[b-hebrew] Septuagint or Masoretic Text: 75 or 70 Went to Egypt

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Thu Jan 17 12:04:17 EST 2008


Kenneth Greifer:
 
You wrote:  “Please don't forget to explain Deuteronomy 10:22 in the 
Septuagint that also says 70 people for some reason.”
 
Yes, here is the Septuagint for Deuteronomy 10: 22:
 
“With seventy souls your fathers went down into Egypt;  but the Lord thy God 
has made thee as the stars of heaven in multitude.”
 
As will eventually become clear on this thread, my own analysis of this 
age-old conundrum includes the following elements:
 
1.  In my view, the original text originally said that Jacob led 70 Hebrews 
into Egypt, not 75.  That follows the Masoretic text, not the Septuagint, as to 
chapter 46 of Genesis.  As you rightly point out, the Septuagint itself has 
the number 70 in this connection at Deuteronomy 10: 22.
 
2.  Yet in most other respects, I think that the Septuagint is closer to the 
original text of chapter 46 of Genesis than is the Masoretic text.
 
3.  I view the original text as originally having set forth 75 names (the 74 
names in the Septuagint, plus “Huppim” that is in the Masoretic text but was 
dropped in the Septuagint).  Yet the original text originally said, 
nevertheless, that Jacob brought 70 Hebrews with him into Egypt.  The original text had, 
per the Septuagint, the numbers 66 and 9.  But the original text did not add 
66 and 9 to get 75, in my view.  Rather, the original text had as its original 
total 70, per Deuteronomy 10: 22 cited above and per the Masoretic text of 
chapter 46 of Genesis.  The main confusion here (though by no means the only 
confusion) is in deciding how many members of Joseph’s family in Egypt should be 
treated for purposes of chapter 46 of Genesis as having been led into Egypt by 
Jacob. 
 
Thanks for pointing out the Septuagint’s reference to 70 people at 
Deuteronomy 10: 22.  That supports my own view of the case, which sees the original text 
of chapter 46 of Genesis as stating that 70 people (not 75 people) were led 
by Jacob into Egypt.  Nevertheless, on balance I see the Septuagint’s version 
of chapter 46 of Genesis as being more accurate than the Masoretic text’s 
version.
 
But before continuing this discussion, I will set forth tomorrow all of the 
relevant provisions of the Septuagint regarding chapter 46 of Genesis, 
highlighting the controversial portions of such provisions.  Then everyone will be 
able to see what this longstanding problem is all about.
 
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois




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