Since I am gearing up for finals and finishing final projects (including an analysis of verbal patterns in the Aramaic of Daniel 2-3, ouch), this weeks Septuagintal Saturdays will be necessarily brief. In fact it will only be one verse long. That being said, it is a very interesting one. This post was inspired in part by my reading of Waltke’s chapter on the Creation Narrative in An Old Testament Theology.

Gen. 1:27

καὶ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν ἄνθρωπον 

κατ᾿ εἰκόνα θεοῦ ἐποίησεν αὐτόν 

ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτούς 

Translation:

And God made humankind

According to the image of God he made them

Male and female he made them.

 

LXX vs. MT

בצלמו?

The LXX has dropped this phrase at the end of the first line. the MT reads: ‘And God made humankind in his image.’ It could be that the LXX translators recognized that without this prepositional phrase the poem in Hebrew is more perfectly balanced (three lines with a 6-4 pattern). It could be that a scribes eye merely passed over the repeated verb בצלמו‭ ‬בצלם (in his image / in the image). While the meter of the poem is more balanced without the phrase בצלמו (in his image), the parallelism is better with it.

ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ vs. זכר‭ ‬ונקבה

Waltke argues that the two terms used in the MT “refer to the man and the woman as sexual beings” (An Old Testament Theology, 221). This is different than the terms in Gen. 2, which speak of man (‏אדם) and woman (אשׁה) in more social terms. These terms are consistently translated as ανθρωπος (man) and γυνη (woman). The terms ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ are distinct from the terms used in Gen. 2. Louw and Nida list them in the domain of ‘features of objects.’ Thus the importance of of the terms used in Gen. 1:27 are to show the ‘maleness’ and ‘femaleness’ of the man and woman as the key features being emphasized here. It appears, then, that the LXX translators validate Waltke’s claim. The LXX translators are consistent in their translation and note the importance of the terminology that is used by the Hebrew text. It is the maleness and femaleness of of man and woman that are made in the image of God.

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