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the Sabbath

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the Sabbath

Postby bacon » Sun Feb 19, 2006 2:16 am

Mark 1:21 reads in part, ...και ευθυς τοις σαββασιν εισελθων....
σαββατον, being second declension, would seem to me to be declined as follows: σαββατο(the root) + ις(plural,dative,neuter) giving σαββατοις. Instead it looks like third declension using σιν(plural,dative,neuter). What am I missing?
Thanks for any help.[/list]
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Postby Bert » Sun Feb 19, 2006 2:50 am

You are not missing anything. You have just shown that you are very observant. σάββατον is indeed 2nd declension but in the NT the dative plural is written as σάββασιν instead of σαββάτοις. Other writings will use the other form or even both forms. Just a strange thing about this word. Middle Liddell calls this phenomenon "heteroclisis." (Which I am thinking stands for 'other declencion')

P.s. Just in case I had you fooled into thinking that I'm smart; I didn't know any of this untill I started looking it up after I read your question.
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Postby Kopio » Sun Feb 19, 2006 5:17 am

Thackeray in his Septuagint Grammar (the very best there is...eisenbrauns sells it as a reprint for $77) writes a fairly good bit about these kinds of words. They fall under the more general catagory of "Metaplasms.
H.St.J. THackeray wrote:We may group under this general head further instances of the mixture of forms and declensions which grammarians subdivide into (a) abundantia, viz. double forms for nominative and other cases, e.g. lew/s, lao/s : (b) heteroclitia, viz. a single nom. form with diverging forms in the oblique cases, e.g. os and ton sko/tos : (c) metaplasta, viz. formation of a new nom. out of the oblique cases, e.g. hH wdi/n. Mixture of this kind was common in the koinhv and has already been illustrated in the preceding sections : several of the instances which follow have classical precedent.

It is strange, but it does happen to a number of different words. They just change gender. It is indeed a sign that you are very observant though. When I tend to read, I'm usually moving through at a pretty good pace (unless I'm diagramming) and I miss that kind of stuff.
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