Re: Rev 3:17 - *hO* TALAIPWROS

From: Eric Weiss (
Date: Fri Sep 05 1997 - 23:13:37 EDT

Carl Conrad wrote:

> It reminds me of a bad joke which has stuck in my memory since
> There were three worms working their way through a mound of dirt;
> when they got to the other side, Papa Worm said, "Here we are,
> all three of us!" Then Mama Worm said, "Yes, here we are, all
> three of us!" And finally, Baby Worm said, "Here we are,
> all two of us." Now the question is: why did Baby Worm say that?
> Answer: he couldn't count.

I think the joke works better if the punchline is "He DIDN'T count."
(i.e., a play on two possible meanings: 1) he didn't calculate the total
number of worms; 2) he "didn't count," i.e., he wasn't taken into
account or wasn't considered important - well, maybe I should have left
it alone!

Back to Revelation 3:17 -

Carl wrote:

> (1) The article actually governs the whole series, making all the
> adjectives apply in addition to the one singled out as TALAIPWROS;
> understood this way, the sentence could be translated: "You are
> the one who is miserable and pitiful and poor and blind
> and naked."

I fully agree, having come across this marvelous verse recently and
noticing also the "hO." What struck me, though, was the whole verse and
the Lord's reply, especially with the SU EI - it seemed to me to be much
more forceful than it is usually translated. It struck me as something
like: "Because you say [that] 'I am RICH and I have become wealthy and I
have need of NOTHING" (obviously in comparison to something or someone -
perhaps "less fortunate" churches or Christians - i.e., those less
gifted spiritually or having less material wealth - whom the Laodicean
church considers to be wretched and miserable and poor) - "and you do
not know that it is YOU [not they] who are [the] wretched and miserable
and poor and blind and naked [one]."

Is the hO in Rev. 3:17 like the hO in John 10:10 (hO KLEPTHS), what
Richard Young calls the generic use of the article to describe a class
of persons - or like the hO in Luke 18:13 (TWi hAMARTWLWi), what Young
calls the deictic use - pointing out this individual alone?

"Eric S. Weiss"

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