Isaiah Chapter 4

This is a B-Greek reading Group for the LXX Isaiah. This reading group is going through two chapters of the LXX Isaiah per week. Ken Penner, the B-Greek moderator for the "Septuagint and Pseudepigrapha Forum" is writing a commentary on the LXX Isaiah and is sharing his notes with those who wish to read the Isaiah LXX. Dive in, if you dare!
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Ken M. Penner
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Isaiah Chapter 4

Post by Ken M. Penner » July 22nd, 2011, 7:17 am

21. Shortage of men (4:1)
4.1 Καὶ ἐπιλήμψονται ἑπτὰ γυναῖκες ἀνθρώπου ἑνὸς λέγουσαι Τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν φαγόμεθα καὶ τὰ ἱμάτια ἡμῶν περιβαλούμεθα, πλὴν τὸ ὄνομα τὸ σὸν κεκλήσθω ἐφ’ ἡμᾶς, ἄφελε τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν ἡμῶν.

22. God will glorify the remnant on that day (4:2-3)
2 Τῇ δὲ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ἐπιλάμψει ὁ θεὸς ἐν βουλῇ μετὰ δόξης ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς τοῦ ὑψῶσαι καὶ δοξάσαι τὸ καταλειφθὲν τοῦ Ἰσραήλ, 3 καὶ ἔσται τὸ ὑπολειφθὲν ἐν Σειὼν καὶ τὸ καταλειφθὲν ἐν Ἰερουσαλὴμ ἅγιοι κληθήσονται, πάντες οἱ γραφέντες εἰς ζωὴν ἐν Ἰερουσαλήμ·
23. Lord will purge and protect Jerusalem (4:4-6)
4 ὅτι ἐκπλυνεῖ Κύριος τὸν ῥύπον τῶν υἱῶν καὶ τῶν θυγατέρων Σειών καὶ τὸ αἷμα Ἰερουσαλὴμ ἐκκαθαριεῖ ἐκ μέσου αὐτῶν ἐν πνεύματι κρίσεως καὶ ἐν πνεύματι καύσεως. 5 καὶ ἥξει, καὶ ἔσται πᾶς τόπος τοῦ ὄρους Σειὼν καὶ πάντα τὰ περικύκλῳ αὐτῆς σκιάσει νεφέλη ἡμέρας καὶ ὡς καπνοῦ καὶ ὡς φωτὸς πυρὸς καιομένου νυκτός· πάσῃ τῇ δόξῃ σκεπασθήσεται· 6 καὶ ἔσται εἰς σκιὰν ἀπὸ καύματος καὶ ἐν σκέπῃ καὶ ἐν ἀποκρύφῳ ἀπὸ σκληρότητος καὶ ὑετοῦ.
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Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

Ken M. Penner
Posts: 774
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Notes on Isaiah 4:1

Post by Ken M. Penner » July 22nd, 2011, 1:27 pm

21. Shortage of men (4:1)
4.1 Καὶ ἐπιλήμψονται ἑπτὰ γυναῖκες ἀνθρώπου ἑνὸς λέγουσαι Τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν φαγόμεθα καὶ τὰ ἱμάτια ἡμῶν περιβαλούμεθα, πλὴν τὸ ὄνομα τὸ σὸν κεκλήσθω ἐφ’ ἡμᾶς, ἄφελε τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν ἡμῶν.
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κεκλήσθω ἐφ’ ἡμᾶς] LSJ says καλεῖν ὄνομα ἐπί τινι is to give a name to something, citing Plato’s Parmenides 147d, καλεῖν τινὰ ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ πατρός (Luke 1:59), and the passive καλεῖσθαι ἐπί τινι in Gen 48:6, but these use the dative case. Polybius has ἐπʼ ὀνόματος καλεῖν τινα, but that is genitive. The instances in the Greek Bible in which καλεῖν ἐπί are used with the accusative all refer to something being summoned to that thing in the accusative case. Jeremiah 25:29 may be a parallel, with ὠνομάσθη τὸ ὄνομά μου ἐπʼ αὐτήν.
Victorinus includes “the seven women of Isaiah” in a list of biblical sevens explaining the importance of the number seven (On the Creation of the World). He also claims the “one man” is Christ, the seven women are seven churches, the bread is the Holy Spirit, the garments are the glory of immortality, the reproach is original sin (taken away in baptism), and the name is “Christian” (Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John 1).
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Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

