Re: "KAI hINA" in Rev.5.2d (& possible Hebr parallels)

Carl W. Conrad (
Wed, 18 Sep 1996 08:16:38 -0500

At 8:21 PM -0500 9/17/96, Juan Stam B wrote:
>To: Carl W. Conrado, B-Greek and B-Hebrew
>From: Juan Stam
>Re: "KAI hINA" in Rev 6.2d (& possible Hebrew parallels)
>Thank you, Carlo, for your very helpful comments on Rev 6.2 (and for all
>your input to B-Greek. I joined the group a little over a week ago and I'm
>learning a lot). You're right of course that the header should have read
>6.2; also, in the 2nd line I meant Hebrew "infinitive absolute" (also
>called "internal accusative", Ges-Kautsch). I was impressed by your
>comparison to Jn 1.8 (ALL' hINA, & KAI hINA in Rev 6.2d), although the
>emphatic repetition of cognates is missing in Jn 1.8. But the analogy
>helps, as did your other comments.
>A friend of mine, doing a doctorate in OT at Cambridge, ventured another
>possible explanation. He reconstructed a hypothetical equivalent Hebrew
>text of "wayyetse wayyak hakkot" (or "wayyetse whikkah hakkot"). Since
>Hebrew WAW can mean both "and" (KAI) and purpose (hINA), he conjectured
>that the author, struggling to articulate his Hebrew thought into Greek
>words, simply decided to use both senses of WAW: "KAI" (more literal) and
>"hINA" (freer rendition).
>I later found an intriguing partial Hebrew parallel in a corrected reading
>that BDB proposes for 2 Kings 3.24b (p.646 bottom of 1st column): "and
>they went on defeating" the moabites (wayaboAu boA wehakkot). This is not
>an exact parallel either, but it has the two basic ideas of "go" and
>"conquer" and the emphatic repetition of cognates. It keeps me wondering
>whether the emphatic infinitive absolute of Hebrew (typically replaced by
>a participle in Greek) may still shed some light on this construction.
>Would you or any of the Hebrew experts want to comment on that?

My only comment before throwing this back to those really competent to deal
with the Hebrew (as I am not; I have only the barest fundamentals of
Hebrew) is that I am considerably LESS confident than I once was that
Semitisms are very important for understanding strange Greek constructions
in the NT, apart, of course, from direct citations from the LXX; I think
that there are indeed several Semitisms, but I am inclined more to think
there's a lot of Greek in the NT (more in some writers, obviously, than in
others) that is written by less sophisticated or less well-educated persons
who knew basic constructions but were simply not the most articulate
writers of Greek. And Edward Hobbs has about got me persuaded that the
Greek of Mark's gospel is considerably better than the Greek of John's
gospel. Revelation appears to be written by a person with much more to say
than the Greek he commands can say very eloquently. That's not unfair is
it? But I'm not sure how much of that want of eloquence in Revelation is
adequately explained by Semitisms.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR