Ps.22:5 μεθύσκον periphrasis without copula?

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
Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Ps.22:5 μεθύσκον periphrasis without copula?

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 26th, 2015, 4:14 pm

Ken M. Penner wrote:
Paul-Nitz wrote: PS - I didn't really understand Verse 5b "καὶ τὸ ποτήριόν σου μεθύσκον ὡς κράτιστον"
  • Brenton translates: "and thy cup cheers me like the best wine."

    Not sure how the LXX guys got that out of
    כֹּוסִ֥י רְוָיָֽה "My cup is well-filled"
ὡς κράτιστον is a translation of the next two words, אך טוב
καὶ τὸ ποτήριόν σου μεθύσκον ὡς κράτιστον
Is μεθύσκον a neuter participle? How does it work into the sentence? Is it a type of periphrasis without the verb to be?

The previous sentence has two finite verbs ἡτοίμασας and ἐλίπανας - finite aorist forms, and the following one has καταδιώξεταί - a future, and then a construction that presumably requires a future form of the verb "to be" τὸ κατοικεῖν με ἐν οἴκῳ κυρίου "will be" εἰς μακρότητα ἡμερῶν, borrowing its tense from the καταδιώξεταί, so there are certainly a mix of tenses here.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1026
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Ps.22:5 μεθύσκον periphrasis without copula?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » December 27th, 2015, 9:37 am

μεθύσκον can only be a neuter participle modifying ποτήριον. I would understand ἐστί but not periphrastically, and the participle simply used adjectively "Your drinking cup [is] as the best [drinking cup].
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Ps.22:5 μεθύσκον periphrasis without copula?

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 27th, 2015, 7:10 pm

I think μεθύσκειν is something quite more than πίνειν. I didn't bring it up in the former thread discussing ἀσωτία, but my sense translation of
Ephesians 5:18 wrote:Καὶ μὴ μεθύσκεσθε οἴνῳ, ἐν ᾧ ἐστὶν ἀσωτία, ἀλλὰ πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι,
would be something like "If you want to feel good strive and push yourself to find spiritual joy from God in your heart. Don't get sh**-faced (drink till the alcohol can't do any more to bring happiness), which only wastes your money (squanders your resources).

In that way, μεθύσκειν and "overflowing" sort of mean the same thing. The "overflowing" cup, the "bottomless glass" if you like, like some fast-food restaurants offer for coffee or lolly water. As much as you drink, there is still plenty more where that came from.

In that way, perhaps μεθύσκον means "causing drunkenness". The whole Psalm is about David's individual relationship with God, not the cultic or communal relationship, so perhaps the sense is "which makes me drunk", "which alters my perception of the world for the better (to see beauty when others see only ugliness)", or "which gives my life a rosy-coloured tinge, and the optimism to do things that others might consider ill-advised or imprudent".

There is a problem too, with the article(s), I think. The phrase τὸ ποτήριόν σου μεθύσκον doesn't have another τὸ with μεθύσκον viz. τὸ ποτήριόν σου [τὸ] μεθύσκον to mark it as an attribute, but rather as a complement - hence the name of this thread. Supplying a verb to be there gives; "Your cup (is) the one that causes drunkenness", or something like that.

Is κράτιστον the "best" or the "strongest"? I.e. "considered to be of better quality" or "held in higher esteem", OR "having the most effect"? Does the adjective refer to the cup itself, or the drunkenness that comes as a result of the bottomlessness or intoxicating effect of drinking from it?
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1026
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Ps.22:5 μεθύσκον periphrasis without copula?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » December 28th, 2015, 3:26 pm

μεθύσκω fut. μεθύσω; 1 aor. ἐμέθυσα LXX (causal of μεθύω; Pla. et al.; LXX; OdeSol 11:7) cause to become intoxicated; in our lit. only pass. μεθύσκομαι (Eur., Hdt. et al.; Pr 4:17; 23:31; Jos., Bell. 2, 29; TestJud 14:1) 1 aor. ἐμεθύσθην; fut. μεθυσθήσομαι, in act. sense get drunk, become intoxicated οἴνῳ with wine Eph 5:18 (as Pr 4:17; s. B-D-F §195, 2; Rob. 533). οἱ μεθυσκόμενοι (Cornutus 30 p. 59, 21; Dio Chrys. 80 [30], 36) 1 Th 5:7 (s. μεθύω). W. πίνειν (X., Cyr. 1, 3, 11) Lk 12:45. μεθυσθῆναι be drunk (Diod S 23, 21 μεθυσθέντες=those who had become drunk. Likewise 5, 26, 3; 17, 25, 5; Jos., Vi. 225 of one who revealed secrets in an intoxicated state) J 2:10. ἐκ τοῦ οἴνου (like שָׁכַר מִיַּיִן) Rv 17:2. S. μέθη.—M-M. DELG s.v. μέθυ. TW.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 625). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

