Ps 18/19 Εἰς τὸ τέλος· ψαλμὸς τῷ Δαυιδ.

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Jonathan Robie
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Ps 18/19 Εἰς τὸ τέλος· ψαλμὸς τῷ Δαυιδ.

Post by Jonathan Robie » October 9th, 2019, 10:00 pm

I was surprised by the word τέλος here:
Ps 18 (LXX) wrote:Εἰς τὸ τέλος· ψαλμὸς τῷ Δαυιδ.
I initially assumed that Εἰς τὸ τέλος translates לַמְנַצֵּ֗חַ here:
Ps 19 (BHS) wrote:לַמְנַצֵּ֗חַ מִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִֽד׃
But can τέλος mean choirmaster? I mean, it can't, right? So what is going on here?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Daniel Semler
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Re: Ps 18/19 Εἰς τὸ τέλος· ψαλμὸς τῷ Δαυιδ.

Post by Daniel Semler » October 9th, 2019, 11:35 pm

Hey Jonathan,
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 10:00 pm
I was surprised by the word τέλος here:
Ps 18 (LXX) wrote:Εἰς τὸ τέλος· ψαλμὸς τῷ Δαυιδ.
I initially assumed that Εἰς τὸ τέλος translates לַמְנַצֵּ֗חַ here:
Ps 19 (BHS) wrote:לַמְנַצֵּ֗חַ מִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִֽד׃
But can τέλος mean choirmaster? I mean, it can't, right? So what is going on here?
I think the question might more be, what does לַמְנַצֵּ֗חַ mean ? HALOT is interesting on this.

I נצח: → BArm.; DSS ‏מתנצח‎ lasting, or successful, also to fight, discuss (War Scroll); MHeb. also qal to subdue, triumph; so also Arm. as well as to be mighty, War Scroll ‏מתנצחת המלחמה‎ war is violent JArm. Sam. CPArm. pe. pa. to subdue, triumph, Syr. also to shine, ‏נציח GnAp. 20:2 splendid; Ph. to triumph (Friedrich Gramm.2 §151), EgArm. to distinguish oneself (Jean-H. Dictionnaire 184); Arb. naṣaha and Eth. naṣḥa to be clear, pure; ? OSin. Albright BASOR 110:1863.
nif: pt. נִצַּֽחַת (Bauer-L. Heb. 233n, 614), in 1QM 169 1715 pt. hitp.: enduring (→ I נֶצַח) מְשֻׁבָה נִ׳ Jr 85 erring all the time (Rudolph Jer.3 58; alt. adv. Bauer-L. Heb. 632m). †
pi: (Jenni 233): —1. to inspect, with עַל works and activities concerned with the temple (Rudolph Chr. 118f) Ezr 38f 1C 234 2C 21.17 (with לְ + inf.), abs. 1C 1521 2C 3412.13 (with לְ); —2. לַמְנַצֵּהַ in title at the beginning of a psalm (55 times) Ps 4–6, 8f, 11–14, 18–22, 31, 36, 39–42, 44–47, 49, 51–62, 64–70, 75–77, 80f, 84f, 88, 109, 139f, or at the end Hab 319; uncertain meaning; trad. “for the director of the music”, Sept. sbst. εἰς τὸ τέλος (→ נֶצַח), Tg. inf. לְשַׁבָּחָא in glorification; see Commentaries and Lexica, Mowinckel PsSt. 4:17ff; Rudolph Chr. 118; Dalglish 234–38; Delekat ZAW 76 (1964):283ff; —3. to make shining Sir 435.13. †
Der. I נֵצַח‎: n.m. ‏נְצִיחַ‎.


