[B-Greek] Using future as imperative?
Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at ioa.com
Wed Nov 9 05:40:40 EST 2005
On Nov 9, 2005, at 2:16 AM, Waldemar Martens wrote:
> Hello List,
> I have a question about the following passage:
> KURION TON QEON SOU PROSKUNHSEIS KAI AUTW MONW LATREUSEIS (Luke 4,8b)
> The grammatical form of the two verbs ist future. So why this is
> commonly translated as:
> "You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.
> " (AKJV) ?
> I would translate this as.
> "You WILL worship the Lord your God and will serve him only"
> Did I missunderstand something?
As Curtis Hinson has shown without enunciating the principle, this
use of the future as imperative is characteristic of the LXX, where
passages from the Hebrew original with Hebrew imperfects used for
imperatives are carried over into Greek future-tense forms. I cite
Conybeare and Stock, _Grammar of Septuagint Greek_:
§74. The Jussive Future.
a. The Jussive Future is rare in Attic Greek, and, when it
does occur, is regarded as a weak form of imperative. In the LXX, on
the other hand, it is very common, and is employed in the most solemn
language of legislation. From the nature of the case it is not used
in the first person. It may be employed in command or in
prohibition. As instances of the former we may take — Lvt. 19:18
AGAPHSEIS TON PLHSION SOU hWS SEAUTON. Cp. Ex. 34:18,20: 3 K. [2
Kings.] 17:11. Lvt. 19:19 τὸν νόμον μου
φυλάξεσθε. Cp. Lvt. 11:44. Lvt. 19:22 καὶ
ἐξιλάσεται ὁ ἱερεύς. Cp. Lvt. 19:20,21.
b. Very often the jussive future follows an imperative. Gen
40:14 MNHSQHTI MOU ... KAI POIHSEISς. Cp. Gen 44:4: Ex 7:26, 9:1,
13: Nb. 15:2, 17: 3 K. [2 Kings.] 17:13. Josh 8:4 μMH MAKRAN
GINESQE ... KAI ESESQE PANTES hETOIMO. Cp. Nb. 13:18.
c. Of the use of the jussive future in prohibition we have a
conspicuous example in the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:13-17: Dt.
5:17-21) - Οὐ MOICEUSEIS. OU KLEYEIS KTL. So also — Dt. 6:16
OUK EKPEIRASEIS KURION TON QEON SOU. Cp. Nb. 22:12: Ex 22:28: Lvt.
d. In the case of the jussive future we have οὐ in
prohibition, because the formula was originally one of prediction.
e. Occasionally there is a transition from the jussive future
to οὐ μή with subjunctive — Nb. 23:25 OUTE KATARASIS
KARATASHi MOI AUTON, OUTE EULOGWN MH EULOGHSHiS AUTON.
f. In the N.T. the jussive future is often used in passages
quoted from the LXX. In Matthew it is employed independently. Mt
5:48 ἔσεσθε οὖν ὑμεῖς τέλειοι, 6:45 OUK
ESESQE hWS hOI hUPOKRITAI, 20:26-28 OUC hOUTWS ESTAI EN hUMIN ...
ESTAI hUMWN DOULOS, 21:3 KAI EAN TIS hUMIN EIPHi TI, EREITE KTL.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
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