Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Wed Nov 10 13:14:16 EST 1999

At 12:45 PM -0600 11/10/99, Dave Palmer wrote:
>My primary question is, in Luke 14:35,  hALAS MWRANQHi...OUTE EIS GHN OUTE
>EIS KOPRIAN EUQETON ESTIN, is the EIS meaning "as" or "for"?  fit AS soil,
>or fit FOR the soil?  I understand that their salt came from the Dead Sea.
>After it might go flat with age or exposure, would it be suitable AS dirt
>itself?  Or, was it fertilizer- containing some minerals beneficial?
>Bauer says that salt was sometimes used as fertilizer.  Another scholar
>says that salt was sometimes used to make the soil of one's enemies
>infertile!  Which is it?  I can't imagine Dead Sea salt, even impotent,
>being good for your garden.  But if the salt was rock salt obtained from a
>mountain, or from the grinding up of certain species of plant, that seems
>more conceivable.
>Verse 34 tells us that only "salty salt" is good EIS GHN or EIS KOPRIAN.
>And why would someone put salt on a dung heap?  To preserve it?  Or was it
>to amend it, stretch it?  Or again, is the preposition EIS meaning AS: it
>is no longer suitable AS fertilizer stock?
>Also, why are GHN and KOPRIAN anarthrous here?

I won't attempt to go beyond the grammatical questions here. (1) EIS in
this context has to be understood in part with EUQETON, "readily
applicable" or "useful"; EIS is quite frequently used in the accusative to
indicate purpose and that's how I'd understand it here--I'd use "for" to
translate it; it's not "as" but "for" or "onto"--you can't put it on soil
(I would think as a fertilizer in this instances) nor is it worth putting
even on a dunghill or rubbish heap (compost pile?) because it won't work.
If KOPRIA is taken to mean something like a compost pile, a heap of
decaying vegetable waste, then it might hasten decomposition, if it has
sufficient potency. As for the article, I don't really see a point to the
question, since GH and KOPRIA here aren't either generalized or specific.

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 

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