The date was chosen because, as Robert Kraft noted, it is “the one date we know of from late antiquity on which LXX/OG/Aquila received special attention.” Emperor Justinian’s Novella 146 permitted the Jews of the Roman Empire to read the Scriptures in their synagogues in Greek, Latin, or “any other tongue which in any district allows the hearers better to understand the text”. Specifically, “We make this proviso that those who use Greek shall use the text of the seventy interpreters…”
Read some Greek today to celebrate!
If your LXX vocabulary isn’t particularly strong, you could even pick up the new Septuaginta: A Readers Edition that was published just this past year by Gregory R. Lanier, William A. Ross. The vocabulary is keyed to the NT frequencies, so it should be fairly workable for anyone who has had at least a year or two of Greek behind them.
Alternatively, you could also spend some time digging through some Greek language data in the LXX. That’s generally my modus operandi most days anyway.
Lately, I’ve been continuing my studies of ἰσχύ+INF and I’m now working through the LXX data. Here’s that data below. I’ll have more notes and commentary on it fairly soon, but other projects are currently taking up my free time.
ἰσχύω+INF: Non-translation Greek in the LXX
- ἄνθρωπος γὰρ ἐποίησεν αὐτούς, / καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα δεδανισμένος ἔπλασεν αὐτούς / οὐδεὶς γὰρ αὐτῷ ὅμοιον ἄνθρωπος ἰσχύει πλάσαι θεόν.
For a human made them / and a borrowed spirit formed them. / For no human has the ability to formed a god for himself (Wis 15:16).
- καὶ κατὰ μηδένα τρόπον ἰσχύοντες αὐτὸν ἄγξαι
And by no way being able to pressure him [to renounce his faith] (4 Macc 10:7).
- ἀλλʼ ὅμως, καίπερ τοσούτων ὄντων τῶν περὶ φιλοτεκνίαν εἰς συνπάθειαν ἑλκόντων τὴν μητέρα, ἐπʼ οὐδενὸς αὐτῶν τὸν λογισμὸν αὐτῆς αἱ πανποίκιλοι βάσανοι ἴσχυσαν μετατρέψαι
But, nonetheless, though so such pulled at the mother in her feelings of maternal love, in none of them were the various tortures able to turn her away from her reason (4 Macc 15:11).
- ἐπειδὴ πάντα τρόπον διαβάλλων ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἔθνους οὐκ ἴσχυσεν κακῶσαι
When making all kinds of accusations [against Onias] before the nation, [Simon] was not able to cause injury (4 Macc 4:1).
- κατὰ μηδένα τρόπον ἴσχυεν καταλῦσαι διὰ τῶν δογμάτων τὴν τοῦ ἔθνους εὔνοιαν
In no way was he capable to end the goodwill of the nation through degrees (4 Macc 4:24).
- ὡς γὰρ οὐδὲν οὐδαμῶς ἴσχυσεν ἀναγκάσαι τοὺς Ἰεροσολυμείτας ἀλλοφυλῆσαι
For there was no way at all that he was able to compel the inhabitants of Jerusalem to adopt foreign customs (4 Macc 18:5).
- ἐκ τῶν ὁρωμένων ἀγαθῶν οὐκ ἴσχυσαν εἰδέναι τὸν ὄντα
From seeing good things, [humanity] is not able to know the One Who Exists (Wis 13:1).
- εἰ γὰρ τοσοῦτον ἴσχυσαν εἰδέναι / ἵνα δύνωνται στοχάσασθαι τὸν αἰῶνα, / τὸν τούτων δεσπότην πῶς τάχιον οὐχ εὗρον
For if they were able to know, / such that they could calculate eternity, / how is it they did not find the master of things sooner? (Wis 13:9)
ἰσχύω+INF: Translation Greek in the LXX
- καὶ νῦν ἰσχύει ἡ χείρ μου κακοποιῆσαί σε
And now my hand is capable of causing you harm (Lxx Gen 31:29)
יֶשׁ־לְאֵ֣ל יָדִ֔י לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת עִמָּכֶ֖ם רָ֑ע
There is strength in my hand to do you harm (Gen 31:29).
- εἶπενδὲἸωσὴφπρὸςτοὺςἀδελφοὺςαὐτοῦἘγώεἰμιἸωσὴφὁἀδελφὸςὑμῶν, ὃνἀπέδοσθεεἰςΑἴγυπτονἔτιὁπατήρμουζῇ; καὶ οὐκ ἐδύναντο οἱ ἀδελφοὶ ἀποκριθῆναι αὐτῷ· ἐταράχθησαν γάρ.
Then Joseph said to his brother, “I am Joseph! your brother, who was sold to Egypt! Is my father still alive?” And his brother were not able to answer him—for they were dismayed (Lxx Gen 45:3).
וְלֹֽא־יָכְל֤וּ אֶחָיו֙ לַעֲנ֣וֹת אֹת֔וֹ
And his brother were not able to answer him (Gen 45:3).
- οὐδυνήσεσθε ἀντιστῆναι ἀπέναντι τῶν ἐχθρῶν ὑμῶν, ἕως ἂν ἐξάρητε τὸ ἀνάθεμα ἐξ ὑμῶν
You will not be able to stand before your enemies, until you remove the cursed object from among you (Lxx Josh 7:13).
