Matthew 2:16 2 year old boys or boys/girls

Forum rules
Please quote the Greek text you are discussing directly in your post if it is reasonably short - do not ask people to look it up. This is not a beginner's forum, competence in Greek is assumed.
Post Reply
Brett
Posts: 15
Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 10:21 am

Matthew 2:16 2 year old boys or boys/girls

Post by Brett » December 20th, 2011, 8:06 am

Matthew 2.16

Τότε Ἡρῴδης ἰδὼν ὅτι ἐνεπαίχθη ὑπὸ τῶν μάγων ἐθυμώθη λίαν, καὶ ἀποστείλας ἀνεῖλεν πάντας τοὺς παῖδας τοὺς ἐν Βηθλέεμ καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τοῖς ὁρίοις αὐτῆς ἀπὸ διετοῦς καὶ κατωτέρω, κατὰ τὸν χρόνον ὃν ἠκρίβωσεν παρὰ τῶν μάγων.

Could we understand the phrase πάντας τοὺς παῖδας to include girls as well as boys? Some versions (including the NET Bible) translate this phrase "children." Would the killers first check the gender of each child? Perhaps.

I note in vs 18 --- Φωνὴ ἐν Ῥαμὰ ἠκούσθη, κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὀδυρμὸς πολύς: Ῥαχὴλ κλαίουσα τὰ τέκνα αὐτῆς, καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν παρακληθῆναι, ὅτι οὐκ εἰσίν --- we have the neuter τὰ τέκνα.
0 x


Brett Williams

Stephen Carlson
Posts: 2872
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Matthew 2:16 2 year old boys or boys/girls

Post by Stephen Carlson » December 20th, 2011, 9:07 am

If the writer meant "children" in 2:16, why didn't he write τέκνα?
0 x
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

jeffreyrequadt
Posts: 57
Joined: May 30th, 2011, 11:20 pm

Re: Matthew 2:16 2 year old boys or boys/girls

Post by jeffreyrequadt » December 20th, 2011, 9:49 am

Are there example of a masculine plural παῖδας that would indicate small children of any gender? (Other than this one) That would make it easier to determine whether such a meaning was intended here. You might even search for this specific phrase.
0 x
Jeffrey T. Requadt
Tucson, AZ

cwconrad
Posts: 2112
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: Matthew 2:16 2 year old boys or boys/girls

Post by cwconrad » December 20th, 2011, 11:01 am

jeffreyrequadt wrote:Are there example of a masculine plural παῖδας that would indicate small children of any gender? (Other than this one) That would make it easier to determine whether such a meaning was intended here. You might even search for this specific phrase.
That's a good question, and I'm not sure there's an answer that is wholly satisfactory. My guess, however, for what it's worth, is that παῖς ordinarily indicates a boy child as κοράσιον (diminutive of the older κόρη) ordinarily means a girl child. I would also have my doubts that Herod's intent was other than that of Pharaoh in Exodus 1:12, to guard against an emerging king, rather than a queen. Of course, the memory of Cleopatra would be fresh in people's memory at this time. I would guess, however, that we should interpret this account as recapitulating in the person of Jesus the ancient fate of Moses: doomed to die at birth, but surviving to be God's agent in human history. Of course, there are similar tales told about Romulus and Remus and Sargon of Akkad.
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

