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Interpretation of "Parthenos"
by Laurie Hall
(Valley Center, CA, USA)
"Later, that prophecy was translated into Greek by the Septuagint using a word that can only mean virgin, not young lady."
This is not an accurate statement; the word in question, "parthenos", was used in Genesis 34 to describe Dinah, AFTER SHE HAS BEEN RAPED! AFTER her rape at the hands of Shechem, Dinah is described as a "parthenos". Clearly, at the time this was translated, the word "parthenos" had an alternate meaning of "damsel" or "young lady", or perhaps that was the ENTIRE meaning at that point, and the word "parthenos" took on a different definition, that of "virgin" later, the way "maiden" did. We cannot deny that the usage with regard to Dinah invalidates the statement that "parthenos" can ONLY mean "virgin".
It is said that, of the Septuagint, only the Pentateuch is reliably translated; that the rest of the books are not as reliably translated. As Genesis is one of the reliably translated books and Isaiah is not, caution is required in evaluating the usage of that specific word in Isaiah 7:14.
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