The Euphemist

Reflections on Jewish Studies and many other subjects big and little, by a perpetual student who sometimes searches a little too long for just the right word ...

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Christian, truth seeker, husband, son, brother & uncle, Lutheran pastor, musician (cello, etc.), Jewish Studies grad student, intellectual historian, aquarium enthusiast & pet owner, philologist, astronomer, Norwegian-American, Ford pickup driver, buffoon.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Genesis 4 LXX

Verse 7 is really, really different. In the NIV it reads: (the LORD speaking to Cain) "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." In Brenton's side-margin translation of the LXX, it reads: "Hast thou not sinned if thou hast brought it [the sacrifice] rightly, but not rightly divided it? be still, to thee shall be his submission, and thou shalt rule over him." Hmm.

Unlike in our familiar versions, Cain seems genuinely repentant in verse 13, Kai eipe Kain pros Kyrion ton Theon, meizOn hE aitia mou tou aphethEnai me, "And Cain said to the Lord God, My crime is too great for me to be forgiven." Compare NIV: "My punishment is more than I can bear."

Lamech also seems remarkably remorseful in comparison to our familiar versions. Verse 23: hoti andra apekteina eis trauma emoi, kai neaniskon eis mOlOpa emoi, "I have slain a man to my sorrow and a youth to my grief." Compare NIV: "I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me."

The standard rendering of the Divine Name YHVH seems to be Kyrios ho Theos, hyperliterally "Lord the God", more customarily rendered "The Lord God."


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