Re: idou

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue May 05 1998 - 06:48:56 EDT

At 2:38 AM -0500 5/5/98, Thomas Biddy wrote:
>(Rev 6:2 KJV) And I saw, and behold
>kai eidon kai idou
>Can this be, "And I saw, and you see, too...."?
>Is the author meaning both occurances of idou in the same sense, or can
>it be, "I optically saw but you mentally preceive" (and if so, why not a
>different second term)?

No; actually, the IDOU is an imperative that retains only a little bit of
its pure verbal force and has become exclamatory, much as have French
"Voici!" and "Voilą!"--or a magician's "Presto!"--it is calling attention
to something splendid or awesome that is about to be described. Imagine, if
you will, one friend telling another of some experience: "And when I heard
that sound, I looked out of the window, and Hey! There's a whole herd of
elephants on my lawn." In this instance one might suspect the friend of
hallucinating, but who knows? At any rate, that "Hey!" has the same force
as the IDOU in the Greek.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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