Re: LXX 1 Kings 8:11

From: Jim West (jwest@Highland.Net)
Date: Fri Jun 12 1998 - 15:56:33 EDT

At 02:24 PM 6/12/98 -0500, you wrote:
>I've got a question on the meaning of aedunanto (Imperfect Middle
>Indicative 3rd Plural from dunamai---the section dealing with Solomon's
>dedication of the first temple in 1 Kings 8:11 (English Trans.
>Reference). My understanding is that this is a Descriptive Imperfect
>indicating there was a continuous (for a period of time) disabling of the
>priests to stand up and perform their ministry.

First, just a clarification. In the LXX the reference is 3 Kingdoms 8:11
(though the English equivalent is 1 Kings 8:11, as you correctly point out).

>In other words, because the special manifestation of God's glory entered
>the room (the glory cloud), they were physically unable to stand up and
>do their priestly functions for a period of time.

In my view, this is correct- note that "to stand" and "to minister" are both
infinitives. Further, the hOTI clause indicates the reason they were
"unable" (taking the word as a simple narrative imperfect) to stand and
minister- i.e., because the glory of the lord filled the house.

>Two questions: A) Is that a correct interpretation?

I think so- though I would, personally, not describe the imperfect as a
"descriptive imperfect"- my own personal preference is for a simple
imperfect that describes a past event.

>B) Is that a correct translation by the LXX translators from Hebrew to

Yes. The LXX translators have rendered the Hebrew word "klh" = "able"
correctly here. Likewise the Hebrew infinitives have been faithfully
rendered by their Greek counterparts. Doxa is the equivalent of "kabod".
The only difference is that the MT has "house of YHWH" whereas the LXX has
"the house". I suspect here that the LXX preserves the more ancient reading
as the MT has expanded what the LXX has. (Expansionistic readings tend to
be later than shorter- though of course there is always the possibility that
the LXX dropped a word accidentally).

>From one who is loving to study Greek more and more!
>David A. Bielby I



Jim West, ThD

Adjunct Professor of Bible
Quartz Hill School of Theology

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