לֹ֣א תוּכַ֗ל לָקוּם֙ לִפְנֵ֣י אֹיְבֶ֔יךָ עַד־הֲסִירְכֶ֥ם הַחֵ֖רֶם מִֽקִּרְבְּכֶֽם׃
You will not be able to stand before your enemies until you remove the cursed object from your midst (Josh 7:13).
- καὶνῦνοὐδυνησόμεθα ἅψασθαι αὐτῶν
And now we are not able to touch them (Lxx Josh 9:25).
וְעַתָּ֕ה לֹ֥א נוּכַ֖ל לִנְגֹּ֥עַ בָּהֶֽם׃
And now we are not able to touch them (Josh 9:19).
You cannot serve the Lord. (Lxx Josh 24:19).
לֹ֤א תֽוּכְלוּ֙ לַעֲבֹ֣ד אֶת־יְהוָ֔ה
You cannot serve the Lord (Josh 24:19).
- ἔτιεἰμὶσήμερονἰσχύων ὡσεὶ ὅτε ἀπέστειλέν με Μωυσῆς, ὡσαύτως ἰσχύω νῦν εἰσελθεῖν καὶ ἐξελθεῖν εἰς τὸν πόλεμον
I am still today as strong as when Moses sent me, just so I am now able enter and go out into battle. (Lxx Josh 14:11).
עוֹדֶ֨נִּי הַיּ֜וֹם חָזָ֗ק כַּֽאֲשֶׁר֙ בְּי֨וֹם שְׁלֹ֤חַ אוֹתִי֙ מֹשֶׁ֔ה כְּכֹ֥חִי אָ֖ז וּכְכֹ֣חִי עָ֑תָּה לַמִּלְחָמָ֖ה וְלָצֵ֥את וְלָבֽוֹא׃
I am still today as strong as I was on the day Moses sent me. My strength is now as my strength was then, for war, and for going and coming (Josh 14:11).
- τίςἰσχύσει οἰκοδομῆσαι αὐτῷ οἶκον;
Who is able to build him a house? (Lxx 2 Chron. 2:5)
וּמִ֤י יַעֲצָר־כֹּ֙חַ֙ לִבְנֽוֹת־ל֣וֹ בַ֔יִת
Who has the strength to build a house for him? (2 Chron. 2:5)
- τὸπλῆθοςπολὺκαὶὥραχειμερινή, καὶοὐκἰσχύσομεν στῆναι αἴθριοι
The multitude is great and the season is winter and we will not be able to stand in the open air (EsdA 9:11).
ἀλλὰ ὁ λαὸς πολύς, καὶ ὁ καιρὸς χειμερινός, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν δύναμις στῆναι ἔξω.
But the people are many and the season is winter and there is no strength to stand outside (EsdB 10:14).
אֲבָ֞ל הָעָ֥ם רָב֙ וְהָעֵ֣ת גְּשָׁמִ֔ים וְאֵ֥ין כֹּ֖חַ לַעֲמ֣וֹד בַּח֑וּץ
But there are many people and it is the rainy season there is not the strength to stand out in the open (Ezra 10:13).
- μὴοὐκἰσχύειἡχείρμουτοῦῥύσασθαι; ἢοὐκἰσχύωτοῦἐξελέσθαι;
Is not my hand capable of rescue? Or am I not able to deliver? (LxxIsaiah 50:2)
הֲקָצ֨וֹר קָצְרָ֤ה יָדִי֙ מִפְּד֔וּת וְאִם־אֵֽין־בִּ֥י כֹ֖חַ לְהַצִּ֑יל
Is my hand so short that it cannot ransom or am I not strong enough to deliver? (Isaiah 50:2)
- Ὦθάνατε, ὡςπικρόνσουτὸμνημόσυνόνἐστιν / ἀνθρώπῳεἰρηνεύοντιἐντοῖςὑπάρχουσιναὐτοῦ, / ἀνδρὶἀπερισπάστῳκαὶεὐοδουμένῳἐνπᾶσιν / καὶἔτιἰσχύοντιἐπιδέξασθαιτροφήν.
O Death, how bitter the reminder of you is, / for a man living peacefully among his possessions / a man undistracted and prosperous in everything / and still is able to receive a meal (Lxx Sirach 41:1).
- κατορθώσωτὴνβασιλείαναὐτοῦἕωςαἰῶνος, ἐὰνἰσχύσῃτοῦφυλάξασθαιτὰςἐντολάςμουκαὶτὰκρίματάμου
I will make his kingdom prosper forever, if he is able to keep my commands and my judgments (Lxx 1 Chron 28:7).
Who am I and who are your people that we should be capable to prepare for you as per these things? (Lxx 1 Chron. 29:14)
וְכִ֨י מִ֤י אֲנִי֙ וּמִ֣י עַמִּ֔י כִּֽי־נַעְצֹ֣ר כֹּ֔חַ לְהִתְנַדֵּ֖ב כָּזֹ֑א
But who am I and who are my people that we should have the strength to offer such things? (1 Chron. 29:14)
…being capable to be in the house of the king (Lxx Dan 1:4).
וַאֲשֶׁר֙ כֹּ֣חַ בָּהֶ֔ם לַעֲמֹ֖ד בְּהֵיכַ֣ל הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ
…who are capable in them to stand in the palace of the king (Dan 1:4).