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Citation references to prophets are common in 1 and 2 Chronicles,
but the only canonical prophet cited is Isaiah ben Amoz (2 Chr. xxvi
22; xxxii 32).
The LXX of 2 Chr. xxvi 22 however is peculiar when
compared with the later citation in xxxii 32, of potential exegetical
and text historical significance.
1 2 Chr. xxxii 32
The citation in xxxii 32 is straightforward, with general agreement
as to its import:
As for the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his good deeds, they are written in
the vision of Isaiah ben Amoz the prophet in the Book of (
al-sper) the Kings of
Judah and Israel (MT).
The association of Isaiah with Hezekiah is not in dispute, and the use
of hzon "vision" may be linked with the title of the book of Isaiah.
Schiedewind notes the use of the noun or cognate verb in the titles
of Isaiah, Amos, Micah, Nahum and Habakkuk and sees in the
Chronicler's use of the noun "vision" for both Isaiah (xxxii 32) and
Iddo (ix 29) an "indication that the book of Chronicles depends on
the editorial superscriptions to the canonical prophets for the compo-
sitional style of the source citations".
The structure of the citation
in MT of xxxii 32 is however unusual. It "perhaps implies that 2 Kg
Other citations naming prophets (or "seers") are 1 Chr. xxix 29 (regarding David:
Samuel, Nathan, Gad); 2 Chr. ix 29 (Solomon: Nathan, Ahijah, Iddo); xii 15 (Rehoboam:
Shemaiah, Iddo); xiii 22 (Abijah: Iddo); xx 34 (Jehoshaphat: Jehu ben Hanani); and
xxxiii 19 (Manasseh: Hozai [MT] or "the seers" [LXX]). Jeremiah is referred to, but
not in citations (2 Chr. xxxv 25; xxxvi 12, 21, 22).
W.M. Schniedewind, The Word of God in Transition: From Prophet to Exegete in the
Second Temple Period (JSOTSup 197; Sheffield, 1995), p. 218. On pp. 40-44 he discusses
use of the title hzeh for Gad, Iddo and Jehu ben Hanani (1 Chr. xxix 29; 2 Chr. ix
29; xii 15; xix 2 [in 1 Ki. xvi 1, 7 Jehu is a "prophet"]). There is also the source
citation in 2 Chr. xxxiii 19 which refers to "the records of hzy (Hozai/my seers)"
which most scholars emend, noting the LXX .
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18-20 is understood as authored by the prophet Isaiah",
LXX implies two separate sources, following literally the MT prepo-
sitions, but including : "in the prophecy
of Isaiah son of Amoz
the prophet and on the book of the kings . . .".
2 2 Chr. xxvi 22
This citation is shorter, not referring to "the Book of the Kings of
Judah and Israel", but simply stating:
The rest of the acts of Uzziah, the earlier and the latter, Isaiah ben Amoz the
prophet wrote (MT).
Uzziah is mentioned in the book of Isaiah only in the superscrip-
tion and the reference to his death (Isa. i 1; vi 1). While Begg states
simply that the "linkage of Isaiah and Uzziah was suggested by the
chronological notice of Isa 6:1",
Schiedewind goes further: "the
Chronicler's reference to Isaiah in Uzziah's source citation is obviously
not a footnote to traditions known from the book of Isaiah . . . Simply
put, the Chronicler makes the prophet Isaiah an annalist for the deeds
of the king".
One wonders however why, if the Chronicler saw the need for a
prophetic author for Uzziah's reign (with Isaiah the choice), he is strik-
ingly silent regarding Isaiah for the subsequent reigns of Jotham (men-
tioned in Isa. i 1) and Ahaz (Isa. i 1; vii 1-12; xiv 28). Regarding the
absence in the Ahaz narrative, Begg suggests that reference to Isaiah
would have obscured "the distinctiveness of this figure's (the 'non-clas-
sical prophet' Oded) ministry" (2 Chr. xxviii 9-15).
This may explain
the non-mention of Isaiah in the narrative, but not absence in the
citation reference (xxviii 29). In contrast is the mention of Iddo in the
citations of three successive kings (Solomon, Rehoboam and Abijah;
2 Chr. ix 29; xii 15; xiii 22).
S.B. Chapman, The Law and the Prophets (FAT 27; Tbingen, 2000), p. 228. See
also T. Willi, Die Chronik als Auslegung: Untersuchungen zur literarischen Gestaltung der histo-
rischen berlieferung Israels (FRALANT 106; Gttingen, 1972), pp. 234-35, on the prophet
as "author".
LXX has the more general, ?\ , where Isa. i 1 has .
CT. Begg, "The Classical Prophets in the Chronistic History", & 32 (1988), pp.
100-07 (see p. 101).
The Word of God, p. 217. Similarly Willi, Die Chronik, pp. 234-35; A.F. Rainey,
"The Chronicler and His SourcesHistorical and Geographical", in M.P. Graham,
K.G. Hoglund and S.L. McKenzie, eds, The Chronicler as Historian (JSOTSup 238;
Sheffield, 1997), p. 51.