“נצח,” HALOT, 2:716.
https://accordance.bible/link/read/HALOT#12279

BDB is perhaps more use:

Piel = act as overseer, superintendent, director, only Chr. and ψ-titles;—Inf. לְנַצֵּחַ 1 Ch 15:21 + 4 t.; pt. לַמְנַצֵּחַ Hb 3:19, ψ 4:1 + 54 t. ψψ; pl. ‏מְנַצְּחִים‎ 2 Ch 2:1, 2:17, 34:13;—
1. in building temple 2 Ch 2:1, 2:17, Ezr 3:8, 3:9, cf. 2 Ch 34:12, 34:13.
2. in ministry of house of ‏י׳‎ 1 Ch 23:4.
3. in liturgical service of song, ‏על־השׁמינית‎, over the bass voices, leading them with ‏כִּנֹּרוֹת‎ 1 Ch 15:21; ‏לַמְנַצֵּחַ in titles of ψψ has prob. sim. meaning, = musical director or choirmaster; Gk. Vrss. of 2nd cent. A.D., Aq Theod Sym, and so Jer, think of Aram. victorious, but no clear explan.; 𝔊 εἰς τὸ τέλος (prob. לַמִּנְצָח) follows ordinary meaning of noun ‏נֵצַח‎, which may be expl. in eschatological sense as referring to end of age of world after Euseb Theod; or for full rendering after De; neither satisfactory. Chr., near in date, gives the clue which is intrinsically prob.: לְ indicates, not assignment (nothing special in these ψψ to suggest it, and assignment of ψψ for such use a matter of course), but that these ψψ were taken by final editor from an older major Psalter known as the Director’s Collection, cf. the still earlier collections known as ‏(ל)דוד‎, ‏(ל)אסף‎, ‏(ל)בני קרח‎. The 55 ψψ with למנצח were taken 39 from Davidic, 9 from Korahite, and 5 from Asaphic Psalters; only 2 anonymous. Hb 3 originally belonged to Director’s Psalter. This and other Director’s ψψ have musical directions in titles. The Director’s Psalter was prob. the prayer-book of synagogue of Gk. period, presupposed by our Hab., the collection of the twelve Minor Prophets, the prophetic canon, and Daniel (v. BrGen. Intr. 123).

“נָצַח,” BDB, 663-664.
https://accordance.bible/link/read/BDB_Complete#16920

particularly in remarks about the Psalms there, my bold above, though note frequent appearance of "prob.".

Muraoka interestingly in his treatment of Εἰς τὸ τέλος doesn't mention choirmaster or masters at all, suggesting rather "'(looking forward) to the finish' (?)". And earlier in the article "on the occasion of <i>or</i> to mark the victory". The "(?)" is described in his symbols as "We cannot establish the Aramaic or Hebrew word which a given Greek headword is supposed to have translated.", the headword here being τέλος.

In qal binyamin the verb can mean "lasting successful, also to fight", and in the nifil, to inspect, and the odd case here in question.

My Hebrew isn't good enough to deal with this really but it looks like there is considerable uncertainty on both the Greek and Hebrew sides here. Just on the face of it though the Greek seems closer to the Hebrew that the traditional translation but who am I to say. NETS renders it (the Greek) "Regarding completion" which I doubt helps much but I figured I'd toss it in.

Best I can do I'm afraid ....

Thx
D
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Ken M. Penner
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Re: Ps 18/19 Εἰς τὸ τέλος· ψαλμὸς τῷ Δαυιδ.

Post by Ken M. Penner » October 10th, 2019, 8:45 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 10:00 pm
I was surprised by the word τέλος here:
Ps 18 (LXX) wrote:Εἰς τὸ τέλος· ψαλμὸς τῷ Δαυιδ.
I initially assumed that Εἰς τὸ τέλος translates לַמְנַצֵּ֗חַ here:
Ps 19 (BHS) wrote:לַמְנַצֵּ֗חַ מִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִֽד׃
But can τέλος mean choirmaster? I mean, it can't, right? So what is going on here?
Yes, τὸ τέλος translates מנצח here, as also some 70 other times in the Psalms (and hardly anywhere else).
Right, τέλος doesn't mean choirmaster (although Fisher in TWOT 593 claims "(telos “end”) has a use in classical Greek of “the last, highest station” in civil life: a magistracy, high office"). Neither does מְנַצֵּ֗חַ, at least in the Greek translator's mind. He took it to be from נֵ֫צַח, "endurance", which especially in the form לָנֶצַח means "utterly" or "forever".
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Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

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