From: CWestf5155@aol.com
Date: Fri May 28 1999 - 12:27:22 EDT


Return-path: CWestf5155@aol.com
From: CWestf5155@aol.com
Full-name: CWestf5155
Message-ID: <c88a047a.24801d94@aol.com>
Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 12:25:56 EDT
To: bwpowers@eagles.com.au
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
X-Mailer: AOL 4.0 for Windows 95 sub 246


In a message dated 5/26/99 9:24:23 PM Mountain Daylight Time,
bwpowers@eagles.com.au writes:

> In Greek Class last night a question was raised about the tense of the
> imperative FEUGE in Matthew 2:13 and POREUOU in Matthew 2:19.
> In each case the context is an angel giving an instruction to Joseph in a
> dream as to what he is to do next, in identical language: "Get up and take
> the lad and his mother and" [flee to Egypt/travel to the land of Israel].
> Now here is the question: a specific and decisive act is called for in
> response to the imperative: "flee", "travel"; why then the present tense
> for the infinitives? Should we not rather have expected the aorist here?
> Even if the idea were taken to be inceptive, "start fleeing", "start
> travelling", we could have had here an inceptive aorist. So, what is the
> significance of the Gospel writer's choice of a present imperative in each
> case?
> Yes, I replied, I too would have expected an aorist.
> And I thought, What would the members of b-greek say to this question? Is
> there a point to the use of the present imperative that is eluding me?

In both cases, the use of the present imperative in 2:13 and 2:20 involves
relative prominence or emphasis which contrasts with the commands in the
aorist. The main point in 2:13 is to flee (FEUGE), and the main point in 2:20
is to go (POREUOU). The aorist commands to get up (EGERQEIS) and take
(PARALABE) the child are secondary and supportive to the main points to
'flee' and 'go'.

Cindy Westfall
PhD Student, Roehampton

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:28 EDT