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1. Disuse of the Dual. The Greek of the LXX has two numbrs, the singular and the plural. The dual, which was already falling into disuse in the time of Homer, and which is seldom addhered to systematically in classical writers, has disappeared altogether.
Contrast with the above—
Plat. Rep. 470 B ἐπὶ δυοῖν διαφοραῖν. Isocr. Paneg. 55 c περὶ τοῖν πολέοιν τούτοιν.
2. Εἷς as Article. Under the influence of Hebrew idiom we find the numeral εἷς turning into an indefinite pronoun in the Greek of the LXX, as in Gen. 42:27 λύσας δὲ εἷς τὸν μάρσιππον αὐτοῦ, and then subsiding into a mere article, as –
Jdg. 13:2 [Codex B] ἀνὴρ εἷς, 9:53 γυνὴ μία. 2 K. [2 Sam.] 2:18 ὡσεὶ μία δορκὰς ἐν ἀγρῷ. 2 Esd. [Ezra] 4:8 ἔγραψαν ἐπιστολὴν μίαν. Ezk. 4:9 ἄγγος ἓν ὀστράκινον.
There are instances of the same usage in the two most Hebraistic books of the N. T.
own indefinite article ‘a’ or ‘an’ (Scotch ane) is originally the same
as ‘one.’ We can also see the beginning of the French article in the
colloquial language of the Latin comedians.
Ter. And. 118 forte unam aspicio adulescentulam.
Plaut. Most. 990 unum vidi mortuum efferri foras.
Apart from the influence of the Hebrew, εἷς is occasionally found in good Greek on the way to becoming an article. See L. & S. under εἷς 4. In German the indefinite article and the first of the numerals coincide, and so a German, in beginning to speak English, frequently puts ‘one’ for ‘a.” In the same way a Hebrew learning to speak Greek said εἷς ἀετός and so on.
3. First Declension. In classical Greek there is
a tendency for proper names, especially those of foreign origin, which end in
the nominative in -α
preceded by a consonant other than ρ,
to retain the α in the genitive, e.g. Λήδας, Ἀνδρομέδας, Κομπλέγας (name of
a Spanish town, App. VI De Reb. Hisp. 43). In pursuance of this analogy we have such genitives
as Βάλλας and Ζέλφας (Gen. 37:2), Σουσάννας (Sus. Ο´ 30).
On the other hand, nouns in -α pure, or -α preceded by ρ, are in a few instances found in the LXX to take the Ionic form of the genitive and dative in -ης and -ῃ.
It is said
that in the Papyri σπείρης is always
used, never σπείρας.
The plural of γῆ is found in the LXX
Acc. γᾶς 4 K. [2 Kings] 18:35. Gen γαιῶν 4 K. [2 Kings] 18:35; Ps. 48:11; Ezk. 36:24; 2 Esd. [Ezra] 9:1 and three other passages. Dat. γαῖς 4 K. [2 Kings] 10:11. γᾶς 4 K. [2 Kings] 19:11. γαίαις Dan. Ο´ 11:42.
Ps. 21:1 [21:2] ὁ Θεὸς ὁ Θεός μου πρόσχες μοι ἱνατί ἐγκατέλιπές με;
But in Matthew 27:46 this passage assumes the form—
Θεέ μου Θεέ μου ἱνατί με ἐγκατέλιπες;
The Attic form of this declension is of rare occurrence in the LXX. Λαός and ναός are the regular forms. Λεώς does not occur at all, and νεώς only in Second Maccabees. ἅλως is common: but for that there is no non-Attic form, as it does not arise, like the others, on the principle of transpositon of quantity.
5. Third Declension. The word σκνίψ (Ex. 8:16) is interesting, as adding another instance of a noun-stem in -φ to the rare word κατῆλιψ and νίφα, which occurs only in the accusative in Hes. Op. 533. Σκνίψ is also found in the LXX with the stem σκνιπ-.
6. Absence of Contraction. Many words are left uncontracted in the LXX which in Attic Greek would be contracted, e.g.—
7. Feminine Forms of Movable Substantives. The form βασίλισσα for βασίλεια was not approved by Atticists. It is comon in the LXX, whereas βασίλεια does not occur. Cf. Acts 8:27. On the analogy of it we have Ἀράβισσα in Job 42:17, φυλάκισσα in Song 1:6. The following also may be noted:—
8. Heteroclite Nouns.
ἅλων (Hos. 9:2), ἅωνος (Jdg. 15:5) for ἅλως, ἅλω. Cf. Mt. 3:12, Lk 3:17 τὴν ἅλωνα. In the LXX both ἅλων and ἅλως are of common gender. Thus Ruth 3:2 τὸν ἅλωνα, 3:14 τὴν ἅλωνα; Jug. 6:37 τῇ ἅλωνι; 1 Chr. 21:15 ἐν τῷ ἅλῳ, 21:21 ἐκ τῆς ἅλω. Josephus (Ant. 5.9.3) has τῆς ἅλωος.
