Translation of 3 Reigns 1:38-40 (1 Kgs 1,38-40 LXX)

38. And Sadok the priest went down (and Nathan the prophet and Banaias son of Iodae and the Cherethi and the Phelethi) and they set Salomon on King David’s mule and let him to the Gion.
39. And Sadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Salomon and blew the horn, and the whole people said, “long live King Salomon!”
40. And the whole people went up behind him and they danced in dances and rejoiced great gladness, and the earth burst with their voice.

Finally a reason to link this… Handel’s “Zadok the Priest.”
Not to be confused with another masterpiece of European religious music:
The holiest song to Europeans: the Champions League Theme.

Comments on the Text

This short passage really only differs from the Hebrew text in three ways. First, in v. 39, only Sadok blows in the horn in Greek, whereas the verb is plural in Hebrew, meaning that someone blew in a horn or horns in the Hebrew text. Second, the Hebrew repeats the subject “the people” in v. 40, but the Greek does not. Finally, while the celebrants in Hebrew “pipe with pipes,” in Greek they “dance in dances.” The difference seems remarkable in English, but the difference in Hebrew is between two weak verbs: חול (“dance”) and חלל (“pipe”). Either version could be a perfectly conceivable misreading of the other. That doesn’t help to determine priority of either reading. Usage could perhaps help to determine whether one reading might be a “corrective” to the other. In that case, it seems likely the the Greek version and the presumed Hebrew Vorlage would be older. The reason: as far as I can tell, the only other case of the idiom “dancing dances” is in Judg 21:21. That text hardly places “dancing dances” in a particularly positive light (it’s about capturing girls to force them to marry…). That makes someone’s desire to change it toward the current Hebrew version more understandable and the alternative less likely.

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