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avkataskeu,astoj( kai. sko,toj evpa,nw th/j avbu,ssou( kai. pneu/ma qeou/ evpefe,reto evpa,nw tou/ u[datoj) 3kai. ei=pen o` qeo,j Genhqh,tw fw/j) kai. evge,neto fw/j) 4kai. ei=den o` qeo.j to. fw/j o[ti kalo,n) kai. diecw,risen o` qeo.j avna. me,son tou/ fwto.j kai. avna. me,son tou/ From the series Vetus Testamentum Graecum: Auctoritate Acadamiae Scientiarum Gottingensis editum (Vandenhoeck & Rurprecht): J.W. Wevers, ed., Genesis (1974), Exodus (1991); J Zeigler, ed., Isaiah (1939), Jeremiah (1957), the Minor Prophets (1943), Job (1934).

A.E. Brooke, N. McLean, and H.S.J. Thackery, eds., I and II Samuel, (The Old Testament in Greek, II, 1, London:

Cambridge University Press, 1927).

As with rm) in MT Gen 1.3, le,gw in LXX Gen 1.3 is also of little use, occurring in 1900+ verses in the Septuagint.

E. Hatch and H.A. Redpath, A Concordance to the Septuagint and other Greek versions of the Old Testament (including the Apocryphal Books), (Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck - U. Verlagstanstalt, 1975).

BibleWorks for Windows Ver. 5.0, BibleWorks, LLC., and Bible Companion 1.6.4; GRAMCORD Morphological Search Engine 2.4ce, Loizeaux Brothers, Inc.

–  –  –

Within the overall structure of LXX Gen 1.1-5, the postpositive use of de, in v.2 is pivotal.22 Though there is no corresponding me,n in v.1,23 v.2 can be read as a continuation of v.1. While de, does signal a change of subject,24 it is likely that the opposition or contrast is so slight between v.1 and v.2, that the me,n is rendered unnecessary.25 The de,, then, signals a slight opposition or expansion on the state of the earth, especially since v.1 ends and v.2 begins with gh/. With a similar understanding of vv.1-2, William P. Brown, seeing LXX Gen 1.3-31 as a literary unit, marks a division between vv.1-2 and v.3ff.26 He identifies what is going on in vv.1-3 as a ‘double creation,’


Heaven and earth are the created 'aformal' substances from which the entities named 'heaven' and 'earth' are fashioned in vv 6-8 and 9-10, respectively, within the formal creation account of six days. The formal structure of 1:3-31, thus, coincides with the content of creation in that creation is given definitive form.27 According to Brown's analysis, then, there is a bifurcation between vv.1-2 and v.3ff. If Brown's analysis is correct, the unity of vv.1-5 is less natural in the Greek than in the Hebrew. It is not hard to see the logic behind seeing vv.3as a unit, given the structural and thematic parallels that run throughout.28 Yet, does an inclusio of vv.3-31 preclude altogether a pericope of vv.1-5 in the LXX? There can be little doubt that there is a definite conclusion at the end of v.5, as it is a formula repeated throughout the rest of the chapter.29 Suffice it to say, it is at least possible to see vv.3-5 as the first action on the pre-created earth – the first act of creation by speaking, separating, and naming. Additionally, if someone were looking at 'day one' in the Greek it is unlikely that it would not be juxtaposed with what comes immediately before, that is vv.1-2. While grammatically it is more difficult to see Gen 1.1-5 as a unity in the Greek, especially in such a way that mirrors the structure of the Hebrew (v.1 – dependent clause, v.2 – parenthetic clause, v.3 – main clause), with a bit of (permissible) gerrymandering our pericope can remain inclusive of the first five verses. In short, though it is possible to identify a break between v.2 and v.3 in the There are no textual variations that leave out or substitute something else for the de, of v.2. Cf. J.W. Wevers, ed., Genesis, (Septuaginta - Vetus Testamentum Graecum: Auctoritate Acadamiae Scientiarum Gottingensis editum, 1, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1974) 75.

The use of de, without me,n is not uncommon in general Classical usage, cf. LSJ, s.v., nor in the LXX, cf. F.C.

Coynbeare and S.G. Stock, A Grammar of Septuagint Greek, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1980) 39.

J.W. Wevers, Notes on the Greek Text of Genesis, (SBLSCS 35; Atlanta: Scholars, 1993) 1.

LSJ, s.v.

W.P. Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology in the Hebrew and Greek Texts of Genesis 1:1-2:3, (SBLDS 132;

Atlanta: Scholars, 1993) 31.

Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology, 35.

Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology, 26-45.

LXX Gen 1.5b, 8b, 13, 19, 23, and 31b.

