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Abstract

Building on the argument of an earlier contribution of James K. Aitken (2000), this article aims to explain why the Greek toponym Σαττιν does not translate the word הַ שּׁ טּים (Shittim) in LXX Micah 6:5. The Massoretic text reads ‘from Shittim to Gilgal’. The LXX translator uses σχοῖνος to appeal to all readerships. While the educated reader is aware of the location and significance of Shittim, these might not be obvious for the less educated majority. As the meaning of σχοῖνος varies (rush, reed, bramble, thorn, and a type of measure used in Egypt, or even a more generic bush), its interpretation changes as one contemplates in context each of these meanings. Ultimately, the simplest audience could read this extension of time/space of ἀπὸ τῶν σχοίνων ἕως τοῦ Γαλγαλ as referring to the whole history of Exodus, from the burning bush to Gilgal.
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