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to MT? In light of two factors, preference of the Greek seems doubtful. First, the character of the Septuagint Proverbs is such that

the greatest caution should be exercised in employing LXX to elucidate or emend difficult portions of MT. To use LXX in these circum- stances in order to recover an "original" Hebrew text is in fact to invent a Hebrew text which never at any time existed. . . "For the explanation of minor deviations in the LXX Proverbs from MT textual criticism has, indeed, very little help to afford, and any arguing which neglects the translator as a creative factor is very likely to lead astray." 81

In this case the Hebrew is not difficult to read or under- stand at all. The best reason to follow the Greek text may well be the desire to find cultic dimensions in the picture of the "strange woman."82

The second factor which argues against reading with the Greek text against the Hebrew follows from this character of the Greek text. Its translator(s) may have been fol- lowing an exegetical tradition which allegorically

81 McKane, pp. 34-35; in the last sentence of the above citation McKane is quoting G. Gerlemann (cf. G. Gerlemann, "The Septuagint Proverbs as a Hellenistic Document," OTS 8 [1950], 15-27; and Studies in the LXX, III: Proverbs (Lund: C. W. K. Gleerup, 1956). On p. 43 McKane lists Prov. 7:6 under his category, "Where the deviation of LXX from MT derives from exegetical presuppositions or from a striving after what are thought to be more fitting senti- ments than those expressed by MT."

82 The Syriac evidently agrees with the Greek (see BHS), but it may have been influenced by the LXX; cf. Eissfeldt, pp. 699-700.

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