you favorably hear and comply with the commands of the Lord your God, as much as I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, by keeping all his ordinances and his commands and his judgments38 … But if your heart turns away and you do not favorably hear and comply (with the commands of the Lord your God) and after going astray you bow down and worship other gods and you serve them …

So also, for example, in Judg 6:10:39 καὶ εἶπα ὑμῖν Ἐγὼ κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν, οὐ φοβηθήσεσθε τοὺς θεοὺς τοῦ Αμορραίου, ἐν οἷς ὑμεῖς ἐνοικεῖτε ἐν τῇ γῇ αὐτῶν · καὶ οὐκ εἰσηκούσατε τῆς φωνῆς μου.40 And I said to you, “I am the Lord your God; you will not fear the gods of the Amorites, among whom you are dwelling in their land.” But you did not favorably hear and comply with my voice.

The “theological” meanings for εἰσακούω seem to have their basis in the common use of the word, where a person who hears and grants a request is, at least on some level, favorably disposed to the petition. Otherwise the person would not carry out the request.41

3. Concluding Thoughts In the first part of this article, it was maintained that the translators of the LXX used διαγογγύζω, not merely as an alternate word for γογγύζω and synonymous with it, but with a sense where the force of the prepositional prefix διά was felt. The analysis presented in regard to διαγογγύζω suggests that caution should be exercised when the meaning of a compound word is being examined by the lexicographer. Even though the compound and uncompounded word may translate the same Hebrew word, the polysemous nature or capacity of the given Hebrew 37 See e. g., Deut 6:5–6; 11:13; 19:9; 30:2, 10, 16–17, 20; Ps 51:16–19; Isa 29:13; 1:11–14; Jer 14:12; Amos 5:21–22; Mic 6:6–8. 38  Regarding the epexegetical use of the infinitive, see H.St.J. Thackeray, A Grammar of the Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1909, 24n1. 39 For this sense of εἰσακούω, see also 1 Cor 14:21 and Hasselbrook, Studies in New Testament Lexicography, 195. 40 This reading follows A. B is the same except it uses καθήσεσθε in place of ἐνοικεῖτε. 41 See, for example, the use of εἰσακούω in Gen 34:14, 24. Based on an initial survey, the “theological” and “common” senses of εἰσακούω mentioned appear to apply also to its apparent substantial synonym, ἐπακούω, and in certain cases to ἀκούω and ἐνωτίζομαι. A full analysis of these other verbs of hearing, however, is beyond the purview of this article.

Nuances of Meaning with Compound Words in the Septuagint


word may require or allow the use of different Greek words in a particular context. If this is granted, then the question turns to whether or not the nuanced meaning for a compound Greek word was perceived or capable of being perceived by the translator.42 The examination presented herein would support an affirmative answer to this. While consistency in such a matter would be helpful in the case of all or most of the uses of a given compound in the LXX, as appears to be the situation with διαγογγύζω, certainly such is not necessary in order for the nuanced sense to gain a position in a lexicon of the LXX, for it only needs to be demonstrated that the nuance of meaning is supportable for one translator or for one use of the word by a translator in a particular context.43 The second portion of the article argues that the grumbling of the Israelites in Exod 15:24–17:3 (and by extension the complaining request for water in Num 20:3–5) can be viewed as being justified. Such a position is supported first by the very fact that God views the grumbling as requests and favorably answers them without any form of accompanying punishment. For this point of view, the grumbling of the Israelites, rather than being understood as expressions of unbelief, would be seen as expressions of their expectation to be cared for by God in terms of their daily food and drink.44 Given the negative connotation typically associated with the term “grumbling” in today’s English usage, it would perhaps be better to define justifiable “grumbling” associated with γογγύζω, διαγογγύζω, and γογγυσμός in terms of “expressing discontent” rather than as “grumbling.” The other factor used to support the idea that God looked favorably upon the grumbling of the Israelites for food and water was the use of εἰσακούω by the translator of Exod 16. In this regard, the continuity of the Greek language into modern times in the case of this word was drawn upon. It was found that recourse to the understanding and use of the word by modern Greeks led to insights into a finer nuance of meaning carried by εἰσακούω, a nuance of meaning that can be traced all the way back to the LXX. Such recourse to Neohellenic for insights on LXX vocabulary is not new. For example, both LEH and MSL3 include George 42  Given the historic dimorphic nature of the Greek language, i. e. the simultaneous existence of a literary and vernacular register of the language, one could maintain that, in most cases, an understanding of a compound word where the force of the preposition is felt would be “available” in the Greek language system. On the reality of dimorphia, see Hasselbrook, Studies in New Testament Lexicography, 12–13, 15–20. 43  Another example of a compound word whose meaning retains the force of the preposition is καταφιλέω. On this word, see ibid., 164–79. Neither LEH nor MSL3 recognize such a sense for this word, while LSJ partially recognizes it and ΜΛΕΓ fully acknowledges it (for instance, in Ruth 1:9). 44 With such an understanding, these “requests” would not be seen as actions of testing the Lord, and so would not be included in the ten times, referred to in Num 14:22, that Israel tests and doesn’t listen to the Lord. If the ten times are to be taken literally, I would suggest that they could be seen as referring to the following: Exod 16:19–20; 16:27–30; 17:(2), 7; 32:1–35; Lev 10:1–2; Num 11:1–3; 11:4–13, 18–20, 31–34; 12:1–3; 13:26–33; 14:1–4, 10. In all of these cases, some kind of negative result occurs or the particular account is later referred to as sinful (e. g., see Deut 6:16 in reference to Exod 17:[2], 7).


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Shipp’s Modern Greek Evidence for the Ancient Greek Vocabulary in their bibliographies.45 The value of Modern Greek has also been recognized by previous LXX scholars. Henry St. John Thackeray says, “How much light may be thrown on its [i. e., the Koine’s] vocabulary and grammar by a study of modern Greek, which is its lineal descendant, has been shown by the researches of Thumb and others.”46 Similarly, Henry Barclay Swete states, “Both the vocabulary and syntax of the LXX exhibit remarkable affinities with the modern language.”47 These statements and the example of εἰσακούω suggest that the lexicography of the LXX could benefit from a systematic mining of Neohellenic for insights where continuity of the language can be verified.48

45  G. P.  Shipp, Modern Greek Evidence for the Ancient Greek Vocabulary, Sydney: Sydney University, 1979. 46 H.St.J. Thackeray, A Grammar of the Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint, 21. 47  H. B. Swete, An Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1902; repr., Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2003), 309. 48 For a demonstration of the value of Neohellenic for New Testament lexicography, see Hasselbrook, Studies in New Testament Lexicography.

Die Übersetzung παρὰ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὑδάτων in Psalm 1,3und ihr griechischer Hintergrund* Eberhard Bons In Ps 1,3 wird der Mann, der das Gesetz Tag und Nacht betrachtet, mit einem Baum verglichen, der seinen Standort am Wasser hat.1 Der MT liest hier den Ausdruck ‘al palgêy māyîm, was meist im Sinne von „an Wasserbächen“ (z. B. die Zürcher Bibel von 2006 und die Lutherbibel von 2017) übersetzt wird. Ob das Substantiv pælæg in einem etymologischen Zusammenhang mit dem Verbwurzel plg, „teilen, spalten“ steht2, kann im Zusammenhang des vorliegenden Artikels unentschieden bleiben. Das Wort scheint jedenfalls auch in den semitischen Nachbarsprachen belegt zu sein, z. B. im Reichsaramäischen3, und wird von den heutigen Wörterbüchern des biblischen Hebräisch mit „Kanal, Graben, Bach, Wasserlauf“4 übersetzt. Die LXX übersetzt den Ausdruck al palgêy māyîm mit παρὰ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὑδάτων.5 Dieser wird von den neueren Übersetzungen der LXX wie folgt gedeutet: „by the channels of water“6, „an den Wasserbächen“7, „alle sorgenti delle acque“ (= „an den Wasserquellen“)8, „lungo i corsi d’acqua“ (= entlang den Wasserläufen)9, „junto al paso de las aguas“ („am Lauf von Wassern“).10 * Für Hinweise zum Manuskript danke ich vor allem meinen Kollegen Prof. Dr. Christoph Kugelmeier, Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, und Dr. Ralph Brucker, Universitäten Straßburg und Kiel. 1 Zu dieser Thematik vgl. J. T. WILLIS, Diverse Water Symbols in the Psalms. Seas, Rivers, ­Streams, Wadis, Rain, Hail, Dew, Tears, Lewiston NY: Mellen, 2017, 107–110. 2 Vgl. K.-D. Schunck, art. ‫פלג‬, ThWAT VI, 583–585, hier 583 f. 3  Ein Beleg wird zitiert bei J. Hoftijzer, K. Jongeling, Dictionary of the North-West Semitic Inscriptions. Part Two M – T (HdO 21), Leiden: Brill, 1995, 913 (plg4). 4 So z. B. Ges18, 1052; vgl. auch Ph. Reymond, L’eau, sa vie et sa signification dans l’Ancien Testament (VTSup 6), Leiden: Brill, 1958, 70. 5 Mutatis mutandis gilt dasselbe von Ps 119[118],136, wo die LXX analog übersetzt, wenn sie metaphorisch von den Tränen spricht, die der Sprecher des Psalms vergießt. 6 A. Pietersma, B. G.  Wright (Hgg.), A New English Translation of the Septuagint and the Other Greek Translations Traditionally Included under That Title, New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007, 548. 7 W. Kraus, M. Karrer et alii (Hgg.), Septuaginta Deutsch. Das griechische Alte Testament in deutscher Übersetzung, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2009, 753. 8 L. Mortari (Hg.), Il Salterio della Tradizione. Versione del Salterio greco dei LXX, Torino: Gribaudi, 1983, 93. 9 C. Martone (Hg.), La Bibbia dei Settanta. III. Libri poetici, Brescia: Morcelliana, 2013, 31.


Eberhard Bons

Speziell im Hinblick auf Ps 1,3 stellen sich zwei miteinander zusammenhängende Fragen, die in den beiden folgenden Abschnitten dieses Artikels behandelt werden: 1. War den alexandrinischen Übersetzern die erwähnte Bedeutung von pælæg, also „Kanal“, „Wasserlauf“, bekannt? 2. Kann das griechische Substantiv διέξοδος diese Bedeutung tatsächlich wiedergeben?

1. Die LXX-Übersetzungen von pælæg Bei ihrer Deutung des Substantivs pælæg konnten die Übersetzer der hebräischen Psalmen11 sich nicht am Pentateuch orientieren12; denn dort kommt das Wort nicht vor, zumindest nicht in seiner substantivischen Bedeutung. Sieht man einmal vom Beleg des Substantivs in Ijob 29,6 ab, wo die LXX sehr vom MT abweicht, so kommen insgesamt neun Stellen in Frage, die Rückschlüsse über den Umgang der Übersetzer mit dem Wort pælæg erlauben: Ps 1,3 Ps 46[45],5 Ps 65[64],10 Ps 119[118],136 Jes 30,25 Jes 32,2 Klgl 3,48 Spr 5,16 Spr 21,1



‘al palgêy māyîm nāhār pelāgāyw pælæg ’ælohîm palgêy mayîm pelāgîm yiblêy māyîm kepalgêy mayîm palgêy mayîm palgêy māyîm palgêy mayîm

παρὰ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὑδάτων τοῦ ποταμοῦ τὰ ὁρμήματα ὁ ποταμὸς τοῦ θεοῦ διεξόδους ὑδάτων ὕδωρ διαπορευόμενον ὡς ἀφ᾽ ὕδατος φερομένου ἀφέσεις ὑδάτων διαπορευέσθω τὰ σὰ ὕδατα ὁρμὴ ὕδατος

Zunächst ist festzustellen, dass die Wendung palgêy mayîm insgesamt sechsmal vorkommt. Auffällig ist jedoch, dass die griechischen Übersetzungen zum Teil beträchtlich voneinander abweichen. Haben die alexandrinischen Übersetzer das Substantiv pælæg überhaupt nicht mehr gekannt, wie schon vermutet wurde?13 10  N. Fernández Marcos, M. V. Spottorno Díaz-Caro (Hgg.), La Biblia griega Septuaginta III: Libros poéticos y sapienciales, Salamanca: Ediciones Sígueme, 2013, 27. 11 Es wird hier davon ausgegangen, dass der Psalter in Alexandria übersetzt worden ist, vgl. zuletzt J. K.  Aitken, „Psalms“, ders. (Hg.), T&T Clark Companion to the Septuagint, London, New York: T & T Clark, 2015, 320–334, bes. 323; ders., „Jewish Worship amid Greeks. The Lexical Context of the Old Greek Psalter“, R. T. McLay (Hg.), The Temple in Text and Tradition. A Festschrift in Honour of Robert Hayward, London, New York: Bloomsbury, 2015, 48–70, bes. 60–70. 12 Vgl. zu dieser Thematik E. Tov, „The impact of the LXX translation of the Pentateuch on the translation of the other books“, Mélanges D. Barthélemy (OBO 38), Fribourg: Éditions Universitaires / ​Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1981, 577–592, Wiederabdruck in: E. Tov, The Greek and Hebrew Bible. Collected Essays on the Septuagint (VT.S 77), Leiden: Brill, 1999, 183– 194; J. Joosten, „The Impact of the Septuagint Pentateuch on the Greek Psalms“, ders., Collected Studies on the Septuagint. From Language to Interpretation and Beyond (FAT I / ​83), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013, 147–155. 13 Vgl. K.-D. Schunck, art. ‫( פלג‬s. Anm. 2), 584.

Die Übersetzung παρὰ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὑδάτων in Psalm 1,3


Bevor man sich dieser Hypothese anschließt, ist eine genaue Prüfung des Befundes notwendig. 1. Grundsätzlich ist die LXX-Übersetzung des Jesajabuches für ihre zahlreichen Unterschiede zum hebräischen Jesajatext bekannt.14 Das gilt auch für die beiden Stellen Jes 30,25 und Jes 32,2. Diese haben indes gemeinsam, dass dem Substantiv ὕδωρ eine Partizipialform folgt, die das Wasser als wegfließend charakterisiert. Anders die entsprechenden hebräischen Texte: Sie enthalten zwar das Substantiv māyîm, doch ihm geht jeweils eine Form von pælæg voraus. Das bedeutet, dass die LXX erstens auf eine substantivische Wiedergabe von pælæg verzichtet und zweitens eine Umstellung der Wörter vornimmt. a) Im Falle von Jes 30,25 liest der MT pelāgîm yiblêy māyîm, und 1QIsaa bietet den entsprechenden Konsonantentext. Die LXX wählt offenbar einen Ausdruck, den auch Ps 58[57],8 verwendet (dort für kemô mayîm yithallkû, „wie Wasser, das wegfließt“): ὕδωρ διαπορευόμενον. Im Übrigen begegnet dasselbe Verb διαπορεύομαι mit dem Subjekt „Wasser“ in einer imperativischen Form in Spr 5,16: εἰς δὲ σὰς πλατείας διαπορευέσθω τὰ σὰ ὕδατα „auf deine Plätze sollen deine Wasser fließen“. Weiterhin bleibt festzustellen, dass im Vergleich zum hebräischen Wortlaut die griechische Übersetzung insofern „kondensiert“ ist, als die beiden weitgehend synonymen Ausdrücke pelāgîm und yiblêy māyîm in ὕδωρ διαπορευόμενον zusammengefasst werden. Derartige Phänomene sind häufig in der Jesaja-LXX anzutreffen.15 b) In Jes 32,2 weicht die LXX beträchtlich vom MT ab, dessen Konsonantentext wiederum von 1QIsaa bestätigt wird. Anders als im hebräischen Text werden nicht die zukünftigen Herrscher (Jes 32,1) mit Wasserbächen in der Steppe verglichen. Vielmehr ist in der LXX die Rede von dem Menschen, der seine Worte verbirgt und sich wie vor reißendem Wasser verbergen wird: ἔσται ὁ ἄνθρωπος κρύπτων τοὺς λόγους αὐτοῦ καὶ κρυβήσεται ὡς ἀφ᾽ ὕδατος φερομένου. Wie die LXX zu verstehen ist, soll hier nicht weiter vertieft werden.16 Wie in Jes 30,25 ver-

14  Einen ersten Überblick über die literarischen Besonderheiten der Jesaja-LXX bietet A. van der Kooij, „Esaias / ​Isaias / ​Jesaja“, S.  Kreuzer (Hg.), Einleitung in die Septuaginta (Handbuch zur Septuaginta / ​Handbook of the Septuagint 1), Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2016, 559– 573, bes. 562–564. 15  Vgl. ausführlich dazu und mit zahlreichen Beispielen M. van der Vorm-Croughs, The Old Greek of Isaiah. An Analysis of Its Pluses and Minuses (SBLSCS 61), Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature 2014, chapter 7. 16 Zu den einzelnen Unterschieden zwischen MT und LXX sowie zur Interpretation der LXX vgl. A. van der Kooij, „The Septuagint of Isaiah and the Issue of Coherence. A Twofold Analysis of LXX Isaiah 31:9B– 32:8“, 1., M. N. van der Meer, The Old Greek of Isaiah: Issues and Perspectives (CBET 55), Leuven: Peeters, 2010, 33–48, bes. 37–38; A. van der Kooij, F. Wilk, „Erläuterungen zu Jes 1–39“, M. Karrer, W. Kraus et alii (Hgg.), Septuaginta Deutsch. Erläuterungen und Kommentare zum griechischen Alten Testament, Bd. 2, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2011, 2505–2607, hier 2588; A. T. Ngunga, Messianism in the Old Greek of Isaiah. An Intertextual Analysis (FRLANT 245), Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013, 153–154.


Eberhard Bons

wendet sie jedenfalls ein Partizip und verzichtet auf ein weiteres Substantiv, vielleicht wie in Jes 30,26 mit der Absicht, eine Redundanz zu vermeiden.17 Offen bleibt, ob die griechischen Übersetzungen der beiden Jesaja-Stellen eine gewisse Unkenntnis des hebräischen Wortes pælæg verraten. Wählt der Übersetzer Partizipien, die gut zur Vorstellung des fließenden Wassers passen? Gewiss wird an beiden Stellen der Aspekt des fließenden oder strömenden Wassers wiedergegeben. Dennoch bleibt festzuhalten, dass die LXX nicht explizit von Wasserläufen spricht. 2. Auch an zwei anderen Stellen bietet die LXX keine exakte Wiedergabe von pælæg, wiewohl hier Substantive Verwendung finden. a) In Ps 46[45],5 wird die hebräische Pendenskonstruktion nāhār pelāgāyw18 frei wiedergegeben, und zwar mit einer genitivischen Konstruktion: τοῦ ποταμοῦ τὰ ὁρμήματα. Dabei ist das Substantiv τὰ ὁρμήματα ein Hapaxlegomenon des LXX-Psalters, das gerade den Aspekt der starken Strömung des Flusses betont. b) In Spr 21,1 greift der Übersetzer ebenfalls vorsichtig in die Syntax des hebräischen Ausgangstextes ein. Der MT lautet: palgêy mayîm læb mælæk beyad YHWH „das Herz des Königs ist [wie] Wasserbäche in der Hand YHWHs“. Die LXX liest dagegen: ὥσπερ ὁρμὴ ὕδατος οὕτως καρδία βασιλέως ἐν χειρὶ θεοῦ. Durch die Hinzufügung von ὥσπερ und οὕτως macht die LXX deutlich, dass das Wasser und das Herz des Königs in einem Vergleichsverhältnis stehen.19 Dennoch spricht die LXX nicht von Wasserbächen, sondern setzt das Substantiv ἡ ὁρμή ein. Wie in Ps 46[45],5 ist also in Spr 21,1 nicht von einem Wasserlauf die Rede, sondern von der Gewalt des strömenden Wassers; vgl. für eine derartige Formulierung schon Homer, Odyssee, 5.320: μεγάλου ὑπὸ κύματος ὁρμῆς, „durch den Andrang der großen Welle“. 3. Dass mit dem Substantiv pælæg ein Wasserlauf gemeint ist, ist den ale­ xandrinischen Übersetzern aber nicht völlig unbekannt. Eine solche Folgerung kann man allein schon aus Ps 65[64],10 ziehen, wo pælæg ’ælohîm mit ὁ ποταμὸς τοῦ θεοῦ wiedergegeben wird. Angespielt ist hier vielleicht auf den Strom der Gottesstadt, der dem Land Fruchtbarkeit schenkt.20 Dieser Fluss kam ja schon in Ps 46[45],5 vor, was vielleicht erklärt, dass in beiden Fällen in der LXX dasselbe Substantiv für denselben Gegenstand verwendet wird, nämlich ὁ ποταμός, obwohl im hebräischen Bibeltext im einen Fall nāhār steht, im anderen pælæg.

