Koine and Biblical and Medieval Greek • Luke 12:29 μετεωρίζεσθε

In addition to Luke 12:20, Luke 12:29 is another verse with an (almost) unique word choice where modern Bibles translate fairly contextually. Only Douay-Rheims translates literally in both cases.

καὶ ὑμεῖς μὴ ζητεῖτε τί φάγητε καὶ τί πίητε, καὶ μὴ μετεωρίζεσθε

For some comparisons, notice 2 Maccabees 7:34:

σὺ δέ, ὦ ἀνόσιε καὶ πάντων ἀνθρώπων μιαρώτατε, μὴ μάτην μετεωρίζου φρυαττόμενος ἀδήλοις ἐλπίσιν ἐπὶ τοὺς οὐρανίους παῖδας ἐπαιρόμενος χεῖρα

And also compare 2 Maccabees 5:17:

καὶ ἐμετεωρίζετο τὴν διάνοιαν ὁ Ἀντίοχος οὐ συνορῶν ὅτι διὰ τὰς ἁμαρτίας τῶν τὴν πόλιν οἰκούντων ἀπώργισται βραχέως ὁ δεσπότης, διὸ γέγονεν περὶ τὸν τόπον παρόρασις.

And P.Oxy. 1679, cited by the LSJ as the only support for Luke's usage:

ὥστε, κυρία, μ̣ὴ̣ μετεωρίζου, καλῶς διάγομεν.

Some options:

1) Luke 12:29 and P.Oxy. 1679 could be explained by a unique (to them) "don't be anxious" rendering, fitting the context well in both cases, though not entirely motivated by the verb.

2) All four could be explained together by a basic sense of "work yourself up" or "excite yourself", drawing better on the basic sense of the verb. However, while the meaning fits in with Luke 12:29, it strikes me as a bit unmotivated. A more natural phrasing, with this sort of meaning, would be something like: καὶ ὑμεῖς μὴ μετεωρίζεσθε ζητοῦντες τί φάγητε καὶ τί πίητε. Of course, in all these cases, the present tense would cause departure from the English "work yourself up" just a bit into continuous "be worked up".

3) Luke 12:29 and P.Oxy. 1679 and 2Mac 7:34 might intend, by context, some sort of prognosticate/astrologize meaning. Note that 2Mac 7:34 in particular is a rejection of an argument in 2Mac 7:28: ἀξιῶ σε τέκνον ἀναβλέψαντα εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν... Compare Pl.R.488e μετεωροσκόπος. The sense in P.Oxy. 1679 is hardest to fit here, but could mean something like "aren't kept guessing", as she moves into the family news section of her letter.

Statistics: Posted by jeidsath — Mon Oct 02, 2023 12:28 pm

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