MOICEUW/MOICEUOMAI (was: My concluding note on Matt. 5:31-32)

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat Feb 26 2000 - 07:07:14 EST

At 1:27 AM -0800 2/26/00, Jason Hare wrote:
>Pardon my foolishness, but I checked it out in LSJ and
>found that while MOICEUW is active for masculine
>subjects, it is passive for female subjects. That
>means that the text reals says "he makes her commit
>Check it out at Perseus

While that is not wrong, it's not altogether right either. We had a lengthy
thread on MOICEUW/MOICEUOMAI back in January of 1998 and on January 30 of
that year I posted a lengthy note (12K) on my research; it's in the
archives and the subject-header is "MOICEUW/MOICEUOMAI (long and trifling,
but hopefully not boring)" What I found was numerous instances of the
active used of women and the middle used of men both in secular Greek
literature and in the Greek OT: of women in the active voice: Hosea
4:13-14; of men in the middle voice: Leviticus 20:10. And this isn't just a
matter of translators from Hebrew not using the verbs as they were used by
native Greek speakers, since there are plenty of examples of the voices
used that way in secular Greek texts too (I did a TLG search only of the
"A" authors on the TLG disk and found quite enough examples to show that
the simple distincton between active used of men, middle for women offered
in the older LSJ at the Perseus site is not so simply and universally the


Carl W. Conrad Department of Classics/Washington University One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018 Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 WWW:

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