PRODROMOS in Heb 6:20

From: Tom Conry (
Date: Wed May 26 1999 - 13:16:14 EDT

This may be a bit off topic but I can't think of a better group of folks
to ask, and
I'm kind of up against a deadline, so any kind of helpful pointer would
be most . . .
ummh, helpful!

I'm writing a paper which focuses on the range of possible meanings
invoked by
PRODROMOS in Heb 6:20. I've gone through the LXX (Num 13:21 first
fruit; Isa 28:4
figs; Wis 12:8 wasps) and have done some work with the TLG - it's also
used of winds
(Aristotle, Theophrastus, Pliny, Columella) and messengers (Herodotus),
of scouts
(Polybius) and ships (Alciphron). Later Christian writers tend to use
it in
connection with John the Baptizer.

Specifically, I'm intrigued by the proximity of PRODROMOS in Hebrews
6:20 to the
expression EIS TO ESWTERON TOU KATAPETASMATO in the preceding verse
(6:19). I'm
trying to determine the stories that are being brought into play here.
My question
has to do with something I dimly remember about either Pompey or Titus
(I told you,
"dimly") going into the Temple (either the 63 BCE campaign or the 70 CE
campaign) and
going into the Holy of Holies, going "behind the curtain" expecting to
find great
riches and finding only an empty room.

My memory is contradicted in part by Josephus (Antiquities 14.4.4 and
Wars 1.7.6)
which tells of Pompey finding candlesticks with its lamps (I suppose the
ones on the
Arch of Titus perhaps?) and the table, pouring vessels, censers all of
gold, spices,
and two thousand talents in cash - hardly nothing at all! - although
Josephus says
that Pompey took none of it.

Do any of you know from where I might remember this incident of a Roman
going "behind the veil" and expecting to find something priceless and
finding nothing
at all? Or am I simply spinning something out of Indiana Jones here?

Needless to say, any comments on PRODROMOS here are welcome. I have
read Otto
Bauernfeind's article in the TDNT and the BAGD. Perhaps others have
some wisdom?

Tom Conry

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