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Archive for the 'Septuagint' Category

Some Septuagint Updates

12th July 2006

I have made a few updates to my Annotated Guide to the LXX. Among the updates, you may find the full listing of all the critical editions of the Septuagint useful. It includes all of the Göttingen Septuagint volumes as well as the “Larger Cambridge Septuagint” volumes.

Posted in Codex Updates, Septuagint | 3 Comments »

Septuagint Institute Website

28th June 2006

The Septuagint Institute at Trinity Western University and ACTS Seminary has a new website. It has information about the Institute as well as announcements about upcoming events. Check it out.

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Revised Septuaginta Soon to be Published

9th June 2006

Wieland Willker on the Text Criticism list has alerted us to a revised edition of Rahlfs Septuagina to be published later this summer by the German Bible Society. The revision was done by Robert Hanhart and includes over a thousand minor corrrections and supplements to Rahlfs’ edition.

Rahlfs-Hanhart_LXX.jpgHere is the information from the German Bible Society:

Septuaginta (Das Alte Testament Griechisch)
Edited by Alfred Rahlfs
Editio altera (= 2., durchgesehene und verbesserte Auflage),
Edited by Robert Hanhart
12 x 18.4 cm
LXXIV + 2127 pages
ISBN 3438051192
€ 46.00

In an article published by Robert Hanhart last year (“Rechenschaftsbericht zur editio altera der Handausgabe der Septuaginta von Alfred Rahlfs” Vetus Testamentum 55 [2005] 450-60), it was made clear that this would only be a minor revision that will leave Rahlfs’ base text substantially intact.

This new “Rahlfs-Hanhart” edition will be out in July 2006.

Posted in Reviews & Notices, Septuagint, Text Criticism | Comments Off

Another New LXX Book: The Legend of the Septuagint

6th June 2006

Legend_Septuagint.jpgThere is a new book on the Septuagint that focuses on the legends surrounding its origins (the Letter of Aristeas), as well as its reception history:

The Legend of the Septuagint: From Classical Antiquity to Today, Abraham Wasserstein and David J. Wasserstein (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006; Buy from | Buy from

Here is the blurb from the Cambridge site:

The Septuagint is the most influential of the Greek versions of the Torah. The exact circumstances of its creation are uncertain, but different versions of a legend about the translation have existed since antiquity. Begun with the Letter of Aristeas, the legend describes how Ptolemy Philadelphus (285 247 BCE) commissioned 72 Jewish scribes to translate the sacred Hebrew scriptures for his library in Alexandria. The Letter and subsequent variations on the story recount how the scribes, working independently, produced word-for-word, identical Greek versions. The story has been adapted and changed for many reasons: to tell a story, to explain historical events, and – most frequently – to lend authority to the Greek text for the institutions that used it. This book offers the first account of all of these versions over the last two millennia, providing a history of the uses and abuses of the legend in various cultures around the Mediterranean.

Here is the table of contents for the volume. As you can see, it covers an impressive amount of material.

  1. The Letter of Aristeas
  2. The Hellenistic Jewish tradition
  3. The Rabbis and the Greek Bible
  4. The Ptolemaic changes
  5. The church fathers and the translation of the Septuagint
  6. Among the Christians in the Orient
  7. The Muslims and the Septuagint
  8. Yosippon and the story of the seventy
  9. Karaites, Samaritans and Rabbanite Jews in the Middle Ages
  10. The Septuagint in the Renaissance and the modern world

It looks quite interesting; I just may have to order it. (via the b-greek list).

Posted in Reviews & Notices, Septuagint | Comments Off

New Septuagint Volume

2nd June 2006

Septuagint_Research.jpgWhen I was in Toronto for CSBS, I went to the annual Pietersma picnic and caught up with the likes of Claude Cox, Tony Michael, Cameron Boyd-Taylor, Paul McLean, Wade White, and, of course, Al Pietersma. We talked briefly about a recent volume on the Septuagint in which Pietersma, Boyd-Taylor, and White contributed:

Septuagint Research: Issues And Challenges in the Study of the Greek Jewish Scriptures, Wolfgang Kraus and R. Glenn Wooden, eds. (Septuagint and Cognate Studies Series 53; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2006; Buy from | Buy from

Here is the table of contents for the volume. As you can see, it covers a fair range of topics.


