Numbers 21:30

Hebrew Bible

28 For fire went out from Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon. It has consumed Ar of Moaband the lords of the high places of Arnon. 29 Woe to you, Moab. You are ruined, O people of Chemosh! He has made his sons fugitives, and his daughters the prisoners of King Sihon of the Amorites. 30 We have overpowered them; Heshbon has perished as far as Dibon. We have shattered them as far as Nophah, which reaches to Medeba. 31 So the Israelites lived in the land of the Amorites.

LXX Numbers 21:30


28 For a fire has gone forth from Esebon, a flame from the city of Seon, and has consumed as far as Moab, and devoured the pillars of Arnon. 29 Woe to thee, Moab; thou art lost, thou people of Chamos: their sons are sold for preservation, and their daughters are captives to Seon king of the Amorites. 30 And their seed shall perish from Esebon to Dæbon; and their women have yet farther kindled a fire against Moab. 31 And Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites.

 Notes and References

"... What Dr. Kohn calls 'a wonderful example of how badly the Greek interpreters understood the Samaritan Codex' is found in Numbers 21:30, which is rendered by the English Versions, 'We have shot at them; Heshbon is perished even unto Dibon, and we have laid them waste even unto Nophah, which reacheth unto Medeba.' It may be observed in passing that, with regard to the first clause, the Samaritan and the Massoretic are agreed practically, save that the Masoretic, by dropping the 'he' at the end of 'abadh, has made Heshbon, contrary to Hebrew usage, masculine. In the latter clause, the differences are that the Samaritan reads 'fire,' instead of asher, 'which,' 'upon,' instead of 'to.' The rendering of the LXX is very different from either. 'And their seed shall perish from Esebon unto Daibon; and their women have yet kindled a fire against Moab.' While it is true that the word translated 'we have shot at them' is identical, consonantally, with a word that would mean 'their lamp,' and it is also true that in regard to David, and David alone, it is used four times (1 Kings 11:36, 15:4; 2 Kings 8:19; 2 Chronicles 21:7) in a sense that indirectly means 'progeny,' we doubt if this be the true occasion of the LXX rendering. We would venture to hazard another explanation. In the script of the Assouan papyri, nun is not unlike zain, and yodh is like ain; the reader, when a manuscript, an ancestor of that used for the translation into Greek, was being transcribed, unable to understand the rare word before him, resolved it into zaram, 'their seed.' The Samaritan Targum derives the word in question from 'to lift up,' and renders 'we have lifted up to destroy Heshbon unto Dibon.' Dr. Kohn, assuming without any evidence that the Samaritan reads venashim, 'and women,' instead of vannashim, 'we laid waste,' holds that the LXX followed it ..."

Thomson, J. E. H. The Samaritans: Their Testimony to the Religion of Israel (p. 338) Oliver and Boyd, 1919

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.