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A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint.
Louvain-Paris-Walpole: Peeters 2009. XL, 757 S. 4°. Lw. EUR 95,00. ISBN 978-90-429-2248-8.
The present edition of the Lexicon incorporates and supersedes its two earlier editions (1923–2003). The introduction describes its scope: it covers all the words of the Septuagint, as contained in the Göttingen edition. For books not yet available in that edition, Rahlfs’s text has been used. In addition to the standard books of the Septuagint, the following texts are covered: the Antiochene version in the books of Kingdoms and Chronicles, the Antiochene version of Judges (in addition to the two versions of Judges, represented mainly by the codices A and B respectively), the astericised passages in Job, the portions printed in smaller typeface in Ziegler’s edition of Ben Sira. For Esther, Daniel, and Tobit, the two versions as printed in the Göttingen edition are taken into account.
The handling of proper names and transliterations is not fully clarified. It is not entirely clear why some are taken up whereas others are not. For example: ̓Ισραηλίτης and ̓Ισραηλῖτις are dealt with, but ̓Ισραήλ is not; ̓Ιορδάνης is, but Εὐφρατῆς is not, Αἰθιοπία is, but Ἀσσούρ is not. Admittedly, proper names are not the most important data in a Greek-English Lexicon. Some ask for a treatment more than others. Thus Greek names with several Hebrew equivalents might have merited a place in the Lexicon. For example, ̓Ισραὴλ appears to render both לארשׂי (»Israel«) and לאﬠרזי (»Jezreel«). This might have been useful information for the user. Something similar applies to the transliterations: αιλαμ is discussed, but not αιλαμμοωθ or αιλευ; other examples are legion.
The layout is basically the same as in the previous editions. The typical entry consists of three sections. In the first, the morphology of the word and symbols indicating the scope of the entry follow the bold-faced headword. An asterisk »*« signifies that the word is not attested earlier than the Septuagint and can be labelled as a neologism. One fifth of the lemmata belong to this category. Understandably, M. warns that the decisions in this regard are often debatable. A »
In the first two editions many entries concluded with a fourth section, dealing with the relationship between the Septuagint and its Semitic original. Judging that the data included in this section are not integral to LXX lexicography, M. removed it. Some of its information has been taken up in the main section of the entry.
Some samples may illustrate the working method of M., and allow us to further evaluate his work.
μετοικεσία ας.f. *
1. act of residing in a place other than one's normal or present place of residence: εἰς ~αν πορεύσεται αἰχμαλωτος ›will go as captives to live in exile‹ Na 3.10; Jd 18.30 A (B: ἀποικία).
2. colony of expatriates: Ob 20a; μ.Ιερουσαλημ, consisting of former residents Jerusalem, 20b; ἐν ~ᾳ καὶ ἐν αἰχμαλωσίᾳ| Ez 12.11.
Cf. μετοικίζω, μετοικία, αἰχμαλωσία|.
The »*« after the lemma notes that this word is a neologism. The morphology is limited to an indication of the genitive ~ας, and the feminine gendre (»f«), implicitly telling the user that the word in question is a noun. The lack of a » « sign indicates that the references given are not complete, although, in this case, exhaustiveness was no major problem since the number of possible re-ferences listed in HR appears to be limited to 10. The second section, split up in two parts, provides definitions, and no translations. Definitions are more in line with modern lexicography than the standard translation equivalents. In the present lemma it is not immediately obvious that the definition given is superior to the usual translation (»deportation, captivity« LEH). To me, the captivity referred to, appears to be a »state«, rather than an »act«. The translation of the first example (Na 3.10) is slightly confusing: whereas in the English translation the subject is a plural, in the Greek, it is a singular personalised city (Amon) going into captivity. The second reference is to Jd 18.30, where the A version reads μετοικεσία, whereas version B prefers the synonym ἀποικία. The latter is not taken up in the list of synonyms at the end of the lemma, probably due to the fact that this list was copied from the earlier edition in which Judges was not yet collated. The second part of section 2 opens with a new definition, and applies it to Ob 20 and Ez 12.11. One does not see the dif-ference between the use of μετοικεσία in Ez 12.11 and in Nah 3.10. In both instances μετοικεσία is the indirect object of πορεύομαι.
ἠλεκτρον, οῦ. n.
alloy of silver and gold: Ez 1.4, see Hauspie 2003 ad loc.
The word ἠλεκτρον does occur exclusively in Ez 1.4,27; 8.3, always in the same visionary context. It is not clear why exhaustiveness is not given here. The definition »alloy of gold and silver« is in agreement with the second translation equivalent given in LSJ, the first one being »amber«. In support of his choice, M. refers to Hauspie, although she definitely, and on good grounds, prefers »amber«.
The lengthy entry on ἐξαίρω, offering numerous references and quotations, is understandably not exhaustive. The verb occurs 229 times in the edition of Rahlfs. The entry distinguishes between »transitive« and »intransitive« uses of the verb. In the »transitive« A section five meanings are discerned, and one in the »intransitive« B section. We copy them here in an abbreviated version: A. tr. 1. to lift off: τοὺς πόδας ›the feet (off the ground to set out on a journey)‹ Ge 29.1 … 2. to raise: + acc., … 3. to extol: + acc., βουλήν ›advice offered‹ Si 37.7. 4. to remove, to get rid of, efface, obliterate, often of objects considered undesirable: of the house of Jacob, Am 9.8; … 5. to keep away from, ›withold‹: + acc., … B. intr. to start moving out: on a journey: …
As in most cases, the entry is very well construed, and the references, particularly numerous under A. tr. 4, are to the point. The reference to Ez 20.15 (and 20.23) under A. tr. 2 and the meaning given there: »to take an oath« is debatable. The context strongly suggests that the raising up of the hand here signifies an active intervention, rather than an oath. The synonymus expression used in 20.5 and 6 ἀντιλαμβάνομαι τῇ χειρί »to help with the hand« clearly points in that direction (see Lust, VTS 53 , 155–164.)
Due to limits of space we have to conclude here. M.’s lexicon is a goldmine. The wealth of references and quotations putting a word in its immediate context, as well as the synonyms and antonyms, are most helpful to the user. Some decisions concerning the inclusion or non-inclusion of transliterations and proper nouns, and the exhaustivity of the references, are not entirely clear.