Amos 9:13 In The Septuagint

In this study we want to look at a very interesting textual anomaly in Amos 4:13.

Amos is speaking and not quoting Elohim. Here is the King James Version of this passage. Note the 5 things that Amos says Yehovah does:

"For, lo, he that

[1] forms the mountains, and

[2] creates the wind, and

[3] declares unto man [adam, in Hebrew] what is his thought,

[4] that makes the morning darkness, and

[5] treads upon the high places of the earth,

Yehovah, The Elohim of hosts, is his name.”

The third item “declares unto man what is his thought” is a good translation from the Hebrew. The word “man” in Hebrew is adam and it refers to all descended from Adam, in other words every human being.1

In the late 2nd century BC Jewish scholars in Egypt translated the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. It is called the Septuagint, also known as the LXX.2

In Amos 4:13 the Greek has a different meaning than the Hebrew text. It seems to make reference to Messiah:

"For, behold, I am he that strengthens the thunder, and creates the wind, and [3,
as above] proclaims to men his Messiah, forming the morning and the darkness, and mounting on the high places of the earth, Yehovah Elohim Almighty is his name."

(Amos 4:13, Brenton English translation of the Greek LXX )

The meaning of the words even in the Greek might be apparent to English readers:

"διότι ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ στερεῶν βροντὴν καὶ κτίζων πνεῦμα κ αὶ ἀπαγγέλλων [proclaims] εἰς
ἀνθρώπους [to humanity, to anthropous] τὸν χριστὸν ["of the Messiah," or "his Messiah"] αὐτοῦ ποιῶν ὄρθρον καὶ ..."

Amos 4:13, LXX

The Greek words “of the Messiah” or “his Messiah” are different (in English) from the meaning of the Hebrew words “what is his thought.” Were the Jewish scholars in Egypt translating from a Hebrew text different than we have today, a text that gave them a different Greek translation? This is one explanation, that the Greek was translated from an unknown Hebrew text and not from the Masoretic Text (the Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible today).

This certainly is a possible solution. The Hebrew letters that form the word translated in English as “what is his thought” have some similarity to what would result in the Greek translation. It is close enough to be interesting.

In the table below, note the similarity of Hebrew letters that may have been the basis of the Greek translation, from a different Hebrew text than the present Masoretic Text.

Hebrew of Amos 4:13 from the Masoretic Text: מה־שׂחו “what is his thought”
Hypothetical Hebrew text resulting in the Greek LXX: משׁיח “His Messiah”

1 Elohim communicates to man, but only a few minds in this present age have been opened to understand and respond to His communications.

2 The LXX Greek translation was produced long before the Masoretic text was finalized into the present Hebrew text (the basis of the Textus Receptus), some time in the 8th to 10th century AD. Therefore, a hypothetical Hebrew source text of the LXX may be more than 1,000 years older than the Masoretic text.

The Concordant Literal Version translation accepts the LXX rendering:

"“For behold the One forming the mountains, And creating the wind, And telling to humanity of His Anointed One [christos, in Greek], Making the dawn and murkiness, And treading on the high-places of the land — Yehovah Elohim of hosts is His Name!"
- Return Home -