Dative Direct Objects, Heb 1:6

From: Ray Mattera (73067.2630@compuserve.com)
Date: Wed Nov 29 1995 - 22:50:21 EST

I am trying to confirm some study I have been doing on dative direct
objects in the NT. As I understand it, when grammarians speak of a
transitive verb "with the dative" or "with the accusative," etc., they are
saying that the transitive verb takes an accusative or dative direct
object. For example, note these quotations from Robertson:

"With verbs in particular which were transitive the accusative was the
obvious case to use unless there was some special reason to use some
other. The other oblique cases with verbs (gen., abl., loc., instr., dat.)
came to be used with one verb or the other rather than the accusative,
because the idea of that verb and case coalesced in a sense." (p.
"But we have (pp.330f.) observed that transitive verbs in Greek do not
always have the accusative. The transitiveness may be as clearly
expressed by a dative as with [akoloutheO]..." (p. 472; see also

I think that when grammarians speak of _intransitive_ verbs with a
particular Greek case, they are speaking of other nuances of meaning;
e.g., in the case of the dative, the dative of advantage or disadvantage, etc.

In particular, I understand that proskyneO, when transitive, often takes
a dative direct object. For instance, in Heb 1:6 I take the dative
pronoun autO to be the direct object of the aorist imperative

Texts at times even shift between dative and accusative direct objects
with proskyneO. For example in John 4:23, I take the dative tO patri
to be the direct object of proskynEsousin and the accusative auton to
be the object of the participle tous proskynountas. Also in Rev 13:4, 8:
kai prosekynEsan tO drakonti...kai prosekynEsan tO thriO. In v 4
proskyneO occurs twice, in each instance taking a dative direct object.
However, in v 8 proskyneO takes the accusative auton (autO in some
ancient authorities).

There are many other instances where, as I understand it, proskyneO
takes a dative direct object. To list a few that are similar to Heb 1:6
(i.e., proskyneO with the dative autO as its direct object): Matt 2:2, 8,
Matt 28:9, and John 9:38.

Could someone please comment on these points to clarify if I have
misunderstood this matter.

Ray Mattera

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