Skip to main content

Full text of "Are There Traces of Greek Philosophy in the Septuagint?"

See other formats


STOP 



Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World 

This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in 
the world by JSTOR. 

Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other 
writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the 
mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. 

We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this 
resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial 
purposes. 

Read more about Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate-jstor/individuals/early- 
journal-content . 



JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people 
discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching 
platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit 
organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please 
contact support@jstor.org. 




tmk d^mvttvty %tmm. 



APRIL, 1890. 



ARE THERE TRACES OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY IN 
THE SEPTUAGINT ? 

The inquiry into the philosophical views of the Greek trans- 
lators of the Bible has as yet been carried to no definite issue. 
The researches of German scholars between the years 1830-50, 
uncertain in method as well as wanting in knowledge, have 
been rectified, but scarcely carried further or definitely com- 
pleted by more competent investigators. Much difference of 
opinion accordingly prevails on the subject even at the present 
time, and one must endeavour to attain to positive results by 
means different from those hitherto made use of. 

First, let me call to mind the general course that previous 
inquiries have taken. Humphrey Hody, with whom the 
scientific investigation of the Septuagint really begins, was 
also the first to hold the opinion that the influence of a 
foreign philosophy is discernible in the Greek translation of 
certain scriptural passages. He finds traces of the wisdom of 
the Egyptian priests in the title of the first book of Moses 
(Genesis) and in the translation of Deut. xxxii. 8. 1 About 
fifty years later, David Michaelis endeavoured to prove 2 that 
in six passages of the Septuagint traces of Gnostic and Mani- 
chaean teaching are evident. But so faint are these traces 

1 De Mbl. text, origin., p. 115. 

2 Dissertatio de indiciis gnosticte philosopliies tempore LXX. interpretum et 
Philmis Judcei, printed in Syntagma Commentationum, (Sotting., 1767. II., 
p. 25V. 

O 



206 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

that it was not difficult for Ernesti 1 and Horn 3 to deny their 
existence, and to show that the interpretations of Michaelis 
rested upon mere mis-understandings. 

Research in this field was now suspended for a long time, 
and was only renewed in 1831 by A. F. Gfrorer, in his 
" Oeschichte des Urehristenthums." 3 This brilliant and learned, 
but shallow and untrustworthy scholar sees in the LXX. " the 
source of the beginnings of the Alexandrian theosophy." 4 
The Alexandrian translators sought to avoid, as Gfrorer says, 
all expressions that refer to a visible God, and this deviation 
from the customary conception of God's existence had the most 
important consequences on Jewish theology. It necessarily 
led up to the doctrine of divine powers, of the existence of 
creatures between God and men, and to that of a transcen- 
dental God, wholly alienated from the finite world, or what 
perhaps is more correct, this latter doctrine must be pre- 
supposed and God's invisibility derived from it. 8 All these 
opinions Gfrorer finds clearly expressed in different passages 
of the LXX. He supposes that the Greek translators separate 
God from the visible world ; that they are persuaded of the 
existence of divine beings subordinate to God, and that they 
invest the Messiah himself " with an eternal and heavenly 
character." 6 

A. F. Dahne goes still further in his Geschichtliche Darstellung 
der judisch-alexandrinischen Beligionsphilosophie? He thinks 
he can show that not only the most important doctrines of 
Philo, but also those of the Christian Alexandrians, Clement 
and Origen, were known to the translators, and are traceable 
in their work. Like Gfrorer he maintains that they sought in 
the first place to remove, or to moderate 8 many of the human 
qualities and passions attributed to God in the Bible. Dahne 
finds a clear expression in the LXX. of the doctrine of creation 
which Philo teaches in his philosophical writings, viz. : the 
creation of the world of ideas before that of sensuous things, 
the denial of creation out of nothing (Creatio ex nihilo), the 
doctrine of the androgynous Adam, and of the divine creative 
and preservative powers. Even the ecstasy of the Epopts, the 
assumption of a two-fold divine revelation, the allegorical 
exegesis of the Alexandrians, — these and many other strange 
things Dahne finds in the translation, both of the Pentateuch 
and of the other portions of Scripture. 9 

1 Exegetische Bibliotlusk, Vol. VIII., p. 716/. 2 Biblische Gnosis, p. 67/ 

3 Vol. II. 2 , p. 8ff. « Ibid., p. 9. 5 Gfrorer, ibid., p. 15. 

6 Gfrorer, ibid., p. 17. ' Vol. II., p. 2/ (Halle, 1834). 

« Ibid., p. 37/ 9 Ibid., II., p. 11/ 



Are there Traces of Greek Philosophy in the Septuagint ? 207 

Dahne bestowed so much learning and acuteness upon the 
demonstration of his hypothesis, that for a time he made even 
excellent scholars believe, that the influence of the Alexan- 
drian theosophy on the LXX. was actually proved. 1 But in 
truth his proofs were so arbitrary and insufficient, based on 
so little knowledge of the language and the method of trans- 
lation followed by the LXX., that he soon met with violent 
opposition. H. G. Thiersch criticised the various errors of 
Dahne in a now almost forgotten, but excellent work. 2 But 
Thiersch threw the force of his criticism on details and left 
uncontested the fundamental views of Dahne. He no less 
than the latter believed that the Greek translators anticipated 
the peculiar doctrines of the Alexandrian philosophers. 3 

But other scholars, among whom Zacharias Frankel deserves 
foremost mention, arrived at very different conclusions. In 
his epoch-making Vorstudien zu der Septuaginta, which 
appeared in 1841, in his Einfluss der palastinischen Exegese auf 
die alexandrinixche Hermeneutik, a work published ten years 
later, and in smaller essays, Frankel clearly showed that 
Gfrorer and Dahne not only had committed errors, but that 
their hypothesis is built up on wholly insecure foundations; 
that they do not prove the influence of Greek philosophy on 
the Septuagint; that this influence is certainly less than they 
supposed, and that it is only the avoidance of anthropo- 
morphism and anthropopathism which is discernible most 
decidedly in the translation of the Pentateuch, less distinctly 
in other books of the Bible, which were translated at a later 
period ; and that not Greek philosophy, but Palestinian 
influence produced this effect. 4 

E. Zeller agrees with Frankel in all essential points about 
the pretended philosophy of the LXX. The renowned author 
of the Philosophie der Griechen says 8 : Some of the translators 
were offended at the physical manifestations of Jehovah, but 
from that circumstance, as well as from the translations of 
other passages, we dare not conclude that the LXX. were 
familiar with -Platonic or Stoical philosophy, or that the 
doctrines of the school of Philo were shared by them. There 
is no reason to suppose " more than a small and superficial 
contact with Greek ideas." 



