Blaz0ej S0trba, «hn#$w#$ of the Canticle», Vol. 85 (2004) 475-502
The term hn#$w#$ is revisited
primarily in the Canticle of Solomon. The most ancient translation –– "lily" ––
of this flower though questioned in recent decades is still widely used. The
LXX’s rendering kri/non is examined and found as the
best translation for the lexeme N#$w#$ –– meaning
"lotus" –– being an Egyptian loan word. This translation fits to the OT
references better than "lily". The textual employment of
hn#$w#$ in the poetry of the Canticle is a chief and commanding proof for
"lotus". The "lily" translation for both hn#$w#$
and kri/non for the majority of the OT cases is seen
as incorrect since it does not pay due attention to the literary and historical
context of the Canticle.
478 Blaâ„¦ej âˆtrba
have identical Hebrew wording. C.L. Mayer explains that the phrase
jr"p,w: rTop]K' is a hendiadys (12). This suggestion gives credit to the LXX
38,15 for its adequate rendering, yet, M.L. Wade admits some
potential ambiguity in that phrase (13). Moreover, Mayerâ€™s suggestions
do not solve the problem of LXX 25,33.
Exod 25,33 â€¦ jrpw rtpk djah hnqb
jrpw rtpk djah hnqb
ejn tw/' eJni; kalamivskw/ sfairwthvr (14) kaiv krivnon
Exod 37,19 â€¦ jrpw rtpk djah hnqb
jrpw rtpk dja hnqb
ejk tw'n kalamivskwn auvth'" oiJ blastoiv
I can see two possible explanations for the different LXX
renderings of the Hebrew phraseology. It could be a clear deliberate
choice of the LXX, the reasons for which would be very difficult to
trace, if possible at all. Another option is to assume the subsequent
change â€“â€“ that is later than the LXX translation â€“â€“ had taken place in
the MT (15). The LXX would be a witness to the Hebrew Vorlage. The
second explanation seems to be more plausible, since the fact is that
the whole of Exod 25 comes from the late period (16). The MT Num
(12) C.L. MEYERS, The Tabernacle Menorah. A Synthetic Study of a Symbol
from the Biblical Cult (ASORDiss. 2; Missoula, MO 1976) 25.
(13) WADE, Consistency, 219.
(14) This translation is unique in the whole of the LXX. It occurs once more,
in Gen 14,23, where it renders Ã‹rc] a part of sandal.
(15) F.M. Crossâ€™s theory about the origin of the Pentateuch postulates three
textual families of the different geographical origins: Egypt (the Vorlage of the
LXX), Palestine and Babylonia. Among several of his studies, see â€œThe History
of Biblical Text in the Light of Discoveries of the Judean Desertâ€, HTR 57 (1964)
281-299; ID., â€œSome Notes on a Generation of Qumran Studiesâ€, The Madrid
Qumran Congress. Proceedings of the International Congress on the Dead Sea
Scrolls Madrid 18-21 March 1991 (eds. J. TREBOLLE BARRERA â€“ L. VEGAS
MONTANER) (STDJ 11,1; Leiden â€“ New York â€“ KÃ¶ln â€“ Madrid 1992) I, 1-14. But
several theories about the origin of the MT and the LXX reflect the complexity of
the problem in this field; cf. FERNÃNDEZ MARCOS, La Bibbia, 79-94; H.-J. FABRY,
â€œDie griechischen Handschriften vom Toten Meerâ€, Im Brennpunkt: Die
Septuaginta. Studien zur Entstehung und Bedeutung der Griechischen Bibel
(Hrsg. H.-J. FABRY â€“ U. OFFERHAUS) (BWANT 153; Stuttgart â€“ Berlin â€“ KÃ¶ln
(16) According to A.F. CAMPBELL â€“ Oâ€™BRIEN, Sources of the Pentateuch.
Text, Introductions, Annotations (Minneapolis, MN 1993) 44, n. 56, 55, n. 67;
J.L. SKA, Introduzione alla lettura del Pentateuco. Chiavi per lâ€™interpretazione
dei primi cinque libri della Bibbia (CBi; Roma 1998) 165, Exod 25 is of P origin
and chapters 33-39 are secondary.