The Library Basement
Reading under ground

Bundled wordplay

Published: 2012-06-23 13:35:00
Category: language Tags: Greek translation

I ran across this enchanting line in Sirach 21:9 in the LXX:

στιππύον συνηγμένον συναγωγὴ ἀνὀμων

The NETS renders this as "a gathering of the lawless is bundled flax." (Followed by "and a flame of fire is their end.") I was struck by the use of the same lexical root συνἀγω for the subject and the adjective of the object, which makes for a great wordplay. To bring that out in English, you would have to do something more like "a gathering of the lawless is gathered flax", which does not quite sound right, unfortunately.

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© Nathan D. Smith
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