Did the Greek Septuagint ignore the Hebrew name change of Mikayehu מִיכָֽיְהוּ to Mikah מִיכָ֔ה in Judges 17:4-5?

  • When we read "Judges" / שֹֽׁפְטִ֑ים Shoftim 17:4-5 in the Tanakh, we notice God's Name and influence leaves Mikayehu מִיכָֽיְהוּ once he decides to bring idols into his house. - Mikayehu מִיכָֽיְהוּ changes to become simply Mikah.

Judges / שֹֽׁפְטִ֑ים Shoftim 17:4-5 [MT]

[4] "And he restored the money to his mother. And his mother took two hundred pieces of silver, and gave them to the founder, and he made thereof a graven image and a molten one, and it was in the house of **Mikayehu**." ( וַיָּ֥שֶׁב אֶת־הַכֶּ֖סֶף לְאִמּ֑וֹ וַתִּקַּ֣ח אִמּוֹ֩ מָאתַ֨יִם כֶּ֜סֶף וַתִּתְּנֵ֣הוּ לַצּוֹרֵ֗ף וַֽיַּעֲשֵֹ֙הוּ֙ פֶּ֣סֶל וּמַסֵּכָ֔ה וַיְהִ֖י בְּבֵ֥ית מִיכָֽיְהוּ )
[5] "Now the man **Mikah** had a house of idolatry. And he made an ephod and teraphim, and initiated one of his sons, who became his priest." ( וְהָאִ֣ישׁ מִיכָ֔ה ל֖וֹ בֵּ֣ית אֱלֹהִ֑ים וַיַּ֚עַשׂ אֵפוֹד֙ וּתְרָפִ֔ים וַיְמַלֵּ֗א אֶת־יַ֚ד אַחַד֙ מִבָּנָ֔יו וַיְהִי־ל֖וֹ לְכֹהֵֽן )


  • Yet in Judges 17:1-5 of the Greek Septuagint [https://www.blueletterbible.org/lxx/jdg/17/1/s_228001 ] , we only see the name " Μιχα " : representing both Mikayehu מִיכָֽיְהוּ and the idolatrous Mikah מִיכָ֔ה.

  • Why did the Greek Septuagint choose to ignore the author's intentional name change? - Is Greek not capable of transliterating the title: Mikayehu מִיכָֽיְהוּ ?

  • 1
    Thanks did not know this! All other has the classic iah instead of yah (Isaiah, Nehemiah, Zackariah, Zepeniah, Uziah, Josiah. He should have been named as them to Mikaiah. Jul 5 at 8:40

This is what I observe in the texts of the LXX -

Swete; Brenton; Rahlfs 'A' LXX text

  • Judges 17:4 - ... καὶ ἐγενήθη ἐν οἴκῳ Μειχαία.
  • Judges 17:5 - καὶ ἐγενήθη ἐν οἴκῳ Μειχαία ... .

Rahlfs 'B' LXX text:

  • Judges 17:4 - ... καὶ ἐγενήθη ἐν οἴκῳ Μιχα.
  • Judges 17:5 - καὶ ἐγενήθη ἐν οἴκῳ Μιχα ... .

Thus, there appears to be some variation in the text of the LXX at this point, which none of the text-forms footnote nor explain.


This is not about the LXX, but all english translations view Mika as an abbreviated form of Mikahyauh and thus transliterate to the same target, as per standard convention. I am not aware of any interpretative tradition which views this as a name change akin from Abram to Abraham or Jacob to Israel nor does the text declare it to be so. It's the same name, just abbreviated.

Here is LEB:

and it was in the house of Micah. The man Micah had for himself a shrine, and he made an ephod and teraphim,

Here is NASB:

and they were in the house of Micah. And the man Micah had a shrine and he made an ephod and household idols and consecrated one of his sons,

Here is the KJV:

and they were in the house of Micah. And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim,

And here is the ESV:

And it was in the house of Micah. And the man Micah had a shrine,

Here is NIDOTTE:

Micaiah or Micah is an abbreviated form of מִיכָיָהוּ, which means Who is like Yahweh? The persons bearing this name in the OT are the following:

  1. Micah from the hill country of Ephraim (Judg 17:1–18:27) took consecrated silver from his mother. After he had returned the money to her, she gave him part of it, from which a silversmith made a graven and a molten image. He also made an ephod and teraphim and placed them in a private shrine. He appointed his son as his priest but replaced him later with a Levite from Bethlehem. He lost both his priest and cultic objects to passing Danites, who installed them in a shrine in Dan. This story reflects a period in which the Yahweh religion was not yet centralized (Miller & Hayes, 108–9). It possibly also explains the origin of the apostatic cult practiced in Dan later (1 Kgs 12:28–31).

VanGemeren, W. (Ed.). (1997). New international dictionary of Old Testament theology & exegesis (Vol. 4, p. 940). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

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