1 Kings 5:4 ἀμφότερα τὰ ἴχνη χειρῶν αὐτοῦ Hebraism or clarification

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Stephen Hughes
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1 Kings 5:4 ἀμφότερα τὰ ἴχνη χειρῶν αὐτοῦ Hebraism or clarification

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 7th, 2017, 12:42 am

1 Kings 5:4 wrote:καὶ ἐγένετο ὅτε ὤρθρισαν τὸ πρωί καὶ ἰδοὺ Δαγων πεπτωκὼς ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἐνώπιον κιβωτοῦ διαθήκης κυρίου καὶ ἡ κεφαλὴ Δαγων καὶ ἀμφότερα τὰ ἴχνη χειρῶν αὐτοῦ ἀφῃρημένα ἐπὶ τὰ ἐμπρόσθια αμαφεθ ἕκαστον καὶ ἀμφότεροι οἱ καρποὶ τῶν χειρῶν αὐτοῦ πεπτωκότες ἐπὶ τὸ πρόθυρον πλὴν ἡ ῥάχις Δαγων ὑπελείφθη
וַיַּשְׁכִּ֣מוּ בַבֹּקֶר֮ מִֽמָּחֳרָת֒ וְהִנֵּ֣ה דָג֗וֹן נֹפֵ֤ל לְפָנָיו֙ אַ֔רְצָה לִפְנֵ֖י אֲר֣וֹן יְהוָ֑ה וְרֹ֨אשׁ דָּג֜וֹן וּשְׁתֵּ֣י ׀ כַּפּ֣וֹת יָדָ֗יו כְּרֻתוֹת֙ אֶל ־ הַמִּפְתָּ֔ן רַ֥ק דָּג֖וֹן נִשְׁאַ֥ר עָלָֽיו ׃
Perhaps the addition of the extra phrase ἀμφότεροι οἱ καρποὶ τῶν χειρῶν αὐτοῦ is a marginal interpolation, or perhaps it is a way of clarifying that the "wrists" were not meant, but what other "wrists" are there? Why is הַמִּפְתָּ֔ן lexically untranslated? The phrase ἐπὶ τὰ ἐμπρόσθια αμαφεθ seems like a clumsy back translation of ἐπὶ τὸ πρόθυρον.

The entire section seems badly and unidiomatically translated. Do others have a different take on it?


Cf. παλάμη "palm". σφυρόν "ankle".
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: 1 Kings 5:4 ἀμφότερα τὰ ἴχνη χειρῶν αὐτοῦ Hebraism or clarification

Post by Barry Hofstetter » May 7th, 2017, 8:45 am

It's sometimes very difficult to get inside the head of a LXX translator and figure out why he translated the way he did. We used to have Ken Penner and a few other Septuagintalists posting here? However, I will point out that 1 Reigns 5:4 is not 1 Kings 5:4 in the English Bible, but 1 Samuel 5:4, just to avoid confusion.
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Ken M. Penner
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Re: 1 Kings 5:4 ἀμφότερα τὰ ἴχνη χειρῶν αὐτοῦ Hebraism or clarification

Post by Ken M. Penner » May 7th, 2017, 8:57 am

I'll just say the translation of 1 Reigns is complicated. Have you compared 4QSama?
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S Walch
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Re: 1 Kings 5:4 ἀμφότερα τὰ ἴχνη χειρῶν αὐτοῦ Hebraism or clarification

Post by S Walch » May 7th, 2017, 9:58 am

Unfortunately 1 Sam 5:4 isn't in 4QSama, which has extant 5:8 and onwards.

I would say we have have some sort of conflation of translations in the LXX, as both the two phrases:

καὶ ἀμφότερα τὰ ἴχνη χειρῶν αὐτοῦ ἀφῃρημένα ἐπὶ τὰ ἐμπρόσθια ἁμαφὲθ ἕκαστοι
καὶ ἀμφότεροι οἱ καρποὶ τῶν χειρῶν αὐτοῦ πεπτωκότες ἐπὶ τὸ πρόθυρον

Are translations of the Hebrew
וּשְׁתֵּ֣י כַּפּ֣וֹת יָדָ֗יו כְּרֻתוֹת֙ אֶל־הַמִּפְתָּ֔ן

Albeit the first one isn't nearly as good as the second.

Either that, or when translating the translator skipped back and did the same phrase again, though that seems unlikely.

Could argue that τὰ ἴχνη χειρῶν αὐτοῦ and οἱ καρποὶ τῶν χειρῶν αὐτοῦ are referring to different sections of the 'hand' - ἴχνη χειρῶν/feet of the hands = upper forearm ; καρποὶ τῶν χειρῶν/fruit of the hands = main palm.

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