1

After clearing the Temple, when the children cry out "Hosanna to the Son of David" the chief priests and the scribes protest and Jesus responds by citing from the Psalms:

and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” (Matthew 21:16) [ESV]

καὶ εἶπον αὐτῷ Ἀκούεις τί οὗτοι λέγουσιν ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς λέγει αὐτοῖςΝαί οὐδέποτε ἀνέγνωτε ὅτι Ἐκ στόματος νηπίων καὶ θηλαζόντων κατηρτίσω αἶνον (Matthew 21:16)

ἐκ στόματος νηπίων καὶ θηλαζόντων κατηρτίσω αἶνον ἕνεκα τῶν ἐχθρῶν σου τοῦ καταλῦσαι ἐχθρὸν καὶ ἐκδικητήν (Psalm 8:2 LXX)

Later Jesus tells a parable and finishes with a second quotation from the Psalms:

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? (Matthew 21:42)

λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς οὐδέποτε ἀνέγνωτε ἐν ταῖς γραφαῖς λίθον ὃν ἀπεδοκίμασαν οἱ οἰκοδομοῦντες οὗτος ἐγενήθη εἰς κεφαλὴν γωνίας παρὰ κυρίου ἐγένετο αὕτη καὶ ἔστιν θαυμαστὴ ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν Matthew (21:42)

λίθον ὃν ἀπεδοκίμασαν οἱ οἰκοδομοῦντες οὗτος ἐγενήθη εἰς κεφαλὴν γωνίας παρὰ κυρίου ἐγένετο αὕτη καὶ ἔστιν θαυμαστὴ ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν (Psalm 118:22-23 LXX)

Finally, Matthew records a third instance of Jesus quoting from the Psalms:

“‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’? (Matthew 22:44)

εἶπεν κύριος τῷ κυρίῳ μου κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου ἕως ἂν θῶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου ὑποκάτω τῶν ποδῶν σου (NA28)

...εἶπεν κύριος τῷ κυρίῳ μου κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου ἕως ἂν θῶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου ὑποπόδιον τῶν ποδῶν σου (Psalm 110:1 LXX)

εἶπεν ὁ κύριος τῷ κυρίῳ μου κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου ἕως ἂν θῶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου ὑποπόδιον τῶν ποδῶν σου (Majority Text)

The NA28 has variations from the LXX, most significantly ὑποκάτω replaces ὑποπόδιον. (The majority of manuscripts follow the LXX verbatim).

The better rendering of the Hebrew הֲדֹ֣ם into Greek is ὑποπόδιον [footstool] as reflected in the LXX. Given this and the two previous occasions where Jesus cited the LXX verbatim, ὑποκάτω [underneath] seems doubtful.1

If ὑποκάτω is correct, then the original writer of Matthew is the source of the alteration of the LXX in order to use the less accurate ὑποκάτω and this variation2 offers the opportunity to assess the accuracy of manuscripts using hermeneutics by considering the two aspects of the change:

  1. What would Matthew convey by using ὑποκάτω rather than ὑποπόδιον?
  2. What would a New Testament copyist accomplish by replacing ὑποπόδιον with ὑποκάτω?

Notes:
1. My opinion is the Majority Text is right.
2. The same manuscript issue occurs at Mark 12:36 without the other citations from the Psalms.

1

There are multiple issues underlying your question, I think:

  • Extent to which Matthew's account in Greek accurately reflects what Jesus probably said in Aramaic

  • Extent to which the Septuagint accurately reflects what is stated in the Psalm in Hebrew

  • Extent to what Jesus accurately represented the Hebrew Psalm when speaking it in Aramaic

  • Variants in the Greek texts of Matthew

  • Variants in the Greek texts of Psalm 110:1 (numbered 109:1 in the Septuagint)

We can't really judge the first three since (a) we don't really know what Jesus' literal spoken words on that occasion were; and (b) we don't have access to the proto-Hebrew text upon which the Septuagint is based. Given (a) and (b), we are left with (c) we don't truly know to what extent Jesus accurately represented the Hebrew text of the Psalm that was prevalent at the time (the oldest manuscripts we have of the Masoretic Text date to the 11th century AD).

So we are really left with observing differences between the Greek texts of Matthew and the Psalm and wondering whether the differences are significant.

As you have already noted, there are two variants to the verse in Matthew. The majority of Greek manuscripts read:

‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ’ (NKJV)

εἶπεν ὁ Κύριος τῷ Κυρίῳ μου, κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου ἕως ἂν θῶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου ὑποπόδιον τῶν ποδῶν σου;

A number of early manuscripts, including the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus Codices (4th c.) read, however:

‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under thy feet’? (RSV)

εἶπεν κύριος τῷ κυρίῳ μου· κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου, ἕως ἂν θῶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου ὑποκάτω τῶν ποδῶν σου

Although the reading in the Critical Text has an older manuscript witness than the reading in the majority of texts, this is by no means proof that the Critical Text reflects the "original" text. The reading may be older, but it still comes from a manuscript created 300 years after Matthew supposedly wrote his Gospel. There is no way to "prove" that any one Greek manuscript - regardless of its age - contains some hypothetical "original text".

In the end, though, I don't think there is that much of a difference if one is concerned with the meaning of the texts and not the literal words recorded on the page. Individual Gospel accounts were likely related hundreds or thousands of times verbally before the stories were set down on paper and circulated. It is very likely that each time a Gospel story was told, the speaker did not recite verbatim what was spoken the previous time the story was told. Assuming Matthew himself wrote his Gospel, we can be fairly certain that he did not reproduce verbatim exactly what he had said verbally in all places.

The majority reading is that the Lord's enemies would become a metaphorical footstool (ὑποπόδιον - noun). The alternate reading is that the Lord's enemies would be put under (ὑποκάτω - adverb) His feet (τῶν ποδῶν σου - in the genitive case, since ὑποκάτω takes the genitive case). In either case, the meaning is clear: Christ's enemies would end up under His feet.

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