17 Vgl. zu dieser Stelle auch M. van der Vorm-Croughs, The Old Greek of Isaiah (s. Anm. 15), 196. 18 Zur Syntax dieses Verses vgl. die Untersuchung von W. Gross, Die Pendenskonstruktion im Biblischen Hebräisch (ATS.AT 27), St. Ottilien: Eos Verlag, 1987, 153–154. 19 Vgl. D.-M. d’Hamonville, La Bible d’Alexandrie: Les Proverbes. Traduction du texte grec de la Septante, Introduction et notes, Paris: Cerf, 2000, 277. 20 Vgl. F.-L. Hossfeld, „Psalm 65“, ders., E. Zenger, Psalmen 51–100. Übersetzt und ausgelegt (HThKAT), Freiburg: Herder, 2000, 212–220, hier 218.

Die Übersetzung παρὰ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὑδάτων in Psalm 1,3


4. Wie aber ist die griechische Version von Ps 1,3 zu erklären, wo die LXX παρὰ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὑδάτων liest?21 Zunächst sei festgehalten, dass das Substantiv διέξοδος in der LXX eine in verschiedenen Zusammenhängen verwendet wird. So bezeichnet es u. a. die Endpunkte eines Grenzverlaufs (u. a. Num 34,4–5.8–9; Jos 15,4), einen „Ausweg“ (im Sinne der Rettung vor dem Tod, so Ps 67,21LXX), möglicherweise den Ausbruch (der Rinder aus der Weide, Ps 143,1422), angeblich auch eine Wasserquelle. Für letztere Deutung werden 4 Kgt 2,21 und Ps 106,33LXX angeführt.23 In Ps 107,33.35 wird von Gott ausgesagt, dass er Flüsse (nehārôt) zur Wüste machen kann und Wasserquellen (moṣā’êy mayîm) zu dürrem Land, aber dass er auch – so in V. 35 – das Gegenteil bewirken kann. Die LXX liest für nehārôt in V. 33 ποταμούς und für moṣā’êy mayîm in V. 33 sowie in V. 55 διεξόδους ὑδάτων. In 4 Kgt 2,21 findet sich schließlich die singularische Übersetzung εἰς τὴν διέξοδον τῶν ὑδάτων für den hebräischen Ausdruck ’æl moṣā’ hammayîm (2 Kön 2,21). Sollte folglich in Ps 1,3LXX ebenfalls eine Wasserquelle gemeint sein, an der der fruchtbare Baum gepflanzt ist? Auf welche Art von Gewässer spielt das griechische Substantiv διέξοδος also an? Bedeutet es an den zitierten LXX-Stellen „Quelle“ oder eher „Wasserlauf“? Die Übersetzung „Quelle“ sollte man vielleicht nicht von vornherein auszuschließen. Dennoch sind Bedenken angebracht: a) Die Parallelisierung von ποταμοί und διέξοδοι in 4 Kgt 2,21 spricht zumindest nicht dagegen, dass das zweite Substantiv ein fließendes Gewässer bezeichnen kann. b) Zwar wird in 2 Kön 2,21; Ps 107,33.35 das hebräische Substantiv môṣā’ im Sinne von „Quelle“ mit διέξοδος wiedergegeben. Das beweist aber noch lange nicht, dass διέξοδος an dieser Stelle ebenfalls „Quelle“ bedeutet; denn dafür hat das Griechische ja das viel geläufigere Wort πηγή. Dieses Wort ist ja auch dem LXX-Psalter nicht unbekannt, vgl. nur Stellen wie Ps 36[35],10; 74[73],10. c) Im Fall von 2 Kön 2,21; Ps 107,33.35 haben die alexandrinischen Übersetzer sich möglicherweise am Pentateuch orientiert24, wo διέξοδος für ein ähnliches Substantiv verwendet wird, nämlich tôṣā’ôt, womit die vorhin erwähnten Endpunkte eines Grenzverlaufs gemeint sind.25 Anhand dieser drei Argumente lässt sich zwar nicht beweisen, dass das Sub­ stantiv διέξοδος eine Quelle bezeichnen kann; sie sollten aber davor bewahren,

21 Auf die analoge Übersetzung in Ps 119[118],136 wird hier nicht weiter eingegangen, s. o. Anm. 5. 22 Vgl. R. Brucker, Th.J. Kraus, „Psalm 143[144]“, M. Karrer, W. Kraus (Hgg.), Septuaginta Deutsch. Erläuterungen und Kommentare, Bd. 2 (s. Anm. 16), 1874–1877, hier 1876. 23 T. Muraoka, A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint, Leuven: Peeters, 2009, 167, nennt beide Stellen; A. A.  García Santos, Diccionario del Griego bíblico. Setenta y Nuevo Testamento, Estella (Navarra): Editorial Verbo Divino, 2011, 217, schlägt dagegen für Ps 106,33LXX die Übersetzung „corriente de agua“ vor. 24 Vgl. hierzu die in Anm. 12 erwähnten Untersuchungen 25 Vgl. dazu G. Dorival, La Bible d’Alexandrie: Les Nombres, Traduction du texte grec de la Septante, Introduction et notes, Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1994, 557.


Eberhard Bons

an allen Stellen, wo von den διέξοδοι (τῶν) ὑδάτων die Rede ist, an Wasserquellen zu denken. Offen bleibt an dieser Stelle noch die zweite Frage, die zu Beginn des Artikels gestellt wurde und die den LXX-Psalter betrifft: Kann das Substantiv διέξοδος im klassischen und hellenistischen Griechisch einen Wasserlauf oder einen Kanal bezeichnen? Wenn ja, hätte der Übersetzer des LXX-Psalters wenigstens punktuell an dieser Stelle (sowie in Ps 118,136LXX) ein griechisches Substantiv gewählt, das zwar mehrdeutig ist, aber durchaus mit dem hebräischen Wort pælæg die Bedeutung „Wasserlauf“ oder „Kanal“ teilen kann.

2. Kann das Substantiv διέξοδος einen Wasserlauf oder einen Kanal bezeichnen? Diese Frage kann bejaht werden. Tatsächlich kann man ein paar Beispiele aus der griechischen Literatur anführen, in denen das Substantiv διέξοδος einen Wasserlauf oder Flusslauf bezeichnet. 1. Das erste Beispiel für die Verwendung von διέξοδος für einen Wasserlauf liefert Platon. In seinem Dialog Phaidon entwickelt er im Anschluss an den vierten Beweis der Unsterblichkeit der Seele eine Kosmologie (108c–113c)26 und führt in diesem Zusammenhang aus, dass die Orte auf der Erde unterirdisch wie durch breitere oder engere Bohrgänge miteinander verbunden sind und insofern διέξοδοι besitzen, durch die viel Wasser von einem Ort zum anderen fließt, wie in einen Mischkrug (111d2–5: τούτους δὲ πάντας ὑπὸ γῆν εἰς ἀλλήλους συντετρῆσθαί τε πολλαχῇ καὶ κατὰ στενότερα καὶ εὐρύτερα καὶ διεξόδους ἔχειν, ᾗ πολὺ μὲν ὕδωρ ῥεῖν ἐξ ἀλλήλων εἰς ἀλλήλους ὥσπερ εἰς κρατῆρας). 2. Während bei Platon nur unterirdische διέξοδοι erwähnt werden, benutzt Strabon das Substantiv auch in Bezug auf oberirdische Wasserläufe. a) Der Armenische Araxes habe lange Zeit die tiefer liegenden Ebenen überflutet, da er keinen διέξοδος besessen habe (Geogr. 11.14.13: καὶ πελαγίζειν ἐν τοῖς ὑποκειμένοις πεδίοις οὐκ ἔχοντα διέξοδον). Das habe sich erst geändert, als man einen Abfluss hin zum Kaspischen Meer geschaffen habe (ebd.). b) Der in Kappodozien fließende Melas dagegen habe nur einen engen διέξοδος zum Halys27 hin gehabt, den der König Ariarathes verstopft habe, um einen See aufzustauen (Geogr. 12.2.8: Ἀριαράθης δ’ ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῦ Μέλανος κατά τινα στενὰ ἔχοντος τὴν εἰς τὸν Ἅλυν διέξοδον ἐμφράξας). Der spätere Dammbruch habe Schäden großen Ausmaßes verursacht. 26 In welchem Verhältnis der vierte Beweis zu der anschließenden Kosmologie steht, soll hier nicht weiter vertieft werden; vgl. dazu z. B. D. Frede, Platons „Phaidon“. Der Traum von der Unsterblichkeit der Seele, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1999, 152–153. 27 Zum textkritischen und inhaltlichen Problem der Stelle, vor allem zur Frage, in welchen Fluss der Melas mündet, vgl. Strabons Geographika. Herausgegeben von Stefan Radt, Bd. 7, Buch IX–XIII Kommentar, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2008, 343.

Die Übersetzung παρὰ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὑδάτων in Psalm 1,3


c) Schließlich erwähnt Strabon (Geogr. 16.1.13) eine von Eratosthenes überlieferte und von ihm selbst angezweifelte Information, wonach die Seen Arabiens aufgrund des Fehlens oberirdischer Abflüsse unterirdische Gänge eröffnet hätten, durch die das Wasser bis zu den Cölesyrern gelange (Ἐρατοσθένης δὲ τῶν λιμνῶν μνησθεὶς τῶν πρὸς τῇ Ἀραβίᾳ, φησὶ τὸ ὕδωρ ἀπορούμενον διεξόδων ἀνοῖξαι πόρους ὑπὸ γῆς καὶ δι’ ἐκείνων ὑποφέρεσθαι μέχρι Κοιλοσύρων· Diese Beispiele mögen genügen. Gewiss finden sich nur wenige Stellen in der griechischen Literatur, an denen das Substantiv διέξοδος sich auf ein fließendes Gewässer bezieht. Doch nichts spricht gegen die Schlussfolgerung, dass die alexandrinischen Übersetzer mit diesem Wortgebrauch vertraut sein konnten und in Ps 1,3 gerade dieses Substantiv einsetzten. Das würde bedeuten, dass sie im Fall von Ps 1,3 einen Terminus wählten, der die Bedeutung des hebräischen Äquivalents pælæg wiedergeben kann. Damit wäre ein weiteres Beispiel eines Gebrauchs von relativ seltenen termini technici gefunden, von denen der LXX-Psalter verschiedene kennt, z. B. Ps 79,11 das Substantiv ἀναδενδράς für die in einen Baum sich hineinrankende Weinrebe.28

3. Abschließende Bemerkungen Am Ende dieses Artikels sind noch zwei Bemerkungen erforderlich: 1. Im LXX-Psalter ist die Tendenz erkennbar, das sinnverwandte Substantiv ὁ ποταμός als Standardäquivalent für das wesentlich breiter belegte Substantiv nāhār zu verwenden, z. B. in Ps 24[23],2; 66[65]2, 6; 72[71],8. Dasselbe Wort ὁ ποταμός findet auch dann Verwendung, wenn vom Fluss Gottes die Rede ist. Im Fall von Ps 1,3 – und in ähnlicher Weise auch in Ps 118,136LXX – scheinen die Übersetzer sich aber für ein anderes griechisches Äquivalent entschieden zu haben, und zwar für διέξοδος. Dass die alexandrinischen Übersetzer grundsätzlich mit der Bedeutung von διέξοδος im Sinne von „Abfluss (des Wassers)“ vertraut sind, zeigt Sir 25,25: μὴ δῷς ὕδατι διέξοδον „gib dem Wasser keinen Abfluss“. Ob ihnen dieselbe Verwendung des Wortes aus der Alltagssprache des hellenistischen Ägyptens vertraut war, bleibt offen. In den derzeit bekannten und publizierten Papyri finden sich zwar Belege von διέξοδος, aber mit abweichender Bedeutung, z. B. P.Tebt. 762.8 (3. Jahrhundert v. Chr.): ἐὰν οὖν σοι μελήσῃ, ἔσται διέξοδ[ος] „wenn du dich [darum] kümmerst, wird es eine Lösung geben“. 2. Die griechischsprachigen Kirchenväter, die die Psalmen kommentieren, gehen nicht auf die genaue Bedeutung des Ausdrucks διέξοδοι (τῶν) ὑδάτων ein. Entsprechende Zitate konnten auch nach gründlicher Recherche nicht gefunden werden. Ebenso wenig äußert sich Hieronymus zum Problem, obwohl er in seinen Kommentaren sehr häufig auf die zahlreichen Unterschiede zwischen 28 Vgl. zur LXX-Übersetzung des Psalters E. Bons, R. Brucker, „Psalmoi / ​ Das Buch der Psalmen“, S. Kreuzer (Hg.) Einleitung in die Septuaginta (s. Anm. 16), 333–353, bes. 345.


Eberhard Bons

der LXX und dem hebräischen Bibeltext hinweist, etwa in seinen Commentarioli in Psalmos. In seinem Psalterium iuxta LXX übersetzt er den griechischen Ausdruck mit decursus aquarum, also nicht mit einem Substantiv, das „Quelle“ bedeuten kann, sondern „Strom“ (vgl. etwa die Stelle in Ovid, Metamorphosen, XV, 266f). In seiner Psalterübersetzung aus dem Hebräischen, dem sogenannten Psalterium iuxta Hebraeos, gibt Hieronymus den Ausdruck ‘al palgêy māyîm mit lateinischem iuxta rivulos aquae wieder, also mit einem Wort, das „kleiner Bach“, kaum aber „Quelle“ bedeutet.29 Offenbar war Hieronymus also die Bedeutung des hebräischen Textes bekannt, woher auch immer er seine Kenntnisse besaß. Sollte aber die LXX mit der Wendung παρὰ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὑδάτων den Sinn „bei Wasserläufen“ wiedergeben, dann wäre sie ein noch früheres Zeugnis für das adäquate Verständnis des hebräischen Bibeltextes.

29 Zum Gegensatz zwischen Quelle und Bach bei Hieronymus vgl. Epistula 106,2 (ed. I. Hilberg), Wien / ​Leipzig 1912, 239 [= CSEL 55], wo er das Verhältnis zwischen den Bibelexten in der Originalsprache und ihren Übersetzungen mit den Begriffen von „Quelle“ und „Bäche“ beschreibt: Sicut autem in nouo testamento, si quando recurrimus ad fontem Graeci sermonis […], ita in veteri testamento, si quando inter Graecos Latinosque diversitas est, ad Hebraicam confugimus veritatem, ut, quicquid de fonte proficiscitur, hoc quaeramus in rivulis. Ein ähnliches Bild findet sich schon bei Cicero, De oratore II, 117: tamen et tardi ingeni est rivulos consectari, fontis rerum non videre.

The Semantic Evolution of the Word παρρησία through its Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic Fields Kyriakoula Papademetriou This article attempts to demonstrate how important the lexical understanding of a word is not only through a close semantic analysis of the text itself, but also through an investigation of the social and cultural extra-context, which provides us with an empirical approach of the language. These data affect the usage of the word in various ways and create considerable diversity in the meaning of the same word. Perceiving this, we are able in turn to perceive more precisely the specific meaning of the word. The word παρρησία is taken as a case study. The meaning of this word is investigated both diachronically and synchronically through a semantic method which involves pragmatic and sociolinguistic approaches. The semantic relations of the word within the context are examined, as well as the relations established between the word and its contemporary users. Finally, the correlation with the socio-historical settings of the texts will be investigated. Attention is given on the use of the word in the text of the Greek Bible, in the Septuagint and the New Testament, taking into account the Jewish background, as well as the Graeco-Roman tradition of the sense of this word.

1. General data The word παρρησία is a diachronic Greek word,1 which first occurs in texts of the Athenian democracy and, mostly, in texts that represent this democracy par excellence, namely in dramatic poetry and in rhetorical speeches. Euripides and Demosthenes are the first witnesses, Plato and Isocrates follow, Aristophanes and several rhetoricians mention the word within a political context throughout the ages of the flourishing Greek polis.

1 For a panoramic examination of the word see H. Schlier, “παρρησία,” TDNT 5:871–886. Furthermore, Michel Foucault has presented a fascinating analysis of the notion of “parrhesia” in the ancient original texts from a political and philosophical aspect: M. Foucault, The Government of Self and Others: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1982–1983, New York: Picador, 2011.


Kyriakoula Papademetriou

Historians and Cynic philosophers take the baton in the Hellenistic era, when the political values are increasingly compensated with the moral ones, and they use the word with a relevant shift of its semantic reference point. The scholarly writers of the Jewish-Greek literature, such as Josephus, receive this double legacy of political and moral context for the use of the word and they adjust it to analogous Jewish conceptions. Romans present παρρησία as libertas and licentia with reference to the public area2 and rhetoricians consider its moral aspect. This reference clearly appears in Plutarch’s moral works; while at the same time it is reflected in the documents of the papyri and inscriptions. The word passes to the Septuagint translation and, subsequently, it appears in the New Testament text with a distinct variation in its meaning. Nowadays, the word occurs, unchanged morphologically, in Modern Greek, but its meaning has rather lost a lot of its original semantic load. Every valid Lexicon of the Ancient Greek language gives basically three meanings for the word παρρησία: freedom of speech and action, openness, and boldness of speech.3 However, there are linguistic indications that the field of its sense has to be detected for a deeper comprehension.

2. Etymology The etymology suggested for the word παρρησία, from the pronoun πᾶν “the whole”, and the noun ῥῆσις “word”, shows that the noun is a paronymon, a parasyntheton, that is an indirect compound. However, the etymology does not offer any semantic clarity for the original meaning, and the sense resulting from this configuration, that the compound παρρησία means the possibility of freely saying any word, is ambiguous: which is the notion, freedom of speech or free speech? Also, does the word express a descriptive attribute, or even an evaluative one, and in the second case, does it express a positive or a negative attribute? Moreover, the ancient textual evidence that we have at hand allow for a wideranging meaning, which from the notion of the full freedom in speech goes on to the boldness of speech, moves on to the clearness of speech, thereafter to the sincerity, further in the confidence, to eventually switching ‑normally by a negative adjective – in the meaning of insolence and of indiscretion, even of vilification.

2 Cf. especially G. Scarpat, Parrhesia. Storia del Termine et delle sue Traduzioni in Latino, Brescia: Paideia, 1964. 3 See representatively LSJ, MM, BDAG, LEH, MSL3.

The Semantic Evolution of the Word παρρησία


3. A proper approach These remarks, combined with the fact that the word παρρησία is mentioned almost always in a context of both political and public life, suggest that the meaning of the word should be largely depended on extra-language and extratextual factors, which should concern the relation of the word with certain social conventions of its users. To this point, the contribution of Pragmatics and Sociolinguistics could be crucial. These two disciplines, although coming from different origins, meet in the empirical approach of the language and they overlap, as well as complement each other. In the case of the word παρρησία, we will study through Pragmatics what the word might mean within a concrete contextual frame, involving where, when and under which conventions it is used, and what is the meaning that is communicated without wording4. Also, through Socio-linguistics we will study the variation in the meaning of the word due to the differentiation of the users and the social agents, such as different culture, bilingualism and communication parameters.5 This is deemed as necessary, because the texts always reflect a linguistic community characterized by its own particular features, so that it becomes highly significant for the lexical meaning to be assessed with reference to the purpose of the text, the circumstances under which it was produced, and the writer’s personality.

