Ears to hear or a sign of ownership?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Mexdeaf, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    Psalm 40:6

    KJV- Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

    NIV- Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.

    ESV- Sacrifice and offering you have not desired, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.

    As quoted in Hebrews 10:5- Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

    This is a very interesting passage to study. It appears that the author of Hebrews, when he wasn't busy making coffee, studied the Septuagint and referred to that translation when he quoted Psalm 40.

    I suppose that I have read this verse hundreds of times and preached from it once or twice, but I never saw the depth of those words before. The issue is not having an ear to hear, it is rather an issue of ownership, is it not?

    In which case it appears that the NIV translates the true meaning most closely.

    At any rate, an interesting verse, or portion thereof, to dissect and discuss.
     
  2. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    Amen, Brother Mexdeaf -- Preach it! :thumbs:

    Here is a pre-KJV document that agrees with you.

    Psalm 40:6 (Geneva Bible, 1587 Edition):
    Sacrifice and offering thou didest not desire:
    (for mine eares hast thou prepared)
    burnt offring and sinne offering hast thou not required.


     
  3. Deacon

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    The author of Hebrews provides the earliest citation of the verse.

    Qumran scroll 11QPs d contains only the first verse of Psalm 40.

    Don’t be so sure that the author of Hebrews quoted the Septuagint.
    He may have been freely interpreting the verse (in an early form of dynamic equivalence or “poetic license”).

    The Septuagint itself has diverging witnesses, (Alfred Rahlfs critical edition of the LXX uses “ears” and differs from the Braxton edition of the LXX (as well as the earliest Christian examples of the LXX’s, e.g. Codex Vaticanus) which use the word “ body”.

    The question is, ‘Did the author of Hebrews rely on the LXX?’
    Or ‘Was the LXX influenced by the author of Hebrews.’


    As you noted the NIV translates it as an illusion to Exodus 21:6,
    “then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.”
    ESV

    The illusion has been noted by others (see Jamieson, Fausset, Brown) but there is not a word in either the Hebrew or the Greek that translates directly to “pierce” in the verse.
    It’s a possible interpretation but a poor translation, but it fits with the translational philosophy of the NIV.

    Additional note: In Hebrew, the words used for "pierce" and "open" are two entirely different words.

    Rob
     
    #3 Deacon, Jun 27, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2007
  4. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    Rob, mind giving me your source for this info? Do you have the versions of the Septuagint on your computer or are they available online someplace?

    Thanks!
     
  5. Deacon

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    Just a note:
    In the psalms, the LXX is numbered differently.
    Our English psalm 140 is number 139 in the LXX.
    The verse numbers differ too.
    The LXX numbers the heading, “A Psalm of David”, so verse 6 in our English, is verse 7 in the Septuagint.

    I use Rahlfs, Septuaginta, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft from my computer [Libronix].
    See this link (already set for Psalm 139 - LXX) TC Ebind Index for Rahlfs edition

    Brenton’s, [The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English] is in my bookshelf.

    I’m fairly sure it could be found on the web.

    Here are two good sources.

    Notes on the Septuagint [LINK]

    The Septuagint Online [LINK]

    I’d also highly recommend a book by by Karen Jobes and Moisés Silva:
    Invitation to the Septuagint [LINK]

    Rob
     
  6. Deacon

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  7. Deacon

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    Accck, seems I only compounded my err.
    I was so eager to correct my numbering mistake that I didn’t read the Greek text I offered.
    No one noticed that the Greek in my link to Rahlfs used σομα (body) rather than ὠτία (ear).
    Well I don’t have a link to the variant so I’ll copy it below.

    7 θυσίαν καὶ προσφορὰν οὐκ ἠθέλησας, ὠτία δὲ κατηρτίσω μοι, ὁλοκαύτωμα καὶ περὶ ἁμαρτίας οὐκ ᾔτησας.
    Psalm 39:7 LXX

    Alfred Rahlfs, Septuaginta, Copyright © 1935, 1979, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft.

    Rob
     

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