[B-Greek] LXX Genesis 1:2 - tohu as AORATOS

Steven Lo Vullo slovullo at charter.net
Wed May 28 14:18:07 EDT 2008


Hi Jerry:

I don't think "undefined" or "unrecognizable" is the sense here. Rather, it
seems best in the context to understand AORATOS in the same way it seems to
be used in Is 45.3, that is, "unseen" (NETS). If we keep in mind that hH GH
was covered not only by "the abyss" (THS ABUSSOU, the primordial waters) but
on top of that "darkness" (SKOTOS), it is not hard to understand the
translator describing the earth as "unseen," that is, invisible in the sense
of concealed, not visible to the eye (though not invisible in and of
itself). In other words, it was not visible because of the conditions
prevailing at the time, conditions that are later in the narrative rectified
so that the land does become visible. Though it doesn't seem to correspond
to the Hebrew, it does make sense on its own, both in the immediate context
and in the overall structure of the chapter.

Steven Lo Vullo


On 5/28/08 10:56 AM, "Jerry Reimer" <Jerry at lsm.org> wrote:

> 
> Seems illogical that actual invisibility could be meant by AORATOS although
> the adjective does contain this as one of its meanings. Undefined,
> unrecognizable seems better here. Appears to a ballpark equivalent for
> Hebrew underneath and that whatever the meaning of the Hebrew vorlage is (I
> am not knowledgeable as to its meaning) should be what defines the LXX
> rendering rather than either the etymology of the Greek adjective or even
> its usual literal meaning. Is this an example of Hebrew Greek?
> 
> Jerry Reimer
> 
>  -----Original Message-----
> From:   b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]  On Behalf Of Eric S. Weiss
> Sent:   Wednesday, May 28, 2008 10:06 AM
> To:     b-greek
> Subject:        [B-Greek] LXX Genesis 1:2 - tohu as AORATOS
> 
> The LXX in Genesis 1:2 translates the Hebrew tohu wa-bohu as AORATOS KAI
>   AKATASKEUASTOS. I.e., the earth was "invisible." Is that perhaps the basis
> for Hebrews
>   11:3 saying: PISTEI NOOUMEN KATHRTISQAI TOUS AIWNAS hRHMATI QEOU, EIS TO
>   MH EK FAINOMENWN TO BLEPOMENON GEGONENAI?
> 
>   And ... is AORATOS a proper translation of tohu? The other two occurrences
> in the Hebrew
>   Bible of tohu with bohu are not translated similarly in the LXX. E.g.,
> Jeremiah 4:23 simply
>   subsumes both words under the single Greek word OUQEN, and Isaiah 34:11
> translates
>   tohu as ERHMOS, and the Hebrew bohu phrase is totally different in the
> Greek.
> 
> 
> 
> 
>   Eric S. Weiss
> 
> 
> 
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