Stephen Hughes wrote:
Matthew 17:6 wrote:Καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ μαθηταὶ ἔπεσον ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν σφόδρα.
... they fell upon their face ...
Revelations 7:11 wrote:Καὶ πάντες οἱ ἄγγελοι εἱστήκεισαν κύκλῳ τοῦ θρόνου καὶ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων καὶ τῶν τεσσάρων ζῴων, καὶ ἔπεσον ἐνώπιον τοῦ θρόνου ἐπὶ τὰ πρόσωπα αὐτῶν, καὶ προσεκύνησαν τῷ Θεῷ,
The first one is logical enough. Which one is "correct" for the plural? The second or the third?
According to the LXX+NT, both are correct. The singular face for multiple people occurs at Num 16:22,45, Deut 2:25, Jdg 13:20, 1 Ki 18:39, 1 Chr 21:16, Matt 17:6, and for multiple objects at 1 Ki 7:6, 2 Chr 34:4, Ezek 40:12. No others were found in the NT.
But then I've a question. Why is the singular always without the definite article? Is it precisely because it refers to the generic action of 'falling upon the face' applied to many people that it is not definite, in contrast to the plural in Mal 2:3, Rev 7:11, 11:16 which actually refers to the faces of the people? There is one plural without the article in Ezek 32:10.