Ken M. Penner
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Notes on Isaiah 4:2-3

Post by Ken M. Penner » July 22nd, 2011, 1:29 pm

22. God will glorify the remnant on that day (4:2-3)
2 Τῇ δὲ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ἐπιλάμψει ὁ θεὸς ἐν βουλῇ μετὰ δόξης ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς τοῦ ὑψῶσαι καὶ δοξάσαι τὸ καταλειφθὲν τοῦ Ἰσραήλ, 3 καὶ ἔσται τὸ ὑπολειφθὲν ἐν Σειὼν καὶ τὸ καταλειφθὲν ἐν Ἰερουσαλὴμ ἅγιοι κληθήσονται, πάντες οἱ γραφέντες εἰς ζωὴν ἐν Ἰερουσαλήμ·
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  • δὲ] has no counterpart in Hebrew. Ottley calls this a “sudden transition.”
  • ἐπιλάμψει] Usually the root צמח is rendered by a form of ἀνατέλλω, as in 42:9; 43:19; 44:4; 45:8; 58:8; 61:11. Ottley claims G read יצח, rendered by ἔλαμψαν in Lam 4:7. Because the translator was working from an unpointed text, he appears to have read יהיה צמח as a periphrastic future participle: God "will be arising." The verb ἐπιλάμπω is used in the Greek Bible only here and Wisdom 5:6. The noun צמח (which also appears in 61:11) carries messianic connotations in Jeremiah 23:5 but G does not bring out such connotations here.
  • ἐν βουλῇ] The Hebrew צבי “beauty, honor” was read as if it were the Aramaic צבו “purpose” from the root צְבָא “desire,” as Ottley notes (see Dan 4:17).
  • τὸ καταλειφθὲν τοῦ Ἰσραήλ] The neuter passive participle καταλειφθέν translates יתר in Leviticus 6 and 14. Here it translates פליטה, which normally is rendered with a form of σῴζω (but see Isa 37:31); Obadiah and Joel have the highest incidence of פליטה. Most of the instances of καταλείπω in the OG are translations of שׁאר עזב or יתר. The aorist passive participle of καταλείπω appears most in Isaiah (4:2, 3; 6:12; 7:3, 22; 10:19, 20, 21; 11:11, 16; 24:14; 28:5).
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  • τὸ ὑπολειφθὲν] shown to be a synonym for καταλειφθέν “remnant”. Most of the instances of ὑπολείπω in the OG are translations of שׁאר or יתר. This is the only instance of the aorist passive participle of ὑπολείπω in G, but it also occurs in 4 Kingdoms 19:30.
  • γραφέντες] the έ theme vowel indicates the aorist passive.
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Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

Ken M. Penner
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Notes on Isaiah 4:4-6

Post by Ken M. Penner » July 22nd, 2011, 1:30 pm

23. Lord will purge and protect Jerusalem (4:4-6)
4 ὅτι ἐκπλυνεῖ Κύριος τὸν ῥύπον τῶν υἱῶν καὶ τῶν θυγατέρων Σειών καὶ τὸ αἷμα Ἰερουσαλὴμ ἐκκαθαριεῖ ἐκ μέσου αὐτῶν ἐν πνεύματι κρίσεως καὶ ἐν πνεύματι καύσεως. 5 καὶ ἥξει, καὶ ἔσται πᾶς τόπος τοῦ ὄρους Σειὼν καὶ πάντα τὰ περικύκλῳ αὐτῆς σκιάσει νεφέλη ἡμέρας καὶ ὡς καπνοῦ καὶ ὡς φωτὸς πυρὸς καιομένου νυκτός· πάσῃ τῇ δόξῃ σκεπασθήσεται· 6 καὶ ἔσται εἰς σκιὰν ἀπὸ καύματος καὶ ἐν σκέπῃ καὶ ἐν ἀποκρύφῳ ἀπὸ σκληρότητος καὶ ὑετοῦ.
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  • ἐκπλυνεῖ] future of ἐκπλύνω “wash out,” a tense reversal of the Hebrew qatal form.
  • ῥύπον] “filth”, used also in 1Pe 3:21.
  • τῶν υἱῶν καὶ] no counterpart in the Hebrew.
  • Ἰερουσαλὴμ] not in other uncials and editions; included by ca and cb3 (it is in the Hebrew), but removed by cb2.
  • ἐν πνεύματι καύσεως] Other uncials and editions lack this second ἐν. The Hebrew has the preposition ב in both instances.
  • ἐκκαθαριεῖ] future of ἐκκαθαρίζω.
Irenaeus says Jesus washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion when he washed the disciples’s feet (Against Heresies 4.22.1). Clement of Alexandria says it is necessary to wash the soul in the cleansing Word, a spiritual bath, of which prophecy speaks, citing this verse. He explains that the “blood” is crime and the murders of the prophets, and the mode of cleansing is “by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning,” which is not physical cleansing, since it is not with water (Paedagogus 3.9) Origen, in arguing that the purpose of God’s fury is to cleanse souls, introduces a quotation of 4:4 with “Isaiah, who speaks thus of Israel” (De princ. 2.10.6).
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  • ἥξει] The Hebrew has ברא, but G apparently read ובא (transposition and waw-resh confusion). Used impersonally “it will come (to pass)” as in Matthew 24:14 “then the end will come” or more exactly Luke 13:35 ἥξει ὅτε. Silva takes it personally, with the subject Κύριος from verse 4.
  • ἔσται] The Hebrew has יהוה, which G apparently read as יהיה (waw-yod confusion), a confusion that would not happen if the tetragrammaton were written in paleo-Hebrew script. This misunderstanding yielded difficulties that G did not resolve by paraphrase. As the Greek stands, the subject is unclear, since ἔσται expects two nominatives, one as subject, and the other as predicate. One of the nominatives is πᾶς τόπος; the other must be either Σειὼν or unspecified: “there will be” or “it will be (that).” If one of the nominatives is the predicate, it makes slightly more sense that it be Σειὼν, as my translation has it “every place of the mountain will be Seion” rather than “Seion will be every place of the mountain.” The clause cannot be construed as “It will come and it will be (that) every place of the mountain of Seion and everything around it [feminine: Seion?] …” because we then encounter the verb σκιάσει and its nominative subject νεφέλη. But σκίασει might be understood not as a verb but as the dative of the noun σκίασις, in which case the only verb is ἔσται, and the two nominatives are πᾶς τόπος τοῦ ὄρους Σειὼν καὶ πάντα τὰ περικύκλῳ αὐτῆς and νεφέλη. Then we could translate, “Every place of the mountain Seion and everything around it will be a cloud for shade…” and this may solve one of the problems regarding the verbs’ subjects in the next verse. Silva has “and as for every site of Mount Sion and all that surrounds it, a cloud will overshadow it,” moving “will be” into the next clause.
  • σκιάσει] no counterpart in Hebrew. Apparently G added it to resolve some of the syntactic difficulties resulting from his earlier misunderstandings, but was unsuccessful. See the discussion on ἔσται above. Ottley writes, “As the text stands, however, πᾶς τόπος is probably a casus pendens, filling the place of another object to σκιάσει, and perhaps changed to the nom. by the influence of ἔσται preceding, aided by the general influence of Heb. syntax” (2.122).
  • ἡμέρας καὶ ὡς καπνοῦ καὶ φωτὸς πυρὸς καιομένου νυκτός] ἡμέρας and νυκτός are genitives of time “by day” and “by night.” The phrase ὡς καπνοῦ καὶ ὡς φωτὸς πυρὸς καιομένου is separated from ἡμέρας by the καὶ, so it modifies νυκτός rather than ἡμέρας. The participle καιομένου modifies πυρὸς attributively, so the sense is “like (that) of smoke and like (that) of (the) light of burning fire.”
  • φωτὸς] B (Swete) lacks ὡς.
  • πάσῃ] B (Swete) has καὶ πάσῃ.
  • σκεπασθήσεται] The Hebrew has the noun חפה. We would expect the subject to remain the same as in the preceding verse, whether νεφέλη or πᾶς τόπος. The latter makes more sense as something to be sheltered.
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ἔσται] Again, the subject should remain the same, but in this case νεφέλη makes more sense as something that will serve as a shade.
In the paragraph as a whole we find something sheltering and something being sheltered. It appears most sensible to understand that the “spirit of burning” produces a cloud of smoke that then protects Seion and its environs. The judgement of Seion becomes its salvation.
Chrysostom cites 4:6 to show that the “cloud” of witnesses in Hebrews 12:1 is often offered by scripture as a consolation, since it protects “from burning heat, and from storm, and rain” (Homilies on Hebrews 28.3).
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Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

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