[B-Greek] John 2:15
bluemeeksbay at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 11 14:11:15 EDT 2010
[One more beat ... but first let me also add to the SUGCARTIKA for Louis
Sorenson. Even though I am somewhat new to the list and do not know you that
well, I can speak for myself and say, I have enjoyed your posts and look forward
to future posts, and the insight you can lend to my attempt to understand more
fully the Greek language. I use UPS all the time! (not that the *other*
company is not good : ). Now to the post at hand and my two cents.]
Hi Leonard –
I agree with you that the actions, more than likely, occurred at the same time.
However, Carl Conrad's take that PANTAS refers back to verse 14 seems to make
more sense, not because the language would not allow it to refer only to the
sheep and oxen, (as Yancy showed in his excellent post), but simply because the
context seems to demand it. If EXEBALEN referred only to the sheep and oxen,
it would take some time to drive them out from the court of the Gentiles through
the sheep gate and EK TOU hIEROU. From extra-biblical sources we have
indications that there were not just a few animals there, but there may have
been hundreds of sheep and oxen. Indeed, there could have easily been over a
thousand animals. Who knows how long that would take? (Alfred Edersheim
mentions that at a previous time 3000 sheep had been introduced into the temple
If John was saying Jesus drove out just the sheep and oxen out of the temple,
then, more than likely, it seems John would have included another word, say,
like hUPOSTREFW (I hope this would be the proper word) and said something like
KAI POIHSAS FRAGELLION EK SCOINIWN PANTAS EXEBALEN EK TOU hIEROU TA TE PROBATA
KAI TOUS BOAS, KAI [hUPOSTREFW ] TWN KOLLUBISTWN EXECEEN TO KERMA KAI TAS
And making a whip out of rope He drove all of them out of the temple, both the
sheep and oxen, and [returning], he dumped out the coins of the moneychangers
and turned over their tables
But, of course, that is not what it said. Also, I am not even sure one man could
drive out so many animals by himself, especially with so many other people
milling around. And I do not think Jesus would simply break open the pens and
scatter the animals, for that would seem to further desecrate the sacredness of
the temple by having hundreds of animals running through the sacred precincts,
perhaps, into places they should not.
Therefore, more than likely, Jesus was going from stall to stall driving out the
*sellers* with those particular animals in their pen. The sellers, of course,
would be careful to keep their own animals together since they had invested
their own money in procuring those animals that were already *pronounced* ready
for sacrifice. That is the whole basis of the business. They were providing a
service to the thousands of pilgrims that would come to the feast to
sacrifice, not having sacrifice ready animals.
As this market place was all contained, more than likely, in one area of the
court of the Gentiles, it seems Jesus would be doing all three actions at the
same time. He would approach the first pen of sheep and oxen and drive out the
seller with his animals, while at the same time shouting to the sellers of doves
to take away their birds, while overturning a moneychanger’s table that was set
up next to the stall in order to provide proper coinage to any foreign Jew who
wished to purchase an animal. He, more than likely, repeated this action going
from one stall to the other, and I am sure the ones at the end of the line
seeing the others at the other end of the line being driven out by Jesus would
not wait for the inevitable, but would quickly gather their investment together
and take their animals out through the sheep gate andout of the temple before
Jesus could reach them.
Carl Conrad also said –
<Among those B-Greekers who have responded in this thread there seems to be a
preponderance of those preferring not to think that Jesus used the whip on human
I can understand this, but I do not think Carl Conrad is saying because PANTAS
refers back to verse 14 that that means Jesus necessarily used the whip on human
beings. (He can correct me if I am wrong). It is possible Jesus did, at least,
initially, but the text just doesn’t say for sure, so it is probably best to
leave it at that – nebulous. However, I know if I saw Jesus coming at me with a
whip raised in his hand, I wouldn’t wait around to see if he was going to use it
on me or not! I would skedaddle out of there.
From: Leonard Jayawardena <leonardj at live.com>
To: dlpost at comcast.net
Cc: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Wed, August 11, 2010 4:53:26 AM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] John 2:15
> Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2010 14:12:50 +0000
> From: dlpost at comcast.net
> To: leonardj at live.com
> CC: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] John 2:15
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Leonard Jayawardena"
> To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Sent: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 6:54:49 AM
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] John 2:15
> 2. After Jesus drives out "all," the sellers of doves, with their
> birds, are still sitting or standing around for him to tell them, "Take
> these things [TAUTA] away," which clearly shows that that the
> antecedent of PANTAS is NOT all the parties mentioned in v. 14. The
> whip was not used on the doves, which would have been kept in cages.
> PERISTERA is feminine but Jesus said TAUTA, not TAUTAS. Perhaps the
> reference is to the cages in which the birds were kept?
> Doug here: If Jesus is driving them out, ALL of them (animals and men),
> then it stands to reason that the One "driving out" is also going "out"
> with ALL of them. He doesn't make a whip with cords only to be
> standing in the temple saying "shoo away." No, He is forcing them all
> out of the temple and he is running behind them outside the temple
> Himself. Of course, the point is that when Jesus said "take these
> things" it doesn't necessarily mean they were inside the temple, and it
> doesn't necessarily mean that He was inside the temple when He said it.
LJ: On second thoughts, I think the series of actions of Jesus relating to the
cleansing of the temple should not be taken chronologically and I hereby
withdraw my argument no. 2. On both interpretations, adherence to a
chronological sequence leads to improbable or even absurd results, as evidenced
by your interpretation above. No, I think the events described happened more or
less simultaneously and the arrangement of the material by the writer is
topical. The actions and the command of Jesus to the sellers of doves in vv.
15-16 correspond to the various items introduced in v. 14 (KAI hEUREN EN TWi
hIERWi TOUS PWLOUNTAS BOAS KAI PROBATA KAI PERISTERAS KAI TOUS KERMATISTAS
KAQHMENOUS). Observe the pattern below:
1. Jesus drives out the sheep and the oxen.
2. He pours out the coins and overturns the tables of moneychangers.
3. He orders the sellers of doves to take them away.
Evidently, Jesus' actions were directed towards clearing the temple of the
merchandise that desecrated it (and, of course, the sellers would have followed
their merchandise out). If he drove the sellers and the moneychangers out of the
temple, wouldn't (1) above be the odd man out?
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