Translating Misfortune: The Textual Problem of 1 Samuel 1:15 in the MT and the LXX

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1 Scopus citations


The divergence between the MT and LXX in Hannah's response to Eli's accusation of drunkenness (1 Sam 1:15) has long puzzled scholars. The Greek phrase, "I am a woman who has a hard day", is an improbable rendering of the Hebrew ("hard of spirit"). This is commonly explained by way of a hypothetical Vorlage, (lit., "hard of day"), which consequently becomes the preferred reading over against the MT. The central argument is that would mean "obstinate" or "stubborn", which is not fitting for Hannah's speech. This brief study problematizes this prevailing view, arguing instead that the MT appropriately characterizes a misfortune perceived by Hannah to be the result of God's action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-653
Number of pages5
JournalVetus Testamentum
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • 1 Samuel 1:15
  • Hannah
  • Hebrew Bible
  • Old Testament
  • Septuagint
  • textual criticism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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