[B-Greek] Matthew 3:4 John was hairy like Elijah?

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Sat Apr 24 06:52:39 EDT 2010


On Apr 24, 2010, at 12:29 AM, hoshi411 wrote:
> Matthew 3:4 αυτος δε ο ιωαννης ειχεν το  
> ενδυμα αυτου απο τριχων καμηλου και  
> ζωνην δερματινην περι την οσφυν αυτου  
> η δε τροφη αυτου ην ακριδες και μελι  
> αγριον
> Matthew 3:4 AUTOS DE hO IWANNHS EIXEN TO ENDUMA AUTOU APO TRIXWN  
> KAMHLOU KAI ZWNHN DERUMATINHN PERI THN OSFUN AUTOU hH DE TROFH AUTOU  
> HN AKRIDES KAI MELI AGRION
> 
> I am having two translation problems
> 
> 1) "AUTOS DE hO IWANNHS"
> a. Why did the author feel it necessary to write John's name? He could  
> have said "AUTOS DE EIXEN"

AUTOS is here not the simple third-person pronoun but the intensive pronoun:
"John himself ... "

> 2) "TO ENDUMA AUTOU APO TRIXWN KAMHLOU"
> a. what does this expression "after camel's hair" mean?

APO doesn't mean "after" but "from," in this instance "made from"

> b. does this mean "like camels hair" as in "after the appearance of  
> camels hair"

You're evidently getting your "after" from some translation; it is not what
APO means.

> c. 2 kings 1:8 says in the Hebrew that Elijah was "possessor of hair"  
> which is often translated that "he was a hairy man" the LXX also says  
> that. and King James says "john's raiment was of camels hair" which  
> could be translated that his appearance was like camels hair.
> so, is mat 3:4 "TO ENDUMA AUTOU" "his garment was made from camels  
> hair" or "his outfit/appearance was after/like camel's hair" which  
> would mean that John was a hairy man with a skin belt? and why?

It is a description of a man who contents himself with the roughest of
available clothing; he is an ascetic who shuns comfort.

> 3) "APO TRIXWN KAMHLOU"
> why is apo necessary?

See BDAG s.v. APO 3. "to indicate origin or source, from"
I don't think it's really "necessary" but it isn't really very obscure.
> 
> 
> 
> =========
> Joshua Robison
> ecclesiologyproper at gmail.com




Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)






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