Septuagint: Torah

August 17, 2020|
Septuagint: Torah by Scriptural Research Institute
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After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, his generals ripped apart his empire, and by 305 BC General Ptolemy had gained control of the Eastern Mediterranean, including Egypt, Judea, Cyprus, Cyrene, and coastal regions of modern Turkey, including Cilicia, Pamphylia, Lycia, and Caria. He established the dynasty of the Ptolemies that would rule Egypt for the next three centuries until Cleopatra VII Philopator committed suicide in 30 BC. The Ptolemys built one of the great wonders of the ancient world, the Library of Alexandria, which at its height was said to house over 400,000 scrolls. The original collection that was amassed in the first century of the library, was largely Greek works, and translations of Egyptian works, however in the mid-3rd century BC, King Ptolemy II Philadelphus ordered a translation of the ancient Hebrew scriptures for the library.

A number of rabbis were assembled, numbering either 70 or 72 depending on the version of the story, and representing every sect of Judaism. They created a translation that was later known as the Septuagint. The original version, published circa 250 BC, only included the Torah, or in Greek terms, the Pentateuch, or five books traditionally credited to Moses, circa 1500 BC: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. According to Jewish tradition, the original Torah was lost when the Babylonians destroyed the Temple of Solomon and was then rewritten by Ezra from memory during the Second Temple period. The life of Ezra is estimated to have been between 480 and 440 BC, which is around the time that scholars generally believe the current form of the Torah was written.

It is generally accepted that there were several versions written in Hebrew or Samaritan before the translation of the Septuagint. Fragments of the Torah have been found in four languages among the dead sea scrolls, generally dated to between 200 BC and 600 AD. During this time, the land of Judea passed from the rule of the Ptolemys in Egypt to the rule of the Seleucids in Syria around 200 BC. The Seleucids attempted to Hellenize the Judeans, erecting a statue of Zeus in the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and effectively banning traditional Judaism. This Hellenizing activity was partially successful, creating the Sadducee faction of Judaism, however also led the Maccabean Revolt in 165 BC, which itself created the independent Hasmonean Kingdom of Judea. This kingdom was violently xenophobic and led by a priestly monarchy that combined both the powers of the state and the church. The Hasmonean dynasty attempted to conquer all of the territory that had previously been part of the Persian Province of Judea, and either evicted or exterminated the people that were living there, depending on their ethnicity. When the Edomites were conquered they were allowed to mass-convert to Judaism as they were considered the descendants of Esau, however, most other ethnic groups were not welcome. When the army of Hasmonean King John Hyrcanus annexed Samaria in 113 BC, he slaughtered the Samaritan priests and more than half the Samaritan population and enslaved the rest. His army also destroyed the Samaritan Temple on Mount Gerizim and burned all copies of their holy books. The Samaritans continued to be slaves under the Hasmoneans until the Roman General Pompey's armies freed them in 69 BC, and restored the independent state of Samaria, along with several other states that fell under Rome's protection from that time forward.

Title:Septuagint: TorahFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:August 17, 2020Publisher:Scriptural Research InstituteLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1989852548

ISBN - 13:9781989852545

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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