  • “Concerning the LXX as Translation and/or Interpretation Contemporary ‘Septuagint’ Research: Issues and Challenges in the Study of the Greek Jewish Scriptures” by Wolfgang Kraus and R. Glenn Wooden
  • “In a Mirror, Dimly- Reading the Septuagint as a Document of Its Times” by Cameron Boyd-Taylor
  • “Exegesis in the Septuagint: Possibilities and Limits (The Psalter as a Case in Point)” by Albert Pietersma
  • “Translation as Scripture: The Septuagint in Aristeas and Philo” by Benjamin G. Wright III
  • “Contemporary Translations of the Septuagint: Problems and Perspectives ” by Wolfgang Kraus

Issues Concerning Individual LXX Books

  • “The Hermeneutics of Translation in the Septuagint of Genesis” by Robert J. V. Hiebert
  • “Reconstructing the OG of Joshua” by Kristin de Troyer
  • “Interlinearity in 2 Esdras: A Test Case” by R. Glenn Wooden
  • “A Devil in the Making: Isomorphism and Exegesis in OG Job 1:8b” by Wade Albert White
  • “The Jewish and the Christian Greek Versions of Amos” by Aaron Schart
  • LXX/OG Zechariah 1-6 and the Portrayal of Joshua Centuries after the Restoration of the Temple” by Patricia Ahearne-Kroll

Comprehensive Issues and Problems Concerning Several LXX Books

  • “Messianism in the Septuagint” by Heinz-Josef Fabry
  • “Idol Worship in Bel and the Dragon and Other Jewish Literature from the Second Temple Period” by Claudia Bergmann
  • “From ‘Old Greek’ to the Recensions: Who and What Caused the Change of the Hebrew Reference Text of the Septuagint?” by Siegfried Kreuzer
  • “Towards a Theology of the Septuagint” by Martin Roesel

Reception History of the LXX in Early Judaism and Christianity

  • “The Letters of Paul as Witnesses to and for the Septuagint Text” by Florian Wilk
  • “Flourishing Bones — The Minor Prophets in the New Testament” by Helmut Utzschneider
  • “Abandonment and Suffering” by Stephen Ahearne-Kroll
  • “The Septuagint Textual Tradition in 1 Peter” by Karen H. Jobes
  • “The Epistle to the Hebrews and the Septuagint” by Martin Karrer
  • “Observations on the Wirkungsgeschichte of the Septuagint Psalms in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity” by Ralph Brucker
  • “Textual Variants as a Result of Enculturation: The Banishment of the Demon in Tobit” by Beate Ego

UPDATE: I just noticed the Evangelical Text Criticism blog has a notice of this work as well (without the table of contents, but with a blurb).

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Snoring: Biblical and Otherwise (The Real Reason for Jonah’s Flight)

10th January 2006

I have finally figured out why Jonah took off to Tarshish when God told him to go to Nineveh! Jonah wasn’t being disobedient to God, he was just obeying a higher authority — his wife Anak! I have it on good evidence that Jonah’s wife evidently kicked him out of bed because of his snoring! At least that is my theory based on the Septuagint translation of Jonah 1:5-6!

My theory has nothing to do with the fact that I snore a little bit. OK, full confession: I snore really loud — just ask my wife or my kids! In order to gain some appreciation for how loud I snore, let me provide two illustrations. (1) As many of you know, I recently moved into a new house — a new house with a spare bedroom upstairs (also know as the “snoring room”). One night I had been sent to the snoring room and subsequently fell fast asleep. For some reason, in the middle of the night my wife had to go downstairs. She discovered that in the middle of the night she could hear my snoring everywhere in the house! (2) Last spring when I was in Toronto, I stayed at a good friend’s house. I ended up sleeping in his kids’ playroom. I am told that in the middle of the night his oldest son woke up and heard a horrible growling noise coming from the playroom. He ran to his parents’ room scared and told them all about the monster in his playroom. (Just in case you need the dots connected, I was the monster and my snoring was the growling. Also, don’t worry — I don’t have sleep apnea.)

Anyway… back to Jonah and my amazing theory. The Hebrew of Jonah 1:5 is pretty standard. Jonah takes off and boards a ship and goes down to the hold to catch a few zees. I guess it isn’t that boring since his sleep is described as רד×?, which is typically rendered as “deep sleep” or even “trance” (the cognate nominal is used in Genesis 2:21 to describe Adam’s Yahweh-induced sleep when having his rib removed). What I find interesting is how the Septuagint translates רד×? with the verb ῥέγχω “snore.” And Jonah’s snoring was apparently loud enough for the captain of the ship to hear him from above deck as he comes down to Jonah and asks him what is he doing snoring when a life threatening storm has been thrown to the Sea by Yahweh.

