Saturday, August 19, 2017

Further Comments by Michael V. Fox on Proverbs 8:22 (Image)

More Support for Understanding Prov 8:22 in terms of "creation." From the Anchor Bible Commentary by Fox.


Matt13weedhacker said...

Hi Edgar.

It would be interesting to have a concordance to what remains of Aquila's, Theodotian, Symmachus' LXX revision's; to see how they rendered Heb., QUANAH. I must have another look at Field's Hexapala, when I get time. Jerome (by memory) render's it "creavit" in a couple places where the context demands it as well.

Edgar Foster said...

Hi Matt13weedhacker:

That would be interesting to have.

Barnes writes: It would seem accordingly as if the Greek translators of the Old Testament oscillated between the two meanings; and in this passage we find the various renderings ̓́ ektise "created" (Septuagint), and ̓́ ektēsato "possessed" (Aquila).

I believe that Jerome liked "possessed" for Prov. 8:22. The note in K-D for Prov 8:22 is also worth reading. I will just quote a portion of that note:

The old translators render קנני (with Kametz by Dech; vid., under Psalm 118:5) partly by verbs of creating (lxx ἔκτισε, Syr., Targ. בּראני), partly by verbs of acquiring (Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, Venet. ἐκτήσατο; Jerome, possedit); Wisdom appears also as created, certainly not without reference to this passage, Sir. 1:4, προτέρα πάντων ἕκτισται σοφία; 1:9, αὐτὸς ἕκτισεν αὐτήν; 24:8, ὁ κτίσας με.

Other readers will likely have something to add.

Philip Fletcher said...

One has to wonder if there is more than one meaning to the word in English "possessed" or perhaps in Latin? Did Jehovah God not possess wisdom at sometime in the past, but took control of it? Or did he bring it forth as a act of creation. Since Jehovah alone is wise I cannot see a time that he was not wise.

Edgar Foster said...


It gives some perspective on the origins and Latin meaning for "possess." Granted, Jehovah always possessed wisdom although Fox thinks differently, but Prov 8:22 apparently is discussing his personified wisdom. As you can see, the debates are contentious regarding 8:22. Yet Fox and others believe that "created" is the best option for this verse. C.F. Burney suggested "begot."

Edgar Foster said...

Note 8:23 and surrounding verses as well.

Philip Fletcher said...

something about being brought forth as with labor pains, doesn't seem like possess goes with that in verse 24. Create works though.

Edgar Foster said...

Philip, create does seem better than possess. Most scholars of the Hebrew Bible also take that stance. Not that I am counting noses, but the way some Trinitarians talk, one would think "create" is not favored by the scholarly community as a whole. But that is not true.