[b-hebrew] 1 Sam 6.19

George F. Somsel gfsomsel at juno.com
Tue Jun 29 14:13:52 EDT 2004


This verse is obviously a problem and has been treated differently by
various groups

WaY.aK: B.:)aN:$"Y B"YTH_$eMe$ K.iY R:)W. B.a)a:RoWN 
WaY.aK: B.f(fM $iB:(iYM )iY$ Xa:MiY$iYM )eLeP )iY$ 
WaY.iT:)aB.:LW. Hf(fM KiY_HiK.fH YHWH B.(fM MaK.fH G:DoWLfH

The RSV renders

"And he slew some of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they looked into
the ark of the LORD; he slew seventy men of them, and the people mourned
because the LORD had made a great slaughter among the people."

The NRSV follows the LXX here

[LXX -- b-greek transliteration]

KAI OUK HSMENISAN hOI hUIOI IEXONIOU EN TOIS ANDRASIN BAIQSAMUS, hOTI
EIDAN KIBWTON KURIOU, KAI EPATACEN EN AUTOIS hEBDOMHKONTA ANDRAS KAI
PENTHKONTA XILIADAS ANDRWN, KAI EPENQHSEN hO LAOS, hOTI EPATACEN KURIOS
EN TWi LAWi PLHGHN MEGALH SFODRA

"The decendants of Jeconiah did not rejoice with the people of
Beth-shemesh when they greated the ark of the LORD, and he killed seventy
men of them.  The people mourned because the LORD had made a great
slaughter among the people."

But the JPS Tanak renders

[The LORD] struck at the men of Beth-shemesh because they look at the Ark
of the LORD; He struck down seventy men among the people [and] fifty
thousand men.  The people mourned, for he had inflicted a great slaughter
upon the population.

QUESTION:

The problem phrase seems to be the second and third lines of the
transliterated Hebrew text above.  The RSV solves the problem by omitting
the "fifty thousand men" and the NRSV by using a different text at that
point.  Only the JPS Tanak tries to deal with it and does so by combining
the numbers for a total of 50,070.  Is there a possibility that what we
have here is a construct relation which might be rendered

"and he killed seventy men of fifty thousand men" ?? 

george
gfsomsel


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