1 See the remarkable essay of Georgi in Ilgen's Zeitschrift, 1839, Vol. IV., 
p. 60. 

2 Be Pentateucki Vert. Alexandrina (Erl., 1841), p. 43Jf. 

3 Ibid., p. 41, p. 43. 

4 See especially Vorstudien, p. 175 s.; c. Einfluss, p. 30/, 82/, 130/; Palastin. 
vnd alexandrin. Schriftforschuiui, p. 24. 

8 Vol. III., Part IF., 253/1 

o2 



208 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

With this negative result the first researches into the 
philosophical views of the LXX. close, but we cannot be 
satisfied with it. For even if all the arguments of Gfrorer 
and Dahne do not stand the test, does it necessarily follow 
that their hypothesis itself is false ? Cannot new and more 
careful researches prove the same assertions with other argu- 
ments? As long as criticism did not go beyond the refutation 
of Gfrorer and Dahne, there was no certainty on the subject 
of the philosophical or non-philosophical spirit of the Greek 
translation. It hence resulted that the judgments of the most 
learned inquirers differed widely from one another. Frankel, 
who by a more accurate explanation of hitherto misunder- 
stood passages had eliminated so many philosophical theories 
supposed to have been insinuated into the translation, re- 
peatedly speaks of the philosophical exegesis of the LXX., 1 
and regards some words as bearing a philosophical import- 
ance, which Zeller thinks quite insignificant. 2 

Though Zeller contradicts the extreme views of Dahne, he 
nevertheless believes that in some passages traces may be 
found of the anthropological terminology of Plato and the 
Stoics. 3 Siegfried, one of the greatest living authorities on 
Jewish Hellenism, thinks it doubtful whether there are any 
traces of Greek philosophy in the LXX. Yet he supposes 
that the doctrine of the intellectual world, the Koa/ws vojjto'?, 
is expressed in the translation of Gen. i. 2.* But if we 
indeed find that this Platonic, or rather Philonic, doctrine is 
embodied in the LXX., we should naturally expect to find 
many other philosophical doctrines more in accord with the 
ideas that were current in the Alexandrian school. 

G. W. Bickell, in fact, discovers such other doctrines. He 
declares 5 that the avoidance of anthropomorphism and anthro- 
popathism (which, as he thinks, is in no book more rigidly 
observed than in the translation of the book of Job,) was con- 
nected most intimately with Alexandrian theology and the 
allegorical exegesis, and that both point to a long acquaintance 
with Greek, especially Platonic, philosophy. He thinks that 
the doctrine of God's absolute unchangeability, of his complete 
unity, and of matter as the source of Evil, must have been 
the cause of certain interpretations of Scriptural passages 
found in the LXX. 

The foregoing facts are enough to show the uncertainty 

1 Einfluss, pp. 21, 30, 82, 130. 2 Paltkt. und alex. Schriftf., p. 24. 

3 Philos. der Griechen, III., 2 3 , p. 255. * Philo von Alexandria, p. 8. 

5 De indole ac ratione versionis Alexandrinai in interpretando libri Jobi, 
p. 5/ 



Are there Traces of Greek Philosophy in the Septuagint ? 209 

still prevalent as to the philosophical level of the LXX., 
even after the investigations of Frankel and Zeller. The 
question arises whether there are no means of removing 
the doubts which have hitherto existed. It is evident that 
the most cautious and acute exegesis of single passages of the 
LXX. cannot provide them. For very often the Hebrew 
original that lay before the translators is no longer dis- 
coverable, or the reading and the meaning of the Greek text 
are alike doubtful. Copyists, commentators and editors, 
each in their various ways, have contributed to bring the 
original text of the LXX. to its present state of confusion. 
Under such circumstances it is impossible from individual 
passages to recognise the spirit which inspired the translators 
in their work. 1 But it is probable that the examination of 
the large linguistic material of the LXX. will lead us to 
safe results. Researches like those which Frankel, Thiersch 
and others made in respect to the grammar of the Septuagint, 
can and must be extended to philosophical questions. Here 
the sources of errors are fewer, the chance of mistake is 
reduced by the large number of passages to be examined, and 
we may therefore hope that cautious researches in this field 
will lead to the desired end. 2 

In spite of the great difference of opinion as to the sense of 
single words and expressions in the LXX., we may certainly 
believe, that if Greek philosophy influenced the translation of 
the Septuagint, this influence must not only be discernible here 
and there, but must find its expression in the choice of certain 
fixed technical terms. As there is no philosophy in a technical 
sense to be found in the Hebrew Scriptures, if the translators 
of the Septuagint actually were in contact with philosophical 
ideas, the choice of certain expressions for psychological, 
ethical and metaphysical notions, must clearly show difference 
between the original and the translation. To what result do 
we come, if we look at the LXX. from this point of view ? 

1 One instance in place of many may demonstrate this fact. The words of 
the second verse of Genesis 1i"Q1 inn !"IJVn pKill are translated xai »/ yn f/v 
aoparoe icai aKaraoKtvcnTOQ. Dahne (I.e.. p. 11), and Thiersch (I.e., p, 44), 
see in these words a clear allusion to the doctrine of the creation of a 
spiritual before the sensual world. Zeller (I.e., p. 255) declares they were 
chosen without any arriere pennee, and Bickell agrees with him (I.e., p. 6). 
Frankel, however, attacks their genuineness (Paliist. und Alex, Schriftf., p. 24). 
Siegfried (Philo, p. 8), returns to Dahne's opinion. 

2 Not long ago the late Dr. Edwin Hatch, in his learned essays on Biblical 
Greek (Oxford, 1889, p. 94/), examined the sense of some psychological 
notions in the LXX. He, however, mainly contents himself with the mere 
reckoning up of the manifold translations of Hebrew words, without 
entering into the particulars of the meaning and the origin of the ideas 
expressed. 



210 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

The investigation of words like ifrvx^, aZa-ffriiris, vow, <f>p6vr)<ri$, 
avBpela, apery, irpovoia, «ocr/xo? and other philosophical terms 
gives us an unequivocal answer to this question. 

l.-Wvtf. 

