Curiosities of the Septuagint

In a variety of my readings over the past couple of weeks I’ve come across some curiosities in the Septuagint (LXX). I’m sure there are hundreds of examples that could be given but here are just a few I’ve discovered. All quotations of the LXX are from A New English Translation of the Septuagint.

Psalm 1:5 in the Hebrew reads “Direct your way before me.” In the LXX it reads “Direct my way before you.”

Psalm 7:11 in the Hebrew reads “God who expresses his wrath every day.” In the LXX it reads “one who does not bring on wrath every day.”

Genesis 3:20 in the Hebrew reads “Adam named his wife Eve.” In the LXX it reads “And Adam called the name of his wife Life”

Mostly in the Psalms (but also in Deuteronomy, Isaiah, and Habakkuk) the LXX avoids addressing God as “rock.” For example Psalm 18:2 reads “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.” In the LXX it reads “The Lord is my firmness and my refuge and my rescuer; my God is my helper, and I will hope in him.” Deuteronomy 32:31 reads “For their rock is not like our Rock.” In the LXX it reads “For not like our God are their gods.”

Genesis 2:2 says “by the seventh day God finished the work he had been doing.” To avoid the notion that God might have done any work on the seventh day the LXX reads “And on the sixth day God finished his works that he had made.”

These are small differences when you consider things like the book of Jeremiah in the LXX is missing approximately 2,700 words compared to the Masoretic text. Not only is it shorter (about 1/7th) but the materials are also rearranged.

For more information on the LXX see an Invitation to the Septuagint by Moisés Silva and Karen Jobes.


About Louis

I am a 1997 graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
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2 Responses to Curiosities of the Septuagint

  1. Oh, you should have saved this for February 8, which is International Septuagint Day!


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