Re: LEH - Lexicon of the LXX

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Fri Nov 26 1999 - 15:47:44 EST

A few more comments on TROCOS in Psalm 77:19 (76:19).

In my last post I raised the question, what words were available to the
translator of this Psalm to render GLGL as "whirlwind?" I used
Woodhouse on Attic Vocabulary to help me with this which was OK but the
electronic version of LEH was more fruitful. Searching for whirlwind in
the English text of LEH produced some words which could have been used
for "whirlwind" such as:

Jb 28:10; 37:9
 whirlwind Jb 37:9;

Jer 32(25):32; Jb 21:18; 38:1; Wis 5:14,23
  whirlwind, hurricane Jer 32(25):32;


1 Kgs 19:11(bis).12; 2 Kgs 2:1,11
 earthquake 1 Kgs 19:11; commotion of air, whirlwind 2 Kgs 2:1;
upheaval, commotion Jer 23:19
 *1 Chr 14:15 of the tempest

So three cheers for the electronic LEH.

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

---------- >From: "clayton stirling bartholomew" <>

> My comments on TROCOS in Psalm 77:19 (76:19) need some revision. > This word is a good example to illustrate the difficulties one is up > against when doing lexical analysis in the LXX. > > The Hebrew word in question GLGL is ambiguous. BDB notes this by giving > the alternatives "whirlwind or wheel" for Psalm 77:19. M. Dahood (Psalms > II AB, p. 232) argues that this does not mean whirlwind, but something > round and in this case "the dome of heaven". You will need to see Dahood > for the details of his argument. I cite him only to illustrate the > difficulty with this word not because I find his argument compelling. > > I did wonder what words were available in the Attic language for > "whirlwind" and I found several including QUELLA, TUFOWS, and PRHSTHR. > None of these words is a technical designation of whirlwind and only > QUELLA is used in the LXX and only in the Pentateuch Ex. 10:22, Deut. > 4:11, Deut. 5:22 and in these passages nothing like a whirlwind is > intended so I am left wondering what the options were for the translator > of the LXX in Psalm 77:19 (76:19). I am sure that more research would > shed light on this but I am not sure I want to take the time. > > I am inclined to speculate at this point that TROCOS was used in Psalm > 77:19 (76:19) because TROCOS mirrored the ambiguity of GLGL nicely. This > is one approach to translation. If you find an ambiguous word use a > closely equivalent ambiguous word and let the reader decide what to make > of it. > > So perhaps the LSJ rendering as "whirlwind" for this passage cannot be > blindly followed either. > > I think this helps illustrate that doing lexical analysis in translation > Greek is a bit messy since there are a lot of things one must take into > consideration. > > Clay

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