Hebrews 2:7

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Tue Oct 13 19:16:27 EDT 1998

At 9:18 AM -0500 10/13/98, Theodore H. Mann wrote:
>Apparently HLATTWSAS AUTON BRACHU TI, in Hebrews 2:7, can be translated
>either "You made Him a little lower...," or "You made Him lower for a
>short time..."  I would like to know what the rationale is for
>translating this passage one way or the other, and my rather meager
>resources are of no help.  I tried to find some info in the archives, but
>came up with a blank.  (Perhaps I looked in the wrong place.) Many

I think that the Greek has to be strained to get BRACU TI to mean "for a
short time." These neuter accusatives should normally be understood as
adverbial in the sense of "a little bit" and qualifying HLATTWSAS. Extent
of time is normally expressed with an accusative also, but more commonly a
masculine adjectival form with CRONON understood, e.g. TOSOUTON "for so
long a time." One might see DI'OLIGOU, again with CRONOU understood, but
that's not so much an extent of time expression as an indication of  a time
period in the course of which something occurred. This is, of course, a
citation from the OT and specifically Psalm 8, and I suppose it's possible
to read the sense "for a short time" from the way the Hebrew reads, but I
have my doubts about that too.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cconrad at yancey.main.nc.us
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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