[B-Greek] Hebrews 13.2... now it's deponent, not it's not

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Mon Jun 15 02:22:09 EDT 2009


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carl Conrad" <cwconrad2 at mac.com>
To: "Mitch Larramore" <mitchlarramore at yahoo.com>
Cc: "B Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: 14. juni 2009 20:19
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Hebrews 13.2... now it's deponent, not it's not


>
> On Jun 14, 2009, at 10:15 AM, Mitch Larramore wrote:
>
>> τῆς φιλοξενίας μὴ ἐπιλανθάνεσθε,
>> διὰ ταύτης γὰρ ἔλαθόν τινες
>> ξενίσαντες ἀγγέλους.
>>
>> THS FILOXENIAS H EPILANQANESQE, DIA TAUTHS GAR ELAQON TINES
>> XENISANTES AGGELOUS
>>
>> 1. What accounts for EPILANQANESQE (from EPI + LANQANOMAI) being
>> deponent but ELAQON (from LANQANW) is not??
>
> These are two different verbs: (1) EPILANQANOMAI, a middle verb (what
> the many call a "deponent") meaning, "forget" or "neglect" (basically
> "fail to be aware of"), and (2) LANQANW, meaning "elude, stay unseen
> (while doing something)." Both derive from the same root LAQ which has
> the basic sense "hiddenness" or "concealment." This root appears also
> notably in the adjective ALHQHS, formed with an alpha privative and
> meaning, originally, "un-concealed" or "un-disguised." I think it was
> the German existentialist philosopher who suggested that the noun
> ALHQEIA, which we usually English as "truth," means something like,
> "what we see when all the wrappers and disguises and masks have been
> stripped away."
>
>> 2. What is the relationship between ELAQON and TINES XENISANTES?
>
> LANQANW is a verb that ordinarily construes with a participle
> indicating precisely what the subject of LANQANW is doing while unseen
> or being unaware. It's frequently used of some stealthy or underhanded
> behavior that goes undetected by those who will be harmed or
> benefitted from the behavior in question, e.g. hOI DESMWTAI ELAQON
> TOUS FULAKAS FEUGONTES, "The prisoners escaped without the guards
> noticing them." ELAQON TINES XENISANTES AGGELOUS means "Some (unnamed)
> persons have played host to angels without being aware of it." There's
> a strange, fascinating Hellenistic Greek proverb, LAQE BIWSAS, that
> means something like "Live your life without being noticed."
>
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Thanks, I didn't realize that ALHQHS was related to LANQANW.

These are interesting verbs, partly because the structure is so different from 
English patterns.
It also illustrates the misconception of "deponency".

EPILANQANW is normally used in MP forms, because of the "subject intensity" of 
the meaning "forget". In this sense it is not something that escapes the notice 
of others, but it escapes the notice of the subject. The subject is the 
experiencer rather than the agent or cause.

The active form means to actively forget or cause to forget. In other words, you 
deliberately put it out of your memory or some event manages to put it out.  It 
is naturally quite rare, but we do find it, for instance, in the following 
places in the LXX:

Psa 9:33 (10:12) ἀνάστηθι, κύριε ὁ θεός, ὑψωθήτω ἡ χείρ σου, μὴ ἐπιλάθῃ τῶν 
πενήτων
ANASTHQI, KURIE hO QEOS, hUPWQHTW hH CEIR SOU, MH EPILAQHi TWN PENHTWN

Similar verbs are found in Psa 73:19,23 (74:19,23).

On the other hand, LANQANW is normally used in active forms, but it does occur 
in MP forms, at least in Classical Greek, according to my dictionaries, with the 
meaning "forget, escape one's mind/memory". Maybe the MP forms have been 
replaced by EPILANQANOMAI in Hellenistic Greek for the sake of clarity?

There is a curious form in the LXX:
2 Sam 18:13: καὶ πᾶς ὁ λόγος οὐ λήσεται ἀπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως
KAI PAS hO LOGOS OU LHSETAI APO TOU BASILEWS

It looks like a future middle, but why it is middle, I don't know. It does not 
seem to mean "forget" here.

Iver Larsen 




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