Re: Mark 2:23b

From: David L. Moore (
Date: Sun Jun 14 1998 - 15:47:27 EDT

At 12:28 PM 6/14/98 -0400, you wrote:
>At 04:29 AM 6/13/98 -0400, you wrote:
>>I would like to see any of you translate Mark 2:23, particularly HRXANTO
>(David Palmer)
>"and it happened on the sabbath that they walked by the grain field, and
>his disciples started to pick heads of grain on the way"
>(less literal- and more english)- "So, on the sabbath as they walked by a
>grain field, the disciples plucked some heads of grain as they went on their

        I was wondering, at different times throughout church this morning,
whether HRXANTO here is more closely associated with hODO POIEIN or with
TILLONTES or if hODON POIEIN TILLONTES is idiomatic meaning "pick as they
go along."

        If the disciples were already walking where they could pick the heads of
grain, the logical conclusion would be that the "began" refers to picking
the grain. If, however, hODON POIEIN refers to the disciples entering in
to walk among the standing grain itself (cf. *PARA*POREUESQAI DIA in
reference to the Lord in the first part of the verse) and picking the heads
as they went, then HRXANTO would be in reference to hODON POIEIN.

        As the clause in question reads, the most natural way to understand it
would be "[the disciples] began to make their way picking the heads of
grain as they went along." If, however, hODON POIEIN does not imply that
they walked in the field beside the road, then it would probably be best to
understand the HRXANTO in reference to the picking of the grain.

        I thought I had seen this phrase in other NT contexts, but a Gramcord
search for hODOS and POIEW _or_ POIEW and hODOS within a context of 4
turned up only this verse. Did I do it right? It does appear in the LXX
(Judges 17:8) where it seems to imply making one's own way, but in a
non-literal sense.

David Moore
David L. Moore
Miami, Florida, USA
Southeastern Spanish District of the A/G Dept. of Education
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