γήρους, γήρει for γήρως, γήρᾳ, but nominative always γῆρας. For γήρους, see Gen. 37:3; Ps. 70:9, 18; but in Gen 44:20 γήρως. For γήρει see Gen. 15:15, Ps. 91:15, Sir. 8:6, Dan. Ο´ 6:1. When one form is used, the other generally occurs as a variant. In Clement 1 Cor. 63:3 we have ἕως γήρους.
ἔλεος, τό for ἔλεος, ὁ. Plural τὰ ἐλέη (Ps. 16:7). The masculine form occurs in some dozen and a half passages (e.g. Ps. 83:11; Prov. 3:16, 14:22). In N.T. also and in the Apostolic Fathers the neuter is the prevailing form, e.g. 2 Tim 1:16, 18; Tit. 3:5; Hb. 4:16; Herm. Past. Vis. 2.2.3, 3.9.1, Sim. 4.2; 1 Clem. 9:1, 14:1; 2 Clem 3:1, 16:2; Barn. Ep. 15:2. In Mt. 9:13, 12:7, 23:23 the masculine form occurs, the two former being quotations from Hos. 6:6, where the LXX has the neuter.
λύχνος, τό (Dan. Ο´ 5:0).
The N. T. and the Apostolic Fathers afford other instances of heteroclites, which do not occur in the LXX. Thus —
ζῆλος, τό (Phil. 3:6; 1 Clem. 4:8, 11, 13; 6:1, 2; 9:1; 63:2, but in 5:2, 5 διὰ ζῆλον; Ignat. Ad Tral. 4:2).
πλοῦς declined like βοῦς (Acts 27:9; Mart. S. Ign. 3 εἴχετο τοῦ πλοός).
τῦφος, τό (1 Clem. 13:1).
9. Verbal Nouns in -μα.
a. The Abundance of verbal nouns in – μα is characteristic of Hellenistic Greek from Aristotle onwards. The following instances from the LXX are taken at random—
ἀγνόημα Gen. 43:12 (6 times in all).
ἀνόμημα 1 Ki. [1 Sam.] 25:28 (17 times in all).
διχοτόμημα Gen. 15:11 (5 times in all).
κατάλειμμα Gen. 45:7 (20 times in all).
ὕψωμα . . . γαυρίαμα . . . καύχημα Judith 15:9
b. A point better worth noting is the preference for the short radical vowl in their formation, e.g. —
ἀνάθεμα Lvt. 27:28 etc. So in the N.T. Acts 23:14; Rom. 9:3; 1 Cor. 12:3, 16:22; Gal. 1:8, 9. In Judith 16:19 we have the classical form ἀνάθημα. For the short vowel in the LXX, cp. θέμα, ἔκθεμα, ἐπίθεμα, παράθεμα, πρόσθεμα, σύνθεμα.
ἀφαίρεμα Ex. 29:27; Lvt. 7:4, 24 etc.
Gen. 25:6 etc. So in N.T.
εὕρεμα Sir. 20:9; 29:4.
ἕψεμα Gen. 25:29 etc.
χύμα (for) 2 Mac. 2:24.
10. Non-Attic Forms of
ἀλώπηκας accusative plural (Jdg. 15:4) for ἀλώπεκας.
ἄρκος (1 K. [1 Sam.] 17:34) for ἄρκτος, which does not occur. Cp. Rev. 13:2 ἄρκου.
δῖνα (Job 13:11; 28:10) for δίνη.
ἔυστρον (Dt. 18:3) for ἤνυστρον. So in Jos. Ant. 4.4.4.
ἐπαοιδός (Ex. 7:11) for ἐπῳδός, which does not occur.
κλίβανος (Ex. 7:28) for κρίβανος. So also in N.T.
μόλιβος (Ex. 15:10), the Homeric form, for μόλυβδος.
ὑψεία (Tob. 8:21) for ὑγίεια. In later Greek generally ὑγεία is usual, but the fuller form prevails in the LXX.
χείμαρρος (1 K. [1 Sam.] 17:40) for χειμάρρους.
11. Non-Attic Forms of Adjectives.
εὐθής, εὐθές, for εὐθύς, εὐθεῖα, εὐθύ, which also occurs frequently.
ἥμισυς, -υ is an adjective of two terminations in the LXX. ἡμίσεια does not occur. Cp. Nb. 34:14 τὸ ἥμισυ φυλῆς Μανασσή with Jos. Ant. 4.7.3 καὶ τῆς Μανασσίτιδος ἡμίσεια.
ἀργυρικός 1 Esd. 8:24 only. Cp. Aristeas.37, who has also ἐλαϊκός, σιτικός, χαριστικός (112, 37, 227).
κλεψιμαῖος Tob. 2:13 only.
Θνησιμαῖος often used in the neuter for ‘a corpse,’ e.g. 3 K. [2 Kings} 13:25.
