George F. Somsel polycarp66 at
Wed Jan 22 07:15:35 EST 2003

> John 19:3
> NRSV 'they kept coming up to him'
> HRCONTO taken as the imperfect of ERCOMAI. But is it possible to see it as
> the imperfect of ARCOMAI (ARCW)?
> Possible problems I see is that the imperfect does not seem to fit the
> meaning of ARCOMAI (to start), and the actual translation in this context is
> not clear (though I would go for something like 'to start' > 'to have a go
> at'; though rather unattested).
> My Gramcord parsing gives 9 occurances of the imperfect of ARCOMAI in the
> LXX, but it seems to me that all 9 do come from ERCOMAI. Do we have any
> convincing arguments in koine-Greek of the imperfect of ARCOMAI?
> Regards,
> Dirk Jongkind

I ran a check on your finding of 9 instances of an imperfect of ARXOMAI
(NOTE: I reverse the usage in transcription of XI and KSI)in the LXX
according to the Gramcord parsing.  I note that in Gen 37.25 ISMAHLITAI
HRXONTO EK GALAAD it is marked as from ARXW which cannot be correct.  The
Hebrew here has B.f)fH which is a qal f part of BW) which is "to come" and
would be translated by a form of ERXOMAI.  In Gen 48.7 the situation is
similar--it cannot be from ARXOMAI despite the Gramcord parsing.  In Num
23.37 the Hebrew has LO)_HfLaKT.f which is translated by OUK HRXOU.   Here
HLK is likewise a verb of motion which would be translated by a form of
ERXOMAI despite the Gramcord parsing. At 3 out of 3 wrong, I quit.  The
simple answer is, learn the pardigms and don't rely on the Gramcord
parsing.  It can be helpful if you're really stuck, but don't take it as


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