So, the moral of the story is if you snore, you’re in good company! Even the prophet Jonah snored… and we all know what a paragon of faithfulness and mercy he was!

Posted in Humour, Jonah, Personal, Septuagint | 1 Comment »

TWU Septuagint Institute Press Release

24th August 2005

I originally announced the creation of the Septuagint Institute at Trinity Western University back in July (“Septuagint Institute at TWU/ACTS“). I just received my invitation to the the official Septuagint Institute inauguration as well as the special dinner; I know it would be quite a drive (11 hours), though I may attend if ony to touch base with Pietersma.

The following Press Release (via 24-7PressRelease) has quite a bit of good information, so I think it is worth quoting in full:

Translating history: TWU and ACTS now North America’s hub for Septuagint studies

/24-7PressRelease/ – LANGLEY, BC, CANADA, August 24, 2005 ”The Septuagint, the earliest Greek translation of the Old Testament and the Bible of the early Christian church, was one of the key religious texts in the third century B.C. ”and it’s soon to have a high profile in western Canada. On September 17, Vancouver’s Trinity Western University launches the Septuagint Institute, a hub for Septuagint research, translation, and publication projects.

Even prior to the official inauguration, the Institute has received national support. Until recently, the place to go for Septuagint studies in Canada was the University of Toronto. Now two Toronto professors—among the world’s foremost authorities on the Septuagint—are donating their personal libraries to the next generation of researchers in ancient Greek texts at TWU and ACTS, making Langley a flagship for such scholarship in not only in Canada, but in North America. One of the Toronto Septuagintalists, Professor Albert Pietersma, will be giving a lecture at the Institute’s inauguration. Other speakers will include Professor Emanuel Tov of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, also a Septuagint specialist and the Editor-in-Chief of the recently completed Dead Sea Scrolls publication project, and ACTS Professor Robert Hiebert, Ph.D., Director of the new Septuagint Institute.

“The launch of the Septuagint Institute is a truly historic event,” says Hiebert, “not only for our campus, but also for Canadian and international biblical scholarship. This new research centre is the only one of its kind in North America, which makes it vital since the Septuagint is such an important part of Jewish and Christian history in the Graeco-Roman period.”

Hiebert, who reads Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, and Latin, as well as German and French, has spent much of his academic career to date in Septuagint research. He and three other TWU and ACTS professors have recently completed translating portions of the Septuagint into English. These specialists are part of an international team of more than thirty scholars working on the entire corpus of the Greek Jewish Scriptures. It is the first such English version in 160 years. Called the New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS), the text reflects both the wealth of manuscript evidence that has been brought to light since the 19th century and, of course, current English idiom. The complete translation is scheduled for publication in 2006 (Oxford University Press), though provisional editions of more than twenty Septuagint books are now accessible online (

Hiebert says that knowledge of the differences between the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek Septuagint contributes to an understanding of the Bible’s transmission and interpretation history. “One example involves the description of Enoch in the book of Genesis,” he says. “The Hebrew Bible reports that he walked with God, while the Septuagint states interpretatively that he was well pleasing to God, which is precisely how the New Testament puts it.” Citing instances in which the Septuagint of Genesis reflects cultural shifts, he mentions the story of Rebekah’s betrothal. The Hebrew text says that the gifts she received included a nose ring, but the Septuagint reads earrings “because nose rings weren’t part of the fashion scene in third century B.C. Alexandria, Egypt where the translation likely took place.”

SI is expected to complement TWU’s already established Dead Sea Scrolls Institute (DSSI) which was established in 1995.

“Having the Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint Institutes at the same university makes a lot of sense,” says Hiebert. “Both Hebrew and Greek texts provide important parts of the picture of how the Bible came about and, in fact, often represent distinctive vantage points from which that picture may be viewed. Yet some very interesting convergences also become evident as one investigates those textual histories.”

“We have people qualified in both areas,” he continues. “The creation of the DSSI was an intentional move by the university from the outset, but the idea for the SI really began to develop once we started to notice how many people with expertise in Septuagint research had found their way to this campus. When you consider how much the University of Toronto’s Septuagint Studies program accomplished with only two experts in the field while we have four, it gets really exciting.”

