Their Line İS [Psalm 19:4]

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jinxnao

Senior Member
turkey turkish
“Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world" what does this mean ? Can you explain?
 
  • jinxnao

    Senior Member
    turkey turkish
    I think this is from bible.It is cited from a book of Toynbee so this is very difficult to give the context. He tells about the civilization and cites this sentence from the bible I guess.
     

    Waylink

    Senior Member
    English (British)
    It is the lineage. It refers to the descendants, their children and their children's children and so on.

    I'm not sure in this context whether it is meant literally (biological descendants) or figuratively to mean those who through the ages have followed (supported or subscribed to) the original ideas/teachings.
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    "is gone out": I think there have been other threads that have explained that early modern Englishused the verb "to be" instead of the verb "to have" as an auxiliary to form the perfect tenses for verbs that involve motion. English is a Germanic language despite its vocabulary, and other Germanic languages still do this. It might have been an obsolete pattern even when King James I's committee was translating the Bible. "Their line is gone out" = "Their line has gone out" in modern English.
     

    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    "is gone out": I think there have been other threads that have explained that early modern Englishused the verb "to be" instead of the verb "to have" as an auxiliary to form the perfect tenses for verbs that involve motion. English is a Germanic language despite its vocabulary, and other Germanic languages still do this. It might have been an obsolete pattern even when King James I's committee was translating the Bible. "Their line is gone out" = "Their line has gone out" in modern English.
    Exactly.
    The be-perfect was used with (what's known in linguistics as) unaccusative verbs, but very often you'll find they are linked with verbs of motion (so it's a good way to describe them) etc.
    King James Bible was completed in 1611, last remnants of the be-perfect went out of recorded English at the end of the 1800s, it's very probable that it was used in this translation.
     

    bombadil

    Senior Member
    English - EEUU
    Some more context of the original quotation will help us understand the meaning:

    The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth [shows] his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, . . .

    So the writer is talking about the heavens, the sky. I think the meaning of the original Hebrew word translated "line" must be uncertain; many contemporary translations have "voice" instead of "line."
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Some scholars also think that line refers to a kind of measuring line. So the reference could be to the territorial influence of the glory of God.

    Yes, the be perfect was used consistently for verbs of action in the Authorised Version or King James Bible. We were singing the carol, 'God rest you merry gentleman' this weekend, and there you also encounter a similar construction:

    For Jesus Christ our Saviour was born upon this day,
    To save our souls from Satan's power when we were gone astray.
     
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