Translation of 2 Sam 25:22-27 (1 Kgs 1:22-27 Ant.)

22) And dude! She was still speaking with the king, and Nathan the prophet came.
23) And they reported to the king, saying, “Dude! Nathan the prophet!” And Nathan came before the kin, and he bowed to King David on his face upon the ground.
24) And he said, “You, lord king, have you spoken, saying, ‘Ornia will reign after me and he will sit upon my throne?’
25) “For he went down today and sacrificed calves and sheep in multitude, and he called all of the sons of the king and the chief officer Ioab and Abiathar the priest. And dude! They are eating and drinking before him and they said, ‘Long live king Ornia!’
26) “And me, your servant, and Saddouk the priest and Banaias son of Ioad and Solomon your son they did not call.
27) “And if because of my lord the king this thing has come to be, and to what end [lit. because of what] have you not made known to your servant who should sit upon the throne of my lord the king after him?”

Iconostasis of Transfiguration church, Kizhi monastery, Karelia, Russia. 18th cent. Public Domain. WikimediaCommons.

Comments on the Text

The only difference between Ant. on the one hand and MT and LXX on the other in v. 22 is the Transposition of “still.” Likely LXX presents a revision toward a Hebrew Vorlage like MT.

Verse 23 contains a number of distinctions. The first verb form in Ant. has a different preposition appended—which does not really change the meaning in this case—and is an active plural in Ant., but a passive in LXX. In this case, Ant. more accurately reflects MT, suggesting that LXX cannot be a revision to a text like MT and may in fact attest the Old Greek in this case. The LXX is missing the verb “saying,” but Ant. attests it and matches MT again in this case, suggesting that LXX could be the older reading. Ant. includes “Nathan” as the subject who is entering, which is not in MT or LXX. This can be regarded as a transposition from the next verse. The phrase translated “before” is different in the Greek versions; LXX reflects each element of the Hebrew suggesting that it represents a revision. Ant. includes the name “David” in referring to whom Nathan bowed. The Greek versions do not read “upon his nose” as in the MT, but each reflects the Hebrew לפני in the same manner as previously in the verse. Whether those distinctions permit the reconstruction of a variant Vorlage in that case is difficult to tell.

In verse 24 Ant. lacks the subject “Nathan,” which does appear in LXX and MT. It seems reasonable to regard its absence here as the result of a transposition to the previous verse. Ant. transposes the second-person subject “you” in Nathan’s speech to precede the vocative. The vocative in Ant. lacks “my” as found in MT and LXX. Since LXX both matches MT and is the easier reading in this case, one can regard its reading as the result of a later recension. The verb for speaking is a perfect in Ant. as opposed to an aorist in LXX, and Ant. attests an introduction to the speech missing in LXX and MT. Ant. has a different preposition than LXX for “after.” As many of the distinctions in Ant. differ (more) from MT, it is quite possible that it better reflects the Old Greek in several instances in this verse.

The verb for “sacrifice” in v. 25 is a perfect in Ant. and an aorist in LXX. LXX lists three kinds of animals, consistent with MT, suggesting that it might present a revision in this reading. There is no obvious reason for Ant. to be missing the third animal category. Ioab’s title in Ant. varies from LXX, but is consistent with the other translations of this term in Ant. LXX more accurately reflects the Hebrew in these cases, again suggesting that it stems from a revision. After the “dude,” both Ant. and LXX—though they differ—present an item missing from MT, likely a המה (“they”) that has since been lost in Hebrew and should probably be restored. The verbs for eating and drinking are finite in Ant. and participles in LXX, which matches MT, again suggesting that LXX is a revision.

Ant. lacks an emphatic at the opening of v. 26 and, in this case, matches MT. That suggests that LXX may be Old Greek in that case. Solomon is called “your servant” in LXX and MT, but “your son” in Ant. The final verb in the verse is a perfect in Ant. and an aorist in LXX.

The last verse this week opens with a conjunction missing in MT and LXX. The opening of the second phrase in Ant. includes the element “to what end” that is missing in both MT and LXX. Deciding these cases is particularly difficult, but nothing speaks against Ant. representing the OG here.

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