εἴπατε τῇ ἀλώπεκι ταύτῃ -> tell that fox [Herod] (Luke 13:32)

Ginsei · 4 · 1253

Offline Ginsei

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Hi, guys!

I was thinking, how rude does is sound to call someone a fox in koine greek?
I mean, it is clearly not something sweet-funny, which is fox to us, 21st centurians. Is it similar rather to "snake" or "worm"? It must have the meaning of one of these two, I reckon.
How was it used in ancient greek, do you have information? I mean outside the NT.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: 12 Jan, 2015, 12:35:47 by spiros »


Offline billberg23

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Welcome to the Forum, Ginsei!
Since at least the Athenian lawgiver Solon (7th-6th cent. BCE), the Greek feminine noun meaning "fox" (ἀλώπηξ, gen. ἀλώπεκος) has been used as a metaphor for a diabolically clever or sneaky person.  Cf. the authoritative Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek Lexicon:
ἀλώπηξ [ᾰ], εκος (also
ἀλώπηκος Anan.5), ἡ; dat. pl., ἀλώπεξι LXX 3 Ki.21.10, Ep. ἀλωπήκεσσι Opp.C.1.433:—fox, Canis vulpes (smaller Egyptian species Arist.HA606a24, C. niloticus), Archil.86.2, 89.5, Semon.7.7, Hdt.2.67, etc.: of sly persons, ἀλώπεκος ἴχνεσι βαίνειν Sol.11.5; μῆτιν ἀ. a very fox for craft, Pi.I.4(3).65: prov., τὴν . . Ἀρχιλόχου ἀλώπεκα ἑλκτέον ἐξόπισθεν we must trail Archilochus' foxskin behind, i.e. deceive by false appearances, Pl.R.365c; πολλῆς αὐτῆς τῆς ἀ. ἐπιχέαντες Eun.Hist.p.249D.; ἡ ἀ. τὸν βοῦν ἐλαύνει 'sleight masters might', Diogenian.2.73; πεινῶσαν ἀ. ὕπνος ἐπέρχεται 'qui dort dine', Id.7.91; ἡ κέρκος τῇ ἀλώπεκι μαρτυρεῖ 'ex pede Herculem', Id.5.15; ἀλλ' οὐκ αὖθις ἀ. (sc. πάγαις ἁλώσεται) 'a burnt child dreads the fire', Id.2.15.
« Last Edit: 11 Jan, 2015, 19:43:34 by billberg23 »
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος



Offline Ginsei

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You mean, welcome back? :) Well, it was somewhat a derogatory term rather than funny, I guess. Today, it is very mild.



Offline billberg23

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You mean, welcome back? :)
Yes, of course, I mean "Welcome back."  Apologies for that senior moment, Ginsei!
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος



 

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