Original Research - Special Collection: Septuagint

In reference to a Hebrew deity: Some remarks on Lamentations

Peter Nagel
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 1 | a7665 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i1.7665 | © 2022 Peter Nagel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 April 2022 | Published: 13 July 2022

About the author(s)

Peter Nagel, Department of Old and New Testament, Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa


Upon reading the Hebrew version of Lamentations in comparison to its Greek counterpart, one is immediately struck by the peculiarities, alternatives and variants when reference is made to a Hebrew deity. The Hebrew version alternates between יהוה and אדני, whilst the Greek version sticks to the term κύριος. The Hebrew version does, however, transition into an almost exclusive use of the term והיה from Lamentations 3:55 onwards. The immediate question that comes to mind is why certain terms were used at certain intervals of the text to refer to a Hebrew deity. This study aims at coming to a deeper understanding of whether the idiosyncrasies in relation to the terms were brought about by the nature and character of lamenting, their underlying theologies or whether it is a matter of a different Vorlage. This study will therefore offer a close reading of the Hebrew text in relation to the terms used to reference a Hebrew deity, whilst the focus will fall on the textual variants when it comes to the Greek version of Lamentations.

Contribution: This study contributes on three essential levels: (1) working towards a theology of the Septuagint in general and here specific the Greek version of Lamentations, (2) by focusing on the terms used to refer to a Hebrew deity in Lamentations, the study does contribute to a different perspective of reading the Lamentations text and (3) this study contributes towards a more nuanced understanding of a Hebrew deity in general and in the Septuagint in particular.


Lamentations; YHWH; Elohim; El; Adonaj; Kyrios; Hebrew deity


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