From: Carl W. Conrad (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Oct 22 2000 - 08:22:36 EDT
At 5:12 AM +0000 10/22/00, Mark Wilson wrote:
>POLLOI GAR EISI KLHTOI, OLIGOI DE EKLEKTOI
>An article I read recently indicated that this
>comparison (POLLOI with OLIGOI) is a Semitic idiom
>to denote comparisons between:
>all not all
>The Hebrew equivalent is
>Greek = POLLOI OLIGOI
>Hebrew = rab me'at
>For example, Num. 26:52-56 is cited, where the idea is
>larger versus smaller,
>or more numerous versus less numerous.
>Then, the author cites 4 Ezra 8.3 where the idea
>is "many" must mean "all" and "few" would mean "less than all."
>If his contention is correct, it seems we could have in Mt:
>"All are called, but not all are chosen."
>Any problems with understanding the semantics this way?
I don't know that there are any particular problems with understanding it
that way, but what came to mind immediately was a comparable "motto"
regarding the cult of Dionysus:
POLLOI MEN NARQHKOFOROI, PAUROI DE TE BAKCOI
which might be turned, rather freely, as "There are many who perform the
rituals, but few who really worship."
Although the word for "few" here is PAUROI rather than OLIGOI, the phrasing
certainly seems similar to Mt 22:14. It would seem to me that the formula
is less concerned with saying anything precise about the larger number,
more concerned with delimited the smaller number relative to the larger.
But then I guess that's not really saying very much more than the obvious,
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
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