George F Somsel gfsomsel at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 13 23:36:04 EST 2006

What you see is an instrumental usage -- "they have the power to injure WITH their tails."

 195. In the genuinely instrumental sense the dative has been sharply curtailed in the NT by the use of ἐν. While this is certainly not entirely foreign to Greek (K.–G. i 464f.; Raderm.2 130 n. 4; Helb., Kas. 146f.; Humbert 99–158), for NT authors Hebrew B.: has provided the model. This usage is not found, therefore, to the same degree in the various authors. For ἐν used to designate the personal agent, which cannot be expressed by the dative, s. §219(1); for the Hebraizing circumlocutions with χείρ, στόμα for persons, s. §217. (1) The following take ἐν besides the simple dative: (a) ‘with the sword (kill, die etc.)’, (b) ‘to season with something’, (c) ‘burn with fire’ (ἐν πυρί literally ‘in the fire’ as it means even in the chance phrase ἐν πυρὶ καίειν Hom., Il. 24.38), (d) ‘baptize with’, (e) ‘vindicate by’, (f) ‘mix with’, (g) ‘measure with’. (2) The instrumental is sometimes used where
 classical used the genitive construction as a rule: MEQUSKESQAI OINWi E 5:18, as in LXX Pr 4:17 etc. (Helb., Kas. 150); PLHROUN TINI or (E 5:18) EN TINI, besides genitive (§172); Mk 10:33 KATAKRINOUSIN AUTON QANATWi (-OU D*) = Mt 20:18 (CD al. here, EIS QANATON S, om. B) ‘they will condemn him to death’ by analogy from QANATWi ZHMIOUN (and capite damnare?).—Mayser ii 2, 282ff., 357; Regard, Prép. 349–76; Smyth §§1506ff.; Rob. 532ff.
(1) (a) EN MAXAIRHi, EN hROMFAIAi Mt 26:52, Lk 22:49, Rev 2:16, 6:8, 13:10, 19:21, EN FONWi MAXAIRHS H 11:37, but Rev 2:23 APOKTENW EN QANATWi; without EN: MAXAIRHi A 12:2, STOMATI MAXAIRHS Lk 21:24. LXX also with and without EN: Johannessohn i 55, ii 353. Exx. of EN MAXAIRHi (-RAIS) in the pap. are analogous to EN hOPLOIS and mean ‘to supply with weapons’ (cf. HMFIESMENOS EN §159(1)), but are not combined with ‘to kill’ and the like (Mlt. 11f. [15f.]; Kuhring 43f.; Rossberg 28; Mayser ii 2, 358, 393). S. also §198(2). AKONTIWi FONEUEIN and the like in Lucian (Jannaris §1562) can be a Semitism (Humbert 109).—(b) ALATI C 4:6, hALIZEIN PURI Mk 9:49 (hALI in the same place OT), but EN TINI hALISQHSETAI (TO hALAS) Mt 5:13, similarly Mk 9:50, Lk 14:31.—(c) PURI ASBESTWi Mt 3:12 = Lk 3:17, EN PURI Rev 14:10, 16:8, 17:16 (without EN SP 046), 18:8; only ‘to burn with fire’ is PURI KAIESQAI even in Rev (8:8, 21:8). LXX with and without EN (Johannessohn i
 52).—(d) Usually EN hUDATI, EN PNEUMATI, yet Lk hUDATI: 3:16 (D with EN, but in the same place all MSS have EN PNEUMATI by contrast), A 1:5 (in same verse: EN PN.), 11:16 (ditto), XRIEIN PNEUMATI 10:38.—(e) DIKAIOUN (-OUSQAI) with dat. e.g. R 3:28 PISTEI, with EN G 5:4 (EN NOMWi), A 13:39, R 5:9 (EN TWi hAIMATI TOU XR.); EK PISTEWS 5:1 etc.—(f) MEIGNUNAI with dat. Rev 15:2, with EN 8:7, with META Mt 27:34, Lk 13:1 (exx. from the poets in K.–G. ii 431). Helb., Kas. 250f.—(g) METREIN ‘to measure by something’ with dat. Lk 6:38, with EN Mt 7:2, Mk 4:24, 2 C 10:12 (EN hEAUTOIS; class. also would not use the dat., nor EN either, but PROS TINA); ‘to measure with something’ with dat. Rev 21:16 (EN P), with EN 11:1.

Blass, F., Debrunner, A., & Funk, R. W. (1961). A Greek grammar of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (104). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

You also have an accusative of extent 

161. (1) The accusative of the extent of space in response to the questions ‘how far? how long?’ etc. needs no amplification (Lk 22:41 APESPASQH AP' AUTWN hWSEI LIQOU BOLHN; 2:44; Jn 6:19). Except for stereotyped MAKRAN (§§34(2); 184), only hODON QALASSHS Mt 4:15 OT (Is 8:23 where it is a back-reading from the NT as can be seen from its position in the context: Katz; LXX also elsewhere, e.g. Dt 11:30, cf. Johannessohn i 75) as a literal translation of Hebr. D.eReK, Lat. versus, need be considered (cf. §166). Furthermore, the occasional replacement of the accusative by APO and a genitive in response to the question ‘how far away?’—a usage which corresponds to Latin (Caesar, B. G. 2.7.3 a milibus passuum duobus)—is proved to be good Greek by parallel appearances with PRO (§213) and META (cf. W. Schulze, Graeca Latina 15ff.): Jn 11:18 HN HQANIA EGGUS TWN hIER., hWS APO STADIWN DEKAPENTE. A 26:20 PASAN TE THN XWRAN (v.l. EIS P. T. X.); Bonaccorsi 457f.: if
 correct then a Hebraistic acc. of place. (2) The accusative is used for extent of time in response to the question ‘how long?’ (cf. however dat. §201): Jn 2:12 EMEINAN OU POLLAS hHMERAS. The distributive use is also old: Mt 20:2 SUMFWNEIN EK DHNARIOU THN hMERAN ‘per diem’ (Mayser ii 2, 333). (3) In the case of hWRA the accusative is classical, answering the question ‘when?’: Jn 4:52 EXQES hWRAN hEDOMHN; in the NT, however, it also appears in THN hHMERAN THS PENTHKOSTHS A 20:16 (EIS THN hH. D) as well as in TO DEILINON, TO PRWI (§160). Otherwise the dative has strongly encroached upon the domain of the accusative; s. §§200(2); 201.—Mayser ii 2, 330ff.; Smyth §§1580ff.; Rob. 469f. 

Blass, F., Debrunner, A., & Funk, R. W. (1961). A Greek grammar of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (88). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Thus it is "for five months" 


----- Original Message ----
From: Webb <webb at selftest.net>
To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Monday, November 13, 2006 10:40:09 PM

PENTE (Rev. 9:10)

And in their tails [lies] their power to harm people for five months.

And their power to harm people with their tails [lasts for] five months.

I like the second of these better, but I suspect that the first is what John
intended. Any comments?

Webb Mealy

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