καταβόσκω - βόσκω

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rubenk
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Joined: December 30th, 2015, 6:30 am

καταβόσκω - βόσκω

Post by rubenk » December 30th, 2015, 6:40 am

Hello!
Ex. 22:4(5) says: ἐὰν δὲ καταβοσκήσῃ τις ἀγρὸν ἢ ἀμπελῶνα καὶ ἀφῇ τὸ κτῆνος αὐτοῦ καταβοσκῆσαι ἀγρὸν ἕτερον, ἀποτείσει ἐκ τοῦ ἀγροῦ αὐτοῦ κατὰ τὸ γένημα αὐτοῦ· ἐὰν δὲ πάντα τὸν ἀγρὸν καταβοσκήσῃ (etc.). the verb καταβόσκω translates similar to βόσκω: to feed, graze.
my question is: what is the difference between καταβόσκω and βόσκω, is it 100% sure that καταβόσκω means the same? what could be the reason and the precise meaning of using καταβόσκω instead of βόσκω?
I apologize if my question is stupid, I don't know Greek but I do need to know the exact meaning of that verse.

Thank you!
Ruben

Stephen Hughes
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Re: καταβόσκω - βόσκω

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 30th, 2015, 10:43 pm

Being in one of the earlier time-zones, let me answer early on.

The Greek is not so clunky as my English seems to be ...
NOW, IF IN THE CASE THAT ... ἐὰν δὲ καταβοσκήσῃ ["allow (livestock - implied object) to graze upon"] τις ἀγρὸν ἢ ἀμπελῶνα καὶ ἀφῇ τὸ κτῆνος αὐτοῦ καταβοσκῆσαι ["allow (τὸ κτῆνος αὐτοῦ - explicated object) to graze upon"] ἀγρὸν ἕτερον
THEN HE SHALL ... ἀποτείσει ἐκ τοῦ ἀγροῦ αὐτοῦ ["his (own)"] κατὰ ["such as what ... is."] τὸ γένημα αὐτοῦ ("its" - "the field's")
NOW, IF IN THE CASE THAT ... ἐὰν δὲ πάντα τὸν ἀγρὸν ("the whole (of his own) field" - i.e. everything, leaving has no more stubble and leaves with which to repay the owner of the other field in kind, by allowing the owner of the other field's livestock to graze on his) καταβοσκήσῃ ("he allows (his livestock) to completely graze" - leaving no more)
THEN HE SHALL ... τὰ βέλτιστα ["produce" - rather than the left-overs] τοῦ ἀγροῦ αὐτοῦ καὶ τὰ βέλτιστα τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος αὐτοῦ ἀποτείσει
rubenk wrote:is it 100% sure that καταβόσκω means the same
I think that καταβόσκω is used in two different senses in the same verse. I have indicated that in the scolia I have scribbled around the text.

I think that τὰ βέλτιστα is talking about what is harvested, rather than what is left for the livestock.

It is great to see another usage of ἀποτίνειν, besides the one in Philemon (19). I'm wondering whether ἀποτείσει is a future or a subjunctive form?
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

George F Somsel
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Re: καταβόσκω - βόσκω

Post by George F Somsel » December 31st, 2015, 2:31 am

I think Stephen has left out an important point (since you state that you do not know Greek) having assumed that you would understand. Τἀ βέλτιστα is the superlative (best) of ὁ ἀγαθός (good). In other words, there is a penalty for allowing your animals to graze on another's land.
george
gfsomsel



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Wes Wood
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Re: καταβόσκω - βόσκω

Post by Wes Wood » December 31st, 2015, 3:43 am

ἐὰν δὲ καταβοσκήσῃ τις ἀγρὸν ἢ ἀμπελῶνα καὶ ἀφῇ τὸ κτῆνος αὐτοῦ καταβοσκῆσαι ἀγρὸν ἕτερον ἀποτείσει ἐκ τοῦ ἀγροῦ αὐτοῦ κατὰ τὸ γένημα αὐτοῦ ἐὰν δὲ πάντα τὸν ἀγρὸν καταβοσκήσῃ τὰ βέλτιστα τοῦ ἀγροῦ αὐτοῦ καὶ τὰ βέλτιστα τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος αὐτοῦ ἀποτείσει

And if someone grazes his flocks in a field or vineyard and he allows/sends his flock to graze in another field, he will repay [the offended party] from the produce of his own field. But if he grazes the entire field [of the offended party], he will repay [the offended party] with the best of his field and the best of his vineyard.

