[B-Greek] On Ruth 2.15 LXX

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Sat Sep 15 03:34:36 EDT 2007

Dear Levi,

See FAQ for correct transliteration scheme.

Ruth 2:15,
15 καὶ ἀνέστη τοῦ συλλέγειν, καὶ ἐνετείλατο Βοος τοῖς παιδαρίοις αὐτοῦ λέγων
Καί γε ἀνὰ μέσον τῶν δραγμάτων συλλεγέτω, καὶ μὴ καταισχύνητε αὐτήν,
 Septuaginta  : With morphology. Stuttgart : Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1996,
c1979, S. Ru 2:15


συλλεγέτω, SULLEGETW, is the Present Active Imperative, 3rd Person Singular of
συλλέγω, SULLEGW, "gather or pick (fruit), collect (fish), pull/pick (weeds)."
It has the same function as καταισχύνητε, KATAISXUNHTE, "to put to shame,
reproach, embarrass." The clause has a positive command in συλλεγέτω, SULLEGETW,
and a negative in καὶ μὴ καταισχύνητε αὐτήν, KAI MH KATAISXUNHTE AUTHN.

"And when (Ruth - understood subject from vs. 14) arose to glean, Boaz gave
orders himself to his young men, Let her gather up even from among the sheaves
(grain) and do not shame her." "Let us..." would be a Hortatory Subjunctive.
What is occurring is that a Positive command and a Prohibitive command in the
Present is used to indicate a continuous/repeated action, at least that is what
is said by Dana & Mantey, pp. 300-301, paragraph 289. BDF, pp. 195-196,
paragraph 387, #1, The imperative in the NT keeps for the most part within the
same limits as in classical usage."

Williams Meeks and Robert Funk's *A Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of the
Hellenistic Greek, Electronic Edition, p. 261, paragraph 0455.
    " Introduction. The imperative mood in Greek, unlike English, is used in the
third person as well as in the second person. There is no first person
imperative in either language. The third person will have to be handled in
translation by some linguistic device, e.g. 'Let him go,' 'Let them remain.'
This particular device corresponds to the hortatory subjunctive (in Greek) of
the first person, 'Let us go.' Thus, in English the linguistic device with 'let'
is employed in the first and third persons, the imperative in the second person
only; in Greek the first person is handled by the subjunctive, the second and
third persons by the imperative."

Meek's-Funk, Page 455, Paragraphs 805-806:
The Verb: Subjunctive, Imperative and Optative
805. Introduction. The predicate of a Greek sentence will most often be headed
by a verb in the indicative mood (§0780). The verb heading the predicate may
also be in the imperative mood, as in English, but it is in the common use of
the subjunctive that Greek differs most markedly from English. The imperative
and subjunctive are closely related in both English (Roberts, 1954: §156) and
Greek, as we shall observe. The imperative and subjunctive are used both in
independent sentences (and main clauses of complex sentences), and in included
sentences. The use of the subjunctive in included sentences introduced by ἵνα
was examined in §§654-662. In this section attention will be devoted primarily
to the subjunctive and imperative as employed in independent sentences (and main
clauses) .
The optative may be given brief consideration subsequently.
806. The imperative is the mood in which commands and requests are normally
expressed (§§307.4, 0455ff.):
(i) Come here
(ii) Keep οff the grass
The form of the imperative may be compound:
(iii) Be ready
(iv) Be advised that the shipment will arrive on Tuesday
(v) Keep working on it
Commands and requests may, of course, be expressed in other ways (i.e. without a
verb in the imperative mood):
(vi) You must learn Greek
(vii) You will report immediately for induction
(viii) Quiet!
(ix) No smoking
The verb let, used as an auxiliary, may express a command or request:
(x) Let 's go home
(xi) Let us concentrate on the text
The imperative also functions as the mood of petitions and entreaties:
(xii) Help me
(xiii) Forgive us our sins
And the imperative may be used to indicate a concession or an hypothesis:
(xiv) Give him an inch, and he'll take a mile
Give him an inch might be said to be the equivalent of If you give him an inch.
In sum, the imperative is the normal mood of commands, requests, and petitions,
but it is not the only way of expressing these 'moods,' nor is it limited to
them (cf. xiv). The imperative in Greek corresponds in most important respects
to the imperative in English.

Meeks-Funk, Paragraphs 808ff discuss the differences between the Imperative and
Subjunctive regarding the differences in Commands and Prohibitions.
808. Tense-aspect. Theoretically, the present and aorist imperatives differ in
the same way as the imperfect and aorist indicatives (§786): the present
imperative is durative or linear, the aorist imperative is punctiliar. The same
principle applies to the subjunctive of prohibition (which replaces the aorist
in negative injunctions, 2. person) and to the hortatory subjunctive (1. sing.
and plur.) (cf. Bl-D §335). What this means specifically can best be set out,
and exceptions noted, in relation to particular types of expression.

810. Prohibitions are expressed by the present imperative or the aorist
subjunctive (2. person sing. and plur.). It is the general pattern in
Indo-European languages that negative commands are expressed by the present
imperative (not subjunctive) and the aorist subjunctive (not imperative). The
negative is μή (MH). There are a few examples of the 3. person aorist
subjunctive with μή, and rare occurrences of the aorist imperative with μή (MH).

There is more in Meeks-Funk, but I think that will give you something to work

Maybe Ken Penner and Albert Pietersma can help on this?

En Xristwi,

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Levi Simpson" <levi.regent.ta at gmail.com>
To: <B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2007 9:55 PM
Subject: [B-Greek] On Ruth 2.15 LXX

Hello all,

I am struggling through the book of Ruth in my first foray into the
LXX, and have hit a snag.  I could use some help on how the 3rd per.
sg. imperative is being used in 2.15:

kai e neteilato Boo֧ toiç paidarioi֧ aujtouv legwn kai  ge ana
meson tw n dragmatwn sullege tw kai mh\ kataiscu/nhte aujth/n

It is 3rd person sing, but (at least to me) obviously directed at
toi  paidarioi֧ .  It almost seems to be functioning as a hortatory
imperative (instead of "let us," however, it would read "let her"
given the context of 2.14-15).  Is this possible?  Any help on how to
approach this translation?  Thanks in advance.

Levi Simpson
MCS Candidate
Regent College

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