- καὶ ἐγένετο λόγος κυρίου πρὸς Ιωναν ἐκ δευτέρου λέγων
The translation demonstrates serial fidelity with the MT. Both Greek and Hebrew texts reflect the wording at 1.1. As in that context the lack of articles is noteworthy. ἐκ δευτέρου is an idiom that appears in Hellenistic Greek and reflects the ability of the preposition to express a temporal sequence, i.e., “from/for a second time” (BDAG 2985.b.β). It occurs in the NT and 3rd-2nd century BCE papyri. For other occurrences in the LXX see 2 Reigns 14.29; 3 Reigns 19.7; Hag 2.21(20); Zach 4.12; Isa 61.7; Jer 1.13.
- Ἀνάστηθι πορεύθητι εἰς Νινευη τὴν πόλιν τὴν μεγάλην καὶ κήρυξον ἐν αὐτῇ κατὰ τὸ κήρυγμα τὸ ἔμπροσθεν, ὃ ἐγὼ ἐλάλησα πρὸς σέ.
The translation expresses serial fidelity with the MT, but does add τὸ ἔμπροσθεν. The Greek text for ἀνάστηθι (2nd per. sg. aorist active imp) πορεύθητι (2nd per. sg. aorist passive imp)… καὶ κήρυξον (2nd per.sg. aorist active imp) ἐν αὔτῇ parallels the text in 1.2, except that there is no conjunction connecting the first two verbs (a plus in the Greek text of 1.2). The commands repeat those expressed in the MT. Yahweh has not changed his instructions. The translator by adding τὸ ἔμροσθεν wants to emphasize that nothing in the first prophecy has changed in this second iteration. κατὰ τὸ κήρυγμα reflects well the play on words in the MT, with the noun cognate with the verb (וקרא…את־הקריאה). It is modified adjectivally by the adverb ἔμπροσθεν signaled by the repeated article. This construction occurs in classical Greek with the adjectival sense “earlier, before.” The prepositional phrase אליה normally would mean “call/proclaim…to it/against it.” However, the translator renders it as “in it.” In the relative clause MT uses a participle as the main verb, indicating a present or future sense. This would mean “which I am telling you,” but LXX uses an aorist, again implying that nothing has changed since the original prophecy.
- καὶ ἀνέστη Ιωνας καὶ ἐπορεύθη εἰς Νινευη, καθὼς ἐλάλησε κύριος· ἡ δὲ Νινευη ἦν πόλις μεγάλη τῷ θεῷ ὡσεὶ πορείας ὁδοῦ ἡμερῶν τριῶν.
The translation expresses serial fidelity with the MT. The initial part of this verse repeats the key terms in Yahweh’s instruction to Jonah in v.2, showing his compliance. The δέ in the second main clause represents ו (waw) conjunctive in the Hebrew text, but has the sense of “now,” marking background information. The word order of the Hebrew text marks a similar function. Νινευη is marked as nominative by the article and subject of the equative verb, not πόλις. What is the sense of the dative τῷ θεῷ? Presumably it modifies the adjective μεγάλη and is referential in sense, i.e., “great in God’s eyes” or perhaps “important to God,” giving motive for God’s actions to save it. The translator’s πορείας ὁδοῦ contains a plus (ὁδοῦ) which removes possible ambiguity and referring the “three days” to the length of the journey across the city, not the duration of the journey, i.e., “a three days journey by road.” Note the different construction in v. 4. πορείας is a genitive of measure (Muraoka, Syntax, 132,22k). The Greek text reverses the order of שלשת ימים with ἡμερῶν τριῶν. Either word order is possible in Greek.
- καὶ ἤρξατο Ιωνας τοῦ εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν πόλιν ὡσει πορείαν ἡμέρας μιᾶς καὶ ἐκήρυξε καὶ εἶπεν Ἔτι τρεῖς ἡμέραι καὶ Νινευη καταστραφήσεται.
