Saturday, August 18, 2012

Jeremiah 20:9; More Septuagint Studies

As I was researching the “prophecy” passage in 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22, I decided to go to Jeremiah 20:9 in the LXX (Greek Translation of the OT) where Jeremiah decided to not prophesy anymore, but couldn’t bear it.  I made an amazing discovery!  The translators of the LXX often “interpreted” the Hebrew.  For instance, compare my translation of the Greek OT to a modern translation from Hebrew:

9 And I said, “I will never name the name of the Lord 
and I will never even speak on the basis of/in his name.”  
And it became like a kindled fire 
burning in my bones, 
and I have been weakened on both sides 
and I am not able to bear it. LXX (my translation)

9 But if I say, “I will not mention his word
or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot. NIV11

Note the “interpretive” differences between the renderings.  During the time that the LXX was rendered, the Jews had stopped speaking God’s name “Yahweh” as they were afraid that they would speak the name in vain.  That idea is seen in this passage!  This Jewish thought carried on into NT times, which leads us to Paul’s incredible statement about Jesus in Philippians 2:6-11 in which we will look at the last 3 verses.  See my blog here.

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