Ken M. Penner wrote:
kwrandolph wrote:I suspect the connection of צום with fasting is medieval.
I can speak to this suspicion, at least. The LXX already translates צום
consistently as νηστεύω, which meant going without food already in Homer's time.
Two implications: (1) the Greek translators were not in doubt about what צום
meant; (2) already it was understood to mean going without food in the centuries before Christ.
Thank you, Ken.
Using your answer as a guide, I decided to double check what you wrote, and yes, the Greek term seems to have had a constant meaning throughout its history.
But did the Hebrew term retain a constant meaning, or did it change when there were no more native speakers of the language? There were two centuries between when Biblical Hebrew ceased to be spoken as a natively spoken language, and when the LXX was written, long enough time for practices to change under the influence of exile and cognate language domination. But is there any way to verify this? I don’t know of any.
In closing, this is a term where most of its uses are in such vague contexts that a definitive understanding of its meaning cannot be worked out. It doesn’t seem to refer to fasting per se, but may have been connected to fasting in post exile Jewish practices.
Karl W. Randolph.