THE LXX - A MODEL OF REVERSE ENGINEERING
According to the LXX, also known as the Septuagint, Methuselah survived the flood by 14 years, thus conflicting not only with the Hebrew account, but likewise diametrically contradicting the testimony of Jesus and Peter. This blunder by the LXX is easily DEMONSTRATED by SIMPLE ARITHMETIC, by merely adding up the genealogical years concerning Methuselah as construed by the LXX. And if that isn't enough in and of itself to convince a person that the LXX is a notoriously untrustworthy document, then neither would he be convinced if Methuselah himself rose from the dead and told him so.
(Luke 16:31 KJV) And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Modern biblical scholarship places a great deal of faith in the LXX, but they are -- as in so many of their endeavors -- utterly foolish for doing so.
Iwon't go into the age of the LXX itself, but one thing is brilliantly, blindingly clear, and that is the virtually certain fact that the LXX we possess today is not even REMOTELY comparable to the LXX that may have existed during the times of Jesus and the Apostles. It is possible that the Torah had been translated into Greek prior to the time of the Apostles, although that is by no means certain, for the dating of manuscripts by the current methodologies being employed is pure voodoo, not science, and so while we concede that it is POSSIBLE that a Torah portion of the LXX existed during the days of the Apostles, it is on the other hand LIKELY that the remainder of the Old Testament did not yet exist in Greek. Either way, the matter is pretty much immaterial. That is, even if the entire LXX existed prior to Jesus and the Apostles, it still condemns itself on its own face, as we'll soon see.
Moreover, the assertion that Jesus and the Apostles actually quoted from the LXX is patently absurd, especially with regard to the Lord Jesus, but I also won't demonstrate that in this paper, although the derivative conclusions in this paper will strongly and emphatically reveal the absurdity of the contention that Jesus and the Apostles quoted from the LXX. However, as I said, my goal is not to deal explicitly with that issue, but rather, my sole task in this paper will be to DEMONSTRATE that the LXX has been REVERSE ENGINEERED to agree with the New Testament in numerous passages, which means that the LXX we possess today was produced SUBSEQUENT to the New Testament itself. In other words, I will DEMONSTRATE that the scribes of the LXX had the New Testament in front of them when they actually penned the LXX we have today. As you will see, the demonstration itself is mere child's play.
(Gen 47:31 KJV) And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head.
(Heb 11:21 KJV) By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
The passage that I will tackle here is Hebrews 11:21 and Genesis 47:31. It is ASSUMED by most modern biblical scholars that the author of the Epistle To The Hebrews was quoting from the LXX instead of the Hebrew in Genesis 47:31. In other words, since the wording in Hebrews 11:21 matches the LXX in Genesis 47:31, and not the Hebrew, it is therefore ASSUMED that the writer of Hebrews copied from the LXX instead of the Hebrew.
Nothing could be further from the truth, for this very fact BACKFIRES on the LXX, thus PROVING it to be a FRAUD, as I will now DEMONSTRATE. Note also that my position was likewise the position of the Puritans, Nonconformists and others. For example, the great Puritan scholar John Owen enumerated this very passage in exactly the same context as me, which is to say, this very passage was one that John Owen claimed as PROOF of REVERSE ENGINEERING in the LXX. Owen, however, did not actually expound this passage by way of demonstration; rather, he merely claimed this as one of the passages that PROVED the LXX was REVERSE ENGINEERED, for Owen himself probably assumed that the absurdity of the LXX here was so apparent that he didn't need to actually demonstrate it. Unfortunately, it is NOT APPARENT to most professing students of the Bible today. It is, however, APPARENT to any careful analysis, as I will now show.
So let's begin...
To start with, remember this proverb, for it is sacrosanct -- "A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text."
Indeed, never exegete a passage of Scripture without keeping this proverb close at hand, for this is EXACTLY the trap that the LXX supporters have fallen into. That is, they have totally ignored the CONTEXT in the passage under review, for had they actually paid attention to the CONTEXT, instead of rushing headlong into error by blindly asserting that the author of Hebrews quoted from the LXX, they would have seen the glowing fallacy of the LXX and their own assertions concerning it. And keep in mind, this is just ONE passage. There are numerous other passages which demonstrate that the LXX was REVERSE ENGINEERED, but this passage will demonstrate it so clearly that it should serve as a beacon for all the rest.
Accordingly, let's just first have a look at the CONTEXT of the passage under discussion. You see, in Genesis 47:31, where it is ASSUMED that the author of Hebrews is quoting from the LXX, we immediately discover, lo and behold, that there are ONLY TWO PEOPLE IN THE TENT, to wit: Jacob and Joseph, whereas in Hebrews 11:21, there are FOUR PEOPLE IN THE TENT, that is, Jacob, Joseph, and Joseph's two sons. It is only LATER, in Genesis 48, that ALL FOUR PEOPLE are present together in the tent, as in the account in Hebrews 11:21, that is, IN AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT MEETING, IN AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT CONTEXT. In other words, Genesis 48 is what Hebrews 11:21 is ACTUALLY referring to, NOT Genesis 47:31, as the ignorant scribes of the LXX thought.