4. The ancient Greek social context It is remarkable that the word παρρησία occurs neither in the Homeric texts nor in the texts coming from the ancient aristocracy or oligarchy, because probably for these societies the freedom of the speech was not an actual question6. The members of the elite had the right to speak freely in their assemblies with respect to hierarchy. But not even in Sparta does παρρησία occur as a word or as a meaning; the writers referring to this problem speak only of ἐλευθεριότης and ὁμοιότης between the members of the Spartan assemblies, not about ἰσηγορία, not even about ἐλευθερία.7 G. Yule, Pragmatics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996, 3–8.  On the main subject of Sociolinguistics, see P. Trudgill, “Sociolinguistics: An Overview”, U. Ammon et alii (eds), Sociolinguistics. An International Handbook of the Science of Language and Society, 2nd completely revised and extended edition, Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 2004, 1:1–5. 6  Cf. K. A.  Raaflaub, “Aristocracy and Freedom of Speech in the Graeco-Roman world”, I. Sluiter, R. M.  Rosen (eds.), Free Speech in Classical Antiquity, Leiden: Brill, 2004, 51–54. 7 See Plutarch, Lyc. 6.3: “When the multitude was thus assembled, no one of them was permitted to make a motion, but the motion laid before them by the senators and kings could be accepted or rejected by the people (LCL)” (Τοῦ δὲ πλήθους ἀθροισθέντος εἰπεῖν μὲν οὐδενὶ γνώμην τῶν ἄλλων ἐφεῖτο, τήν δ’ ὑπὸ τῶν γερόντων καὶ τῶν βασιλέων προτεθεῖσαν ἐπικρῖναι κύριος ἦν ὁ δῆμος.) 4 See 5


Kyriakoula Papademetriou

Παρρησία occurs as a word in the ancient texts, when the right that “everyone has the ability to say everything” became an important feature of democratic freedom: someone could say what he thought of as right regarding all the citizens and not only the best ones, in favor of the δῆμος and not only in favor of the ἄριστοι.8 Thereby, it was probable that occasionally παρρησία might have been abused, so some conditions could have been imposed. According to several historical studies, παρρησία was an attribute, which every citizen of the classical polis should have in order to successfully practice his democratic rights, that is to speak freely in the ἐκκλησία and in any public place. It is mentioned along with the ἰσηγορία and the ἐλευθερία, which were privileges of the Athenian democracy.9 However, this seems to be just one side of παρρησία, which also appears to have another side, completing and integrating the first; it appears that it was not only granted by the state as a privilege, but also that it was gained, in a way, by the citizen himself. As it is known,10 during the sessions of the ἐκκλησία any Athenian citizen had the right to take the floor and submit proposals under certain conditions: He ought to be Athenian, he ought to be an adult, he should not have been accused of dishonesty (ἀτιμία) and he should not have submitted an illegal proposal. If someone dared to violate the rules, any other citizen could ask the president to take away the floor from him or to impose some penalties on him. Particularly, in the case of an accused who would ask to speak, someone could interrupt him on condition that he would undertake an additional trial against him (a demand for test: δοκιμασίας ἐπαγγελία); through this process, the accused was exposed to the risk of the definitive penalty, but also the accuser was exposed to the risk of the penalty for an insolent demand. Thus, the democratic polity turned away the unworthy, and simultaneously it protected the freedom of speech against sycophants. Also, in the case of someone who initiated an unlawful proposal, the body of πρυτάνεις had the right to reject it and that might lead the initiator to the courts. Moreover, after three such condemnations, the citizen would eventually lose his right to initiate any proposal in the future. Obviously, in the above cases, the accused citizens lost the παρρησία, which the institutions of the city ensured. Similarly, παρρησία could be challenged not  8 Cf.

Raaflaub, “Aristocracy and Freedom of Speech”, 48, 58.  See Plato, Resp. 557b: “To begin with, are they not free? and is not the city chock-full of liberty and freedom of speech? and has not every man licence to do as he likes? (LCL)” (Οὐκοῦν πρῶτον μὲν δὴ ἐλεύθεροι, καὶ ἐλευθερίας ἡ πόλις μεστὴ καὶ παρρησίας γίγνεται, καὶ ἐξουσία ἐν αὐτῇ ποιεῖν ὅ τί τις βούλεται;); cf. Polybius, Hist. 2.38.6: “One could not find a political system and principle so favourable to equality and freedom of speech, in a word so sincerely democratic, as that of the Achaean league. (LCL)” (Ἰσηγορίας καὶ παρρησίας καὶ καθόλου δημοκρατίας ἀληθινῆς σύστημα καὶ προαίρεσιν εἰλικρινεστέραν οὐκ ἄν εὕροι τις τῆς παρὰ τοῖς Ἀχαιοῖς ὑπαρχούσης). 10 For a comprehensive presentation of the data see G. Glotz, The Greek City and its Institutions, transl. N. Mallinson; London: Kegan Paul, 1929, 177–178 (firstly published in French: La Cité grecque, Paris: La Renaissance du Livre, 1928).  9

The Semantic Evolution of the Word παρρησία


only during the institutional functions of the ἐκκλησία, but also during every social and public action implicating an audience and a persuasive speech, namely a rhetoric situation. Whether that would be in the courts or during a celebration or even in a discussion, the man who would maintain a point should be blameless according to the manners of the city, so as to enjoy the right of the παρρησία and not to be refrained from speaking. In the next part of this paper, we will deal with this “other” side of the meaning of παρρησία, which might provide us with a better understanding of the word meaning in representative ancient Greek passages.

5. The classic textual evidence The first documented condition of enjoying παρρησία, and the most well-known, is the status of being a free man and not a slave. “He cannot speak his mind […] This is a slave’s lot you speak of, not to say what one thinks”.11 Another known condition was to be free male, since women along with slaves and foreigners did not participate in the democratic processes and were excluded from the right of ἰσηγορία and of expressing their opinion regarding public affairs.12 Thus, Eteocles, the king of Thebes in Aeschylus’ tragedy Seven against Thebes, repeatedly orders the virgins of the city, who constitute the chorus of the tragedy, to cease public expression of their emotions and fear for the public matter of the siege of the city: “It is for the man to take care of business outside the house; let no woman make decrees [μὴ γυνὴ βουλευέτω] in those matters. Keep inside and do no harm!”13 There is no instance of the word παρρησία in the text, but its meaning is pragmatically present, as well as its social condition. Nevertheless, besides the above mentioned legal cases, there are a number of ancient Greek passages, where, through the pragmatic function of presupposition and entailment,14 it is indicated that παρρησία depended on requirements and restrictions decidedly provided by the quality of the speaking man and not only by the authorities. Some of them are following. In Euripides’ Bacchae (Bacchants) the messenger asks the king if he could speak in παρρησία about Bacchae’s terrible deeds, because he was afraid of his anger; and Pentheus, the king, urged him to speak, “for it is not right to be angry  Euripides, Phoen. 391–392: ΠΟ: Oὐκ ἔχει παρρησίαν. ΙΟ: Δούλου τόδ’ εἶπας, μὴ λέγειν ἅ τις φρονεῖ. Cf. id. Ion 670–675; Hippolytos, 421–424. 12  See H. M.  Roisman, “Women’s Free Speech in the Greek Tragedy”, I. Sluiter, R. M. Rosen (eds.), Free Speech in Classical Antiquity, Leiden: Brill, 2004, 91–113. 13 Aeschylus, Sept. 200–201; cf. 230–232 (Transl. H. W. Smyth). 14 In Pragmatics, “presupposition is something the speaker assumes to be the case prior to making an utterance. Entailment is something that logically follows from what is asserted in the utterance.” For the successful function of these two principles it is required the function of the principles of cooperation and the implicature between the speakers. See more in G. Yule, Pragmatics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996, 25−46. 11


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with the just”.15 Apparently, something that grants παρρησία, even in front of a formidable king, is the justice. On the other hand, Demosthenes asks the Atheneans in the III Philippic that “if I utter some home-truths with freedom (ἐν παρρησίᾳ), I shall not thereby incur your displeasure (μηδεμίαν μοι διὰ τοῦτο παρ’ ἡμῶν ὀργὴν γενέσθαι).16 In other words, Demosthenes appeals to be heard without anger, since he will tell the truth. Again, in the Funeral Demosthenes maintains that παρρησία depends on speaking the truth: “Democracies, however, possess many other just and noble features, to which right-minded men hold fast, and in particular it is impossible to deter freedom of speech (παρρησία), which depends upon speaking the truth, from exposing the truth. For neither it is possible for those who commit a shameful act to appease all the citizens; so that even the lone individual, uttering the deserved reproach, makes the guilty wince”.17 This status of justice and truth that the speaker with παρρησία (παρρησιαστής) has attributes self-confidence to him, which enables him to speak with boldness in public or in front of authorities or even in private during a debate. This can be discerned through a pragmatic approach to the following passages. In Euripides’ Electra, Clytaemnestra urges her daughter, Electra, to speak with παρρησία about her father’s, Agamemnon’s, death. Electra replies by emphasizing this grant and by repeating and clarifying it: “Remember, mother, those last words of yours, giving me frankness towards you”, and “Then will you treat me badly, when you hear it?”18 There is something in these words that is not said, but is implied, and this is Electra’s confidence about the truth and fairness of her defiant speech, for which she claims the παρρησία. Also, in Euripides’ Hippolytos, Phaedra referring to the παρρησία enjoyed by the Athenians, whose descent is from citizen parents, she states that the loss of παρρησία results in the loss of self-confidence and boldness of mind: “For it enslaves a man, even he is bold of heart, when he is conscious of sins committed by his mother or father”.19 It is easy to understand under these semantic conditions Socrates’ παρρησία, whose only concern was to look for and to speak of the truth. According to Plato’s Gorgias, Socrates thinks that the partners in a dialectical discussion ought to implement three criteria: ἐπιστήμη (knowledge), εὔνοια (goodwill towards the partners) and παρρησία (frankness), which rids them from shame and grants them with boldness.20

Bacch. 668–669 and 673 (Transl. T. A. Buckley). 3 Philipp. 9.3 (LCL); cf. Isocrates, Panath. 96. 17 Demosthenes, Epitaph. 26 (LCL) 18 Euripides, Electra, 1049–1057 (transl. E. P. Coleridge) 19  Euripides, Hippolytos, 424–425 (transl. D. Kovacs) 20 Plato, Gorgias, 487a.b (transl. W. R. M. Lamb) 15 Euripides,

16 Demosthenes,

The Semantic Evolution of the Word παρρησία


However, the most important to our subject is Socrates’ statement in Plato’s Laws that the State requires “a bold man who, valuing candor (παρρησία) above all else, will declare what he deems best for city and citizens […] acting alone by himself with no man to help him save, as his solitary leader”, as “this is a task especially for God (were it possible that orders should come from him)”.21 For Aristotle παρρησία is not a virtue but it falls under the category of how one speaks, and to whom he speaks, namely it is more a practical trait and it involves both ethics and politics, jointly.22 The aforementioned evidence leads to some important clarifications of the meaning of παρρησία. The first inference is that παρρησία is used not in an exclusively political context, but equally in a wider non-political and rather social or even private one. The second inference is that παρρησία insinuated freedom from fear of causing offense or of being ashamed.23 The third inference is that παρρησία is a matter of self-confidence and a reason for boldness24.

6. Hellenistic and Graeco-Roman times Leaving classical antiquity, the word παρρησία does not appear to lose those pragmatic conditions in its usage during Hellenistic times. Furthermore, it was received an elaboration by Epicureans, so as to mean particularly a virtue between friends, who should have the courage to use sincere language in their relations.25 The most interesting evidence of the word in this context concerns the Cynic παρρησία, which is associated with the shamefulness practice of these philosophers26. Nevertheless, this shift of the meaning from the public and political field to the private and moral one does not abolish the original semantic component 21 Plato,

Laws, 835c (R. G. Bury, LCL).

(eds.), Free Speech in Classical Antiquity, Leiden: Brill, 2004, 313–339. 23 See D. Carter, “Citizen Attribute, Negative Right: A Conceptual Difference Between Ancient and Modern Ideas for Freedom of Speech”, I. Sluiter, R. M.  Rosen (eds.), Free Speech in Classical Antiquity, Leiden: Brill, 2004, 197–220: “Parrhêsia meant a tendency to say everything, uninhibited by any fear. This might be the fear of tyrannical authority; it might also be the fear of the usual rules of discourse that prevent shame for the speaker or offense for the listener” (p. 202). 24 Sometimes, the word παρρησία was used in a pejorative sense to denote an “untutored” παρρησία, like in Euripides, Orest. 902–905, where the speaker does not appear to know the protocol of Athenian democracy. 25 The Epicurean philosopher Philodemus wrote the work “Περὶ παρρησίας” (“On Frank Speech”), the only ancient work known with this title. In this work he treats παρρησία as an educational method that uses criticism for moral improvement. In this context, frankness became the opposite of flattery. Cf. Plutarch, Adul. amic. 51C (transl. F. C. Babbitt), where παρρησία is characterized as “the language of friendship especially (as an animal has its peculiar cry)”. 26  See L. E.  Vaage, “Like Dogs Barking: Cynic παρρησία and Shameless Ascetism”, Semeia 57, 1992, 25–39, on p. 35: “Cynic parrhesia and anaideia were thus two sides of a single scarred coin: a mode of personal training I propose we call the ‘asceticism transgression’.” 22  See J. J.  Mulhern, “Παρρησία in Aristotle”, I. Sluiter, R. M.  Rosen


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of the word that is the prerequisite of a personal qualification for the practice of παρρησία, either as a moral teacher or as a genuine friend. Josephus usually uses the word in its classical meaning, as it has been indicated above. It is easy to identify this in passages like the following:27 Ant. 2.131.3: “for, being conscious of no crime, they spoke boldly, supposing that they ran no risk” (οὐδὲν γὰρ αὑτοῖς συνειδότες ἦγον παρρησίαν, ὡς ἐδόκουν, ἀκίνδυνον). Ant. 4.210.3: “while the laws will speak with great authority to sinners, in that they forwarn them what they will have to suffer” (οἵ τε νόμοι πολλὴν πρὸς ἁμαρτάνοντας ἕξουσι παρρησίαν, ὡς προλεγόντων αὐτοῖς ἃ πείσονται). Ant. 5.38.1–39.3: “Seeing his army thus cast down […] Joshua frankly appealed to God: It was from no confidence in ourselves that we were induced to subjugate this land by arms; nay, it was Moses, your servant, who incited us thereto” (Βλέπων δὲ οὕτως ὁ Ἰησοῦς τήν τε στρατιὰν καταπεπληγυῖαν καὶ περὶ τῶν ὅλων πονηρὰν ἤδη τὴν ἐλπίδα λαμβάνουσαν παρρησίαν λαμβάνει πρὸς τὸν θεόν· ἡμεῖς γὰρ εἶπεν οὐχ ὑπ᾽ αὐθαδείας προήχθημεν ὥστε ταύτην ὑπάγεσθαι τοῖς ὅπλοις τὴν γῆν, ἀλλὰ Μωυσέος τοῦ σοῦ δούλου πρὸς τοῦθ᾽ ἡμᾶς ἐξεγείραντος).

But in this period some particularities are remarked in the meaning of παρρησία according to the new data of public life. Since democratic institutions changed, παρρησία increasingly concerns the rhetoric practice and the social, public and private life. This particular meaning of the word is clearly denoted in a passage of a later work (but based on classical wisdom), the work ascribed to Plutarch entitled The Education of the Children, where the descent of a good parent is considered as a useful treasury of παρρησία, since the offspring will not fear insults. There, the definition of παρρησία is characteristic: “And I should advise those desirous of becoming fathers of notable offspring to abstain from random cohabitation with women; I mean with such women as courtesans and concubines. For those who are not well-born, whether on the father’s or the mother’s side, have an indelible disgrace in their low birth, which accompanies them throughout their lines, and offers to anyone desiring to use it a ready subject of reproach and insult. […] A goodly treasure, then, is honourable birth, and such a man may speak his mind freely, a thing which should be held of the highest account by those who wish to have issue lawfully begotten. In the nature of things, the spirits of those whose blood is base or counterfeit are constantly being brought down and humbled […]”28

Even as a rather rare and literary word, it occurs in the colloquial Hellenistic Koine language of this era. In a papyrus letter of the 2nd cent. C. E. from Valerius Gemellus to his brother Valerius, seeking to conciliate a disagreement which 27 Transl. LCL. The word was sometimes used in a pejorative sense to denote the abuse of the granted right, like in Josephus, Ant. 15.239.1, where Mariamne’s unbounded liberty is referred as ἀσύμμετρος (= improper) παρρησία and is explained because “she was most indulgently used by the king, out of his fondness for her, and did not expect that he could do any hard thing to her” (cf. Ant. 15.240.4). 28 Plutarch, Lib. ed. 2A–D (Transl. F. C. Babbitt, LCL).

The Semantic Evolution of the Word παρρησία


has arisen between him and his brother, παρρησία will result to Gemellus by the reconciliation and rapprochement with his brother:29 εἴπε̣[ρ] [‑ca.13‑] σε ἀγνοῶ ὀφείλεις μοι συνχωρεῖν [τοῦτο μόνον. παρα‑] κληθείς, ἄδελφε, διαλλάγηθί μοι ὅπω[ς χρήσωμαι καὶ ἐν] τῇ στρατείᾳ τῇ σῇ παρησίᾳ. τὸ δὴ λ[οιπὸν μὴ εἶχές με] μηδ’ ἑξῆς ἀδελφῷ ἐξ οὗ ἐπεξενώθη[ν; ἀλλ’ ἔχω σε δίκην] (10) ὡσίου ἀδ[ε]λφ[ο]ῦ ὡς τὸν Σαραπι. μάλιστα [δέ τις ἄλλη] ἐλπὶς οὐκ ἔστιν ὡς ἡ παρησία τῶν ἀδελφῶ[ν καὶ τῶν] ἰδίων. (Even if I do not know […], you ought to grant me [this one favor]. In response to my entreaty, brother, be reconciled with me so that I may [enjoy] your confidence [also while I am in] service. Besides, [you have not even regarded me] as befits a brother, have you now, from the time that I left home? But [I regard you, in the manner] of a pious brother, as I do Sarapis. Above all, there is [no other] hope like the candid intercourse of brothers and one’s own people).

In the inscriptions of this period the word παρρησία is also used with the pragmatic connotations presented in the classical texts. It is referred to honorary intentions as an attribute of the honored man, who has got παρρησία “because of the descent”: (ὁ διασημότατος [Λυκιάρ]χης, ἀνὴρ ἐκ τῶν πρωτευόντων ἐν τῇ [ἐπαρχ]είᾳ, διά τε γένους παρησίαν {²⁶παρρησίαν})30 “because he had responded successfully to the needs of his city as a town ruler”: (κα εὐδοκιμ̣ηκὼς ἐν ταῖς χρείαις ἁπάσαις κ[εκ]όσμηκε τὸν αὑτοῦ β̣ίον τῆι καλλίστηι παρρησίαι)31 “because he behaved with justice towards underprivileged and he acted promptly in favor of the interests of the city”: (ἔν τε τοῖς ἄλλοις πᾶσιν ὢν δίκαιος καὶ εὐσεβῆ γνώμην ἔχων καὶ ἁ[ρ]μοζούσῃ παρρησίᾳ χρώμενος εἰς ἐπίστασιν καθέσπακεν [ὅ]σον ἐπ’ αὐτῷ τοὺς ἐπιβαροῦντας, καὶ τοῖς ἀδίκως κινδυν[εύου]σι δικαίαν παρέχεται βοήθειαν, [π]άν[τως] τε ἐν παντὶ καιρ[ῷ] πρόθυμον ἁτὸν ἐπιδίδωσιν ἐπὶ τὰ τῆς πόλεως πράγματα).32

It is apparent that in these vernacular texts the very meaning of the word παρρησία is the ability one has to be blameless and efficient in the management of public affairs. Παρρησία does not entail a political privilege, neither boldness nor confidence nor sincerity, or virtue of the pragmatic implication and of the cultural schema of the era; it bears all these deriving from its very meaning which constitutes an attribute of a civil dignitary. The best response to the political duties as a condition for a public officer’s παρρησία clearly occurs in Philo’s Legatio to Gaium, where he reasserted his own παρρησία and presented himself as an exemplar of παρρησία against Gaius’ indifference and ridiculing attitude. Philo in this text addresses a Roman imperial audience and he manages to combine the philosopher’s judgment and detachment

29 P.Mich.

8.502 (Koptos, Koptite nome, province of Egypt, 2nd cent. C. E.), line 6–13. II 905 (Lycia, E., Rhodiapolis, 152/153 C. E.), col. XVIII.60.1 31 IvP I 224 (Mysia [Kaïkos]: Pergamon, 151–150 B. C. E. or shortly after?), line 10. 32 IG XII,5 860 (Cyclades: Tenos, 1st cent. B. C. E.), line 49–54. Cf. IScM III 7 (Skythia Minor: Kallatis [Mangalia], Kostena Rjanka, ca. 253 B. C. E.), line 13–15; IG V,1 547 (Lakonia and Messenia: Lakonike, Sparta, ca. 210 B. C. E.), line 1–5; Agora 16 224[1] (Attica), 19–21. 30 AM


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with the rhetoric argument of the ambassador’s παρρησία, in order to protect the Jewish rights and the Temple from Claudius33. But, Plutarch, also, associates the skilled and cautious use of παρρησία with the “public welfare”34, because being able to finesse one’s superiors would help in the protection of your community under imperial rule. This rhetoric use of παρρησία mostly concerns the ambassadors who represented their communities to imperial officials and asserted a special independence, authority, and παρρησία, in the presence of Roman power. Through the aforementioned usage of the word παρρησία in the Hellenistic and Graeco-Roman times we can result in the following inferences: παρρησία is established as the language of friendship and the language of criticism; it is associated with the authority and the dignity of the person who speaks, and it becomes a rhetorical argument. Furthermore, the person who has παρρησία is able to represent others in protecting them from the authorities.

