Exigit et postulat a nobis Deus

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KsSp

Senior Member
Russian (Moscow dialect) - Russia
Hello.
Here is a sentence from Homily 39 on Luke by Origen.
'Exigit et postulat a nobis Deus, ut habeat occasionem donandi, ut ipsi tribuat qui erogavit.'
Here is an attempt to translate it:
'God asks and requires from us so that He can have an occasion to give us back something that He took from us.'
The context is the following: Origen is talking about salvation and makes a reference to the Parable of the Minas.
Could you please comment on the meaning of the original sentence?
Thank you.
 
  • bearded

    Senior Member
    Hello Scholiast

    The Latin verb 'erogare' has different meanings: among them to spend(money), to offer, to donate, to deposit… and of course to ask etc.
    You translated ''whatever someone asks..'' , but don't you think that also a different interpretation might be possible, like
    ...that he may have an opportunity of bestowal, so that he can grant (something - back?) to the same person who gave/offered.

    In Italian, the verb 'erogare' still exists and is very common in the sense of 'to offer, to donate', therefore I'm possibly influenced by my own language.
    However, since this is late Latin...
    I also have another doubt: are the two clauses introduced by 'ut' subordinate to each other, or is the second 'ut' something like ''(namely) so that..'' - sort of an explanation or illustration of the first ut-sentence? (if so, the comma would be co-ordinating).

    Thank you in advance for letting me/us know your valuable opinion.
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    saluete omnes, praesertim bearded!

    [re # 3] Hmmm. My initial reaction was to think of ut habeat...donandi as a purpose clause, and ut ipsi...erogavit as an indirect command. The whole sentence then, paraphrased, would mean 'In order to be able to demonstrate His munificence, God demands of us that He should grant what each of us asks Him for'.

    But bearded's intervention gives me pause for thought. 'Purpose clauses' and 'indirect commands' are categories invented by late grammarians and convenient for modern paedagogues, but in truth I am not sure that Cicero or Caesar (let alone Jerome) would have been conscious of a syntactical distinction between them (though if it were, it should have been observable in Origen's primary Greek—the first being ἵνα μεγαλοπρεπείαν δηλοῖ or something of the sort, the second probably a construction with an infinitive).

    And right now I am inclined to think that bearded's surmise is right, that is, that the second ut-clause is explanatory of the first. Either way, however, there is something missing from the Latin, which needs to be understood as 'He asks us to ask Him [for grace/mercy/bounty &c.].

    Σ
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    saluete de nouo!

    @bearded (# 5): I cannot understand erogare in the sense bearded suggests. OLD (s.v. 3) has 'to obtain (alms) by entreaty; to prevail upon (someone) by entreaty', and to me this seems in the context to make better sense. But of course I am only too happy to be proven wrong if someone can come up with a refutation, or a better explanation than mine.

    Σ

    Edit: but see now ## 7 and 8 below.
     
    Last edited:

    KsSp

    Senior Member
    Russian (Moscow dialect) - Russia
    Thank you, Scholiast and Bearded! Such discussions, although definitely time-consuming for those involved, are always interesting to read.
     
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