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Home > Weekly Columns > Aramaic Thoughts > Archives >
Article for October 17, 2008

Aramaic Thoughts Archives
First available on October 17, 2008

The Peshitta of the Old Testament - Part 5

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Author Bio
Dr. Shaw was born and raised in New Mexico. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of New Mexico in 1977, the M. Div. from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1980, and the Th.M. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1981, with an emphasis in biblical languages (Greek, Hebrew, Old Testament and Targumic Aramaic, as well as Ugaritic).

He did two year of doctoral-level course work in Semitic languages (Akkadian, Arabic, Ethiopic, Middle Egyptian, and Syriac) at Duke University. He received the Ph.D. in Old Testament Interpretation at Bob Jones University in 2005.

Since 1991, he has taught Hebrew and Old Testament at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, a school which serves primarily the Presbyterian Church in America and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, where he holds the rank of Associate Professor.

 

The numbers in Genesis 5 differ in the Samaritan Pentateuch from those in the Masoretic (Hebrew) text of the Old Testament. The numbers in the Samaritan Pentateuch are shown in the following chart.

Patriarch

Age at Fathering

Additional Years

Total Age

Adam

130

800

930

Seth

105

807

912

Enosh

90

815

905

Kenan

70

840

910

Mahalalel

65

830

895

Jared

62

785

847

Enoch

65

300

365

Methuselah

67

653

720

Lamech

53

600

653

The numbers given in the Septuagint differ both from the Masoretic text, and from the Samaritan Pentateuch. The numbers in the Peshitta are the same as those in the Septuagint. It is possible that the Peshitta is based on a Hebrew text that differs from the Masoretic text, but it seems more likely that here, as in a number of other places, the Peshitta follows the Septuagint. These numbers are shown below:

Patriarch

Age at Fathering

Additional Years

Total Age

Adam

230

700

930

Seth

205

707

912

Enosh

190

715

905

Kenan

170

740

910

Mahalalel

165

730

895

Jared

162

800

962

Enoch

165

200

365

Methuselah

167

802

969

Lamech

188

565

753

In order to make it easier to compare the numbers, and arrive at a reasonable solution, the three sets of numbers are set out in comparison in the following table.

Patriarch

Age at Fathering

Additional Years

Total Age


 

MT

SP

LXX

MT

SP

LXX

MT

SP

LXX

Adam

130

130

230

800

800

700

930

930

930

Seth

105

105

205

807

807

707

912

912

912

Enosh

90

90

190

815

815

715

905

905

905

Kenan

70

70

170

840

840

740

910

910

910

Mahalalel

65

65

165

830

830

730

895

895

895

Jared

162

62

162

800

785

800

962

847

962

Enoch

65

65

165

300

300

200

365

365

365

Methuselah

187

67

167

782

653

802

969

720

969

Lamech

182

53

188

595

600

565

777

653

753

The reader may contemplate these numbers and their problems. Next week we will begin to suggest a solution.


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