A. The Greek Equivalent of Tekhelet and Argaman Respectively in the LXX

In the LXX, the oldest Greek translation of the Bible, Tekhelet is rendered by Iakinthos, Argaman by Porphyra. A single exception has been pointed out:1 Numbers 4, 7 where Iakinthos represents beged Tekhelet (a garment of Tekhelet) of the Hebrew. On closer examination, however, the discrepancy vanishes altogether. The Greek version obviously reflects a Hebrew original differing from the Masoretic text: olo has nothing corresponding to it in our Hebrew copies. Is it not highly probable that the original lying before the translation had here beged kelil Argaman בגד כליל ארגמן? This is otherwise apparent; for it is scarcely imaginable that the translator engaged upon rendering the highest literary treasure of his nation would work so arbitrarily as to put Porphyros a word used by him several times in this chapter as the Greek equivalent of Argaman for Tekhelet, an expression rendered by Iakinthos throughout the rest of this very chapter. In our Hebrew text, it may be passingly noticed, כליל never occurs in association with ארגמן· In verse 13, where the Septuagint otherwise exhibits traces of a variant original, Imagys oloporphyron stand for our  .בגד ארגמן



  1.  Bochart, Brunius, Gesenius. Wetstein on Pollux VII, XII, Schmidt, Lewysohn Riedel et alia.

    Note the symmetry maintained by the Masoretic text: vv. 5-12 Tekhelet is ordered throughout for the furniture belonging to the Inner-Sanctuary (כלים שבפנים) Kelil Tekhelet (כליל תכלת) being assigned to the Holy Ark as the object of the highest veneration: vv. 13-14 Argaman is prescribed for the appurtenance of the Outer-Sanctuary (כלים שבחוץ).