“Wind” And “Fire” In Hebrews 1:7 A Reflection Upon The Use Of Psalm 104 (103) -- By: L. Timothy Swinson

Journal: Trinity Journal
Volume: TRINJ 28:2 (Fall 2007)
Article: “Wind” And “Fire” In Hebrews 1:7 A Reflection Upon The Use Of Psalm 104 (103)
Author: L. Timothy Swinson

“Wind” And “Fire” In Hebrews 1:7
A Reflection Upon The Use Of Psalm 104 (103)

L. Timothy Swinson*

L. Timothy Swinson is a Ph.D. candidate in New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.

I. Introduction And Thesis

Conspicuous by virtue of the sheer number of citations from the Law, Prophets, and Writings that it contains along with the systematic exposition of those citations,1 Hebrews also serves as an exemplary NT book that depends exclusively upon the Septuagint, or at least upon some Greek translation of the OT, rather than upon a Hebrew text, Masoretic or otherwise.2 This issue arises early in introductory presentations, and functions as a kind of sub-structure to other matters, such as intended audience, purpose of writing, the writer’s view of Scripture, and perhaps the more vexing issue of just which texts(s) may lay claim to divine inspiration.3 While the broad sweep of these topics provides abundant grist for the proverbial mill, this paper aspires to a more modest objective that nevertheless may serve to suggest a direction for further inquiry into these larger issues. I will isolate Hebrews 1, and focus especially upon the

citation of Ps 104:44 found in v. 7. I further will propose some observations respecting, among other things, the writer’s apparent intent in his use of Psalm 104, the significance of the differences between the Hebrew and Greek versions of the passage, and the opinion of some that the writer of Hebrews and the translators of the Septuagint have diverged from the “original” or genuine version of the OT Scriptures.5 Above all, however, I suggest that not all apparent divergences or differences that we may observe between the Masoretic Hebrew and the Old Greek are as profound as they may appear, and that, in some instances at least, the translators of the LXX in fact may have adhered more closely to the “original” Hebrew Vorlage than many suppose.6

II. The Texts Under Consideration

In the first chapter of Hebrews, the writer commences his letter (or sermon)7 abruptly and without t...

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