[b-greek] Neuter Plurals; Matt. 6:32; 13:4

From: James S. Murray (jsmurray@execpc.com)
Date: Fri Apr 27 2001 - 00:01:56 EDT

I have a question about neuter plural subjects I'm hoping someone can
clarify for me.

Is there any significance when a plural noun uses a singular verb versus
a plural verb? In Matt. 6:26, PETEIVA is the subject of a string of
third person plural verbs; OU SPEIROUSIN OUDE QERIZOUSIN OUDE
SUNAGOUSIN. However, later in 13:4, we have KAI ELQONTA TA PETEIVA
KATEPHAGEN AUTA, with the verb in the third person singular. Is this
strictly a stylistic issue on the author's part, or is he trying to
convey, with the plural verb, the individual actions of many birds, as
opposed to viewing the birds as a group? (or is my comparison here not
fair since the subject in the Matt 6:26 example is implied, and
therefore the plural ending is more based on sense than formal
grammatical rules?)

Thank you,

Jim Murray
Racine, WI

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