7. The Septuagint use The cultural schema in the context of the Septuagint text included some variations that should be taken into account in order to perceive the evolution of the meaning of παρρησία. In this case the resources of Socio-linguistics might be illustrative. The ancient Jewish society was not familiar with the concept of παρρησία bearing the Greek political sense, reasonably, because of the different political and social manners and institutions. However, the very relational sense of the ability to speak and act without fear and without shame was expressed through the phrases “in front of public eyes”, “with upright stature” and “with uncovered face”, namely publicly, boldly and confidently, or in other words closer to the Jewish expression, to speak and act openly, visibly and manifestly.35 Certainly, the Jewish notion concerns the Hellenized Jews would not have any difficulty to compare and parallelize these analogous meanings of the two languages, and to implement an appropriation of the Greek word by an adjustment of its meaning to Jewish conception. Similar semantic varieties have been observed by socio-linguistic research within bilingual or multilingual societies and they are ranked at the so-called dimension of the language contact, during which several interference phenomena 33  E. Z.  Lyons, “Hellenic Philosophers as Ambassadors to the Roman Empire: Performance, Parrhesia, and Power”, Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, 2011, 101–102. 34 See in particular Plutarch, Adul. amic. 65F–74E, which is primarily concerned with how to delicately and properly use παρρησία among your social superiors. Cf. D. F. Fields, “The Rhetoric of Παρρησία in Roman Greece”, Ph.D. diss., Princeton University, 2009. 35  See W. C. van Unnik, “The Semitic Background of παρρησία in the New Testament”, Sparsa Collecta, Leiden: Brill, 1980, 296–298.

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are presented.36 Usually, interference occurs from the language with higher status to the language with lower status, and in the Septuagint translation Greek was rather the giver than the receiver; additionally, it might be noted that classic Greek and its literary language heritage had enjoyed a higher prestige and, therefore, preference by the Septuagint translators. Besides, the Septuagint translation might be recognized rather as a register, according to Halliday’s term,37 namely a language form that is determined by the particular situation in which the writer finds himself regarding the context and the subject; concretely, according to the intention of the Translators to selfidentify the Jewish community and to protect it within the Hellenistic environment by cultural adaptations.38 One of these in the field of vocabulary may be the word and the meaning of παρρησία. Nevertheless, in the process of this cultural transfer the word meaning is modified, as it loses elements of Greek reality and receives elements of Jewish mind. Furthermore, regarding the Septuagint use of the word, it must be taken into account that the Jewish background introduces to the history of humanity God as a person, who claims to have παρρησία towards his people and who demands, on the other hand, παρρησία towards him on their part. Another difference with the Greek use is that the conditions and the presuppositions for someone’s παρρησία are his relation and his attitude towards God and God’s law. But the original meaning of παρρησία, as it was presented in the Ancient Greek, can be traced in the word: it is the attribute one has of being blameless and just, which in turn grants him with confidence and boldness. The word occurs in Septuagint 12 times as a noun and 5 times as a verb. 3 times is referred to God (Lev 26:13; Ps 11[12]:6; 93[94]:1), once to the personified Wisdom (Prov 1:20), once to the man’s παρρησία towards God (Job 27:10) and the other times in public and social affairs. There are 6 occurrences of the word which are not found in the Hebrew Bible (Wis 5:1; Sir 6:11; 22:25; 1 Macc 4:18; 3 Macc 4:1; 7:12; 4 Macc 10:5). Also, Est 8:12s; Ps 11[12]:6; Prov 10:10; 13:5; 20:9 are without any Hebrew parallel. Actually, the Hebrew words which are translated as παρρησία present a variety and an inequivalence: 1. The unique word ‫( קֹו ְממִּיּות‬kômemiyyût) that means “upright”, is translated as μετὰ παρρησίας (Lev 26:13) (“I broke the band of your yoke, and brought you forth openly” [Brenton]). In this case, the word παρρησία might have been chosen by the Septuagint either in reference to God’s fidelity towards his people, as he fulfills his promises to them, or in reference to the people’s certainty and confidence that his God is faithful and caused them to walk upright. Furthermore, both references could be implied here, following a relationship of cause and result NewDocs 5:6 ff. Language as Social Semiotic: the Social Interpretation of Language and Meaning, London: Arnold, 1978, 110–111. 38 See T. Rajak, Translation and Survival: The Greek Bible of the Ancient Jewish Diaspora, Oxford: Oxford University, 2009, 152 ff. 36 See

37  M. A.  Halliday,


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(God’s παρρησία results in the people’s παρρησία), through a “figure of common”, which is a kind of brachylogy. 2. The hitp. of ‫( ענג‬ʿānag) that means “to have delight, joy in something” (which is translated as κατατρυφᾶν in Ps 36[37]:4, 11 and as τρυφᾶν in Isa 66:11), is tr anslated as παρρησίαν and παρρησιασθήσῃ ἔναντι Κυρίου (Job 22:26; 27:10, where the Hebrew verb is titʿānag resp. yitʿānag) “you shall have boldness before the Lord, looking up cheerfully to heaven” (Job 22:26, Brenton) and “has he any confidence before him?” (Job 27:10, Brenton). In this case, the word παρρησία have been chosen by the Septuagint in reference to one’s privilege of enjoying God’s attention. It is noteworthy that the sense of delight could be traced in the Septuagint ad hoc, at the adverb ἱλαρῶς, joyfully. 3. The word ‫( ִּתּתֵן קֹולָּה‬tittēn kôlāh) that means speak boldly in Prov 1:20 is tr anslated properly παρρησίαν ἄγειν (ἐν δὲ πλατείαις παρρησίαν ἄγει) “in the broad places speaks boldly” (Prov 1:20, Brenton). This is the case of Greek word meaning. 4. The hi. of ‫( יפע‬yāpaʿ) that means “to shine forth,” “to appear in brightness”, is translated as (ὁ θεὸς ἐκδικήσεων Kύριος, ὁ Θεὸς ἐκδικήσεων) ἐπαρρησιάσατο (Ps 93[94]:1 “The Lord is a God of vengeance; the God of vengeance has declared himself” (Brenton). The Hebrew word is used for the manifestation and for the ep iphanies of Yahweh, and is translated ἐμφαίνεσθαι at Ps 79[80]:1 and ἐπιφαίνεσθαι at Deut 33:2. In this case, again, the word παρρησία might have been chosen by the Septuagint in reference to God’s fidelity, which he must demonstrate there. Although the word preserves the meaning of the ability of someone to speak without fear and shame, the conditions for this have been changed. The one’s authority is derived by his association with God and his faithfulness to his law; the just, the wise, the pious display a lot of παρρησία, so as to get a kind of privilege. Besides, God is the one who has παρρησία, because he has fidelity to his promises and he does marvelous works in favor of his people. Because of this, God’s παρρησία usually means the epiphany of his majesty and his divine intervention in the history of Israel.

8. New Testament use Probably, the Jewish notion has passed into the Greek word and a new modified meaning was produced. However, the other agents of its era, too, such as the current philosophical and rhetoric usage of the word, have apparently influenced the New Testament use of the word39. There, the word παρρησία occurs 31 times as a 39  See J. T.  Fitzgerald (ed.), Friendship, Flattery and Frankness of Speech: Studies on Friendship in the New Testament World (NovTSup 82), Leiden: Brill, 1996, where four essays deal with the use of παρρησία in the New Testament. The conclusion is that the New Testament writers were aware of the usage of the word by the Hellenistic philosophers and rhetoricians, and they

The Semantic Evolution of the Word παρρησία


noun and 9 times as a verb, 40 times in total. From these, 12 are found in Acts, 10 in Pauline corpus, 9 in John, 4 in 1 John, 4 in Hebrews and 1 in Mark. In Pauline corpus, παρρησία undergoes a new modification in its meaning, as it is associated with Jesus Christ’s personality and work, and it recalls the Septuagint use and reference of the word to God. Now, Jesus Christ is the one who grants παρρησία to his apostles (Eph 3:12), since they are genuine apostles, and besides, he is the one who has παρρησία through his victory on the authorities of this world (Col 2:15). On the other hand, Paul has παρρησίαν as a divine legatus (Phlm 8) and he uses the word in the rhetorical way. In Acts, παρρησία concerns the attitude of the apostles in preaching the gospel in front of the authorities, both Jewish and pagan, boldly and confidently because of their belief in its truth and because of their faith to Him who has authorized them for preaching. It is a rather clear case of the Greek sense for the public action. In John, the background presuppositions of the word-meaning seem to be attenuated (i. e. the causal of παρρησία) and the forehead consequences of the meaning to be stressed only (i. e. the way of behavior). The expression ἐν παρρησίᾳ means openly, publicly, the opposite to the secretly (John 7:4; 11:54) or clearly, plainly, the opposite to ἐν παροιμίαις, “in figures” (John 16:25; cf. Mark 8:3240), but also, boldly and confidently. Nevertheless, it is obvious that Jesus speaks openly and plainly, because he is actually the beloved son of God. In 1 John 5:14 there is a definition of παρρησία: Καὶ αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ παρρησία ἣν ἔχομεν πρὸς αὐτόν, ὅτι ἐάν τι αἰτώμεθα κατὰ τὸ θέλημα αὐτοῦ, ἀκούει ἡμῶν. “And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (NAS). This case recalls the usage of the word in Job 27:10: “Has he any confidence before him? or will God hear him as he calls upon him? (Job 27:1, Brenton). The way παρρησία is presented in Hebrews 4:16 and 10:19 is considerable: Christians may come up to the throne of the grace having παρρησία through Jesus’ blood and death. The participation to his sacrifice leads to the integration use it with the meaning of straight talking among friends, which promotes morally the friendship. Especially, for the relation between Philodemus’ usage of the word and New Testament usage, see B. Fiore, “The Pastoral Epistles in the Light of Philodemus’ ‘On Frank Criticism’”, J. T. Fitzgerald, D. Obbink, G. S. Holland (eds.), Philodemus and the New Testament World (NovTSupp 111), Leiden: Brill, 2004, 271–294; J. P. Sampley, “Paul’s Frank Speech with the Galatians and the Corinthians”, ibidem, 295–322. B. W. Winter, “Philodemus and Paul on Rhetorical Delivery (ὑπόκρισις)”, ibidem, 323–342. For earlier works on the New Testament usage of παρρησία, cf. M. Bouttier, “Sur la parrhesia dans le Nouveau Testament”, C. C. Marcheselli (ed.), Parola e Spirito. Studi in onore di Settimio Cipriani (Vol. 1), Brescia: Paideia Editrice, 1982, 611–621, S. B.  Marrow, “Parrhesia and the New Testament”, CBQ 44, 1982, 431–446. 40 J. Bishop, “Parabole and Parrhesia in Mark”, Interpretation 40, 1986, 39–52, suggests that in Mark the παρρησίᾳ is used as the counterpart of the ἐν παραβολαῖς “in parables” and both reproduce a contrast between two modes of discourse, based on which the Markan text is structured: the discourse ἐν παραβολαῖς presents the divine mystery, the discourse παρρησίᾳ explicates this mysterious revelation.


Kyriakoula Papademetriou

of the believers to Christ’s body, so as through Him and in Him they can call upon to God with παρρησία and find response. This reminds us of the Socratic statement for a divus man who in virtue of his justice will be able to check the state with παρρησία and save it. But, also, this reminds us of the Hellenistic and Graeco-Roman sense of the representing man, the ambassador who mediates for the people. Moreover, this meaning echoes the Septuagint meaning of God’s παρρησία who manifested himself through his marvelous works in the history and caused his people to walk upright, on the one hand, and on the other, the Septuagint meaning of the just man who has the delight to look up boldly to the Lord. It is remarkable that in the New Testament the word presents semantic relations with the following word-groups: 1. the verbs λαλῶ (“speak”) and λέγω (“say”), and with the noun λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ (“word of God”) in reference to the boldness in the kerygma (Mark 8:32; John 16:25. 18:20; Acts 4:13.29. 9:27. 13:46; 28:31; Eph 6:19; 1 Thess 2:2); 2. the name of God and the person of Jesus Christ in reference to the authority which has and grants παρρησία (Acts 9:27; 14:3; Eph 3:12; 6:20; Phlm 8; 1 Thess 2:2; Heb 4:16; 10:19; 1 Jo 5:14); 3. the nouns ἐλπίς (“hope”) and καύχησις (“pride”), and with the verbs μεγαλύνομαι (“be exalted”) and οὐκ (ἐπ)αισχύνομαι (“not to be ashamed”) in reference to the confidence on the value of their faith (2 Cor 3:12; 7:4; Phil 1:20; 1 Tim 3:13; Heb 3:6 1 John 2:28; cf. 1 John 3:21). Certainly, these semantic relations might evoke the rhetorical usage of the word, even the moral philosophical sense, but in any case the political notion of a legitimate right is vivid. Apparently, the use of the word indicates pragmatically to an extra-text social reality, where παρρησία associated with the qualification of the speaker. Concretely, the word παρρησία and the verb παρρησιάζομαι are associated with three kinds of speakers: a) with Jesus Christ, b) with the apostles, c) with the Christians. Jesus Christ speaks and walks with παρρησία, because he proves to have the appropriate features of the Christ; so he does not hide himself, but he acts openly and publicly. The apostles have παρρησία because they feel and they are recognized as the genuine envoys of the Christ. The Christians can have παρρησία, because they are members of the body of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the use of the word defines the character of the Christian community, which constitutes the polity of a spiritual democracy.

9. Conclusion Following the route of the word παρρησία from the original political fields of the Athenian democracy until the Graeco-Roman plains of the Hellenistic Koine, we might ascertain the following points. Παρρησία was established as a result of ἰσηγορία (the democratic right of equality in public speaking) and it meant the ability for everyone to state his

The Semantic Evolution of the Word παρρησία


opinion in public, even if that was opposed to the powerful men, but not only for political matters. Nevertheless, this ability could function properly under certain conditions: there should be a blameless and virtuous background, righteousness and honesty of the speaker, otherwise he would be taken away and he would be publicly ashamed. These conditions were defined by the law of the state and by the morals of the society. These conditions, if were valid, subsequently ensured for the speaker the boldness and the bravery in front of the authorities, and they guaranteed the truthfulness and sincerity of the speech. Thus, παρρησία became a claim for the rhetoricians and a demand for the philosophers. In the Hellenistic times παρρησία was mainly determined by the virtue of someone to successfully respond to the duties of a public work or a public office. This notion was enhanced particularly in the Graeco-Roman times, when a wide rank of offices was developed in the Empire. Moreover, παρρησία became an ideal for the rhetoricians, as well as for the ambassadors, who undertook the obligation to protect their people against the kings and the emperors. This notion also occurs in the Graeco-Jewish literature, while Josephus often uses the word in its classical meaning. The Septuagint text brings a modification to the meaning of παρρησία. The translators do not often use the word, and when they do, there is not a clear wordequivalence. However, the words they choose as a translation are associated with the notions of faithfulness and of integrity; the difference with the Greek meaning is that the conditions refer to the relation and to the attitude towards God. Besides, God is the one who has παρρησία and this παρρησία sometimes means an epiphany of his majesty. Bearing these features the word enters the vocabulary of the New Testament. The apostles claim παρρησία in preaching – and Jesus Christ grants παρρησία to the participants in this sacrifice. Thus, the παρρησία becomes a privilege for the Christians, which enables them to have an unashamed, fearless and direct access to God. Considering the diachronic route of the meaning of the word παρρησία until New Testament times and taking into account the synchronic textual evidence, it becomes clear that there is a shift of the original meaning from the public and political sphere to the private and moral one. Nevertheless, the original semantic characteristic of a social interaction, according to which the community (secular or Christian) recognizes (or not) the right of a member to practice παρρησία, is always present in the sense of the word. This hermeneutical understanding is alleged from the combined consideration of the contemporary socio-historical data and is ensured through a pragmatic and sociolinguistic approach of the texts. Since the principles of the presupposition and entailment, of the cooperation and implicature, are recognized in the pragmatic context of the texts, the meaning of the word is especially illuminated and refined.

Παράδεισος and Κῆπος: Thoughts about the Garden Terminology of the Septuagint Beatrice Perego Introduction The present article aims at providing a reflection on the terminology used in the Septuagint to designate a garden, in particular, the two nouns παράδεισος and κῆπος. The focus is on their semantic values and usages in ancient Greek literature, papyri and the Septuagint. Particular attention is given to the concrete use of the terms in question, insofar as they designate real or imagined gardens, orchards, parks or the like. However, the issue of an eschatological “paradise” will not be entered into in any detail in the following reflections. As a first step, it is necessary to give a brief overview of the noun παράδεισος, its etymology, and its usage in Greek literary sources and papyri as well as in the Septuagint. In a second step, similar research will be undertaken for the word κῆπος. A concluding paragraph will deal with specific Septuagint examples where the semantic difference between the two terms appears to be blurred. This phenomenon can be explained against the background of the semantic evolution of παράδεισος, especially in non-Biblical sources.

A. The noun παράδεισος The masculine noun παράδεισος1 appears frequently in Biblical texts. It indicates an “orchard”, or, in other terms, an enclosed spacious plantation used for the cultivation of fruit trees and vegetables. 1 For general information on this noun, see the following dictionaries and articles: H. G.  Liddell, R. Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon. Ninth Edition, revised and augmented throughout by Sir H.St. Jones with the assistance of R. McKenzie, Oxford: Clarendon, 1940, 19699, s. v. παράδεισος; J. Jeremias, art. παράδεισος, ThWNT V, 763–771; J. A. L. LEE, A Lexical Study of the Septuagint Version of the Pentateuch (SCSt 14), Chico, CA: Scholars Press 1983, 53–56; M. Alexandre, Le Commencement du livre Genèse I–V. La version grecque de la Septante et sa réception (Christianisme antique, 3), Paris: Beauchesne, 1988, 244–246; J. N. Bremmer, “Paradise: from Persia via Greece, into the Septuagint”, G. P.  Luttikhuizen (ed.), Paradise Interpreted: Representations of Biblical Paradise in Judaism and Christianity (Themes in Biblical Narrative 2), Leiden: Brill, 1999,

Παράδεισος and Κῆπος


From the occurrences of the term in Greek literature and papyrus documents, it can be concluded that it refers to a piece of land well cultivated and probably surrounded by a protective wall, which contained mainly fruit trees, vines and, occasionally, other types of plants. J. A. L. Lee claims that “orchard” is the semantically closest English word to παράδεισος: “‘Garden’ is unsatisfactory, suggesting an area planted mainly or only with vegetables or flowers, and a παράδεισος was clearly not a ‘garden’ in that sense”2.

Or rather, a παράδεισος was not only that: first of all, among the features of the term, it should be underlined that it can take on a variety of values and connotations. I. Etymology3 The noun παράδεισος corresponds phonetically to the Hebrew word ‫ּפְַרּדֵ ס‬. Both terms are closely related to the Old Persian *pa-ra-da-ya-da-a-ma and Median *pairi.daēzan4. The parts of the latter word can be identified clearly: the prefix * pairi “around” and the noun *daēzan “wall”. Therefore, the complex word meant, first, “enclosure wall”, “fence”, and then it indicated a park surrounded completely by an enclosure wall. The Old Persian *pa-ra-da-ya-da-a-ma was adopted especially by the Elamite language. On the other hand, the Median word was borrowed by the Babylonian, Greek and Hebrew languages. Both Old Persian and Median forms had not yet a well-established meaning. The terms could indicate a vineyard, an orchard, a barn, a store for agricultural products, a forest or a nursery for plants. However, the etymology seems to suggest that a characteristic and recurring element was the presence of a wall. With regard to the etymology of the Greek term παράδεισος, among the components of the word we can identify the noun τοῖχος “wall”, “enclosure”, deriving from the Indo-European root *dheigh, which means “to knead”, and the prefix παρα-, chosen instead of περι-, because of its phonetic similarity with the Avestic pairi-. Etymologically, *περίτοιχος, an unattested form, would be the exactly corresponding lexeme.

1–20; P. Chantraine, Dictionnaire étymologique de la Langue Grecque. Histoire des mots. Paris: Klincksieck, 1999, s. v. παράδεισος; T. Muraoka, A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint, Louvain: Peeters, 2009, 525, s. v. παράδεισος; A. A. García Santos, Diccionario del Griego bíblico. Setenta y Nuevo Testamento, Estella (Navarra): Editorial Verbo Divino, 2011, s. v. παράδεισος. 2  J. A. L.  Lee, A Lexical Study (see note 1), 55. 3 For a more detailed overview of the Median and Persian evidence for the word and its various forms, see e. g. J. N. Bremmer, “Paradise: from Persia via Greece, into the Septuagint” (see note 1), 2–3. 4 Unfortunately, these two terms are not attested in the few ancient Persian texts that have come down to us. However, the Median pairi.daēzan survives in the latter Avestic Videvdad.


