Tuesday, February 13, 2018

1 Corinthians 13:12 and Numbers 12:8, Etc.

1 Corinthians 13:12 has some connection to Numbers 12:8 and other related scriptures, but some verses possibly are more intimately connected: e.g., Genesis 32:30-31; Judges 6:22-23.

βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι' ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον· ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην. (1 Corinthians 13:12 WH)

Gen 32:31: εἶδον γὰρ θεὸν πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον, καὶ ἐσώθη μου ἡ ψυχή. (LXX)

Judges 6:22: καὶ εἶδεν Γεδεων ὅτι ἄγγελος κυρίου ἐστίν, καὶ εἶπεν Γεδεων ῏Α ἆ, κύριε κύριε, ὅτι εἶδον τὸν ἄγγελον κυρίου πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον. (LXX)

Both accounts involve angels (spirit beings) manifested as dynamic agents of YHWH, and notice the expression πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον.

Numbers 12:8 has στόμα κατὰ στόμα λαλήσω αὐτῷ ἐν εἴδει καὶ οὐ δ αἰνιγμάτων καὶ τὴν δόξαν κυρίου εἶδεν καὶ διὰ τί οὐκ ἐφοβήθητε καταλαλῆσαι κατὰ τοῦ θεράποντός μου Μωυσῆ


Duncan said...

Does Exodus 4:16 have a bearing on Numbers 12:8?

Edgar Foster said...

That is possible with the use of God there.

Edgar Foster said...

I guess we could also single out "mouth" in Ex 4:16, but seems to be different from Num. 12:8 and the "mouth to mouth"/face to face language.

Duncan said...

It's interesting looking at multiple translations of 12:8


Although, I am not sure the two phrases are interchangeable.

Edgar Foster said...

Ellicott states: (8) With him will I speak.—Better, do I speak, mouth to mouth. Comp. Exodus 33:11.

NET Note for Exod 33:11: 31 tn “Face to face” is circumstantial to the action of the verb, explaining how they spoke (see GKC 489-90 §156.c). The point of this note of friendly relationship with Moses is that Moses was “at home” in this tent speaking with God. Moses would derive courage from this when he interceded for the people (B. Jacob, Exodus, 966).

NET Note for Numbers 12:8: 15 tn The emphasis of the line is clear enough – it begins literally “mouth to mouth” I will speak with him. In human communication this would mean equality of rank, but Moses is certainly not equal in rank with the Lord. And yet God is here stating that Moses has an immediacy and directness with communication with God. It goes beyond the idea of friendship, almost to that of a king's confidant.

Pulpit Commentary claims that "mouth to mouth" and "face to face" are interchangeable.

Duncan said...

That just seems ridiculous. That's like saying that Jehovah's arm and hand are interchangeable. They do have similar meanings but not identical & they imply slightly different things.

Edgar Foster said...

I respectfully disagree--the comments are not ridiculous at all. Arm and hand are not interchangeable as scriptural metaphors (power vs. exertion of power), but face to face and mouth to mouth could be and seem to be inb the light of Exod. 33:11 compared with Num. 12:8.

Interchangeable doesn't mean identical; it just means that one term can be used in place of another meaningfully. For example, the words "materialism" and "physicalism" are interchangeable in some contexts. Do they mean the same thing? No, but the terms are still interchangeable. It works the same with mouth to mouth and face to face. Of course, a mouth is not a face (and vice versa), but the idioms express the same idea: intimacy, directness and immediacy with Almighty God.

Duncan said...


Edgar Foster said...

As the link suggests, maybe there is a distinction between different uses of "face to face," but does that mean face to face and mouth to mouth aren't interchangeable?

This article suggests the terms are interchangeable: e-journal.usd.ac.id/index.php/jt/article/download/476/415