The meanings of the Greek word ^t^ are equivalent to 
those of the Hebrew t»D3. Therefore the one is the common 
translation of the other, as we see in a great many passages. 
But in some respects ^jrv^v deviates from tPS3. The Hebrew 
word, which originally means " breath," " breeze," " blast," 
denotes ordinarily the principle of life, sensuous as well as 
spiritual, but occasionally it is used as synonymous with "man," 
"person"; sometimes it even signifies "dead body," "corpse." 
To the Greek word ^rvxv these significations are wanting. 1 
When once philosophical reflection had grasped the difference 
between soul and body, ^jrvxv tended to become more and 
more abstract, and in educated speech it loses the sensual 
connotation which it formerly possessed. Where tt7E3 is used 
in this sensual meaning, the Greek translator, if he had not 
felt it his duty to translate literally, would have had to deviate 
from the original. So even the Aramaic translators often render 
t»S3 by EON or BO -Q. 2 In the LXX. we very seldom find such 
deviations, in the Pentateuch only twice (Gen. xiv. 21, and 
xxxvi. 6), in the rest of the Bible only four times, and that in a 
single chapter (Joshua x. 28, 30, 35, 39). In the great num- 
ber of passages, where U7S3 means " living being." " man," 
" person," " slave," or " dead body," "corpse," the LXX., heedless 
of the true sense of the Greek word, uses ■tyvxfi. For instance 
Gen. i. 24, i^ayayerm 17 yrj ^vyrjv ^coaav ; xii. 5, kclI 7racrav 
tyvxqv fjv eKT-qaaTO 3 ; xlvi. 15, iraaai al-^-v^ai, viol xal 6vyaTepe<i, 
and the same v. IS, 22, 25, 26, 27, and in many other passages. 
So we read (Lev. vii. 8-10), yfrvj^, r/Tt? iav <pdyy diro icpecov and 
(Lev. vii. 11 ; xxii. 6), fj av ayfrrjrai TravTos Trpdy(iaTO<; or iav Se 
yfruxr/ irpuo-^epy hoypov (Lev. ii. 1), and similar expressions 
(Lev. iv. 2, 27 ; v. 1, etc.) ; Deuter. xxiv. 7 (9), we find Kkeirrcov 
yjrvxnv- — More decidedly the LXX. deviate from the Greek use 

1 In some dictionaries ^"X^ i s translated by " person " on the ground of 
passages like Soph. (Ed. Kol. 1207 ; El. 775, 786, 1127 ; Aristoph. Kub., 711 ; 
Polyb. viii. 5, 3. But this translation is not the right one. In all these and 
similar passages the true sense of <l/v\fi is "life," "soul," or "spirit." 

2 See Prankel, Einflus-i, p. 126. Isaiah xxix. 8 ; xliii. 4 ; Jer. Ii. 14 ; Prov. 
xiii. 4 ; xvi. 26 ; xxiv. 12 ; Psalm xl. 3, and in some other passages the trans- 
lation of K'SJ is not literal, but it has its usual sense. Hatch did not take 
notice of many of these passages. 

5 Frankel sees the influence of the Agadah in this translation (Einfluis, 
p. 48). The analogous translations prove that this opinion is groundless. 



Are there Traces of Greek Philosophy in the Septuagint ? 211 

of language where they put "fox*) instead of ve«pd?, as Lev. 
xix. 28, ivTOfilBas ov iroirjarere ini tyvxfl, xxi. 11, eirl irday 'tyvxV 
rerekevKvia ; Num. v. 2 and ix. 6, aicadapTov em tyvxv- 

This use of the word explains why ^frvxv is declared to be 
identical with blood, even in a passage where the masoretic 
text does not precisely make this identification. So Levit. 
xvii. 11, r) yap ijrvxh traar\<i trap/cof alyua avrov iariv, where 
the Hebrew text reads HTT D"0 itonn w*a "O the soul of 
every living thing is in the blood. (See also Lev. xvii. 14 ; 
Deut. xii. 23.) This meaning of tt7D3 and therefore of ifrvxv 
occurs in the other books of the Scripture less frequently 
than in the Pentateuch. But we can quote Jer. xliii. 6 (1. 6) ; 
Ezech. xliv. 25 ; Hag. ii. 13 ; Psalm civ. (cv.) 18 ; cxxiii. 
(cxxiv.) 4 ; Prov. xiii. 25 ; 1 Chr. v. 21. These and similar 
passages show how extensive this use of the word is. 1 

No servile dependency on the Hebrew original can have 
induced this translation. For in that of the Pentateuch, as 
well as in that of most books of the Bible, we find very 
numerous deviations from the original, as Frankel 2 and 
Thiersch 3 have conclusively proved. We even find the un- 
Greek use of ijrvxrj where the Hebrew text does not use DD3, 
but employs quite another word. Thus -tyvxh is the transla- 
tion of DO, Ezech. xliv. 25 ; of )E2, Prov. xiii. 25,* of BPN, 
Lev. xvii. 9 (in a great number of manuscripts collated by 
Holmes). We may therefore conclude, that if the Greek 
translators give to tyvxv the meaning of "person," "slave," 
'•dead body," "corpse," they could not be familiar with the 
abstract meaning which the word obtained in later Greek, 
and they could not be conscious of the opposition between 
body and soul, which is sharply accentuated in Greek 
philosophy. 

2.— Tlvoq. 

The consideration of this word shows how little the 
Greek translators understood the method of expressing the 
difference between the sensuous and the spiritual, and how 
unphilosophically they reasoned. Ilvorj, etymologically syno- 
nymous with Trvevfia, is not often used in good Greek. It 



1 The use of this word in apocryphal books and in the New Testament is 
the same as in the LXX. See Sap. xii. 6, yoviis Tpvxtip a3or)9riTwv ; 1 Mace, 
x. 33, iraouv t^vx^v , lovSaiu>v ; ii. 38, 'itag x l ^' wv 4 /v X^" > avOpwiruv ; Acts ii. 
41 ; iii. 23 ; Apocal. xvi. 3. 

2 Ei-nfluss, pp. 6, 73, 122, 177, 202. 3 L.c, p. 59. 

4 Lagarde, Anmerk. zur grweh. TJebers. der Prov., p. 46, would not have 
altered the text of the LXX., if he had noticed these analogies. 