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II. Occurrences in Ancient Greek Literature The noun παράδεισος is not widely attested in Greek literature5: it appears certainly6 for the first time in Xenophon to indicate specifically Persian royal parks. Probably those gardens were symbols of the Persian noble class and they were also liable to be attacked by enemies. As we read in Diodorus Siculus (Bibliotheca historica 16.41.4–5), the inhabitants of Sidon chose to launch their attack against Artaxerxes III Ochus, the great king of Persia, from the royal gardens at the time of the revolt of 351 B. C. E. The παράδεισος mentioned by Xenophon is characterized by the presence of all sorts of trees, as we read in the Anabasis 2.4.14: Μὲν οὖν  Ἕλληνες παρ’αὐτὴν ἐσκήνησαν ἐγγὺς παραδείσου μεγάλου καὶ καλοῦ καὶ δασέος παντοίων δένδρων. “The Greeks accordingly encamped beside it [= this city], near a large and beautiful park, thickly covered with all sorts of trees”

and in the Oeconomicus 4.14: Ἀνάγκη τοίνυν, ὦ Σώκρατες, ἔνθα γε διατρίβει αὐτός, καὶ ὅπως ὡς κάλλιστα κατεσκευασμένοι ἔσονται οἱ παράδεισοι ἐπιμελεῖσθαι δένδρεσι καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἅπασι καλοῖς ὅσα ἡ γῆ φύει “Then it is of course necessary, Socrates, to take care that these paradises in which he [= the king] spends his time shall contain a fine stock of trees and all other beautiful things that the soil produces.”

The other typical feature is the presence of wild animals subject to hunting, as we read both in the Anabasis 1.2.7: Ἐνταῦθα Κύρῳ βασίλεια ἦν καὶ παράδεισος μέγας ἀγρίων θηρίων πλήρης, ἃ ἐκεῖνος ἐθήρευεν ἀπὸ ἵππου “There, Cyrus had a palace and a large park full of wild animals, which he used to hunt on horseback”

and in the Cyropaedia 1.3.14: Ἔπειτα τά τε νῦν ἐν τῷ παραδείσῳ θηρία δίδωμί σοι καὶ ἄλλα παντοδαπὰ συλλέξω, ἃ σὺ ἐπειδὰν τάχιστα ἱππεύειν μάθῃς, διώξῃ, καὶ τοξεύων καὶ ἀκοντίζων καταβαλεῖς ὥσπερ οἱ μεγάλοι ἄνδρες “And then, I present to you the animals that are now in the park and I will collect others of every description, and as soon as you learn to ride, you shall hunt and slay them with bow and spear, just as grown-up men do” 5 For more details, see also J. N. Bremmer, “Paradise: from Persia via Greece, into the Septuagint” (see note 1), 5–10. 6 Clearchus (4th–3rd cent. B. C. E.), quoted by Athenaeus (12.11.13), reports that Polycrates of Samos built a garden within his city that could compete with that of Sardis. The author is said to have collected this information from Xanthus of Sardis (5th cent. B. C. E.). However, some uncertainties about interpretation of that passage persist. See also J. N. Bremmer, “Paradise: from Persia via Greece, into the Septuagint” (see note 1), 6.

Παράδεισος and Κῆπος


or in the Hellenica 4.1.15: Καὶ θῆραι αἱ μὲν καὶ ἐν περιειργμένοις παραδείσοις, αἱ δὲ καὶ ἀναπεπταμένοις τόποις, πάγκαλαι “And splendid wild animals, some of them in enclosed parks, others in open spaces.”

Although Xenophon does not specifically speak of walls, they were probably a common element of Persian gardens, as the etymology suggests. The noun term παράδεισος occurs not only in Xenophon and Diodorus Siculus but also in other Greek writings. Thus, Theophrastus uses the lexeme in his scientific treatise Historia plantarum, e. g. in in the description of the cedar forests that cover the land of Syria. In Plutarch’s works, παράδεισος designates the hunting park granted to Demetrius Poliorcetes at the time of his exile in the Syrian Chersonese (Demetrius 50.8.4). We can also notice the presence of the term παράδεισος in Athenaeus’ Deipnosiphistae: among the salient features of the kingdom of Lydia, there are parks, organized so that the trees prevent the light from penetrating (e. g. 12.11.13). On the whole, in Greek culture, which borrowed the term from the Achaemenid world, παράδεισος mainly designated a “hunting park” planned for the amusement of the Persian kings and courts. On the other hand, the word also took on further meanings, such as “wood”, “forest” or “orchard”. However, other values, such as “vineyard”, “stable”, “warehouse of agricultural products” are not attested: these meanings were associated with the term only in the Persian area while, for all these cases, the Greeks used their own specific words. Probably, the παράδεισος remained unknown to the Greeks until their first contacts with Persians. In fact, Xenophon gives brief descriptions of these παράδεισοι in several passages of his works. For example, in the Oeconomicus (4.13), the author adds a detailed observation to the noun: Κῆποί τε ἔσονται, οἱ παράδεισοι καλούμενοι, πάντων καλῶν τε κἀγαθῶν μεστοὶ ὅσα ἡ γῆ φύειν θέλει, καὶ ἐν τούτοις αὐτὸς τὰ πλεῖστα διατρίβει, ὅταν μὴ ἡ ὥρα τοῦ ἔτους ἐξείργῃ “There will be gardens, ‘paradises’, as they call them, full of all the good and beautiful things that the soil will produce, and in this he himself [= the Great King] spends most of his time, except when the season precludes it.”

III. Occurrences in Papyri With the fall of the Achaemenid Empire, the hunting parks also disappeared. There is no evidence of παράδεισοι used for hunting in the time of Alexander the Great and his successors. A papyrus and an inscription attest this change. In P.Tebt. 3.1.703, lines 211–213 (Tebtunis, 210 B. C. E.), gardens beside the royal residence are mentioned. They were certainly not inhabited by wild animals or


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used as hunting parks.7 Furthermore, the inscription IC III.IV.4, lines 7–8, mentions the παράδεισος, presumably a sort of public garden, situated next to the temple of the small Cretan city of Itanos after 246 B. C. E.8 In general, the papyri show that, in the 3rd century B. C. E., the noun παράδεισος becomes a term commonly used and predominantly employed in the specific sense of “plantation”, “orchard”.9 First of all, the papyri indicate that the παράδεισοι are now primarily sites of agricultural production and no longer places of pleasure and recreation. In other words, the term has now become part of the technical terminology of agriculture. Zenon’s archive gives us an example of a παράδεισος mainly consisting of fruit trees. In P.Cair.Zen. 1.59033, lines 3.9–15 (257 B. C. E.), the writer explains to Apollonius ‒ owner of the garden and chief finance minister of Ptolemy II Philadelphus ‒ that he showed his messengers around the orchard and the men collected a selection of fruit-trees and bunches of grapes. Then, in P.Cair.Zen. 2.59184, lines 1–2 (255 B. C. E.), Apollonius mentions olives: Τὰ φύτα τῶν ἐλαῶν λαβὲ ἔκ τε τοῦ παραδείσου τοῦ ἡμετέρου “Take olive shoots from our park.”

In addition, the frequent occurrences of παράδεισος in papyri lead to the conclusion that, in Ptolemaic Egypt, gardens were a widespread presence, no longer reserved for a few wealthy people but also extending to the lower-middle social class. From the testimony of P.Petr. 1.16(2), line 7 (Arsinoites, 231–230 B. C. E.), we deduce that one person could own more than one παράδεισος: Τὰ γενήματα τῶν ὑπαρχόντων μοι παραδείσων “The shoots from my parks.”

Evidently, the dimensions of these παράδεισοι must have been significantly reduced. In most cases, they probably did not exceed one hectare. Not surprisingly, therefore, παράδεισοι were frequently bought and sold. In P.Tebt. 3.1.701, lines 175–176 (3rd–2nd century B. C. E.), Apollonius is the purchaser of some plots of the royal gardens. This fragmentation posed the problem of irrigation: not every part of ground, resulting from the division, could be crossed by a stream of water. People tried to solve the problem by creating basins, canals and wells, as witnessed in Sir 24:30. Papyrological documents do not allow us to say whether the perimeter wall was an essential feature of gardens in Ptolemaic Egypt or not. However, P.Cair.Zen. 7 An English translation of the papyrus with some comments is available in R. S.  Bagnall, P. Derow, The Hellenistic Period. Historical Sources in Translation, Oxford: Blackwell, 22004, 165–168. 8 See M. Guarducci (ed.), Inscriptiones Creticae, III, Tituli Cretae orientalis, Roma: Libreria dello Stato, 1942. 9  Concerning papyri, J. A. L.  Lee, A Lexical Study (see note 1), 54, concludes: “It is clear however that παράδεισοι were cultivated primarily for their produce rather than for decoration.”

Παράδεισος and Κῆπος


4.59690, line 22 (257–256 B. C. E.), mentions the existence of παραδεισοφύλακες. This suggests the use of other means of protection for the gardens. It cannot been ruled out that among these there were also walls. IV. Occurrences in the Septuagint The noun παράδεισος appears 43 times in the LXX of which roughly half are attested in books available or partially available in Hebrew.10 In the LXX, παράδεισος translates the Hebrew noun ‫“ ּג ַן‬garden” and its variant ‫ גַּנ ָה‬in the Pentateuch, namely in the books of Genesis (especially Genesis 2–3 in the context of the second account of origins) and Numbers, as well as in the prophetic corpus, in particular in the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Joel. In Isa 51:3 and Sir 40:27B, παράδεισος appears as the equivalent of ‫“ עֵדֶ ן‬Eden”. However, in Cant 4:13; 2 Esdr 12:8; and Eccl 2:5, the noun translates the Hebrew word ‫“ ּפְַרּדֵ ס‬park, forest”. These three occurrences are the only attestations of ‫ ּפְַרּדֵ ס‬in the Hebrew Bible. Moreover, the lexeme παράδεισος appears in the Greek additions to the book of Daniel, namely in the story of Susanna. The uses of παράδεισος in the LXX reveal particular connotations of the Greek term depending on the respective contexts. In the following paragraphs, I shall give a selection of the principal meanings or connotations of the word in the Septuagint.11 In Gen 2 and 3, without any doubt, the noun has the implication of “luxury”. By using παράδεισος instead of κῆπος, the translator of the book of Genesis is probably alluding to places of extraordinary beauty and sumptuousness where fruit-trees and various plants are growing.12 This interpretation can also be corroborated by the expression παράδεισος τῆς τρυφῆς which recalls the courtly Egyptian milieu. On the one hand, παράδεισος τῆς τρυφῆς renders ‫“ ּג ַן־עֵדֶ ן‬garden of Eden” (e. g. in Gen 3:23–24), “Eden” being considered as a common noun13. On the other hand, this word is sometimes not translated but its equivalent is the Greek transcription Εδεμ (Gen 2:8.10; 4:16), because, in these cases, “Eden” is evidently understood as a toponym, as shown by the use of the prepositions in the Hebrew syntagm. 10 In this article, the three New Testament occurrences of παράδεισος (Luke 23:43, 2 Cor 12:4, Rev 2:7) are not dealt with because they reflect a further semantic evolution of the noun, namely the meaning of “afterlife” and “place where the righteous find rest”. See e. g. M. Wolter, Das Lukasevangelium (HNT 5), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008, 761. 11 T. Muraoka, A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint (see note 1), does not make a clear distinction between these connotations. 12 As for the choice of παράδεισος in the second account of creation, see also J. A. L. Lee, A Lexical Study (see note 1), 55, “The reason for their [i. e. the translators] choice is clear. The description [of the “Paradise” in Gen 3] shows that its main feature was fruit-trees, with possibly a number of trees of other types as well.” 13 M. Harl et alii, La Genèse (La Bible d’Alexandrie 1), Paris: Cerf, 1986, 101. M. Alexandre, Le Commencement (see note 1), 246–247.


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Behind the word τρυφή we can trace the influence of the courtly Lagid vocabulary. It should be recalled that, in the ideology of the Lagid dynasty, the τρυφή is a sign of the kings’ majesty and liberality, as we can see from the royal titles: Ptolemy III, Ptolemy IV and Ptolemy VIII chose Τρύφων as an epithet. Moreover, several princesses assumed the name Τρυφαῖνα, for example the bride of Ptolemy XII.14 Be this as it may, the translation of the “garden of Eden” by παράδεισος τῆς τρυφῆς evokes the splendour and luxury of Ptolemaic gardens and parks.15 The connotation of an extraordinary and magnificent garden can also be found in Ezek 31:8–9 where the Assyrian king is compared to a cedar of Lebanon. In v. 8, this cedar is said to be so splendid that the cedars in the garden of God (v. 8: ἐν τῷ παραδείσῳ τοῦ θεοῦ – MT: ‫ )ּבְג ַן־אֱֹלהִים‬cannot rival it. V. 9 even mentions the envy of the other trees of Eden in the garden of God. It is obvious that the LXX translation is influenced by Gen 3:23–24 because, in this case, ‫ עֵדֶ ן‬corresponds to παράδεισος and ‫ ג ַן‬to τρυφή (τὰ ξύλα τοῦ παραδείσου τῆς τρυφῆς τοῦ θεοῦ – MT: ‫)ּכָל־עֲצֵי־עֵדֶ ן ֲאׁשֶר ּבְג ַן ָהאֱֹלהִים‬.16 By contrast, in Isa 1:30, the prophet alludes to a παράδεισος that is lacking water. In the context of a prophecy of doom, the verse compares Jerusalem to a bleak landscape, in particular to a withered tree and a garden without water (ὡς παράδεισος ὕδωρ μὴ ἔχων – MT: ‫)כְגַּנ ָה ֲאׁשֶר־ ַמי ִם אֵין לָּה‬. This probably implies that a παράδεισος normally has a water supply. The connotation of luxury and abundance seems to be present in Sir 40:27 also. By contrast with the quotations mentioned previously, the noun παράδεισος is used figuratively with reference to the fear of God: φόβος κυρίου ὡς παράδεισος εὐλογίας – ‫( ברכה כעדן יראת יהוה‬manuscript B17). Thus, the fear of God is compared to a garden of blessings, probably with the aim of underlining the specific idea of the wealth and luxury of Paradise.18 Unlike the quotations referring or alluding to Paradise19, the term παράδεισος seems to denote a rather ordinary garden in some other biblical passages. For example, in Num 24:6, in the context of his oracle, Balaam compares Israel to gardens beside a river (ὡσεὶ παράδεισοι ἐπὶ ποταμῶν – MT: ‫)ּכְגַּנֹת עֲלֵי נָהָר‬. In this 14  For more details, see e. g. A. Passoni Dell’Acqua, “Von der Kanzlei der Lagiden zur Synagoge. Das ptolemäische Vokabular und die Septuaginta”, M. Karrer, W. Kraus (eds.), Die Septuaginta – Texte, Kontexte, Lebenswelten (WUNT 219), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008, 237–247, on p. 243. 15 See e. g. G. Husson, “Le jardin de délices (Genèse 3, 23–24)”, Revue des études grecques 101, 1988, 64–73. 16 See e. g. K. Usener, “Erläuterungen zu Ezechiel 20–39”, M. Karrer, W. Kraus (eds.), Septuaginta Deutsch: Erläuterungen und Kommentare zum griechischen Alten Testament. Band II: Psalmen bis Daniel, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2011 2908–2967, on p. 2948. 17 Quoted according to V. Morla, Los manuscritos hebreos de Ben Sira. Traducción y notas, Estella (Navarra): Editorial Verbo Divino, 2012, 246. 18 For this idea see the commentaries, e. g. J. Corley, Sirach, Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 2013, 113. 19 A similar case is Joel 2:3 where ὡς παράδεισος τρυφῆς corresponds to ‫ּכְג ַן־עֵדֶ ן‬, “like the garden of Eden”.

Παράδεισος and Κῆπος


case, the translator evokes the idea of several orchards cultivated near a water resource indispensable for their fertility. Admittedly, Balaam does not give us any information as to the dimensions of these gardens. However, it cannot been ruled out that the translator of the book of Numbers has in mind the numerous vegetable gardens that are typical of the Egyptian landscape. Irrigated with water from the Nile, they are destined for cultivation. In Jer 36:5 (Jer 29:5MT), the prophet Jeremiah addresses a letter to the exiles in the Babylonian captivity. Convinced that the captivity will not finish soon, he encourages his countrymen to build houses and to plant gardens in order to ensure their nutrition (καὶ φυτεύσατε παραδείσους καὶ φάγετε τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτῶν – ‫)וְנִטְעּו ג ַּנֹות ְו ִאכ ְלּו אֶת־ּפְִרי ָן‬. The interpretation of παράδεισος as a simple vegetable garden or orchard is suggested by the varied repetition of the verse in Jer 36:28 (Jer 29:28MT), where κῆπος is used instead of παράδεισος, with no specific semantic differences.

B. The noun κῆπος The masculine noun κῆπος means “garden”, “orchard”, “vegetable garden” or “plantation”, normally without any connotation of luxury or exceptional wealth.20 I. Occurrences in Ancient Greek Literature In Greek literature, κῆπος is widely attested as early as in Homer: in the Iliad it occurs in two comparisons taken from horticulture or agriculture (8.306; 21.258). In the Odyssey, Penelope’s κῆπος is called πολυδένδρον (4.737); the noun appears in the description of the orchard situated in Alcinous’ palace (7.129) and in that of the vegetable garden cultivated carefully by Laertes, Ulysses’ father, when he meets his son (24.247). The word κῆπος is furthermore attested in Pindar’s Third Olympian Ode, verse 24: Heracles decorated Pisa’s dried-out land, where the first Olympic Games took place, with the olive stolen from the Hyperboreans. In this passage, we note the use of the Doric variant κᾶπος, instead of the more common κῆπος: Τούτων ἔδοξεν γυμνὸς κᾶπος ὀξείαις ὑπακουέμεν αὐγαῖς ἀελίου “He saw this garden, bare of trees, exposed to the piercing rays of the sun”

In Herodotus, Historiae 8.138.10, the κῆποι Μίδεω, “gardens of Midas”, are places where fragrant roses grow naturally, each consisting of sixty petals. 20 For more information, see the dictionaries already quoted in note 1, especially H. G.  Liddell, R. Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, s. v. κῆπος; P. Chantraine, Dictionnaire Étymo­ lo­gi­que, s. v. κῆπος; T. Muraoka A Greek-English Lexicon, s. v. κῆπος; A. A. García Santos, Diccionario del Griego bíblico, s. v. κῆπος;


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The noun κῆπος is also attested in Plato: in the Symposium, Eros is said to have been conceived in the gardens of Zeus (203b); in the Phaedrus, the expression κῆποι ἐν γράμμασι, “gardens of writing”, metaphorically designates “written speeches” (276d); in the Timaeus, the human body is compared to a garden irrigated by water channels (77c); in the Critias, the fortifications of the Acropolis of Athens are described as walls which enclose a garden belonging to a dwelling (112b), and, in the same work, gardens and gymnasiums are meeting places for Athenians (117c); and, in his Ion, Plato says that poets are inspired to write their songs by honey sources that flow in the gardens of the Muses (534a). Aristotle employs the word κῆπος in the Historia animalium to indicate the place where the woodcock can be captured (617b23–24). In his work De partibus animalium, he compares the irrigation of gardens through water channels with the arterial and venous system of the body (668a11–19; see above the same comparison in Plato, Timaeus, 77c). Aristotle’s pupil Theophrastus uses κῆπος in the Historia plantarum 6.7.3 where the propagation of the southernwood is compared to the one of the “gardens of Adonis”, i. e. earthenware with little herbs and flowers that were led in procession by virgins during the festival in honour of Adonis. In the Characters 20.9.2, Theophrastus specifies that the unpleasant man says that his κῆπος always produces an abundance of tender vegetables. Among the tragic poets, Euripides uses κῆπος in the Electra (v. 777). The passage is about Orestes’ revenge on Aegisthus: the two men meet in the κῆποι καταρρύτοι, “irrigated gardens”, of the usurper, while he is plucking myrtle sprays. The lexeme also appears in Aristophanes’ works: in the Nubes, Socrates says that the nymphs dance in the κήποι of their father, Ocean (v. 271), and, in the Aves, the hoopoe says that the birds feed on seeds of plants growing in the κήποι (v. 159). In the oration In Demosthenem, Hyperides mentions the κῆπος located next to the Ἀκαδημεία of Athens (6.26.27). Ps.-Demosthenes uses the noun in the oration In Evergum et Mnesibulum (53.5) with the meaning of “agricultural land adjacent to a country house”. In his Vitae philosophorum, Diogenes Laertius often designates the place of meeting and discussion among philosophers and their followers with the word κῆπος, for example with regard to Plato (3.5.9), Theophrastus (5.52.9–10) and Epicurus (10.17.6). In Lucian, we find the word κῆπος used with regard to one of Alcamene’s sculptures called “Aphrodite of the gardens” (Imagines 4.13). Also in Strabo’s Geographica, the lexeme is well attested and is used especially with regard to the hanging gardens of Babylon built by king Nabucodonosor (

