Saturday, June 18, 2011

2 Baruch 72

These days, I've been reading 2 Baruch in Syriac to keep up with the ancient language (using this text here), and so far, it's been a very interesting book to read. I've really enjoyed taking Syriac for the past year now (great professor [Dr. Lucas Van Rompay] as well as a bunch of interesting texts [Ephrem's commentary, Aphrahat's Demonstrations, NT/OT Peshitta, Odes of Solomon to name just a few]). This morning I was reading 2 Baruch 71-73, and if I'm not mistaken, this critical text contains a translation error (his transl.):

72.1 "Hear, now, also concerning the bright waters which are to come at the end, after these black (waters): this is the word. 72.2 After the signs have come, of which I have spoken to you before, when the nations become confused and the time of my Messiah comes, he will call all the nations; and some of them he will spare, and some of them he will kill. 72.3 These things, therefore, will come upon the nations which are not spared by him. 72.4 Every nation which does not know Israel and has trodden down the seed of Jacob, will live. And this because some from all the nations will be subjected to your people. But all those who have ruled over you or have known you will be given over to the sword."

My question concerns 72.3, which the critical text reads (I'm using a font called Estrangelo Edessa, so if you don't have Syriac fonts installed, it might not show correctly):

ܗܠܝܢ ܗܟܝܠ ܐܬܝܢ ܥܠ ܥܡܡܐ ܐܝܠܝܢ ܕܥܬܝܕܝܢ ܕܢܚܘܢ ܡܢܗ

Gurtner translates this as, "These things, therefore, will come upon the nations which are not spared by him". But the difficulty for me concerns the second to last word in the sentence which is from the root ḥy’, which is of course in this form means to give life, save, or spare. If my reading is right, it should be read: "These things, therefore, will come upon the nations which are spared/saved by him."

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