Re: genitives

Randy Leedy (
Wed, 22 Jan 1997 09:03:05 -0500

Regarding my post on the Hebraistic use of Greek genitives, Lee R.
Martin wrote:

>>>I agree with you in theory, but the following example from the
Psalms would illustrate the proper word order in such a construct

a b c c b a
(Psalm 48) the mountain of the holiness of him = His holy mountain

a b c c b a
(Hebrews) the word of the power of him = his powerful word

a b c c b a
praise of the glory of the grace of him=praise of his gracious glory

Lee, there's something you're overlooking, and that is the fact that
the Ephesians example has three genitives where the others have two.
I would modify your model so it reads like this:

the praise of the glory of the grace of him

B, as I take it, is the abstraction modifying A, so I get "glorious
praise." "Grace" could, I suppose, be taken as an abstraction, but it
certainly doesn't modify "praise," and it seems awkward to me to take
it as modifying "glory." Your "gracious glory" just doesn't cut it
with me, but I can't quite put my finger on the reason. Rather,
"grace" seems to me to be best taken as an objective genitive after
"praise," and "His" as adnominal to "grace." The phrase ends up, in
my view, as signifying "the glorious praise of His grace."

I rather suspect that this analysis is open to objection. I've never
studied this phenomenon enough in Hebrew to know whether such strings
with 4 members exist, and, if so, how they seem to work.

In Love to God and Neighbor,
Randy Leedy
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC