Gen 50:13 מַכְפֵּלָה as partic. >τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν

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Stephen Hughes
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Gen 50:13 מַכְפֵּלָה as partic. >τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 31st, 2016, 2:54 pm

I'm not familiar enough with Hebrew to go any further with this question about this variation between the MT and the LXX Vorlage. The specific things I find myself wondering about are these:
Genesis 50:13 (MT) wrote:וַיִּשְׂא֨וּ אֹת֤וֹ בָנָיו֙ אַ֣רְצָה כְּנַ֔עַן וַיִּקְבְּר֣וּ אֹת֔וֹ בִּמְעָרַ֖ת שְׂדֵ֣ה הַמַּכְפֵּלָ֑ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר קָנָה֩ אַבְרָהָ֨ם אֶת־ הַשָּׂדֶ֜ה לַאֲחֻזַּת־ קֶ֗בֶר מֵאֵ֛ת עֶפְרֹ֥ן הַחִתִּ֖י עַל־ פְּנֵ֥י מַמְרֵֽא׃
Genesis 50:13 (LXX) wrote:καὶ ἀνέλαβον αὐτὸν οἱ υἱοὶ αὐτοῦ εἰς γῆν Χαναὰν καὶ ἔθαψαν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν, ὃ ἐκτήσατο ῾Αβραὰμ τὸ σπήλαιον ἐν κτήσει μνημείου παρὰ ᾿Εφρὼν τοῦ Χετταίου, κατέναντι Μαμβρῆ.
My general question is whether the LXX phrase τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν "the double cave", a possible and valid rendering of the Hebrew מַכְפֵּלָה (if the pointing were different)? What would the correct form of the feminine particple (perhaps מוכפלה) from כָּפַל "double" (including the pointing) need to be to have the meaning "doubled"? Would the addition of the waw in the participial form, and its absence in the מַכְפֵּלָה be enough to let us understand what might have been going through the LXX translators' mind while reading of the text - is the spelling of participles flexible in this (waw) regard?

Seeing as this is not translated as δεδιπλωμένον "doubled" in the LXX, but as διπλοῦν "double", let me ask a general question: Are Hebrew participles usually rendered as Greek participles? In other words, if this διπλοῦν is in fact a rendering of of the Hebrew participial form, is the choice of a Greek adjective note-worthy or commonplace?

Has it been put forward concerning this phrase that the LXX rendering is more likely due to a specific ignorance in geography, or to an avoidance of mentioning a place following the Judea - Sameria schism.

Is it reasonable to assume that the שְׂדֵ֣ה of the MT was not in the LXX Vorlage?
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

S Walch
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Re: Gen 50:13 מַכְפֵּלָה as partic. >τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν

Post by S Walch » August 1st, 2016, 9:20 am

Gonna rearrange your questions a bit, Stephen, as some are germaine to others preceding them:
Has it been put forward concerning this phrase that the LXX rendering is more likely due to a specific ignorance in geography, or to an avoidance of mentioning a place following the Judea - Sameria schism.
The LXX Genesis translator prefers to translate rather than transliterate place-names that you and I are probably more familiar with, such as in Gen. 16:13 'El-Roi becomes ὁ θεὸς ὁ ἐφιδών με; Gen. 25:11 Beer-Lahai-Roi becomes τὸ φρέαρ τῆς ὁράσεως. However these aren't technically proper nouns, and the LXX translator does like to transliterate the proper nouns in Genesis.
Stephen Hughes wrote:I'm not familiar enough with Hebrew to go any further with this question about this variation between the MT and the LXX Vorlage. The specific things I find myself wondering about are these:
Genesis 50:13 (MT) wrote:וַיִּשְׂא֨וּ אֹת֤וֹ בָנָיו֙ אַ֣רְצָה כְּנַ֔עַן וַיִּקְבְּר֣וּ אֹת֔וֹ בִּמְעָרַ֖ת שְׂדֵ֣ה הַמַּכְפֵּלָ֑ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר קָנָה֩ אַבְרָהָ֨ם אֶת־ הַשָּׂדֶ֜ה לַאֲחֻזַּת־ קֶ֗בֶר מֵאֵ֛ת עֶפְרֹ֥ן הַחִתִּ֖י עַל־ פְּנֵ֥י מַמְרֵֽא׃
Genesis 50:13 (LXX) wrote:καὶ ἀνέλαβον αὐτὸν οἱ υἱοὶ αὐτοῦ εἰς γῆν Χαναὰν καὶ ἔθαψαν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν, ὃ ἐκτήσατο ῾Αβραὰμ τὸ σπήλαιον ἐν κτήσει μνημείου παρὰ ᾿Εφρὼν τοῦ Χετταίου, κατέναντι Μαμβρῆ.
My general question is whether the LXX phrase τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν "the double cave", a possible and valid rendering of the Hebrew מַכְפֵּלָה (if the pointing were different)?
As noted above, the LXX Genesis translator preferred to transliterate rather than translate proper nouns, so a question we should ask here actually is, "Is Machpelah a proper-noun?"

In Hebrew, proper nouns aren't prefixed with the definite article, yet here in Genesis 50:13 we have הַמַּכְפֵּלָ֑ה literally "the Machpelah" - this would therefore indicate that thinking of Machpelah as a location name is in error.

Looking at the other places where הַמַּכְפֵּלָ֑ה appears, Gen 23:9, 17, 19; 25:9; 49:30; bar Gen 23:17, it always has the definite article prefixed - in Gen 23:17, the definite article has been technically "swallowed" by the prefixed preposition ב.

Checking this places in the LXX, we have:
Gen 23:9: τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν
Gen 23:17: ἐν τῷ διπλῷ σπηλαίῳ
Gen 23:19: ἐν τῷ σπηλαίῳ τοῦ ἀγροῦ τῷ διπλῷ
Gen 25:9: τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν
Gen 49:30: ἐν τῷ σπηλαίῳ τῷ διπλῷ

As you can see, the LXX translator has taken הַמַּכְפֵּלָ֑ה to be an adjective each time, always preceded by the definite article. I would likely suppose that the definite article before the word is what has influenced the translator to not take מַּכְפֵּלָ֑ה as a proper noun.
What would the correct form of the feminine participle (perhaps מוכפלה) from כָּפַל "double" (including the pointing) need to be to have the meaning "doubled"? Would the addition of the waw in the participial form, and its absence in the מַכְפֵּלָה be enough to let us understand what might have been going through the LXX translators' mind while reading of the text - is the spelling of participles flexible in this (waw) regard?
Afraid I don't work with pointed Hebrew text to give you much help on this.
Seeing as this is not translated as δεδιπλωμένον "doubled" in the LXX, but as διπλοῦν "double",
See above regarding the definite article.
let me ask a general question: Are Hebrew participles usually rendered as Greek participles? In other words, if this διπλοῦν is in fact a rendering of of the Hebrew participial form, is the choice of a Greek adjective noteworthy or commonplace?
No, not really, and it is quite commonplace for the LXX to translate nouns as verbs, participles as nouns, verbs as participles, and any and all inbetween.

Though again, in this case, see above regarding the definite article.
Is it reasonable to assume that the שְׂדֵ֣ה of the MT was not in the LXX Vorlage?
From the verses quoted above, I would say it's highly likely that שְׂדֵ֣ה was not in the LXX Vorlage. If it had been, it would've looked like 23:19 above (which is almost the exact same wording as 50:13 in Hebrew). Also, it looks like the LXX Vorlage at 49:30 was also missing the שְׂדֵ֣ה, which is there in the MT.

Hopefully that helps :)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Gen 50:13 מַכְפֵּלָה as partic. >τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 1st, 2016, 11:56 pm

