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κατακληρονομέω semitic Greek coinage?

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κατακληρονομέω semitic Greek coinage?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:25 pm

Is κατακληρονομέω a Semitic Greek coinage?

Assuming a "yes" to the above question, let me further ask, What legal tradition(s) does it represent?

This question arises while reading Obidiah 17 - 19
ἐν δὲ τῷ ὄρει Σιων ἔσται ἡ σωτηρία καὶ ἔσται ἅγιον καὶ κατακληρονομήσουσιν ὁ οἶκος Ιακωβ τοὺς κατακληρονομήσαντας αὐτούς καὶ ἔσται ὁ οἶκος Ιακωβ πῦρ ὁ δὲ οἶκος Ιωσηφ φλόξ ὁ δὲ οἶκος Ησαυ εἰς καλάμην καὶ ἐκκαυθήσονται εἰς αὐτοὺς καὶ καταφάγονται αὐτούς καὶ οὐκ ἔσται πυροφόρος ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ Ησαυ διότι κύριος ἐλάλησεν καὶ κατακληρονομήσουσιν οἱ ἐν Ναγεβ τὸ ὄρος τὸ Ησαυ καὶ οἱ ἐν τῇ Σεφηλα τοὺς ἀλλοφύλους καὶ κατακληρονομήσουσιν τὸ ὄρος Εφραιμ καὶ τὸ πεδίον Σαμαρείας καὶ Βενιαμιν καὶ τὴν Γαλααδῖτιν
"I've a balm for bruised hearts, brother, sleep for aching eyes,"
Says the warm wind, the west wind, full of birds' cries.
(John Masefield)
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Re: κατακληρονομέω semitic Greek coinage?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:49 pm

ἑκηβόλος wrote:Is κατακληρονομέω a Semitic Greek coinage?

Assuming a "yes" to the above question, let me further ask, What legal tradition(s) does it represent?

This question arises while reading Obidiah 17 - 19
ἐν δὲ τῷ ὄρει Σιων ἔσται ἡ σωτηρία καὶ ἔσται ἅγιον καὶ κατακληρονομήσουσιν ὁ οἶκος Ιακωβ τοὺς κατακληρονομήσαντας αὐτούς καὶ ἔσται ὁ οἶκος Ιακωβ πῦρ ὁ δὲ οἶκος Ιωσηφ φλόξ ὁ δὲ οἶκος Ησαυ εἰς καλάμην καὶ ἐκκαυθήσονται εἰς αὐτοὺς καὶ καταφάγονται αὐτούς καὶ οὐκ ἔσται πυροφόρος ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ Ησαυ διότι κύριος ἐλάλησεν καὶ κατακληρονομήσουσιν οἱ ἐν Ναγεβ τὸ ὄρος τὸ Ησαυ καὶ οἱ ἐν τῇ Σεφηλα τοὺς ἀλλοφύλους καὶ κατακληρονομήσουσιν τὸ ὄρος Εφραιμ καὶ τὸ πεδίον Σαμαρείας καὶ Βενιαμιν καὶ τὴν Γαλααδῖτιν


1. The general rule of thumb about "Semitic coinages" is maybe. There is a higher likelihood here because the verb appears only in the LXX and the NT and is not paralleled anywhere else, even in the papyri (unless there is a discovery that hasn't yet made it into the resources I use). However, it's still possible that it was simply in use in common speech, at least in Alexandria during the period the LXX (or better, it's antecedents) was being composed, a word that the translators felt was suitable for their purposes.

2. I don't think it represents any legal tradition in a technical sense. The κληρο- word group in the LXX came to be used of a variety of concepts in Hebrew, but all related to obtaining what was rightfully the owner's, and especially the "theology of inheritance" or "possession" used of Israel's proper acquisition of the land originally promised to the patriarchs. In this case:

וּבְהַ֥ר צִיּ֛וֹן תִּהְיֶ֥ה פְלֵיטָ֖ה וְהָ֣יָה קֹ֑דֶשׁ וְיָֽרְשׁוּ֙ בֵּ֣ית יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב אֵ֖ת מוֹרָֽשֵׁיהֶם

κατακληρονομήσουσιν renders וְיָֽרְשׁ, from ירש, the standard Hebrew verb for taking possession of the land. מוֹרָֽשֵׁיהֶם, rendered in the LXX by τοὺς κατακληρονομήσαντας αὐτούς. The ESV renders the Hebrew:

"But in Mount Zion there shall be those who escape, and it shall be holy, and the house of Jacob shall possess their own possessions," not what the Greek says! מוֹרָֽשֵׁיהֶם, "their possessions" is simply from the noun מורש with the possessive suffix, but the LXX translator apparently took it as a hifil participle from ירש and the suffix as a direct object of the participle. Several commentators also suggest a word play on וְיָֽרְשׁוּ֙...מוֹרָֽשֵׁיהֶם with Jerusalem, something inevitably lost in any translation!
Last edited by Barry Hofstetter on Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Re: κατακληρονομέω semitic Greek coinage?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:32 pm

Is the way that this word was coined - prefixing a κατα to change the role from beneficiary to benefactor - a derivational morphological pattern followed by other words too?
"I've a balm for bruised hearts, brother, sleep for aching eyes,"
Says the warm wind, the west wind, full of birds' cries.
(John Masefield)
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Re: κατακληρονομέω semitic Greek coinage?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:08 pm

ἑκηβόλος wrote:Is the way that this word was coined - prefixing a κατα to change the role from beneficiary to benefactor - a derivational morphological pattern followed by other words too?


It looks like standard Greek word formation to me.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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