Translation of 3 Reigns 1:17–24 Ant. (= 3 Reigns / 1 Kgs 2:28–35)

17) And the report arrived at Joab, the son of Sarouia, (for he was a follower after Orneia and after Solomon he did not follow). And Joab fled to the Lord’s tent and grasped the horns of the altar.
18) And it was reported to Solomon, saying, “yes, Joab had fled to the Lord’s tent, and dude! He is grasping the horns of the altar. And the king, Solomon, sent to Joab, saying, “What is for you that you have fled to the altar?” And Joab said, “Yes, I was afraid before your face and fled to the Lord.” And Solomon sent Banaias, son of Ioad, saying, “Go and kill him and bury him.”
19) And Banaias son of Ioad went to Joab, to the Lord’s tent and said to him, “Thus said the king, ‘come out!’” And Joab said, “No, I will not come out, for here I will die.” And Banaias sent and he spoke to the king, saying, “Thus Joab has said and thus he has answered me.”
20) And he said to him, the king [did], saying, “Go and do to him just as he has said and kill him and bury him and remove today the blood that Joab poured out freely from me and from the house of my father.
21) “And the Lord has sent the blood of his injustice to his head that he met the two men, those more righteous and better than he, and he killed them with the sword and my father did not know—Abner son of Ner, Israel’s general, and Amessa son of Iether, Judah’s general.
22) “And I will bring back this blood to his head and to the head of his seed until eternity. And for David and for his seed and for his house and for his throne there will be peace until eternity from the Lord.”
23) And Banaias son of Ioad went up and struck him and killed him and buried him with his funeral rites in the desert.
24) And the king, Solomon, set Banaias son of Ioad instead of Joab over the army. And the kingdom was prepared in Jerusalem. And Saddouk the priest the king, Solomon, set as high priest instead of Abiathar.

Joab Pursues Sheba to the City of Abel. The Morgan Bible. Public Domain. Source.

Comments on the Text

These verses present a number of differences, particularly between the Greek versions. The usage of the definite article remains inconsistent between the Greek versions. Thus, in v. 17, Ant. lacks the definite article before “son of Sarouias” and before “Lord.” In both cases Ant. attests a text more consistent with MT, which has no particle that these articles would be translating. Verse 18 in Ant. also lacks the article before the first mention of “Lord” in Ant., but does have it in the second case, where it is missing in LXX. The shorter readings in vv. 17–18 in Ant. match the Hebrew and could be editorial, being more consistent with recensional techniques like kaige. The longer reading of Ant. in v. 18 would seem to commend Ant. as the older reading, though this case cannot be contrasted with MT, which lacks the phrase entirely. In this regard, Ant. also includes the article before “head” in vv. 21–22, where it is lacking in LXX and would not attest anything explicitly in MT. These cases could again favor Ant. as the OG against LXX. However, the tendency changes again in v. 22 before “eternity,” in which Ant. does not preserve the article, but LXX does. Taken together, it appears likely that both Ant. and LXX underwent editing regarding the usage of the article in these few verses and neither of them precisely reflects the OG.

In v. 18 the opening verb form differs between Ant. and LXX, with LXX presenting a more precise translation of MT’s third-person singular passive as opposed to Ant.’s third-person active plural. The difference in minimal and both can adequately reflect MT, but LXX does so more isomorphically making it more likely editorial. Similarly, the verb “fled” is in the imperfect in Ant., which LXX tends to avoid, as it also does in this case. One must postulate that either Ant. preferred imperfect or that LXX avoided it. Both options are possible and a more global study would be necessary to determine which is the case. The word for the tent in v. 18 is more consistent in Ant. and, therefore, likely not OG. The terminology for Solomon differs between the two mentions in the witnesses to v. 18. LXX and Ant. each refer to “Solomon” in one case and “Solomon, the king” in one case, but they differ in which case which nomenclature is used. In the first case, the only one for which there is a Hebrew pendent, LXX matches MT, meaning that it might be a revision.

All of the differences in v. 19 bring Ant. closer to MT, meaning that it would well be recensional here. The prepositional phrase “to him” in Ant. more explicitly matches MT than LXX does (LXX records it simply as an a dative indirect object). As with MT, Ant. lacks Banaias’s patronymic.

In v. 20 Ant. refers to the “freely” poured blood in a syntactically distinct place from the other (matching) witnesses, which could mean that LXX presents a textual revision toward MT.

Verse 21 features different numerals for “two” in the Greek witnesses, though it would be difficult to ascertain which is the older version. However, Ant. refers to the “men,” like MT, instead of the “people” like LXX. Ant. matches the shorter reading of MT lacking “their blood,” which LXX attests. In these latter cases, therefore, Ant. presents a potentially edited text toward something more like MT. The usage of “men,” for example, is more consistent even with kaige translational technique.

Ant. opens the first sentence of v. 22 with a verb including a preposition. LXX is more consistent with MT in its translation, and therefore perhaps a revision in this case. The Greek witnesses use different prepositions before “eternity” and thus different forms for “eternity” (genitive in Ant. as opposed to accusative in LXX). In this case, the phrasing in MT more closely matches LXX.

The opposite is again true in v. 23: Ant. includes a verb unattested in LXX, but matches the phrasing in MT more explicitly, even including “him” (and not Joab) as the direct object. However, Ant. refers to Joab’s grave, as opposed to his “house” as in LXX and MT. Likely this could present a case in which Ant. was emended to make more sense of a difficult reading. Why should Joab be buried in his house?

Finally, in v. 24 Ant. includes Solomon’s name after his title in the opening and closing phrases, which distinguishes it from MT and LXX. Ant. reads “instead of Joab” instead of “instead of him” as in MT and LXX. In all of these cases, LXX could be understood as a revision of a text like Ant. toward a text like MT, but the opposite would be unlikely. Nonetheless, Ant. refers to Joab being over the “army,” as opposed to over the “command” as in LXX. Ant. better matches MT and makes more sense, making LXX the lectio difficilior in that case.

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