[b-hebrew] Septuagint vs. Masoretes/75 vs. 70: How Many Hebrews Did Jacob Lead into Egypt?

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Tue Jan 22 11:16:33 EST 2008

Set forth below is what I believe was the original version of Genesis 46: 
8-27, which sets forth the people whom Jacob led into Egypt.  I started with the 
Masoretic text, and added the one sentence in the Septuagint that is missing 
in the Masoretic text at Genesis 46: 20, which sets forth the names of 5 
descendants of Manasseh and Ephraim.  I then made two mathematical conforming 
changes:  (i) I changed the number set forth for Rachel’s descendants to the 
suitably inauspicious number 19, since instead of 14 named descendants there are now 
19 named descendants of Rachel;  and (ii) I used the number of Joseph’s 
descendants at Genesis 46: 27 from the Septuagint, namely 9 (which in effect says 
that Joseph had 2 younger sons, in addition to Manasseh and Ephraim and their 5 
named descendants).  Though I have made these numerical changes from the 
Septuagint, note that I still see the bottom line number as being 70, per the 
Masoretic text and, as Ken Greifer pointed out, Deuteronomy 10: 22 of the 
Septuagint.  Although the math may look odd at first glance (and, in my view, this math 
fooled the editors of both the Masoretic text and the Septuagint, leading 
them to make different changes in the original text in order to “correct” this 
math), we will see that the math in fact makes perfect sense, once one knows 
how to understand it in the way the author of the Patriarchal narratives 
intended us to understand it.
“8 And these are the names of the children of Israel, who came into Egypt, 
Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob's first-born. 9 And the sons of Reuben: 
Hanoch, and Pallu, and Hezron, and Carmi. 10 And the sons of Simeon: Jemuel, and 
Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman. 
11 And the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12 And the sons of 
Judah: Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Perez, and Zerah; but Er and Onan died in the 
land of Canaan. And the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. 13 And the sons 
of Issachar: Tola, and Puvah, and Iob, and Shimron. 14 And the sons of 
Zebulun: Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel. 15 These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore 
unto Jacob in Paddan-aram, with his daughter Dinah; all the souls of his sons 
and his daughters were thirty and three. 16 And the sons of Gad: Ziphion, and 
Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli. 17 And the sons of Asher: 
Imnah, and Ishvah, and Ishvi, and Beriah, and Serah their sister; and the sons 
of Beriah: Heber, and Malchiel. 18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban 
gave to Leah his daughter, and these she bore unto Jacob, even sixteen souls. 19 
The sons of Rachel Jacob's wife: Joseph and Benjamin. 20 And unto Joseph in 
the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath the daughter of 
Poti-phera priest of On bore unto him.  And there were sons born to Manasseh, 
which the Syrian concubine bore to him, …Machir [and] Galaad.  And the sons of 
Ephraim, the brother of Manasseh:   Sutalaam, and Taam.  And the sons of 
Sutalaam:  Edom.  21 And the sons of Benjamin: Bela, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, 
and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard. 22 These are the sons 
of Rachel, who were born to Jacob;  all the souls were [nineteen]. 23 And the 
sons of Dan: Hushim. 24 And the sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel, and Guni, and 
Jezer, and Shillem. 25 These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave unto Rachel 
his daughter, and these she bore unto Jacob; all the souls were seven. 26 All 
the souls belonging to Jacob that came into Egypt, that came out of his loins, 
besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls were threescore and six. 27 And the 
sons of Joseph, who were born to him in the land of Egypt, were nine souls[.  
A]ll the souls of the house of Jacob, that came into Egypt, were threescore 
and ten.”
In my next post, I will set forth the same text as above, to which I will add 
my own comments.
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois 

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