Those in the Greater Vancouver area are invited to attend the official Septuagint Institute inauguration on September 17, 2005 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at TWU in the Northwest Auditorium. Contact: (604) 513-2121 x.3866;

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,500 students this year. With a broad based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 38 major areas of study ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 14 other graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership. For more information:, (604) 888-7511

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New St. Catherine Monastery Website

22nd August 2005

The Holy Monastery of St. Catherine at Mount Sinai now has a very nice looking official website. The website is currently only in modern Greek, though English and Arabic versions are in the works.

The site contains information about the monastery as well as a great collection of photographs of the monastery, surrounding areas, iconography, and some of their manuscripts. It only has one page on Codex Sinaiticus that I could find, that provides a bit of history of the manuscript and a small picture. (Alexander Schick/Stephen Goranson via Textual Criticism list)

Posted in News, Septuagint, Sinaiticus, Uncategorized | Comments Off

Tendenz and Translation: The Importance of Knowing the Character of a Manuscript for Textual Criticism

20th August 2005

One of the toughest jobs for textual critics is knowing the tendenz or proclivities of the manuscripts or versions they are using for textual reconstruction. This step requires an enormous amount of work that entails an intensive study of a manuscript. Often, I fear, this work is not done and variants are studies in isolation without a sufficient knowledge of the manuscripts themselves. One of the reasons it is not done is that it is a daunting task that few can accomplish. So when someone does this work, it is a great service to the scholarly community (We should thank God for the Kittels, Wevers, Alands, Metzgers of the world!).

This sort of painstaking text critical work has now been done on the Qumran Psalms Scroll (11QPsa). As I mentioned in a previous post, I am working through Ulrich Dahmen’s Psalmen- und Psalter-Rezeption im Fruehjudentum: Rekonstrucktion, Textbestand, Sturktur und Pragmatik der Psalmen Rolle 11QPsa aus Qumran (Brill, 2003; Buy from or

In this third chapter, Dahmen works through all of the variants between 11QPsa and the Masoretic Book of Psalms. From this analysis he draws a number of conclusions. First, he concludes that 11QPsa is clearly dependent on and secondary to the proto-Masoretic Psalter (Something which I have been arguing for many years). That is, almost all of the places where 11QPsa has an alternative reading compared to the MT Psalter, the reading in 11QPsa is later. What is more, Dahmen argues that when all of the variants are considered together (and this is the crucial step of gaining the big picture) some patterns begin to appear. While I will not bore you with the details (and Dahmen notes many details), the most important characteristic are the number of features which connect the scroll with the other texts and themes common to the Qumran community. This is one of the things that is meant when taking about a manuscript’s tendenz.

Knowing the tendenz of 11QPsa provides some critical purchase when making text-criticical decisions. What Dahmen’s research means in practical terms is that 11QPsa is of limited use for textual criticism of the MT book of Psalms. That doesn’t mean it is of no value. Dahmen highlights a couple places where 11QPsa preserves a better reading than the MT. The best example is with the missing nun verse in the acrostic Psalm 145 (an acrostic is a poem that is organized according to the alphabet). In the MT tradition the psalm is clearly missing a verse because its acrostic skips from mem to samech (between vv. 13-14). Well, before 11QPsa was discovered scholars knew something was up and often used the LXX to reconstruct the missing verse. When the Psalms Scroll was discovered, lo and behold, the nun verse was recovered. As it turns out, the two texts (LXX and 11QPsa) preserved similar readings:
πιστὸς κύριος ἐν τοῖς λόγοις αὐτοῦ καὶ ὅσιος ἐν πᾶσι τοῖς ἔργοις αὐτοῦ
The Lord is faithful in all his words, and devout in all his deeds

× ×?מן ×?לוהי×? בדבריו וחסיד בכול מעשיו
God is faithful in his words, and gracious in all his deeds

You’ll notice a slight difference between the LXX use of “Lord” while 11QPsa employs “God.” A number of factors suggest that the LXX preserves the better reading. First, when looking at the rest of Psalm, it almost exclusively employs Yahweh. Second, one of the things that Dahmen uncovered in his analysis is that 11QPsa tends to substitute other terms for Yahweh. What evidently happened is that some time in the transmission of the Masoretic text of the book of Psalms, this verse dropped out. The LXX and 11QPsa both preserved the original line, though the LXX preserved the better text in regards to the name used for God.

The moral of this story is that before you can evaluate a textual variant, you need to know the tendenz of the text. Otherwise you’ll miss the forest for the trees.

