From: Mary Pendergraft (
Date: Fri May 28 1999 - 20:03:45 EDT wrote:

> I'm going to try to keep this short and simple.
> First, after using two imperatives in the same tense, a variation of tense in
> a third parallel command draws attention to the change.
> Second, when the aorist is used together in parallel with the present, the
> present is more emphatic because of the relative aspect of the tenses (aorist
> is undifferentiated action while the present is imperfective) and because the
> aorist is the default tense (more common).
> So, my reasons are related to aspect, but are more closely tied in with how
> verbal opposition creates emphasis or prominence. And I assume that phrases,
> words, etc, that are relatively more prominent than their context generally
> reflect "the point".

Alternatively, we can consider that this is a passage where the "rules"
of grammar work: PARALABE is aorist imperative because Joseph needs to
grab up his family only once, whereas fleeing (FEUGE) and making his way
(POREUOU) all the way to Egypt will be a process involving some time.


Mary Pendergraft
Associate Professor of Classical Languages
Wake Forest University

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