This is the concluding part of our series ‘How we got our Old Testament Bible’. It also ties in with our ‘How God Governs From Heaven’ series which covers the Biblical narrative from Genesis to Revelation about the battle for rulership over the nations of the Biblical world.
Never did we think that a few questions about the nations being divided according to sons of God versus the sons of Israel on our Facebook group would lead us down this path. It has been an amazing path of exploration into the history of the Alexandrian Septuagint (LXX), the Masoretic Text (MT) and the rise of Rabbinical Talmudic Judaism.
Once you understand the history of how we got our Old Testament it becomes much easier to comprehend why there is a difference between the MT and LXX in Deuteronomy 32 and the reason behind the bias in the MT.
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, He fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. ~ Deuteronomy 32: 8 ESV
When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, When He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the sons of Israel. ~ Deuteronomy 32: 8 NASB
One of our readers raised a concern in regards to our blog post claiming that in Deuteronomy 32, Yahweh set the boundaries of the nations according to the number of the Children of Israel and not the sons of God. This would be because he was reading from a translation that was based on the Masoretic Text and NOT, as we had quoted, the sons of God, based on the LXX.
Out To Steal Yeshua’s Inheritance
Two questions need to be asked:
- Why would God divide the nations up according to the sons of Israel when Israel didn’t even exist at this stage?
The nations were divided at Babel and it was an event that occurred before the call of Abraham, who was the father of the nation of Israel.
For thou art a holy people to the Lord thy God, and the Lord thy God has chosen thee to be a peculiar people to himself of all the nations on the face of the earth. Deuteronomy 14:2 LXX
- Why would God divide up the nations according to the sons of Israel in the first place?
Our understanding is that the Rabbinical Talmudists wrote their butchered translation to validate themselves ruling over the Gentile nations.
Earlier on in our series: The Rise of the False Prophet and in our last blog post we saw how the scribes usurped the authority of the Mosaic Law and the leadership over the nation of Israel and how Yeshua exposed them.
God Most High created the nation of Israel to be a light to the nations. The plan was to showcase a nation under His sovereign rule that was to be a natural expression of who He is Himself.
The contrast between the nation of Israel under His leadership and the nations of the biblical world would become apparent if the Hebrews obeyed him and lived according to His statutes. Ultimately this would lead to His son’s inheritance of the nations.
Under the influence of the antichrist spirit, the Talmudic scribes believed the nations to be their inheritance, their destiny and not Yeshua’s. This belief sets the foundation for the bias of their translation of the Old Testament. Unless we understand this bias we will never fully appreciate the differences between the two translations.
The Discovery Of The Dead Sea Scrolls
Up until 1947, most scholars saw the LXX as inferior to the Masoretic Text but with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, all that changed. With that in mind let’s look at the verses and call on the Dead Sea Scrolls to help us to determine which is closer to the original Hebrew translation and therefore more accurate.
We can see the difference here between the LXX and Masoretic translations compared to the Dead Sea Scrolls …
- Dead Sea Scroll 4Q45 Deuteronomy 32:8: ‘When the Most High divided the nations, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the nations according to the number of the sons of God,’
- LXX Deuteronomy 32:8: ‘When the Most High divided the nations, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the nations according to the number of angels of God‘
- KJV Masoretic Text Deuteronomy 32:8: ‘When the Most High divided the nations, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the nations according to the number of the children of Israel.’
- Why does the LXX use the words ‘Angels of God’, which the ESV translates as ‘sons of God’ but the Masoretic text uses the words ‘sons of Israel’?
The King James Version based on the Masoretic Text was written prior to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. But the English Standard Version and other modern versions were written afterward and often incorporate what has been found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
- ESV Translation When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.
However, the overriding evidence above shows that the LXX reflects the original Hebrew text much better and more accurately than the Masoretic Text in Deuteronomy 32.
Another example is in Psalm 29:1 where the LXX and ESV translate from the Hebrew as sons of God / heavenly beings, unlike the Masoretic Text.
LXX: Bring to the Lord, ye sons of God
MT: Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty,
ESV: Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings
Yeshua Is Superior To The Angels / Other gods
Carrying on in Deuteronomy 32 we discover that text is omitted in the Masoretic Text.
- Dead Sea Scroll DSS 4QDt Deuteronomy 32:43: Rejoice with him, O heavens; bow down to him, all gods, for he avenges the blood of his children and takes vengeance on his adversaries. He repays those who hate him and cleanses his people’s land.
- LXX Deuteronomy 32:43: Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people.
- Masoretic Text Deuteronomy 32:43: Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people, <———the text is missing———-> for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people. ~ KJV
The Masoretic Text completely omits the phrase ‘and let all the angels of God worship him’ in the Old Testament, as Rabbi Akiva and his students deleted a key passage pointing to the deity of Yeshua. (side note: the Masoretic Text also changes ‘sons’ in LXX to ‘servants’.)
BUT in the New Testament, Hebrews 1:6 cross-references the LXX of Deuteronomy 32:43 and quotes exactly the same as the LXX to show that Yeshua is superior to the angels/other gods.
And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. ~ Hebrews 1:6 KJV
If you go looking in any bible that uses the Masoretic Text as the base for their translation you will be unable to find the source that the writer of Hebrews is quoting from.
We believe that the Alexandrian Septuagint translation of the Old Testament is beyond doubt, the most trusted and accurate translation of the verses above too.
Furthermore, their Talmudic bias of world domination also ties in with their interpretation of Psalm 82.
Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations. ~ Psalm 82: 8 LXX
On our post, The Sons of God versus the Judges of Israel we said that this Psalm is about the wicked Elohim (lesser gods) that Yahweh, Himself rules over. But now the Jews want it to be speaking about their own magistrates and judges. However, Yeshua was to inherit and rule over the nations, NOT the Jews, as the Kingdom of God and NOT the nation of Israel, infiltrates the nations and restores order.
Yeshua Is To Take Direct Control Over The Cosmos And The Nations
For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, whose government is upon his shoulder: and his name is called the Messenger of great counsel: for I will bring peace upon the princes, and health to him. ~ Isaiah 9:6 LXX
The whole biblical narrative is about taking back the nations that are in chaos due to the rule of the sons of God. The Apostle Paul wrote:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. ~ Ephesians 6:12
Our conclusion and the conclusion of many others that have studied history is that the Masoretic text has been deliberately written to conceal the following as much as possible:
- Yeshua as the fulfillment of the Messianic scriptures
- Yeshua’s inheritance is in the nations.
Please note that in this series we are not implying that it is harder for Gentiles to come to a saving knowledge of Yeshua because most of our modern Bibles use the Masoretic Text. Most gentiles come to Yeshua through the personal witness of others and are then given the bible to read and their focus will be solely on the New Testament.
However, for Jews, they already have a knowledge of the bible and it is through the scriptures themselves that they have to be led to Yeshua. This makes it much harder for Gentile Christians to show Jews that Yeshua is the Christ, the fulfillment of the old scriptures using the Masoretic text. So successful were the early Christians in leading Jews to Yeshua using the LXX that it caused the Rabbinic Jews to rewrite the Old Testament and destroy the original LXX translations. This causes us to wonder how much more successful we could be witnessing to Jews if we went back to the original LXX, the Alexandrian Septuagint.
Given the purpose and process that went into the creation of the Masoretic Text, we must also ask and answer this question.
- How can the Masoretic text be the inspired word of God?