You are here:

Greek/biblical greek


QUESTION: Hi Michael,

I'd like to know the difference between ἐγάμουν (egamoun) and ἐγαμίζοντο (egamizonto), these 2 terms appear in bible Luke 17, here is the original verse:
ἤσθιον ἔπινον ἐγάμουν ἐγαμίζοντο ἄχρι

I am wondering if these two terms could mean the same thing and be used interchangeably, if so, does it sound odd or repetitious to you (a native Greek speaker) that these 2 terms are used together in one sentence?
Thank you very much in advance.

ANSWER: Hi Lily,

thank you for your question. The context is, of course, the same but there are slight differences in the meaning, i.e. it's not a repetition. The first verb means "to marry or get married" and the second one "to give sb for marriage". Lukas accuses people here and wants to describe the bad habits of the humans before the flood and he says that "people were eating, drinking, getting married and giving (their children) for marriage" in order to present a reason for the God to punish them. Of course, in this context of excessive entertainment the usage could imply having, also, sexual intercourse as a result of getting married and abusing the human desires a bit.
Hope it is clear. Please, let me know. Good luck!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks so much Michael. I have a follow up question:

What made you think Lukas is describing the bad habits of the humans? Is it because the 4 terms (ἤσθιον ἔπινον ἐγάμουν ἐγαμίζοντο) are usually used in a derogatory manner?

I know people at that time were sinning, but still, eating, drinking, getting married, etc, are just some normal life style, not necessary bad habits. Lukas probably simply describes the scene of business as usual before the flood. I could be wrong though, since I am not sure how those Greek terms usually be used, and what other hidden meanings they could have.

Well, in that passage he brings the topic to God's punishment of the humanity through the flood myth and he presents reasons for this. And in that verse, of course, drinking, eating and the alike have to be used in a derogatory manner; i.e. humans could devote themselves to better things, that would please God, rather than enjoying their lives more passively. Well, to me it also reflects somehow a social contrast between the poor and the rich. Probably, only the rich could enjoy their life that way, whereas the poorer ones starved to death or died of illnesses; a total disappointment for the Creator and the behaviour among his peoples, I think :)

Thanks again for asking, Lily. Always glad to assist.



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Michael Barkas


I provide assistance in linguistic, literary topics of Greek and Latin covering, thus, the following fields: translation, grammar, syntax, vocabulary, etymology, morphology, semantics and interpretations etc.


Studies: University of the Aegean, Dept Rhodes Friedrich Wilhelm Universitšt Bonn

Magister Artium (Archeology/Linguistics) Bachelor (Latin/English/Greek)

©2017 All rights reserved.