Re: 1Sam 1:5 (LXX)

From: yochanan bitan (
Date: Sun Nov 01 1998 - 16:06:30 EST

>>How is the LXX of 1Sam 1:5 to be translated in the context? a) Is MERIDA
>>MIAN = "only one portion" or is it = "a prime portion" (as Brenton has

>--"prime portion" would be justified, it seems to me, on grounds that the
>Hebrew does not have a distinct ordinal form of "one" but uses the
>number for both cardinal and ordinal functions. On the other hand, "only
>one portion" might be justified on grounds that the hOTI OUK HN clause
>explains why he didn't give her more. I don't know whether MERIDA MIAN
>could be equivalent to a standard Greek MERIDA TINA, "a portion," but if
>the Hebrew might have that sense,

Hebrew does have rishon "first".
The problem in 1Sam 1.5 is not 'aHat "one", but the following word
appayim 'nostrils, two noses--face, anger'. If it means 'double' like the
idiom pi-shtayim 'mouth of two' or pa`amayim 'two beats', then this would
be the only place with this meaning and idiom for appayim.
M.H. Segal's commentary on appayim concludes:
" ... It appears that we have here an ancient difficulty that we cannot
interpret or correct."

on manah aHat: the Hebrew may use the number one to particularize
something 'a certain portion', though in context here it would only appear
to be a number. That particular portion does not carry on in the story.
yes, good greek would say MERIDA TINA for the Hebrew manah aHat in that
special meaning. This is the same as ish eHad becoming ANQRWPOS TIS . . . .
'a certain man ...'

randall buth

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