Date: Sat Feb 23 2002 - 01:19:14 EST
In a message dated 2/22/2002 10:39:42 PM Eastern Standard Time,
>NAI KURIE, KAI GAR TA KUNARIA ESQIEI APO TWN YICIWN
>Reading this verse, which is given as an exercise to study different uses
>the conjuctions KAI and GAR, it struck me that ESQHIEI is 3rd singular but
>the subject TA KUNARIA is nominative plural.
>Am I reading this correctly? Is this common for a nominative and verb not to
>agree in number, or is there some intended effect from a lack of agreement?
>BTW, I had decided that KAI was to be translated as "even" and GAR was to be
>translated as "now", being understood as a transition word.
>"Yes Lord, now even the dogs eat(s) from the crumbs which fall from the
>of their master(s)."
>The effect of translating GAR as "now" rather than as "but" or as "yet"
>to me to give a sense of this poor woman making something of a object lesson
>point to Jesus, rather than her engaging in a witty polemic exchange.
>Does the lack of subject/verbal agreement, along with something of a lack of
>agreement between "table" (singular) and "of their masters" (plural) intend
>any hint of uneducation on the part of the woman?
Since the last shall be first, I will first deal with your last question.
No, this does not hint at any lack of education on the part of the
Syro-Phoenician woman. The neuter plural noun with a singular verb is quite
common. Here is a quote from Wallace, _Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics_, p.
A. Neuter Plural Subject with Singular Verb
Although there is a lack of concord in such constructions, they are not
infrequent. Indeed, a neuter plural subject normally takes a singular verb.
It is an example of constructio ad sensum (construction according to sense,
rather than according to strict grammatical concord). Since the neuter
usually refers to impersonal things (including animals), the singular verb
regards the plural subject as a collective whole. It is appropriate to
translate the subject as a plural as well as the verb, rather than translate
both as singulars.
I would prefer to concentrate on the sly manner in which she ingratiates
herself by agreeing with Jesus and then turns his comparison to her own
"Yes, Lord [I know we are just dogs to you Jews]. And even the dogs eat . .
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