In other words, THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT EVENTS, and thus THEY ARE NOT REFERRING TO THE SAME EPISODE. The scribes of the LXX, however, were too dull to notice this, and because of their comic stupidity, they probably decided they were going to help God out since there was no verse in Genesis that exactly matched the verse in Hebrews, so they MANUFACTURED their text in Genesis 47:31 to match the phrase in Hebrews 11:21, UNWITTINGLY believing that these two passages were referring to the SAME EVENT, even though they are NOT, even though the two passages are referring to TWO SEPARATE AND DISTINCT EVENTS, and consequently they never even SUSPECTED that the CONTEXT was absolutely FATAL to their designs. Indeed, by thus REVERSE ENGINEERING the text, they showed themselves to be COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS to both the context AND the significance of what was actually transpiring, as well as further solidifying the FACT that the scribes of the LXX as it exists in Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph were utter, absolute, total ignoramuses in the Greek language, as well as the Hebrew, for the FACT is -- THE FACTS IN EVIDENCE -- for the FACT is, both Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph, the two manuscripts that most modern "bibles" are based on, have so many grammatical and philological errors in the New Testament alone that they literally cannot be counted, unlike the manuscripts which underlie the Traditional Text and the King James Bible. Nor can this data be legitimately disputed, for the FACTS are there in black and white for all the world to see.
Of course, the truly born again believer can already see the Holy Spirit at work here in his protection of the written Word in the matter of the CONTEXT of this demonstration, for the trap that the LXX adherents have fallen into in this passage is simply classic.
But there's more... much more...
In Hebrew, the words "bed" and "staff" have IDENTICAL consonants, as shown here -- מטה
In other words, they are spelled EXACTLY THE SAME in their consonantal form. The ONLY thing that differentiates them is their vocalic form, which is to say, the ONLY thing that makes them a different word are the vowels that are attached to their consonants, so that this is how they appear in the actual Hebrew text with the vowels attached, first for the word "bed" in Genesis 47:31, and then for the word "staff" as it appears in Genesis 38:25 -- "bed" - מִטָה and now for "staff" - מַטֶה
As can be seen, the difference is EXTREMELY SUBTLE, so that a person unfamiliar with Hebrew would find himself utterly clueless as to the significance of the two words, even if he had the vowels to guide him. The first Hebrew representation above, the one without the vowel points, is known as an unpointed text, whereas the second two Hebrew words, the ones containing the vowel points, are known as a pointed text.
Of course, in an unpointed text, that is, in a Hebrew text without Masoretic vowel points, it is ALWAYS the CONTEXT that determines the meaning of the word. That's why native Israelis and other Hebrew speakers today have no problem reading an unpointed text, for the CONTEXT almost always makes the meaning perfectly clear.
Conversely, the scribes of the LXX, who were nothing short of imbecilic in their knowledge of Greek, were undoubtedly even more unskilled in Hebrew. Having no clue WHATSOEVER that the CONTEXT was ENTIRELY DIFFERENT in Hebrews 11:21 from that of Genesis 47:31, indeed, having no clue WHATSOEVER that the passage in Hebrews 11:21 is ACTUALLY referring to Genesis 48, they further deceived themselves by ASSUMING that the three-letter consonant for "bed" meant "staff", when it does NOT, and thus they ignorantly ASSUMED that the word "staff" was what the Hebrew text actually read, when in fact, the Hebrew text does NOT read "staff" in Genesis 47:31, but "bed". In other words, since the word "staff" is what is written in Hebrews 11:21, and since the scribes of the LXX were COMPLETELY DEAF to the CONTEXT of the two passages, they fallaciously ASSUMED that "staff" was also the reading in Genesis 47:31 since the spelling of the two words is EXACTLY THE SAME in an unpointed text, when in fact Genesis 47:31 UNQUESTIONABLY reads "bed".
As a quick aside, the vast majority of modern biblical scholars today deny that the Masoretic points existed when the LXX was written, so they cannot now go back and plead that the scribes of the LXX were aware of the difference in the two words due to the presence of Masoretic vowel points. They clearly were NOT. Indeed, the scribes of the LXX were no more aware of the difference between the two words than they were of the CONTEXT, and thus this ACUTE BLINDNESS of the scribes of the LXX to the actual CONTEXT of the two passages, in tandem with their ACUTE BLINDNESS to the difference between the two words, only further cements the dynamics of their blunder.
So to sum up thus far, understanding what has befallen the LXX here is as clear as the noonday sun. In short, when the scribes of the LXX read Hebrews 11:21, where it is written -- "By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff" -- the scribes of the LXX decided that the New Testament verse here must have a counterpart in the Old Testament. Accordingly, they went back to Genesis 47:31 and lit upon what they thought was similar wording, and with a Hebrew word that they THOUGHT meant "staff" instead of "bed", without paying any attention WHATSOEVER to the CONTEXT, where it is recorded that Jacob, also known as Israel, "bowed himself upon the bed's head".
To further aid the scribes of the LXX in their delusion, the Hebrew word for "worship" is the same word which most Bible versions correctly translate as "bowed" in Genesis 47:31, for the context gives more weight to "bowed" than "worship", as we will also see in a moment, so that in the Hebrew account of Genesis 47:31 the phrase would even more closely resemble the wording in Hebrews 11:21.
