Saturday, February 27, 2016

Judges 19:18

Since this issue has been raised in another thread on this blog.

From Keil-Delitzsch:

Behold, there came an old man from the field, who was of the mountains of Ephraim, and dwelt as a stranger in Gibeah, the inhabitants of which were Benjaminites (as is observed here, as a preliminary introduction to the account which follows). When he saw the traveller in the market-place of the town, he asked him whither he was going and whence he came; and when he had heard the particulars concerning his descent and his journey, he received him into his house. וֶאֶת־בֵּית י הֹלֵךְ אֲנִי (Jdg_19:18), “and I walk at the house of Jehovah, and no one receives me into his house” (Seb. Schm., etc.); not “I am going to the house of Jehovah” (Ros., Berth., etc.), for אֵת הָלַךְ does not signify to go to a place, for which the simple accusative is used either with or without ה local. It either means “to go through a place” (Deu_1:19, etc.), or “to go with a person,” or, when applied to things, “to go about with anything” (see Job_31:5, and Ges. Thes. p. 378). Moreover, in this instance the Levite was not going to the house of Jehovah (i.e., the tabernacle), but, as he expressly told the old man, from Bethlehem to the outermost sides of the mountains of Ephraim. The words in question explain the reason why he was staying in the market-place. Because he served at the house of Jehovah, no one in Gibeah would receive him into his house,

(Note: As Seb. Schmidt correctly observes, “the argument is taken from the indignity shown him: the Lord thinks me worthy to minister to Him, as a Levite, in His house, and there is not one of the people of the Lord who thinks me worthy to receive his hospitality.”)

although, as he adds in Jdg_19:19, he had everything with him that was requisite for his wants. “We have both straw and fodder for our asses, and bread and wine for me and thy maid, and for the young man with thy servants. No want of anything at all,” so as to cause him to be burdensome to his host. By the words “thy maid” and “thy servants” he means himself and his concubine, describing himself and his wife, according to the obsequious style of the East in olden times, as servants of the man from whom he was expecting a welcome.

From Cambridge Bible:

18. the farther side] See on Jdg 19:1.

the house of the Lord] The marg. is to be preferred; the last letter of bêthî = my house was taken as the initial of the divine name Yahweh. A converse mistake occurs in Jeremiah 6:11, where fury of Yahweh has become my fury in the LXX. There is nothing in the context to suggest that the Levite was going to Shiloh.

Footnote from NET Bible for Judges 19:18:

43 tn Heb “I went to Bethlehem in Judah, but [to] the house of the LORD I am going.” The Hebrew text has “house of the LORD,” which might refer to the shrine at Shiloh. The LXX reads “to my house.”


Duncan said...

Duncan said...

Tov criticism pg 256

Although the early texts provide no evidence for the existence of
abbreviations (at first recognized by Kennicott*), several differences
between MT and septaguint suggest that they were used at one time, since some
elements were understood as abbreviations. Thus the existence in
manuscripts of an abbreviation of the tetragrammaton as / is likely.

Pg 257

Since the Levite is on his way home (cf. v. 29), the reading of septaguint is
preferable. A probably original reading ^rra, "my house," was understood as rra, "the House of the LORD," in MT.

Edgar Foster said...

Tov is always worth considering and he's very technical and skilled. However, 19:18 is a very difficult passage, and I could see one reading it as an abbreviation or not. Even if one reads, "the House of the LORD [YHWH]," the text still provokes questions.

Edgar Foster said...

Here is a work also concerning 1 Sam 2:25 (etc):

Google Books. See pp. 121ff.

Edgar Foster said...

"19:18 Hebrew, Vulgate, Syriac and Targum; Septuagint going home"

From Zondervan (2015-08-25). NIV, Zondervan Study Bible, eBook: Built on the Truth of Scripture and Centered on the Gospel Message (Kindle Location 62780). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Duncan said...

In this instance I am just pointing out another opinion but I agree that it is problematic with either option and leaves many questions as does so many points in the Hebrew.

dokimazo said...

I appreciate the information on Judges 19.18 and how it relates to the tetragrammaton. I can see the dilemma. The Hebrew text MT has YHWH
In the Lxx it reads "my house". The context seems to indicate 'my house' not Shiloh 'house of YHWH'. Do you go with what makes contextual sense or with the Hebrew text?