Jeremiah 17:11 ἐγκαταλείψουσιν

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Bruce McKinnon
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Jeremiah 17:11 ἐγκαταλείψουσιν

Post by Bruce McKinnon » August 19th, 2016, 2:18 pm

I've been pondering what should be seen as the subject of ἐγκαταλείψουσιν in the LXX of Jeremiah 17:11:
ἐφώνησεν πέρδιξ συνήγαγεν ἃ οὐκ ἔτεκεν ποιῶν πλοῦτον αὐτοῦ οὐ μετὰ κρίσεως ἐν ἡμίσει ἡμερῶν αὐτοῦ ἐγκαταλείψουσιν αὐτόν καὶ ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτων αὐτοῦ ἔσται ἄφρων.

There is no obvious subject unless this verb refers back to ἃ οὐκ ἔτεκεν. The only other option appears to be to take it as an indefinite third person plural. Any thoughts?

The reason that this question arose for me was originally from looking at Luke 12:20 which appears to have a similar indefinite third person plural, ἀπαιτοῦσιν :
εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ θεός· ἄφρων, ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ τὴν ψυχήν σου εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ θεός· ἄφρων, ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ τὴν ψυχήν σου ἀπαιτοῦσιν ἀπὸ σοῦ· ἃ δὲ ἡτοίμασας, τίνι ἔσται;

Bruce McKinnon
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Re: Jeremiah 17:11 ἐγκαταλείψουσιν

Post by Bruce McKinnon » August 19th, 2016, 3:09 pm

Bruce McKinnon wrote: There is no obvious subject unless this verb refers back to ἃ οὐκ ἔτεκεν .
I meant to add that this would work only in the unlikely event that the plural verb related to a neuter plural subject.

S Walch
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Re: Jeremiah 17:11 ἐγκαταλείψουσιν

Post by S Walch » August 19th, 2016, 6:17 pm

I'd take the subject of ἐγκαταλείψουσιν as πλοῦτον αὐτοῦ - plural verb referring to a singular subject; though in this case even though πλοῦτον is singular, it has a plural meaning "riches". Consider it very much like our English word sheep - can either be one sheep, or many sheep.

Main meaning being that the man's "riches", "they" will forsake him.

With regards to the Luke 12:20 verse, would take the "they have demand" as a reference back to πολλὰ ἀγαθὰ in v19.

timothy_p_mcmahon
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Re: Jeremiah 17:11 ἐγκαταλείψουσιν

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » August 19th, 2016, 7:45 pm

S Walch wrote:I'd take the subject of ἐγκαταλείψουσιν as πλοῦτον αὐτοῦ - plural verb referring to a singular subject; though in this case even though πλοῦτον is singular, it has a plural meaning "riches".
The singular form of the underlying Hebrew verb supports your idea that the wealth is what departs from the man who gains it unjustly, but I'm skeptical of the use of an ad sensum plural verb with πλοῦτος as its implied subject. It's true that 'riches' is a collective noun in English, but what you're proposing is essentially the inverse of that. If you can cite examples of πλοῦτος with that usage, I'd be happy to consider it.
S Walch wrote:With regards to the Luke 12:20 verse, would take the "they have demand" as a reference back to πολλὰ ἀγαθὰ in v19.
It seems odd to me that the man's goods somehow demand his life from him. The impersonal 3rd plural, which I also see in a similar context in Luke 16:9, seems more likely.

S Walch
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Re: Jeremiah 17:11 ἐγκαταλείψουσιν

Post by S Walch » August 19th, 2016, 10:12 pm

timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:The singular form of the underlying Hebrew verb supports your idea that the wealth is what departs from the man who gains it unjustly, but I'm skeptical of the use of an ad sensum plural verb with πλοῦτος as its implied subject. It's true that 'riches' is a collective noun in English, but what you're proposing is essentially the inverse of that. If you can cite examples of πλοῦτος with that usage, I'd be happy to consider it.
Don't have any off the top of my head, but yes, the underlying Hebrew is what's helping shape my interpretation here.

As we're dealing with translational Greek rather than Greek composition, the translation won't really follow the general "rules" that we've come to know and love.

Plus here it could be the case that the translator has misread the Hebrew יעזבנו somewhat (יעזבהו?), or his exemplar had something like יעזבו אתו to bring about the plural verb.