The verb ἀφῇ interests me here because I could see it describing a situation where a person’s carelessness allows livestock the opportunity to feed in another person’s field or one in which the person directed the livestock to feed in another person’s field. But in either event, the consequence appears to be the same, and it isn’t relevant to your question.

If I understand Stephen correctly, I agree with his reply, but I don’t think that the “whole field” must refer back to the flock owner’s own field. I tried to highlight this different understanding in my translation above. I see the consequence, as I believe he does, as between giving grazing land for grazing land if some of the other person’s field was used vs. giving the best of the produce of one’s cultivated land for ‘all’ of another’s grazing land, which is a terrible trade!

As I understand your question, though, you are primarily concerned with the difference between the meanings of καταβόσκω and βόσκω? In my opinion, κατα in the compound καταβόσκω intensifies the meaning of grazing to something like grazing towards rapid depletion or, perhaps to use a related example, the difference between having locusts in your garden and a swarm of locusts devouring your garden. In my experiences with cattle, we would divide our land into sections that we would move the cattle into to prevent them from overgrazing in a particular area. Overgrazing led to longer recovery times for the land. If the cattle ever got through to the other side it could cause problems, regardless of which of the off-limits sides they chose.

I will likely have an impossibly hard time explaining exactly what I mean, but I envision a situation where the amount of grazing may deplete the land to the point that the other person’s livestock do not have adequate pasture for the “season”. In some instances, the latter individual may have too few livestock to notice the difference and a payment of some kind for the fodder may be adequate. Additionally, it may be that the former individual’s land could recover later in the season to the point that he could offer repayment before the other individual would face difficult circumstances for his own livestock. There are really too many variations for me to get a good read on it, and too few formal usages that I am aware of to illustrate the true differences, but I get the picture of a group of animals grazing at a rate that will deplete the pasture before the “season” is over (καταβόσκω) versus one where the rate of grazing is adequate for the flocks for the entire “season” (βόσκω).

Maybe there will be something of value here. If not, I am sorry.
Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

Stephen Hughes
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Re: καταβόσκω - βόσκω

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 31st, 2015, 3:53 am

George F Somsel wrote:since you state that you do not know Greek
I guess that if someone doesn't know Greek, it would be hard to contextualise the comments that I have made on the text. He is a sense rendering of how I read the verse:
Now, if it is the case that someone allow (his livestock) to graze upon (his mown) field, or (his harvested) vineyard and (then) lets his livestock to graze upon another field (which is not his own), (then) he will have to recompense (the owner of the other field) with the produce of his own field, in due measure, with what his own field has produced (OR perhaps he shall make restitution from his own field the amount of produce that the (other) field (gave) him. Now if it is the case that (that guy) allows his whole field to be grazed till there is nothing left (before he sends his livestock to graze on the other field, which is not his), because there is no more stubble or leaves, he will have to compensate (he owner of the other field) from the produce of the field or produce of the vineyard (that has been gathered), and those things are of so very much greater value (than the stubble and leaves that his livestock actually ate).
Where Wes and I differ is at the level of interpreting the Greek grammar, not in understanding it. Only αὐτός is used - rather than ἐκεῖνος or οὗτος, so there is some room (need) for guess work in understanding what the pronouns refer to. Mine relies on the idea that with nothing left, he only has good produce to give, while Wes' seems to mean that if you eat all of a guy's field, you need to support him.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Wes Wood
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Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: καταβόσκω - βόσκω

Post by Wes Wood » December 31st, 2015, 11:34 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:Where Wes and I differ is at the level of interpreting the Greek grammar, not in understanding it. Only αὐτός is used - rather than ἐκεῖνος or οὗτος, so there is some room (need) for guess work in understanding what the pronouns refer to. Mine relies on the idea that with nothing left, he only has good produce to give, while Wes' seems to mean that if you eat all of a guy's field, you need to support him.
Very well put. I especially like your comprehensive paraphrase, which I left out to shorten the quotation.