"Classical prophets", p. 103.
3 Surprses in the LXX of 2 Chr. xxvi 22
The LXX of xxvi 22 may point the way forward:
Now the rest of the matters of Uzziah, the first ones and the end ones, are writ-
ten .
This reading in both Vaticanus and Alexandrinus (not extant in
Sinaiticus) is of note in two aspects (a) the non-inclusion of "son of
Amoz", and (b) the spelling of the name.
Occasionally the omission
of the patronym has been noted as a textual variant, although with
no further comment.
I am not aware of any who have noted the
name spelling, probably assuming it is simply an insignificant alternative
spelling. I here propose that these two unusual features together argue
for reference, not to Isaiah ben Amoz, but to another prophet Isshiah.
An unusual feature of instances of Isaiah's name in MT is the over-
whelming use of the long form "Isaiah ben Amoz",
with the shorter
"Isaiah" or "Isaiah the prophet" occurring only after an initial long
form in the relevant section.
I am not aware of any other person for
whom use of the patronym is so prominent. Did the patronym become
standard to avoid confusion with another, to us unknown, Isaiah?
Given this pattern, it is striking that "ben Amoz" is not represented
in the LXX of 2 Chr. xxvi 22, the first instance of the name in 2 Chro-
nicles, strongly suggesting it was not in the Vorlage.
Other than 2 Chr. xxvi 22, for all other instances of Isaiah's name
LXX codices of 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles and Isaiah consistently have
A.E. Brooke, N. McLean and H. St J. Thackeray, The Old Testament in Greek, 2.3
(Cambridge, 1932), shows the same reading in a number of tenth century miniscules,
c (64), h (55), j (243), n (119) and c
(127), with the similar in the tenth cen-
tury a (60), the 13th century e (52) and 14th century g (158). Correction to the expected
reading is in the eighth century Codex Venetus , the 13th century m (71)
, with the full in the margin of the 10th century j (243), other
late miniscules and the Armenian version.
Other than text editions, I have noted only E.L. Curtis and A.A. Madsen, The
BooL of Chronicles (ICC; Edinburgh, 1910), p. 453, and L.C. Allen, The Greek Chronicles.
The Relation of the Septuagint of I and II Chronicles to the Massoretic Text, 2 vols (VTSup 25
and 27; Leiden, 1974), II, p. 160.
2 Ki. xix 2, 20; xx 1; 2 Chr. xxvi 22; xxxii 20, 32; Isa. i 1; ii 1; xiii 1; xx 2;
xxxvii 2, 21; xxxviii 1.
2 Ki. xix 5, 6; xx 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 14, 16, 19; Isa. xx 3; xxxvii 5, 6; xxxviii 4, 21;
xxxix 3, 5, 8. The only exception is in Isa. vii 3.
The name is in lists in 1 Chronicles MT: iii 21, a descendant of Zerubbabel; xxv
3, 15, one of those set apart for "prophesying" in the temple; and xxvi 25, a Lvite.
The only other instance of LXX lacking the patronym in comparison with MT
is Isa. xx 2 (inserted in Hexaplaric and Lucianic recensions).
The only Greek variant of which I am aware is in
a ninth/tenth century miniscule of the Hexapla giving the Theodotion
version of Isa. xxxvii 2, 5, 6.
Variation in name spelling is seen by Allen as characteristic of the
Chronicles translation. Sometimes this is usage of both indeclinable
and declinable forms (as earlier commented on by Thackeray).
more frequent is variation, not only between manuscripts but within
a given manuscript, for example, in both MT and LXX in the lists
in 1 Chronicles xxv. Allen follows others in highlighting "inner-Gk
In striking contrast is the inner-Greek consistency in
manuscripts for the rendering of 2 Chr. xxvi 22 and other verses refer-
ring to .
LXX has in Ezra 31 and in 1 Chr. xxiii 20 codices A and
V only (other uncials and miniscules, , , ) for MT
yissiyyh "Isshiah".
Other MT instances of this name are rendered in
LXX as (1 Chr. vii 3; xxiv 21 [not in ]), (1 Chr. xxiii 20
in and others; xxiv 25, twice [ in A only]).
The alternative
form yissiyyhu in 1 Chr. xii 6 (LXX 7) is rendered .
As a comparison, LXX renderings for other people called y
(consistently in NRSV as "Jeshaiah") are (1 Chr. iii 21; xxv 3),
(1 Chr. xxv 15), and (1 Chr. xxvi 25).
The range and pattern of variant spellings, in contrast to the con-
sistent spelling of the prophet, , point to the LXX Vorlage in
2 Chr. xxvi 22 as having been read as yissiyyah(u) rather than y
There appears to be a distinction between the inner-Greek variations
for the two Greek names: for Isshiah the variants never have in the
first syllable or in the second, while fluctuation between and is
a common dialectical feature in Greek; also only for Isshiah is there
a double . It is quite possible that the form for the well-
BDAG lists and as alternative spellings in the LXX, NT and
other literature, both having and -, neither of which are seen in . Further,
unlike the occasional spelling variation 2 Chr. xxvi 22 (see n. 8), Brookes and McLean
list no variants for 2 Chr. xxxii 20, 32.
