Shibboleth in the Septuagint

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by tFighterPilot, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    This is the Septuagint version of Judges 12:6 which contains the Shibboleth story. I tried finding in the text anything resembling the words "Shibboleth" and "Sibboleth" but couldn't find it. My question is what terms are used here instead?

    καὶ εἶπαν αὐτοῖς εἴπατε δὴ σύνθημα καὶ οὐ κατηύθυναν τοῦ λαλῆσαι οὕτως καὶ ἐπελάβοντο αὐτῶν καὶ ἔσφαξαν αὐτοὺς ἐπὶ τὰς διαβάσεις τοῦ Iορδάνου καὶ ἔπεσαν ἐξ Eφραιμ ἐν τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ δύο τεςαράκοντα χιλιάδες
  2. Perseas Senior Member

    it is "σύνθημα" .

    You can also look here:
    Source: Wikipedia
  3. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    Ok, thank you.
  4. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Hi tFighterPilot,
    As Perseas has thoroughly explained, the LXX scholars had difficulties translating the Hebrew word שבלת Shibboleth into Greek, for the simple reason, Greek lacks the phoneme [ʃ]. So they:
    i/ Either translated the word שבלת Shibboleth --> «Στάχυς» ('stāxūs, m.), any reaped crop, as it appears in the Septuagint Code Vaticanus 1209 (English translation by Charles Thompson):
    "then they said to him, say Stachys- And if he did not pronounce it distinctly, they took him, and slew him at the passages of the Jordan. So there fell of Ephraim, at that time, forty two thousand men", or,
    ii/ They used the Greek word «σύνθημα» ('sŭntʰēmă, n.)--> any given password as a signal:
    «καὶ εἶπαν αὐτοῖς εἴπατε δὴ σύνθημα»
    (Then said they unto him, Say now the password)
  5. sotos Senior Member

    A modern translation directly from Hebrew to New Greek says Σχιββώλεθ" and "Σιββώλεθ".
    12.6 : "They asked him to pronounce Schivoleth. He said Sivoleth because he could not pronounce the word properly".

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