τότε λαλήσει πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἐν ὀργῇ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ θυμῷ αὐτοῦ ταράξει αὐτούς –> then shall he speak to them in his anger, and trouble them in his fury

damaskinos

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Dear friends,

actually the meaning of the phrase in itself is very plain and evident, and there are plenty of already existing translations to consult. It is biblical, taken from Psalm 2:5: τότε λαλήσει πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἐν ὀργῇ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ θυμῷ αὐτοῦ ταράξει αὐτούς, as per Ralph's critical Septuagint text. The plain meaning is very clear: "Then shall he speak to them in his anger, and trouble them in his fury", as per Brenton's translation that seems fine here.

Now, my question is about this particular construction of a verb of speaking + prós + accusative pronoun or noun - while the more common construction seems to be simply verb of speaking + dative pronoun or noun.

My intuition says that the construction with preposition + accusative pronoun is more emphatic about whom is receiving the discourse. The context of course, strongly suggests that: the Lord said that to the Christ, and to no one more. However, I am not truly sure whether both constructions were then normative (with no special emphasis, when the LXX was written) or the quoted excerpt actually bears a particular emphasis or nuance.

I did a quick search throughout the Greek Scriptures, and I found that in the New Testament, the dative is way more common, and prós + accusative appears notably in Acts (by Luke), in places where one might argue for a special emphasis on the recipient of the discourse.

On other hand, through the LXX, the construction with accusative seems to be way more common, though not the only one. That weakens of course my guess about a particular emphasis, and might be rather seen as a kind of archaism used particularly by Luke in the NT.

I could not sort out the hundreds of quotes, but that is my first impression. If by chance it is true that the accusative construction emphasizes more the recipient of the discourse, my native language has a very natural way of doing that - however it is used only for emphasis' sake, and other than that, it would sound between forced and pedantic.

Any insight is welcome! Thank you very much in advance.
« Last Edit: 25 Jan, 2020, 12:00:35 by spiros »


billberg23

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Your post amounts to a learned commentary on pros in the Septuagint, and we thank you for that. It reminds us of the problems vexing the translation of pros in John 1:1, but that's another issue.  Pietersma's translation of the Psalm-passage in the new NETS (https://www.difa3iat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/A-New-English-Translation-of-the-Septuagint-2014.pdf, p.548) which should supersede his predecessor's, shows no particular difference with Rhalf's (note sp.).  LSJ also cites the meaning "to" as not uncommon in classical Greek:
5.without any hostile sense, ἀγορεύειν, εἰπεῖν πρός τινα to address oneself to him, Il.; ἀμείβεσθαι πρός τινα Hdt.; also of communing with oneself, εἶπε πρὸς ὃν μεγαλήτορα θυμόν, προτὶ ὃν μυθήσατο θυμόν Il.:—of all sorts of intercourse, ὀμόσαι πρός τινα to take an oath to him, Od.
My only observation (bear in mind that I'm not a bible scholar) is that pros with accusative can also mean "in the presence of," i.e. "face to face with," and might therefore emphasize the presence of the voice of the speaker, rather than the recipient of the discourse.



spiros

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Similarly in Modern Greek it can be translated simply as "to".

II. συμπληρώνει το ουσιαστικό, το επίθετο ή το ρήμα μιας πρότασης και δηλώνει: α.το αντικείμενο της αναφοράς· σε: Έκκληση προς τον ελληνικό λαό. Αίτηση προς το Υπουργείο Παιδείας. Γενναιόδωρος προς τους νικημένους. Περιφρόνηση προς το θάνατο. Απευθύνομαι προς όλους όσοι με ακούνε. Μιλούσαν σαν ίσοι προς ίσους / σαν άντρας προς άντρα.
http://www.greek-language.gr/greekLang/modern_greek/tools/lexica/search.html?dq=&sin=all&lq=%CF%80%CF%81%CE%BF%CF%82
« Last Edit: 25 Jan, 2020, 12:09:21 by spiros »


damaskinos

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Thank you for your answers!

Similarly in Modern Greek it can be translated simply as "to".

Yes, from checking a few translations, that is my impression, as for the plain meaning. Maybe as any beginner I am "searching for hairs on an eggshell", that is, overrating small details that might not have any meaningful bear on the meaning or even on emphasis or connotation.

Quote
Your post amounts to a learned commentary on pros in the Septuagint, and we thank you for that
Thank you for your kindness.

Quote
My only observation (bear in mind that I'm not a bible scholar) is that pros with accusative can also mean "in the presence of," i.e. "face to face with," and might therefore emphasize the presence of the voice of the speaker, rather than the recipient of the discourse.
That leaves food for thought for a good while! And as for the ethos, it is very Biblical and agreeable to the Psalms, that are dialogues face to face between God and the faithful, and are full of dialogal aspects: the faithful asking for mercy or protection, God promising Salvation and blessings, God menacing the impious with chastisement and warning, the impious challenging God and even doubting His being, &c... and jumping from one to another locutor or receptor of the sayings with no warning except here and there the διάψαλμα inscription.

I am still afraid of overrating this possible nuance, but the fact is that it fits as a glove in Biblical ethos and style. In the OP quote, that might result in "Then shall he speak before them [the impious] in His anger, and trouble them in his fury", or "Then shall he speak in their presence in His anger..."; and with some flourishing, "Then shall he speak before their face in His anger...""Then shall he speak face to face with them in His anger...", or any like variation.

That opens a few stylistic options to smooth some woodiness from formal equivalence translations, but still in the right ethos. I am not yet sure to how extent I should appeal to this reading, but it sounds promising. Thank you a lot.
« Last Edit: 01 Feb, 2020, 00:51:23 by damaskinos »



billberg23

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