|dc.description.abstract||It has been recognised for more than two hundred years that the basic style of poetry in the Hebrew Bible is parallelism, and its system has been minutely studied. More recently ethnographers have noted the same style in numerous ancient and traditional languages. Within the last half-century, an identical feature of parallelism has been found in classical Hebrew and one cognate language, as well as in several unrelated traditional languages. This feature, the presence of certain specific pairs of words in contiguous lines of verse, has attracted the interest of linguists, ethnographers, and biblical scholars. A concerted effort, which still continues, was started by Mitchell Dahood to collect the word pairs cognate between Ugaritic and classical Hebrew; before 1982, three volumes consisting of 1019 pairs were published as Ras Shamra Parallels. The widespread use of parallelism in traditional languages and its documented use in cognate languages before and after the heyday of classical Hebrew suggests that word pairs also are present. In order to determine to what extent, if at all, authors writing in the classical Hebrew style were aware of the nature and significance of word pairs, this study has been undertaken to assess the degree to which the translators of the Septuagint were consistent in their choice of words. Unusual consistency argues that the Seventy were aware of the special role of the specific words which form pairs.
A selection of Dahood's pairs was made consisting of the words that pair with "earth" (thirty in number) and those that pair with the thirty, totalling about 220. This number, about 20% of the total, is regarded as statistically significant. A concordance programme, AnyText, developed by Linguists' Software, Inc. was used to determine the number of occurrences of each of those words in the Hebrew Bible. The same programme was then used to find and record the references where the members of each word pair appeared in close proximity. Finally, each reference was checked against the Septuagint and the Greek translation of each member of the word pair was recorded.
Taken as a whole, translations were remarkably consistent. Those words which appeared many times as members of word pairs were usually translated in the same way wherever they appeared. Those which appeared in few word pairs were less consistent in translation, though the correlation was not absolute. A complex of word pairings that appeared frequently was identified and assessed for consistency of translation; those results confirmed what had already been found. It appears that the Seventy were aware in an implicit sense of the significance of word pairs.||