From LSJ:

μεθύσκω, fut. -ύσω [ῠ] LXX De.32.42: aor. 1 ἐμέθῠσα ib.2 Ki.11.13, Ep. -υσσα Nonn.D.3.11, AP5.260 (Agath.); inf.
μεθύσαι Alex. (v. infr.):—Pass., fut. μεθυσθήσομαι LXX Ho.14.8, Luc.Luct.13, D.L. 7.118: aor. ἐμεθύσθην Heraclit.117, E.Cyc.167, etc.; Aeol. inf. μεθύσθην Alc.35: pf. μεμέθυσμαι Hedyl. ap. Ath.4.176d:—Causal of μεθύω, make drunk, intoxicate, Διόνυσος οἶδε τὸ μεθύσαι μόνον Alex. 214; μ. ἑαυτὴν οἴνῳ Luc.Syr.D.22: metaph., πάνθ' ὅσα δι' ἡδονῆς μεθύσκοντα παράφρονας ποιεῖ Pl.Lg.649d; τὴν αἴσθησιν Thphr.Od. 46; Ἀθηνᾶ μεθύσασα ὕπνῳ τοὺς βαρβάρους Vett. Val.347.26.
give to drink, θηλὴ μεθύσκει με μητρῴη Babr.89.9; moisten, βωμοὺς ἐν γάλακτι, τέφρην, AP6.99 (Phil.), 11.8.
Pass., = μεθύω, drink freely, get drunk, Alc. l.c., Hdt.1.133, etc.; ὀδμῇ, οἴνῳ, ib.202; πίνων οὐ μεθύσκεται X.Cyr.1.3.11: in aor. ἐμεθύσθην, to be drunk, ἀνὴρ ὁκόταν μεθυσθῇ Heraclit. l.c.; ἅπαξ μεθυσθείς E.Cyc.167, cf. Ar.V.1252; ἀνθρώπους οἵους μεθυσθέντας D.2.19: c. gen., νέκταρος with nectar, Pl.Smp.203b: metaph., ὅταν πόλις [ἐλευθερίας] μεθυσθῇ Id.R.562d: c. dat., ταῖς ἐξουσίαις with power, D.H.4.74:—in Hp. Steril.218 μεθυσκέτω is corrupt for μεθυσκέσθω.
to be filled with food, μ. σίτῳ LXX Ho.14.8; cf. μεθύει· πεπλήρωται, Hsch.

The Lexham English LXX renders:

5 *You prepare before me a table opposite those who oppress me.
You anoint my head with olive oil.
And your drinking cup is satisfying as the best.


Brannan, R., Penner, K. M., Loken, I., Aubrey, M., & Hoogendyk, I. (Eds.). (2012). The Lexham English Septuagint (Ps 22:5). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

The NETS:

"and your cup was supremely intoxicating..." (which would seem to support your reading of the text, as the LES supports mine).
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Ps.22:5 μεθύσκον periphrasis without copula?

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 30th, 2015, 12:13 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
LSJ wrote:moisten, βωμοὺς ἐν γάλακτι ["moisten an altar with milk"], τέφρην ["ashes"], AP6.99 (Phil.), 11.8.
There ARE perhaps grounds for appeal against a DUI charge in this part of the dictionary entry, if you were an altar or ashes.
Lexham LXX wrote:5 *You prepare before me a table opposite those who oppress me.
You anoint my head with olive oil.
And your drinking cup is satisfying as the best.
I am still confused with the use / non-use of the article in that rendering. It seems to go against the basic rules of a sentence using and noun and adjective. Have I misunderstood the rules, or are they different for participles, or does this passage reflect the Vorlage literally rather than follow the Greek norms?

Also, it seems that but rendering μεθύσκον "be drunk" as "satisfying", in "your drinking cup is satisfying" the implication is that the well-known maxim "half-drunk is a wasted (unsatisfying) evening" is true. :? :?
Barry Hofstetter wrote:"Your drinking cup [is] as the best [drinking cup].
By "drinking", do you mean with the effect of alcohol or the most ergonomical to hold and to drink from? While of course it would be better to understand this in a spiritual way of our relationship with God, rather than an evening at the local, perhaps "drunking" or "drunkifying" (I dislike the pejorative term "intoxicating" as it sort of equates alcohol with poisons harmful substances "toxins". I wonder if ἰός was ever used of alcohol).
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest