Re: 1 Kings 1:15 (LXX)

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Nov 23 1999 - 09:11:34 EST

At 7:34 AM -0600 11/23/99, Steven Craig Miller wrote:
>To: Carl W. Conrad,
><< The only LXX text I have available at home reads GUNH hHi SKLHRA hHMERA
>EGW EIMI; i.e. hHi is a relative pronoun, not an article; given this text,
>I would understand the Greek with SKLHRA as the predicate adjective n. pl.
>and hHMERA as the subject n. pl. with an implicit ESTI thus: "I am a woman
>for whom soft things are hard." That is, I understand hHMERA here as a
>neuter plural form of the adjective hHMEROS,-A,-ON. >>
>Without implying anything, one way or the other, as to the merits of your
>interpretation, would I be correct to suggest that the editor (Alfred
>Rahlfs) of the LXX does not concur with you since he accented hHMERA as an
>paroxytone rather than a proparoxytone? For according to my intermediate
>LS, the accent on hHMERA ("day") is on the penult, whereas the accent on
>hHMEROS is on the antepenult (which is the way it appears at 4 Macc 2:14 &
>14:15). (By this I don't mean to suggest that the editor was necessarily

You are certainly right; I was making a guess on the basis of the text of
the LXX given by AcCordance and I wasn't at the time looking at the
accentuation which I now see is,in fact, hHME/RA. I was doing no more than
guessing, partially on the basis that the adjective hHMEROS does mean
"refined," "sophisticated" in a sense that fits the drinking of wine (I
always think of those lines of Julius Caesar in De Bello Gallico, that the
Belgae are of all Gauls fortissimi, propertea quod a cultu atque humanitate
Provinciae longissime absunt, minimeque saepe mercatores ad eos veniunt
atque ea quae ad effeminandos animos pertinent important. In sum, it seemed
natural to me; you're quite right, however, that Rahlfs clearly didn't
understand it that way, but must rather have understood it as "for whom the
day is harsh."

Maurice O'Sullivan in his most recent post (1:15 PM +0000 11/23/99) says:
>I have checked the apparatus in BHS, and find that the citation of the LXX
>at 1 S. 1:15 is the article and not the relative pronoun ( with some MSS
>reading EN ) and the Latin is given as "dura dies" ( variation "dierum" )
>So, the question now appears to be: on what basis did Rahlfs opt for the
>relative pronoun?

The only guess I can offer is that the article made no sense with the text
as Greg Stafford read it: GUNH hH SKLHRA hHMERA EGW EIMI; it can make some
sense if the hH is read as a dative sg. relative pronoun: "I am a woman
whose day is harsh." Of course the iota subscript and the accents are not
in the earliest MSS, but if the Vulgate has DIES, then the Latin translator
understood the Greek text as hHME/RA. I don't claim that my interpretation
must be right, but I think there's some significant confusion as to what
the right reading of the Greek text ought to be. The MT, acc. to BHS, is
ISHAH Q'SAT-RUaCH ANOKI, "I am a woman of hard spirit" or something like

An interesting problem. The only thing I'm ready to say for sure is that
the text as Greg read it--which may be what the LXX actually offers--GUNH
hH SKLHRA hHMERA EGW EIMI--can't make any sense as it stands, with hH as a
feminine article.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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