Παράδεισος and Κῆπος


II. Occurrences in Papyri There are only a few occurrences of the noun κῆπος in the papyri. Except for P.Ness. 3.16 (Nessana, Palestine, 512 C. E.), a relatively late attestation, the following examples deserve mention: –  In P.Cair.Zen. 4.59727, line 8 (unknown location, 275–226 B. C. E.), an account of a piece of agricultural land in the village of Syron, the word κῆπος probably denotes a vegetable garden or a plantation. –  In P.Cair.Zen. 2.59156 (Alexandria, 256 B. C. E.), Apollonius asks to take pear seedlings and other plants from his own garden and from Memphis to be planted in the orchards of Philadelphia.21 –  BGU 2.455, line 17 (unknown location, before 133 C. E.), is part of a copy of the contract for the sale of a barn for hay. The papyrus is damaged after the word κῆπος. However, the context suggests a vegetable garden or a plantation. –  P.Flor. 2.262, lines 5–9 (Arsinoites, 250–268 C. E.), belongs to the epistolary correspondence of Heroninos, the rural agent of the lands around Theodelphia, which were all used for agriculture, as attested by other papyri of the same collection. In sum, these attestations in papyri confirm a use of the noun κῆπος that is in line with classical Greek literature. There is no evidence that κῆπος denotes anything else than an orchard or a vegetable garden. The specific connotation of luxury is missing. III. Occurrences in the Septuagint In the LXX, κῆπος is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew nouns ‫ ּג ַן‬and ‫גַּנ ָה‬, “garden”, which, in some cases is translated by παράδεισος as well (see above). Thus, the question arises to what degree the LXX translator seems to make a clear distinction between the two Greek terms for “garden” mentioned. Conforming to the non-biblical Greek evidence, κῆπος is several times described in the LXX as an orchard or a vegetable garden, for example in Deut 11:10 ὡσεὶ κῆπον λαχανείας “like a vegetable garden” (MT: ‫“ ּכְג ַן ַהּי ָָרק‬like a vegetable garden”). The same equivalence occurs in 3 Kgdms 20:2 [1 Kgs 21:2] where the Israel king Ahab urges Naboth to give him his vineyard to be transformed into the king’s vegetable garden. Corresponding to examples mentioned before in the section dealing with occurrences in Greek literature, the reason for this proposal is that this future vegetable garden will be situated near the king’s palace (δός μοι τὸν ἀμπελῶνά σου καὶ ἔσται μοι εἰς κῆπον λαχάνων ὅτι ἐγγίων οὗτος τῷ οἴκῳ μου – MT: ‫) ְּתנ ָה־ּלִי ֶאֽת־ּכְַרמְָך וִיהִי־לִי לְג ַן־י ָָרק ּכִי הּוא קָרֹוב ֵאצֶל ּבֵיתִי‬. In Amos 4:9, however, the noun κῆπος is associated with other terms related to farming: 21 For a French translation of the letter and more details concerning its historical and geographic background, see also C. Orrieux, Les papyrus de Zénon. L’horizon d’un grec en Égypte au IIIe siècle avant J.-C., Paris: Éditions Macula, 1983, 87.


Beatrice Perego

Ἐπληθύνατε κήπους ὑμῶν [MT: ‫ ]ּג ַּנֹותֵיכ ֶם‬ἀμπελῶνας ὑμῶν καὶ συκῶνας ὑμῶν καὶ ἐλαιῶνας ὑμῶν κατέφαγεν ἡ κάμπη “You multiplied your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the caterpillar devoured them.”

Similarly, in the concluding prophecy of salvation in Amos 9:14, gardens and vineyards appear in parallel when the prophet announces a future period of wellbeing characterised by the planting of gardens and vineyards the yields of which the Israelites will enjoy. The remaining LXX occurrences of the noun κῆπος do not give precise information as to the properties and the locations of such gardens. Details about plants, trees, or vegetables are also missing or are not significant (e. g. in Isa 61:11). Sometimes, the focus is on uses of a garden that have nothing to do with horticulture (e. g. illicit cults Isa 1:29; 65:3; 66:17). Therefore, it can be concluded that, in the LXX, the noun κῆπος mostly seems to have its usual meaning, i. e., “orchard”, “vegetable garden”, without any specific connotation of luxury or abundance.22 This latter connotation is perhaps present in the passages dealing with royal gardens, namely in Esth 7:7–8 and in Eccl 2:5. However, it should be kept in mind that, in these cases, κῆπος can be considered a kind of standard translation of ‫גַּנ ָה‬, see e. g. Eccl 2:5: Ἐποίησά μοι κήπους καὶ παραδείσους καὶ ἐφύτευσα ἐν αὐτοῖς ξύλον πᾶν καρποῦ “I made gardens and parks [MT: ‫ ]ּג ַּנֹות ּופְַרּדֵ סִים‬for myself, and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees”.

C. Differences and Similarities between παράδεισος and κῆπος: Some Concluding Considerations In the 3rd century B. C. E., as I have already argued, the nouns παράδεισος and κῆπος belong to two semantic domains that are similar, albeit different in detail. To be sure, the semantic values of the words reveal points of contact. Nevertheless, they retain a certain degree of autonomy. Probably the semantic evolution of the noun παράδεισος can explain this phenomenon. The noun παράδεισος has its origin in the Achaemenid culture. In the early Greek occurrences, it designates the gardens of Persian nobility where wild animals were hunted and rare and exotic plants collected in order to exhibit royal splendour and magnificence. Thus, in the earlier Greek attestations, the term means “hunting park”, “forest”. Evidently, in its origins, a παράδεισος was 22 The same holds true for the NT occurrence in Luke 13:19: where Jesus describes the kingdom of God using the comparison of the mustard seed thrown by a man into his garden: Ὁμοία ἐστὶν κόκκῳ σινάπεως, ὃν λαβὼν ἄνθρωπος ἔβαλεν εἰς κῆπον ἑαυτοῦ, “it is like a mustard seed, which a man took and threw into his own garden.” See also the other NT occurrences in John 18:1, 26; 19:41.

Παράδεισος and Κῆπος


something very different from a κῆπος, as far as its features and plants are concerned. On the other hand, from its first occurrences, the word κῆπος designated a garden adjacent to houses situated mostly in the countryside, decorated with bushy and low-growing plants, and intended to produce vegetables, fruits and flowers. Like a παράδεισος, a κῆπος is also irrigated and watered by a stream, a river, a pond, a lake or the like. However, this latter term designates a simpler and more modest piece of land: the κῆπος is small, fenced by surrounding walls and intensively cultivated, especially by ordinary people for their own support. With the fall of the Achaemenid Empire and the conquests of Alexander the Great, the Persian royal parks (παράδεισοι) disappeared. Therefore, in the 3rd century B. C. E., the term entered into common usage denoting a more ordinary reality. Thus, the noun παράδεισος takes on a meaning close to that of a κῆπος, mostly indicating a piece of land for agricultural production rather than an exclusive place of pleasure and entertainment for the nobility. Consequently, the new meaning is similar to “orchard”, “plantation”. Smaller in surface than the Persian royal parks, from now on, the παράδεισος is cultivated with fruit trees, vines and vegetables, seldom with other trees. Wild animals and hunting areas disappear. Whereas in the passages of the LXX quoted in the two previous paragraphs the translators seem to make a clear distinction between the two nouns παράδεισος and κῆπος, several other passages reveal a fairly synonymous use of them so that they seem to overlap sometimes. The following examples deserve mention: a) In one case, the same episode has been narrated in two different books: 4 Kgdms [2 Kgs] 21:18 and 2 Chr 33:20. In the first occurrence, translating the Hebrew noun ‫“ ּג ַן‬garden”, κῆπος refers to the house garden of king Manasseh which became his burial-place. The situation is different in 2 Chr 33:20 where the LXX reads παράδεισος. The MT is slightly different insofar as only Manasseh’s house but no garden is mentioned (‫וַּי ִ ְקּבְֻרהּו ּבֵיתֹו‬, “they buried him in his house”). The divergence between the two texts is perhaps due to a different Vorlage.23 b) In some instances, the two lexemes in question appear in parallel, probably with no specific semantic difference, as in the above mentioned quotation from Eccl 2:5 where the fictive king enumerates his acquisitions: Ἐποίησά μοι κήπους καὶ παραδείσους καὶ ἐφύτευσα ἐν αὐτοῖς ξύλον πᾶν καρποῦ. In this case the two Greek terms correspond to different Hebrew nouns, respectively to ‫ גַּנ ָה‬and ‫ּפְַרּדֵ ס‬.24 c) The words παράδεισος and κῆπος appear in different contexts although referring to the same reality and without any specific semantic differences. Thus, in Jer 36[29MT]:5 (see above), the translator renders ‫ג ַּנֹות‬, “gardens”, by παράδεισοι. 23 For this variant, see also D. Barthélemy, Critique textuelle de l’Ancien Testament: 1. Josué, Juges, Ruth, Samuel, Rois, Chroniques, Esdras, Néhémie, Esther (OBO 50/1), Fribourg:  Éditions universitaires Fribourg (Suisse) / ​Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1982, 514. 24 A similar translation technique can be observed in the Song of Songs where ‫ ּג ַן‬is rendered systematically by κῆπος whereas the only occurrence of ‫ ּפְַרּדֵ ס‬in Cant 4:13 corresponds to παράδεισος.


Beatrice Perego

Some verses later, however, in Jer 36[29MT]:28, the same gardens are called κῆποι. This means that the translator of the book of Jeremiah used the two Greek terms synonymously. That a translator did not systematically render ‫ ּג ַן‬with κῆπος and ‫ ּפְַרּדֵ ס‬with παράδεισος, is evident from the book of Ezekiel: the expression ‫ּג ַן־אֱֹלהִים‬, “garden of God”, is usually translated with παράδεισος τοῦ θεοῦ (Ezek 28:13; 31:8bis; 31:9 [see above]), while we find κῆπος for ‫ּג ַן‬,“garden”, in Ezek 36:35. d) The book of Daniel reveals a peculiar use of the terms παράδεισος and κῆπος: the author uses the first noun in several passages to indicate the garden where Susanna used to walk and bath (SusLXX / ​Theod 7 etc.). The only exception is in SusLXX 58. Asking the second of the two elders in which part of the garden he had seen Susanna with the young men, Daniel employs κῆπος, referring to the same reality. Obviously, the luxury of the garden does not play a key role in this specific context, and the two lexemes are used here in a similar way. Nonetheless, as the occurrences of παράδεισος in the Susanna narrative illustrate, the LXX translators are aware of the original meaning of the noun. As we have seen, the translation of ‫ ּג ַן־עֵדֶ ן‬with παράδεισος τῆς τρυφῆς (Gen 3:23–24; Ezek 28:13; 31:8–9; Joel 2:3) seems to allude to the luxury of the Ptolemaic royal parks.25 It can be inferred that the example of a παράδεισος τῆς τρυφῆς must have been the Ptolemaic royal park that presented significant similarities with the more ancient Persian gardens. Indeed, they were places of pleasure and entertainment for exclusive enjoyment of the sovereigns and their noble guests, full of shady trees and streams or ponds, celebrated in antiquity for the rarity of their flora and fauna, where walking was pleasant and relaxing. By contrast, denoting a much more modest and ordinary garden, the term κῆπος was not likely to evoke the image of a royal park worthy of YHWH.26 We have only some fragmentary evidence for the gardens of the Lagid monarchy. We know, for example, that a botanical garden and a zoo were situated next to the Museum of Alexandria, built by Ptolemy II Philadelphus (Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 14.69.15–18). Diodorus Siculus informs us that Ptolemy II taught Greeks about the existence of exotic and unknown animals (Bibliotheca historica 3.36.3). He tells us also how generously the king rewarded hunters who had offered him a very big snake which he displayed to his guests as a rare curiosity (Bibliotheca historica 3.37.8). A papyrus from Zenon’s archive (P.Cair.Zen 1.59075,3–5, 275 B. C. E.) proves Ptolemy’s passion for animals: Tobias, the Jewish-Ammonite prince owner of Iraq al-Amir’s park, sends gifts to the king: among 25 Likewise, in Isa 51:3, ‫ּכְעֵדֶ ן‬, “like Eden”, is translated by ὡς παράδεισον κυρίου “like the Paradise of the Lord”. 26 See also J. N. Bremmer, “Paradise: from Persia via Greece, into the Septuagint” (see note 1), 18, who argues that not all of the connotations of a Persian παράδεισος are present in the Biblical creation account “since neither God nor Adam display any interest in hunting nor do they drink alcohol.”

Παράδεισος and Κῆπος


these there are two horses, six dogs, a semionager born from a donkey, two white Arabian donkeys, two baby semionagers and a baby onager27. In conclusion, on the one hand, the previous considerations, accompanied by Greek literary and documentary attestations, focused on the originally different meaning of the two nouns παράδεισος and κῆπος. On the other hand, it was highlighted to what degree these semantic distinctions had become blurred in a later period. Apparently, both phenomena have left their traces in the Septuagint: in some cases, the two lexemes denote very different realities while, in others, they appear to be more or less synonymous.

27 For more details, see A. Passoni Dell’Acqua, “Le testimonianze papiracee relative alla ‘Siria e Fenicia’ in età tolemaica (I papiri di Zenone e le ordinanze reali)”, RivBib 34, 1986, 233–283, on p. 256–257. An English translation of the papyrus can be found in J. L. White, Light from Ancient Letters, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986, 40–41.

The Verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι: The History of a New Compound Created in the Hellenistic Epoch Miriam Carminati Introduction Among the many word formations of the Hellenistic period, the compound verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι* was pinpointed by Lust, Eynikel, and Hauspie in their dictionary as a probable neologism1 which has only few occurrences in ancient Greek texts. Through this short research, I would like to investigate the history of this verb during the Hellenistic period until the 1st century C. E. in order to show that, despite the rarity of occurrences in different contexts, συναντιλαμβάνομαι is a really meaningful verb. Moreover, the present study will illustrate that this lexeme represents a point of contact between the language of the Septuagint and that of the Ptolemaic papyri. In order to reach these tasks I will investigate the occurrences of this lexeme through the most important corpora of ancient Greek language (i. e. Classical Greek literature, the Septuagint, epigraphical evidence and papyri, Jewish Greek literature, New Testament). The verb is a compound of the preverb συν‑ prefixed to the compound verb ἀντιλαμβάνομαι2. The verb ἀντιλαμβάνω, in its active voice, means “to take, to receive instead of”, but the middle voice, ἀντιλαμβάνομαι, most commonly used, has other meanings. Sufficiently attested in Classical Greek literature, the verb ἀντιλαμβάνομαι3 essentially means “to grasp, to lay hold of”, furthermore “to take hold of something for the purpose of finding fault”, “to reprehend, to attack”, e. g. Plato, Soph. 239d. Another meaning is “to help, to assist” (Euripides, * I wish express my gratitude to Professor Anna Passoni Dell’Acqua (Catholic University of Milan) and to Professor Eberhard Bons (University of Strasbourg) who encouraged me to write this paper and helped me to contribute to the study of this lexeme. 1 J. Lust, E. Eynikel, K. Hauspie, A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint, Revised Edition, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2003, third edition 2015. 2  M. L.  Margolis, “LAMBANEIN, including compounds and derivatives and its Hebrew / ​ Aramaic equivalents in Old Testament Greek”, R. Kraft (ed.), Septuagint and cognate studies vol. 1, Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1975, 70–91. 3 For more details, see E. Bons, M. Carminati, A. Passoni Dell’Acqua, D. Scialabba, art. ἀντιλαμβάνομαι, συναντιλαμβάνομαι, ἀντιλή(μ)πτωρ, ἀντίλη(μ)ψις, E. Bons, J. Joosten (eds.), Historical and Theological Lexicon of the Septuagint, vol. 1 (letters Alpha  – Gamma), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming.

The Verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι


Tro. 464; Diodorus Siculus, Bibl. 11.13.1, where the help is supposed to come from the divinity). In the Septuagint (there are around 50 occurrences of the verb always in the middle form) ἀντιλαμβάνομαι mostly means “to help, to support” (e. g. Lev 25:35, Prov 11:28b); rarely the provenance of the help is specified (e. g. 3 Kgdms 9:11). In Ptolemaic papyri, however, the verb refers to receiving or accommodating a person, e. g. in P.Cair.Zen. 3.59397 (around 246–245 B. C.E) or it is employed in letters asking for support in commercial or legal affairs, e. g. P.Tebt. 3.1.709, lines 11–13 (159 B. C. E.) Returning to the object of the present study, I now briefly present the meanings of the verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι. Employed only in the middle voice, it means “to render assistance”, “to help someone” (governing the dative case), “to assist in supporting something” (governing the accusative case), “to help to gain something” (governing the genitive case).4 The verb is scarcely attested in the Old Testament and it appears only twice in the New Testament. In other corpora, the verb also has few occurrences. Nevertheless, it is largely witnessed in papyri of the Ptolemaic Era.

1. The Use of the Verb in Greek Literature In Greek literature, the verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι is attested especially in works of the Hellenistic epoch. Diodorus Siculus uses it to express the concept “to help in gaining a thing” (governing genitive case), namely when describing the struggle of the people of Sicily against Dionysius: In their request of help, the rebels invite the allies to join in the bid for freedom from the tyrant (Diodorus Siculus, Bibl. 14.8.2): εὐθὺς δὲ πρός τε Μεσσηνίους καὶ Ῥηγίνους πρέσβεις ἀπέστειλαν, δεόμενοι κατὰ θάλατταν συναντιλαβέσθαι τῆς ἐλευθερίας, “and they at once dispatched ambassadors to the Messenians and the Rhegians, urging them to join in the bid for freedom by action at sea”. Furthermore, the verb occurs in philosophical treatises. Thus, the Epicurean philosopher Philodemus, writing in the 1st century B. C. E., creates an analogy between seeking for medical help and need of moral advice (De libertate loquendi 39.7–15). In this passage, the verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι is used with a reflexive pronoun: αἰσχρὸν εἶναι τῆς μὲν τοῦ σώματος θεραπ[ε]ίας ἑαυτοῖς τι συναντιλαμβάνεσθαι καὶ μὴ τῶν ἰατρῶν ἐν ἅπασιν [ἔχοντας] χρείαν, “it is shameful to help themselves to some treatment of the body although not [having] need of doctors in everything”, but, as the text continues, not to seek help in case of problems of the soul5. 4 See also A. A. García Santos, Diccionario del Griego bíblico. Setenta y Nuevo Testamento, Estella (Navarra): Editorial Verbo Divino, 2011, 810. 5 For the Greek text and the English translation, see the following edition: Philodemus, On Frank Criticism. Introduction, Translation, and Notes by David Konstan, Diskin Clay, Clarence E. Glad, Johan C. Thorn, and James Ware, Atlanta, Ga.: Society of Biblical Literature, 1998, 52–53.


Miriam Carminati

P.Lond. 137 is a medical essay known with the title “On Medicine” whose author is called Anonymus Londinensis. In column 34, line 11, the verb is employed with a technical meaning. This papyrus can be dated to the 1st or 2nd century C. E. The writer deals with the properties of some foodstuff and the authors wonders if, when the food is assumed by the human body, its own characteristics can be still perceived. In this case, the verb has a different meaning: “to grasp”6.