Posted in Dead Sea Scrolls, Psalms, Reviews & Notices, Septuagint, Text Criticism, Translation Theory | Comments Off

The LXX Psalm Superscriptions (Part 4) Situational Ascriptions

14th August 2005

This is the fourth of a series of entries on the superscriptions in the Greek Psalter. Previous entries include “The Septuagint Psalm Superscriptions (Part 1),” “The Septuagint Psalm Superscriptions (Part 2): Personal Names and Notions of Authorship,” and “The Septuagint Psalm Superscriptions (Part 3): Liturgical Notices.”

[Note: I have removed the diacritical marks in the Greek text since it wasn't displaying properly in some browsers.]

Situational Ascriptions in the Superscriptions

The final category that I want to discuss in this series are the additions and expansions of the situational ascriptions in the LXX Psalter. In the Hebrew Bible the situational notices relate individual psalms to some event in David’s life:

Psalm Situation Passage
3 David’s flight from Absalom 2 Sam 15-18
7 Concerning Cush, a Benjaminite (= Hushai the Archite? 2 Sam 17) ?
18 Deliverance from all his enemies and from Saul 2 Sam 22
34 Feigned madness before Abimelech 1 Sam 21:1-15
51 Nathan’s confrontation over Bathsheba 2 Sam 12
52 The betrayal of Doeg the Edomite 1 Sam 21:2-10; 22:9-10
54 The Ziphites’ betrayal of David to Saul 1 Sam 23:14-28
56 When the Philistines seized him in Gath 1 Sam 21:10-15; 27:1-12
57 Flight from Saul into the cave 1 Sam 22:1-2, 24:1-7
59 Saul’s surveillance of David’s house 1 Sam 19:11-12
60 Military victories over Aram-naharaim, Aram-zobah, and when Joab returned and struck Edom 2 Sam 8:13–14; 1 Chr 18:12–13; cf. 1 Chr 19:6
63 David in the Judean wilderness 1 Sam 23; 25; or 2 Sam 15
142 When David was in the cave 1 Sam 22:1-2, 24:1-7

While some of these superscriptions may contain a kernal of historical information, modern Psalms scholars are almost unanimous in understanding the situational superscriptions as much later additions that reflect interpretive or exegetical activity. For example, Mowinckel sees the titles as the end result of learned legends about David that associated certain psalms to specific incidents in David’s life (Sigmund Mowinckel, The Psalms in Israel’s Worship [Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1992] 2.100), while Bernhardt see these title as evidence of the first exegetical treatment of the psalms (Karl H. Bernhardt, Das Problem der altorientalischen Königsideologieim Alten Testament [Brill, 1961] 11). This midrashic understanding of the titles is also held by B.S. Childs, who argues “the Psalm titles do not appear to reflect independent historical tradition but are the result of an exegetical activity which derived its material from within the text itself” (“Psalms Titles and Midrashic Exegesis” JSS 16 [1971] 143; see also Martin Kleer, “Der Liebliche Sänger Der Psalmen Israels”: Untersuchungen Zu David Als Dichter Und Beter Der Psalmen [Bodenheim: Philo, 1996]).

David’s expanding role as the sweet psalmist of Israel continues in the LXX, with five additional psalms like to parts of David’s life. It is doubtful that the additional situational ascriptions in the psalm superscriptions are the result of the translator. This is based on what we know of translators generally; that is, that they tend to be conservative and stay pretty close to the text. More importantly, it is also supported by what is known of the translation technique of the LXX Psalter. Moreover, there is no reason to suppose that the same processes that gave rise to the situational titles in the MT Psalter would have ceased with its translation into Greek. Once the book of Psalms was translated into Greek, further midrashic activity would have occured.

The first addition is found in Ps 27(LXX 26):

Ps 27 MT לדוד Of David
4QPsr לדוד Of David
LXX 26 Του Δαυιδ, Ï€Ï?ο του χÏ?ισθηναι
Pertaining to David. Before he was annointed.

Most read the title as suggesting that this psalm was recited before David was anointed. The question remains, however, which anointing is being talked about? It could be his initial anointing by Samuel in 1 Sam 16:13, or his anointing as king over Judah in 2 Sam 2:4, or even his anointing as king over Israel in 2 Sam 5:1-6, esp. 3 (Rahlfs evidently understood the added phrase as referring to the anointing of the High Priest; most others apply the note to David [Pietersma, "Exegesis and Liturgy," 103; Mozley, 48; Thomson and Brenton in their translation).

