n Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages - Daughters and dragons in LXX Lamentations 4:3

Volume 40, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0259-0131


The wording of the Masoretic text (MT) version of Lam 4:3, as represented by Codex Leningradensis, exhibits a number of features that are interesting from the points of view of orthography, morphology and philology. These features have elicited different interpretations from scholars. It is also noteworthy that a non-biblical composition from Qumran, 4Q179, includes a phrase that has been borrowed from Lam 4:3. The interesting nature of MT Lam 4:3 and the use of a phrase from this verse in a Dead Sea scroll raise the question how other textual witnesses represent the wording and content of the verse. This study singles out the Greek translation of Lamentations (LXX Lam) for analysis and focuses on the renderings of תנין, "jackals", with δράκοντες, "dragons", and בח עמי, "the daughter of my people", with θυγατέρες λαοΰμου, "daughters of my people". The analysis shows that the changes to the wording of Lam 4:3 introduced by the Greek translator had a marked effect on the content of the verse. LXX Lam 4:3 is therefore a unique representative of this verse's wording and content.

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