Re: [Re: UPO and its meaning in Galatians]

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sun Sep 26 1999 - 07:27:22 EDT

At 7:53 PM -0600 9/25/99, Dmitriy Reznik wrote:
>"Carl W. Conrad" <> wrote:
>All of these are instances of hUPO with accusative, all have the
>directional sense "downward in relationship to" = "under", and all of them
>in these passages from Galatians have the metaphorical extended sense of
>"under," namely, "subject to" or "under the authority/power of." Does that
>Regards, cwc
>Dear Carl,
>Thank you very much! Does it mean that in Gal 3:23 "UPO NOMON" should refer to
>"SUGKLEIOMENOI" and not to "EFROUROUMEQA" ("were shut up", and not "were
>kept"), unlike AV says:
>"But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith
>which should afterwards be revealed"?

Yes, that is where it should be construed, without question, SUGKLEIOMENOI
in this instance means, metaphorically, "kept locked up/imprisoned." Paul
makes a very neat use of the double sense of words like FROUREW and
FULATTW, which can mean "guard," "imprison" or "keep safe"--with the
opposite senses possible of "keep safe FOR" or "keep safe FROM."

>Also though in Gal 4:4 it can be easy understood, how somebody can be born [to
>be] under the Law, can the same expression in v.5 mean also "direction", and
>not a place? "To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive
>the adoption of sons". If not, can the same expression in vv.4 and 5 mean
>different things?

I'd say that hUPO NOMON ought to be understood to mean exactly the same
thing in 4:4 and 4:5, in my opinion the metaphorical sense, "subject to" or
"under authority of." You might look at the later verses of Romans 7 where
Paul uses NOMOS in similar metaphorical terms as a "political regime" or
"government" or "authority" which one can be obedient to as a slave to a
master. I believe he's using NOMOS in the same way in Galatians of a
controlling authority.

>Also can this preposition mean place in general?

Yes, that IS its fundamental and original sense: "under" or "below." It can
be used in a strictly local sense as in hUPO TWN NEFELWN "below the clouds"
or hUPO TOU OROUS, "below the mountain"--but just as common, perhaps more
so is the usage with genitive to mean "under the influence of" or "under
the agency of" with a passive verb: LUETAI hO hIPPOS hUPO TWN POLEMIWN,
"The horse is being set loose by the enemies." With an accusative its
fundamental sense is "under" or "below" with reference to the noun or
substantive in the accusative--but then hUPO with accusative can take the
metaphorical extension as in the passages in Galatians.

Hope that helps. c

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