Easton's Bible Dictionary: Septuagint

The oldest Greek version of the Old Testament is the Septuagint, usually quoted as the LXX. Its origin is obscure. It derives its name from the popular notion that seventy-two translators were employed on it by the direction of Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, and that it was accomplished in seventy-two days, for the use of the Jews residing in that country. There is no historical warrant for this notion. It is, however, an established fact that this version was made at Alexandria; that it was begun about 280 BC, and finished about 200 or 150 BC; that it was the work of a number of translators who differed greatly both in their knowledge of Hebrew and of Greek; and that from the earliest times it has borne the name of “The Septuagint”, i.e., The Seventy. “This version, with all its defects, is of great interest because it preserves evidence for the text which is more ancient than the oldest Hebrew manuscripts; as the means by which the Greek Language was wedded to Hebrew thought; and, as the source of the great majority of quotations from the Old Testament by writers of the New Testament.

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