Re: 1 Kg. 15:13 ( LXX query )

Date: Thu Jun 03 1999 - 15:18:16 EDT

Blessed be God.

By the way I think you mean 3 Kgd. 15.13. For reference here's 12-14:
kai afeilen tas teletas apo ths ghs kai exapesteilen panta ta
epithdeumata, a epoihsan oi pateres autou. kai thn Ana thn mhtera
autou metesthsen tou mh einai hgoumenhn, kaqws epoihsen sunodon en twi
alsei auths kai exekoyen Asa tas kataduseis auths kai eneprhsen puri
en twi ceimarrwi Kedrwn. ta de uyhla ouk exhren...

So, regarding this discussion, unfortunately I can't give you any
references because my files are in rather bad disarray at the moment,
but a lot of this makes perfect sense if we understand, as a number of
scholars do, that an asherah was apparently a tree planted near an
altar and severely pruned in some way-- it seems that it may even have
been the prototype of the menorah. (I do seem to remember that there
was one illuminating article, I believe in JSOT about a year or year
and half ago, on this topic.) This would explain how the asherah can
be described variously as being 'planted', 'cut down', and 'burned'
etc, and be translated as "alsos" (sacred grove, which was a feature
of Greek religion). Perhaps by the time the LXX was translated the
memory of what an asherah really was had been more or less lost-- in
addition to the usual problem of trying to find a word that will work
in a language that doesn't have the concept-- so you get translations
like "alsos", and so forth; or, alternatively, there may actually have
been "groves", if there were more than one asherah planted in one
place-- and then you could see where a "synodos" would be possible
"in" it, and also how certain abominable rites might be practiced in
it also.

Katadysis is kata+dyw. Kata contains the idea in this case of "down"
(like Xenophon's 'katabasis', a word which is used also in the NT to
mean the 'con-descension' of God to us); dyw has the idea of going
into or entering. So this place is thought of by the LXX translator
as a place of going down into-- we might think of a cave, except
there's more than one, apparently the "alseis" grow in them, and King
Asa is busily "cutting [them] down" etc. So perhaps the translator
envisions a grove(s) in a valley(s), or place(s) in or near the Temple
that one 'went down' to (and remember, since you always 'go up' to the
altar or to the sanctuary, that could be just about anywhere else).

By the way, I'm not convinced that all the discussions about the
expression "The blessings of Yhwh and his asherah" which you find in
the Kuntillet Arjud inscription necessarily refer to a female consort
of Yhwh as everyone uncritically accepts. I think, in the light of
passages such as these, that you could as much read the inscription as
more or less like "The blessings of Yhwh and his sanctuary".... but
that's off the topic of this list, so I'll stop.

Regards to all.

Glory to Jesus Christ!

John Burnett, MA (OT)

"Maurice A. O'Sullivan" wrote:
> At 12:47 02/06/99 -0700, wrote:
> <snip>
> >Interesting thought. But the word also can mean just about any kind
> >of gathering or coming together, according to Liddell & Scott; and in
> >particular to gatherings for festal purposes; and it can even mean
> >sexual intercourse, which given the pagan overtones of the "ALSOS" (=
> >asherah) might be what the translator had in mind also.
> >
> >Any corroborating evidence for any of it?
> John:
> Many thanks for that pointer -- and since the listing by Lust of the
> meaning "conjunction" (of months) in Dt. points towards the domain of
> euphemism,
> I connected to Perseus ( my aging eyes can spot things a lot faster on my
> screen than in the hard copy of Great Scott ) and found:
> 5. = sunousi/a , sexual intercourse, Arist.HA541a31,
> Clearch.49, Ph.1.148, Plu.Lyc. 15, Gal.15.47
> Then, in a private posting, one suggestion made to me was:
> >>I think she "gathered a meeting in her grove", thereby worshipping Astarte
> (whose worship was usually under a tree, on a high place). LXX also has
> EXEKOPSEN TAS KATADYSEIS AUTHS (her "hidden places"?) where RSV (& M.T.)
> have "cut down her IMAGE".
> Seems that LXX highlights the PLACE rather than the cult-OBJECT.<<
> That information on Astarte is useful, and is what I originally had in mind
> in asking for classical allusions. Even more useful, though, is the
> reminder to look at the rest of the verse ( ignoring the remote context is
> one thing, but I really should be ashamed of myself for ignoring the
> immediate context of the other half-verse <g> )
> But when we do look at the rest of the verse, the question then is:
> what is the meaning of KATADUSIS, especially when governed by KATAKOPTW?
> What jumped out at me when checking LSJ was this;
> III. present world (as subject to decline), Aq.Ps.16(17).14,
> IDEM=Aq., Sm.Ps.48(49).2; so of human life, Aq.Ps.38
> (au=Aq. Ps. 39).au=Aq. Ps. 6.
> and for KATAKOPTW,
> Lust gives the general meaning of 'cut off, cut down' and notes that in 2
> Macc., admittedly in the passive, it means ' to kill, slay '
> Given that we started out this quest in the special world of LXX Greek, am
> I right, do you think, in appealing to Aq and Sm examples above, that
> KATADUSIS means "life" i.e she was killed and dumped in the Kedron Valley
> for what she did?
> Perhaps someone on the list with access to TLG might care to search for the
> combination of KATADUSIS and KATAKOPTW?
"Maurice A. O'Sullivan" also wrote:
> Before someone else points it out, may I amend my previous message?
> I should have looked, not at KATAKOPTW, but EKKOPTW
> which has a meaning:
> b. metaph., cut off, make an end of, TOUS ANDRAS
> Hdt. 4.110 ;
> Sorry for the mistake, but I don't thimk my suggestion needs to be changed
> in the light of this -- a circumlocution remains.
> Maurice

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