Hebrews 1:2

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Wed May 29 06:19:05 EDT 2002


At 7:19 AM +0100 5/29/02, David Thiele wrote:
>Hebrews 1:2 reads EP ESCATOU TWN hHMERWN TOUTWN
>ELALHSEN hHMIN EN hUIW(i).
>
>My question is this: Since ESCATOS is an adjective
>presumably qualifying hHMERWN (certainly to judge by
>the translations),  why is it singular when hHMERWN is
>plural?
>
>To put the question another way, if the usual
>translation ("these last days") is the correct one is
>there any particular significance in the lack of
>agreement in number?

While ESCATOS is indeed an adjective which, when modifying a noun, should
be in agreement with it in number, gender, and case, nevertheless in the
present instance it is used substantivally as a neuter noun in the sense of
"last/ultimate part." It probably is used in deliberate imitation of the
LXX phrase which translates the Hebrew phrase b'acharit hayammim, where
acharit is a feminine noun meaning "last part."
-- 

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months:: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/



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