Accordingly, since the scribes of the LXX thought that the word in Genesis 47:31 actually meant "staff" in agreement with Hebrews 11:21, instead of what is ACTUALLY meant, "bed", and thus seeing a similarity between the two phrases, and not realizing that the CONTEXT was ENTIRELY DIFFERENT, the scribes of the LXX ERRONEOUSLY ASSUMED that the account in Hebrews 11:21 was referring to Genesis 47:31, instead of Genesis 48, which is what the account in Hebrews 11:21 is REALLY referring to, and since the Greek clearly reads "staff" in Hebrews 11:21, the ignorant scribes of the LXX WRONGLY ASSUMED that the actual Hebrew word for "bed" in Genesis 47:31 instead meant "staff". Thus, in their mentally impaired scheming, they thereby sealed their own fate by producing a MANIFESTLY FRAUDULENT LXX, an LXX that has been INFALLIBLY REVERSE ENGINEERED, the New Testament having been directly in front of the scribes of the LXX when they ALTERED the text in Genesis 47:31 in order to match the wording in Hebrews 11:21.
But there's still more...
In addition to the above, there are several other indictments against the LXX here, for the scribes of the LXX CLEARLY did not comprehend the significance of what was taking place in the two accounts.
You see, the account in Hebrews 11:21 states that Jacob "blessed both the sons of Joseph", wherein ALL FOUR PEOPLE were present in the tent together, whereas in Genesis 47:31, not only were there ONLY TWO PEOPLE in the tent, but likewise, NO BLESSING WAS INVOKED in Genesis 47:31, UNLIKE the account in Hebrews 11:21.
In fact, it is almost the exact opposite of the account in Hebrews 11:21 that is taking place in Genesis 47:31. To wit, in Genesis 47:31, it is JOSEPH who was being compelled to do the acting, NOT Jacob as in the account in Hebrews 11:21, insomuch that Jacob was extracting a promise FROM Joseph to bury Jacob in his own land, and not Egypt. In other words, this is a very tender moment STRICTLY between father and son. No grandchildren were present on this solemn occasion.
It is only when we come to Genesis 48 in an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT AND DISTINCT EPISODE that ALL FOUR PEOPLE are together in the tent, and in which a BLESSING ACTUALLY OCCURS. Up until then, up UNTIL Genesis 48, NO BLESSING TAKES PLACE, and ONLY TWO PEOPLE ARE IN THE TENT.
And now, with this SIMPLE comprehension of the various details, and with the actual CONTEXT now before us, a straightforward reading of the Hebrew reveals EXACTLY what happened in Genesis 47:31. To wit, Jacob, still in the prone position on his bed, leaned up on the bed, probably with an elbow, when Joseph first entered the tent, and then bowed his head in an act of reverence or submission as he extracted a promise from his son to bury him, not in Egypt, but in his own land. This is what "and Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head" would clearly indicate. Later however, in Genesis 48, where now BOTH Joseph AND his sons enter the tent, Jacob NOW SITS ALL THE WAY UP so he can actually BLESS the two sons of Joseph, but Jacob still needs to lean upon his staff in order to maintain his upright position on the bed, which is INFALLIBLY what the account in Hebrews 11:21 is referring to, for this is the INFALLIBLE CONTEXT of Hebrews 11:21, and this CONTEXT is what the account ABSOLUTELY, UTTERLY MANDATES. Furthermore, as if more were needed, it would not be possible for Jacob to lay both hands on the two sons and lean upon his staff UNTIL he had actually sat up upon the bed. The fact that he still needed to lean upon his staff while in the sitting position is an indicator to how weak he really was.
Accordingly, in Genesis 47:31, Jacob never sat all the way up. It is only when ALL FOUR PEOPLE were present in the tent, indeed, it is only THEN that Joseph SAT UP "and worshipped, leaning upon his staff" as recorded in Hebrews 11:21. That little additional detail of "leaning upon his staff" is just another tidbit of information that the Holy Spirit supplied to the narrative, just as he did in many other accounts, such as the reference to Jannes and Jambres in 2 Timothy 3:8.
And in the end, it is primarily the CONTEXT that makes the whole issue plain. Yet, because the scribes of the LXX were completely unaware of the CONTEXT, they unwittingly supplied us here in the present day with an INFALLIBLE PROOF of their REVERSE ENGINEERING, for by attempting to transpose a passage from the New Testament BACK into the Old Testament, and yet failing to heed the CONTEXT as they went, they have given themselves away so SOUNDLY that no one with an OUNCE of understanding of such matters could ever hereafter dispute it.
And thus, combined with the REAMS UPON REAM UPON REAMS of additional data that could be produced concerning the LXX, it is the epitome of foolhardiness to EVER use the LXX to "correct" the Hebrew, for the LXX has demonstrated itself time and time and time again to be a NOTORIOUSLY UNWORTHY DOCUMENT, and therefore anyone who still places his faith in the LXX is no less a fool than were the scribes who produced this FABRICATION in the first place.