This paper concerns the rendering of Hebrew “terebinth” as “valley,” and the mention of a “valley” near Hebron in a plus. In the Targums, the Vulgate and Aquila the “terebinths” of Moreh and Mamre (Gen 12:6; 18:1; Deut 11:30) are represented by a term meaning “valley.” According to the standard analysis this rendering avoids the association of these precincts with non-monotheistic cults. However, this theory fails to explain the use of the term “valley.” Midrashic comments point to anti-Samaritan polemics, based on Deut 11:30, where “terebinth” and “plain,” Arabah, meet. Furthermore, a plus of the Septuagint and the Samaritan mentions “the valley of Hebron” (Gen 23:2; cf. the gloss, 37:14). These constellations are related to a particular sensitivity for the status of the Mamre region in the Persian era and beyond as it belongs to Idumaea, and its religious practice includes non-monotheistic cults.
- Samaritan Pentateuch