As I have mentioned (here) I am participating in “Greek Isaiah in a Year” reading group. These are my notes from this week (7:1-25).
It is interesting to see the LXX chose to translate לבב as ψυχὴ in 7:2. The word πνεύματος can be translated something like “spirit”, “wind”, “breath”, or similar ideas. What interest me is that while my concepts of “spirit”, “wind”, et al., are shaped by the English language, the Greek authors, and Hebrew authors using רוח, felt no obligation to differentiate. So while this passage is describing what I call “wind” clearly, it uses the same word as if it were describing the action of a spirit.
Does the LXX translator miss the function of Isaiah’s son’s hyphenated name translating שאר ישוב as ὁ καταλειφθεὶς Ιασουβ?
In v. 4 the ending of the LXX excludes the names of the MT. In v. 4 we have לבב as ψυχὴ again. Interesting reiteration in the LXX: πάλιν ἰάσομαι.
In v. 6 MT seems more focused on breaking through the walls (ונבקענה) while LXX is focused on chasing away the enemy (ἀποστρέψομεν).
In v. 7 the 3fs תקום and תהיה are identified as ἡ βουλὴ.
Fun place on word at the end of v. 9 MT: If you will not support/believe (תאמינו) you will not be supported (תאמנו).
Ahaz’s response in v. 12 seems to have good intention in that he does not want to test YHWH by asking for a sign. Yet Isaiah’s response in v. 13 agues YHWH doesn’t react positively. The address “House of David” (LXX: οἶκος Δαυιδ; MT: בית דוד) is interesting.
Isaiah 7:14 is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, when it comes to public discussion on the difference between the LXX and the MT. The LXX uses ἡ παρθένος to translate העלמה. I’ve included important discussions on this here.
The LXX transliterates עמנו אל as Εμμανουηλ.
The language of 7:15 sounds like Genesis 2:16-17. In that passage Adam can eat (φάγῃ, v. 16) from any tree, but he cannot eat (οὐ φάγεσθε, v. 17) from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (οῦ ξύλου τοῦ γινώσκειν καλὸν καὶ πονηρόν). In Isaiah 7:15 the child is described as eating “butter and honey” (βούτυρον καὶ μέλι φάγεται). This is a time when he is quite young. At that point, before he knows how to choose evil deliberately choose evil (πρὶν ἢ γνῶναι αὐτὸν ἢ προελέσθαι πονηρὰ) he chooses good (ἐκλέξεται τὸ ἀγαθόν).
This seems to work in the MT as well. The child will eat (יאכל) curdled milk and honey till the time he knows (לדעתו) to reject evil (ברע) and to chose good (בטוב).
In 7:18 it seems ὃ κυριεύει is interpretive. The flies of Egypt are their rulers as are the bees of Assyria.
In v. 20 the phrase ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ appears. I will continue to look for it because it seems to be an important marker in this book. It appears again in v. 21, 23.
The “the great and drunken razor” (τῷ ξυρῷ τῷ μεγάλῳ καὶ μεμεθυσμένῳ) of the LXX is quite funny.