Cited in apparatus of J. Ziegler (ed.), Isaas, 2nd ed. (Septuaginta vol. 14; Gttingen,
Allen, The Greek Chronicles, I, pp. 134-37.
Vol. II, p. 1. "Textual Criticism", discusses several reasons for textual variants,
significantly none relevant to the patterns noted here.
NRSV has Isshijah in Ezra 31, but Isshiah for all other instances. Modern
German versions have Jischija consistendy.
1 Chr. xxiii 20 and xxiv 25 are the same person.
known prophet was already "frozen into a standard Greek form by
the translator's time"
or at least the LXX codices have been nor-
malized (compare NRSV "Isaiah" for the prophet, but "Jeshaiah" for
others with the same Hebrew). Why then is 2 Chr. xxvi 22 different
(in any early manuscript!), and concurrently why was omit-
ted if the translator (or copyist) saw a reference to Isaiah?
4 Conclusions and possible scenarios
A few scenarios are possible:
(a) LXX Vorlage was similar to MT, including "ben Amoz".
Given both the overwhelming use elsewhere of the combination "Isaiah
ben Amoz", especially on first mention of the name, and the proba-
bly by then standardised name of the prophet, , it is hard to
understand LXX 2 Chr. xxvi 22 unless the translator wanted to avoid
identification with "Isaiah"!
(b) LXX Vorlage had y
yh() but without "ben Amoz".
In this case it is possible that the translator misheard the name or the
absence of "ben Amoz" led to him not identifying the person with
(c) LXX Vorlage hadyissyyhfu), and consequently without "ben Amoz".
In this case the person was clearly not the well-known Isaiah son of
Amoz. It is no objection that nowhere else is "Isshiah the prophet"
mentioned. Iddo the seer is similarly known only in citations, and
Shemaiah the prophet only in the incident of 2 Chr. xii 5-8 (not in
Kings) and the citation.
At issue then is inner-Hebrew text development. Was the text orig-
inally as in (c), but later scribes, because of the book of Isaiah, thought
the text was referring to Isaiah and so emended by "correcting" the
name, and adding "ben Amoz" to avoid confusion? Or was the text
originally as in (b), and because there was confusion (represented by
the tradition seen in the LXX) "ben Amoz" was added?
Further, if the text (Hebrew, and hence Greek) originally referred
to a prophet other than Isaiah ben Amoz, this would explain the non-
mention of Isaiah for the records of Ahaz and Jotham. Isaiah is then
associated only with Hezekiah, as in 2 Kings.
Allen states this as a probability for "certain names" in general, without specific
reference to Isaiah (I, p. 135).
With limited evidence one is left with possibilities. Nevertheless, the
textual and exegetical weight is that, at least for the LXX translator,
and possibly for the Hebrew tradition, the person who told of Uzziah's
deeds was a hitherto unidentified "Isshiah the prophet".
Perth, Australia John W. Olley
Whereas the source citation in 2 Chr. xxvi 22 MT has "Isaiah son of Amoz", LXX
lacks the patronymic and the spelling is , not the customary . It is pro-
posed that the LXX (and probably the Vorlage) refers to another prophet, Isshiah.
The MT's n n s m p*70 nronn in Nah. iii 15 appeared already
problematic to the Septuagint, which translates it as "and thou shalt
be pressed down as a palmerworm" ( ), appar-
ently omitting one of the components. The Targum translates htkbd,
"they shall cover you" ("pISiT), but the following htkbdy, "they shall
lay you bare" ("pTfrOIT). Similarly, the Vulgate makes a distinction
between the two genders, translating htkbd as "congregate" {congregare),
but rendering htkbdy as "multiply" (multiplicare). The Peshitta's "you have
become many like the crawling locust and multiplied like the locust"
makes a distinction between the two kinds of locust but treats htkbd
and htkbdy equally.
The different approaches employed by the versions highlight the
difficulties that exegetes had with the MT. Is one component of MT' s
htkbd kylq htkbdy k'rbh superfluous? Should htkbd be emended to htkbdy?
Are 'rbh and ylq the same? Some translate ylq as "locust," and
rbh as
"grasshopper." Cathcart thinks that both words mean "locust."
also considers htkbd as the defectively written htkbdy (i.e., an impera-
tive feminine singular). The result of these changes is his translation
"Multiply like the young locust, multiply like the locust." Any farmer
of the Israelite agrarian society would find such translation strange,
since ylq (the young locust) can not multiply.
BHS suggests deleting p*TO "[^DKD and emending "QDITI to .
Haupt, too, considers * "J^DW a gloss and emends to ,
obtaining p*TO 7 PDIfcO , "Though as thick as locusts, as
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^ s
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