Is ὑπὸ with an inanimate object unusual?

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Bill Ross
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Joined: August 12th, 2012, 6:26 pm

Is ὑπὸ with an inanimate object unusual?

Post by Bill Ross » November 22nd, 2018, 9:17 am

I watched this 2 minute Greek lesson on Revelation 6:13:
Revelation 6:13 καὶ οἱ ἀστέρες τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἔπεσαν εἰς τὴν γῆν ὡς συκῆ βάλλει τοὺς ὀλύνθους αὐτῆς ὑπὸ ἀνέμου μεγάλου σειομένη
The instructor pointed out that it featured the use of ὑπὸ with an inanimate object (the wind) which was unusual since ὑπὸ is normally used with a person:

I thought that was interesting and wondered if it was because the wind is the Holy Spirit. However when I look at BDAG it didn't suggest that it was unusual that I could see:
β. w. gen. of thing (cp. X., An. 1, 5, 5 ὑπὸ λιμοῦ ἀπολέσθαι; Diod S 5, 54, 3 ὑπὸ σεισμῶν διεφθάρησαν; Nicol. Dam.: 90 Fgm. 22 p. 342, 17 Jac. ὑπὸ φαρμακῶν διαφθαρείς; Appian, Liby. 35 §147 ὑπὸ τοῦ χειμῶνος κατήγοντο, Bell. Civ. 4, 123 §515; Longus 2, 18 a nose smashed ὑπὸ πληγῆς τινος; Herm. Wr. 10, 4b; Tat. 8, 5 ὑπὸ βραχείας αὔρας νικηθείς; UPZ 42, 9 [162 B.C.]) καλύπτεσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν κυμάτων Mt 8:24. Cp. 11:7; 14:24; Lk 7:24; 8:14; Ac 27:41; Ro 3:21; 12:21; 1 Cor 10:29; 2 Cor 5:4; Col 2:18; Js 1:14; 3:4ab; 2 Pt 2:17; Jd 12; Rv 6:13; Hm 10, 1, 4.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 1036). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
So is the usage of ὑπὸ in Revelation 6:13 in conjunction with "a great wind" unusual and significant or not?
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Is ὑπὸ with an inanimate object unusual?

Post by Jonathan Robie » November 22nd, 2018, 3:01 pm

It happens frequently enough that Danker thought it deserved its own sense. Here are the references he gave in your quote above (click on the link for a list of verses in Greek and English):

Mt 8:24; Mt 11:7; Mt 14:24; Lk 7:24; Lk 8:14; Ac 27:41; Ro 3:21; Ro 12:21; 1 Cor 10:29; 2 Cor 5:4; Col 2:18; Js 1:14; Js 3:4; 2 Pt 2:17; Jd 12; Rv 6:13

It's pretty common and perfectly logical, I think.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Is ὑπὸ with an inanimate object unusual?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » November 23rd, 2018, 12:01 pm

Not unusual at all. Even in classical Greek:

3. freq. of things as well as persons, ὡς διάκειμαι ὑ. τῆς νόσου Th.7.77; κεῖμαι νούσου ὕ. στυγερᾶς IG4(1).125.8 (Epid., iii B.C.); χαλεπῶς ἔχειν ὑ. τραυμάτων Pl.Tht.142b...

Liddell, H. G., Scott, R., Jones, H. S., & McKenzie, R. (1996). A Greek-English lexicon (p. 1874). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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