As I have mentioned (here) I am participating in “Greek Isaiah in a Year” reading group. These are my notes from this week (9:1-20).

In 9:1 there is mention of “death shadow” or “deep shadow” (צלמות), the same word used in Psalm 23. In Psalm 22 LXX (23, MT) it is translated σκιᾶς θανάτου. It is similar here: σκιᾷ θανάτου. There is a shift in address from 3mp to 2p.

In 9:2 the Goyim (הגוי) are not translated as ethnos, but as τοῦ λαοῦ. This is not so in 8:23.

In 9:5 we find a passage used by many to describe the messiah. The description of the figure in the MT is as follows: “Wonderful/Extraordinary (פלא), Advisor/Counselor (יועץ) or “Wonderful Counselor”, Mighty God (אל גבור); Eternal Father/Father of Eternity (אביעד); Prince of Peace (שר־שלום).” In the LXX it is as follows: “Messenger of Great Counsel” (Μεγάλης βουλῆς ἄγγελος, Nominative + Genitive + Genitive). Then it switches into a first person address (ἐγὼ γὰρ ἄξω εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τοὺς ἄρχοντας, εἰρήνην καὶ ὑγίειαν αὐτῷ): “For I will bring peace upon the rulers; peace and health upon them.”

In 9:7 there is a thematic shift: In the MT YHWH send his “word” (דבר) upon Jacob; in the LXX he send “death” (Θάνατον).

In 9:9 there is a slight departure in meaning. MT has Sycamores cut down and replaced with Cedars while LXX has Sycamores and Cedars cut down to build towers.

Interesting “update” in 9:11. In the MT the enemies are Aram in the east and the Philistines in the west. In the LXX it becomes the Syrians in the west and the Greeks in the east.

In the LXX there is a play on the word in vv. 11-12. The wrath of God will not be “turned back” (ἀπεστράφη) and the people were not “turned back” (ἀπεστράφη). This exist in MT as well (לֹא־שב…לֹא־שב).

In 9:13 the “palm branch and reed” (וזנב כפה ואגמון) of the MT is the “great and small” (μέγαν καὶ μικρὸν) in the LXX. Is there an idiom being interpreted here?

In 9:14 the idiom for being highly respected is to be “lifted up to the face” (ונשוא־פנים).

In 9:18 LXX translates בעברת as θυμὸν ὀργῆς. Also, YHWH Sabaoth (יהוה צבאות) is merely Kurios (κυρίου). Language regarding burning the land (נעתם ארץ) is possibly universalized to burn to “whole land/earth” (ἡ γῆ ὅλη). Also, this v. presents “hell-like” images of the burning land using humans as fuel.


See notes on: