THE RIGHT HAND IN ACTS 3:7

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Tue Aug 7 14:14:02 EDT 2001


>
> What may (or may not?) help determine the reference is a look at the case
used in
> the passage.  Off the top of my head, I would expect the dative case, if
it were
> Peter's hand being spoken of, since that is the means he is using; the
genitive case
> may be used here, in order to denote the object of the participle PIASAS,
thus
> denoting the crippled man's hand.  Now, I don't have the opportunity to
look into
> this, right now, but maybe someone can see whether PIAZW generally takes a
genitive
> object or not?
>
> Daniel

In 3:7 we find: KAI PIASAS AUTON THS DEXIAS CEIROS HGEIREN AUTON, PARACRHMA
DE ESTEREWQHSAN hAI BASEIS AUTOU KAI TA SFUDRA.

I agree with Daniel that speculation does not take us very far, or rather,
it takes us too far from the text.

PIAZW takes an accusative object denoting the person seized, usually as the
pronoun AUTON. The genitive form of the right hand suggests to me that this
is a further description of AUTON, how he was taken hold of, that is, by the
man's right hand. As you say, had the reference been to Paul's right hand,
we would expect a dative as instrument or maybe a prepositional phrase.

Another aspect is that the man's feet and ankles were only strengthened
after he tried to stand on his legs, according to the last part of the
verse. He would not have been able to get up on his own, and it seems most
natural to me that Paul would have leaned backwards and used both his hands
to grasp and pull up the lame man by his right hand which he would have
extended from his sitting position, asking for help. This is somewhat
speculative, I admit, but it fits with the meaning of PIAZW meaning seize,
grasp, capture. And it also fits with the main verb which says that Paul
raised him up/caused him to stand/pulled him to his feet.

Iver Larsen




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