‘Have You Seen, Son of Man?’: Preliminary Studies in the Translation and Vorlage of LXX Ezekiel 40-48

Doctoral Dissertation


This dissertation examines the translational goals of LXX Ezekiel 40-48 in the light of two major developments in textual criticism in the past half-century: 1) the recognition that biblical corpora existed in variant literary editions in antiquity, associated with Eugene Ulrich, among others; and 2) the development of a bifurcated approach to Septuagint studies, in which one camp focuses on the reception-history of the Septuagint while the other focuses on the translator’s translation technique. The adoption of a functional theory of translation sketched by ReiÌÄ�ü and Vermeer (Skopostheorie) helps to mend this rift by focusing on the translator’s goals in rendering his source text for a specific community. Ezekiel 40-48 is seen as an operative text intended to persuade its readers of the truth it communicates. I argue that the translator rendered his source text with attention to its linguistic, grammatical and semantical structures, in a way meant to help his readers understand the Hebrew work (philological translation). The rhetorical effect of this method of of translation stressed the distance and authority of Ezekiel’s culminating prophecy. On the other hand, his task of persuasion compelled the translator to accommodate certain cultural aspects of Ezekiel’s vision to the Hellenistic tastes of his target readership, especially concerning architecture and proselytism. Despite this accommodation, I find no evidence for the actualizing exegesis sometimes discovered in LXX Ezekiel 40-48.

Study of the translator’s method of rendering his source text suggests that pluses are to be attributed to the translator’s source text and not his own intervention unless suggested by weighty evidence. Based on this principle, analysis of the Vorlage of LXX Ezekiel 40-48 concludes that it preserves numerous secondary readings that harmonize Ezekiel’s final vision with his earlier ones and thereby interpret Ezekiel in terms of the prophet’s unique theology. This interpretation stands in contrast to the canonical interpretation of MT Ezekiel described by Jake Stromberg. On the other hand, a number of modernizing supplements bring the Hebrew text of Ezekiel 40-48 into conversation with developing Palestinian merkabah traditions (LXX Ezek 43:2-3) and the architecture of the Second Temple (LXX Ezek 40:38-40). Further study will be needed to determine how the generally shorter and earlier Vorlage of LXX Ezekiel 1-39 is to be related to the fuller and later Vorlage of LXX Ezekiel 40-48, but the minimum conclusion that can be drawn is that the LXX Vorlage of these chapters was the focus of intensive study in the last few centuries B.C.E.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-07102009-112405

Author Daniel Michael O'Hare
Advisor Gary Anderson
Contributor Eugene Ulrich, Committee Member
Contributor Gary Anderson, Committee Chair
Contributor James VanderKam, Committee Member
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Theology
Degree Name Doctor of Philosophy
Defense Date
  • 2009-06-26

Submission Date 2009-07-10
  • United States of America

  • Septuagint

  • redaction criticism

  • Ezekiel

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Access Rights Open Access
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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