καὶ ἤρξατο Ιωνας τοῦ εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν πόλιν. The translation shows serial fidelity with the MT. The Hebrew verb ויחל is a hiphil form of חלל meaning “begin” which καὶ ἤρξατο represents well. The Hebrew verb is complemented by an infinitive, just as in the Greek text (τοῦ εἰσελθεῖν). In this case the translator uses a genitive articulated infinitive, but the article is not necessary in this construction (compare Hos 5.11 and Mic 6.13). In the Greek Pentateuch the anarthrous form is used. Muraoka, Syntax, 364-66 observes that “there is no functional opposition recognizable between a bare inf. and a τοῦ inf.” The compound verb εἰσελθεῖν picks up the following prepositional phrase εἰς τὴν πόλιν.
ὡσει πορείαν ἡμέρας μιᾶς. In the previous verse the translator used the genitive with this noun to express duration. Now he chooses the accusative to describe the length of this part of the journey, i.e., a journey length of one day. The position of the numeral matches MT.
καὶ ἐκήρυξε καὶ εἶπεν Ἔτι τρεῖς ἡμέραι καὶ Νινευη καταστραφήσεται. Here we find a major change with τρεῖς ἡμέραι rendering ארבעים יום (“forty days). GKC §134e notes that in Hebrew “the tens, when they precede, take a singular of certain nouns frequently used with numerals.” Greek however has to have concord between the plurality of number and the noun modified (ἡμέραι). What is the origin of this unusual transformation in the Greek text? No surviving Hebrew text witnesses such a reading. It is not easy to see how the translator could have misread and thus misinterpreted this Hebrew Vorlage. There is no inner-Greek explanation for this reading and no Greek text has a different number. The later translations of Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion all have τεσσαρακοντα (forty). It seems probable that this change is due to the translator. If this is case, why does he make this change? The Greek verb καταστραφήσεται and the verb נהפכת mean “overturn, ruin/destroy, bring to an end.”
- καὶ ἐνεπίστευσαν οἱ ἄνδρες Νινευη τῷ θεῷ καὶ ἐκήρυξαν νηστείαν καὶ ἐνεδύσαντο σάκκους ἀπὸ μεγάλου αὐτῶν ἕως μικροῦ αὐτῶν.
καὶ ἐνεπίστευσαν οἱ ἄνδρες Νινευη τῷ θεῷ. Even though Νινευη is an indeclinable noun the translator considers the context sufficiently clear to establish the syntactical function. ἐμπιστεύω is not a common compound in the LXX, found mostly in Chronicles and the Maccabean literature. A few classical Greek occurrences mentioned in TLG. Many LXX texts use the simplex form. It takes a dative complement.
καὶ ἐκήρυξαν νηστείαν. Jonah “make a proclamation” regarding God’s judgment and the leaders of Nineveh in turn make a proclamation for a fast. νηστεία is a default rendering of צום in the LXX.
καὶ ἐνεδύσαντο σάκκους ἀπὸ μεγάλου αὐτῶν ἕως μικροῦ αὐτῶν. σάκκος is the default rendering for שק in the LXX. σάκκος is a bag made of goat hair, burlap and is a loan word from Semitic (Beekes, Etymological Dictionary, 2, 1302). The accusative plural probably means “clothes made of burlap” and commonly indicates mourning. Note the middle form of the verb. Only one Greek manuscript (W) reads the text that Ziegler selects ἀπὸ μεγάλου αὐτῶν ἕως μικροῦ αὐτῶν, which does reflect the MT order, but adds possessive pronouns and omits the conjunction ו. Most read απο μικρου εως μεγαλου which reverses the Hebrew word order. It is hard to know which textual variant is original.
- καὶ ἤγγισεν ὁ λόγος πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα τῆς Νινευη, καὶ ἐξανέστη ἀπὸ τοῦ θρόνου αὐτοῦ καὶ περιείλατο τὴν στολὴν αὐτοῦ ἀφ’ ἑαυτοῦ καὶ περιεβάλετο σάκκον καὶ ἐκάθισεν ἐπὶ σποδοῦ.
