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The Missing Bones of the Septuagint
  • Charles Lightner
Charles Lightner

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There are eighteen instances in the Hebrew Bible in which the word יום, or “day,” is associated with the word עצם, which in its simple singular form means “bone.” This paper examines the text of the Septuagint (LXX) translation of those eighteen instances to determine whether the Greek translation reflects the presence in the Hebrew text of the word עצם. Direct analysis of the parallel Greek suggests that the Hebrew עצם was not in the text from which the LXX was translated. Analysis of the LXX translations of other Hebrew phrases that reference the word יום supports that conclusion as does analysis of the translations of other instances of the Hebrew עצם. Evidence from a computer assisted translation analysis, from Aramaic Targum translations, and from analysis of dictionary entries is also examined. I conclude that the word עצם did not appear in the Hebrew text from which the LXX translations of those eighteen instances were made.