2. Evidence in Inscriptions and Papyri There are several epigraphical evidences of the use of συναντιλαμβάνομαι where the verb refers to the help and cooperation provided by a powerful man or by a group of people to the benefit of a community or a group of inhabitants of a city. All of these examples belong to the 3rd and 2nd century B. C. E. In an inscription from Pergamon, OGIS 267.26, the verb is followed by the preposition εἰς: εἰς ταῦτα, i. e. works for the benefit of the society. In an inscription from Delphi, SIG3 412.5, a certain Neoptolemus is honored by the people of Erythrae because he had promised to assist them to the benefit of the city (ἐπηγγείλατο συναντιλήψεσθαι τῶν τῆι πόλει συμφερόντων). In this quotation, the verb governs the genitive case. Likewise, in an inscription from Thasos (Aegean See), a certain Dionysidoros is honored with proxenia for the following reason: συναντιλαμβάνετα δὲ καὶ τοῖς κατ’ ἰδίαν ἑαυτοῦ ποιουμένος χρείαν, “he assists those who make use of him privately” (SEG 13.458, lines 15–16 ; 2nd–1st century B. C. E.).7 The verb is furthermore attested in the inscription from Gortyna (SIG3 627.15) referring to the treaty of King Eumenes II of Pergamon with the Cretan League and 31 Cretan cities (183 B. C. E.) where the allies commit themselves to supporting one another (συναντιλήψεσθαι) in case of war. The verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι is more frequent in papyri, especially in nine papyri of the Ptolemaic period. In this corpus, it is employed as a keyword to open a request sentence both in private letters and in official correspondence. Two texts containing orders are part of the official correspondence (P.Hib. 1.82 [238 B. C. E.]; P.Mich. 18.770 [197 B. C. E.?]. The verb, that can be translated with “to cooperate”, is preceded by the formulaic expression καλῶς οὖν ποιήσεις or καλῶς ποιήσετε, “you will do well”, and is followed by the adverb προθύμως or φιλοτίμως, which means “zealously”. The letter contained in P.Hib. 1.82 is written by Aphrus to Asclepiades. He asks the addressee to zealously support the duties of 6 See also B. Friberg, T. Friberg, N. F. Miller, Friberg’s Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, Grand Rapids. MI: Baker, 2000, s. v. For the text of the Anonymus Londinensis, see A. Ricciardetto, L’Anonyme de Londres (P. Lit. Lond. 165, Brit. Libr. inv. 137). Édition et traduction d’un papyrus médical grec du Ier siècle, Liège: Presses Universitaires de Liège, 2014. 7 For more details, see also G. H. R. Horsley, New Documents illustrating early Christianity, vol. 3: A Review of the Greek Inscriptions and Papyri Published in 1978, Sydney: Macquarrie University, 1983, no. 68.

The Verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι


Isocrates, who is the new scribe sent to the Arsinoite nome. In this case, the verb governs a phrase introduced by the preposition περί with genitive: περὶ τῶν εἰς ταῦτα συγκυρόντων “in the related matters”. In the other official letter, P.Mich. 18.770, the writer’s aim is to have every duty of the royal apparatus well executed: ὅπως μηθὲν τῶν εἰς τὸ βασιλικ̣[ὸν] χρησίμων παραλείπητ̣[αι] “[you will do well to cooperate with him] so that none of the things beneficial to the royal treasury be neglected”. In a papyrus from Tebtunis (P.Tebt. 3.1 777), a draft of a petition of the first part of 2nd century B. C. E., the verb can be better translated with the expression “to take the matter in hand”, “to take on something”. In this petition a farmer, who is in prison and should have been released after the bail payment, requests the addressee for an intervention on his behalf. As for private correspondence, the verb with the meaning “to cooperate” occurs in a letter from the Zenon archive (P.Cair.Zen. 3.59315; 250 B. C. E.) where the writer asks for help in paying a debt. A request of intervention in a similar context is sent to Zenon in P.Col. 3.9 (257 B. C. E.).8 While the majority of writers ask somebody for help and cooperation, e. g. in a financial problem, a fragmentary letter (P.Anag. pg88b; 2nd century B. C. E.], records a spontaneous intervention expressed by the adverb ἀπαρακλήτως “voluntarily, spontaneously”. Unfortunately, the text is too fragmentary to evaluate the described action and its specific subject. In sum, we can recognize a sort of formulaic usage of the verb in 3rd and 2nd century B. C. E. correspondence of Ptolemaic Egypt. The common meaning was “to take in charge something”, “to cooperate with somebody in order to execute a task”. As we will see, this meaning of the verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι is also attested in the Greek Pentateuch.

3. The Use of the Verb in the Septuagint In the Septuagint there are only three occurrences of the verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι. Hatch and Redpath record a fourth one in Gen 30:8, but the reading συναντελάβετό μου in this verse is uncertain. It occurs only in some medieval cursive manuscripts9. Codex Alexandrinus, however, offers the variant συνεβάλετο μοι, probably an erroneous reading for συνελάβετο attested e. g. in the Codices

8 A short commentary and translation of this document are available in J. L. White, Light from Ancient Letters, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986, 36–37. 9 E. Hatch, H. A.  Redpath, A Concordance to the Septuagint and the other Greek Versions of the Old Testament (Including the Apocrypha), Oxford: Clarendon, 1897–1906, revised second edition, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998, vol. 2, 1312. Nevertheless, the copyists of the medieval manuscripts chose the variant συναντιλαμβάνομαι that perfectly fits the context. Indeed, in this passage, Rachel recognizes the intervention or “collaboration” of God in gaining a child.


Miriam Carminati

Vaticanus and Sinaiticus10. In his critical edition of the Septuagint, Alfred Rahlfs reads as follows: καὶ εἶπεν Ραχηλ συνελάβετό μοι ὁ θεός καὶ συνανεστράφην τῇ ἀδελφῇ μου καὶ ἠδυνάσθην καὶ ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Νεφθαλι, “And Rachel said ‘God has helped me, and I contended with my sister and prevailed.’ And she called his name, Nephthalim”.11 As for the three occurrences of συναντιλαμβάνομαι in the LXX, the equivalent Hebrew verbs employed in MT are kûn (niph‘al) with the preposition ‘im, “to be firmly established with”, in Ps 88[89]:22 and nāśāʾ (qal) with the preposition ʾt, “to carry with somebody”, “to bear with somebody”12 in Exod 18:22; Num 11:17. In Exod 18:22 and Num 11:17 the authors expose the origins of the legal system of Israel: –  The more explicit quotation, Num 11:17, deals with the divine endowment of the seventy elders who share the spirit of Moses and the burdens of leadership also. The Greek text reads as follows: συναντιλήμψονται μετὰ σοῦ τὴν ὁρμὴν [MT: wenāśeʾû ʾittekā bemaśśāʾ] τοῦ λαοῦ καὶ οὐκ οἴσεις αὐτοὺς σὺ μόνος [MT: welōʾ tiśśāʾ ʾattāh lebaddækā], “they will help you [when withstanding] the onslaught of the people, so that you shall not bear [it] all alone”. Before dealing with the Greek verb, it should be underlined that the meaning of the Greek noun ὁρμή is “impetus”, “onslaught”, while the MT reads massāh, “burden”, metaphorically “hardship”13. In Num 11:17, the basic meaning of συναντιλαμβάνομαι is clear: “to partake in an effort” means “to help someone”. In the same verse, the Hebrew verb nāśāʾ, “to carry”, is repeated in the MT, now with Moses as subject and translated in Greek with the more common verb φέρω: οὐκ οἴσεις, “you will not bear”. Thus, the Lord assures Moses that the he will not be alone in withstanding the people. –  This passage echoes another passage of the LXX Pentateuch, Exod 18:22, where Jethro recognizes that Moses has a too heavy task to manage. Therefore, he suggests to Moses to select men who can assist him in legal matters. This verse shows a similar use of the verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι14: συναντιλήμψονταί σοι. In 10 For further text-critical details, see the critical apparatus of Gen 30:8 in A. E.  Brooke, N. McLean, The Old Testament in Greek according to the Text of Codex Vaticanus, supplemented from other uncial manuscripts with a critical apparatus containing the variant of the chief ancient authorities for the text of the Septuagint, vol. 1: the Octateuch, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1917. 11 Although this occurrence will not be studied in detail in this article, it should be noticed that the MT presents a significant difference: “and Rachel said ‘I have wrestled mighty wrestlings [naptûlêy ’ælohîm niptaltî] with my sister and I have indeed prevailed.’ And she named him Naphtali.” See also J. W. Wevers, Notes on the Greek Text of Exodus, Atlanta, GA.: Scholars Press, 1990: 477–478: “example of ingenious exegesis”. 12 For the meaning of the Hebrew verb, see D. J. A. Clines, The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001, 5:763–764. 13 For this divergence, see G. Dorival, Les Nombres (La Bible d’Alexandrie 4), Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1994, 67. 14 A. Le Boulluec, P. Sandevoir, L’Exode (La Bible d’Alexandrie 2), Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 20042, 197–198, do not mention the problem. For the interpretation of the MT, see e. g. J. I.  Durham, Exodus (Word Biblical Commentary), Waco, TX: Word Books, 1987, 250–252.

The Verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι


this verse, συναντιλήμψονταί σοι can be translated “they will assist you” with the dative case of the person to be assisted15. An alternative translation would be “they will bear [the burden] with you”, considering the word “burden” to be added. Symmachus and Theodotion translate the Hebrew verb by συμβαστάσουσιν, “the will carry together, i. e. with you”. This Greek verb gives a more concrete idea of the heaviness of the responsibilities that Moses and the elders have to carry together. These two occurrences in the LXX show that more than one syntactical construction is possible: In Num 11:17 the verb governs the accusative to express the direct object and the preposition μετά with genitive to express the person to be helped. In Exod 18:22, however, the verb governs the dative referring to the person in need of assistance16. In Psalm 88[89]:22, God promises David his protection: ἡ γὰρ χείρ μου συναντιλήμψεται αὐτῷ, “for my hand shall sustain him” (NETS). Only here in the Bible, the translators opted for the verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι to render the Hebrew verb kûn in the niph‘al stem, “to stay firm”17, here with the connotation of protecting somebody. Hence, one should not rule out the possibility that the translator was influenced by the divine epithet ἀντιλή(μ)πτωρ, “defensor”, “protector”, a very common term in Septuagint Psalter that also appears some verses later, in Ps 88:2718. Thus, the divine promise to protect David in verse 22 is echoed by the kings’s answer: εἶ σύ θεός μου καὶ ἀντιλήμπτωρ τῆς σωτηρίας μου, “you are my God and the defender of my deliverance”. Furthermore, the use of συναντιλαμβάνομαι in v. 22 recalls the military contexts (see above the examples quoted, namely Diodorus Siculus, Bibl. 14.8.2, and SIG3 627.15), especially since in v. 23 God himself announces that an enemy will not profit by David.

4. Occurrences in Jewish Greek literature There are few occurrences of the verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι in Jewish Greek literature. Philo of Alexandria ignores the verb, although relating of the events told in Exodus 18 and Numbers 11 in Spec. leg. 4.173. In particular, describing the distribution of responsibilities between the elders and Moses, Philo does explain to what extent this solution constitutes a “cooperation” or a help for Moses.  T. Muraoka, A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint, Leuven: Peeters, 2009, 653. already R. Helbing, Die Kasussyntax der Verba bei den Septuaginta, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1928, 310. 17  D. J. A.  Clines, The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998, 4:373. 18 For further details, see A. Passoni Dell’Acqua, “La metafora biblica di Dio come roccia e la sua soppressione nelle antiche versioni”, Ephemerides Liturgicae 91, 1977, 417– 453, esp. 431; E. Bons, “Der Septuaginta-Psalter – Übersetzung, Interpretation, Korrektur”, M. Karrer, W. Kraus (eds.), Die Septuaginta. Texte  – Kontexte  – Lebenswelten (WUNT 219), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008, 450–470, esp. 467–468. 15

16 See


Miriam Carminati

As for the works of Josephus, the verb appears once in Ant. 4.198, where it refers to God’s assistance (συναντιλαμβανομένου τοῦ θεοῦ19) that Josephus expects for himself in order to write another book. Finally, the verb is employed only once in the Letter of Aristeas (Ep. Arist. 123). The Priest Eleazar of Jerusalem begs the help of the courtiers of King Ptolemy to guarantee the return of the Elders to Jerusalem after the end of the work of the Greek translation of the Bible in Alexandria: χωρὶς καὶ τοῦ πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα γεγραφέναι περὶ τῆς ἀποκαταστάσεως αὐτῶν πολλὰ παρεκάλεσε τὸν Ἀνδρέαν ποιῆσαι, συναντιλαμβάνεσθαι παρακαλῶν, καθ᾽ ὃ ἄν δυνώμεθα, “for besides writing to the king concerning their safe return, he also earnestly besought Andreas to work and urged me, too, to assist to the best of my ability”. Thus, the verb occurs once more in the context of a request formulated in writing or orally, just like in the papyri quoted above.20

5. The Use of the Verb in the New Testament: two different contexts In the New Testament, the verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι is attested twice, once in the context of an everyday life situation where concrete help is needed, and once in a context text that deals with theological concepts. Thus, as we will see, in the New Testament, a more concrete meaning of this verb coexists with a theological one. Luke gives the verb a very concrete meaning. When Martha and Mary host Jesus, Martha protests wanting her sister to help her in preparation and service. Thus, she asks Jesus: Εἰπὲ οὖν αὐτῇ ἵνα μοι συναντιλάβηται, “tell her then to help me” (Luke 10:40). Jeremias stresses the tendency of Luke to adopt in his work compounded verbs with the prefix σύν-21. We can suggest that Luke, keeping the Septuagint Pentateuch as a theological and terminological resource, as some scholars suggest22, selected the verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι as a term bearing in 19  Quoted according to Flavius Josèphe, Les Antiquités Juives, Livres IV et V, Établissement du texte, traduction et notes par Étienne Nodet, Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1995, 48*. However, the editions of Niese and Thackeray opt for another textual variant: συλλαμβανομένου. 20 For further details of this paragraph, see e. g. B. G. Wright III, The Letter of Aristeas. ‘Aristeas to Philocrates’ or ‘On the Translation of the Law of the Jews’ (CEJL), Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 2015, 239–240. 21  J. Jeremias, Die Sprache des Lukasevangeliums: Redaktion und Tradition im Nicht-Markus­ stoff des dritten Evangeliums, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1980, esp. 86–88. 22  For this issue, see e. g. the following publications: G. J. Steyn, “Intertextual similarities between Septuagint pretexts and Luke’s Gospel », Neotestamentica 24, 1990, 229–246; M. Meiser, “Das Alte Testament im lukanischen Doppelwerk”, H. J. Fabry, U. Offerhaus (eds.), Im Brennpunkt: Die Septuaginta. Studien zur Entstehung und Bedeutung der Griechischen Bibel (BWANT 153), Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2001, 167–195; W. D. Litke, Luke‘s Knowledge of the Septuagint: A Study of the Citations in Luke-Acts, PhD Dissertation, McMaster University, 1993, passim. On the other hand, N. Fernández Marcos, The Septuagint in Context. Introduction to the Greek

The Verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι


itself the concept of sharing a unpleasant or hard work. I would go so far as to say that Luke selected precisely this verb with ironical undertones: In the Pentateuch, the elders were chosen to help Moses in high responsibilities so that he is not the only one (Num 11:1: μόνος) to withstand the onslaught of the people, while Martha, who will be scolded by Jesus, does not understand that housework she is doing alone (Luke 10:40: μόνην με)23 is less important than listening to the Lord’s teachings24. As already stated, a figurative meaning of the verb is also attested in the New Testament. In the context of eschatological considerations concerning human condition, Paul states that the Holy Spirit will lend support to his faithful, interceding for them: τὸ πνεῦμα συναντιλαμβάνεται τῇ ἀσθενείᾳ ἡμῶν, “the Spirit helps us in our weakness” (Rom 8:26). In this verse, the meaning of the prefix σύν‑ is debated.25 According to some scholars, the prefix is simply intensive26, while others think that Paul, adopting this prefix, states that the Holy Spirit acts with and alongside Christians, helping them to bear their weakness27 or to pray along with them28. A close parallel to Rom 8:26 is Ps 88[89]:21[22] where God promises to lend support to the King29.

Version of the Bible. Leiden, Boston, Köln: Brill, 2000, 326, does not agree with this opinion, arguing that there is no evidence that Luke knew the Septuagint Pentateuch. 23 For this observation, see M. Wolter, Das Lukasevangelium (HNT 5), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008, 400. 24 For this text, see also B. J. Koet, “Luke 10:38–42 and Acts 6:1–7: A Lukan Diptych on διακονία”, J. Corley, V. Skemp (eds.), Studies in the Greek Bible. Essays in Honor of Francis T. Gignac, S. J. (CBQMS 44), Washington, D. C.: The Catholic Biblical Association of America, 2008, 163–185, esp. 173–175. 25 For a thorough investigation of this verse see the following recent monograph: T. A.  Voll­ mer, “The Spirit Helps Our Weakness”. Rom 8,26a in Light of Paul’s Missiological Purpose for Writing the Letter to the Romans (Biblical Tools and Studies 36), Leuven: Peeters, 2018. 26  E. g. C. E. B.  Cranfield, Romans I I–VIII (ICC), Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1980, 421; U. Wilckens, Der Brief an die Römer (Röm 6–11) (EKK VI / ​2), Zürich: Benziger / ​NeukirchenVluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1980, 161, note 706. 27   E. g. J. D. G.  Dunn, Romans 1–8 (WBC 38A), Dallas, TX: Word Books, 1988, 476–477; W. Szypuła, The Holy Spirit in the Eschatological Tension of Christian Life: An Exegetico-Theological Study of 2 Corinthians 5,1–5 and Romans 8,18–27, Rome: Gregorian University Press, 2007, 309–326. M. Wolter, Der Brief an die Römer (Teilband 1: Röm 1–8) (EKK VI / ​1), NeukirchenVluyn: Neukirchener Verlag / ​Ostfildern: Patmos, 2014, 522–533, argues that the dative τῇ ἀσθενείᾳ ἡμῶν is not a sort of indirect object. According to him, the verb could be either intransitive or be used in the same way as ἀντιλαμβάνομαι followed by a genitive. 28  E. g. J. A.  Fitzmyer, Romans. A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 33). New York: Doubleday, 1993, 517–518. 29 See R. Jewett, Romans. A Commentary (Hermeneia), Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2007, 521–524. A very different translation of the verb in Romans 8:26 is given by J. Meissner, Das Kommen der Herrlichkeit: eine Neuinterpretation von Röm 8,14–30 (FB 100), Würzburg: Echter Verlag, 2003, 384, who translates v. 26a as follows: “Ebenso wird auch der Geist in unserer Schwachheit empfangen”.


Miriam Carminati

6. Final remarks and conclusions After this short panoramic view of the history and distribution of the verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι, we can observe that the rarity of occurrences contrasts with the widespread geographical usage of it. Moreover, we saw that different syntactical constructions are witnessed. According to Deissmann, the evidences testify the cohesion and unity of Greek vocabulary all over the Mediterranean region; hence, we have in front of us an example of the linguistic phenomenon of Greek koinè30. Moreover, the usage of συναντιλαμβάνομαι in 3rd and 2nd century Ptolemaic papyri represents a clue in favour of the proximity between the language of papyri and that of the Septuagint. The lack of occurrences in classical Greek literature and, above all, in Philo and Josephus (except for one occurrence) could contribute to shed light on the translators’ social status. The Hellenistic word συναντιλαμβάνομαι belongs to the vocabulary of bureaucracy and of middle classes in Egypt, as we can observe in the occurrences in the papyri. These groups were well trained in writing Hellenistic Greek but they were not poets or philosophers and we can imagine that the Septuagint translators belonged to the same social status31. They were Jews of the Egyptian diaspora who wrote for their community. They were daily involved in the activities of the society of Alexandria from which they borrowed the linguistic trends. The translation συμβαστάσουσιν instead of the verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι in Theodotion and Symmachus in the case of Exod 18:22 (see above) makes this theory clearer. As their work is dated later than the Ptolemaic period, namely in Christian era, they translated the Hebrew word nāśāʾ with a vivid verb that would probably be more representative of the original meaning. On the contrary, συναντιλαμβάνομαι was not familiar to their lexicon. Is there a reason why the verb is so scarcely attested? This could be due to the problem of the exact usage of the term. In fact, other verbs, like the verb βοηθέω, 30 A. Deissmann, Licht vom Osten. Das Neue Testament und die neuentdeckten Texte der hellenistisch-römischen Welt, Tübingen: Mohr, 1908, 54–55, quotes the attestations of the verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι known at the end of the 19th century and concludes (55): “Wir können das Wort jedoch durch den Gesamtbereich der hellenistischen Mittelmeerwelt verfolgen.” 31 For this problem, see e. g. the following recent publications: A. Passoni Dell’Acqua, “Von der Kanzlei der Lagiden zur Synagoge. Das ptolemäische Vokabular und die Septuaginta”, M. Karrer, W. Kraus (eds.), Die Septuaginta – Texte, Kontexte, Lebenswelten. Internationale Fachtagung veranstaltet von Septuaginta Deutsch (LXX.D), Wuppertal 20.-23. Juli 2006 (WUNT 219), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008, 236–247, esp. 236; J. Joosten, “The Vocabulary of the Septuagint and its Historical Context”, E. Bons, J. Joosten (eds.), Septuagint Vocabulary. PreHistory, Usage, Reception (SCSt 58) Atlanta, GA.: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011, 1–11, esp. 6; J. Joosten, “Language as Symptom. Linguistic Clues to the Social Background of the Seventy”, J. Joosten, Collected Studies on the Septuagint. From Language to Interpretation and Beyond (FAT 83), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012, 185–194, esp. 188, 191–194; S. Pfeiffer, “Ägyptische Elemente im Griechischen der LXX”, E. Bons, J. Joosten (eds.), Die Sprache der Septuaginta – The Language of the Septuagint (Handbuch zur Septuagint  – Handbook of the Septuagint 3), Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2016, 231–245.

