[b-hebrew] Isaiah 9:6 Wonderful Counselor

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Thu Dec 30 20:19:33 EST 2004

On 30/12/2004 22:05, Schmuel wrote:

> ...
>Note that the Greek OT (the socalled LXX), as often, varies greatly.
>Personally I do not consider it of much relevance, but for background
>here is a differing Greek OT text.
>“Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty One, Potentate, Prince of Peace, Father of the age to come.”­The Septuagint, as found in the Codex Alexandrinus, translated by Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton, c. 1850. 
The LXX text is complex and variable, but this is not an accurate 
translation of the Codex Alexandrinus text at this point; in all LXX MSS 
it seems this list starts with something like "messenger of mighty 
counsel". Brenton's translation very likely owes more to KJV than is 

Here, by the way, is Wycliffe's version of this verse, from 

6 Forsothe a litil child is borun to vs, and a sone is youun to vs, and 
prinsehod is maad on his schuldre; and his name schal be clepid 
Wondurful, A counselour, God, Strong, A fadir of the world to comynge, A 
prince of pees.

But Matthew's Bible of 1537, from http://pcministry.com/tanak/isa.htm, has:

9:6 For unto us a child shall be born, and unto us a son shall be given. 
Upon his shoulders shall the kingdom lie, and he shall be called with 
his own name: the wonderous giver of counsel, the mighty God, the 
everlasting father, the Prince of peace,

So Wycliffe, translating the Vulgate, separated "wonderful" from 
"counsellor", and "God" from "strong/mighty"; but Matthew, largely an 
independent translation from the Hebrew, combined both of these phrases.

For some reason which is now unclear, KJV separated the first pair but 
combined the second pair. So did the Douay-Rheims version of 1609, see 
http://www.hebrewoldtestament.com/B23C009.htm. This is interesting 
because it seems highly improbable that these two apparently independent 
translations would have made the same improbable choice independently. 
But in any of these cases the punctuatuion could have been adjusted by 
later editors.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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