Tony Pope wrote:David Lim wrote:Can I suggest the problem is not with "μακροθυμεῖ" but with "ἐπ᾽ αὐτοῖς"? I think that "ἐπ᾽ αὐτοῖς" here means "over them", so "καὶ μακροθυμεῖ ἐπ᾽ αὐτοῖς" means "and is he patient over them?", which implies "and is he patient [with those who persecute them]?"
The usage elsewhere is that the people ἐπὶ whom one μακροθυμεῖ are the people who are causing you grief. So if you want it to mean "Is he patient with their oppressors", the αὐτοῖς surely has to refer directly to the oppressors not his chosen people. Some have taken this line, e.g. Grimm in the Grimm-Thayer lexicon, who suggests that they are referred to "negligently" (=without previous contextual reference) with Sirach 35 in mind. Otherwise, the αὐτοῖς must refer to the chosen people.
Do you mind giving some examples outside of the NT and LXX? I am just not sure that "μακροθυμεῖν ἐπὶ X" must always mean "be patient with X" and not more vaguely "be patient as regards X". Thanks!