– 53 –


Greek, I continue to use the pericope boundaries of vv.1-5, given there is a full stop at the end of v.5, and that it is unlikely that vv.1-2 would be read without an eye on that which immediately follows.

I now move from the whole to the parts, taking a verse-by-verse stroll through the pericope paying close attention to the intertextual markers.

2.2.1 LXX Gen 1.1 The first words of LXX Gen 1.1 are evn avrch/, which serve as a temporal modification of the remainder of | the verse and the story. As was noted above, in light of the postpositive de,, v.2 can be seen as a continuation of v.1, though there is no dependency of vv.1-2 upon v.3 in the Greek. Similar to the Masoretic pointing of its Hebrew counterpart, evn avrch/| is anarthrous.30 The first verb of the LXX, poie,w, occurs over three thousand times throughout the LXX, and as such does not function as an intertextual marker.31 Also as mentioned above, the word-pair, ouvrano,j/gh/, is not used as an intertextual marker given the frequency of its occurrences (250+).32 The major It should also be noted that Aquila, given his tendency to slavishly represent the Hebrew, apparently translates as evn kefalai,w, reflecting the Hebrew root, $)or. Cf. Wevers, ed., Genesis - Göttingen, 75. Also, M.



Alexandre, Le Commencement du Livre Genèse I-V: La version grecque de la Septante et sa réception, (Christianisme Antique 3; Paris: Beauchesne, 1988) 67. Alexandre’s is the commentary par excellence in its coverage of the text and its interpretations.

Wevers, Notes on Genesis, observes that all eleven occurrences of )rb in Genesis are translated with poie,w. (1) Within LXX Gen 1.1-5, there are possible intertextual connections with the Greek pantheon. In an examination of Hesiod's Theogony (8th century BCE) a handful of the primary players in LXX Gen 1.1-5 have prominence in Hesiod's tracing of the Greek cosmology. Following the genealogical structure of Theog., Ca,eoj (chaos), Gai/a (earth), Ta,rtara (the lowest level of the underworld), and VEroj (love) are the first four deities that appear. (Theog.

116-122) These first four have no genesis of their own. Ca,eoj (Chaos) gives birth to Nu,x (night) who then gives birth to its opposite, ~Hme,rh (day). (Theog. 123-124) The other major branch of the family are the offspring of Gai/a, who gives birth to her son and husband, Ouvrano,j (heaven), who then gave birth to the Titans, Cyclopes, etc. (Theog.

133ff) While much has been made of the parallels between ancient Hebrew and Sumerian, Akkadian, Egyptian, and Canaanite creation accounts, in the case of Greek parallels, at least in the case of Hesiod's account in the Theogony, there are a considerable number of commonalities with LXX Gen 1.1-5. When thinking about these parallels in intertextual terms it seems more likely that someone steeped in traditional Greek religion and/or literature who encounters the Greek text of Genesis is likely to see a commonality between the two, that is, an

intertextual relationship. With LXX Gen 1.1-5 in mind, one need only read the last of Hesiod's prologues:

–  –  –

distinction between the MT and the LXX texts of v.1 is that in the Greek there is little room for speaking of the precreated earth. Rather, there is a definite creative action by God in v.1, necessitating the likes of Brown's ‘double creation.’33 2.2.2 LXX Gen 1.2 V.2, then, describes the state of the earth as first created in v.1. As in the Hebrew, v.2 is tripartite. The waw conjunctions of the MT are observed in the first phrase with de, and in the second and third with kai,. While discussion regarding the meaning of de, need not be repeated as it was addressed above, it is worth noting again that there is a choice made to use de, rather than kai,, especially given that there are fourteen occurrences of waw in the MT of vv.1-5, only one of which is translated with de,.34 This is not to say that de, would be an appropriate translation of them all. Rather, the fact that the LXX often follows the MT closely means that differences need to be looked at very closely. The first phrase of v.2 continues with a rendering of as avo,ratoj (invisible) and Uhobfw Uhot

–  –  –

This prelude in which the poet asks the Muses for insight into his cosmogonical ponderings provides plenty of intertextual commonality with LXX Gen 1.1-5, namely the idea of the pairing of ouvrano,j and gh/ (gai/a being a form thereof), the presence of nu,x, and Hesiod's appeal for the Muses to tell him about these things evx avrch/j. I am not suggesting here any direct relationship or dependence, only that there is an interesting intersection between these two texts. The translation of Gen 1.1-5 from Hebrew into Greek moves this text into a new tapestry of intertextual relationships, this Greek cosmology being a striking one.

Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology, 35.

This, of course, makes the assumption that the Hebrew text with which the translator was working looked a lot like the MT.

