Ezekiel 27:9 לערב מערבך επι δυσμας δυσμων

Ezekiel 27:13 מערבך την εμποριαν σου

Ezekiel 27:19 במערבך εν τω συμμικτω σου

Even though these are three different Greek translations of מערב, they are all incorrect and the three homonyms are φόρημα 'freight', φυρμός 'mixture' and ἑσπερινός 'evening'.

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    – Dottard
    Jul 21, 2022 at 22:48
  • Quote English translation too, and mention which LXX version you used and whether editions have different reading etc.
    – Michael16
    Jul 22, 2022 at 4:48

2 Answers 2


We must recall that the original Hebrew was unpointed. Thus, מערב could be either, "merchandise", or "west".

Significantly, the word in Eze 27 only occurs in nine times in the OT and all in this chapter of Eze 27.

  • V9 - LXX - west
  • V13 - LXX - merchandise
  • V17 - LXX - trading
  • V19 - LXX - trading
  • V25 - LXX - trading
  • V27 (twice) - LXX - trading
  • V33 - LXX - merchandise
  • V34 - LXX - traders

Thus, it appears that the LXX is questionable in V9 where it prefers "west" of merchandise or equivalent.


The BDB lexicon shows six homonyms of the root ערב.

I. ערב TWOT1685, 1688, 1690 (√ of foll.; prob. *עָרֵב mix; NH עָרַב mix; so 𝔗 Pa. (often), Syriac ܥܪܰܒ (ʿrab) mix (rarely, in der. forms), ܥܰܪܽܘܒܳܐ (ʿarubo) mixture). -- Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (1977). In Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (p. 786). Clarendon Press.

II. עָרַב S6148, 6149, 6150 TWOT1686, 1687, 1687a, 1689 GK6842, 6843, 6844, 6845 vb. take on pledge, give in pledge, exchange ... -- Ibid.

III. [עָרַב S6148, 6149, 6150 TWOT1686, 1687, 1687a, 1689 GK6842, 6843, 6844, 6845] vb. be sweet, pleasing ... -- Ibid., p. 787.

IV. ערב TWOT1685, 1688, 1690 (√ of foll.; poss. be arid; -- Ibid., p. 787.

V. ערב TWOT1685, 1688, 1690 (√ of foll.; cf. Assyrian erêbu, enter, go in; erêb šamši, sunset; Arabic غَرَبَ (ğaraba) set (distinct from غَرَبَ (ğaraba) depart, = Sab. עֿרב withdraw, according to DHM 27), غَرْبٌ (ğarbun) place of sunset, west; Sab. מערבם, מערבי [not עֿ !] west, western, CISiv. p. 199 DHM; Ethiopic ዐርበ (ʿarba) set (of heavenly bodies), so Syriac ܥܪܶܒ; ܥܪܽܘܒܬܳܐ (ʿreb; ʿrubto) evening (Lag 64 f.); Zinj. מערב west; NH עֶרֶב = BH. Hence also Εὐρώπη, Europe, Lewy 139). -- Ibid., p. 787.

VI. ערב TWOT1685, 1688, 1690 (√ of foll.; cf. Arabic غَرِبَ (ğariba) be black, غُرَابٌ (ğurābun); Assyrian âribu, êribu; Aramaic ܥܽܘܪܒܳܐ (ʿurbo), -- Ibid. P.788.

BDB lists two homonyms of מַעֲרָב, one based on II and one based on V in the above. This form only occurs in Ezekial 27 (nine times).

I. מַעֲרָב S4627, 4628 TWOT1686c, 1689b GK5114, 5115 merchandise v. II. ערב. -- Ibid., p. 591

II. מַעֲרָב S4627, 4628 TWOT1686c, 1689b GK5114, 5115, מַעֲרָבָה west v. V. ערב. -- Ibid., p. 591

The translators of the Septuagint (LXX) did not have the Masura when translating the Old Testament, as we have today. Thus, there were more possibilities in the translation than seen in the LXX.

Figure 1. Chart of how LXX translates מַעֲרָב (generated with Logos Bible Software) enter image description here

  • I have assigned Greek to all the homonyms of ערב in Hebrew scriptures. ἀρέσκω "to please" κόραξ "raven" φύρω "mix" ἐρῆμος "desert" ἑρπετά "insect" ἐρύω "pledge" ἑσπέρα "west" φέρω "load" θάρσος "courage"
    – Lee Magee
    Jul 23, 2022 at 22:45
  • I also reassigned those Greek words to the correct Hebrew. συμμίγνυμι = התמסך "to mix together" ἐμπορεύομαι = רכל "to traffic, import" δύω (בוא) > δυσμή (מבוא) "the setting of the sun" מבוא השמש (Deuteronomy 11:30)
    – Lee Magee
    Jul 24, 2022 at 0:06

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