We are out of town this weekend so I do not have time to do a full post on a LXX text. However, I noticed this translation technique a while ago while I was reading one of the Aramaic portions of Daniel and I thought it was worth noting.
Dan. 3:2 καὶ Ναβουχοδονοσορ βασιλεὺς βασιλέων καὶ κυριεύων τῆς οἰκουμένης ὅλης ἀπέστειλεν ἐπισυναγαγεῖν πάντα τὰ ἔθνη καὶ φυλὰς καὶ γλώσσας σατράπας στρατηγούς τοπάρχας καὶ ὑπάτους διοικητὰς καὶ τοὺς ἐπ᾿ ἐξουσιῶν κατὰ χώραν καὶ πάντας τοὺς κατὰ τὴν οἰκουμένην ἐλθεῖν εἰς τὸν ἐγκαινισμὸν τῆς εἰκόνος τῆς χρυσῆς ἣν ἔστησε Ναβουχοδονοσορ ὁ βασιλεύς
Dan. 3:3 καὶ ἔστησαν οἱ προγεγραμμένοι κατέναντι τῆς εἰκόνος
2 And Nebuchadnezzar, king of kings, and ruling over the whole world, sent to gather all the nations and tribes and tongues, satraps, chief magistrates, governors, and consuls, stewards and those who have authority according to region and al those who are down in the world, to come to the dedication of the image of gold, which King Nebuchadnezzar set up.
3 And all the aforementioned stood before the image…
MT vs. LXX
The entire point of this post was this little tidbit. In the MT, v. 3 virtually repeats the long list of people that were summoned to the dedication from v. 2. This practice of repetition, as my Aramaic professor informs me, is a typical stylistic practice of ANE literature. Here, the LXX translators felt it was appropriate to abbreviate the MT to οἱ προγεγραμμένοι (‘to write formerly’). I thought this was funny but it does show a willingness to ‘abbreviate’ the MT. It is an interesting insight into the translation technique and philosophy of the LXX translators. It still communicates the same as the MT without the repetitive style of ANE literature. What this shows to me is a willingness to communicate the message of the MT but using a different style. It would be interesting to see where else the LXX drops a repetitive section of the MT. Often the MT uses repetitions quite intentionally, and I wonder if only here, where the repetition does not seem to convey any extra meaning, the LXX doesn’t pick up on that. Comparing the style of presentation of the LXX and MT would make for interesting further study.