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The most important translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek. As the story goes, the Egyptian king, Ptolemy II (309-246 B.C.), sought a copy of Jewish law for his library. Eleazer, the Jewish high priest, sent six scholars from each of the Twelve Tribes to Alexandria to work on the translation. Because of the number of the scholars involved, their joint co-operative production was called the Septuagint, abbreviated LXX. The early Christians used the Septuagint as a basis for their belief in Jesus as the Messiah. As time went on, it steadily became a Christian possession and Jews lost interest in it. (Etym. Latin septuaginta, seventy.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.