[B-Greek] Re: LXX Psalms 118:112

Albert Pietersma albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca
Thu Feb 20 11:23:39 EST 2003

I agree with your analysis of the text-critical facts. That is to say, though
AMIYEIN is  morphologically ambiguous it neverthless testifies to the original
text. Thus as you note the question becomes: how does one account for what S
has? You wonder if it might be a case of correction to the Hebrew.  Not likely,
I should think. Consider the following: (1)  Though hebraizing corrections
occur in transmission history, they remain the Atypical, the UNusual, the
ABnormal. Methodologically, therefore, they might best be resorted to as a kind
of last resort. (2) If  S reflects a hebraizing correction, we then have to
posit a doublet. That is the say, both DIA PANTOS and AMIYEIN would represent
(QB. (3) If we have here a hebraizing correction, what might be the motivation
for it?  Typically such corrections can be seen to be motivated by closer
representation of the Hebrew. Leaving AMIYEIN aside, one might abstractly argue
that DIA PANTOS is a better representation of (QB than is  DI ANTAMEIYIN.
Concretely, however, the fact is that the equation (QB = DIA PANTOS occurs only
in Ps 118[119].33 in all of the LXX. That poses a major problem for motivation
for correction, in my view. Thus unless one can point to some (tradition of)
corrector(s) that favoured the equation in question, positing a correction to
the Hebrew does not seem a viable option.

Thus a more mechanical error seems to be a better explanation for the reading
of S. Note that DIA PANTOS occurs 3x in the vicinity of v.112: vv. 109, 117,
119.  Note further that in v. 119  DIA PANTOS is almost certainly secondary
(see NETS), which means that it migrated to 119 from 117 in some witnesses
including S.  Consequently, in my judgment  S in 112 too harbors a fairly
mechanical mistake of intrusion from context. That the resultant text in 112
makes reasonable sense would tend to perpetuate the error.

D Jongkind wrote:

> Thanks very much professor Pietersma,
> your answer was much more than I had ever hoped for, even though you saddled
> me up with a new dilemma.
> The whole reason why I came to this verse is because of the reading Codex
> Sinaiticus has at this point. Where all the MSS read DI ANTAMEIYIN,
> Sinaiticus has DIA PANTOS AMIYEIN.
> AMIYEIN I take as a future infinitive  from AMEIBW, so still within the
> ANTAMEIYIN family (though an equally strong case could be made for a noun
> So far I had been thinking that Sinaiticus could be explained as resulting
> from some visual confusion: the first three letters of both readings are the
> same and the -NT- bit of the original text provides enough basis for the
> PANTOS of Sin. What remained of the original - AMEIYIN- was simply left
> unchanged. Additionally, EIS TON AIWNA is enough of a trigger to raise the
> expectation that it would be followed by DIA PANTOS.
>     It seems now that at least I have to allow for the possibility that
> Sinaiticus reflects a revision towards the Hebrew (QB (DIA PANTOS) which may
> have been conflated with another reading (AMEIYIN).
> Many apologies for making a text-critical point on the B-Greek list, but it
> looked slightly awkward to forward the three postings to the TC-list.
> Regards,
> Dirk Jongkind
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Albert Pietersma" <albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca>
> To: "D Jongkind" <dj214 at cam.ac.uk>
> Cc: "B-Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2003 5:35 PM
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] LXX Psalms 118:112
> > Excellent question, no easy answer. As I see it, the problem is
> essentially
> > that of the source text.  True, in translations that replace the original,
> such
> > problems are typically "solved," but that is not the kind of translation
> we
> > have in the Greek Psalter, where problems often get passed on.
> > What does the Hebrew mean?
> > NRSV translates the verse as:
> > (I incline my heart to perform your statutes)
> > forever, to the end.
> > The NEB translates more dynamically:
> > (I am resolved to fulfil thy statutes;)
> > they are are a reward that never fails.
> > There are other translations of MT that can be cited, but NRSV and NEB are
> > sufficient to point out the problem: what does one does with (QB, the last
> > three consonants of the verse, syntactically and semantically? Does it
> function
> > adverbially (NRSV) or does function as a nominal (NEB)? Does it mean "end"
> > (NRSV) or does it mean "reward" (NEB)? Since the three consonants can
> function
> > as and can mean either, a contextual argument can be made for both.
> > The Greek translator himself (=G)  waffles, and that within the same
> psalm. So
> > for example in 118.33 he translates (QB as DIA PANTOS ("I will seek it
> [the
> > way] continually") but in 118.112 as DI' ANTAMEIYIN. One might further
> note
> > that (QB is rendered by ANTAPODOSIS in 18[19].12 and by ANTALLAGMA in
> 88[89].52
> > both of which are in the same semantic ballpark as ANTAMEIYIS.
> >
> > Two things in particular are of interest in 118.112: (a) G takes  (QB to
> > function as a noun and interpretively preposes DIA, thus making the entire
> > phrase into an adverbial; (b) though G clearly recognizes
> "reward/exchange" as
> > a component of (QB, only in our verse does he use ANTAMEIYIS as a gloss,
> all
> > the more interestingly since this Greek word is a hapax in the entire LXX!
> > Both (a) and (b) show that, within G's fairly restrictive parameters, he
> is
> > really trying to make sense of his source text. What sense did he manage
> to
> > make?
> >
> > LEH is correct as far as it goes, but it understandably does not try to
> exegete
> > Ps 118.112.  I would suggest that in this verse the kind of
> > exchange/reward/requital at issue is 'what one gets out of it for its own
> > sake.'  That is to say, "I inclined my heart to perform your statutes/
> > forever," because doing so has its own pay-back.  Differently put, it
> isn't
> > because doing so will win the psalmist  a reward in the hereafter, but
> because
> > doing so gives him happiness in life here and now. What reception history
> did
> > with Ps 118.112 is no doubt of interest but is another story.
> > Sorry for the length of this post.  Blame G :-)
> > Al
> >
> >
> > D Jongkind wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > The first line is clear to me, the first clause of the second line also,
> but
> > > what can the last clause mean? Lust mentions 'exchanging, requital' for
> > > ANTAMEIYIS but that does not help me much.
> > >
> > > Regards,
> > > Dirk Jongkind
> >

Albert Pietersma
Dept of Near&Middle Eastern Civilizations
4 Bancroft Avenue
University of Toronto
Toronto M5S 1C1
albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca
homepage http://www.chass.utoronto.ca:8080/~pietersm/

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