[b-greek] Hebrews 3:11

Dan Buck dbuck at briercrest.ca
Mon Dec 3 17:07:04 EST 2001



3.11        hWS WMOSA EN TH  ORGH   MOU:  
        EI  EISELEUSONTAI   EIS THN   KATAVPAUSIVN MOU.
    In doing some work on Hebrews I  came across this use of the conditional

as a sort of negative oath.   Now, I can understand the basic meaning here
as 
" if they shall enter my rest (or will they enter my rest ?) . No -- they 
will not  ! ( understood apodosis)."  This phrase of course is repeated 
several times ( 4:3and 5).

In the Hebrew structure of the conditional sentence the apodosis (whether
stated or implied) is viewed as specifying a completed (perfective)
situation. So, the combination with this statement with WMOSA in 3:11a
suggests that the oath is assured of its outcome already. The LXX faithfully
translates the structure though this leaves the conditional situation
unclear in Greek grammatical structures. Noting that the author of Hebrews
end the quotation of Ps 95 at this very point may suggest that he
understands the implied answer as very important in regards to the Hebrews
need to respond or face the similar consequences of such an oath.

Dan Buck



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