212 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

means the blowing of the wind, the fire, the breath, the wind 
itself, and metaphorically the spiritual breath, the storm of 
feelings and passions. But the word is never used for the 
principle of spiritual life, it is never synonymous with ^frvxv 
or vovs. And just in the last-named sense ttvotj is used in the 
LXX. We read Prov. xxiv. 12, 6 irkdaas irvoijv iracnv for "1213 
"72723 ; XX. 27, <f>a><{ Kvplov Trvoi} dvOpdmcov for DIN HDttJS 'n "13 ; 
Ps. cl. 6, iraaa Trvoij aiveadrm tov KVpiov for HOtMn *?D. Not 
less remarkable is Prov. i. 23, Trporio~o/j,ai vfilv e'/M?s Trvofj? pfjaiv ; 
Is. lvii. 16, ttvo7)v iraaav iya> eTrolrjaa ; Job xxxii. 9, and 
xxx. 4, Trvof) Be 7ravroKpdTopo<i 17 SiSda/covaa. The men who 
translated the Scripture in this manner could not have been 
acquainted with the terminology of Greek psychology. 



3.— Nov* 

Remarking how often the LXX. substitutes voO? for such 
expressions as : " heart," " ear," " breath," one might be tempted 
to consider this as due to the influence of Greek philosophy. 
But a more exact examination shows us, that voO? in the LXX. 
has the same meaning as in common speech, and not as in phi- 
losophy. It does not denote the spiritual principle of life, or in- 
tellectual activity, but " opinion," " attention," " resolution," and 
similar notions. So Exod. vii. 23, and Isaiah xli. 22, eireaTqae 
tov vovv; Job vii. 17, irpoaixeiv tov vovv for rib HW ,WW, and 
the same sense is expressed also by icapBlav TiOivai (Prov. 
xxii. 17 ; xxvii. 23). In a similar sense the word is used Jos. 
xiv. 7, Kara tov vovv avTov (or avr&v in many manuscripts) 
for "imb UV "WND " according to his wish "; Job vii. 20, o 
i-mo-Td/ievo? tov vovv t5>v dvOpcoirwv, " he who knows the in- 
tentions," and Isaiah x. 12, emafciyfrofiai iirl tov vovv tov fieyav 
" I shall watch over the proud mind." In the sense of reso- 
lution we find it in Isaiah xl. 13, 775 eyva vovv Kvpiov. That 
this is the true sense of the word is proved by the parallel 
idea that follows ti? avrov avp.^ov\o<; iyeveTo, and by 
another passage (Is. x. 7), cnraWdgei 1 6 rot/9 uvtov for "PEttJn 1 ? 

imbn. 

There is much difficulty in deciding on the meaning of a 
certainly corrupt passage, Prov. xxxi. 3 (xxiv. 71,) where we 
find a double translation of "71"? vou? ical /3to? and Job xxxiii. 
16, where ]*N "ear" is translated vow. Here probably ovs 
was the original translation. That vov<; Betfo-eas (Job xxxvi. 



1 It is necessary to read airaWdZai, as we conclude from the synonym 
iZo\o9pt vaai and from d(pavioai the variant of numerous manuscripts. 



Are there Traces of Greek Philosophy in the Septuagint ? 213 

19) is not identical with the voi)? of Greek philosophy, needs 
no proof. 1 

The fact that where the source of spiritual activity, the 
principle of thinking and reasoning, is understood, the Greek 
translators never put vovs must be specially marked. We find 
ifrvxv where vow would have been the right expression, Jos. 
xxiii. 14, yvdxreade ttj icapBiq kcu ttj ^fvyjQ ; Is. x. 7, rf} tyv)(rj 
.... Xekoyurrat ; xliv. 19, ovk iXoyiaaro ry tjrvxfl ; Prov. xxiv. 
14, aiaOrjo-tf <xo<f>iav rfj afi ^rv^rj; Ps. cxxxviii. (cxxxix.) 14, r) 
tyvxtf fiov yivwaicei, and so on. KapBia is substituted for vow, 
Exod. xxxvi.2, debs eBa>Kev iiriarrifirjv iv tj) KapBia ; Deut. xxix. 4, 
elBevat, ; 1 Sam. iv. 20, ivorjaev 17 KapBia, Neh. v. 7, iftovkevcraTo 
KapBia fiov, and frequently. We find ttvotj in the same sense, 
Prov. i. 23, irpotjo-ofiat vp.lv ififjs irvof)^ prjaiv ; Job xxxii. 9, 
irvorj iravTOKpaTopof 17 BiBdaKovaa, and in other passages (see 
above p. 212). This fact, too, proves that the sense given by 
Greek philosophers to the word vow; was not known to the 
LXX. 

4. — $povT)<ri$, (ppovifioi, a<f>pwv. 

$povr)<n<; denotes, in philosophical language, "practical 
wisdom." Aristotle gives the definition e%iv 0X1)87) ixera Xoyov 
•7TpaKTiKT]v irepl rd dvOpamm wyaOd kcu Kaicd (E. N. vi., 5, 1140 
b 5) ; the Stoics eVi<XT»;/4T/v kuk&v koi dyaOav koX ovBeripcov (D. 
L., vii. 92 ; S. E. Pyrrh. iii. § 271), or iiruTTrjuriv a>v ttoii)t£ov 
Kal ov TToi7]T60v Kol ovBeripwv (Stob, eel. ii., p. 102, Heer.) But 
the LXX. attribute (ppovrjai? also to God. So 1 Kings iii. 28, 
tf>povr)cn<i 6eov iv avrw; Is. xl. 28, ovB$ eariv i^evpe(n<; rfj? 
(ppovrjaeoos avrov; Jer. x. 12, tt) (ppovt'/a-ei uvtov igeretve rov 
ovpavov ; Prov. iii. 19, #eo? r/Toi/JLacrev ovpavov? (ppovrfcret. It is 
used simply for " wisdom," 1 Kings iv. 25, 26 (29, 30) ; Prov. 
iii. 13 ; xix. 8, and so on. In the same meaning (ppovifio? ap- 
pears, 1 Kings, iii. 12; iv. 26 (30); v. 7; Is. xliv. 25, and so on. 

Still more unlike the usual Greek is the meaning which 
the LXX. give to atppcov. It is used not only to denote 
the foolish, thoughtless, unreasonable, but also the morally 
reprobate man. It is the translation of baa, 2 Sam. xiii. 13; 
Jer. xvii. 11; Psalm xiii. (xiv.) 1 ; xxxviii. (xxxix.) 9; Hi. (liii.) 
2; lxxiii. (lxxiv.) 18, 22; Prov. xvii. 7; xxx. 22 (xxiv. 57); 
Job ii. 10 ; xxx. 8. We find it for W2Q, Prov. xvii. 2 ; for 



1 Eccl. iii. 21, D1K '33 IIIT is translated irviv/ia vlibv tov avOpwwnv instead 
of vovq avOotbiruiv. This fact would be very important if we knew the 
original version of Ecolesiastes. But the Greek translation of this book is 
written by Aquila, or interpolated according to his version. See Graetz 
Kohelet, p. 173, and Freudenthal, Helhn. Stndicn, p. 65. Certainly we must 
write here, with 12 codd. of Holmes, olSe instead of tlSi. 



