Posted by: mattcolvin | June 8, 2020

Notes on LXX Genesis 18-19

Genesis 18

18:12 – where the MT has Sarah say, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure (הָֽיְתָה־לִּ֣י עֶדְנָ֔ה)?” the LXX is too embarrassed to include this oblique reference to Abraham’s elderly impotence, and replaces it with οὔπω μέν μοι γέγονεν ἕως τοῦ νῦν, ὁ δὲ κύριος μου πρεσβύτερος – “It hasn’t happened for me hitherto, and my lord is old.”

Genesis 19

19:2 – Lot ἐξανέστη εἰς συνάντησιν – “got up to meet them.” The sense of συνάντησις is similar to 1 Th. 4:17’s εἰς ἀπάντησιν τοῦ Κυρίου εἰς ἀέρα. That is, Lot gets up, meets the strangers, and escorts them in a welcoming manner to the place from which he got up.

19:3 – Lot gave the angels ἀζύμους, unleavened bread. Very ironic and appropriate, since he is about to experience an Exodus, and they are angels about to bring death to the land he is presently inhabiting.

19.4 – The men of Sodom, intent on evil, surround Lot’s house, all the men of the city, from young man to elder, απο νεανισκου εως πρεσβυτερου – Possible reverse echo with the accusers of the woman in the pericope adulterae?

19:8 “Only do not do anything unrighteous to these men (ἄνδρας).” Lot uses the specifically male word for men.

19:11 – επαταξαν αορασια – similar to Babel.

19:14-15 – Lot’s nameless sons in law are the immediate audience of his preaching of the coming destruction. They do not heed, and his daughters are thereby widowed. There is something like the story of Ruth here, but badly wrong, as though in a reversing mirror: Lot: Elimelech; Lot’s wife: Naomi; Ruth and Orpah: Lot’s daughters; Mahlon and Qilyon: Lot’s sons-in-law. Lots of interesting comparisons to be had.

19:14 – Lot seemed to his sons in law to γελοιάζειν. Noah had seemed to be mocking too before the flood came.

19:16 – While the English follows with MT with “And while he lingered,…” the LXX has και εταραχθησαν – “the angels were disturbed and seized him by the hand….”

19:17 – σωζου μηποτε συμπαραλημφθης, “save yourself lest you be consumed along with [the city].” The root is λαμβάνω, the verb “to take,” as in “one will be taken and the other left.” No rapture here.

19:21 – Seems to indicate that Zoar would have been destroyed also, had not Lot singled it out as a refuge for himself. Thus, it is spared for his sake.

19:26 – εγενετο στηλη αλος, not “she became a pillar of salt,” but ”she became a stele of salt” – a monument, a tombstone.

19:30 – Lot is afraid to dwell in Zoar. Why? Possibly because it was originally also marked out for destruction.

19:33 – ουκ ηδει εν τω κοιμηθηναι αυτην και αναστηναι – “he did not know in her lying down and rising up” – Lot’s guilt for the incest is thus mitigated, in that he did not have incestuous intent.

19:37 – The LXX includes an etymology for Moab that the MT omits: εκαλεσεν το ονομα αυτου μωαβ λεγουσα εκ του πατρος μου – “she called his name Moab, saying, “from my father.” This, though preserved only in the Greek version, is evidently a genuine Hebrew wordplay: Mo = from, ab = father.

19:38 – Another Hebrew wordplay is given for Ammon’s name: εκαλεσεν το ονομα αυτου αμμαν υιος του γενους μου – “she called his name Ammon, son of my race/nation.” Ironically, the LXX omits any transliteration of the Hebrew of which this is the etymology: ben-Ammi.

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