Xenophon, Oeconomicus Chapter 1, section 6 - Feedback for Wes Wood
Wes Wood wrote:“Or should we think that their possessions are also enemies?”
Sorry to be a bit tardy with this. Mondays and Tuesdays are my madhouse days - 13 hour days spread between four different schools in different parts of the city.
I think that this is best explained kinestheticly. The thought process here is the same as when two children start to use a see-saw.
Imaagine two children wanting to get onto a see-saw (teeter-totter)
. Who gets on first?
There are a number of different scenarios; big kid/little kid, more agile/less, stronger/weaker, but in each case one of the pair is more able to stand by himself. Have a think about two kids getting onto the see-saw while it remains horizontal for a moment then, once you have started that kind of thought processes up, we can apply them to this type of sentences.
Hebrews 1:10 wrote:καὶ ἔργα τῶν χειρῶν σού εἰσιν οἱ οὐρανοί·
Which one here could most easily be conceptualised by itself. The see-saw is balanced at rest in equilibrium. Which one can be on the see-saw by itself and keep it balanced - like the kid most able to balance astride the pivot? In this case would it be or "ἔργα τῶν χειρῶν σου" or "οἱ οὐρανοί"? Which one could most people imagine and think about and easily relate to? It is "οἱ οὐρανοί", I think. That kid gets onto the see-saw first, then the other one, "ἔργα τῶν χειρῶν σου" can go and balance with it later. As the weight / understanding of meaning of the second element slowly rests down on the see-saw, the οἱ οὐρανοί come to be no longer self-referential but now understood in equilibrium with ἔργα τῶν χειρῶν σου. Greek marks that one that is conceptually best able to self-exist with the definite article. For the relative importance of each element and it's position nearest the fulcrum (the start of the sentence) - like the kid who needs to sit closer to the middle, look for the one nearest the front. i.e. there are two things to find.
That is different from English, where the first element is the one that will be mounting the see-saw, and the second element is the one balancing it. i.e. in English does not mark (help us know) which is the most important one in the authour's thinking in the same way that Greek does. The one conceptually able to self-exist is put at the front i English, while the most important is left to the readers commonsense.
Jophn 1:9 wrote:Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο,
ὁ λόγος is more important in the writers mind than the σὰρξ, and the ὁ λόγος is also the one that could stand on the see-saw and balance himself as the comes to be thought of as balanced with / against it (Him).
Luke 20:41 wrote:Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς, Πῶς λέγουσιν τὸν χριστὸν υἱὸν Δαυὶδ εἶναι
Here the full concept of "the Christ" is thought of as stronger than the partial revelation / prophesy as "the son of David", so it is first. It is marked with the article like in the others to show that it can most readily stand on its own and that "the son of David" is brought to be balanced against it.
Luke 20:43 wrote:ἕως ἂν θῶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου ὑποπόδιον τῶν ποδῶν σου.
Let me add this too to hint at the scope of this. It could be said that the article with τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου is to balance the σου, but here it seems to be marking the freestanding element in the construction, to which ὑποπόδιον is brought into an "equilibrium-like relationship" with. Having τοὺς ἐχθρούς at the beginning marks the relative importance that the authour gives to it.
[Some books will tell you that the point is which is marked with the article is what matters, but I think it is also useful to look at why it is so marked. Rather than apply an analytical model to get a translation so that you can think about it in English, but let's rather get some feel for this construction and how it can be more than just translated into the more limited English idiom.]
We could go on and on with that, but let's come back to the passage that is giving you grief.
Xenophon, Economics 1.6 wrote:ἦ καὶ κτήματα αὐτῶν φήσομεν εἶναι τοὺς ἐχθρούς;
Wes Wood wrote:Or should we think that their possessions are also enemies?
κτήματα αὐτῶν are thought of as the most important thing in the writer's imagination, but τοὺς ἐχθρούς are thought of as the most able to stand alone on the see-saw. In English word order, "Could we speak of enemies as his friends?" The "the" is not needed in English, because the Greek "τοὺς" performs a different syntactic function, not as a definite
After reading this, you should be able to identify two pieces of information from the Greek - rahter than just the one that you can get from the English translation that me might have been told how to make using a tip about the article.