214 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

]W HTH Job xxxiv. 36 ; for by *>2, Pro v. vi. 12 ; xvi. 27 ; xix. 
28. In the same sense cuppoavvr) is put for nbaa, Deut. xxii. 
21 ; Jud. xix. 23, 24 ; xx. 6 l ; 1 Sam. xxv. 25 ; 2 Sam. xiii. 
12; for nbsn, Job i. 22. 

5, 6. — A6%a and X0705. 

Both words, so frequent in the philosophical writings of the 
Greeks, hardly ever appear in the LXX. in their philosophical 
meaning ; 8o|a is used for " glory," " honour," " magnificence," 
~i~tn j mNSn , "TOD. In the sense of opinion we find it only 
once, Isaiah xi. 3, ov Kara ttjv Bo^ay Kpivei. Even Sogd^eiv does 
not denote in the LXX. " to mean," " to suggest," but " to 
praise/' "to glorify," and is therefore frequently used for 
aipi-l, "733, -ifcif , and so forth. 

X0709 has in the LXX. only the concrete meaning of " word," 
"speech," and is never used for "reason," " cause," "reflection." 
In Prov. v. 1 we read indeed e'/^oi? Se \6yois for TUianbl. 
But the plural proves that the word bears here merely the 
sense " words." It is probably interpolated from iv. 20, tow 
8' e'/xot? Twyois, and has replaced the original aweo-is or 
tppovqaii}? 

7. — AlaOdvofiac, aX<rdr}ai<}. 

These terms are employed, both in the common speech and 
loosely by writers acquainted with philosophy, not only for 
sense-perception but also for " mental conception," " obser- 
vation," and so forth. Thus Euripides (Electro, 288) speaks 
of an aia0Tjart<; rwv /caicmv; Plutarch {Anton. 24), of fipaSeia 
aicrdr]<n<; (afiaprqfiaTcov). Even Aristotle, though only in 
his physical and political writings, makes mention of aia0T}<ri<; 
dyatfov /cal kclkqv (Politics 1, 2. 1253 a 17), and al<rBt]<ji% iTrcfieXr/- 
tikt) r&v re/cvwv {Anim. Gen. III. 753 a 8). In more exact 
philosophical usage, however, atadijcri? in the connotation of 
sense-perception is most strictly opposed to intellectual con- 
ception, thinking, or knowing — a statement for which I need 
offer no proof. The LXX. employ the term solely in its inex- 
act signification, and in this respect go far beyond the usage 
of Greek writers. They translate Exod. xx. 18, D>H;n DVn ^Dl 
Dlblpn riS, trd<; Se 6 Xao? cwpa ttjv <f>cov^v, and similarly with 
verse 22 ; for J"an and 2T on the other hand aioQavecrffai is 



1 Many good codd. have here aQpoovvtiv. 

a Like Sola and \6yoQ, some other words, as tlSoc, ISka, SXi/, which are very 
frequent in the writings of Greek philosophers, never have in the LXX. the 
sense given to them in philosophical terminology. 



Are there Traces of Greek Philosophy in the Septuagint? 215 

used, luadytns being treated as a synonym of ippovycm, im- 
crryuv, crocpia. Thus for Exodus xxviii. 3, mi \~ltf?» ~it»S 
nnsn, we read ou? eveTrXrjcra rrvev/iaros alcrOycrews 1 ; in Prov. 
i. 7, HV1 5TWiT\ 'n J"KT» is rendered evaefteia ek 6eov dpxv 
aladycreav;; ibid. i. 22.^ HV1 W3ttT D^DDI, dcre^eh yevofievoi 
ifilcrycrav aXcrOycriv ; iii. 20, iv aicrOyaet (D3?12) a&vaaoi ippdy- 
rjcrav ; xxiii. 12, rd Be &rd gov eroifiaaov Tot? Xoyois alcrOycreci)^. 
In this unusual meaning we find the word most frequently in 
Proverbs (ii. 10 ; v. 2 ; x. 14 ; xi. 9 ; xii. 1, 23 ; xiv. 6, 7, 18 ; 
xv. 7, 14, etc.), but besides these instances and the passages 
from Exodus already quoted, the same use of the term may 
be noted in Isaiah xlix. 26, fiedvadrjcrovrai teal aiadycrerai? 
•iraaa crdpl;, and Job xxiii. 5, aladoi/xyv Be riva fioi drrayyeXei. 

One may fairly maintain that no one acquainted with the 
philosophical and more particularly with the psychological 
terminology of the Greeks, would have used aXadtjaif as a 
synonym with emaryfit} or ao<\>ia. But as this is done by 
the translator of Proverbs, who surpasses the majority of the 
translators of the Bible in knowledge of Greek, he must as 
decidedly as the others be pronounced ignorant of the fun- 
damental notions of Greek philosophy. 

8. — 'Apery. 

Apery, as is well known, originally signifies man's power and 
capacity; hence the term serves to denote all bodily and 
mental excellences, and, though more rarely, their effects or 
" great achievements," or the " glory," or " fame " acquired in 
consequence. Thus Sophocles says {Phil. 1420) dSdvarov 
dperyv eaypv, and Pindar (Isthm. v. 49) v^yXalf dperafc 
dvafialvevv. In philosophical language these usages fall into 
the background, and the abstract sense of " virtue " prepon- 
derates. But it is precisely this ethical meaning, which 
afterwards became universal, that is never found in the Sep- 
tuagint. Apery is there used only as a translation of nbnn 
Tin, and synonymous terms, in the sense of " praise," " glory," 
" honour," " excellence," " quality worthy of honour." Thus 
Isaiah xlii. 8, ov Bwcrw to? dperd*; fiov toi? yXwrrok ; xlii. 12, 
Ta? dperds avrov . . . dvayyeXovcriv ; Hab. iii. 3, eiedXvyfrev ovpavov? 
y apery avrov. The same may be seen in Zech. vi. 13 ; Isaiah 
xliii. 21 ; lxiii. 7. 



1 Later on, alo9i)otu>c was altered into eoipiac ; hence both words appear in 
xome codices. One would be inclined to read voiiviwt; for <iia9r)o«i>s, but that 
the latter is so often used in this sense. 

2 There is no reason to believe that the Greek translators wrote alaOav 
Otjatrai, which we read now in the manuscripts and editions of the LXX. 



210 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

The purely ethical signification of the word is found for 
the first time in those books of the Apocrypha that were 
originally written in Greek. Thus 2 Mace. vi. 31, fivrjfioo-wov 
aperf)? KaraXiircov ; Wisdom iv. 1, Kpetaaov aTeicvia per aperr)?. 
So with Wisdom v. 13 ; viii. 7, and frequently in the fourth 
book of the Maccabees. In the New Testament the word is 
almost always employed in the same fashion as in the LXX. 
(comp. 1 Pet. ii. 9; 2 Pet. i. 3; Phil. iv. 8). Only in one passage 
does the word seem used in the philosophical sense, viz. : in 
2 Pet. i. 5, where we read : eiri , )(opvyv aaTe *" T V Twrra vft&v rrjv 
dperyv, iv Be rr) dperfj rr)v yvaxTiv, " In your faith supply virtue, 
and in your virtue knowledge." 1 

9. — 'AvhpeLa, avSpelos. 

No word is less exposed, either by etymology or usage, to 
mis-interpretation than avSpeia. Already popularly used, to 
express " manliness " and " courage," ethical inquiry restricted 
the term still more closely within these prescribed limits. 2 
The LXX. neglect this usage most markedly. In Prov. xii. 4 ; 
xxxi. 10, Vrr nt&N is translated by 7WJ7 uvhpeia (and conse- 
quently, the same is the case with Sir. xxvi. 2; xxviii. 15); in 
Eccles. ii. 21 ; iv. 4 ; v. 10, p~)tEO, and in Ps. lxvii. (lxviii.) 7, 
nnt&ID is rendered dvBpeia; in Prov. xv. 19, ana?'' become 
dvSpeloi, and so do the D^Snn of Prov. x. 4 ; xiii. 4. The 
word thus denotes here not the " brave " but the " excellent," 
being used as a synonym with ayaffos, ^/j??oto?. Hence, it is 
never employed in the LXX. for "1133. In the Apocrypha, the 
ethical idea again comes clearly to the front (Wisdom viii. 7 ; 
4 Mace. 271, 28. 284, 6 Bekk.) ; in the New Testament the 
word is altogether wanting. 

10. — Me<ya\oirp6irr)<;, pefakoirpeireta. 

The latter term has a sharply circumscribed ethical signifi- 
cation, of which Aristotle (Eth. Nic. iv. 4, 1122 a, 18/) gives 
evidence. It denotes the generosity of the noble man, who is 
equally removed from petty avarice on the one side and lavish 
extravagance on the other. The use of the word by the LXX. 
shows no trace of this ethical meaning. Here it signifies 
merely external splendour, serving as a translation for Tin 

1 Compare Hatch (loc. eit., page 40), who regards this passage as very dif- 
ficult, and leaves it unexplained. 

* Compare Plato, Laches; Aristotle, E.X. III., ch. 9; Bket. I., ch. 9, 
II., ch. 14. 



Are there Traces of Greek Philosophy in the Septuagint ? 217 

piir\ / mNDn ,mNa. Compare Ps. viii. 2; xx. (xxi.) 5; xxviii. 
(xxix.) 4; ex. (cxi.) 3, etc. 

11. — Upovota. 

The idea of divine Providence could not have been unknown 
to the Greek translators of the Bible, for it is presented in 
every page of Scripture. The LXX. however does not use 
•n-povoia, the term technically expressive of the idea of Provi- 
dence from the fifth century onwards, but enri^KOTrrj or other 
words. Ilpovoia occurs only once, and then signifies merely 
'knowing" or "deliberating," like the corresponding verb 
TrpovoeiaOai. Compare Job xxi v. 15, ov irpovo^crei fie 6<f>6a\fi6<; ; 
Prov. iii. 4, ical irpovoov icaka (iito bstpni) ; Jos. xx. 3, irard^arn 
ifrv)(r)V aKovaiax; avev -rrpovolas. 1 In the Apocrypha we for the 
first time encounter the word in the connotation given to it by 
philosophy. The author of the Wisdom, who was very familiar 
with Platonic and Stoic ideas, says, xiv. 3, 17 he arj, irdrep, Biaicu- 
ftepva 7rp6voia and vi. 8, 6fioi(c<i irpovoel (0 deb?) irepl Trdvrcov. 
So also 2 Mace. xiv. 9, tov <yivov<; r)fiS>v TrpovoridrjTi,, and in many 
places in the fourth book of the Maccabees. It is noteworthy 
that irpovoia in the sense of " divine Providence " is also 
absent from the New Testament. 

12. — K007X09. 

K6<Tfio<;, from the time of Empedocles (v. 299 Sturz) fre- 
quently used by philosophers in the sense of "world," or 
" universe," in almost the same sense as to trav, is employed 
by the LXX. only in the original meaning of "ornament," 
"arrangement," "drawing up of an army," and even for "army" 
itself. Thus it is the translation of 'HS / mWDn ,N32, 2 while 
it is never found in the LXX. with the meaning " world." It 
is otherwise with the Apocrypha and the New Testament. 
Wisdom contains passages like these : vi. 26, Tr\ri6o$ 8e aocpwv 
<ra>TT)pia k6<t/jlov; vii. 17, elBevat crvcnaaiv Koafiov; xi. 18, 
KTtaacra rbv koct/jlov il; d/i6p<f>ov ii\r}<;, etc. The second and 
fourth books of the Maccabees also are acquainted with this 
meaning, which is the usual sense in which the word is used 
in the New Testament. 

1 These last two words are wanting in the great majority of MSS. 

3 Zezschwitz in his stimulative but superficial Profangrtwitat und biblischer 
Spracligeist, p. 22, believes that the LXX., in translating K3¥ by eoir^of, either 
confused N2¥ with '2S, or meant to represent the stars as the ornament of 
heaven. But the true signification is apparent from Nahum ii. 9, where 
i"U13n is rendered koovloq, and from Ezekiel xxiii. 41, and Eccl. vii. 13 (14), 
where "py and JpTl are translated Koir^ttv. This author's remarks on the use 
of the word in the New Testament are ingenious but unfounded. 



