The Use of οἰκία/οἶκος in Greek Exodus: An Attempt to Understand Principles of Lexical Variation in Greek Exodus.

Within the Göttingen edition of the Old Greek translation of Exodus the translator employs οἰκία 21x and οἶκος 23x. In the LXX, only Greek Deuteronomy has a similar proportion of usage. οἰκία only renders בית but οἶκος renders other lexemes in five contexts. Beyond Exodus and Deuteronomy, the ratios tip overwhelmingly towards οἶκος, suggesting that the translators of Genesis, Leviticus and Numbers are employing a different strategy in rendering בית. This paper analyzes this variation in Exodus and proposes explanations for the choices that the translator makes in respective contexts. It is argued that the variation is not arbitrary or due to style, but for the most part reflects meanings of these terms reflected in papyri from that time. The results of this study might suggest that when the translator similarly employs cognate lexemes for the same Hebrew term, we should expect that he intended his readers to discern a meaningful difference.