Gen 50:13 מַכְפֵּלָה as partic. >τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν

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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Gen 50:13 מַכְפֵּלָה as partic. >τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 5th, 2016, 12:43 am

Looking at the meaning of the Greek, there could benefit in critically discussing the lexical entries for both BDAG and LSJ.

The meanings of the -πλοῦς words could be taken as a whole. ἁπλοῦς, διπλοῦς, τριπλοῦς, τετραπλοῦς, πενταπλοῦς, ἑξαπλόος, ἑπταπλοῦς, ὀκταπλοῦς, πολλαπλόος. The -πλοῦς ending is a functional part of the language. In other words, the semantic patterns for the -πλοῦς endings may not be present in all of the family of words in the extant texts, but taken together they show the versitility of meaning for this type of ending.

In BDAG, διπλοῦς has the meaning "double, two-fold". That meaning of "twice as much" might indeed be enough for the range of texts that it was complied to cover. LSJ, on the other hand, gives a larger range of meanings, but in my opinion doesn't clearly group together meanings I.3 and I.4 under a sub-meaning "composed of two (similar) parts". The LSJ entries for τριπλοῦς, πενταπλοῦς and πολλαπλόος do contain meanings in that range, but not ones that are clearly catagorised within the semantic range of "composed of xx number of parts", which could be more usefully / clearly spelt out. Modern Greek dictionaries cover this part of the meaning as a matter of course, before jumping to specific instances of it.

Tracing a development in meaning for this ending from one thing (garment or paper) folded over to the folds themselves or alternatively to how something could be composed of many (similar) parts, might be possible and useful too. The meaning of individual words over time, and timing of taking the concept beyond two, are probably going to be indicators of when things began to be abstracted from folding a single piece of material. The meaning of "xx-fold" in the NT seems to be an abstracted one.

At least from this layout of this cave, it would seems that the meaning "composed of two (similar) parts" could be stated more clearly in LSJ under διπλοῦς, or in a LXX dictionary.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

S Walch
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Joined: June 13th, 2011, 4:27 pm
Location: Manchester, UK

Re: Gen 50:13 מַכְפֵּלָה as partic. >τὸ σπήλαιον τὸ διπλοῦν

Post by S Walch » August 5th, 2016, 2:19 pm

At least from this layout of this cave, it would seems that the meaning "composed of two (similar) parts" could be stated more clearly in LSJ under διπλοῦς, or in a LXX dictionary.
Having checked the only two Lexicons I have for the LXX (Lexham Analytical and A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint), I completely agree - both just give the meanings "twofold; double".

Reading through the LSJ entry, the most interesting one I see is that for IV. 2:
2. double-minded, treacherous, E.Rh.395, etc.; οὐδὲν δ. X.HG4.1.32; δ. καὶ ποικίλος D.H.Rh.11.5; also, playing two parts, Pl.R.397e; at variance with oneself, ib. 554d.

Hence I prefer thinking of המכפֵלה as meaning "the two-part"; "the double" I don't think quite brings out the intending meaning of the "composed of xx number of parts" meaning, which as you say Stephen, really isn't clearly spelled out in LSJ.

My version of LSJ also has a I 7. having a double or composite nature, ταύρου μεμῖχθαι καὶ βροτοῦ διπλῇ φύσει E.fr.997., which isn't on the perseus online version? Guessing that's because the online one is the 1940 edition, whereas mine is the 1996 edition.

I 3., 4., and 7., could therefore be under the same sub-heading in LSJ.

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