218 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

The consideration of the foregoing terms shows that the 
LXX. were unacquainted with the usages of language which 
the Greek philosophers had brought into circulation; the 
philosophical meanings of terms like aia-Orja-K;, (f>povr)ai<;, 
vov<;, dvhpeia, a<f>pav remained unknown to them; words in 
common use like dperri, Sof;d£eiv, Ko<rp,o<i, (le^aXoirpeireia, 
\6705, e!8o?, IBea, v\i), irpovoia, they never employ in the 
sense which philosophy has assigned to them. It is incon- 
ceivable that the philosophy of the Greeks can have exer- 
cised any considerable influence over men who betray so 
complete an ignorance of the most common psychological 
and ethical terms, or that the LXX. were influenced by 
the Platonic, Aristotelian or Stoic systems. And these 
conclusions are true not merely for certain portions of 
the LXX., but for the whole of it. For in regard to the 
use of these philosophical terms no difference can be de- 
tected between the oldest and what are probably the latest 
translations, between the version of the Pentateuch and that 
of Job and Nehemiah, between the historical and the poetical 
books, between the translation of the Prophets and that of 
the Hagiographa. 

The arguments that could be adduced against these con- 
clusions, arguments that have indeed been brought forward 
to show the influence of philosophy on the LXX., are of no 
real weight. Objectors point to a few instances of trans- 
lations which are thought to bear a philosophical stamp. But 
he who has learnt to recognise the unphilosophical character 
of the LXX. from the mass of evidence here collected will 
not be misled by single words and stray expressions. In 
the unlimited state of corruption in which the text of 
the LXX. has come down to us, a suspicion of spurious- 
ness must fall upon every word that contradicts a well- 
established fact. Even an appeal to the oldest LXX. text 
could not entirely weaken this suspicion, since, as Philo's 
quotations prove, the text of the LXX. was already at 
the earliest period disfigured with corruptions of manifold 
character. 

We do not however need this method of escape, a method 
always dubious in the eyes of timid critics. He who does not 
venture to follow Gfrbrer and Dahne, in introducing into the 
Greek translation of the Bible, Platonic, Stoic, Philonic and 
Gnostic dogmas, on the strength of arbitrary and forced in- 
terpretations that violate the rules of the language ; who, with 
Thiersch, Frankel and Zeller, stigmatises the procedure of 
these writers as unscientific, will expect to find the trace of 
foreign systems of philosophy at the most in but few pas- 



Are there Traces of Greek Philosophy in the Septuagint ? 219 

sages, and even this diminutive trace to vanish on closer 
examination. 

The LXX. translation of Job vii. 15, and of Psalm 1. (li.) 14 
reminds Zeller 1 of the anthropological terminology of Plato 
and the Stoics. In the first passage, where the original runs 
">tt?D3 parra "irDfO, we find a7ra\\afei? dirb irvevp.aro<i fiov rrjv 
ifruxjv fiov. It is, however, not clear what these words would 
signify in Platonic or Stoical terminology. With Plato Trvevfia 
plays so subordinate a part that I cannot understand why the 
translators should have here introduced this idea. In the 
doctrine of the Stoics, moreover, the soul itself is a irvevpAi, 
and therefore there can be no reference to this doctrine in 
the passage before us, where a separation of the Trvevfia from 
the tyvxh is spoken of. As a matter of fact, there is probably 
some corruption in the text under consideration. It is not 
the habit of the translator of Job without pressing reasons to 
depart from the original to the extent that he must have 
done in this instance, if the text were genuine. We must 
therefore, in accordance with the Cod. Alex, and 157 (Parsons), 
eliminate ixov, and with a very slight emendation read 
•n-viyfiaTO'} for TrvevfiaTos, just as in Nahum ii. 13 (12), pjjnzp 
is translated eVeVvt^e. In this way only do the Greek words 
receive a good meaning, and correspond with the thought 
expressed in the second part of the verse. The words of 
Ps. 1. (li.) 4, -asson nana mil are represented in the LXX. 
by xal -n-vev/MiTi r/yefioviKcS a-njpi^ov fie. The words refer to 
God, not at all to the spirit of man. Interpreted in a Stoic 
sense they would therefore introduce into the Bible the 
grossest materialism, comparing God to a breath. As we 
cannot attribute this to the LXX., we must perceive in the 
rendering before us but an echo of Stoic phraseology, and no 
sign of the influence of Stoic teaching. In fact, Zeller, 2 with 
his delicate tact, speaks only of the "terminology" and not of 
the "philosophy" of the Stoics. It may, however, be that 
fiye/Aoviicbv was selected as an equivalent for rans without 
the faintest influence of Stoicism. For the ordinary trans- 
lation of 3^3 is apxav or SwdaTrj?. (Compare Is. xxxii. 5 ; 
Ps. lxxxii. 12; cvi. 40; Job xii. 21; xxi. 28; Jud. v. 9 3 ; 
Prov. xvii. 27 ; xxv. 7, and frequently). 

The word doparov for "inn in the second verse of Genesis 
was according to Zeller* chosen without any arrilre pensee. 



1 Philos. d. Grkchcn, III., 1 J , p. 195/. 2 Ibid., p. 255. 

3 For Swaorai many MSS. have itcovaiaZSvitvoi, which, however, is easily 
seen to be a later emendation of the original translation. 

4 Ibid., p. 255. 



220 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

Frankel and Siegfried 1 differ from this view and both see 
in the phrase an echo of the Koayio? vot)to<; of Philo. This 
is untenable. For aopaaia is the standing expression in the 
LXX. for " darkness " and " confusion,' and is regularly 
employed for ?mj? ,0^130 pnoia , rf?2N (compare Gen. 
xix. 11 ; Deut. xxviii. 28; Isaiah xlv. 3; lix. 9). That a dis- 
tinction between the invisible world of ideas and the world 
of sensible things could not have been intended in this place 
is shown by the co-ordinate expression aKaracrKeva<no<i which 
has no meaning if applied to the tcoafios votjto?. 

Significant is the translation of Exodus iii. 14, ~)tPN rPilN 
fprw, by iyco el/u, 6 a>v, and of 'onbtt; nTTN by 6 mv airea-raXice 
fie. It cannot well be denied that God is here described as 
the eternally existent, and it is difficult to suppose that any 
change has occurred in the text. Still there is here nothing 
that compels us to assume the influence of Stoic or Neo-Pytha- 
gorean philosophy. For Palestinian exegesis explains these 
important words in the same manner, 2 and the terminology 
of the philosophers would have required to 6v in place of 

r V 3 

O Wl'. 