S Walch wrote:Gonna rearrange your questions a bit, Stephen,
My whole question was baised towards the lack of the waw, which was were I got stuck (on).
S Walch wrote:The LXX Genesis translator prefers to translate rather than transliterate place-names that you and I are probably more familiar with, such as in Gen. 16:13 'El-Roi becomes ὁ θεὸς ὁ ἐφιδών με; Gen. 25:11 Beer-Lahai-Roi becomes τὸ φρέαρ τῆς ὁράσεως. However these aren't technically proper nouns, and the LXX translator does like to transliterate the proper nouns in Genesis.
That (LXX) style of translating has been a liberating moment for a few times in my life with place names. There is a sense of inclusiveness or includedness in understanding place names. I recall as a child and young teen, reading the OT in English and enjoying memorising the "meaning" of the place names, but it wasn't till my later teen years that I began to learn a lit-tle Hebrew and (eventually) a lot-tle Greek. The language of the place names was the third leg of the stool. To remember the sacred stories about how the place got its name, to know how the name was formed within the language that it was part of, and the name as we say it, are all important. The initiatory effect of lifting the veil (so to speak), is not so defined in our written (and translated) culture, but in a situation where sacred stories were told orally and/or in a language one had to learn to make sense of place names, things might be very different. Practically speking, where I live all the place names are , as you would expect, in Chinese. Places that I knew as seemingly random sounds actually have meaning and the words that form the names are used in everyday speech, for example Xi'an meaning "Western Peace", containing very common words. For some of them too, there are records of their naming and renaming in the annals of Chinese history - in this case Ming dynasty. Another thing are people's names, an instance of that in my experience was in learning Middle Egyptian. Seeing the name Ramesses in English is just like yeah a foreign name, but reading Ra-mss-sw and knowing something about the solar theology, and seeing the object pronoun -sw "him", or ra in its common meanings of "day" or "sun" in common use, etc., or hearing the meaning "the beautiful has arrived" when one reads the name Nefer.t-iyi.ti (loosely "babe in the house") is really great. Seeing the Kamilaroi Highway as a piece of road with a distinctive name is one thing, but knowing that it means, the land and people who use (have) "Gamil" for "no", is another thing. Being able to use that language and understand that culture is another thing besides. It seems that the LXX in this verse brings the understanding of the text to us, in a way that connects the sacred stories to the land and brings a better sense of identification - there is a certain veiling in using transliterations.
S Walch wrote:As noted above, the LXX Genesis translator preferred to transliterate rather than translate proper nouns, so a question we should ask here actually is, "Is Machpelah a proper-noun?"
The implied flipside of what you are saying seems to be that מַכְפֵּלָה is a something else. Could it be something other than a participle?
S Walch wrote:Hopefully that helps :)
:)
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S Walch
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Re: Gen 50:13 מַכְפֵּלָה as partic. >τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν

Post by S Walch » August 2nd, 2016, 10:53 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:My whole question was based towards the lack of the waw, which was where I got stuck (on).
Oh, sorry, didn't quite get that from what you were asking. :)

The formation of the Hebrew participle is quite simple: take the root letters (pretty much always three), and if you want an active participle, add a waw after the initial letter; and if you want a passive participle, add a waw after the middle letter, hence:

Root: כפל
Active Part: כופל
Passive Part: כפול

The Masoretes usually don't have the waw included in the spelling of the active (the DSS probably would though), and so have the Cholem point above the initial letter.

In the case of the feminine, it would be the same as above, just with an included ה at the end (כופלה etc.).

However, the above only applies to the Qal - it doesn't apply to Piel, Hiphil, hitpael, etc., etc.

If we were to look at מכפלה as a participle formation from כפל, it would more or less be the Piel (prefix of מ to the word) hence מכפל meaning "making double" (or possibly "increasing two-fold"), with the feminine ending added to make it feminine.

The question arises though - is מכפל a participle formed from the verb כפל, or is it a noun or adjective formed from the noun כפל, as quite a few nouns are formed by prefixing a מ as well (see אור/light - מאור/luminary; קוה/collect - מקוה/collection as some examples).

As such to answer your actual question: You wouldn't get a participle from מכפלה by including a waw after the initial mem, as the mem isn't part of the root.

FWIW, the Piel participle vowel points for מכפל would be IIRC מְכַפֵּל (mekapel).
Stephen Hughes wrote:It seems that the LXX in this verse brings the understanding of the text to us, in a way that connects the sacred stories to the land and brings a better sense of identification - there is a certain veiling in using transliterations.
Agreed. I have long preached the importance of the LXX beyond just looking at it to find clues to the Greek NT - it's transliteration and non-transliteration of names being an important one, especially when it comes to determining the Masoretic vowel pointing.
Stephen Hughes wrote:The implied flipside of what you are saying seems to be that מַכְפֵּלָה is a something else. Could it be something other than a participle?
Yep, that was my gist. An actual adjective is my thinking :)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Gen 50:13 מַכְפֵּלָה as partic. >τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 2nd, 2016, 11:45 am

