Proverbs 24:27, in the KJV, seems to suggest that he is giving advice on a de novo [from scratch] construction plan where the land is to be productive before attempting to build a house there:

KJV Pro 24:27 Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.

However, the LXX seems to be concerned with a renovation:

(LXX) ἑτοίμαζε εἰς τὴν ἔξοδον τὰ ἔργα σου καὶ παρασκευάζου εἰς τὸν ἀγρὸν καὶ πορεύου κατόπισθέν μου καὶ ἀνοικοδομήσεις τὸν οἶκόν σου.

The word ἀνοικοδομήσεις has a prefix of ἀν which usually means to REbuild rather than build new. This is, in fact seen where the word is used in Acts 15:16:

KJV Acts 15:16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

Is there a linguistic or contextual reason why the LXX has "rebuild" for the Hebrew "build"?

  • 1
    בנה includes the concept of rebuilding (or building up, as in adding an addition to).
    – user6503
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 21:07
  • 1
    Note that LXX Proverbs is a somewhat erratic translation, but in many parts is characterized as "very free". There often isn't, then, a close relationship between the Hebrew and Greek formulations. See Johann Cook's monograph, also the introducton to his translation for NETS for fuller explanation.
    – Dɑvïd
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 21:10
  • 1
    @Bʀɪᴀɴ—In the case of “rebuild,” it will likely be preceded or followed immediately by an adverb such as עֹוד (cp. Jer. 31:4) or a conjugation of שׁוּב (cp. Dan. 9:25). It would be interesting if you could provide an example otherwise.
    – user862
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 21:13
  • 2
    @SimplyaChristian - Psalm 147:2, God builds up Jerusalem (rebuilds it by gathering the outcasts). Also see Ezra 1:5, where those whose spirits were stirred by God "go up and rebuild the house of the Lord...".
    – user6503
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 21:25

1 Answer 1


While the Greek prefix ἀν- can certainly possesses the meaning of repetition (i.e., “again”), it can also mean “up.” Hence, the lemma ἀνοικοδομέω can be used in the sense of “to rebuild” but also “to build up” (i.e., a home is built from the ground up[wards]).

Accordingly, LSJ defines the verb ἀνοικοδομέω as,

A. build up, “τὰ χείλεα τοῦ ποταμοῦ . . ἀνοικοδόμηδε πλίνθοισι” Hdt.1.186.

2. wall up, “λαύρας καιναῖς πλίνθοισιν ἀ.” Ar.Pax100; “θύραν” Lycurg.128; πύλας dub.l. in D.S.11.21 (in this sense ἀποικ- is a freq. v.l.).

II. build again, rebuild, “πόλιν καὶ τείχη” Th.1.89, cf. Jusj. ap. Lycurg.81, X.HG4.4.19, etc.; “ἀ. χώραν” occupy again with buildings, D.S.15.66:—Pass., metaph., to be exalted, LXXMa.3.15.

  • (+1) Would the prefix have any significance in this context? Or is it just functioning as a straight synonym for "build"?
    – user10231
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 21:20
  • 1
    IMO, without an equivalent עֹוד or שׁוּב in the Hebrew text, I opine the LXX translator was simply using it in the sense of “build up” rather than “build again.” I might add that such a phenomenon would not be without precedent in the LXX. cp. Jer. 1:10, 18:9, 24:6; Hos. 2:6; Mal. 3:15; etc.
    – user862
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 21:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.