Lectionary Year B
March 23, 2003
Exodus 20: 1-17

Initial Acquaintance/Rough Translation

A. Comparing Translations

(JFC) The English Standard Version and the New Revised Standard Version differ some, as these notes indicate:

5 or serve them . . . visiting the iniquity of the fathers . . . who hate me. - ESV
or worship them . . . punishing children for the iniquity of parents . . . who reject me. - NRSV

7 not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. - ESV
make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. - NRSV

10 sojourner who is in your gates. - ESV
alien resident in your towns. - NRSV

17 or anything that is your neighbor's." - ESV
or anything that belongs to your neighbor. - NRSV

B. Textural Criticism

(JFC) 1 For ~yhil{a/, the Septuagint, the Targum and the Vulgate read hwhy, another name for the deity, which could be original, edited by another school claiming early work on this text. Probably the former, received text, is originally authored by the Elohist(s). 4 For ls,p,, the Syriac Version reads, ls,p,-lK', adding the qualifying "all" to the object, "idols", unnecessarily, it seems, so, we do better to retain the text as printed. And, possibly more significantly, the editors of BH3 propose we read, hn"WmT.-lk', without the conjunction, for hn"WmT.-lk'w>, with the conjunction. Our language wants a conjunction. Does ancient Hebrew? If so, leave it. And, they suggest we might read, lKo-hn"WmT, conferring with Deuteronomy 4:16 and 25 and the Septuagint's ( lKo-hn"WmTW), adding a conjunction. Again, it looks like a question of languages' needs, expectations, etc. 7 The Septuagint B adds ~yhil{a/, to the second time in this verse hw"hy> occurs, merely adding emphasis to God's name. The addition is understandable, but probably not original, because additions make verses longer and longer is generally not original. 8 The Samaritan Version of the Pentateuch reads rAmf'', "keep, watch or guard" instead of the received rAkz", "remember". Well, admittedly, it might well be because we are more familiar with the former that it seems most likely to be original. 10 Six manuscripts of the Septuagint and Vulgate read ~AYb;W, "And/But in a day", for ~Ayw>, the first word in the verse, "And/But a day", either of which could be original. Then the Septuagint and the Vulgate add, AB, "in it", to hf,[]t;-al, which minor addition does seem to clarify this commandment beyond any confusion with days, so, it might be original to add such a brief addition as original. Next, 76 (?) manuscripts and Syriac and a Targum add a waw consecutive to ^D>b.[;, making it definitely "and your servant", which could be original, to be sure. Finally, for this rather convoluted verse, some of the Samaritan Versions and the Septuagint seem to delete a waw consecutive and read several more words, making the redaction much too long to be thought original, for ,m.h,b.W, a perfectly sufficient word for "cattle/beast/animal". 11 25 (!) manuscripts and Targum Versions add a waw consecutive to ~Y"h;-ta,, as in the two immediately preceding phrases, "the heavens and the earth", which certainly seems logical enough to have been original. Then the Septuagint and Syriac Versions have y[iybiV.h;, for tB'V;h;, making it a hiphil form of the verb, [bi;f'', "to be or become satisfied", which surely could have hardly have been original. 12 The Septuagint adds hb'AJh;, to hm'd'a]h', the adjective, "good", to the designation of "the land", unnecessarily and making it longer and therefore not likely original.

C. Rough Translation

(JFC) 1 And spoke Elohim all the words these saying, 2 "I am Yahweh your Elohim who brought you (singular) from the land of Egypt from the house of bondages/slaveries (plural). 3 Not shall there be [qal, imperfect] for/to you (both 3rd and 2nd person pronouns are singulars) gods others before Me. 4 Not shall you [qal, imperfect] for/to yourself an idol and every form/likeness which (are) in heavens from being against man/God (are) on earth beneath and which (are) in the waters on account of being beneath the earth. 5 Not shall you bow down [hithpael, imperfect] to/before them and not shall you be led/enticed to serve them [hophal, imperfect] for I am Yahweh your Elohim a God jealous visiting/reckoning punishment upon fathers of children unto the third generation and unto the fourth generation of those hating [qal, participle] Me. 6 But showing/making loving kindness to the thousand generation of those loving Me and keeping My commandments. 7 Not shall you lift/carry/take the name of Yahweh your Elohim in vain for not shall it be held innocent/left unpunished [piel, imperfect] any/those who take His name in vain. 8 To remember [qal, infinitive] a day the Sabbath to set apart as sacred/consecrate/dedicate [piel, infinitive] it. 9 Six days you shall work/labor/serve and make all your living/public service. 10 And a day the seventh (is) a Sabbath unto Yahweh your Elohim not shall you (at) your business you and your son and your daughter your male servant/slave your maid servant and your cattle and any sojouner who is in your gate. 11 For in six days made Yahweh the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that in them (is) and rested on day the seventh upon then and He was blessing [piel, perfect] Yahweh the day and He sanctified it [piel, imperfect with waw consecutive]. 12 Make heavy/honorable/honor [piel, imperative] your father and your mother so that shall be prolonged/made long [piel, imperfect] your days upon the land which Yahweh your Elohim is giving to you. 13 Not shall you kill/murder/slay. 14 Not shall you commit adultery. 15 Not shall you steal. 16 Not shall you be occupied with your neighbor in a witness of deceit. 17 Not shall you desire/covet the house of your neighbor's not shall you covet the wife of your neighbor's and the man-servant and the maid-servant and his ox/bull and his ass and all things that are your neighbor's.

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