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“to help, to come to the aid of”, or συνεργάζομαι, “to work with, to cooperate”, had a larger semantic range. It might be kept in mind that the verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι was a term used in bureaucracy and in middle classes writings, while classical authors of the Hellenistic period appear to avoid it. This is probably the reason of the rarity of the verb. In conclusion, it should be recognized that the verb συναντιλαμβάνομαι, despite its uncommonness, can be taken as a useful clue word to study the relationship between the language of the Septuagint language and Ptolemaic papyri in the wide contest of the Greek koinè language. Furthermore, from a theological point of view, the study of συναντιλαμβάνομαι in Rom 8:26 – against the background of its use in Old Testament and New Testament – allows to better understand a subtle and fascinating trait of Christian belief in the Holy Spirit.

List of Contributors Eberhard Bons (Strasbourg) Miriam Carminati (Pavia / ​Bergamo) Anna Passoni Dell’Acqua (Milan) Marieke Dhont (Cambridge, UK) Justus Ghormley (Valparaiso, USA) Nesina Grütter (Basel) David S. Hasselbrook (Waverly, Iowa) Kyriakoula Papademetriou (Thessaloniki) Beatrice Perego (Olgiate Molgora, Italy) Patrick Pouchelle (Paris) Daniela Scialabba (Strasbourg)

Index of Ancient Sources 1. Greek Old Testament (LXX) Genesis 1:26 60 2–3 123 2:8, 10 123 3:23–24 123–124, 130 4:16 123 9:22–23 19–20 12:17 10 13:18 8 18:14 9 21:17 91 24:2 61 30:8 135 34:14 92 34:24 92 42:9, 12 19 44:1–2 50 45:26 59 Exodus 2:24 91 3:20 37–38 6:5 91 7:5 38 9:15 37–38 15:10 40 15:15 60 15:24 81, 88 15:24–17:3 93 15:25 81 16 93 16:2 81–82, 88 16:3 82, 86, 88 16:7 80–81, 84, 86–87, 90–91 16:7–8 82, 88 16:8 81, 86, 90–91 16:9 90–91

16:12 90–91 16:13–15 86 16:19–20 93 16:22 61 16:27–30 93 16:31 86 17:2 87, 88, 93 17:3 81, 83, 86–88 17:4 88 17:6 86 17:7 87, 93 18:22 136–137 22:22 91 22:26 91 24:11 33, 41 27:11 48 31:4 51 31:14 51 32:1–35 93 35:32 51 Leviticus 5:15 47 10:1–2 93 18 28–29 18:6–19 22 18:21 62 20 29 20:18–21 22 25:21 40 25:35 9 26:13 113 Numbers 1:44 60 7:84–85 50 11:1 83, 84, 86–87 11:1–3 93

146 11:4–13 93 11:17 136–137 11:18–20 93 11:31–34 89, 93 12:1–3 93 13:26–33 93 14:1–2 82 14:1–4 93 14:2 81, 86 14:4 82, 89 14:10 93 14:13 89 14:22 93 14:23 86 14:27 83, 86–87 14:29 83, 86–87 14:36 81–82 16:1–3 82 16:1–50 84 16:11 81–82, 85 16:41 83, 85 16:41–50 85 16:46–49 85 17:5 83 20:2–5 89 20:3–5 93 20:16 91 21:5 89 21:6 89 21:3 91 24:6 124 25:15 62 27:14 90 30:2 62 Deuteronomy 1:27 80–82, 84 1:45 91 3:26 91 6:5–6 92 6:16 87, 93 7:25 51 8:2–5 87 8:15–16 87 9:19 91 9:22 87 10:10 91 11:10 127 11:13 92

Index of Ancient Sources

15:6 59 17:8 10 17:14–20 62 19:9 92 20:3 61 20:9 61 23:6 91 24:1 23, 26 24:14 24 26:7 91 28:8 40 28:48 87 29:16 51 29:22 40 30:2 92 30:10 92 30:16–17 92 30:20 92 32:24 87 32:51 90 33:2 114 33:7 91 Joshua 1:14 81 5:14–15 70 9:15 61 9:18 81–82, 88 9:19 82 11:10 59 Judges 1:14 80, 83 6:10 92 8:23 65 9:22 59 15:18 87 15:19 87 16:5 47 17:3–4 51 Ruth 1:9

93 (note 43)

1 Kingdoms (1 Samuel) 1:10 60 2 Kingdoms (2 Samuel) 8:10–11 50

Index of Ancient Sources

3 Kingdoms (1 Kings) 8:29ff 91 11:14 61 11:15 61 21:2 [1 Kings 20:2] 127 4 Kingdoms (2 Kings) 2:21 99 21:18 129 1 Chronicles 5:15 61 18:10–11 50 22:14 51 27:5 61 29:2 51 29:12 66 2 Chronicles 2:6 51 14:10 9 20:6 67 31:10 61 32:6 61 33:20 129 34:8 60 2 Esdras (Ezra + Nehemiah) 1:6–11 51 1:11 49 12:8 123 13:14 60 Esther 1:3 61 1:14 60 7:7–8 128 8:12–13 113 Judith 4:13 91 5:22 83 13:18 61 1 Maccabees 1:29 61 4:18 113 2 Maccabees 14:23 76

3 Maccabees 4:1 113 7:12 113 4 Maccabees 10:5 113 Psalms 1:3 95–102 5:3 91 11[12]:6 113 18[19]:13 69 21[22]:29 68 32[33]:18–19 89 33[34]:11 87 (note 22) 36[37]:4 114 36[37]:11 114 36[37]:25 87 (note 22) 38[39]:13 91 45[46]:5 98 54[55]:17 91 54[55]:21 34 57[58]:8 97 58[59]:14 68 58[59]:16 83 64[65]:10 98 65[66]:7 68 77[78]:17–31 89 79[80]:1 114 79[80]:11 101 88[89]:10 68 88[89]:22 136–137 93[94]:1 113–114 94[95]:8–9 87 102[103]:19 68 104[105]:20–21 69 104[105]:40–41 86–87, 88 (note 23) 105[106]:14–15 89 105[106]:25 83 105[106]:32–33 90 105[106]:41 69 106[107]:33, 35 99 110[111]:5 89 113:12[115:4] 51 137[138]:7 36–37 140[141]:1 91 143[144]:7 36 144[145]:15–16 89



Index of Ancient Sources

Proverbs 1:20 113–114 5:16 97 10:3 87 10:10 113 13:5 113 20:9 113 21:1 98 22:7 59 22:8 75 30:20 76 31:10–23 26 Ecclesiastes 2:5

123, 128–129

Canticles 4:13 34, 123, 129 (note 24) 5:4 33 Job 1:9–12 34–35 2:5 34–35 4:4 9 4:8 75–76, 78 9:16 91 10:17 11 11:11 75 12:6 11 22:26 114 27:6 75 27:10 113–115 31:14 11 33:26 91 34:12 75 35:12 91 35:13 75 36:10 91 36:21 75 42:2 10 Wisdom of Solomon 5:1 113 7:9 49 12:9 10 13:10 49 13:16 9

Sirach 3:5 91 6:11 113 7:3 75 10:25 83 22:25 113 24:30 122 25:22 25–26 25:25 101 34[31]:24 80–82, 84, 88 40:27B 123–124 Psalms of Solomon 7:1 8 Hosea 2:9(11) 26, 28–29 9:17 91 13:2 51 Amos 4:9 127 9:24 128 5:21–22 92 Micah 1:11 19 3:7 91 6:6–8 92 Joel 2:3

124 (note 19), 130

Nahum 3:5

14–16, 19, 26, 28–29

Zechariah 8:6 10 11:12–13 50, 55 Malachi 3:16 91 Isaiah 1:10 60 1:11–14 92 1:15 91 1:23 63 1:29 128

Index of Ancient Sources

1:30 124 3:14–15 64 5:13 87 8:15 9 8:21 63 9:5 70 14:5 64 19:22 91 29:13 92 29:24 83 30:12 83 30:25 97 32:2 97 33:16 87 33:22 64–65 47:3 14–17, 19, 27–28 51:3 123, 130 (note 25) 61:11 128 63:19 65 65:3 128 65:13 87 66:11 114 66:17 128 Jeremiah 10:1–11 53 14:12 91–92 18:19 91 36:5 (Jer 29:5MT) 125, 129 36:28 (Jer 29:28MT) 125, 130 Baruch 2:14 91

Lamentations 1:8 28–29 3:39 83 Epistle of Jeremiah 10 53 57 53 Ezechiel 2:9 40 8:3 40 16:7, 22, 29 19 16:36–37 14–16, 27–29 16:39 27 16:57 29 22:10 19–20 22:20–22 51 23:10, 18, 29 14–16, 27–29 23:29 19, 27 28:13 130 31:8 130 31:8–9 124, 130 31:9 130 34:26 40 36:35 130 Susanna 7LXX/Theod 130 58LXX 130 Daniel 10:12 91 10:13 70 10:20 70

2. New Testament Matthew 6:11 88, 89 6:25–33 89 20:11 84 27:9–10 55 Mark 8:32 115–116

10:40 138 13:19 128 (note 22) 15:2 86 19:7 86 23:4 73 23:41 72–79 23:43 123 (note 10) 23:47 73

Luke 5:30 84

John 6:41 85



Index of Ancient Sources

6:42 85 6:43 85 6:60 85 6:61 85 7:4 115 7:32 85 11:54 115 16:25 115–116 18:1, 26 128 (note 22) 18:20 116 19:41 128 (note 22) Acts 4:13 116 4:29 116 4:30 41 6:1 86 9:27 116 13:46 116 14:3 116 19:19 54 19:24 54–55 28:31 116 Romans 8:26 139 1 Corinthians 1:12 84 4:1 84 4:14–16 84 10:10 84 14:21 92

7:4 116 12:4 123 (note 10) Ephesians 3:12 115–116 6:19 116 6:20 116 Philippians 1:20 116 Colossians 2:15 115 1 Thessalonians 2:2 116 1 Timothy 3:13 116 Philemon 8 115–116 Hebrews 3:6 115 4:16 115–116 10:19 115, 119 1 John 2:28 116 3:21 116 5:14 115 Revelation 2:7

2 Corinthians 3:12 116

123 (note 10)

3. Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Aristobulus fr. 1, l.64

37–38, 40

Letter of Aristeas (Ep. Arist.) 32 12 46 1

123 138 176 1 179 6 Testament of Gad 7.3 12

Index of Ancient Sources

4. Jewish-​Hellenistic Literature 7.379 54 11.136 54 15.239 110 15.240 110

Flavius Josephus Antiquitates Judaicae 2.131 110 3.102 54 3.109 54 4.198 138 4.210 110 7.377 54

Philo of Alexandria De specialibus legibus 4.173 137

5. Greek Literature Aeschylus


Septem contra Thebas 200–201 107 230–232 107

De corona 18.16 11

Aristophanes Aves 159 126 Nubes 271 126 Plutus 809–814 44 Aristotle Ethica Nicomachea 1179a 75 Historia animalium 617b23–24 126 De partibus animalium 668a11–19 126 Ps.-​Aristotle Oeconomica 2.1350b 43 Athenaeus Deipnosophistae 12.11.13 120 (note 6), 121 14.69.15–18 130

Epitaphius 26 108 Philippica 3 9.3 108 Ps.-Demosthenes In Evergum et Mnesibulum 53.5 126 Diodorus Siculus Bibliotheca historica 3.37.8 130 3.63.3 130 11.13.1 133 14.8.2 133 16.41.4–5 120 Dionysius of Halicarnassus Antiquitates Romanae 7.72.13 44 Epistula ad Pompeium Geminum 6.8.2 11 Diogenes Laertius Vitae philosophorum 3.5.9 126


152 5.52.9–10 126 10.17.6 126 Euripides Bacchae 478, fr. 1048,4 10 668–669 and 673 108 Electra 777 126 1049–1057 108 Hippolytus 421–424 107 424–425 108

Index of Ancient Sources

Lucian Imagines 4.13 126 Philodemus De libertate loquendi 39.7–15 133 Pindar Olympia 3.24 125 Plato

Ion 670–675 107

Cratylus 410d 10

Iphigenia Taurica 482 75

Critias 112b 126 117c 126

Orestes 902–905 109 Phoenissae 391–392 107 Herodotus Historiae 8.138.10 Homer Ilias 8.306 125 21.258 125 Odyssea 4.737 125 5.320 98 7.129 125 24.227 125 Hyperides In Demosthenem 6.26.27 126

Epistulae 333c 74 Gorgias 487a–b 108 Ion 534a 126 Leges 835c 109 903b 58 Meno 86d 57 Phaedo 111d 100 Phaedrus 230c 74 276d 126 Philebus 49a 74


Respublica 493c 74 557b 106 599a 12

Panathenaicus 96 108

Symposium 203b 126


Index of Ancient Sources

Timaeus 77c 126 Plutarch Conjugalia praecepta 145E 74–75 De adulatore et amico 51C 109 65F–74E 112 De liberis educandis 2A–D 110 Demetrius 50.8 121 Lycurgus 6.3 105 Pompeius 45.3 44 Quaestiones conviviales 5.1 44 Quomodo adolescens poetas audire debeat 2.27F 74

12.2.8 100 15.3.21 44 16.1.5 126 16.1.13 101 Theophrastus Characteres 20.9.2 126 Historia plantarum 5.8.1 121 6.7.3 126 Theopompus Testimonia FGrH # 115,8


Thucydides Historiae 3.38.5 74 6.8.1 43 Xenophon Anabasis 1.2.7 120 3.4.35 8

Polybius Historiae 2.38.6 109 5.88.5 44 Strabo Geographica 11.14.13 100

Cyropaedia 1.3.14 120 Hellenica 4.1.15 121 Oeconomicus 4.13 121 4.14 120

6. Inscriptions, Ostraca, and Papyri Inscriptions



Agora 16 224[1]


IvP I 224


AM II 905


OGIS 267.26




SEG 13.458


IG V,1 547 IG XII,5 860

111 111

3 412.5 134

SIG SIG3 627.15



Index of Ancient Sources

Ostraca O.Narm 2,13–14



P.Hamb. I.60.3


P.Hib.1.82 134

Papyri BGU 2.455 BGU 3.757 BGU 4.1125

P.Flor. 2.262

127 77 13, (note 55)

P.Brem.2rp 77–78 P.Col. 3.9


P.Cair.Zen. 1.59033 P.Cair.Zen. 1.59075 P.Cair.Zen. 2.59156 P.Cair.Zen. 2.59184 P.Cair.Zen. 3.59315 P.Cair.Zen. 3.59397 P.Cair.Zen. 4.59482 P.Cair.Zen. 4.59484 P.Cair.Zen. 4.59690 P.Cair.Zen. 4.59727

122 130 127 122 135 133 77–78 76, 78 122–123 127

P.Chester Beatty IX–X = Papyrus 967 1 P.Duke.inv. 727r


PEnteux 26,3 = SelPap II, 268


P.Eleph. 1.6


P.Iand,inv. 480 = SB VIII, 9660


P.Lond. 137


P.Mich. 1.3 57 P.Mich. 8.502 111 P.Mich.18.770 134 P.Ness. 3.16


P.Petr. 1.16(2) P.Petr. 2.19 fr. 1A P.Petr. P.Petr. 3.43 fr. 3rp

122 76–78 89 78

P.Sorb. 1.9


P.Tebt. 3.1.701 122 P.Tebt. 3.1.703 121 P.Tebt. 3.1.709 133 P.Tebt. 3.1.777 135 P.Tebt.3.762 101 P.Yadin 18

6 (note 27)

UPZ 1.5 UPZ 1.6

77–78 77

Index of Greek Words ἀδυνατέω ​9–10 αἰσχύνη ​14–15, 18–24, 27 αἰσχύνομαι ​116 ἀναδενδράς ​101 ἀντιλαμβάνομαι ​132–133 ἀντιλήμπτωρ ​137 ἀπαρακλήτως ​135 ἀποκάλυψις ​19, 22 ἀποσκηνόω ​8 ἀποστέλλω ​30–40 ἀργύριον ​42–46, 48, 50–55 ἄργυρος ​43–44, 49, 53–54 ἀργυροῦς ​48–51, 54 ἀρχιστράτηγος ​70 ἄρχω ​56–61, 65–66 ἄρχων ​56–71 ἄσχημον πρᾶγμα ​25 ἀσχημοσύνη ​14–15, 18–23, 26–28 ἀτιμία ​106 ἄτοπος ​73–79 βασιλεύς ​58, 62–64, 67, 71 βοηθέω ​140–141

ἐξέτασις ​12 ἐξετασμός ​11, 13 ἐξεταστέος ​12 ἐξιχνιάζω ​12 ἐπαισχύνομαι ​116 ἐτάζω ​10–13 ἔτασις ​11 ἐτασμός ​10 ἡγούμενος ​64, 66 ἰσηγορία ​106 ἴχνος ​19 κακία ​29 κατακυριεύω ​69 κατατρυφάω ​114 καύχησις ​116 κῆπος ​123–131 κυριεύω ​65, 68–69 μεγαλύνομαι ​116

γογγύζω ​80–81, 83, 87–89, 92–93 γύμνωσις ​19–20

ὁρμή ​98 ὅρμημα ​98

δεσπόζω ​68–69 δεσπότης ​69, 71 διαγογγύζω ​80–86, 88, 92– 93 διαπορεύομαι ​97 διέξοδος ​95–96, 99–102

παράδεισος ​118–124, 128–131 παρρησία ​103–117 παρρησιάζομαι ​114 παρρησιαστής ​108 πηγή ​99 ποιέω ​75 πολυδένδρος ​125 ποταμός ​98–99 πράσσω ​75

εἰσακούω ​90–91 ἐκκλησία ​106–107 ἐκτείνω ​33–37, 39 ἐλευθερία ​106 ἐλπίς ​116 ἐμφαίνομαι ​114 ἐξαποστέλλω ​31–33, 37–40

στρατηγός ​70 συναντιλαμβάνομαι ​132–141 συνεργάζομαι ​141

156 τρυφάω ​114 τρυφή ​123–124, 130 φέρω ​136

Index of Greek Words

χείρ ​30, 32–40 χρυσίον ​43, 52 χρυσός ​49, 52–53

Index of Hebrew Words ‫ בחן‬bāḥan ​11 ‫ בׁשת‬bōšæt ​19 ‫ גלה‬gālāh ​28–29 ‫ גן‬gan / ​‫ גנה‬gannāh ​123–125, 127–130 ‫ דרׁש‬dāraš ​11 ‫ זהב‬zāhāb ​ 49–50, 52–53, 55 ‫ זנה‬zôōnāh ​ 17 ‫ חקר‬ḥāqar ​ 11 ‫ חרפה‬ḥærpāh ​19 ‫ יפע‬yāpaʿ ​ 114 ‫ כון‬kûn ​136 ‫ כסף‬kæsæp ​42, 47–53 ‫ לון‬lûn ​80 ‫ מוט‬mûṭ ​ 9 ‫ מלך‬mælæk ​62 ‫ מער‬maʿar ​14–15, 18, 20 ‫ מׁשל‬mōšēl ​61

‫ נהר‬nāhār ​98–99 ‫ נׂשא‬nāśāʾ ​ 136, 140 ‫ נׂשיא‬nāśîʾ ​59, 61–62 ‫ ענג‬ʿānag ​114 ‫ ערוה‬ʿærwāh ​14–20 ‫ עריה‬ʿæryāh ​14–16, 18–20, 29 ‫ פלא‬pālāʾ ​ 9–10 ‫ פלג‬pælæg ​95–98, 100 ‫ פרדס‬pardēs ​123–124, 128–130 ‫ קלון‬qālôn ​19 ‫ קוממיות‬kômemiyyût ​ 113 ‫ ראׁש‬roʾš ​61–62 ‫ רגן‬rāgan ​ 80 ‫ ׂשר‬śar ​61, 70 ‫ ׂשרר‬śōrēr ​70 ‫ ׁשלוה‬šalwāh ​11 ‫ ׁשלח‬šālaḥ ​31–40