Friday, October 8, 2010

The Friday Figure

In last week's Friday Figure I talked about the Greek practice of polyptoton, or grammatical inflection.  It involved inflecting the subject of a passage in the different grammatical cases.  This week's figure is another example of this practice. 

Luke 19:42 λέγων ὅτι εἰ ἔγνως ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ταύτῃ καὶ σὺ τὰ πρὸς εἰρήνην· νῦν δὲ ἐκρύβη ἀπὸ ὀφθαλμῶν σου. 
Luke 19:43 ὅτι ἥξουσιν ἡμέραι ἐπὶ σὲ καὶ παρεμβαλοῦσιν οἱ ἐχθροί σου χάρακά σοι καὶ περικυκλώσουσίν σε καὶ συνέξουσίν σε πάντοθεν,
Luke 19:44 καὶ ἐδαφιοῦσίν σε καὶ τὰ τέκνα σου ἐν σοί, καὶ οὐκ ἀφήσουσιν λίθον ἐπὶ λίθον ἐν σοί, ἀνθ᾿ ὧν οὐκ ἔγνως τὸν καιρὸν τῆς ἐπισκοπῆς σου.

Luke 19:42 saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
Luke 19:43 Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side.
Luke 19:44 They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.”
In these three verses the Lukan Jesus uses the second person personal pronoun σὺ twelve times and in four different cases (σὺ, σου, σὲ, σου, σοι, σε, σε, σε, σου, σοί, σοί, σου).  The “you” is referring to Jerusalem in the Lukan Jesus’ lament over the city.  The recurrence of the personal pronoun in different cases draws attention to the city as the central theme of this lament.

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