[B-Greek] Matthew 21:5 KAI

Louis Sorenson llsorenson at hotmail.com
Tue Aug 31 08:28:24 EDT 2010


Yuki,

The passage in Matt 21.5 is taken from Zechariah 9.9 
(and also Isaiah 63.11)

Zech 9.9
Χαῖρε σφόδρα, θύγατερ Σιων,
  κήρυσσε, θύγατερ Ιερουσαλημ,
   ἰδοὺ ὁ βασιλεύς σου ἔρχεταί σοι,
    δίκαιος καὶ (וְ) σῴζων αὐτός,
     πραῢς καὶ (וְ) ἐπιβεβηκὼς
      ἐπὶ (עַל) ὑποζύγιον καὶ (וְעַל) πῶλον νέον


CAIRE SFODRA, QUGATER SIWN,
  KHRUSSE, QUGATER IEROUSALHM,
   IDOU hO BASILEUS SOU ERCETAI SOI,
    DIKAIOS KAI SWiZWN AUTOS,
     PRAU+S KAIEPIBEBHKWS
      EPI hUPOZUGION KAI PWLON NEON. 


Matt. 21.5
 εἴπατε τῇ θυγατρὶ Σιών·
ἰδοὺ ὁ βασιλεύς σου ἔρχεταί σοι
πραῢς καὶ ἐπιβεβηκὼς ἐπὶ ὄνον
καὶ ἐπὶ πῶλον υἱὸν ὑποζυγίου 


 EIPATE THi QUGATRI SIWN·
IDOU hO BASILEUS SOU ERCETAI SOI
PRAU+S KAI EPIBEBHKWS EPI ONON
KAI EPI PWLON hUION hUPOZUGIOU<<.


 The passage is of course from a Hebrew Original.
 Hebrew did not have a lot of coordinating particles,
 such as Greek, and so the Hebrew vav-connective (ve-)="and"
 appears frequently in the Hebrew paratactic | parallel constructions. 


We see this pleonastic use of καὶ KAI more in this
type of translation literature (i.e. the NT Gospels and the LXX)
than in other Greek literature. You could call it a colloquialism.
It's the way Hebrew-Aramaic native speakers spoke (and wrote)
in their second language of Greek. See AT Robertson's grammar p. 94.

But in this specific passage (the quoted passage above includes
the vavs and prepositions), this KAI connects the second of two prepositions:

al . . . v:al
epi . . .  kai epi

I would look for the meaning of KAI (PWLON) in Matt. 21.5 from the Hebrew idiomatic
perspective. A good Jewish teacher of poetry, says
"Always repeat yourself so they know what you said." Note to self:
Some languages repeat a word three times to make the plural of a word. 
Thank God Hebrew is not tritactic! 

This pleonastic usage is counter-intuitive to the modern
 English learner who wants things short and sweet. So when we see that 
extra "and" we want to say, "You are further explaining it in more detail."
(=epexegetical). When in reality, it is more about balance and symmetry.
 Note: it's kind of funny the word EPI occurs three times
in a passage about being EP-exegetical.

There are several other things of interest in the passage quoted in Matt 21.
1) The phrase 
δίκαιος καὶ σῴζων αὐτός, DIKAIOS KAI SWiZWN AUTOS
is omitted from the quotation in Matthew. 

2) The simple LXX phrase
ἐπὶ ὑποζύγιον καὶ πῶλον νέον EPI UPOZUGION KAI PWLON NEON

has been modified in the NT into
ἐπὶ ὄνον καὶ EPI ONON KAI
ἐπὶ πῶλον, υἱὸν ὑποζυγίου.  EPI PWLON, UION UPOZGIOU

This was done so you could learn one more word for donkey. 
But in reality, the Greek of the LXX was vague in meaning.
The word πῶλος ( English word foal) could mean  the new
offspring of any kind of animal (elephant to locust). Usually
πῶλος by itself means a Horse of any age, not a donkey.

The word ὑποζύγιον (lit. under the yoke)
 has shifted in meaning in later Greek towards that of a donkey-only 
than just that of a general beast of burden . 

3) Note the repeated use of EPI(3x).
επι-βεβηκας επὶ ... επὶ.   The use of the verb (participle) 
with a preposition followed by another identical preposition
is seen in other places (see AT Robertson's Grammar, p. 559
for a further discussion of this. This phenomenon also
occurs more frequently in the NT than in other Greek literature.

παραγων παρα την θάλασσαν.  PARAGWN PARA THN QALASSAN
επιβεβηκας επι τον ονον EPIBEBHKAS EPI TON ONON
απηλθεν απο αυτου APHLQHEN APO AUTOU
Louis Sorenson



In reply to........

Dear B-Greek-ers,
I'm reading Matt. 21. And in v.5, there is a clause EPIBEBHKWS EPI ONON KAI EPI PWLON hUIOS hYPOZUGIU (ἐπι βεβηκὼς ἐπὶ ὄνον καὶ ἐπὶ πῶλον υἱὸν ὑποζυγίου).  
How should I treat EPI... KAI EPI... here? I
 took this KAI as additive without much thought into it, but is there 
any case where KAI is functioning as epexegetically (like 'that is')?
Matt 21.5 	εἴπατε τῇ θυγατρὶ Σιών·		ἰδοὺ ὁ βασιλεύς σου ἔρχεταί σοι	πραῢς καὶ ἐπιβεβηκὼς ἐπὶ ὄνον		καὶ ἐπὶ πῶλον υἱὸν ὑποζυγίου. 

Blessings,Yuki 		 	   		  


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