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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : NOUNS, 1-14

A Grammar Of Septuagint Greek by Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare

NOUNS, 1-14

1. Disuse of the Dual. The Greek of the LXX has two numbrs, the singular and the plural. The dual, which was already falling into disuse in the time of Homer, and which is seldom addhered to systematically in classical writers, has disappeared altogether.

Gen.40:2 epi tois dusin eunouchois autou. Ex.4:9 tois dusi semeiois toutois.

Contrast with the above --

Plat. Rep.470 B epi duoin diaphorain. Isocr. Paneg.55 c peri toin poleoin toutoin.

2. Heis as Article. Under the influence of Hebrew idiom we find the numeral heis turning into an indefinite pronoun in the Greek of the LXX, as in Gen.42:27 lusas de heis ton marsippon autou, and then subsiding into a mere article, as -

Jdg.13:2 [Codex B] aner heis, 9:53 gune mia.2 K. [2 Sam.] 2:18 hosei mia dorkas en agro.2 Esd. [Ezra] 4:8 egrapsan epistolen mian. Ezk.4:9 angos hen ostrakinon.

There are instances of the same usage in the two most Hebraistic books of the N. T.

Mt.8:19 heis grammateus, 9:18 archon heis, 21:19 suken mian, 26:69 mia paidiske, Rev.8:13 henos aetou, 9:13 phonen mian, 18:21 heis angelos, 19:17 hena angelon.

Our own indefinite article a' or an' (Scotch ane) is originally the same as one.' We can also see the beginning of the French article in the colloquial language of the Latin comedians.

Ter. And.118 forte unam aspicio adulescentulam.

Plaut. Most.990 unum vidi mortuum efferri foras.

Apart from the influence of the Hebrew, heis is occasionally found in good Greek on the way to becoming an article. See L. & S. under heis 4. In German the indefinite article and the first of the numerals coincide, and so a German, in beginning to speak English, frequently puts one' for a.| In the same way a Hebrew learning to speak Greek said heis aetos and so on.

3. First Declension. In classical Greek there is a tendency for proper names, especially those of foreign origin, which end in the nominative in -a preceded by a consonant other than r, to retain the a in the genitive, e.g. Ledas, Andromedas, Komplegas (name of a Spanish town, App. VI De Reb. Hisp.43). In pursuance of this analogy we have such genitives as Ballas and Zelphas (Gen.37:2), Sousannas (Sus. O 30).

On the other hand, nouns in -a pure, or -a preceded by r, are in a few instances found in the LXX to take the Ionic form of the genitive and dative in -es and -e.

Ex.8:21 kunomuian . . . kunomuies, 15:9 te machaire. and Gen.27:40.1K. [1 Sam.] 25:20 autes epibebekuies epi ten onon.2 Mac.8:23, 12:22 speires.

It is said that in the Papyri speires is always used, never speiras.

The plural of ge is found in the LXX

Acc. gas 4 K. [2 Kings] 18:35. Gen gaion 4 K. [2 Kings] 18:35; Ps.48:11; Ezk.36:24; 2 Esd. [Ezra] 9:1 and three other passages. Dat. gais 4 K. [2 Kings] 10:11. gas 4 K. [2 Kings] 19:11. gaiais Dan. O 11:42.

4. Second Declension. theos has a vocative thee. Dt.3:24: Jdg.21:3, 16:28; Wisd.9:1. Usually, however ,the nominative is employed for the vocative, as in --

Ps.21:1 [21:2] ho Theos ho Theos mou prosches moi hinati enkatelipes me;

But in Matthew 27:46 this passage assumes the form --

Thee mou Thee mou hinati me enkatelipes;

The Attic form of this declension is of rare occurrence in the LXX. Laos and naos are the regular forms. Leos does not occur at all, and neos only in Second Maccabees. halos is common: but for that there is no non-Attic form, as it does not arise, like the others, on the principle of transpositon of quantity.

5. Third Declension. The word sknips (Ex.8:16) is interesting, as adding another instance of a noun-stem in -ph to the rare word katelips and nipha, which occurs only in the accusative in Hes. Op.533. Sknips is also found in the LXX with the stem sknip-.