καὶ ἤγγισεν ὁ λόγος πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα τῆς Νινευη. The translation follows the MT, expressing a series of coordinated conjunctions which narrate various sequential actions attributed to the king of Nineveh in response to Jonah’s message. The Greek verb with the subject “message, news” means “reached” and the preposition πρός might express the idea of how widely the message penetrated the city’s population. The article appears with both nouns in the prepositional phrase, perhaps following Apollonius’ Canon. The article also serves to show that the proper name is not appositional to the head noun.
καὶ ἐξανέστη ἀπὸ τοῦ θρόνου αὐτοῦ. The verb ἐξανέστη can just mean “got up” but the additional prepositional prefix might add the sense “got up out of/from,” which is also made explicit by the prepositional phrase. θρόνος is the default rendering for כסא for most of the LXX.
καὶ περιείλατο τὴν στολὴν αὐτοῦ ἀφ’ ἑαυτοῦ. The hiphil form of עבר can mean “cause to take away, put away,” as here. אדרת means “glory, mantle, cloak” which is valuable. TDNT (8.689) comments that “clothing shows what a man is; a specific garment is part of a specific situation.” στολή can mean any kind of outer garment and context has to indicate the nature of the garment. In this case it refers to the garments that express the king’s status. ἀφ’ ἑαυτοῦ indicates that the king himself participated in this action, using a reflexive pronoun, along with the middle form of the verb. περιείλατο means “he removed.”
καὶ περιεβάλετο σάκκον. He then “covered himself with clothes made of sackcloth.” He follows the lead of his subjects expressed in v. 5. The translator used a different verb (see 3 Reigns 1.1) here to describe the king’s action to re-clothe himself, a difference also found in the MT (cover, clothe oneself) (לבש…כסה).
καὶ ἐκάθισεν ἐπὶ σποδοῦ. אפר means “ashes” (collective sense) and to “sit on ashes” is a sign of mourning and contrition. σποδή is a default rendering for אפר in the LXX. ἐπί + genitive means “upon.” See Esther’s actions in 4.2, 17; Judith 9.1; 1 Macc. 3.47; 4.39; Daniel 9.3. This is not a normal way for Greeks to display grief or contrition.
- καὶ ἐκηρύχθη καὶ ἐρρέθη ἐν τῇ Νινευη παρὰ τοῦ βασιλέως καὶ παρὰ τῶν μεγιστάνων αὐτοῦ λέγων Οἱ ἄνθρωποι καὶ τὰ κτήνη καὶ οἱ βόες καὶ τὰ πρόβατα μὴ γευσάσθωσαν μηδὲν μηδὲ νεμέσθωσαν μηδὲ ὕδωρ πιέτωσαν.
καὶ ἐκηρύχθη καὶ ἐρρέθη ἐν τῇ Νινευη. The Greek text demonstrates serial fidelity with the MT. The initial verb וזעק (cf. 1.5 ἀνεβόων) is different from the verb which the translator represents by κηρύσσω in 3.2,4,5. The translator transforms the active verb of which presumably the king is the subject, into a passive form. Probably a different oral reading of these verb forms. Also, the proclamation does not begin until οἱ ἄνθρωποι, but in the Hebrew text it probably begins with מטעם המלך, defining the source of the proclamation. ἐρρέθη is the aorist passive form of λέγω, the default translation of אמר – he said. Why does the translator modify Νινευη with the article? Note that although the verbs are impersonals, the adverbial participle λέγων is masculine singular.
παρὰ τοῦ βασιλέως καὶ παρὰ τῶν μεγιστάνων αὐτοῦ. In the Greek translation these phrases describe the source of the proclamation and modify the two initial verbs (NETS “A proclamation was made, and it was spoken in Nineue by the king and his nobles, saying…”). However, the Hebrew phrase מטעם means “from a decree of….” The translation leaves the term “decree” implicit. BDB (381,3) “(late Aramaism, cf. Dn 310 etc.) decision, decree…Jon 37.” It has Assyrian origin. In Daniel LXX it is rendered as προσέταξας. Μεγιστάν always occurs in the plural meaning “noblemen” (see Nah 3.10 where it also translates גדול)… Fairly common noun in LXX. Not used in Classical Greek, but found in Menander (4-3rd cent. BCE).
Οἱ ἄνθρωποι καὶ τὰ κτήνη καὶ οἱ βόες καὶ τὰ πρόβατα. MT uses singular nouns as collectives, but Greek employs plurals to accommodate its normal usage.
μὴ γευσάσθωσαν μηδὲν μηδὲ νεμέσθωσαν μηδὲ ὕδωρ πιέτωσαν. The Hebrew verb יטעם is cognate with the term טעם (“decree”) used earlier in the verse. The verb means “taste” and is a prohibition. םאומה is an indefinite pronoun, rendered here as μηδέν. νέμω in the middle means “roam in open spaces that provide grass and water.” Why does the translator use the aorist form with the first and third verbs, but present forms with the second verb? A prohibition formed from μή + aorist imperative is rare – usually with aorist subjunctive or present imperative. In LXX tends to be in third person forms (Muraoka, Syntax, 328-329).
- καὶ περιεβάλοντο σάκκους οἱ ἄνθρωποι καὶ τὰ κτήνη, καὶ ἀνεβόησαν πρὸς τὸν θεὸν ἐκτενῶς· καὶ ἀπέστρεψαν ἕκαστος ἀπὸ τῆς ὁδοῦ αὐτοῦ τῆς πονηρᾶς καὶ τῆς ἀδικίας τῆς ἐν χερσὶν αὐτῶν λέγοντες
In the MT v. 8 continues the decree, but not in the translation.
καὶ περιεβάλοντο σάκκους οἱ ἄνθρωποι καὶ τὰ κτήνη. The Hebrew verb ויתכסו is a hithpael formation, expressing a reflexive idea – covered/clothed themselves. The translator used the same verbal phrase as he did in v. 6 to represent this idea. MT has singular subjects, but they express a collective sense, captured in the Greek with the plural forms.
καὶ ἀνεβόησαν πρὸς τὸν θεὸν ἐκτενῶς. The Hebrew verb is ויקראו which the translator rendered with ἀναβοάω also at 1.14 but see 1.5 (ויזעקו). In this chapter the translator has also used κηρύσσω but this is not an appropriate rendering in this context. ἐκτενῶς means “earnestly, fervently,” which renders the prepositional phrase בחזקה i.e., “forcefully, strongly, forcefully.” This adverb also occurs in Jud 4.12 with the verb βοάω and Joel 1.14 with κράζω. It occurs infrequently in the LXX. What significance might the article have in πρὸς τὸν θεὸν (see 2.2, 3)?
καὶ ἀπέστρεψαν ἕκαστος. ἀποστρέφω means “turn away, dissociate oneself,” with an intransitive sense. The following prepositional phrases define what the person turns away from. In Greek Jonah it only renders (3.8, 9, 10) שוב, with the sense here of “turn back from (evil).” Humans and God can be the subject. ἕκαστος represents האיש, “the person” which here means each one. The plural verb reflects the Hebrew verb form and also accommodates to Greek idiom.
ἀπὸ τῆς ὁδοῦ αὐτοῦ τῆς πονηρᾶς καὶ τῆς ἀδικίας τῆς ἐν χερσὶν αὐτῶν λέγοντες. ἀδικία (“injustice, wrongdoing”) translates חמס, “violence, wrong” (see Am 3.10; Joel 3.19). The translator renders an אשר clause with the adjectivized prepositional phrase τῆς ἐν χερσὶν αὐτῶν. The translator adds λέγοντες, identifying what follows as direct speech of those who turned away from evil.
