Re: 2 Kings 17:6 (was: Proto-Romance)
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Friday, March 26, 2004, 6:16|
On Thursday, March 25, 2004, at 01:11 PM, John Cowan wrote:
> (Note that DRC renames certain books: 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings
> become 1, 2, 3, 4 Kings respectively,
Ooh - an anachronism here! It's not DRC (OT published 1609) that renamed
them - it's the KJV (published 1611) that did that as far as common
English usage was concerned.
> so this passage comes from 4 Kings.
> Presumably this is tracking the Vulgate's nomenclature.)
Sort of - naming the books Kings 1, 2, 3 and 4 is due to the _Septuagint_
version of the 3rd cent BC - so it's a fairly ancient tradition. In fact
in the Septuagint each is named "[biblion] basileio:n" ([book] of the
reigns/ of the kingships) and each is distinguish by the numerals Α, Β, Γ,
Δ [upper-case alpha, beta, gamma, delta].
But while the Jews of the Diaspora has thus designated the books, in the
Hebrew tradition a different nomenclature seems to have developed. The
Mesoretic text (9th cent. CE) has them named, I believe, the 1st & 2nd of
Samuel and the 1st & 2nd of Kings.
The early Christians were Greek speakers and used the Septuagint version;
so the early Church fathers consistently named them Kings 1, 2, 3 & 4 and
this remained common through the Middle Ages.
But the (Clementine) Vulgate however has:
Liber Primus Samuelis qui et "Primus Regum" dicitur
Liber Secundus Samuelis qui "Secundus Regum" dicitur
Liber Tertius Regum qui apud Hebaeos dicitur "Primus Malachim"
Liber Quartus Regum qui Hebraice dicitur "Secundus Malachim"
['Malachim' is simply a transcription of the Hebrew word for 'kings']
Thus the Vulgate designates the books: Samuel 1 & 2, and Kings 3 & 4. Not
having Kings 1 & 2 is a tad odd, maybe, but at least in this nomenclature,
by avoiding the ambiguous Kings 1 & Kings 2 (which mean different things
in the Greek & Hebrew traditions) there can be no misunderstanding which
books are meant. And the "also called.." part is rather less confusing IMO
than the KJV (see below).
The DRC sort of follows the Vulgate and has:
The First Book of Samuel otherwise called the First Book of Kings
The Second Book of Samuel otherwise called the Second Book of Kings
The Third Book of Kings
The Fourth Book of Kings
But references are always quoted in the old Patristic & Medieval manner,
Kings 1, 2, 3 & 4.
The KJV has:
The First Book of Samuel otherwise called the First Book of the Kings
The Second Book of Samuel otherwise called the Second Book of the Kings
The First Book of the Kings commonly called the Third Book of the Kings
The Second Book of the Kings commonly called the Fourth Book of the Kings
...which is a little confusing. The KJV headings to Kings III/I and Kings
IV/II used to amuse us when we were schoolkids.
But I think it's noteworthy that the KJV translators used the phrase
"commonly called" for Kings III/I and Kings IV/II. It must surely imply
that common tradition in Britain at that time was to call them Kings 1, 2,
3 & 4 and that the KJV translators thought it high time to fall in line
with the Hebrew tradition.
All modern English translations, of whatever denomination, AFAIK now use
Sam. 1, Sam 2, Kings 1 & Kings 2 - but this is probably not universal in
"A mind which thinks at its own expense will always
interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760