The Text Of Numbers 21:14 f. -- By: Harold M. Wiener

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 076:302 (Apr 1919)
Article: The Text Of Numbers 21:14 f.
Author: Harold M. Wiener

The Text Of Numbers 21:14 f.

Harold M. Wiener

London, England

The LXX has “therefore it is said in a book πολεμος του Κυριου τηνΖωοβἐφλογισεν και τους χειμαρρους ᾿Αρνων (war of the Lord burnt Zohob and the valleys, Arnon),” i.e. it translated מלחמת as “war of,” and regarded it as the subject of a following verb. The divergencies of consonants are probably as follows: —







where the presence or absence of “in” must be due to dittography or haplography of ב (according to which text be deemed the earlier), and the verb is in the feminine, agreeing with “war.” For the form with ס cp. Amos 6:10.

Most Septuagintal texts then proceed και τους χειμαρρους κατεστησεν κατοικισαι᾿ Ηρ. So the words אשר נטה “which inclined,” were unknown to the Greek translators.

It may be surmised that the explanation is as follows: The clause begins with a word ואשד which is treated by modern commentators as a substantive not found elsewhere in the singular. It appears, however, to have been regarded (I think rightly) as a verb by the ancients, and the explanation אשד נטה i.e. אשד means נטה (“inclined”) was written in the margin and taken into the text in a slightly corrupt form. The verb is masculine, so that “war” cannot be its subject. Another Greek translator (see Field’s Hexapla ad. loc.) appears to have rendered “therefore it is said in a list of warriors of the Lord to Auzab in a whirlwind, and of the torrents to Arnon; for the outpouring of the torrents inclined,” etc. He therefore had ואשר הנחלים נטה, read some othe...

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