Re: Parallelism in Hab. 3:12 LXX

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Fri Jan 28 2000 - 17:49:07 EST

>From: "Carl W. Conrad" <>
> I find the phrasing of EN APEILHi and EN QUMWi itself interesting. You
> speak of the phrases as describing "the state of the agent and/or some
> quality of the action," and while that's clearly the case, I think there's
> a traditional grammatical category of the instrumental dative at work here,
> what is normally called a "dative of manner." What is "odd" is use of the
> preposition EN with these datives of "manner";


As you know from reading three years of my posts I am not an expert on
traditional grammatical categories. I do my best to describe what I see
going on without relying on the traditional terms which I find vague and
confusing. There seems to be a lot of disagreement on what these terms
mean among those who employ them. My policy is to use periphrastic
functional descriptions rather than technical terms. I don't always
follow this policy however.

In the LXX EN + dative is used to render Hebrew constructions with the
Beth prepositional prefix. Perhaps the difficulty dealing with LXX
syntax is sorting out what is Greek syntax and what is Hebrew syntax.
The LXX translators often appear to use "conventions" for common
constructions like nouns or substantives with a Lamed or Beth
prepositional prefix. By convention I mean the translator didn't seem to
spend a lot of time mulling over the sense of the Hebrew but just
identified the familiar pattern and used a fixed formula to render it
into Greek. This did not always happen, but it happened often enough
that one can be left scratching ones head at times to figure out what is
going on.

The semantic* functional range of the Beth prefix + noun isn't identical
to Hellenistic Greek EN + dative. So that leaves us with a little
problem. If we suspect that the translator was just blindly supplying EN
+ dative for the Beth prefix + noun, do we ignore the Greek syntactical
issues and translate this according the the Hebrew patterns? As you can
see, I am just raising questions not providing answers.

Anyway, I am getting in over my head here so I will stop.


Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

*Some people have problems with my use of the word semantic. It helps to understand that I employ polysemy when using this word. I see several levels of semantic data in a give text. Semantic functions are functions that have to do with meaning but meaning for me starts right down in the syntax. So my low level semantic functional designations often overlap with what traditional grammarians call grammatical or syntactical functions.

If this seems like gibberish, just ignore it.

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