Exodus 24:10

Hebrew Bible

8 So Moses took the blood and splashed it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.” 9 Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up, 10 and they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear like the sky itself. 11 But he did not lay a hand on the leaders of the Israelites, so they saw God, and they ate and they drank. 12 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandments that I have written, so that you may teach them.”

LXX Exodus 24:10


8 And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it upon the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you concerning all these words. 9 And Moses went up, and Aaron, and Nadab and Abiud, and seventy of the elders of Israel. 10 And they saw the place where the God of Israel stood; and under his feet was as it were a work of sapphire slabs, and as it were the appearance of the firmament of heaven in its purity. 11 And of the chosen ones of Israel there was not even one missing, and they appeared in the place of God, and did eat and drink. 12 And the Lord said to Moses, Come up to me into the mountain, and be there; and I will give thee the tables of stone, the law and the commandments, which I have written to give them laws.

 Notes and References

"... In the closing scene of the Sinai narrative, Moses and a group of priests and elders experience a visio Dei and eat and drink on the mountaintop (Exodus 24:9-11). The Masoretic text indicates twice that they actually 'see God' (verse 10, 11), with no further explanation. Along with several other departures from a strictly literal translation, the LXX reports instead that they see God's 'place' ... It is not uncommon for the LXX to render active Hebrew verbs as passive and vice versa. In this case, however, a theological element is at stake. Even in the Masoretic text, some occurrences seem to be forms originally intended as qal ('to see') but later vocalized as niphal ('to appear') to attenuate the idea of humans seeing God. Point 7 not only tones down the idea of seeing God, but also avoids any possible contradiction with Torah commands and harmonizes 24:11 with its literary context. Earlier in the Sinai narrative, Moses is told that he must warn the people not to try to look at God, or else many will perish (19:21) ..."

Wyckoff, Eric John When Does Translation Become Exegesis? Exodus 24:9-11 in the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint (pp. 675-693) The Catholic Bible Quarterly 74, 2012

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