Category Archives: neviim

Good News in the Tanakh

Just for my own edification, I’ve compiled all of the places where “good news” or “good tidings” (ευαγγελια, i.e. “gospel” in Greek) occurs in the Tanak:

2 Samuel 4:10; 18:25; 18:26; 18:27; 18:31
1 Kings 1:42; 2 Kings 7:9
Isaiah 40:9; 41:27; 52:7; 61:1
Nahum 1:15
Proverbs 15:30

For some reason, besides Nahum and Proverbs, these are all post-exilic books; at least their final forms are. 1 and 2 Samuel are technically 1 and 2 Kings, whereas 1 and 2 Kings are really 3 and 4 Kings – they are all the same “book”. Isaiah 1-39 were probably written before or during the exile (though their final forms are post-exilic), whereas 40-66 were written after.

In 2 Sam 18:26, 18:31 and Isaiah 40:9; 52:7 the word is one of the other forms of the noun (ευαγγελιζομενος, ευαγγελιζομενου) “good news”. Nahum 1:15 (2:1 LXX) and Isaiah 61:1 use a form I’ve never seen before (ευαγγελισθητω and ευαγγελισασθαι respectively) but in English the phrase is “one who brings good news” and “preach good news”. In the New Testament, “preach good news” is rendered as ευαγγελιζω (eua[n]ggelizo) which would be “I preach good news” or “I bring good news” (later Christians translate it as “I evangelize”).

Proverbs 15:30 seems to use the word καλα (good) instead of ευαγγελια before the phrase “cheering up” (ευφραινει). 1 Kings 1:42 uses the phrase αγαθα ευαγγελισαι. Which to me seems redundant, since agatha means “good” and euaggelisai means the past tense of the verb form of “bring good news”. 2 Kings 7:9 uses the word ευαγγελιας, another form of the phrase “good news”.

As a slight digression, the king named at 1 Kings 1:42 who is using the phrase αγαθα ευαγγελισαι is transliterated in the Greek as αδωνιας (Adonias). To me, this looked suspiciously like “Adoni” (lord in Hebrew) so I looked up the passage in English and the king’s name is Adonijah. This name means “My lord [is] Jah[ovah]”.

Anyway, I looked on Wiktionary about the Greek verb Ευαγγελίζω and it lists all of the variations of “good news”. There are at least a hundred from my brief estimation.

Another interesting thing is that, besides Proverbs, these are all books of Nevi’im (Prophets). Which would make sense of all the uses of the phrase “good news”.

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Posted by on October 29, 2009 in good news, neviim

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