Technical expressions borrowed from the psychological 
writings of the Greeks seem to meet us, in the occasionally 
used aladiynicbs and aiadrjTrjptov ; Prov. xiv. 10, KapBia avBpb<s 
al<r6t]TiKr) \wrrjpa ^frvxf} avrov (following Lagarde) ; Ibid. v. 30, 
<n)? Se oare'tov xapBia alo-drfTiicrj and Jeremiah iv. 19, aiadrjTripia 
KapBiaf k.t.X. Precisely in these passages, however, it is con- 
clusively seen how unphilosophically the LXX. went to 
work. AI<t6t]tik6<; is in neither passage what Greek philoso- 
phy would have conveyed by the term — it is used not for 
" what is capable of perception by the senses," but for eprrraB-q^, 
"perceptible," "sensible"; in the latter passage indeed it is 
used to translate rrN3p— ' jealous." Thus there is no ground 
for assuming here the actual influence of Greek psychology. 
The LXX. merely used a word made current by Greek psy- 



1 Frankel, Palast. und alcx. Schriftf., p. 24 ; Siegfried, Philo, p. 8. — Frankel 
thinks, however, that aoparoQ must be regarded as spurious, since Philo does 
not cite it. But compare Philo Be opif., § 7, p. 8, 17 (ed. Cohn), where the 
passage occurs iiroiu ovpavbv datoftarov icai ytjv aoparov. 

2 Compare Frankel Vorxtud. p. 179. Frankel there proves that in Jer. xiv. 
13 ; xxsii. (xxxix.) 17, o we has been corrupted from w. 

3 Greek philosophy expresses the indeterminateness and generality of the 
divine nature by the neuter. Parmenides speaks of iov, Plato of to a ya96v. The 
Stoics also, when they do not purposely employ popular language, call the 
deity rd bv (Stob., eel. 1, 374, DieU. doxogr. p. 463, 14/.) The deity to the Neo- 
Platonists is to 'iv (Plotinus, Enn. vi. 9, 3, etc.) It is only Philo who calls 
God now to ov and now o u>v. This is because he taught the personal God of 
the Bible, and was influenced by the passages in the LXX. quoted above. 



Are there Traces of Greek Philosophy in the Septmgint ? 221 

chology, but they misinterpreted it and gave it a thoroughly 
unphilosophical meaning. The same inference, though to a 
lesser extent, may be drawn from Jeremiah iv. 19, where 
alaOrjrtjpia tj}? icaphias is spoken of. For the plural here em- 
ployed does not accord with philosophical usage, in which the 
heart — or according to others the brain — is the single common 
organ of sense, alcdijT^piov, while it would be impossible to 
speak of the " sense-organs of the heart." 1 

Bickell finds an indication of the influence of Greek philo- 
sophy on the LXX. in the efforts of the translators to avoid 
ascribing human form and feelings to God. His remarks 
run thus : (1. c, p. 5), " Hsec autem detestatio anthropomor- 
phismorum et anthropopathismorum arctissime cohasret et 
cum theologia alexandrina et cum interpretatione allegorica ; 
utraque autem nonnisi post longiorem philosophise grsecee, 
imprimis platonicse cognitionem oriri potuit. Apud Philonem 
perspicere possumus omnes causas illius detestationis e philo- 
sophia grseca desumptas esse, nempe immutabilitatem Dei 
absolutam (arpeinov to 6elov), ejusdem simplicatem per- 
fectam, e quacum omnibus qualitatibus, nedum membris et 
affectibus carere concludit, opinionem denique quas materise 
et corpori causam mali et peccati tribuit. Hsec ergo dogmata 
philosophica antecedebant, rejectio anthropomorphismorum 
ea consecuta est." 

We must pronounce this argument absolutely groundless. 
It is improper calmly to assign to the translators of the LXX. 
the same reasons that Philo gives for his assumption of a Deity 
without attributes — grounds which certainly coincide most 
closely with the views of the Greek philosophers. Such a 
method of historical inquiry is hardly better than the procedure 
of Dahne, which no one has more sternly censured than Bickell 
himself. 2 The LXX. did not need the stimulus of Greek 
philosophers to induce them to assign an interpretation dif- 
ferent from the literal one to numerous passages in the Bible, 
in which bodily parts and properties are ascribed to God, — 
to soften or to paraphrase a pictorial or poetical mode of 
expression. The Bible itself was bound to lead to a spiritual 
interpretation of such passages by remarks such as we find in 
Numbers xxiii. 19; Deut. iv. 15 ; 1 Sam. xv. 29; Is. xl. 18; 
Mai. iii. 6. And that, as a matter of fact, the endeavour to 
weaken and paraphrase anthropomorphisms and anthropo- 



1 Compare Aristotle, Be somno, 2, 455, a 21 ; Be juvent., 1, 467, b 28 ; Be 
rita, 3. 469, a 12, and the Stoics, Plat., Be plac., iv. 8 ; Biels doxogr., 394, 5 s. ; 
Galen, Hipp, et Plat., p. 28/. 

2 B>id., page 6, note 8. 

P 



222 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

pathisms grew up on national ground 1 is proved by the cir- 
cumstance that the tendency manifested itself in Palestine at 
a period when there can be no question of the presence of 
Greek influence, and that it found expression in the ^ypn 
BHQID as well as in the Samaritan and Aramaic translations 
of the Pentateuch. For who would venture to ascribe to 
the Soferim, Onkelos and Pseudo-Jonathan a knowledge of 
systems of philosophy which could only be acquired after a 
long devotion to their study ? 

Whoever cannot bring himself to dispute these arguments 
can find no ground on which to dispute the conclusions arrived 
at from the foregoing examination. He will, therefore, recog- 
nise that the translation of the so-called Septuagint bears no 
traces of the inroad of Greek philosophy into Jewish Hellenism. 

J. Fkeudenthal. 



1 Frankel also accepts this view, but the grounds upon -which he supports 
it are untenable. His words are (Vorstudien, p. 175) : " From the fact that 
the anthropomorphisms recur more frequently in the most recent portions of 
the LXX., which were composed at a time when Platonism and Greek philo- 
sophy in general were more prevalent and widely known, it may be deduced 
that Greek philosophic theories exercised but little influence upon the trans- 
lators. The very desire, indeed, to avoid anthropomorphisms by euphemistic 
turns of speech seems to have been borrowed from Palestine." The fact on 
•which Frankel here relies is incapable of proof. It is not true that in the 
later translated books the anthropomorphisms become more and more 
numerous. In no part of the translation are they avoided more markedly (as 
Bickell has shown) than in Job, which was certainly only composed at a late 
date. But Bickell is himself entirely in error, when he says (I.e.) that apart 
from Job the conscious avoidance of anthropomorphisms is only visible in 
seven other passages of the LXX. One needs to give but a very moderate 
attention to the Greek translation of the Bible, and a mere glance into the 
ample material collected by Frankel to rebut this strange assertion, which 
is apparently based upon the few instances used by Gf rorer.