[B-Greek] Synonym study

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Tue Oct 13 13:05:37 EDT 2009

I didn't follow your comment or data.
Actually, MNHSQHNAI (aorist) is used about 185 times in the LXX
MEMNHSQAI (perfect) 10 xx in LXX, and
MIMNHSKESQAI (present system) 7xx (and never in imperfect).

Against this,
MNHMONEYSAI (aorist) is used once in the LXX (2Sam14:11, where an
active sense is invoked)
EMNHMONEYKENAI (perfect) is used zero 0 in LXX, and
MNHMONEYEIN (present+imperfect system)  19 in LXX


IL: Thanks for the correction. There was a problem with my search method. I had
not noticed that in my NT database, the base form was given as μιμνῄσκω
MIMNHiSKW, while in my LXX database, the base form was given as μιμνήσκω
I can see that there doesn't seem to be any choice for the aorist, but both are
used in present. I got 21 present tense forms of MNHMONEUEIN in the LXX and 2
imperfects, but my database may include more or different books than yours.
So, I am still wondering if there is a semantic difference in the present tense
forms of the two verbs, granted that they correspond to the same Hebrew word.
For instance, we find  MIMNHSKESQAI in Isa 12:4, 48:1 and 62:6, while we find
MNHMONEUEIN in Isa 43:18. Is it just variation, or did the translator choose a
different word because of the different contexts? The first 3 has the Hebrew
word in hifil and the last one in qal. It looks like a systematic correspondence
in the LXX, but I did find one exception to this, namely Psa 8:5(4).
For Isa 12:4, 48:1 and 62:6, the KJV translates as "make mention" and the LXX
with MIMNHSKESQAI, while in Isa 43:18 KJV has "remember" and LXX has
In Psa 8:4/5 KJV has "be mindful" and LXX has MIMNHSKESQAI.
In Psa 6:5/6 NIV has "remember" and LXX MNHMONEUEIN.

What do you think of this? Is it possible that MNHMONEUEIN originally meant
something like "keep in mind, remember" and MIMNHSKESQAI more like "come or
bring to mind", and that this difference disappeared in the aorist forms or
maybe was never there in the aorist? After all, BAGD suggests "remember, keep in
mind, think of" for MNHMONEUW and "recall to mind, make mention" (among other
glosses) for MIMNHiSKOMAI.

It all started by Oun's question from Heb 13:3 and 7 where verse 3 has the
present imperative MIMNHiSKESQE and verse 7 the present imperative MNHMONEUETE:

13:3 μιμνῄσκεσθε τῶν δεσμίων ὡς συνδεδεμένοι

13:7 Μνημονεύετε τῶν ἡγουμένων ὑμῶν

The context would allow for "bring to mind" for v. 3 and "keep/retain in mind"
for v. 7. English versions do not seem to make a distinction (nor would Hebrew
apparently), but we used two different words in our Danish translation in verse
3 and 7, not because I had studied the two different Greek words, but because of
context. If we use the negative form "don't forget", the distinction disappears
and we could use the same in both verses.

Iver Larsen

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