[B-Greek] hESTHKA and KAQIZW as "I am" (was "hESTWTA" (Acts 7:55 +56))

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Sat May 16 09:21:22 EDT 2009

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tony Pope" <borikayaama_tekiri at sil.org>
To: <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: 16. maj 2009 14:13
Subject: [B-Greek] hESTHKA and KAQIZW as "I am" (was "hESTWTA" (Acts 7:55 +56))

> I'd like to mention a couple of other examples where hESTHKA may not mean standing on one's feet.
> Matt 20.6b καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· Τί ὧδε ἑστήκατε ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν ἀργοί;
> It seems unlikely that these labourers hoping to be hired would have stayed on their feet even 
> until
> 5 p.m., whatever may be said about the same expression used in verse 3 of the same parable. J.
> Jeremias in "The Parables of Jesus" remarks already on verse 3 "ἑστῶτας ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ hESTWTAS EN 
> THi
> AGORAi: ἑστῶτας hESTWTAS has here the weakened sense of  being present as in John 1.26; 18.18; 
> Matt.
> 13:2. No oriental will _stand_ for hours in the market-place.[fn] Hence they sit about idly
> gossiping in the market-place." (3rd ed. 1972, p. 136)
> [fn] P. Joüon, L'Evangile de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ, Paris, 1930, p. 122.
> I would hesitate to agree with Jeremias' other three references, but the Matt 20 ones look
> convincing to me.

To me, there is a lot of speculation here, and I am not convinced yet regarding any of these four. 
Let me speculate some more.
The master said: "Why are you standing here, (being) idle the whole day?"
I don't think the text implies that they have been standing in the same spot the whole day, but they 
were obviously not having work to do. If they had been present 2 hours earlier standing at the same 
spot, would they not have been employed by the master? Maybe they had walked around different places 
looking for work without success and now they stood where the master came looking for workers?
In my part of the world, people looking for jobs are normally standing. Sitting down might give the 
impression that they are lazy and not eager to find work. I don't know how it was in Israel at the 
time of Jesus and I would be happy to know more about that, if there is evidence one way or the 
Having said that, I agree that the standing is certainly not in focus, and possibly should not be 
taken literally. The point is that they have not been hired the whole day. In my own translation in 
Danish, I used "stand" in the first half of the verse, but I did not use it in the speech, but 
rather used an idiom: "Why have you walked without work the whole day?" and this does not imply 
walking around, but having been in the state of not having work. TEV and NLT have made similar 

Iver Larsen 

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