[b-hebrew] 1 Sam 5:6 ; devastation

CS Bartholomew jacksonpollock at earthlink.net
Mon Apr 26 16:10:21 EDT 2004

On 4/26/04 9:04 AM, "David Kimbrough (CLWA)" <dkimbrough at clwa.org> wrote:

> While bubonic plague is carried
> by the fleas and rats, it is not transmitted by mice (assuming the writer is
> making an effort to distinguish mouse from rat).  I do not believe that the
> word "rat" occurs anywhere in the OT while mouse or mice (akbar) occurs six
> times.


The LXX 1Sam. 5:6 is quite different from the MT.

1Sam. 5:6 LXX:  kai ebarunthe cheir kuriou epi Azoton kai epegagen autois
kai exezesen autois eis tas naus kai meson tes choras autes anephuesan mues
kai egeneto sugchusis thanatou megale en te polei

Spent this morning looking for rats in the LXX and then in Greek lit. The
LXX term used in 1Sam. 5:6 is mus. An LSJ search for "rat" produced no hits
but a manual search of the entry for mus does show one instance where rat is
an alternative possibility along with mouse. Woodhouse (Attic Vocab) has no
entry for rat. The immediate context of 1Sam. 5:6 LXX seems to imply this is
a field mouse "kai meson tes choras autes anephuesan mues" but this is not

So this is both a text critical and a lexical semantic problem.  Where did
the additional text in the LXX come from, what sort of animal are we dealing
with and what do the mice/rats have to do with the human affliction?

Intriguing problem.

Clay Bartholomew 

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