[B-Greek] To herd the winds (Prov. 9:12)

Albert Pietersma albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca
Tue Apr 6 11:56:36 EDT 2010


Even more difficult and futile, I should think :-)
Al
On Apr 6, 2010, at 11:51 AM, George F Somsel wrote:

> That's about what I expected.  Would that be something like the  
> expression "herd cats"?
>
> george
> gfsomsel
>
>
> … search for truth, hear truth,
> learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
> defend the truth till death.
>
>
> - Jan Hus
> _________
>
>
> From: Albert Pietersma <albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca>
> To: Emanuel Contac <vaisamar at gmail.com>
> Cc: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Sent: Tue, April 6, 2010 8:16:51 AM
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] To herd the winds (Prov. 9:12)
>
>
> On Apr 6, 2010, at 4:27 AM, Emanuel Contac wrote:
>
> >
> >  Some time ago I had the chance of listening to a Romanian scholar
> > discuss a Romanian phrase (a paşte vânt) which seems to come
> > ultimately from the Bible, from Proverbs 9:12 (POIMAINEIN ANEMOUS)
> > in LXX (i.e. Old Greek). Strangely enough, the Romanian for
> > „poimainein anemous” means „to waste time, to sit idly, to  
> kill
> > time”. I will not expand on that because my purpose is to see what
> > the original meaning of the phrase was in the LXX, in the context of
> > Proverbs (for which we have no Hebrew correspondent at this
> > particular verse).
> >
> > Note that this fragment occurs in Vulgate too, in Prov. 10:4 (How it
> > ended there would be another discussion which I do not intend to
> > pursue).
> >
> > Does anyone know if this phrase (poimainein anemous) continued to be
> > used in Byzantine Greek or in Modern Greek? Did it become a by-word
> > for someone wasting time?
> That POIMAINEIN ANEMOUS of Prov 9:12 was commented upon by the Church
> Fathers is readily apparent from TLG. Whether the idiom was in general
> usage is more tedious and time consuming to establish, but again TLG
> would be the tool to use.  Checking TLG for  POIM- in proximity to
> ANEM-  in writers from 8 c. BC to AD c. 1 shows only Prov 9:12 and Jer
> 22:22.
> >
> >
> > Brenton takes poimainein as „rule” and so gives the following
> > meaning: he who resorts to lies is like the one attempting to rule
> > the winds (these being notoriously untamable).
> Though POIMAINW can certainly mean "to rule," NETS, in my opinion,
> gives a better rendering:"[he] will herd winds." The sense of the
> expression is clear from the Hebrew (not the Greek) of Hos 12:2:"xaw%r
> h(ero MyIrAp;)e. (NRSV: Ephraim herds the wind, [and pursues the east
> wind all day long; they multiply falsehood and violence;]" The sense
> therefore seems to be to do something futile
> >
> > Below you can read the verse in Old Greek, Brenton and Vulgata
> > Clementina. Any insights would be much appreciated.
> >
> > LXX
> > - ὃς ἐρείδεται ἐπὶψεύδεσιν οὗτος
> > ποιμανεῖἀνέμους ὁδ᾽αὐτὸς
> > διώξεται ὄρνεα πετόμενα (Pro 9:12)
> >
> > Brenton – „He that stays himself upon falsehoods, attempts to
> > rule the winds, and the
> > same will pursue birds in their fight” (Pro 9:12)
> NETS: "He who supports himself with lies will as well herd winds, and
> the same person will pursue flying birds"
> >
> > Vulgata
> > Clementina – „Qui nititur mendaciis, hic pascit ventos; idem
> > autem ipse sequitur
> > aves volantes” (Pro 10:4).
> >
> > Note also Hosea 12:1 „Ephraim pascit ventum, et sequitur aestum;
> > tota die mendacium et
> > vastitatem multiplicat: et foedus cum Assyriis iniit, et oleum in
> > Aegyptum
> > ferebat.”
> Yes, this is a translation of the Masoretic Text (MT).  The LXX (OG),
> on the other hand, has: o( de\ Efraim ponhro_n pneu~ma e0di/wcen
> kau&swna o#lhn th_n h(me/ran kena_ kai\ ma&taia e0plh&qunen kai\
> diaqh&khn meta_ 0Assuri/wn die/qeto kai\ e1laion ei0j Ai1gupton
> e0neporeu&eto  (NETS: "Ephraim is an evil wind; he pursued hot wind
> all day long, and he made a covenant with the Assyrians and would
> trade oil with Egypt.") (OG  construed h(ero as h(frF  )
> >
> > Very interestingly, later commentators of the Latin text of Hosea
> > took “pascere” as “feeding on”. That is, Ephraim is
> > “feeding on the wind”. The dual sense of “pascere” is kept  
> in
> > Romanian too; a paşte can mean “to feed the animals, by taking
> > them to graze on a pasture”, as well as “graze, feed on
> > grass” (used of the animal itself).
> In sum: Judging from Hos 12:2(1) "to herd the wind"  is normal Hebrew.
> That Greek Proverbs uses the phrase without warrant in the Hebrew
> would seem to suggest that it is at least viable Greek.
> >
> > Many thanks,
> > Emanuel Conţac, Romania
> >
> > ---
> > B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
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>
>> Albert Pietersma PhD
> 21 Cross Street,
> Weston ON Canada M9N 2B8
> Email: albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca
> Homepage: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~pietersm
>
> ---
> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
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>

—
Albert Pietersma PhD
21 Cross Street,
Weston ON Canada M9N 2B8
Email: albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca
Homepage: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~pietersm




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