Original Research - Special Collection: Septuagint

Euphemism in Biblical Hebrew and the euphemistic ‘bless’ in the Septuagint of Job

Douglas T. Mangum
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 4 | a6140 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i4.6140 | © 2020 Douglas T. Mangum | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 May 2020 | Published: 08 October 2020

About the author(s)

Douglas T. Mangum, Department of Hebrew, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


The Septuagint (LXX) generally approached the antiphrastic, euphemistic use of ברך [bless] with a literal translation of ברך with εὐλογέω. This choice produced a Hebraism, as the Greek verb is not generally used antiphrastically. The translators may have expected the Greek audience to track with the figurative usage. Job contains four of the six uses of this euphemism, and LXX Job is evenly split between the use of εὐλογέω and the use of more creative renderings. These creative renderings in Job 1:5 and 2:9 reflect the exegesis of the translator.

Contribution: The contribution of this research article is its focus on the phenomenon of euphemism in Biblical Hebrew and the implications of non-literal renderings in the Septuagint for a theologically-significant Hebrew euphemism. The article fits within the scope of the journal as a contribution to this special collection on the Septuagint.


Biblical Hebrew; Septuagint; Euphemisms; Tiqqunê soferim; Book of Job; Hebrew Bible; Translation technique; Translation studies


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