Ben Crick ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Sat Oct 20 18:31:11 EDT 2001

On Sat 20 Oct 2001 (08:29:01), cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu wrote:
> I do find a preponderance of views in favor of reading hEBDOMHKONTAKIS
> hEPTA = 77--but no definitive conclusion. I am amused to observe L&N on
> this question perched firmly on the fence:
> 60.74 hEBDOMHKONTAKIS: seventy occurrences - 'seventy times.' hEWS
> hEBDOMHKONTAKIS hEPTA¿ 'up to seventy-seven times' Mt 18:22. For
> another interpretation of hEBDOMHKONTAKIS in Mt 18:22, see 60.77.
> 60.77 hEBDOMHKONTAKIS: seventy multiples of a quantity - 'seventy
> times.'
> hEWS hEBDOMHKONTAKIS hEPTA¿ 'seventy times seven' (a total of 490
> times) Mt 18:22. One should not, however, interpret hEBDOMHKONTAKIS
> hEPTA¿ as
> referring to a specific number, such as 490, but simply an unusually
> large number with symbolic significance of being totally adequate or
> complete.8
> For another interpretation of hEBDOMHKONTAKIS in Mt 18:22, see 60.74.
 If I may stick my oar in, it will be to observe that neither Hebrew nor Greek
 had numerical script with decimal characters 0-9. Whether it is 70+7 or 70x7,
 this is not a sum one can quickly calculate by writing on the back of an old
 envelope "LXX times VII" (using Roman numerals) or [OMIKRON] times [ZHTA] or
 [`aYiN] times [ZaYiN]. "Seventy plus seven" is easier to enumerate, of course.

 It seems to me that Jesus probably meant "times without number".

 Contributors have alluded to Genesis 4:24 and Lamech's "seventy and seven
 fold". But could Peter have been alluding to the repeated "For three
 transgressions... and for four" in Amos 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 13; 2:1, 4, 6?  If God
 would go no further than 3+4, then Peter may have thought he was giving the
 right answer to his own question.

 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 <ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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