Re: Deut 32:8 LXX

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Mon Aug 23 1999 - 16:59:45 EDT

>From: Jim West <jwest@Highland.Net>
>To: Biblical Greek <>
>Subject: Re: Deut 32:8 LXX
>Date: Mon, Aug 23, 1999, 1:36 PM

> At 12:36 PM 8/23/99 -0700, you wrote:
>>Both Rahlfs and BHS (apparatus) show the LXX reading AGGELWN QEOU in
>>Deut 32:8. My question is, where did Shanks get his reading? The
>>apparatus in Rahlfs is not very extensive. If someone has access to a
>>critical edition of Deut LXX could you look it up and see if there is
>>any support for Shanks' reading?
> What you need is a copy of the Goettingen Septuagint- the best and most
> thorough critical edition of LXX available. I too only have Rahlfs, so I
> have no idea where Shanks gets his reading (but he probably just read von
> Rad- who likewise gives no specifics--- see below). Someone with a good
> library nearby should be able to answer this with no difficulty.
> Curiously, von Rad's commentary on Deut says in a note on v8b: "This text
> has long been suspect because the LXX reads 'according to the number of the
> sons of God'. Now a fragment from cave 4 at Qumran has made it as good as
> certain that the MT cannot be the original one." The targum has "beney
> Yisrael".
> Best,
> Jim

Thanks Jim, I don't have von Rad.

I am willing to accept all of the evidence in Shanks' argument, the LXX
reading (if it exists), the scrap from Cave 4 (if it is really Deut
32:8) but Shank's conclusion that this evidence demonstrates that Israel
was polytheistic up until late in the first millennium BC is pretty far
fetched. The readings,

Deut 32:8 LXX : hUIOI TOU QEOU

the scrap from cave 4 : b'nai elohim

do not support the notion of polytheism. So it is Shanks' use of
evidence which I am complaining about. But this is off topic for
b-greek. My on topic question is just about the reading from the LXX. I
would like to hear from some one who has access to the big critical
edition of the LXX. What manuscripts support: hUIOI TOU QEOU in Deut
32:8? I wonder why, if this was a problem reading in the MT, the variant
was not included in Rahlfs.


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


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