Friday, August 04, 2017

1 Chronicles 29:20--Obeisance to Whom?

Normally, I believe one would render 1 Chronicles 29:20 (LXX) as the NET Bible does:

"David told the entire assembly: 'Praise the Lord your God!' So the entire assembly praised the Lord God of their ancestors; they bowed down and stretched out flat on the ground before the Lord and the king."

KURIWi and TWi BASILEI (grammatically) should both receive the action delineated by the verb PROSEKUNHSAN. While I could not find another example that described two entities receiving worship as direct objects by the use of a datival construction, I believe that Rev. 14:9-11, with its mention of the beast and its image, well illustrates how 1 Chron. 29:20 should be understood. Notice that PROSKUNEI + the accusative is used in Revelation 14:9, 11. But both objects receive the action of the verb. This also seems to be the case in 1 Chronicles 29:20 and translators usually recognize this point. Theology seems to have influenced Brenton's LXX translation. He renders the verse: "And David said to the whole congregation, Bless ye the Lord our God. And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and they bowed the knee and worshipped the Lord, and did obeisance to the king."

Thomson's LXX states:

"Then David said to all the congregation, Bless ye the Lord our God. And all the congregation blessed the Lord the God of their fathers, and with bended knees made a reverence to the Lord and to the king."

I find it interesting that the Vulgate also explicitly shows that both God and the King receive the same action. It says:

benedixit omnis ecclesia Domino Deo patrum suorum et
inclinaverunt se et adoraverunt Deum et deinde regem.

"they worshiped [or adored] God and then the King."

The NETS LXX similarly renders the latter part of 1 Chron. 29:20,
"and did obeisance to the Lord and the king"


JW Apología Bíblica said...

Edgar, excellent analysis I never saw a study as good as this, thank you very much for publishing this .. greetings from Peru

JW Apología Bíblica said...

Hello Edgar, a question on the subject and on the use of the plural verb προσεκύνησαν in Revelation 5:14

According to the Trinitarians say that this verb is applied to both "the one who sits on the throne and the lamb" (verse 13) ie (Jehovah and Jesus) the action "worshiped" of the 24 elders is for both.

How can we understand this point in parallel with what is indicated in 1Chronicles 29:20?

Edgar Foster said...

Hello Omar,

The verb is plural to agree with the plural subject. The grammatical subject is the elders and that is why the verb is plural. In other words, it is like the difference between "the man is wise" and "the men are wise."

Edgar Foster said...

According to the WH Greek text, the object of worship (obeisance) is not explicit in Rev 5:14, but the plural verb is because of the plural subjects (actors) rendering obeisance: καὶ τὰ τέσσερα ζῷα ἔλεγον Ἀμήν, καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι ἔπεσαν καὶ προσεκύνησαν.

In some variants, the worship (obeisance) is explicitly directed toward the one seated on the throne: καὶ τὰ τέσσαρα ζῶα ἔλεγον, Ἀμήν. καὶ οἱ εἴκοσιτέσσαρες πρεσβύτεροι ἔπεσαν, καὶ προσεκύνησαν ζῶντι εἰς τοὺς αἰωνας τῶν αἰώνων (Textus Receptus).

Edgar Foster said...

Omar, please see

This page discusses how verbs share concord with their respective subjects. In other words, singular verbs normally go with singular subjects (grammatically speaking) and plural verbs are construed with plural subjects, as Smyth makes clear.

JW Apología Bíblica said...

Thank you, that's what I was going to ask you for (more examples) I'll check on the link

JW Apología Bíblica said...

Edgar, a question if the singular verb adoration alludes to both the Lord and the King in 1Chronicles 29:20 how then can we understand this without having in mind the idea of ​​idolatry?

Edgar Foster said...

Hi Omar, I would have to research the Latin term to make sure, but I know with the Hebrew and Greek words used in the verse, both extend beyond "worship" or adoration. Proskynesis in Greek is rendered to both humans and God, even to non-royalty. It is the same in Hebrew. However 1 Chron 29:20 refers to Jehovah's representative being given "adoration," but the original language words do not imply that Israel committed idolatry in this case. Remember that the king sat upon Jehovah's throne anyway. Compare Revelation 3:9 in the GNT.

Edgar Foster said...

From Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers:

Worshipped.—Prostrated themselves. LXX., προσεκύνησαν. The two expressions “bowed and worshipped” are always united, as here (save in 2Chronicles 20:18. Comp. Genesis 24:26; Exodus 12:27). The Syriac renders, “fell down and worshipped.”

And the king.—As God’s earthly representative, David receives the same tokens of reverence and homage. (Comp. 1Kings 1:31.)

Edgar Foster said...

Compare Gen. 43:28.