ὑποχωρεῖν (rather than ἀναχωρεῖν) in Luke 9:10

Semantic Range, Lexicography, and other approaches to word meaning - in general, or for particular words.
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Stephen Hughes
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ὑποχωρεῖν (rather than ἀναχωρεῖν) in Luke 9:10

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 2nd, 2014, 6:17 am

Luke 9:10 wrote:Καὶ ὑποστρέψαντες οἱ ἀπόστολοι διηγήσαντο αὐτῷ ὅσα ἐποίησαν. Καὶ παραλαβὼν αὐτούς, ὑπεχώρησεν κατ’ ἰδίαν εἰς τόπον ἔρημον πόλεως καλουμένης Βηθσαϊδάν.
Is Luke using ὑποχωρεῖν (instead of the usual ἀναχωρεῖν) here (and at Luke 5:16) because he personally takes the range of meaning of ἀναχωρέω in a much more narrow sense (of "to move off to the side") than others do (using ὑποχωρεῖν for the specific narrow meaning of "to get away from others (??for a while?? / ??without the intention of going somewhere else specifically")")? Or is it vaguely better Greek? Or is it a question of the formality of his Greek? (His own personal style, good Greek or register?) Or is it some other reason?

Generally speaking, Luke seems to pay greater attention to synonymy (evident knowledge of a greater range of vocabulary). Another example of this is his using ἐκχωρεῖν where it is most appropriate in reference to ἐν μέσῳ (+gen.) and in contradistinction to εἰσ-
Luke 21:21 wrote:Τότε οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ φευγέτωσαν εἰς τὰ ὄρη· καὶ οἱ ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῆς ἐκχωρείτωσαν· καὶ οἱ ἐν ταῖς χώραις μὴ εἰσερχέσθωσαν εἰς αὐτήν.
. As far as other similar words are concerned, leaving another person's company (apparently on bad terms) is expressed by ἀποχωρεῖν (+gen. of a person). The general word for describe the fact of leaving a place, without making any specific comments on when?, why?, on what terms? etc. seems to be πορεύεσθαι. Luke uses that as well.

[Equally as interesting is the consideration of the various nuances of the words for "to return".]
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Tony Pope
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Re: ὑποχωρεῖν (rather than ἀναχωρεῖν) in Luke 9:10

Post by Tony Pope » October 3rd, 2014, 12:07 pm

Luke certainly has a wider vocabulary than the other gospel writers, and this is reflected in what seem to me to be careful word choices.

According to Grimm (in the lexicon commonly ascribed to Thayer), s.v. ὑπό III.1, the prefix in ὑποχωρεῖν denotes "subjection, compliance, etc." This seems to be roughly borne out in the examples, in the sense that in Luke 5.16 and 9.10 Luke wishes to focus on the fact that the agent (here Jesus) withdrew because he felt he was under pressure from the crowds. A quick look at Josephus seems to give the same impression. He uses ὑποχωρεῖν quite a bit, though indeed by no means as commonly as ἀναχωρεῖν.

Of course, this does not mean that when ἀναχωρεῖν or ἀποχωρεῖν is used, the concept of withdrawing under pressure can in none of the examples be detectable in the context. It is a matter of focus -- though presumably register could be involved.

I wonder if ἀποχωρεῖν always implies leaving someone on bad terms, though no doubt that is the usual use in context. Josephus has a few examples that seem to be neutral (War 1.24, 2.506, 6.380), though perhaps I am missing something.

Ἐκχωρεῖν is surely chosen in Luke 21.21 because the action is leaving a city. Motion verbs concerned with leaving a defined area like a city or a house are commonly ἐκ- compounds.

Grimm's information on the meanings of prefixes in compound verbs seems to be largely derived from a study in Latin by Winer, De verborum cum praepositionibus compositorum in Novo Testamento usu in 5 volumes of which it seems only the first is online. Some of Grimm's info is carried over into Abbott-Smith.
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Stephen Hughes
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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: ὑποχωρεῖν (rather than ἀναχωρεῖν) in Luke 9:10

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 4th, 2014, 4:11 am

Tony Pope wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:leaving another person's company (apparently on bad terms) is expressed by ἀποχωρεῖν (+gen. of a person).
I wonder if ἀποχωρεῖν always implies leaving someone on bad terms, though no doubt that is the usual use in context. Josephus has a few examples that seem to be neutral (War 1.24, 2.506, 6.380), though perhaps I am missing something.
My other thinking is that ἀποχωρεῖν is a neutral word being used euphemistically.
Acts 13:13 wrote:Ἀναχθέντες (set sail) δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς Πάφου οἱ περὶ τὸν Παῦλον ἦλθον εἰς Πέργην τῆς Παμφυλίας. Ἰωάννης δὲ ἀποχωρήσας ἀπ’ αὐτῶν ὑπέστρεψεν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα.
The ἀποχωρήσας ἀπ’ αὐτῶν "Disengaged from their affairs and physically removed himself" is similar in meaning to but perhaps less forceful than καταλιπὼν αὐτοὺς καὶ ἀπῆλθεν "forsook them and departed" would be, cf.
Matthew 21:7 wrote:Καὶ καταλιπὼν αὐτοὺς ἐξῆλθεν ἔξω τῆς πόλεως εἰς Βηθανίαν, καὶ ηὐλίσθη ἐκεῖ.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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