The YLT, based on the Hebrew has:

2 Kings 17:11 YLT(i) 11 and make perfume there in all high places, like the nations that Jehovah removed from their presence, and do evil things to provoke Jehovah,

Brenton, based on the Greek, has:

2 Kings 17:11 Brenton(i) 11 And burned incense there on all high places, as the nations did whom the Lord removed from before them, and dealt with familiar spirits, and they carved images to provoke the Lord to anger.

Here's the Greek:

[2Ki 17:11 LXX] (11) καὶ ἐθυμίασαν ἐκεῗ ἐν πᾶσιν ὑψηλοῗς καθὼς τὰ ἔθνη ἃ ἀπῴκισεν κύριος ἐκ προσώπου αὐτῶν καὶ ἐποίησαν κοινωνοὺς καὶ ἐχάραξαν τοῦ παροργίσαι τὸν κύριον

2 Answers 2


Δ Βασ. 17,11 [4 King. 17:11]

καὶ(and) ἐθυμίασαν (they offered incense) ἐκεῖ (there) ἐν (in) πᾶσιν (all) ὑψηλοῖς (those high places) καθὼς (like) τὰ ἔθνη ( the [pagan] nations), ἃ (which) ἀπῴκισε (had removed) Κύριος (the Lord) ἐκ (from) προσώπου (of the face) αὐτῶν (their [face]), καὶ (and) ἐποίησαν (did) κοινωνοὺς (communicants) καὶ (and) ἐχάραξαν (they carved) τοῦ (to) παροργίσαι (enrage) τὸν (the) Κύριον (Lord)

There are two things happening here:

  1. “ἐποίησαν κοινωνοὺς” = did [themselves is implied] communicants, coummincants, partakers in all those pagan rituals, so they became infected with their sins (of pagans) and ungodliness

  2. ἐχάραξαν = carved, these are idiomatic expressions in Greek, to carve a route, decision etc. So it is: “they carved [the decision]”, is not in the text but it is implied that we are talking about a decision. To carve a decision or route in Greek means that your decision has been firmly established, exactly like carving on wood. If you carve on wood, is permanent, you cannot undo it. What decision? To enrage the Lord of course.

Credit to Greek Orthodox Scholars who have provided the interpretation transferred online http://www.imgap.gr/file1/AG-Pateres/AG%20KeimenoMetafrasi/PD/12.%20VasilionD.htm

LXX is the only acceptable text in the (Greek) Orthodox Church


The Greek grammar / syntax of the LXX does not make sense. Brenton tries to make sense but ἐποίησαν κοινωνοὺς can not really mean "dealt with familiar spirits". Koinwnous is m.pl.acc - it would have to be dative. And it wd still be very unnatural. Also, can koinwnos mean familiar spirit?

It is clear to me that the Greek translator read: חֲבֵרִֽים cheverim chever is sometimes (in LXX) translated as koinwnos. It usually has bad connotations. It means a member of a band, partaker, with connotations of magician.

The MT has: דְּבָרִים deverim it is only one stroke difference. From daleth to chet.

My guess is that the LXX reading was right. "did things" yasoo davarim is very weak. I think ra wicked may have been added later to aid the sense: "did wicked things".

ἐχάραξαν "carved (images)" doesn't seem to be in the hebrew at all. i would normally expect an object to charassw. I can't account for it.

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