Rev. 22:19 Tree or Trees.

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victor.vicveh
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Joined: May 28th, 2019, 12:42 pm

Rev. 22:19 Tree or Trees.

Post by victor.vicveh » April 2nd, 2020, 1:30 am

So the greek goes like this:

τοῦ ξύλου τῆς ζωῆς (Rev. 22:19 NA28)

could it be possible to translate τοῦ ξύλου (Genitive, plural) as Trees?

I did a research, and according to some resources this could be treated as a collective noun.

Thanks for your answers.
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Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1898
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Rev. 22:19 Tree or Trees.

Post by Barry Hofstetter » April 2nd, 2020, 7:38 am

Well, just to clarify, the form is genitive singular. So as it stands, no, it's not possible.

What research did you do? According to NA 28, there is no textual variant worth mentioning (there is Erasmus' famous "book" error, retroverting from the Latin, but that's hardly the same thing).
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

nathaniel j. erickson
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Re: Rev. 22:19 Tree or Trees.

Post by nathaniel j. erickson » April 2nd, 2020, 8:49 am

ξύλον can occasionally have a collective sense when it is used to refer to wood in the sense of "lumber, building material." Habakkuk 2.11 seems to have this idea:
διότι λίθος ἐκ τοίχου βοήσεται, καὶ κάνθαρος ἐκ ξύλου φθέγξεται αὐτά ("For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beetle out of the timber shall cry out" Sir Lancelot Brenton's translation).
However, these references are clearly not to a tree, but to wood used in building.

Even for this use the plural is used as well, and seems to predominate (at least in the Septuagint and New Testament). This would be represented by a passage like Gen 6.14
ποίησον οὖν σεαυτῷ κιβωτὸν ἐκ ξύλων τετραγώνων ("make therefore for yourself an ark from square-cut WOOD/TIMBER").

In the New Testament, there is no instance where ξύλον is used as a singular with reference to anything other than a tree or cross (excepting Revelation 18.12 refers to wood as a trading good; Acts 16.24 refers to the stocks that prisoners' feet go in, which is not relevant to the initial question).

I looked at the following lexicons to see if anyone has any readings where ξύλον as a singular refers to a plurality of trees, and found no support for that:
LSJ, Pape (German lexicon), Muraoka's Septuagint lexicon, and the ΜΕΓΑ ΛΕΞΙΚΟΝ ΟΛΗΣ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗΣ ΓΛΩΣΣΗΣ.

Barring some convincing instances otherwise, the proposed translation is not possible, as Barry has already noted.
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Nathaniel J. Erickson
NT PhD candidate, ABD
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
ntgreeketal.com
ὅπου πλείων κόπος, πολὺ κέρδος
ΠΡΟΣ ΠΟΛΥΚΑΡΠΟΝ ΙΓΝΑΤΙΟΣ

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1898
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Rev. 22:19 Tree or Trees.

Post by Barry Hofstetter » April 2nd, 2020, 4:29 pm

nathaniel j. erickson wrote:
April 2nd, 2020, 8:49 am
ξύλον can occasionally have a collective sense when it is used to refer to wood in the sense of "lumber, building material." Habakkuk 2.11 seems to have this idea:
διότι λίθος ἐκ τοίχου βοήσεται, καὶ κάνθαρος ἐκ ξύλου φθέγξεται αὐτά ("For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beetle out of the timber shall cry out" Sir Lancelot Brenton's translation).
However, these references are clearly not to a tree, but to wood used in building.

Even for this use the plural is used as well, and seems to predominate (at least in the Septuagint and New Testament). This would be represented by a passage like Gen 6.14
ποίησον οὖν σεαυτῷ κιβωτὸν ἐκ ξύλων τετραγώνων ("make therefore for yourself an ark from square-cut WOOD/TIMBER").

In the New Testament, there is no instance where ξύλον is used as a singular with reference to anything other than a tree or cross (excepting Revelation 18.12 refers to wood as a trading good; Acts 16.24 refers to the stocks that prisoners' feet go in, which is not relevant to the initial question).

I looked at the following lexicons to see if anyone has any readings where ξύλον as a singular refers to a plurality of trees, and found no support for that:
LSJ, Pape (German lexicon), Muraoka's Septuagint lexicon, and the ΜΕΓΑ ΛΕΞΙΚΟΝ ΟΛΗΣ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗΣ ΓΛΩΣΣΗΣ.

Barring some convincing instances otherwise, the proposed translation is not possible, as Barry has already noted.
BrillDAG shows the range of usage in broader Greek literature. My favorite is the chicken roost! :)
ξύλον -ου, τό [cf. Got. sauls, Lithu. šùlas] ⓐ wood, timber, lumber IL. 23.327 SOPH. Tr. 700; usu. pl. IL. 8.547, al. OD. 15.322, al. EUR. Cycl. 242 ARISTOPH. Ve. 301; καὶ ξύλον ἦεν it was nothing but a piece of wood for building AP 16.187.1 | pl. timber, logs, for building HDT. 1.186.3 ARR. EpictD. 1.15.2; νήια ξύλα timber for ship-building HES. Op. 808 = ναυπηγήσιμα ξ. THUC. 7.25.2 XEN. An. 6.4.4 PLAT. Leg. 706b DEMOSTH. 17.28 etc. ‖ fig. of an insensitive man: ὁ δὲ σίδηρός τις ἢ ξύλον ἤ τι τῶν ἀναισθήτων ἦν ἄρα πρὸς τὰς δεήσεις τὰς ἐμάς but he was iron, wood, or some other unfeeling material when faced with my entreaties ACH. 5.22.5 (codd.) ⓑ tree XEN. An. 6.4.5 | live tree wood EUR. Cycl. 572 THPHR. H.P. 3.9.7 etc. | cotton tree PLIN. 19.2 (14); εἴρια ἀπὸ ξύλου cotton (lit. tree wool) HDT. 3.47.2, cf. POLL. 7.75 εἵματα ἀπὸ ξύλων πεποιημένα cotton clothes HDT. 7.65 ⓒ wooden object, hence stick, cane, cudgel HP. Art. 55, al. HDT. 4.180.2 ARISTOPH. Pax 1121, al. ALCIPHR. 3.30.5 etc. ‖ bench, table, of a banker DEMOSTH. 45.33 POLL. 3.84; of a judge ARISTOPH. Ve. 90; bench (of Hippokrates) HP. Art. 72 ‖ seat, reserved place (for magistrates) ARISTOPH. Ach. 25 HSCH. ‖ roost, that chickens sleep on ARISTOPH. Nub. 1431 ‖ pillory, for trapping the neck ARISTOPH. Nub. 592, Lys. 680; for neck, hands and feet: πεντεσύριγγον ξύλον five-holed wooden frame ARISTOPH. Eq. 1049 | for feet stocks LYS. 10.16 NT Acts 16:24; οἱ δὲ τοὺς πόδας ἐν τῷ ξύλῳ δεδεμένοι the ones who had their feet held tightly in the stocks PLUT. Gen. Socr. 598b | pole, post HDT. 6.75.2, al. ARISTOPH. Eq. 367, al. | cross NT Acts 5:30, al. ‖ as measure of length perch (= three and a half cubits) [HERO] Geom. 23.11.1 P OXY. 2240.29 (IIICE).
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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