Jud 3:17 (LXX)

Trevor Peterson 06PETERSON at cua.edu
Thu Oct 11 10:23:21 EDT 2001

Maybe it was the ANE equivalent of an airheaded fashion model--heavy on looks 
(no pun intended), light on wits.  There seems to be something worth noting 
too about building up the antagonist to make it feel that much better when 
he's torn down.  This is the first thing we're told about Eglon personally, so 
it's not much of a buildup, but at least it gets us thinking of him as someone 
successful.  (And again, I do think it's possible, if the translation was done 
"on the fly," that the translator might not have known what sort of person he 
would turn out to be.)

Another thing that I thought of after sending the earlier e-mail was that the 
translator may simply have been mistaken on the meaning of the word.  If it 
was unfamiliar to him, he may have noticed the root BR) and assumed that it 
meant something like well-made.  (I'm thinking here of the adjective banum in 
Akkadian, which means well-formed or beautiful but comes from a verb meaning 
"to build."  If the translator was familiar with such pairings, he might have 
guessed that the word came from the verb "to create" and filled in the gaps in 
his own mind.)  For that matter, it's hypothetically possible that there 
existed a corresponding form that does mean something like "beautiful."  (I'm 
not trying to make a philological conjecture--just thinking out loud.)  BDB 
derives our adjective here from a homophonous root, so who knows whether there 
might have existed at some point an adjective derived from the root meaning 
"to create"?

Well, I guess I'll crawl back in my hole and wait for another opportunity to 
infiltrate the B-Greek list with comparative Semitics :-)

Trevor Peterson

>===== Original Message From Jim West <jwest at highland.net> =====
>Thanks for your interesting note on "fatness".  I wonder if the notion of
>"fat = beautiful" is found in other places in the LXX.  I suppose a search
>of the Hebrew term "bari" and how the LXX deals with it would be
>informative and I will do just that when I can.  Still, the picture of
>Eglon (who's name means little cow) which the author offers is anything
>but flattering at every other point.  He is rather naive, dull witted, and
>course.  So why is he portrayed suddenly as "beautiful"?
>Jim West, ThD
>Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies
>The Quartz Hill School of Theology and Roane State Community College
>Biblical Studies Resources
>B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
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