12. Comparison of Adjectives.
αἰσχρότερος (Gen. 41:19) is good Greek, though not Attic. Ἀισχίων does not seem to occur in the LXX.
πλησιέστερον adv. for πλησιαίτερον (4 Mac. 12:3).
13. Pronouns. a. Classical Greek has no
equivalent for our unemphatic pronoun ‘he.’ One cannot say exactly ‘he said’
in the Attic idiom. Αὐτὸς ἔφη is
something more, and ἔφη something
less, for it may equally mean ‘she said.’ The Greek of the LXX gets over this
difficulty by the use of αὐτός as an
unemphatic pronoun of the 3d person.
1 K. [1 Sam.] 17:42 καὶ εἶδεν Γολιὰδ τὸν Δαυεὶδ καὶ ἠτίμασεν αὐτόν, ὅτι αὐτὸς ἦν παιδάριον καὶ αὐτὸς πυρράκης μετὰ κάλλους ὀφθαλμῶν.
In the above the repeated αὐτός is simply the nominative of the αὐτόν preceding. In a classical writer αὐτός so used would necessarily refer to Goliath himself. For other instances see Gen. 3:15, 16, 39:23: Nb. 17:5, 22:22: Jdg. 13:5, 16, 14:4, 17: 1 K. [1 Sam.] 17:2, 18:16. Winer denied that this use of αὐτός is to be found in the N.T. But here we must dissent from his authority. See Mt. 5:5 and following: Lk. 6:20: 1 Cor. 7:12.
b. As usual in later Greek the compound reflexive pronoun of the 3d person is used for those of the 1st and 2d.
So also in Aristeas 3, 213, 217, 228 (ἑαυτόν = σεαυτόν), 248. This usage had already begun in the best Attic. Take for instance -
Plat. Phoedo 91 C ὅπως μὴ ἐγώ... ἅμα ἑαυτόν τε καὶ ὑμᾶς ἐξαπατήσας, 78 B δεῖ ἡμᾶς ἐρέσθαι ἑαὐτούς, 101 D σὺ δὲ δεδιὼς ἄν... τὴν ἑαὐτοῦ σκιάν.
Instances abound in N.T.
Acts 23:14 ἀνεθεματίσαμεν ἑαὐτούς, 5:35 προσέχετε ἑαὐτοῖς.
c. A feature more peculiar to LXX Greek is the use of the personal pronoun along with the reflexive, like the English ‘me myself,’ ‘you yourselves,’ etc.
Ex. 6:7 καὶ λήμψομαι ἐμαυτῷ ὑμᾶς λαὸν ἐμοί, 20:23 οὐ ποιήσετε ὑμῖν ἑαὐτοῖς.
As there is nothing in the Hebrew to warrant this duplication of the pronoun, it may be set down as a piece of colloquial Greek.
d. The use of ἴδιος as a mere possessive pronoun is common to the LXX with the N.T. e.g. -
14. Numerals. a. δυσί(ν) is the regular form for the dative of δύο. So also in N.T. e.g. Mt. 6:24, 22:40: Lk. 16:13: Acts 12:6. δυεῖν occurs in Job 13:20, δυοῖν in 4 Mac. 1:28, 15:2. Sometimes δύο is indeclinable, e.g. Jdg. 16:28 τῶν δύο ὀφθαλμῶν.
b. The following forms of numerals differ from those in classical use: -
The above numerals occur also in the regular forms -
δώδεκα Gen. 5:8.
τρεῖς καὶ δέκα, τρισκαίδεκα Nb. 29:13, 14
τέσσαρες καὶ δέκα Nb. 16:49.
πέντε καὶ δέκα Lvt. 27:7: 2 K. [2 Sam.] 9:10
ἑκκαίδεκα, ἓξ καὶ δέκα Nb. 31:40, 46, 52
ἑπτὰ καὶ δέκα Jer. 39:9.
ὀκτὼ καὶ δέκα 2 K. [2 Sam.] 8:13.
ἐννέα καὶ δέκα 2 K. [2 Sam.] 2:30 only.
c. The forms just given may be written separately or as one word. This led to the τέσσαρες in τεσσαρεσκαίδεκα becoming indeclinable, e.g. -
2 Chr. 25:5 υἱοὺς τεσσαρεσκαίδεκα.
The same license is extended in the LXX to δέκα τέσσαρες.
Nb. 29:29 ἀμνοὺς ἐνιαυσίους δέκα τέσσαρες ἀμώμους.
The indeclinable use of τεσσαρεσκαίδεκα is not peculiar to the LXX.
Hdt. 7.36 τεσσαρεσκαίδεκα (τριήρεας). Epict. Ench. 40 ἀπὸ τεσσαρεσκαίδεκα ἐτῶν. Strabo p. 177, 4.1.1 προσέθηκε δὲ τεσσαρεσκαίδεκα ἔθνη, 189, 4.2.1 ἐθνῶν τεσσαρεσκαίδεκα.
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