After completing a cycle of Torah with Targum Onkelos, this year I am going to try to complete a cycle with Peshitta and Septuagint as well, or 𝕾 and 𝕲, as BHS refers to them. Here is something I noticed in Genesis chapter 1:
In verse 11 God commands the creation of trees:
וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים תַּדְשֵׁא הָאָרֶץ דֶּשֶׁא עֵשֶׂב מַזְרִיעַ זֶרַע עֵץ פְּרִי עֹשֶׂה פְּרִי לְמִינוֹ אֲשֶׁר זַרְעוֹ־בוֹ עַל-הָאָרֶץ וַיְהִי־כֵן
And in verse 12 the command is fulfilled:
וַתּוֹצֵא הָאָרֶץ דֶּשֶׁא עֵשֶׂב מַזְרִיעַ זֶרַע לְמִינֵהוּ וְעֵץ עֹשֶׂה־פְּרִי אֲשֶׁר זַרְעוֹ־בוֹ לְמִינֵהוּ וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים כִּי-טוֹב
Here are the two verses in English (old JPS translation):
And God said: ‘Let the earth put forth grass, herb yielding seed, and fruit-tree bearing fruit after its kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth.’ And it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, herb yielding seed after its kind, and tree bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
Note the difference between the two verses that I have highlighted. This is picked up by the Midrash (Bereshit Rabba 5:9) as no mere verbal variation but as an incomplete fulfillment of God’s command by the earth, an original sin even earlier than Adam and Eve’s (explaining why the earth is also cursed in 3:17): God intended the trees to be literally “fruit trees” where even the tree itself was edible, but they only became fruit-bearing.
In the Septuagint the phrase is the same in both verses:
καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Θεός· βλαστησάτω ἡ γῆ … ξύλον κάρπιμον ποιοῦν καρπόν … καὶ ἐξήνεγκεν ἡ γῆ … ξύλον κάρπιμον ποιοῦν καρπόν
Rather to my surprise, neither BHK nor BHS mentions this as a variant reading. It could be just a harmonization by the translator, but it could also be a genuine variant text.
I checked The Biblical Qumran Scrolls: Transcriptions and Textual Variants, ed. Eugene Ulrich; (Brill, Leiden, 2010), and there is no corresponding variant listed there, but he does mention in the apparatus that it also appears in the old Latin version, Targum Neofiti and the Targum attributed to Jonathan.