6. Absence of Contraction. Many words are left uncontracted in the LXX which in Attic Greek would be contracted, e.g. --

Dt.18:11 epaeidon epaoiden. Prov.3:8 osteois. Sir.6:30 chruseos. Ps.73:17 ear.

7. Feminine Forms of Movable Substantives. The form basilissa for basileia was not approved by Atticists. It is comon in the LXX, whereas basileia does not occur. Cf. Acts 8:27. On the analogy of it we have Arabissa in Job 42:17, phulakissa in Song 1:6. The following also may be noted: --

genetis Wisd 7:12 A, technitis 7:22, mustis 8:4. hubristria Jer.27:31

8. Heteroclite Nouns.

aithale (Ex.9:8, 10) for aithalos, which does not occur.

halon (Hos.9:2), haonos (Jdg.15:5) for halos, halo. Cf. Mt.3:12, Lk 3:17 ten halona. In the LXX both halon and halos are of common gender. Thus Ruth 3:2 ton halona, 3:14 ten halona; Jug.6:37 te haloni; 1 Chr.21:15 en to halo, 21:21 ek tes halo. Josephus (Ant.5.9.3) has tes haloos.

gerous, gerei for geros, gera, but nominative always geras. For gerous, see Gen.37:3; Ps.70:9, 18; but in Gen 44:20 geros. For gerei see Gen.15:15, Ps.91:15, Sir.8:6, Dan. O 6:1. When one form is used, the other generally occurs as a variant. In Clement 1 Cor.63:3 we have heos gerous.

eleos, to for eleos, ho. Plural ta elee (Ps.16:7). The masculine form occurs in some dozen and a half passages (e.g. Ps.83:11; Prov.3:16, 14:22). In N.T. also and in the Apostolic Fathers the neuter is the prevailing form, e.g.2 Tim 1:16, 18; Tit.3:5; Hb.4:16; Herm. Past. Vis.2.2.3, 3.9.1, Sim.4.2; 1 Clem.9:1, 14:1; 2 Clem 3:1, 16:2; Barn. Ep.15:2. In Mt.9:13, 12:7, 23:23 the masculine form occurs, the two former being quotations from Hos.6:6, where the LXX has the neuter.

enedron (Jdg.16:2) for enedra. The former is quite common, the latter occurs only in Josh.8:7, 9; Ps.9:28.

luchnos, to (Dan. O 5:0).

nikos, to (1 Esdras 3:9) for nike. Cp.1 Cor 15:55, 57; Herm. Past. Mdt.12.2.5.

skotos, to for ho, occurs in the best Attic prose as well as in the LXX (e.g. Is.42:16) and in the N.T. (e.g.1 Thes.5:5). Cp. Barn Ep.14:6, 18:1.

The N. T. and the Apostolic Fathers afford other instances of heteroclites, which do not occur in the LXX. Thus --

zelos, to (Phil.3:6; 1 Clem.4:8, 11, 13; 6:1, 2; 9:1; 63:2, but in 5:2, 5 dia zelon; Ignat. Ad Tral.4:2).

plous declined like bous (Acts 27:9; Mart. S. Ign.3 eicheto tou ploos).

ploutos, to (2 Cor.8:2; Eph.1:7; 2:7; 3:8, 16; Phil.4:19; Col.1:27; 2:2).

tuphos, to (1 Clem.13:1).

9. Verbal Nouns in -ma.

a. The Abundance of verbal nouns in - ma is characteristic of Hellenistic Greek from Aristotle onwards. The following instances from the LXX are taken at random --

agnoema Gen.43:12 (6 times in all).

anomema 1 Ki. [1 Sam.] 25:28 (17 times in all).

dichotomema Gen.15:11 (5 times in all).

kataleimma Gen.45:7 (20 times in all).

hupsoma . . . gauriama . . . kauchema Judith 15:9

b. A point better worth noting is the preference for the short radical vowl in their formation, e.g. --

anathema Lvt.27:28 etc. So in the N.T. Acts 23:14; Rom.9:3; 1 Cor.12:3, 16:22; Gal.1:8, 9. In Judith 16:19 we have the classical form anathema. For the short vowel in the LXX, cp. thema, ekthema, epithema, parathema, prosthema, sunthema.

aphairema Ex.29:27; Lvt.7:4, 24 etc.

aphema 1 Mac.9:28. So kathema, Is.3:19, Ezk.16:11.

