Rev. 22:11 and 3rd person imperatives

boyd at huxcomm.net boyd at huxcomm.net
Thu Oct 18 18:57:21 EDT 2001


I've had a lingering question about 3rd person imperatives, 
which was further kindled by Revelation 22:11.  Here's the text:

hO ADIKWN ADIKHSATW ETI KAI hO hRUPAROS 
hRUPANQHTW ETI, KAI hO DIKAIOS DIKAIOSUNHN 
POIHSATW ETI KAI hO hAGIOS hAGIASQHTW ETI.

Wallace (sorry Clay :) discusses how the normal English 
translation of 3rd person imperatives ("let him . . .") often gives 
the wrong idea--permission--when in fact, "It's force is more 
akin to _he must_, or periphrastically, _I command him to . . ._" 
(GGBB, 486).  Do you agree with this assessment?  

A few pages later he has a category of "Permissive Imperative 
(Imperative of Toleration)," under which he places a couple of 
3rd person imperatives.  Are these "permissive imperatives" 
exceptions to normal usage of 3rd person imperatives?

What are we to make of the imperatives in this verse?  Wallace 
himself calls it an "ironic command" (p. 491, n. 109).  

Thanks,
Jonathan Boyd
Huxley, IA




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