Parsing of hISTHSETAI, Isa 52:13 Aquila

Daniel P. Bailey DanPBailey at
Thu Aug 17 18:25:44 EDT 2000

Dear List,

I'm having trouble parsing the form hISTHSETAI in Aquila's version of Isa 
52:13, as cited in an article by Martin Hengel (since I'm away from the 
library, I have not yet checked the citation against Field's edition of the 
Hexapla). The LXX has IDOU SUNHSEI hO PAIS MOU, "Behold, my Servant shall 
understand." Aquila apparently has IDOU EPISTHMWN hISTHSETAI hO PAIS MOU. 
Now EPISTHMWN is technically an adjective meaning "understanding" (cf. 
James 3:13, NT hapax), though it is tempting to see it here as a 
substantive. But what about hISTHSETAI, a form which occurs nowhere in the 
LXX? STHSETAI without the prefixed "hI" is of course the future middle 
deponent of hISTHMI, but I can't see how hISTHSETAI can be traced to 
hISTHMI; it is wrong both in form and in sense.

I thought of trying to trace hISTHSETAI to OIDA, on the grounds that the 
classical form ISTE occurs instead of the normal Hellenistic form OIDATE in 
Eph 5:5; Heb 12:17: and James 1:19. The concept of the Servant's "knowing" 
would at least make sense in Isa 52:13. But there is a problem, for if we 
were to understand hISTHSETAI as a wierd future form of OIDA or the 
hypothetical root EIDW (cf. the lemma in LSJ), we still cannot explain the 
rough breathing in hISTHSETAI.

The Tufts mophological engine is unable to parse hISTHSETAI. Can any of you 
beat the computer?

Please reply either on or off list to your grateful colleague,

Dan Bailey
DanPBailey at

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