Translation of 3 Reigns 2:28-35 (1 Kgs 2:28-35 LXX)

28. And the report came to Ioab sond of Sarouias, for Ioab was inclined after Adonias and after Solomon he did not incline. And Ioab fled to the tent of the Lord and he grasped the horns of the altar.
29. And it was reported to Solomon, saying that “Ioab fled to the tent of the Lord. And dude! He grapsed the horns of the altar.” And Solomon sent to Ioab, saying, “What is for you, that you fled to the altar?” And Ioab said, “Because I was afraid before you, and I fled to the Lord.” And Solomon, the king, sent Banaias son of Iodae, saying, “Go and kill him and bury him.”
30. And Banaias son of Iodae went to Ioab to the tent of the Lord and said to him, “Thus said the king: ‘Come out!'” And Ioab said, “Not will I come out, for here I will die.” And Banaias son of Iodae returned and he spoke to the king, saying, “Thus has Ioab spoken and thus he answered me.”
31. And the king spoke to him, “Go and do to him just as he has said and kill him and bury him. And you will remove today blood, which Ioab poured out for no reason, from me and from the house of my father.
32. “And the Lord returned the blood of his injustice to his head, how he encountered two people, more righteous and better than him, and killed them with the sword. And my father David did not know their blood, Abenner son of Ner (the chief officer of Israel) and Amessa son of Iether (the chief officer of Judah).
33. “And the blood returned to the head of his seed for eternity. And for David and for his seed and for his house and for his throne may there be peace for eternity from the Lord.”
34. And Banaias son of Iodae fell upon Ioab and killed him and buried him in his house in the desert.
35. And the king set Banaias son of Iodae in place of him over the military. And the kingdom was established in Jerusalem. And Sadok the priest, the king set as first priest in place of Abiathar.

1 Kgs 2:30 according to The Brick Testament.

Notes on the Text

A lengthier passage with time with a number of differences between the Hebrew and Greek versions, some of them potentially relevant for understanding the diachrony of Kings.

Verse 28 includes the addition of patronymic for Ioab in Greek. Since this is the first time that he has been mentioned since the translation technique changed in 2:12, one wonders if this might evince and older division of the books at that point (as in the Lucianic recension and Chronicles). Ioab did not support Solomon in Greek, whereas in Hebrew the reference is to Absalom, the last son of David before Adonijah who supposedly rose up against his father. To me, this looks like the Hebrew is attempting to conform the text better to its immediate context: the dispute between Solomon and Adonijah. The difference between the names Absalom and Solomon in Hebrew is not as marked in the Hebrew, making it at least possible that the Greek reading resulted from an error.

Solomon’s title missing in the first instance of his name in the Greek of v. 29. This variant might have implications for appreciating the diachrony of these chapters, in that the change between Solomon and King Solomon could have relevance. It is reiterated in the Greek of this verse as well that Ioab grabbed the horns of the altar. This plus in the Greek could represent a gloss for narrative consistency. Then there is a lengthy plus in the Greek that includes a first discussion between Solomon and Ioab before Solomon sends Banaias to kills Ioab. This likely went lost in the Hebrew text due to parablepsis, when a scribe oversaw the material between the two phrases beginning “Solomon sent.” Finally, King Solomon’s command in Greek includes the order to bury Ioab. This plus perhaps represents an attempt to make the story more consistent, with the conclusion in v. 34 now better matching King Solomon’s command.

The Greek in v. 30 adds Banaias’s patronymic each time he is mentioned in this verse, thus including his patronymic in every circumstance in which he is mentioned. This is unusual, but I have no ready explanation for it. Verse 30 also includes the name “Ioab” as the subject when he answers Banaias, perhaps a clarifying gloss. In this version, Ioab is also more explicit in that he states that he will not come out instead of just saying “no” as in the Hebrew and the divinely inspired Brick Testament (see above). This longer reading could also be a gloss. The Greek of this verse includes a different expression for how Banaias began his speech to Solomon. Likely the Greek version reflects an older and better Vorlage and the Hebrew text is corrupt, since it does not make much sense. Probably something was overlooked in the Hebrew tradition leading to the curious syntax as it now stands (“Benaijah brought back with the king a word [direct object], saying…”).

The king’s command is more explicit in the Greek of verse 31, including the first imperative “go!” and the preposition with its object “to him” after the imperative “do!”. The first plus likely represents a longer version that disappeared in the Hebrew due to haplography (the repetition of לך after מלך). The second difference is not as easy to explain as the result of an error in either direction. It is also explicitly stated in the Greek of this verse that the fulfilment of these commands should occur “today.” It remains unclear which version here might be the older of the two. It is possible that it was overlooked in the Hebrew at some point and went missing due to the similarity of several letters (היום followed by דמי), but this is quite speculative.

The Greek of v. 32 describes the “blood of his injustice,” an unusual phrase that could represent a distinct Hebrew Vorlage. Again, it remains unclear what errors might have stood behind such a difference in the versions, which could suggest that the Greek represents and interpretive gloss. The Greek here also notes that David knew nothing of the blood of those that Ioab killed. The Greek syntax is curious, with two direct objects in apposition, which might speak to its status as the older reading.

The Hebrew of v. 33 is more explicit about the blood being brought back upon Joab’s head, mentioning him by name. Perhaps that represents explicating gloss, commending the Greek as the older version.

The first phrase of v. 34 varies substantially between the Greek and Hebrew versions. The Greek has one fewer verb than the Hebrew and includes Ioab’s name as to whom Banaias “encounters.” The end of the verse notes in the active voice that Banaias buried “him,” not passively that Ioab “was buried” as in the Hebrew. Likely the single letter ו went missing after the ר in the Hebrew text, suggesting that the Greek is older.

There is a major difference in v. 35 between the Hebrew and the Greek. The Hebrew consists of two roughly parallel phrases about the king’s replacing personnel: first Joab and then Abiathar. In the Greek, there is another sentence between these two phrases: the kingdom was established in Jerusalem. This phrase sounds a lot like 2:12, which could have substantial literary-critical implications. It is unlikely that this sentence was accidentally included in the Greek, and probably just as unlikely that someone unintentionally left it out of the Hebrew. That is, I think that the Greek represents an older version and that someone intentionally deleted this phrase from the Hebrew. Finally, in this verse, the Greek includes the title “first priest” for Sadok. As far as I see it, this is the only occurrence of this term, increasingly the likelihood that it is an explanatory product of the translator and was not present in the Vorlage.

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