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The Curious Case of κύριέ μου κύριε in 2 Kingdoms 7: 18–29

From: Journal of Biblical Literature
Volume 132, Number 3, 2013
pp. 515-526 | 10.1353/jbl.2013.0045



Many redaction-critical analyses of David’s Prayer (2 Sam 7:18–29) attribute it—in varying degrees—to the primary Deuteronomistic Historian. But the use of the divine epithet [inline-graphic 01] throughout the prayer suggests a non-Deuteronomistic hand at work. Adding to the unexpected use of the epithet is the uniform but curious Greek translation of it in this isolated passage—κύριέ μου κύριε. The translation probably reflects an association with “my lord the king” or “my lord PN,” which is a common way of addressing royalty in DtrH. Such a mode of address fits naturally with the speaker’s frequent use of “your servant” as a self-referent in the prayer. Upon further reflection one can argue that the surprising use of this epithet points to a common aural tradition that predates the development of variant textual traditions and that the name itself most likely stems from a pre-Deuteronomistic redactional layer.

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