Who was loathed in Exodus 1:12?

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PhillipLebsack
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Who was loathed in Exodus 1:12?

Post by PhillipLebsack » March 21st, 2020, 3:08 pm

The verse reads as follows:

καθότι δὲ αὐτοὺς ἐταπείνουν, τοσούτῳ πλείους ἐγίνοντο καὶ ἴσχυον σφόδρα σφόδρα, καὶ ἐβδελύσσοντο οἱ Αἰγύπτιοι ἀπὸ τῶν υἱῶν Ισραηλ.

Εβδελύσσοντο is middle/passive. And I understand the ἀπὸ + genitive construction can be interpreted as cause (because of) or agency (by) (Wallace, GGBB, 368). The NETS translation translates it as follows: "and the Egyptians were disgusted with the sons of Israel." This would, I'm guessing, be similar to the causal use (because of).

But it seems that the translation would read better as "And the Egyptians were loathed by the sons of Israel."


So, were the Egyptians loathing the sons of Israel, or were the sons of Israel loathing the Egyptians? Is it possible that both ways could be read here because of the ambiguity of the ἀπὸ + genitive construction?
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Ken M. Penner
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Re: Who was loathed in Exodus 1:12?

Post by Ken M. Penner » March 21st, 2020, 3:56 pm

PhillipLebsack wrote:
March 21st, 2020, 3:08 pm
Εβδελύσσοντο is middle/passive. And I understand the ἀπὸ + genitive construction can be interpreted as cause (because of) or agency (by) (Wallace, GGBB, 368). The NETS translation translates it as follows: "and the Egyptians were disgusted with the sons of Israel." This would, I'm guessing, be similar to the causal use (because of).

But it seems that the translation would read better as "And the Egyptians were loathed by the sons of Israel."
βδελύσσομαι doesn't have a passive meaning; it doesn't mean "be loathed". It has a transitive meaning: loathe, abhor or detest.
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Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

PhillipLebsack
Posts: 75
Joined: January 17th, 2018, 10:31 am

Re: Who was loathed in Exodus 1:12?

Post by PhillipLebsack » March 21st, 2020, 4:39 pm

Ken M. Penner wrote:
March 21st, 2020, 3:56 pm
PhillipLebsack wrote:
March 21st, 2020, 3:08 pm
Εβδελύσσοντο is middle/passive. And I understand the ἀπὸ + genitive construction can be interpreted as cause (because of) or agency (by) (Wallace, GGBB, 368). The NETS translation translates it as follows: "and the Egyptians were disgusted with the sons of Israel." This would, I'm guessing, be similar to the causal use (because of).

But it seems that the translation would read better as "And the Egyptians were loathed by the sons of Israel."
βδελύσσομαι doesn't have a passive meaning; it doesn't mean "be loathed". It has a transitive meaning: loathe, abhor or detest.
I see that BDAG lists passive forms and meaning for it. Why do you say it doesn't have a passive meaning?

BDAG entry:
βδελύσσομαι fut. βδελύξομαι; 1 aor. ἐβδελυξάμην; pf. mid. 3 sg. ἐβδέλυκται (Pr 28:9); aor. pass. ἐβδελύχθην (all LXX) (s. two preced. entries; Hippocr.; Achaeus, TGF Fgm. 12, p. 749; Aristoph. et al. [Nägeli 15; Anz 305]; PLond VI, 1927 [IV a.d.], 34; PCairMasp 353, 16; LXX; PsSol 2:9; TestLevi 16:2; TestGad 3:2; JosAs 11 cod. A [p. 53, 18 Bat.]; ApcrEzk P 1 recto 15; Tat.; Theoph., Ant.; Pel.-Leg. p. 9, 9) to detest someth. because it is utterly offensive or loathsome, abhor, detest τὶ someth. (cp. Phalaris, Ep. 141, 2; Eratosth. p. 17, 10; Polyb. 33, 18, 10; Jos., Bell. 6, 172, Ant. 14, 45; Gen 26:29; Lev 11:11, 13 al.; CPJ I, 141, 9 of hatred for Jews): cult images Ro 2:22. The perf. pass. ptc. ἐβδελυγμένος (cp. Lev 18:30; Pr 8:7; Job 15:16; 3 Macc 6:9) = βδελυκτός (w. δειλός, ἄπιστος) detestable (because of polytheistic worship) Rv 21:8.—DELG s.v. βδελυρός. M-M. TW.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Who was loathed in Exodus 1:12?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » March 23rd, 2020, 7:48 am

PhillipLebsack wrote:
March 21st, 2020, 4:39 pm
Ken M. Penner wrote:
March 21st, 2020, 3:56 pm
PhillipLebsack wrote:
March 21st, 2020, 3:08 pm
Εβδελύσσοντο is middle/passive. And I understand the ἀπὸ + genitive construction can be interpreted as cause (because of) or agency (by) (Wallace, GGBB, 368). The NETS translation translates it as follows: "and the Egyptians were disgusted with the sons of Israel." This would, I'm guessing, be similar to the causal use (because of).

But it seems that the translation would read better as "And the Egyptians were loathed by the sons of Israel."
βδελύσσομαι doesn't have a passive meaning; it doesn't mean "be loathed". It has a transitive meaning: loathe, abhor or detest.
I see that BDAG lists passive forms and meaning for it. Why do you say it doesn't have a passive meaning?

BDAG entry:
βδελύσσομαι fut. βδελύξομαι; 1 aor. ἐβδελυξάμην; pf. mid. 3 sg. ἐβδέλυκται (Pr 28:9); aor. pass. ἐβδελύχθην (all LXX) (s. two preced. entries; Hippocr.; Achaeus, TGF Fgm. 12, p. 749; Aristoph. et al. [Nägeli 15; Anz 305]; PLond VI, 1927 [IV a.d.], 34; PCairMasp 353, 16; LXX; PsSol 2:9; TestLevi 16:2; TestGad 3:2; JosAs 11 cod. A [p. 53, 18 Bat.]; ApcrEzk P 1 recto 15; Tat.; Theoph., Ant.; Pel.-Leg. p. 9, 9) to detest someth. because it is utterly offensive or loathsome, abhor, detest τὶ someth. (cp. Phalaris, Ep. 141, 2; Eratosth. p. 17, 10; Polyb. 33, 18, 10; Jos., Bell. 6, 172, Ant. 14, 45; Gen 26:29; Lev 11:11, 13 al.; CPJ I, 141, 9 of hatred for Jews): cult images Ro 2:22. The perf. pass. ptc. ἐβδελυγμένος (cp. Lev 18:30; Pr 8:7; Job 15:16; 3 Macc 6:9) = βδελυκτός (w. δειλός, ἄπιστος) detestable (because of polytheistic worship) Rv 21:8.—DELG s.v. βδελυρός. M-M. TW.
You are not reading the BDAG entry quite right. It is only as a perfect passive participle that it has a passive sense -- in the indicative it is always active and transitive. While in Greek in general ἀπό can be a substitute for ὐπό with a passive verb when cause or source rather than agency needs to be emphasized, here it is a literalistic translation of the Hebrew וַיָּקֻ֕צוּ מִפְּנֵ֖י בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל, where מִפְּנֵ֖י is necessary to complement the verb.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Ken M. Penner
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Re: Who was loathed in Exodus 1:12?

Post by Ken M. Penner » March 23rd, 2020, 8:01 am

Exactly; thanks, Barry.
Phillip, if you want to retain the passive-looking form, you can think of βδελύσσομαι as "I am disgusted". Εβδελύσσοντο would correspond to "the Egyptians were disgusted by the sons of Israel."
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Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

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