The early exegete Theodoret understood superscription to refer to an event prior to David's anointing as king. He points to an association unique to the Greek translation of both סך "den, lairâ€? and ×?הל "tent" with of σκηνη -- a term reserved for "tabernacle" elsewhere (Theodoret, In psalmos; cited in Rainer Stichel, "Zur Herkunft Der Psalmenüberschriften in Der Septuaginta," in Der Septuaginta-Psalter [Herder, 2001] 149-161, p. 152). Theodoret also saw the “unjust witness” in verse 12 as an allusion to the deception of Doeg the Edomite.
Thus, while it is possible that the association could have happened on the Hebrew side of things, that it would have happened on the Greek side is clear.

Ps 93 MT
11QPsa הללויה Hallelujah
LXX 92 εις την ημεÏ?αν του Ï€Ï?οσαββατου
οτε κατωκισται η γη αινος ωδς τω Δαυιδ
For the day before the Sabbath when the land was first inhabited;
a praise song of David

There is a significant amount of textual variation in this superscription. Rather than understanding this situational ascription as connected to an event in David’s life, it more likely refers to the sixth day of creation.

Ps 96 MT
LXX 95 οτε ο οικος ωκοδομειτο μετα την αιχμαλωσιαν ωδη τω Δαυιδ
When the house was built after the captivity; a song of David

Once again there is a lot of textual instability with this superscription. While 1 Chr 16:23-33 associates this psalm with the brining of the ark into Jerusalem by David (which would be after he made himself a house), the reference to the captivity suggests the reference is to the rebuilding of the Temple in the post-exilic period. These connections could suggest the use of the psalm in a temple dedication festival (Kraus). No matter whatprompted the title, the use of οτε in the superscription suggests it is secondary.

Ps 97 MT
LXX 96 τω Δαυιδ οτε η γη αυτου καθισταται
Pertaining to David, when his land is established

While not entirely clear, this superscript may allude to the statement in 2 Samuel 7:1 that David “was settled in his palace and Yahweh had given him rest from all his enemies around him.” While there is no strong lexical links between the psalm and 2 Sam 7, the use of καθιστημι in the superscript strongly connects it with a number of psalms that speak of the establishment of David’s throne (Pss 2:6; 8:7; 18[17]:44; cf. 9:21). Noteworthy is this association is only found in the Greek text as καθιστημι is used to translate a variety of Hebrew terms. The use of οτε in the superscription suggests it is secondary.

Ps 143 MT מזמור לדוד A Psalm of David
11QPsa מזמור לדוד A Psalm of David
LXX 142 ψαλμος τω Δαυιδ οτε αυτον ο υιος καταδιωκει
A psalm, pertaining to David, when [his] son pursued him

There is some variation in the textual witnesses to this superscription; in fact many witnesses name Absalom explicitly. The reference is certainly to Absalom’s rebellion in 2 Sam 15-18 (cf. Ps 3), though what triggered the association is not as clear, though the psalm itself is a lament of an individual who is being pursued by his enemy. The use of καταδιωκω in v. 3 and the superscript identifies Absalom as the enemy. Likely secondary due to the use of οτε.

Ps 144 MT לדוד Of David
LXX 143 τω Δαυιδ Ï€Ï?ος τον Γολιαδ
Pertaining to David, concerning Goliath

This final addition to the situaltion ascription in the LXX Psalms connects this psalm to LXX Psalm 151. This allusion to the Goliath episode in 1 Sam 17 was more than likely triggered by the reference to the “evil sword” in verses 10-11:

εκ Ï?ομφαιας πονηÏ?ας. 11 Ï?υσαι με και εξελου με εκ χειÏ?ος υιων αλλοτÏ?ιων, ων το στομα ελαλησεν ματαιοτητα και η δεξια αυτων δεξια αδικιας.
From an evil sword Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of aliens, whose mouth spoke vanity, and whose right hand was a right hand of injustice.

The question once again is whether or not this harkens back to a Hebrew Vorlage or whether it is a Greek development. The one piece of evidence which may suggest it derives from the Greek is the transcription of Goliath’s name as Γολιαδ, and not Γολιαθ, which would be expected as the translator typically renders final tavs on names with a theta.


What becomes clear from examining these additional superscriptions that read the psalms in the light of David’s life, is that the exegetical activity that was started in the Hebrew tradition was continued in the Greek. This represents a further “Davidization” of the Psalter in which more psalms were read and/or prayed in association with an exemplary situation in the life of David.

Posted in LXX Psalm Superscriptions, Psalms, Septuagint | 1 Comment »