Gen.25:6 etc. So in N.T.

heurema Sir.20:9; 29:4.

hepsema Gen.25:29 etc.

sustema Gen.1:10 etc. So anastema. In Judith 12:9 anastema.

chuma (for) 2 Mac.2:24.

10. Non-Attic Forms of Substantives.

alopekas accusative plural (Jdg.15:4) for alopekas.

arkos (1 K. [1 Sam.] 17:34) for arktos, which does not occur. Cp. Rev.13:2 arkou.

dina (Job 13:11; 28:10) for dine.

eustron (Dt.18:3) for enustron. So in Jos. Ant.4.4.4.

epaoidos (Ex.7:11) for epodos, which does not occur.

klibanos (Ex.7:28) for kribanos. So also in N.T.

molibos (Ex.15:10), the Homeric form, for molubdos.

tameion (Ex.7:28: Jdg.3:24, 15:1, 16:12) for tamieion, which also occurs frequently. The shorter form is common in the Papyri.

hupseia (Tob.8:21) for hugieia. In later Greek generally hugeia is usual, but the fuller form prevails in the LXX.

cheimarros (1 K. [1 Sam.] 17:40) for cheimarrous.

11. Non-Attic Forms of Adjectives.

euthes, euthes, for euthus, eutheia, euthu, which also occurs frequently.

hemisus, -u is an adjective of two terminations in the LXX. hemiseia does not occur. Cp. Nb.34:14 to hemisu phules Manasse with Jos. Ant.4.7.3 kai tes Manassitidos hemiseia.

chalkeios, -a, -on, the Homeric form, occurs in Jdg.16:21, 1 Esd.1:38, 5 times in Job, and in Sir.28:20 for chalkous, chalke, chalkoun, which is very common.

argurikos 1 Esd.8:24 only. Cp. Aristeas.37, who has also elaikos, sitikos, charistikos (112, 37, 227).

aischunteros Sir.26:15, 35:10, 42:1 only.

sigeros Prov.18:18, Sir.26:14 only.

klepsimaios Tob.2:13 only.

Thnesimaios often used in the neuter for a corpse,' e.g.3 K. [2 Kings} 13:25.

12. Comparison of Adjectives.

agathoteros (Jdg.11:25, 15:2) is perhaps an instance of that tendency to regularisation in the later stages of a language, which results from its being spoken by foreigners.

aischroteros (Gen.41:19) is good Greek, though not Attic. Aischion does not seem to occur in the LXX.

engion and engistos are usual in the LXX, e.g. Ruth 3:12, 3 K. [2 Kings} 20:2, Enguteros does not seem to occur at all, and engutatos only in Job 6:15, 19:14.

plesiesteron adv. for plesiaiteron (4 Mac.12:3).

13. Pronouns. a. Classical Greek has no equivalent for our unemphatic pronoun he.' One cannot say exactly he said' in the Attic idiom. Autos ephe is something more, and ephe something less, for it may equally mean she said.' The Greek of the LXX gets over this difficulty by the use of autos as an unemphatic pronoun of the 3d person.

1 K. [1 Sam.] 17:42 kai eiden Goliad ton Daueid kai etimasen auton, hoti autos en paidarion kai autos purrakes meta kallous ophthalmon.

In the above the repeated autos is simply the nominative of the auton preceding. In a classical writer autos so used would necessarily refer to Goliath himself. For other instances see Gen.3:15, 16, 39:23: Nb.17:5, 22:22: Jdg.13:5, 16, 14:4, 17: 1 K. [1 Sam.] 17:2, 18:16. Winer denied that this use of autos is to be found in the N.T. But here we must dissent from his authority. See Mt.5:5 and following: Lk.6:20: 1 Cor.7:12.

b. As usual in later Greek the compound reflexive pronoun of the 3d person is used for those of the 1st and 2d.

