tohu wa-bohu

The Hebrew assonance tohu wa-bohu is often translated in English as “formless void” or some equivalent, but in some translations and languages attempts have been made to recreate some of its literary flavor:

  • English: wild and waste (Everett Fox 1995); welter and waste (Robert Alter 2004); void waste (Revised English Bible, 1989); void and vacant (James Moffatt 1935)
  • German: Irrsal und Wirrsal (Buber / Rosenzweig 1976); wüst und wirr (Einheitsübersetzung, 1980/2016)
  • French: vide et vague (La Bible de Jérusalem, 1975)
  • Ancient Greek: aóratos kaí akataskévastos (ἀόρατος καὶ ἀκατασκεύαστος) (Septuagint)

The LORD of hosts has sworn in my hearing

For “The Lord of hosts has sworn in my hearing,” see James 5:4.

Note that this quote in the New Testament is not taken from the Hebrew Bible but from the Greek Septuagint (LXX) which translates into English as “in the ears of the Lord Sabaoth.” (Translation by NETS — for the Greek version see the title’s tooltip)

I was ready to be sought out by those who did not ask . . .

For the phrases “I was ready to be sought out by those who did not ask, to be found by those who did not seek me,” see Romans 10:20.

Note that this quote in the New Testament is not taken from the Hebrew Bible but from the Greek Septuagint (LXX) which translates into English as “I became visible to those who were not seeking me; I was found by those who were not inquiring about me.” (Translation by NETS — for the Greek version see the title’s tooltip)

With the LORD on my side I do not fear

For the phrase “With the Lord on my side I do not fear. What can mortals do to me?” see Hebrews 12:15.

Note that this quote in the New Testament is not taken from the Hebrew Bible but from the Greek Septuagint (LXX) which translates into English as “The Lord is a helper to me; I will not fear what a person may do to me.” (Translation by NETS — for the Greek version see the title’s tooltip)

The wisdom of their wise shall perish . . .

For the phrase “The wisdom of their wise shall perish, and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden,” see 1 Corinthians 1:19.

Note that this quote in the New Testament is not taken from the Hebrew Bible but from the Greek Septuagint (LXX) which translates into English as “I will (…) destroy the wisdom
of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will hide” (Translation by NETS — for the Greek version see the title’s tooltip)

complete verse (Genesis 4:7)

Genesis 4:7 is translated in the Ancient Greek Septuagint as follows: “If you offered it rightly, but did not divide it rightly, have you not sinned? Be at peace; he shall turn to you [footnote says: “literally: ‘his course shall be to you,’ an attempt at translating a Hebrew expression that seems to mean that ‘sin’s urge is toward you.”], and you should rule over him.” (Back-translation by Nicholas King, publ. 2014)

Law (2013, p. 46) suggests: “The Septuagint now suggests that Cain sinned because he did not divide the offering correctly.”

The spirit of the LORD God is upon me . . .

For the phrases “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners,” see Luke 4:18.

Note that this quote in the New Testament is not taken from the Hebrew Bible but from the Greek Septuagint (LXX) which translates into English as “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind'” (Translation by NETS — for the Greek version see the title’s tooltip)

Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth . . .

For the phrase “Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment.You change them like clothing, and they pass away; but you are the same, and your years have no end.” see Hebrews 1:10, Hebrews 1:11, and Hebrews 1:12.

Note that this quote in the New Testament is not taken from the Hebrew Bible but from the Greek Septuagint (LXX) which translates into English as “At the beginning it was you, O Lord, who founded the earth, and the heavens are works of your hands. They will perish, but you will endure, and they will all become old like a garment. Like clothing you will change them, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will not fail.” (Translation by NETS — for the Greek version see the title’s tooltip)

I held out my hands all day long to a rebellious people

For the phrases “I held out my hands all day long to a rebellious people,” see Romans 10:21.

Note that this quote in the New Testament is not taken from the Hebrew Bible but from the Greek Septuagint (LXX) which translates into English as “I stretched out my hands all day long to a disobedient and contrary people.” (Translation by NETS — for the Greek version see the title’s tooltip)

Toward the scorners he is scornful . . .

For “Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he shows favor.” see James 4:6.

Note that this quote in the New Testament is not taken from the Hebrew Bible but from the Greek Septuagint (LXX) which translates into English as “The Lord resists the arrogant, but he gives grace to the humble” (Translation by NETS — for the Greek version see the title’s tooltip)

burnt-offering

The Hebrew olah (עֹלָה) originally means “that which goes up (in smoke).” English Bibles often translates it as “burnt-offering” or “whole burnt-offering,” focusing on the aspect of the complete burning of the offering.

The Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate Bibles translate it as holokautōma / holocautōsis (ὁλοκαύτωμα / ὁλοκαύτωσις) and holocaustum, respectively, meaning “wholly burnt.” While a form of this term is widely used in many Romance languages (Spanish: holocaustos, French: holocaustes, Italian: olocausti, Portuguese: holocaustos) and originally also in the Catholic tradition of English Bible translations, it is largely not used in English anymore today (the preface of the revised edition of the Catholic New American Bible of 2011: “There have been changes in vocabulary; for example, the term ‘holocaust’ is now normally reserved for the sacrilegious attempt to destroy the Jewish people by the Third Reich.”)

Since Georgian translation traditionally was done on the basis of the Greek Septuagint, a transliteration of holokautōma was used as well, which was changed to a translation with the meaning of “burnt offering” when the Old Testament was retranslated in the 1980’s on the basis of the Hebrew text.

The English translation of Everett Fox uses offering-up (similarly, the German translation by Buber-Rosenzweig has Darhöhung and the French translation by Chouraqui montée).

See also offering (qorban).

So you shall purge the evil from your midst

For the phrase “So you shall purge the evil from your midst,” see 1 Corinthians 4:13.

Note that this quote in the New Testament is not taken from the Hebrew Bible but from the Greek Septuagint (LXX) which translates into English as “And you shall remove the evil one from yourselves.” (Translation by NETS — for the Greek version see the title’s tooltip)