As such to answer your actual question: You wouldn't get a participle from מכפלה by including a waw after the initial mem, as the mem isn't part of the root.
Ahh. Piel, I think I might even have known that at some time. I thought the forms beginning with the mem were passive participles. Luckily this is a Greek forum - less people will be aware of my ignorance.
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S Walch
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Re: Gen 50:13 מַכְפֵּלָה as partic. >τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν

Post by S Walch » August 2nd, 2016, 12:17 pm

The following may be of use then, Stephen - https://www.scribd.com/doc/30081523/Cha ... articiples

Actually one of the clearest explanations of the participle that I've ever read.

Quick run down of Hebrew Participles:

Qal - Has active and passive forms
Piel - Only active
Hitpael - Only active
Hiphil - Only active
Niphal - Only Passive
Pual - Only Passive
Hophal - Only Passive

Qal will have no prefix; Niphal will have נ prefix; All the rest will have מ prefix (Hitpael will be -מת), hence why you may have understood that the מ prefix indicated passive.

Again, hope this helps!

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Gen 50:13 מַכְפֵּלָה as partic. >τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 2nd, 2016, 4:59 pm

S Walch wrote:Again, hope this helps!
Thank you for your patience. Your help has brought balance and perspective to my questioning.
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RandallButh
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Re: Gen 50:13 מַכְפֵּלָה as partic. >τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν

Post by RandallButh » August 3rd, 2016, 2:18 am

I would suggest learning Hebrew beyond a level where the above descriptions and link to the participle might be thought useful. Granted that the description was quick, the description and link skew what is going on and probably should not be used at all. (Nif`al and hitpa`el are middle, the true qal passive participle is very rare, the common qal passive is a perfect [not the same semantic aspectual category as the other participles (participles mark imperfective aspect in Hebrew [not yiqtol])], and the nature of the binyanim are often mis-extrapolated in English grammars on Hebrew, etc.) However, since this is a Greek forum, the Hebrew discussion should probably stop with this caveat hinting at the sinkholes.

As for maxpela, it is one of many noun patterns in Hebrew. While it shares some features with some participles (which are also part of the noun-adjective system in Hebrew) it is a noun form, not a conjugated form that can be auto-generated. Yes, the etymology sounds like 'the item of doubling', hence the LXX.

Jason Hare
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Re: Gen 50:13 מַכְפֵּלָה as partic. >τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν

Post by Jason Hare » August 3rd, 2016, 3:30 pm

Even with the definite article, I would read הַמַּכְפֵּלָה as a place name. Perhaps it's because that is how I've already read it. I guess that it would be worthwhile to go back and look at all of the instances and see if I could make sense of it in connection with the concept of "doubling" (כֶּ֫פֶל or הַכְפָּלָה). If it were "the doubled cave" (for whatever reason) the adjectival participle would be passive, and I would expect הַמֻּכְפֶּ֫לֶת or הַכְּפוּלָה. Biblical Hebrew wouldn't demand a vav in the huphal form.

If it were thought to be active, the participle in the hiphil would be either מַכְפֶּ֫לֶת or מַכְפִּילָה.

I want to go back through the references to Machpelah (which, as far as I know, everyone takes as a place name) and see if anything clicks for me.

Interesting question.

By the way, the maXXēXāh pattern in Hebrew is often used for instruments or tools: מַקְדֵּחָה drill, מַשְׁאֵבָה pump etc. As Randall said, it's not an uncommon pattern for nouns, so I don't really see the need to re-envision it as an adjective. That said, I do want to look over this.
Jason A. Hare
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Gen 50:13 מַכְפֵּלָה as partic. >τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 3rd, 2016, 11:52 pm

Jason Hare wrote:If it were "the doubled cave" (for whatever reason) the adjectival participle would be passive, and I would expect הַמֻּכְפֶּ֫לֶת or הַכְּפוּלָה. Biblical Hebrew wouldn't demand a vav in the huphal form.
Here is a plan of the cave. There are clearly two parts to it.

Image

The description of the following photo talks about "the double cave" below. I presume that this is location 26 on the other plan.

Image

This link may also be interesting. There is a mixture of fact and opinion in those links.
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(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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