Though I suppose a slightly closer referent would be literally right before the verb - ἡμερῶν αὐτοῦ - his "days" will forsake him (due to his unjust gains of wealth).
S Walch wrote:It seems odd to me that the man's goods somehow demand his life from him. The impersonal 3rd plural, which I also see in a similar context in Luke 16:9, seems more likely.
I interpret it as because the man put his trust in his own wealth, they therefore had a right to his soul, hence the words of verse 21.

S Walch
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Re: Jeremiah 17:11 ἐγκαταλείψουσιν

Post by S Walch » August 19th, 2016, 10:48 pm

Though I suppose a slightly closer referent would be literally right before the verb - ἡμερῶν αὐτοῦ - his "days" will forsake him (due to his unjust gains of wealth).
This is a huge stretch btw, and it doesn't make much sense to me that ἡμερῶν αὐτοῦ is in view.

As an interesting note - πλοῦτος never appears as a plural in either the LXX or the NT.

Bruce McKinnon
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Re: Jeremiah 17:11 ἐγκαταλείψουσιν

Post by Bruce McKinnon » August 31st, 2016, 7:52 pm

S Walch wrote: With regards to the Luke 12:20 verse, would take the "they have demand" as a reference back to πολλὰ ἀγαθὰ in v19.
First of all, my apologies for not having responded sooner. Interestingly, what originally prompted my interest in this question was a sermon which proposed that πολλὰ ἀγαθὰ was the subject of the verb in Luke 12:20. As an aside I've discovered that I had completely forgotten that I'd contributed last year to a thread specifically on Luke 12:20: https://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/vi ... f=6&t=2989 .

At the risk of straying into the prohibited area of textual criticism, I'll mention one other matter that may explain the plural verb ἐγκαταλείψουσιν in Jeremiah 17:11. Tov writes that the academic consensus is that the LXX of Jeremiah "was translated from a Hebrew text that was very close to ... two Qumram texts" [which differ from the Masoretic text]: Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (3rd ed.) p. 287. In other words perhaps the masculine plural in Jeremiah 17:11 may have been translated from something other than the Masoretic text, and then in turn influenced the masc. pl. in Luke 12:20.

S Walch
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Re: Jeremiah 17:11 ἐγκαταλείψουσιν

Post by S Walch » September 1st, 2016, 1:57 am

Bruce McKinnon wrote:
S Walch wrote: With regards to the Luke 12:20 verse, would take the "they have demand" as a reference back to πολλὰ ἀγαθὰ in v19.
First of all, my apologies for not having responded sooner. Interestingly, what originally prompted my interest in this question was a sermon which proposed that πολλὰ ἀγαθὰ was the subject of the verb in Luke 12:20.
Great minds? :P
At the risk of straying into the prohibited area of textual criticism, I'll mention one other matter that may explain the plural verb ἐγκαταλείψουσιν in Jeremiah 17:11. Tov writes that the academic consensus is that the LXX of Jeremiah "was translated from a Hebrew text that was very close to ... two Qumram texts" [which differ from the Masoretic text]: Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (3rd ed.) p. 287. In other words perhaps the masculine plural in Jeremiah 17:11 may have been translated from something other than the Masoretic text, and then in turn influenced the masc. pl. in Luke 12:20.
Yes, that is something I was certainly thinking when I proposed a different reading for the Hebrew above.

Interestingly, one of the DSS among the Green Scholars Initiative/Museum of the Bible also contains a Hebrew text that closely mirrors the LXX in Jer 23:6-9. The Evangelical Textual Criticism blog posted about the new book release with a handy picture of the manuscript. I transcribed a bit of it and posted on the blog post - http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blog ... l#comments (I'm obviously S Walch).

So I would certainly argue that the LXX is quite probably a translation of Hebrew manuscripts superior to the Jeremiah texts that have come to us via the Masoretes.

Ken M. Penner
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Re: Jeremiah 17:11 ἐγκαταλείψουσιν

Post by Ken M. Penner » September 1st, 2016, 3:17 pm

timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:The impersonal 3rd plural, which I also see in a similar context in Luke 16:9, seems more likely.
I would agree. We need not look for an explicit subject.
Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

S Walch
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Re: Jeremiah 17:11 ἐγκαταλείψουσιν

Post by S Walch » September 4th, 2016, 5:53 pm

After reading the above thread, I'll admit I got this one wrong.

Though as per Thomas' closing question of that thread "Would Greek readers not ask the same question about the 'they'?"

Plus this would definitely point towards the LXX having a different Jeremiah Vorlage here - doubt the translator would've translated יעזבנו as ἐγκαταλείψουσιν ; though if another few examples were pointed out, I'd quite happily change my perspective!

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