The entire verse of the Bible where the above Greek phrase is read really goes like this:
καὶ εἶπεν κύριος
ἵνα τί τοῦτο σὺ πέπτωκας ἐπὶ πρόσωπόν σου
And this means something like:
And the LORD said
'Get thee up;
wherefore, now, art thou fallen upon thy face?
And both this English translation and the Greek above mirror this:
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל
לָךְ; לָמָּה זֶּה, אַתָּה נֹפֵל עַל-פָּנֶיךָ
The Hebrew here is according to the Masoretic Text from the book called יְהוֹשֻׁעַ; the Greek according to a variant set of texts called Ἰησοῦς Β; and the English according to the Jewish Publication Society (JPS). The simple name for this verse (or for these translations of this verse) of the Bible is Joshua chapter 7 verse 10. As long ago as 1917, the JPS translators were inclined to say something, in their general Preface, before they presented their translation of this book of the Bible, the first after the five books of Moses, and this chapter of the book of Joshua, and this verse; they began and wrote this first paragraph:
And, only two paragraphs later, the JPS translators began "to point to the Septuagint, or the Greek translation of the Scriptures, the product of Israel's contact with the Hellenistic civilization dominating the world at that time." After mentioning the "the Arabic translation by the Gaon Saadya, when the great majority of the Jewish people came under the sceptre of Mohammedan rulers" and "the German translation by Mendelssohn and his school, at the dawn of a new epoch, which brought the Jews in Europe, most of whom spoke a German dialect, into closer contact with their neighbours," the translators, in 1917, wrote more about the problems of the Septuagint as they chose to translate the Masoretic text. The German neighbor Adolf Hitler was only 28 years old at the time, and he didn't know how to read English, so he probably was more inclined to read what Mendelssohn or more likely what Luther had translated of the Bible. I'm mentioning Hitler when I really might have mentioned an Egyptian ruler or a Greek imperial conquerer, who may have had the greatest influence on the post-Torah book being rendered into non-Hebrew, into Greek, in Alexandria, Egypt, some two-and-a-half centuries before there were any stories about "Jesus" and his "resurrection." (I'm now referring to one of the Egyptian kings named Ptolemy II Philadelphus -- notice the Greek in his name -- and to Alexander the Great, the disciple of Aristotle, the disciple of Plato.) The choices the JPS translators had to make had a history. And they moved forward into a history of divisions over the Bible, over the stories and the protagonists of them. Most of us forget, or remember selectively.The sacred task of translating the Word of God, as revealed to Israel through lawgiver, prophet, psalmist, and sage, began at an early date. According to an ancient rabbinic interpretation, Joshua had the Torah engraved upon the stones of the altar (Joshua 8:32) not in the original Hebrew alone, but in all the languages of mankind, which were held to be seventy, in order that all men might become acquainted with the words of the Scriptures. This statement, with its universalistic tendency, is, of course, a reflex of later times, when the Hebrew Scriptures had become a subject of curiosity and perhaps also of anxiety to the pagan or semi-pagan world.
Today, I'm interested in the different readings as if the Greek is separate from the Hebrew and the English must decide which way to go. The Greek? or The Jew? The Christian (whether Catholic or Greek Orthodox or Southern Baptist or emergent church) or the Jewish (whether more observant or less religious).
Growing up the child of evangelical Christian missionaries in a "pagan" land, in a family where the Bible governed separations of "father" and "mother"; "man" and "wife"; "preacher" and "congregation"; "head of the family" and "family"; "parent" and "kid"; "believer" and "unbeliever"; "saved" and "lost"; "heaven" and "hell"; "Christian" and "non-Christian"; "Prostestant" and "Catholic"; "Baptist" and "non-Baptist"; "Southern Baptist" and "non-Southern-Baptist"' "the Bible" and "fallible books"; "Christian Bible" and "apocrypha"; "New Testamnt" and "Old testament"; "the red letters" and "the black"; "Americans" and "the Vietnamese"; "Americans" and "the Communists"; "Republicans" and "Democrats"; "whites" and "blacks"; "American society" and "hippies"; "us" and "them" - today, I'm interested in the different readings. I'm interested in the separations and the histories of separations and, if possible, in the future end to unnecessarily separations. Does this interest of mine suggest no divisions, some universalism, a blind ecumenicalism? I don't know. I'm more interested in racisms and sexisms and religionisms that are subtle and not so subtle forms of spiritual and emotional and physical abuses. Those of you who have taken time to read what I've taken time to write know that I consider myself in recovery. Many of us, I think, are.
I worship my Creator today, our Creator, on this day by listening to an unspeakable name say to one Joshua/ Jesus: "Get thee up." I have no problem with that. In fact, after Moses, as one of the goyim reading the Holy Hebrew Scriptures, I see in many ways that this is part of the recovery, part of what mostly Christians would call resurrection even as most still would read this word in exclusion, for the "us" vs. "them" separations. But now we're getting way too personal. But if you read my blog, my outsider blogs, my posts on prostitutes and wordplays in the Bible, then this is personal, right? And you'll pardon me (I hope) for reading the Bible and for believing what I find myself on this day unable to help myself from believing.