Question on Psa. 39:7 LXX
ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Wed Mar 15 17:32:51 EST 2000
On Wed 15 Mar 2000 (05:59:52), bwmeyers at juno.com wrote:
> Regarding KEFALIDI, in Psa. 40:7 (or 39:7?):
> Is it, or could it be regarded to be, a reference to the
> Book of Genesis (the Seed of the Woman)?
> Eg "in the HEAD of the Book it is written of Me . . ."?
> If so, what is the meaning of the Hebrew word thus
> tr'd by the LXX?
KEFALIS means a head; but it also means a Chapter or a chapter-heading.
The original Hebrew is BiM:GiLLaT-SePeR KaTuWB `aLaY, "in the Scroll
of the Book [of the Law] it is written concerning me" (BH Psalm 40:8).
The same phrase occurs in Jeremiah 36:2, 4. M:GiLLaH is either from the
root G-L-L, to roll, or from the root G-L-H, to make open or to uncover.
It seems it meant the finials on the spindles upon which a Scripture scroll
was wound, preventing the parchment or vellum from falling off the ends.
So, by synechdoche or pars pro toto, it could refer to the scroll itself.
Jerome translates /in capite libri scriptum est de me/.
The reference seems to be not to the beginning of the Torah scroll; but
bearing in mind the context in Psalm 39, something like Deuteronomy
10:12-13, as more likely to be the place in the Scroll which is being
alluded to. The Servant is answering the Master's summons: IDOU hHKW.
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 is the task he is called to perform. Compare Numbers
22:38; 2 Samuel 19:20; and Isaiah 6:8.
The "Seed of the Woman" (Genesis 3:15) is possibly what Christian
commentators see referred to in Psalm LXX 39:6b, SWMA DE KATHRTISW MOI
as quoted in Hebrews 10:5. But it is stretching credulity too far to
see that connection with EN KEFALIDI BIBLIOU.
If you have access to a library, see BF Westcott, /The Epistle to the
Hebrews/, 3rd Ed., London 1903, ad loc (page 312f in my copy).
Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
<ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
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