To clarify my alternative a bit: If a herdsmen allows his livestock to graze part of another man's field, then he owes fodder equal to the pasture lost to the offended party. If he allows his livestock to consume all of the other man's field, then the required compensation is not simply providing compensation for the fodder lost but restitution greater than the damages. The offended party is owed the best of the other man's harvest which would, in most instances at least, be of even greater value than the pasture lost.
Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

Shirley Rollinson
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Re: καταβόσκω - βόσκω

Post by Shirley Rollinson » December 31st, 2015, 10:32 pm

rubenk wrote:Hello!
Ex. 22:4(5) says: ἐὰν δὲ καταβοσκήσῃ τις ἀγρὸν ἢ ἀμπελῶνα καὶ ἀφῇ τὸ κτῆνος αὐτοῦ καταβοσκῆσαι ἀγρὸν ἕτερον, ἀποτείσει ἐκ τοῦ ἀγροῦ αὐτοῦ κατὰ τὸ γένημα αὐτοῦ· ἐὰν δὲ πάντα τὸν ἀγρὸν καταβοσκήσῃ (etc.). the verb καταβόσκω translates similar to βόσκω: to feed, graze.
my question is: what is the difference between καταβόσκω and βόσκω, is it 100% sure that καταβόσκω means the same? what could be the reason and the precise meaning of using καταβόσκω instead of βόσκω?
I apologize if my question is stupid, I don't know Greek but I do need to know the exact meaning of that verse.

Thank you!
Ruben
It's probably similar to the pair of verbs ἐσθιω (I eat) κατεσθιω (I eat up - or as the Greek expresses it "I eat down" - "wolf it down") The κατα prefix carries the sense of "down" - so καταβόσκω implies that I graze it down (or gobble it up) :-)

It's well worth learning Greek (and Hebrew) to help with your Bible studies.
Shirley Rollinson

rubenk
Posts: 2
Joined: December 30th, 2015, 6:30 am

Re: καταβόσκω - βόσκω

Post by rubenk » January 3rd, 2016, 12:32 pm

Dear (how should I call you? because of Shirly I can't say "gentlemen") experts,

Thank's a lot for your detailed replies, it defenitely helped me. I may say it's inspiring to see your replies.
Thanks, and I'm afraid I might need your assistance in the future... :)
In the meanwhile, if somebody needs assistance in Hebrew or Jewish Talmud, I'd try my best.

Ruben

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

Re: καταβόσκω - βόσκω

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 5th, 2016, 1:11 am

κατα- meaning "restricted to" is not a common meanings of the suffixed preposition. This verb is the first one I have noticed with it.

There are a number of ways of reading prepositions, and I suppose that in different situations one way may be more appropriate than the other. Have a look at this example:
Acts 2:46 wrote:Καθ’ ἡμέραν τε προσκαρτεροῦντες ὁμοθυμαδὸν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ, κλῶντές τε κατ’ οἶκον ἄρτον, μετελάμβανον τροφῆς ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει καὶ ἀφελότητι καρδίας,
If we took the view that the preposition was a word to be quickly glossed, a more or less assumed meaning - making a preposition a "little" word, then the noun takes more prominence. In this case that is οἶκος. On the one hand there is an activity in the temple (ἱερόν), while on the other hand there is another activity in the home (οἶκος). The prepositions used treated as conventional. However, if we take the view that the prepositions are strong and meaningful, and need to have a meaning of their own, the κατά (here κατ’) could be taken as distributive in meaning. - i.e. meaning "from house to house". The difference between both of those is not too great - both ways of taking the κατά in that verse mean that the activity happened at home, with the distributive sense meaning that it was happening at home, but not just at one home. The same logic can be used to take the question of whether Philip (Acts 8:26) was prompted to run just on one particular noon - a conventional use of the preposition, or every day at noon - a definitive and clear use of the preposition. Either way something happened at midday.

Another way to think about the κατά in this verse might be to consider it as a parallel between the life of the believers in the early Church and the life of Christ. Jesus in the temple at some times, while at other times he was κατ’ ἰδίαν or καταμόνας "in a place where nobody else was", "somewhere they could be alone". That seems to me like the idea from Acts 2:46 that the activities were restricted to a certain place.

Point being that the "point of time within which something" (in our example the noon), or "place within which something happened" (in our example a house) could be applied to the βόσκω - καταβόσκω distinction that you were actually asking about, as it applies to the idea of βόσκω "leading the cattle to pasture, just anywhere there is pasture" ("free-ranging", if you like), and letting the cattle into a restricted space (in this case a field) to graze.

For the other meaning here - that the edible vegetation was eaten down (chomped away) - Shirley has said all that I would have said.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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

Re: καταβόσκω - βόσκω

Post by Barry Hofstetter » January 5th, 2016, 6:32 am

Just a quick observation that I didn't see mentioned above, and that's that in Hellenistic Greek one often finds a compound where in a corresponding context in Attic Greek the simplex form is used. The LXX is notorious for this. In Stephen's discussion about prepositions above, what is the difference in English between "The house burnt up" and "The house burnt down?" :) (where actually the up and down are not prepositions but adverbial).
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

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