jeffreyrequadt
Posts: 57
Joined: May 30th, 2011, 11:20 pm

Re: Matthew 2:16 2 year old boys or boys/girls

Post by jeffreyrequadt » December 20th, 2011, 11:10 am

I found the following occurrences from a search of my available texts. You will have to read them yourself to determine if they would make sense as gender-neutral.
Apophthegmata Laconica (Plutarch) 2.69.55
Πρεσβύτης ἐν Ὀλυμπίᾳ συντελουμένου τοῦ ἀγῶνος προθυμούμενος θεάσασθαι, καθέδρας ἠπόρει• πολλοὺς δʼ ἐπιπορευόμενος τόπους ὑβρίζετο καὶ ἐσκώπτετο, μηδενὸς αὐτὸν παραδεχομένου• ὡς δὲ κατὰ τοὺς Λακεδαιμονίους ἧκεν, ἀνέστησαν πάντες οἱ παῖδες καὶ πολλοὶ τῶν ἀνδρῶν τοῦ τόπου
Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 12.60
ἔτεσι δύο τρεῖς συνοικίας ἐωνήσατο παῖδάς τε ἐλευθέρους ὕβριζεν καὶ γυναῖκας τὰς τῶν ἐπιφανεστάτων. ἐζηλοτύπουν δὲ πάντες οἱ παῖδες τὸν ἐρώμενον αὐτοῦ Δίογνιν, καὶ τοσοῦτον ἦν τῷ Δημητρίῳ προσελθεῖν ὥστε μετʼ ἄριστον αὐτοῦ.’ περιπατήσαντος παρὰ τοὺς Τρίποδας συνῆλθον εἰς τὸν τόπον παῖδες οἱ κάλλιστοι ταῖς ἑξῆς ἡμέραις, ἵνʼ ὀφθεῖεν αὐτῷ,
Herodotus, The Histories 4.84.1
ἐνθαῦτα τῶν Περσέων Οἰόβαζος ἐδεήθη Δαρείου τριῶν ἐόντων οἱ παίδων καὶ πάντων στρατευομένων ἕνα αὐτῷ καταλειφθῆναι. ὁ δὲ ἔφη ὡς φίλῳ ἐόντι καὶ μετρίων δεομένῳ πάντας τοὺς παῖδας καταλείψειν.
Plato, Laws 642b
παρόντι, μετεκβαῖμεν δʼ εἰς ἕτερόν τινα νόμων πέρι λόγον. ὦ ξένε Ἀθηναῖε, οὐκ οἶσθʼ ἴσως ὅτι τυγχάνει ἡμῶν ἡ ἑστία τῆς πόλεως οὖσα ὑμῶν πρόξενος. ἴσως μὲν οὖν καὶ πᾶσιν τοῖς παισίν, ἐπειδὰν ἀκούσωσιν ὅτι τινός εἰσιν πόλεως πρόξενοι, ταύτῃ τις εὔνοια ἐκ νέων εὐθὺς ἐνδύεται ἕκαστον ἡμῶν τῶν προξένων τῇ πόλει, ὡς δευτέρᾳ οὔσῃ πατρίδι μετὰ τὴν αὑτοῦ πόλιν• καὶ δὴ καὶ ἐμοὶ νῦν ταὐτὸν τοῦτο ἐγγέγονεν. ἀκούων γὰρ τῶν παίδων εὐθύς,
Lucian, Tyrannicida 4
καὶ πρὸς διττὰ οἱ δυστυχεῖς ἀδικήματα διῃρούμεθα. μετριώτερος δὲ ὁ πρεσβύτης ἦν παρὰ πολὺ καὶ πρὸς τὰς ὀργὰς ἠπιώτερος καὶ πρὸς τὰς κολάσεις ἀμβλύτερος καὶ πρὸς τὰς ἐπιθυμίας βραδύτερος, ὡς ἂν ἤδη τῆς ἡλικίας τὸ μὲν σφοδρότερον τῆς ὁρμῆς ἐπεχούσης, τὰς δὲ τῶν ἡδονῶν ὀρέξεις χαλιναγωγούσης. καὶ πρός γε τὴν ἀρχὴν τῶν ἀδικημάτων ὑπὸ τοῦ παιδὸς ἄκων προσῆχθαι ἐλέγετο, ουʼ πάνυ τυραννικὸς αὐτὸς ὤν, ἀλλʼ εἴκων ἐκείνῳ• φιλότεκνος γὰρ ἐς ὑπερβολὴν ἐγένετο, ὡς ἔδειξεν, καὶ πάντα ὁ παῖς ἦν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐκείνῳ ἐπείθετο καὶ ἠδίκει ὅσα κελεύοι καὶ ἐκόλαζεν οὓς προστάττοι καὶ πάντα ὑπηρέτει, καὶ ὅλως ἐτυραννεῖτο ὑπʼ αὐτοῦ καὶ δορυφόρος τῶν τοῦ παιδὸς ἐπιθυμιῶν ἦν.
Lucian, Tyrannicida 21
καὶ ταῦτα λέγων ἐζήτει τὸ ξίφος• αὐτὸς γὰρ ἄνοπλος ἦν διὰ τὸ πάντα τῷ παιδὶ
Philo, Migration 159
τούτου τοῦ δόγματος ὁ πολιτευόμενός ἐστι τρόπος, ὃν Ἰωσὴφ ὀνομάζειν ἔθος, ᾧ συναπέρχονται μέλλοντι τὸν πατέρα κηδεύειν “πάντες οἱ παῖδες Φαραὼ καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι τοῦ οἴκου αὐτοῦ καὶ πάντες οἱ πρεσβύτεροι τῆς Αἰγύπτου καὶ πᾶσα ἡ πανοικία αὐτοῦ Ἰωσὴφ καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ πᾶσα ἡ οἰκία ἡ πατρικὴ αὐτοῦ”
0 x
Jeffrey T. Requadt
Tucson, AZ

Post Reply

Return to “New Testament”