Translation of 2 Sam 25:38–40 (1 Kgs 1:38–40 Ant.)

38) And he went down. Saddouk the priest and Nathan the prophet and Banaias son of Ioad and the Chorri and the Phelti—and they put Solomon upon the mule of the king, David. And they walked up after him to the Gion.
39) And Saddouk the priest took the horn of oil from the tent, and he anointed Solomon and trumpeted the trumpet. And the whole people said, “Long live Solomon, the king!”
40) And the whole people went up after him. And the whole people danced in dances and rejoiced a great rejoicing. And they piped with pipes and enjoyed with great enjoyment. And the whole earth resounded with their voice.

Zalving van koning Salomon. 1557-1570. Rijksmuseum. Public Domain

Comments on the Text

Ignoring the orthography of the proper nouns, v. 38 attests a few differences in the versions. The Greek versions each use different verbs for “setting” and “leading” Solomon. The verbs of Ant. are much less common than those used in LXX. Particularly in the second case, LXX appears to be a correction toward a text like MT, though that cannot be stated with certainty.

The Ant. of v. 39 attests another word for tent / Temple / (soldiers’) quarters than LXX’s tent/tabernacle. The form in Ant. seems a more likely candidate for the OG, since it is repeatedly used in non-kaige contexts of Sam–Kgs. Ant. has a different noun for “trumpet/horn,” which better reflects the function, while LXX better matches the Hebrew form and is a standard kaige equivalent. The Greek versions read different orders for the elements “the king” and “Solomon” in the people’s exclamation. LXX matches MT, again suggesting that it could be a revision away from a version like Ant.

Verse 40: Ant. repeats the subject, “the whole people,” from the first sentence in the second sentence, which is lacking in LXX and abbreviated in MT. In this case, it seems possible that MT presents the older version, with Ant. and LXX each representing adaptations in distinct directions. However, it is also possible that LXX presents the oldest, shortest reading, and that both MT and Ant. were expanded to better match the context. Ant. includes an roughly duplicate phrase of LXX and MT that more or less reflects both versions, albeit in distinct translation. The reading in Ant. is generally supported both by Josephus and the Vetus Latina, suggesting that it is likely OG. Likely a scribal oversight led to the elimination of the phrase in Hebrew before LXX was corrected toward this shorter version. While it seems likely that a corruption in the Hebrew tradition stands behind these variants (there is no readily recognizable error in Greek, but there is in Hebrew), it remains difficult to reconstruct what the Vorlage of Ant./OG (should it have been OG) may have looked like here. Ant. has a different verb from LXX for the earth’s action. LXX presents the more consistent translation of MT, however, suggesting that it could represent a revision toward a Hebrew Vorlage like MT.

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