Re: LXX 1 Kings 8:11

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Sun Jun 14 1998 - 18:06:32 EDT

At 02:24 PM 6/12/98 -0500, wrote:
>I've got a question on the meaning of aedunanto (Imperfect Middle
>Indicative 3rd Plural from dunamai---the section dealing with Solomon's
>dedication of the first temple in 1 Kings 8:11 (English Trans.
>Reference). My understanding is that this is a Descriptive Imperfect
>indicating there was a continuous (for a period of time) disabling of the
>priests to stand up and perform their ministry.

Excuse me for being a nerd, but...

Terms like "Descriptive Imperfect" are labels given to the interpretation
someone gave to a particular shade of meaning in a particular use of the
imperfect. I'm a little allergic to the phrase "this is a Descriptive
Imperfect indicating...", because the grammatical term describes a
*conclusion* about the way the grammatical form is being used. So don't
ever say "this means X because it is a Descriptive Imperfect", since the
only reason it is called a Descriptive Imperfect is that someone decided it
means X.

>In other words, because the special manifestation of God's glory entered
>the room (the glory cloud), they were physically unable to stand up and
>do their priestly functions for a period of time.

I *think* that the imperfect here could be interpreted either in the
continuous sense (there was a period of time during which they were unable
to stand and serve) or in the repetitive sense (there was a period of time
during which they would attempt to stand and serve, but would be unable to).

>Two questions: A) Is that a correct interpretation?
>B) Is that a correct translation by the LXX translators from Hebrew to

Sorry, but I don't know any Hebrew...



Jonathan Robie

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