[B-Greek] Luke 8:32 Herd of hIKANOS Pigs

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Thu Jul 1 07:28:12 EDT 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tony Pope" <borikayaama_tekiri at sil.org>
To: "B-Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: 1. juli 2010 12:28
Subject: [B-Greek] Luke 8:32 Herd of hIKANOS Pigs

> On Jun 30, 2010, at 3:15 PM, Tom Moore wrote:
>> Ἦν δὲ ἐκεῖ ἀγέλη χοίρων ἱκανῶν { βοσκομένων ♦ βοσκομένη } ἐν τῷ ὄρει· καὶ { 
>> παρεκάλουν ♦ παρεκάλεσαν } αὐτὸν ἵνα ἐπιτρέψῃ αὐτοῖς εἰς ἐκείνους εἰσελθεῖν. 
>> Καὶ ἐπέτρεψεν αὐτοῖς.
>> This may be a trivial question, but how ought we translate AGELH COIRWN 
>> hIKANWN? ("A herd of a not insignificant number of pigs"?)
>> I'm trying to get a sense of hIKANOS in this passage. Why might the author 
>> have chosen hIKANOS modifying COIRWN: why not modify AGELH instead ("a 
>> sizable herd of pigs"), or why not rather just use POLUS ("a herd of many 
>> pigs")?
> As Dr Conrad says (Wed Jun 30 20:02:16 EDT 2010), hIKANOS is a favourite of 
> Luke's. It does also occasionally occur in Mark and Paul, and in the LXX, in 
> the same sense of a considerable size, number, degree (BDAG's senses 3 and 4).
> Spicq has an article on this word group (Theological Lexicon of the New 
> Testament, Vol. 2), which is helpful particularly for the many examples he 
> cites from the literature and documents. Interestingly, in footnote 13 on p. 
> 219 he makes a comment regarding 1 Cor. 11.30, which is a context where both 
> POLUS and hIKANOS occur together. He says "a rather large number (weaker than 
> πολλοί [POLLOI]) had died."
> διὰ τοῦτο ἐν ὑμῖν πολλοὶ ἀσθενεῖς καὶ ἄρρωστοι, καὶ κοιμῶνται ἱκανοί.
> It may well be that the sick among the Corinthian believers were more numerous 
> than those who had died. I wonder, though, whether this is the full story as 
> far as the word hIKANOS is concerned. It could be, of course, that Paul has 
> simply chosen a different word the second time around for the sake of 
> variation. But it could also be that hIKANOS has a nuance of "this is 
> remarkable, significant" and the contrast with POLLOI is not one of number but 
> of significance. In Acts 22.6 Paul is reported as describing the light that 
> blinded him on the Damascus road as φῶς ἱκανὸν [FWS hIKANON]. I doubt that 
> that light is being described as quite a bright light but not extremely 
> bright. If I am right (on the basis of a somewhat limited study), the word 
> hIKANOS in Luke 8.32 is chosen because it was an impressively large herd of 
> pigs. Luke-Acts employs a greater range of vocabulary than the other NT 
> writers, and to good effect.
> Incidentally, the reader of the English translation of Spicq should be warned 
> that the translator, who in general has done an excellent job, has been 
> deceived several times in this article by "faux amis" (false friends). In 
> particular, on p. 218 "a large enough amount" should surely read "a rather 
> large amount", on p. 219 note 13 "an important crowd" should be "a sizable 
> crowd," in note 14 "a number of days" would better be "a large number of 
> days," and "for long days" should be "for days and days" or the like. The 
> original French can be partially previewed by googling Spicq Lexique and 
> scrolling down to p. 729ff.
> There are a few examples where one might dispute whether Spicq has allocated 
> the example to the right sense, since the sense "sufficient" was also alive 
> and well. In fact, Spicq seems rather reluctant to separate the sense 
> "sufficient" from the one we are discussing. In similar fashion, one might ask 
> why BDAG has allocated 2 Cor. 2.6 to sense 3b with the gloss "severe enough" 
> rather than sense 1. But at least BDAG has made a significant(!)  improvement 
> over BAGD.

I can understand that reluctance. Maybe both are relevant and different aspects 
of the same thing: Sufficient enough to be significant. The discussion has 
helped me to see how the other sense of "worthy" is very close. If a person is 
not sufficiently high in status, he is not worthy.

Iver larsen

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