Mandates vs Commands

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Yasmin Stephen | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Feb 6 2016 10:42 AM

I'm reading through the creation account in Genesis with the Propositional Outlines turned on, and, even with the glossary definitions, I'm a little confused by the difference between a mandate and a command:

Mandate — The speaker is placing obligations on, promising, or warning a third party; the obligation expects performance of what is stated. - Keaton, M. (2014). The Lexham Propositional Outlines Glossary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Command — The speaker is ordering his audience to perform some action. - Keaton, M. (2014). The Lexham Propositional Outlines Glossary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Is it a mandate when God is the one doing the performance, and a command when someone else is expected to perform the action? I would appreciate if any of you could elaborate some more. Thanks!

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 6 2016 11:06 AM

I'm not sure that I agree with the Propositional Outline tags in this case as I would analyze it more in terms of performative language vs. commands but then I don't read the original Hebrew.

But the distinction that is being made is between "you do it" (command) and "let it be/it should be such that" (mandate). Does that help?

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 6 2016 12:49 PM

Generally speaking a mandate is a type of command (I suppose) that is focused on accomplishing some purpose or task. A study committee may have a mandate to study an issue and report back to the main group, for example.

A command is generally something that is simply to be done or not done. "Stop in the name of the law." is a command.

The creation (AKA cultural) mandate: to "be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it..." (Gen 1:28), is something God is telling us to do. Obviously we can't without His blessing, etc., but we are to do it.

Commands are to be obeyed. Mandates are to be accomplished.

Hope that makes sense.

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Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 6 2016 1:03 PM

Looks to me like commandments are 2nd person, e.g. "Do this" or "don't eat of the fruit of the tree", whereas mandates are 3rd person, e.g. "let/may X do this", "let the earth grass grass."

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Yasmin Stephen | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 6 2016 1:03 PM

MJ. Smith:

But the distinction that is being made is between "you do it" (command) and "let it be/it should be such that" (mandate). Does that help?

Yes, that helps.

Rich DeRuiter:

Commands are to be obeyed. Mandates are to be accomplished.

Hope that makes sense.

And, yes, that makes sense

Thank you both! Smile

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Yasmin Stephen | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 6 2016 1:06 PM

Ben:

Looks to me like commandments are 2nd person, e.g. "Do this" or "don't eat of the fruit of the tree", whereas mandates are 3rd person, e.g. "let/may X do this", "let the earth grass grass."

This is similar to how I had began to differentiate them in my mind. Thank you.

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Jacob Cerone | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 8 2016 10:18 AM

Ben:

Looks to me like commandments are 2nd person, e.g. "Do this" or "don't eat of the fruit of the tree", whereas mandates are 3rd person, e.g. "let/may X do this", "let the earth grass grass."

This is, from my understanding, correct.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 8 2016 10:35 AM

Yasmin Stephen:

Ben:

Looks to me like commandments are 2nd person, e.g. "Do this" or "don't eat of the fruit of the tree", whereas mandates are 3rd person, e.g. "let/may X do this", "let the earth grass grass."

This is similar to how I had began to differentiate them in my mind. Thank you.

In grammar the Greek has both a 2nd and a 3rd person impv.

Herbert Weir Smyth:

364. Person.—There are three persons (first, second, and third) in the indicative, subjunctive, and optative. The imperative has only the second and third persons.

Herbert Weir Smyth, A Greek Grammar for Colleges (New York; Cincinnati; Chicago; Boston; Atlanta: American Book Company, 1920), 108.

In Hebrew there is a 2nd person impv and a 3rd person jussive form

Friedrich Wilhelm Gesenius:

1. The ground-forms of the Imperative, קְטֹל (properly qeṭŭl, which is for an original qŭṭŭl), and קְטַל (see below, c), the same in pronunciation as the forms of the Infin. constr. (§ 45), are also the basis for the formation of the Imperfect (§ 47). They represent the second person, and have both fem. and plur. forms. The third person is supplied by the Imperfect in the Jussive (§ 109 b); and even the second person must always be expressed by the Jussive, if it be used with a negative, e.g. אַל־תִּקְטֹל ne occidas (not אַל־קְטֹל). The passives have no Imperative, but it occurs in the reflexives, as Niphʿal and Hithpaʿēl.

Friedrich Wilhelm Gesenius, Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, ed. E. Kautzsch and Sir Arthur Ernest Cowley, 2d English ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1910), 124.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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