Gen.43:22 kai argurion heteron enenkamen meth' heauton. Dt.3:7 kai ta skula ton poleon epronomeusamen heautois.1 K. [1 Sam.] 17:8 eklexasthe heautois andra.

So also in Aristeas 3, 213, 217, 228 (heauton = seauton), 248. This usage had already begun in the best Attic. Take for instance -

Plat. Phoedo 91 C hopos me ego... hama heauton te kai humas exapatesas, 78 B dei hemas eresthai heautous, 101 D su de dedios an... ten heautou skian.

Instances abound in N.T.

Acts 23:14 anethematisamen heautous, 5:35 prosechete heautois.

c. A feature more peculiar to LXX Greek is the use of the personal pronoun along with the reflexive, like the English me myself,' you yourselves,' etc.

Ex.6:7 kai lempsomai emauto humas laon emoi, 20:23 ou poiesete humin heautois.

So also Dt.4:16, 23: Josh.22:16.

As there is nothing in the Hebrew to warrant this duplication of the pronoun, it may be set down as a piece of colloquial Greek.

d. The use of idios as a mere possessive pronoun is common to the LXX with the N.T. e.g. -

Job 7:10 oud' ou me epistrepse eis ton idion oikon. Mt.22:5 apelthon, ho men eis ton idion agron, ho de epi ten emporian autou.

14. Numerals. a. dusi(n) is the regular form for the dative of duo. So also in N.T. e.g. Mt.6:24, 22:40: Lk.16:13: Acts 12:6. duein occurs in Job 13:20, duoin in 4 Mac.1:28, 15:2. Sometimes duo is indeclinable, e.g. Jdg.16:28 ton duo ophthalmon.

b. The following forms of numerals differ from those in classical use: -

deka duo Ex.28:21: Josh.21:40, 18:24: 1 Chr.6:23, 15:10, 25:10ff. So in N.T. Acts 19:7, 24:11. Cp. Aristeas 97.

deka treis Gen.17:25: Josh.19:6.

deka tessares Josh.15:36: Tob.8:20. So in N.T.2 Cor.12:2, Gal.2:1. Cp. Diog. Laert.7.55.

deka pente Ex.27:15: Jdg.8:10: 2 K. [2 Sam.] 19:17. So in N.T. Gal.1:18.

deka hex Gen.46:18: Ex.26:25: Josh.15:41.

deka hepta Gen.37:2, 47:28.

deka okto Gen.46:22: Josh.24:33b: Jdg.3:14, 10:8, 20:44: 1 Chr.12:31: 2 Chr.11:21.

The above numerals occur also in the regular forms -

dodeka Gen.5:8.

treis kai deka, triskaideka Nb.29:13, 14

tessares kai deka Nb.16:49.

pente kai deka Lvt.27:7: 2 K. [2 Sam.] 9:10

hekkaideka, hex kai deka Nb.31:40, 46, 52

hepta kai deka Jer.39:9.

okto kai deka 2 K. [2 Sam.] 8:13.

ennea kai deka 2 K. [2 Sam.] 2:30 only.

c. The forms just given may be written separately or as one word. This led to the tessares in tessareskaideka becoming indeclinable, e.g. -

2 Chr.25:5 huious tessareskaideka.

The same license is extended in the LXX to deka tessares.

Nb.29:29 amnous eniausious deka tessares amomous.

The indeclinable use of tessareskaideka is not peculiar to the LXX.

Hdt.7.36 tessareskaideka (triereas). Epict. Ench.40 apo tessareskaideka eton. Strabo p.177, 4.1.1 prosetheke de tessareskaideka ethne, 189, 4.2.1 ethnon tessareskaideka.

d. The alternative expressions ho ei-s kai eikostos (2 Chr.24:17) and ho eikostos protos (2 Chr.25:28) are quite classical: but the following way of expressing days of the month may be noted -

Haggai 2:1 mia kai eikadi tou menos.1 Mac.1:59 pempte kai eikadi tou menos. Cp.4:59.2 Mac.10:5 te pempte kai eikadi tou autou menos.

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