Re: Rev 2:20 - "the adultery of eating food"

From: Robert J. Petry (
Date: Mon Sep 29 1997 - 21:38:28 EDT

Jonathan Robie wrote:

> At 02:46 PM 9/29/97 -0500, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
> [snip]
> I thought I knew a lot about hens, but I had never heard the term hendiadys
> before. Since it wasn't in the index of "The Family Poultry Flock", I tried
> Smyth's Greek Grammar. Just in case I'm not the only ignorant person out
> there, let me spell out what Rev Craig and Carl are telling me.
> KAI can apparently be used to combine two substantives to produce the
> equivalent of an adjective+substantive or substantive+attributive
> genitive. Here are two examples from Smyth:
> CRONWi KAI POLIORKIA = by length of time and siege = by a long siege
> hASPIDWN TE KAI STRATOU = armed force
> Incidentally, most of my NT grammars had no more to say on the subject than
> "The Family Poultry Flock" did. Robertson's shorter Grammar had no mention
> of it, and his MYT had an entry which pointed to a list of figures of speech
> which weren't worth dissecting. A handful of introductory grammars did not
> have it in their index. Blass-Debrunner-Rehkopf and Zerwick are the only two
> NT grammars I have in which I found a discussion of hendiadys.
> [snip]Also, I checked my translations, and found that some translations almost
> never interpret these passages as hendiasys (e.g. NASU), and others
> generally do (e.g. NRSV). A number of things which the RSV did not interpret
> as hendiasys have been changed to take hendiasys into account in the NRSV.
> So I learned something useful on B-Greek today! Thanks, Rev. Craig and Carl!
> Jonathan

Bullinger's "Figures of Speech Used in the Bible" has 14 or 15 pages on Hendiadys.
Here is a small introductory quote from page 657.

HENDIADYS; or, TWO FOR ONE [I am quoteing here not shouting, thanks.]

Two words used, but one thing meant.

"Hen-di'-a-dys, from hen, one, dia, by, dis, two (from dvo, two). Lit., one by
means of two.
Two words employed, but only one thing, or idea, intended. One of the two words
expresses the thing, and the other (of synonymous, or even different,
signification, not a second thing or idea) intensifies it by being changed (if a
noun) into an adjective of lthe superlative degree, which is, by this means, made
especially emphatic.
The figure is truly oriental, and exceedingly picturesque. It is found in Latin as
well as in Hebrew and Greek, and is very frequently used in both Old and New
The two words are of the same parts of speech: i.e. two nouns (or two verbs) always
joined together by the conjunction "and." The two nouns are always in the same

After making the above statements, Bullinger gives Latin examples from Tacitus,
Virgil, Horace, Caesar, etc. Then gives more explanation, and then examples of:
Nouns and Verbs from both the Old and New Testaments. If appropriate, I can send
some of the examples a few at a time so the email wouldn't be too long. Bullinger
is long out of copyright. Or, can send off line if this would make the thread too

Hope this adds to things,
Bob Petry

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