Re: Infinitive + noun acc + adj acc (Acts 7:19)

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Wed Oct 01 1997 - 12:08:34 EDT

Clayton Bartholomew wrote;
>I've spent some time mulling over the second half of Acts 7:19
>and find the syntax intriguing. I looked into Zerwick 392 and BDF
>400(8) and Wallace pps.195, 592.
>There are a number of things about this passage that could be
>discussed but I will focus on just one issue. What is the
>relationship between the infinitive TOU POIEIN and the following
>noun and adjective?
>Wallace has this reference listed under *unambiguous
>constructions with one accusative substantive* (194-195). This
>is a subheading under *accusative subject of the infinitive*.
>I wonder about this. Is TOU POIEIN TA BREFH EKQETA really an
>example of an accusative subject of the infinitive? I have a hard
>time with reading TA BREFH as the subject of this infinitive. If I
>am reading BDF 400(8) correctly, the subject of TOU POIEIN is
>Pharaoh and is unstated in this context.
>A second question, what function does the adjective EKQETA have
>here. My guess is that it is a second accusative object of the
>infinitive and that TA BREFH is the first accusative object of the
>infinitive. I considered for a while reading BREFH as a predicate
>adjective but abandoned this notion.

I also read the second post on this.

I would see hOUTOS as subject of both the participle (which I would see as
"he dealt craftily with our race") and the main verb EKAKWSEN, he dealt
badly with our fathers. I see TOUS PATERAS as the object of the verb. It
seems to me that the infinitive POIEN is epexegetic, explaining the main
verb. "He maltreated the fathers, making their children exposed so that
they did not survive." The last infinitive is used with EIS TO to show

I think you are right that TA BREFH is object of the inf not subject. The
adjective then functions to modify the object (which is what a pred. acc.
does also. But this would be the adj in the acc to agree with the object.
"He made their children exposed."

I think that Wallace (I do not have a copy at home) might be seeing the
fathers as being tricked into exposing their own children, but I have
trouble with that in the Greek. One needs time to study the quoted passage
in Hebrew in Ex.1:9-11 and in the LXX and 1:8.

I admit that Robertson takes some work, but I still use it regularly and
marvel at what he did without a computer.

Carlton L. Winbery
Fogleman Professor of Religion
Chair, Division of Religious Studies
voice 318 487-7241
fax 318 442-4996

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