Re: Gen. 21:9-LXX

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Wed Nov 11 1998 - 00:05:37 EST

Edgar Foster wrote:
> The text of Gen. 21:10 reads:PAIZONTA META ISAAK TOU hUIOU AUTHS.
> My question: What was Ishmael doing to Isaac? I have my own ideas, but
> this verse has brought up some questions.


George Bush (mid 19th cent) notes two issues that are significant. One, the
Hebrew verb is from the same root as Issac's name which means laughter. Bush
didn't think that laughter was an adequate explanation for Sarah's behavior.
He thought that Sarah would not have cast out Ishmael for laughter. (Women
were perhaps some what more docile in Bush's day).

Bush points out that PIAZW is used in 2 Sam 2:14-18 LXX for fighting which
results in the death of one of the participants. From this evidence he
concludes that something a little rougher than laughter was involved here.

Since the Hebrew word was apparently chosen because it formed a kind of pun on
Issac's name, one should not try and wring too much significance out of the
semantic value of this word. About all I think we can safely conclude from the
lexical evidence is that Ishamel was harassing Issac. Anything beyond that is
probably empty speculation.

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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