For the past day and a half now, I have been working my way through an important resource on the LXX text of Jonah: La Bible D’Alexandrie: Les Douze Prophètes. This is a resource I had attempted to get my hands on early in my studies but did not have access to until yesterday when a friend graciously emailed me the relevant pages.
Though the resource comes a bit late in my research and will significantly delay my writing (translating 30+ pages of French when you have only taken High School French takes a bit of time), I have already found the insights in the Introduction to be invaluable. For instance, I came across this quote yesterday:
Dans d’autres cas, l’intention du traducteur ne semble pas d’ordre stylistique mais plutôt théologique: pour exprimer la “crainte,” le TM n’a qu’un verbe, yar’, qu’il s’agisse de la peur éprouvée par les marins (1,5, 10) ou de la crainte de Dieu chez Jonas (1,9*); la LXX, quant à elle, emploie phobeomai (de sens neutre) dans le premier cas, sebomai (de sens specifiquement religieux) dans le second (p. 123).
In other cases, the intention of the translator does not seem to be for stylistic purpose, but rather theological: For example the word “fear,” the MT has only the one verb yar’, when experienced by the sailors (1:5, 10) or the fear of God in Jonah (1:9); the LXX, meanwhile, employs phobeomai (neutral sense) in the first case, sebomai (specifically religious sense) in the second.
(Note: As I mentioned, my French is not so good, so I pray you will forgive my smoothed over translation according to what I believe is the sense of the passage. Also, feel free to correct me as I am sure I will use this particular quote as support for my own findings.)
There’s much more like this and other insights throughout the chapter on Jonah, which makes the painstaking work of translation invaluable. I am hoping that this will continue to be true as I finish working through the Introduction and move into the meat of the translation/notes.