[b-hebrew] 1Q287 and the Tanakh at Deut. 32:43

Gary Hedrick garyh at cjfm.org
Sat Jan 31 18:50:35 EST 2009

I hope it’s still okay to ask questions about the Hebrew text of the Bible on this list.


Hebrews 1:6 in the NT quotes the OT as saying, “And let all the angels of GOD worship him.” The problem is that there’s nothing like this in the Hebrew Bible—at least, none that I’ve been able to find. Someone with a skeptical mindset might wonder if the author of Hebrews simply made up the quotation because it sounded “biblical” and buttressed his argument.


But wait a minute, not so fast. The LXX adds the phrase in Deut. 32:43 about the angels of GOD (lit., “sons of GOD”) worshiping him (apologies in advance if the Greek font below doesn’t work in some browsers):

εὐφράνθητε οὐρανοί ἅμα αὐτῷ καὶ προσκυνησάτωσαν αὐτῷ πάντες υἱοὶ θεοῦ εὐφράνθητε ἔθνη μετὰ τοῦ λαοῦ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐνισχυσάτωσαν αὐτῷ πάντες ἄγγελοι θεοῦ ὅτι τὸ αἷμα τῶν υἱῶν αὐτοῦ ἐκδικᾶται καὶ ἐκδικήσει καὶ ἀνταποδώσει δίκην τοῖς ἐχθροῖς καὶ τοῖς μισοῦσιν ἀνταποδώσει καὶ ἐκκαθαριεῖ κύριος τὴν γῆν τοῦ λαοῦ αὐτοῦ 


Also, I understand that 1Q287 (a DSS fragment) preserves the phrase in the Hebrew text of the same passage (although I haven’t been able to find a copy online).


This presents an interesting situation. Is it possible that the NT actually preserves an older reading of this passage in the Hebrew text than the MT? I realize this also relates to TC, but I thought our b-hebrew listers might also have some relevant insights.


Gary Hedrick

San Antonio, TX

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