Page:The ancient interpretation of Leviticus XVIII. 18 - Marriage with a deceased wife's sister is lawful.djvu/17

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In verse 6, the same.

In verse 17, (Symbol missingHebrew characters), "one answering to one."

These are all the passages in the Pentateuch, where these words occur. In five, Onkelos translates idiomatically—in the sixth, Lev. xviii. 18, literally, showing that here he took "sister" in its strict and primary sense; and as this translation was read in the Synagogues, it shows the sense commonly received among the Hebraizing Jews of that day.[1]

We now turn to the Hellenists, who, as having more intercourse with the Gentiles, and being less exclusive than their Hebraizing brethren, are important witnesses. How, then, did they interpret Lev. xviii. 18? Their interpretation is represented by the LXX itself. It is well known that in the days of the Apostles this version was looked upon by all classes of Jews, even the Rabbinists, as an inspired book. To the Hellenists it was their Bible, the source of religious law and divinity. If, then, the Septuagint, as used by them, differed from Onkelos, and presented the marginal or modern interpretation of this disputed verse, that fact would go far to neutralize the testimony of Onkelos. It would have exhibited the mind of a very numerous, perhaps at that time the most numerous class of Jews. But the Septuagint version differs very slightly from that of Onkelos, and is equally favourable to the controverted marriage. It is, γυναῖκα ἐπ᾽ ἀδελφῇ αὐτῆς οὐ λήψῃ ἀντίζηλον ἀποκαλύψαι τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην αὐτῆς ἐπ᾽ αὐτῇ, ἔτι ζώσης αὐτῆς. "A woman in addition to her sister thou shalt not take,

1 This conclusion from the language of Onkelos is confirmed by Jonathan's Chaldee translation of Ezekiel. The words "A woman to her sister" occur in chapters i. and iii. of that prophet, in the idiomatic sense, and Jonathan translates them accordingly.

In Ezek. i. 13, (Symbol missingHebrew characters) in iii. 13, (Symbol missingHebrew characters)

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