Original Research - Special Collection: Septuagint

τὸ δικαίωμα ἔμπροσθεν ἐν τῷ Ἰσραήλ (Ruth 4:7): An analysis of the Greek rendering of the Hebrew legal aspects in Ruth 4:7 for characterising the Greek translator’s translation technique

Beatrice Bonanno
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 1 | a7473 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i1.7473 | © 2022 Beatrice Bonanno | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 February 2022 | Published: 30 May 2022

About the author(s)

Beatrice Bonanno, RSCS Institute, Faculty of Theology, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium


Being a literal and relatively precise translation of the Hebrew text, the Septuagint (LXX) of the book of Ruth attests divergences or variants in relation to the Masoretic text (MT) in the details of the text. These variants, if not inconsistent or linked to a different Hebrew Vorlage, could be explained as a translator’s choice to promote clarity, add a particular nuance or introduce innovation at the narrative level of the text. This is, for instance, the case in the legal process that runs through the fourth chapter of the book. Amongst all of the legal aspects illustrated in Ruth 4, this contribution presents a case study, focusing on the interjection in Ruth 4:7 that explains the legal custom. After analysing the equivalence between the Hebrew text and its Greek rendering, this article offers several new insights aimed to produce a more nuanced characterisation of the translation technique of the Greek translator of the LXX-Ruth and a clearer understanding of the nuances, innovations and specificities of the LXX-Ruth.

Contribution: This article contributes to the ‘Focus and Scope’ of HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies because it deals with both the textual history of the Bible – more precisely, with its process of translation from Hebrew into Greek – and the exegesis of the LXX. Indeed, it highlights new insights into the translation technique of the Greek translator of the LXX-Ruth and on the nuances, innovations and specificities of the LXX-Ruth.


Septuagint; LXX; Ruth; legal aspects; Ruth 4:7; translation technique


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