Wednesday, July 12, 2017

All That Glitters (Followup Reflections About the Biblical Use of "Gold")

Thanks to Duncan, I have been spending time reading about the biblical use of terms for gold, etc. Here are just a few thoughts concerning the subject.

Exodus 25:11 (LXX): καὶ καταχρυσώσεις αὐτὴν χρυσίῳ καθαρῷ ἔξωθεν καὶ ἔσωθεν χρυσώσεις αὐτήν καὶ ποιήσεις αὐτῇ κυμάτια στρεπτὰ χρυσᾶ κύκλῳ

Exodus 25:13 (LXX): ποιήσεις δὲ ἀναφορεῖς ξύλα ἄσηπτα καὶ καταχρυσώσεις αὐτὰ χρυσίῳ

Brenton Translation: "And thou shalt make staves [of] incorruptible wood, and shalt gild them with gold."

Knox Translation: "Then make poles of acacia wood, gilded over"

For occurrences of καταχρυσώσεις in the LXX, see

1 Kings 6:20 (LXX): εἴκοσι πήχεις μῆκος καὶ εἴκοσι πήχεις πλάτος καὶ εἴκοσι πήχεις τὸ ὕψος αὐτοῦ καὶ περιέσχεν αὐτὸν χρυσίῳ συγκεκλεισμένῳ καὶ ἐποίησεν θυσιαστήριον

Brenton Translation: "The length [was] twenty cubits, and the breadth [was] twenty cubits, and the height of it was twenty cubits. And he covered it with perfect gold, and he made an altar in front of the oracle, and covered it with gold."

Knox Translation: "twenty cubits in length, width, and height, and covered with plates of pure gold; plated, too, was the cedar altar."

Jonah 2:5 (LXX/OG): περιεχύθη ὕδωρ μοι ἕως ψυχῆς ἄβυσσος ἐκύκλωσέν με ἐσχάτη ἔδυ ἡ κεφαλή μου εἰς σχισμὰς ὀρέων

Hebrews 9:4: χρυσοῦν ἔχουσα θυμιατήριον καὶ τὴν κιβωτὸν τῆς διαθήκης περικεκαλυμμένην πάντοθεν χρυσίῳ, ἐν ᾗ στάμνος χρυσῆ ἔχουσα τὸ μάννα καὶ ἡ ῥάβδος Ἀαρὼν ἡ βλαστήσασα καὶ αἱ πλάκες τῆς διαθήκης,

Henry Alford's comments on Heb. 9:4ff are protracted. See his GNT for the entire remarks made concerning this verse. I am posting a select aspect taken from his observations:

and the ark of the covenant (see Exodus 25:10 ff; Exodus 37:1 ff.: called by this name, אֲרוֹן הַבְּרִית, Joshua 3:6 and passim) covered round on all sides ( ἔσωθεν καὶ ἔξωθεν, Exodus 25:11) with gold ( χρυσίῳ, not χρυσῷ, perhaps for a portion of gold, or perhaps, as Delitzsch, for wrought gold. See Palm and Rost’s Lex. But all distinction between the words seems to have been lost before Hellenistio Greek arose, and the tendency of all later forms of speech is to adopt diminutives where the elder forms used the primitives. The ark, a chest, was of shittim (acacia) wood, overlaid with plates of fine gold, Exod. l. c. The ark of the covenant was in the Holy of holies in the Mosaic tabernacle, and in the temple of Solomon, 1 Kings 8:4; 1 Kings 8:6. In the sack by the Chaldeans, it disappeared. See a legend respecting its fate in 2 Maccabees 2:1-8, where curiously enough τὴν σκηνὴν καὶ τὴν κιβωτὸν καὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον τοῦ θυμιάματος are classed together. The second temple did not contain it, but it was represented by a stone basement three fingers high, called אֶבֶן שְׁתִיָה, “the stone of foundation” (Delitzsch: see Gesen. Thesaurus, under שָׁתָה, iii.). So in the Mischna, “Ex quo abducta est arca, lapis ibi erat a diebus priorum prophetarum, et lapis fundationis fuit vocatus; altus e terra tribus digitis, et super ipsum thuribulum collocabat.” So Jos. B. J. v. 5. 5, of the sanctuary, in his time, τὸ δ ʼ ἐνδοτάτω μέρος εἴκοσι μὲν ἦν πηχῶν· διεέργετο δὲ ὁμοίως καταπετάσματι πρὸς τὸ ἔξωθεν. ἔκειτο δὲ οὐδὲν ὅλως ἐν αὐτῷ, ἄβατον δὲ κ. ἄχραντον κ. ἀθέατον ἦν πᾶσιν, ἁγίου δὲ ἅγιον ἐκαλεῖτο), in which (was) a golden pot (Exodus 16:32-34. The word ‘golden,’ λάβε στάμνον χρυσοῦν ἕνα, is added by the LXX: so also Philo de Congr. Quær. Erud. Gr. 18, vol. i. p. 533, ἐν στάμνῳ χρυσῷ: the Heb. has merely “a pot,” as E. V.) containing the manna (viz. an omer, each man’s daily share, laid up for a memorial, cf. Exodus 16:32 with Exodus 16:16. That this pot was to be placed in the ark, is not said there, but it was gathered probably from the words “before the Lord.” In 1 Kings 8:9 and 2 Chronicles 5:10, it is stated that there was nothing in the ark in Solomon’s temple, except the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb. But this, as Delitzsch observes, will not prove any thing against the pot of manna and the rod having once been there; nay rather, from the express declaration that there was then nothing but the tables of stone, it would seem that formerly there had been other things there.

To be continued . . .


Duncan said...

Duncan said...

Also note the DSS wording for the table tops.

Duncan said...

The pot.

Edgar Foster said...

In a similar vein, Rev. 2:17 speaks of the hidden manna. See Daniel K.K. Wong, "The Hidden Manna and the White Stone in Revelation 2:17," Bibliotheca Sacra 155 (July-Sept. 1998): 346-354.