Why is αρχή plural in Genesis 1:16?

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Brandon
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Why is αρχή plural in Genesis 1:16?

Post by Brandon » December 11th, 2019, 9:46 pm

In Genesis 1:16 LXX, ἀρχή is ἀρχάς, acc. fem. pl. both times. I would have expected ἀρχήν. Why is it plural?

Here is the text of Gen 1:16 from LXX:

καὶ ἐποίησεν ὁ ϑεὸς τοὺς δύο ϕωστῆρας τοὺς µεγάλους τὸν ϕωστῆρα τὸν µέγαν εἰς ἀρχὰς τῆς ἡµέρας καὶ τὸν ϕωστῆρα τὸν ἐλάσσω εἰς ἀρχὰς τῆς νυκτός καὶ τοὺς ἀστέρας.
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Brandon Davidson

Jason Hare
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Re: Why is αρχή plural in Genesis 1:16?

Post by Jason Hare » December 12th, 2019, 2:57 am

Hi, Brandon.

As a matter of housekeeping, please contact a moderator so that we can get your username to conform to the forum police.

I'm not sure why it would read εἰς ἀρχάς instead of εἰς ἀρχήν. I had never really thought of it. I've asked in another group, too, to put out feelers for opinions. Perhaps people have commentaries on the Septuagint.
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Jason A. Hare
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timothy_p_mcmahon
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Re: Why is αρχή plural in Genesis 1:16?

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » December 12th, 2019, 3:41 am

Is it possible the LXX translators read memshelet as memshalot and took that as a plural form?
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Ken M. Penner
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Re: Why is αρχή plural in Genesis 1:16?

Post by Ken M. Penner » December 12th, 2019, 9:31 am

timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:
December 12th, 2019, 3:41 am
Is it possible the LXX translators read memshelet as memshalot and took that as a plural form?
That is correct.
Wevers, Notes on the Greek Text of Genesis wrote:
LXX Genesis 1.16.png
Genesis 1.16
LXX Genesis 1.16.png (132.11 KiB) Viewed 488 times
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Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Why is αρχή plural in Genesis 1:16?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » December 12th, 2019, 12:27 pm

Ken M. Penner wrote:
December 12th, 2019, 9:31 am
timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:
December 12th, 2019, 3:41 am
Is it possible the LXX translators read memshelet as memshalot and took that as a plural form?
That is correct.
I mentioned the same thing in the "other group." Here as there I will also mention that the plural for the singular would not be that jarring in Greek, as you occasionally see it other contexts (most often poetry, but not limited to poetry).
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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