Genesis 15:11

Hebrew Bible

9 The Lord said to him, “Take for me a heifer, a goat, and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.” 10 So Abram took all these for him and then cut them in two and placed each half opposite the other, but he did not cut the birds in half. 11 When birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. 12 When the sun went down, Abram fell sound asleep, and great terror overwhelmed him. 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign country. They will be enslaved and oppressed for 400 years.

LXX Genesis 15:11


9 And he said to him, “Take for me a heifer three years old and a female goat three years old and a ram three years old and a turtledove and a dove.” 10 And he took for him all these and divided them in the middle and placed them facing one another, but he did not divide the birds. 11 And birds came down on the carcasses, their cut halves, and Abram sat together with them. 12 Then about sunset a trance fell upon Abram, and look, a great dark fear was falling upon him. 13 And it was said to Abram, “Knowledgeably you shall know that your offspring shall be alien in a land not its own, and theyc shall enslave them and maltreat them and humble them for four hundred years.

 Notes and References

"... LXX-G’s translation shows it understood the Hebrew differently. Its use of the same word ‘winged creature’ for the gathered winged creatures and those coming down on the divided animals implies that they could be the same birds. More problematic is its rendering of Abram’s ‘driving away’ the birds ... LXX-G reports that Abram ‘sat down’ with ‘them’. The referent of ‘them’ – a neuter plural pronoun – is unclear; both the birds and the bodies of the divided animals are neuter plural nouns. Sitting down with one’s enemies, symbolized by the birds, or sitting down with the victims, symbolized by the bodies, are both admirable actions that can bring about reconciliation or sympathetic suffering. However, both are quite different from the symbolic action of driving away one’s enemies ..."

Brayford, Susan Septuagint Commentary Series: Genesis (pp. 299-300) Brill, 2007

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