- Τίς οἶδεν εἰ μετανοήσει ὁ θεὸς καὶ ἀποστρέψει ἐξ ὀργῆς θυμοῦ αὐτοῦ καὶ οὐ μὴ ἀπολώμεθα;
Τίς οἶδεν. The Hebrew expression is a participle following an interrogative. When this construction follows a verbal clause, it communicates the idea “perchance, it may be” (BDB 567, f.e), but is not followed by an interrogative particle. The translator renders it literally, with the sense “no one knows whether….”
εἰ μετανοήσει ὁ θεὸς. εἰ is not conditional, but interrogative here, with the sense “whether” and marks an indirect question following οἶδεν. MT has three verbs in sequence ישוב ונחם…ושב but the translator only reflects two of these (probably the last two) with μετανοήσει…καὶ ἀποστρέψει. He probably thought the Hebrew text was tautologous. μετανοέω regularly renders forms of the verb נחם . This Hebrew verb is glossed as “be sorry, be moved with pity, console oneself.” See Exodus 32.12, 14. The sense could be “whether he will take pity and turn away from….” μετανοέω means “to change one’s mind, revise one’s view in the light of ‘after-knowledge’.” It does not necessarily imply admission of guilt or error.
καὶ ἀποστρέψει ἐξ ὀργῆς θυμοῦ αὐτοῦ. The translator continues to render שוב with ἀποστρέψω, even though God is the subject. The prepositional phrase describes what he “turns away from.” Given the usage in verses 8 & 9, one would expect the preposition ἀπό would continue to be used. מחרון אפו “from the burning of his nostril” (cf. Ex. 32.12), speaking of his anger. The translator represents both nouns and the possessive pronoun, but employs regular Greek terms describing wrath and anger.
καὶ οὐ μὴ ἀπολώμεθα (2nd aor. mid. subjunctive). See Jonah 1.6. Notice here that the translator uses the strong, double negation, even though the Hebrew text is the same as in Jonah 1.6. Why the difference?
- καὶ εἶδεν ὁ θεὸς τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν, ὅτι ἀπέστρεψαν ἀπὸ τῶν ὁδῶν αὐτῶν τῶν πονηρῶν, καὶ μετενόησεν ὁ θεὸς ἐπὶ τῇ κακίᾳ, ᾗ ἐλάλησε τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτοῖς, καὶ οὐκ ἐποίησεν.
καὶ εἶδεν ὁ θεὸς τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν. Perhaps ὁ θεός means “the deity.”
ὅτι ἀπέστρεψαν ἀπὸ τῶν ὁδῶν αὐτῶν τῶν πονηρῶν. ὅτι could be causal, i.e., “because they turned away,” but more probably marks a content clause which defines what these τὰ ἔργα included. Note that here the translator uses the plural τῶν ὁδῶν for the singular Hebrew word, whereas in v. 8 he used the singular.
καὶ μετενόησεν ὁ θεὸς ἐπὶ τῇ κακίᾳ. ונחם again is represented by μετανοέω. הרעה is the same word that described the evil deeds that people of Nineveh turned away from. Note how the translator renders it differently, using κακία which here has the sense of something distressful or dire, trouble. The Hebrew noun similar has diverse meanings, depending on context. See Jonah 1.7. See also Ex. 32.14; Joel 2.13; Jonah 4.2.
ᾗ ἐλάλησε τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτοῖς. ᾗ is the relative pronoun, but the case arises from attraction to the antecedent κακίᾳ, and does not represent its function as direct object of the verb in its clause. λαλέω is the default rendering for דבר and λέγω for אמר. The translator again uses the articulated genitive infinitive to express the complementary infinitive.
καὶ οὐκ ἐποίησεν. The conjunction could have a resultative tone, i.e., “and so he did not act.”