Alexandre, Le Commencement du Livre Genèse I-V, makes the observation that Theodotion maintains the rhyming nature of Uhobfw Uhot with his translation, h` de. gh/ h=n qe.n kai. ouvqe,n. (77) Intertextually, the use of avoratoj by Plato to refer to the invisible world of ideas (Phaedo 85E; Sophist 246AB,, 247B; Theaetetus 155E; Timaeus 51A) is notable. Plato's understanding of the word and its use in the LXX come to an intersection in Philo's understanding of LXX Gen 1.2 as ‘an essential quality of the incorporeal and intelligible – 55 –


The latter, avkataskeu,astoj, is derived from kataskeua,zw and with the negating a carries the meaning of something that has not yet been prepared for building or rough materials.38 The picture of the earth given in this first phrase of v.2 is invisible or nondescript and rough in the sense of raw material.39 The second phrase of v.2 further describes the earth at this first stage of creation by stating that darkness (sko,toj) was above (evpa,nw) the abyss (a;bussoj). Because v.2 is describing what has already been created in v.1, sko,toj can be read as the absence of light, a situation possibly reflected in the translator's choice of avoratoj and, rectified by the creation of light in v.3. The use of a;bussoj is curious in that it carries no mythological baggage like that which may be attached to {Oh:T. Rather, as Dines points out, in a;bussoj the translator likely creates a neologism, given that prior to the third century BCE there are no feminine nominal uses of what was previously a general adjective meaning ‘unfathomable, boundless, enormous.’41 Additionally, Dines highlights another interesting possibility, that the translator created the nominal use of a;bussoj in order to establish an alliterative function tying together avo,ratoj, avkataskeu,astoj, and a;bussoj as descriptions of the earth in its first created state.42 Finally, in place of evpa,nw for y"n:P-la( in phrases two and three one might have expected something along the lines of evpi. pro,swpon, as is the case the recensions of Aquila, Theodotion, and Symmachus43 and in Job 26.10.44 The third and final phrase of v.2 runs parallel to the second, placing the pneu/ma qeou/ moving (e,pife,rw) upon (evpa,nw) the waters (tou/ u[datoj). Like the Hebrew, pneu/ma qeou/ is anarthrous, which lends to an understanding of a divine wind or breath rather than spirit.45 The use of the middle imperfect of evpife,rw for the Hebrew participle, tepexar:m, both displays a continuous action and leaves ambiguous whether the breath of God is moving or being moved. While the general connotation of the verb is to strike or attach, there are variations that speak of the relation of water to a ship.46 Illustrative of this is the occurrence of the verb in Gen 7.18 (evpefe,reto h` kibwto.j evpa,nw tou/ u[datoj), which bears two striking similarities to LXX Gen 1.2 – the use of e,pife,rw in the third person middle imperfect and the relation to the phrase, evpa,nw tou/ u[datoj, verbatim with LXX Gen 1.2. While there is at least cause for intertextual interest in the relationship of 1.2 and 7.18, it seems unlikely that because of the connection the creation (Opficio Mundi 29-34). Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology, 48 n.33; also Dines, “Imaging Creation,” 442-443.

See Appendix B.

LSJ, s.v.

Caldwell, Hesiod's Theogony, in his explanation of the Greek meaning of chaos in conjunction with the presence of Ca,oj at the beginning of Theog., makes the assertion that chaos is not disorder and confusion, signifying ‘a void, an abyss, infinite space and darkness, unformed matter…an impenetrable and immeasurable darkness, an opacity in which order is non-existent or at least unperceived.’ He goes on to suggest parallels to the Egyptian ‘watery waste called Nun…and the formless void and abyss’ in Genesis. (33) Wevers, Notes on Genesis, 2.

Dines, “Imaging Creation,” 446. The general adjectival meanings are taken from LSJ, s.v.

Dines, “Imaging Creation,” also notes the possibility that a similar alliterative relationship exists between Uhot, Uhob, and {Oh:T. Further, she suggests English translations of the Greek as ‘unseen, unsorted, and unfathomable.’ (445) Wevers, ed., Genesis - Göttingen, 75.

MT Job 26.10 has, {iyifm-y"n:P-la(, the LXX of which reads, evpi.

pro,swpon u[datoj. A similar example is Amos 5.8, where the MT has the water of the sea being poured jerf)fh yn:P-la( and the LXX reads evpi. prosw,pou th/j gh/j.

Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology, 48-50 n.36; Wevers, Notes on Genesis, 2.

LSJ, s.v.

– 56 –


verb ought to be limited to 'movement'.47 Taking into account the larger semantic nature of the verb, it seems likely that there is a violent connotation.

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