[B-Greek] OYE in Matthew 28:1

George F Somsel gfsomsel at juno.com
Sun Mar 5 12:42:12 EST 2006

On Sun, 5 Mar 2006 12:58:54 +0100 "Iver Larsen" <iver at larsen.dk> writes:
> > deHaan egrapsen
> >>
> >> I am wondering if the word OYE means "after" or if the meaning is 
> really
> >> "late".
> >> There is no confusion when Mary and Mary (BTW why is one spelled 
> MIRIAM and
> >> the other MIRIA?) went to the grave. THi EPIFWSKOUSHi EIS MIAN 
> >> makes that clear enough.
> >> But it does make a difference if we are trying to determine if 
> the Jews
> >> considered the Sabbath to end at day-break or maybe in the 
> evening.
> >> Compare; Late on the Sabbath, towards the dawn of the first day 
> of the week,
> >> with; After the Sabbath towards the dawn of the first day of the 
> week.
> >>
> >> Thank you
> >> Bert de Haan.
> >
> > I am glad that there is no confusion when Mary and Mary went to 
> the
> > grave.  I would agree that Matthew has made Saturday sundown 
> clear
> > enough. (Though your email wording "Jews considered the Sabbath to 
> end
> > at daybreak" makes me think you are referring to Sunday morning.)
> > PLease note how the very rare word EPIFWSKOUSIH is used in Luke 
> 23:54
> > for clearly referring to Friday sundown.
> If this is clear enough, it is surprising that not a single 
> translation has accepted this interpreration.
> Is it not the case that the Hebrew expression for "twilight" 
> (neshef?) can refer to either sunrise or sunset?
> Similarly, cannot the Greek EPIFWSKW refer to when either the moon, 
> morning star or the sun starts to shine? The word 
> used in the LXX is EPIFAUSKW, but only occurs in Job 25:5, 31:16 and 
> 41:9/10 as far as I could find out. In one case the 
> word refers to the shining of the moon, in another the shining of 
> the sun and in the third apparenty the shining of the 
> morning star.
> Therefore, I would like to see more evidence for the range of meaning 
> of these words than the single occurrence in Luke 
> 23:54 where the context makes the evening reference clear. If Matt 
> 28:1 is taken to refer to the onset of the moonlight 
> rather than sunlight, would that suggest that the two women kept 
> vigil at the tomb during the night? At the Passover you 
> would have a full moon. Or maybe they went there and stayed for some 
> time and then went home in order to return at 
> daybreak as the other Gospels tell us? It would then not be clear 
> when they told the disciples, during the night or next 
> morning (v. 8).
> The other question is the range of meaning of OYE. Although the more 
> common sense is "late", according to the various 
> dictionaries I have of both Classical and NT Greek, the word can 
> also mean "some time after" or "even long after."
> So, in order to be convincing, one would need to do a thorough 
> research of the range of meaning of both of these words, 
> and you are probably doing that in your forthcoming paper. It would 
> be interesting to get a copy when it is ready, but 
> maybe you could address briefly these two key words? I assume that 
> you are also speculating about a Hebrew vorlage for 
> the Matthew narrative and making suggestions based on that. It would 
> have been helpful to have had access to the 
> presumed original Hebrew text of Matthew's gospel.
> Thanks,
> Iver Larsen 


Although Mt 28.1 is the only place where the word EPIFWSKW appears, the
related form EPIFAUSKW appears in Job 25.5.   The LXX reads


This form also appears in Eph 5.14.  Here it is Christ who is said to
shine forth.  It seems to me that it is not necessary that it refer to
the shining of some luminous body.  It could as well simply be the new
day itself which was dawning.  Remember also that the Hebraic order of
the days is evening then morning following the 1st creation acct in Gen
1.  I would go so far as to say that it is entirely possible that the
author of the Gospel According to Matthew was implying that the women
began their walk to the tomb prior to the end of the Sabbath but when it
was yet near enough that the trip would not be complete prior to the
change in day (again, according to the Hebrew system).  In this way they
would avoid the difficulty of going beyond the "Sabbath day's journey."


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