Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The New Testament Greek word: αντλεω

Source: https://www.abarim-publications.com/DictionaryG/a/a-n-t-l-e-om.html


Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary


The verb αντλεω (antleo) describes the act of drawing or tapping liquid out of some greater reservoir, with the implied intent of entirely draining the reservoir (even suggesting that the reservoir is supposed to be dry).

In the classics, our verb only occasionally describes the physical act of drawing water (ground water from a well or bilge water from the hold of a ship), and mostly describes the figurative draining of some potential: making the most of some opportunity, squandering some treasure or toiling until the last drop of liquidity has been drained from the dregs of one's life.

Our verb originates in the noun αντελος (antelos), which Homer used to describe the bilge of a ship: the place deep below where all falling things (and water from leaks or spray) collected. Other authors used our noun to describe floods or torrents into which unfortunate tumblers might find themselves removed ("with no haven near"; Euripides, Hec.1025). All of this rather obviously reminds of one's own bladder, whose ultimate drain is situated at the bottom of one's belly (and indeed, the word for belly, namely κοιλια, koilia, may also describe the hold of a ship).

When Jesus spoke of streams of living water flowing from one's belly (John 7:38), he very obviously referred to the act of urination (which removes excess and wastes from the body) or even ejaculation (which sows the seeds of life; seeds that had accumulated within the husband's belly). And the Greek word for well, namely φρεαρ (phrear), rather obviously relates to φρην (phren), midriff, or figuratively, the rational mind that continuously pumps liquidity up from the subconscious waters to the dry land of one's reason.

Where our noun αντελος (antelos) comes from is not formally known, but a creative Greek poet (and his candid audience) might have assumed relations with the familiar prefix αντι- (anti-), meaning counter, in place of, or in front of (our not dissimilar English word "antler" means "in front of the eyes"), and have concluded that our noun described the counter-half or the nether-part of a ship, or anything comparable to a ship — and see our article on the verb κυβερναω (kubernao), to pilot a ship, for a quick look at what that might be. Moreover, the preposition ανα (ana) often indicates a repeating, and the noun τελος (telos) means end or completion.

Note that the Hebrew root that expresses all these things is דלל (dalal), to hang, from which come nouns דלי (deli), bucket, and דלת (delet), door, and perhaps ultimately even the Greek nouns δολος (dolos), fish-bait, and σκανδαλον (skandalon), a lamp for night-fishing.

In the New Testament, our verb αντλεω (antleo) is used 4 times, see full concordance, and from it derives:

  • The noun αντλημα (antlema), which describes any kind of thing to draw with. In the ancient middle east, that would probably not have been a bucket but rather a goatskin or something like that. This word occurs in John 4:11 only, but in a masterful and comical double entendre:

For a woman will encompass a man

The gospel of John is stuffed with jokes and puns. It's one of the youngest books of the Bible, and when it was published (probably after Luke's book of Acts), the story of Jesus was very well known throughout the Roman world. The earlier synoptic gospels had told of the tragedy of the death of Christ and were written with the destruction of Jerusalem fresh in mind. John's gospel, however, came as a confirmation of the resurrection and is therefore deliberately hilarious.

Instead of a tragedy, John's gospel unfolds like a Greek comedy that pokes fun at the pseudo-learned Jewish authorities (1:26, 3:10, 7:52; see Jonah), and the bumbling Roman state (John 19:19). It quips of Mary of Bethany's alabaster vessel and Nicodemus' entirely outrageous torrent of myrrh that marked the joyful consummation of marriage rather than death (19:39). In the story of the twelve basketfuls of remaining chunks of bread (6:13), John uses the word for consumed bread (βιβρωσκω, bibrosko). In the story of the man born blind (9:1-41), he uses typical Greek slapstick ("I don't know why you don't know that I know that you don't"). And John closes his gospel by stating that the man called Word had in three short years said so much that all the books in the world could not possibly contain all his sayings (John 21:25, see Colossians 2:3).

John's earlier colleague Luke had written that Jesus was a son of Joseph "by law" or "by general understanding" (Luke 3:23), and while genders have always been tricky ideas, the people generally understood not only that Jesus was Joseph's, but also that he was his son (rather than daughter). We moderns know all about genes, and Jesus obtained his human genes from Mary, who was a Levite female (she was a cousin of Elizabeth, who was of the daughters of Aaron; Luke 1:5). That means that, genetically spoken, Jesus could only have been a Levite female: a daughter of Mary by grapevine standards but a son of Joseph according to formal administration (for Romans 1:3, see John 8:15; "human flesh" was a legal term; also see our article on σαρξ, sarx, flesh).

In classical languages such as Hebrew, the general rule is that masculinity is the tendency toward individuality, whereas femininity is the tendency toward collectivity (independent things tend to be known by masculine words, and things that tend to come in collections tend to be known by feminine words). That is why kings (the government) were known as fathers, and the people (the governed) were known as mothers (in Hebrew, the word אם, 'am means both mother and people). It is also why in Christ there is neither male nor female (Galatians 3:28), but only freedom and sovereignty (Galatians 5:1).

People confuse truth with historicity. The Bible is true, not because it reports of events that really happened (once, long ago) but because it really happens (every time, wherever the conditions are similar). The Bible is not historic but algorithmic. The Golgotha-event is like E = mc2; it describes the truth of the universe in an algorithmic sense, not a historic sense. This is why we can go to Golgotha to nail our sins to the cross of Christ without having to travel back in time two millennia. The cross of Christ exists algorithmically, always and everywhere for everyone.

As we discuss in great detail in our article on Stephen, the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus closely corresponds to the mammalian reproductive cycle — with Jesus as the ovum (just one cell among the great many cells that together made up the mother's body), his crucifixion as the ovulation, his resurrection as the conception (upon which he went from being one mere cell of his mother's body to a one-cell equivalent of his entire mother; he became a one-man people-like-his-mother), and his "second coming" as the birth of the Child that is his Body: his people, in whom he would always be incarnate (Matthew 28:20).

By the time John published his gospel, the (still gestating) Body of the Resurrected Christ had been firmly established: he might have been an individual during his own lifetime but in his resurrection he became a People. And a people is feminine. And a woman can only grow out of a baby girl. And that means that Jesus had always been a man according to law, but a woman according to the lawful.

A very similar event had happened once before. At the crossing of the Jabbok (means It Will Drain), patriarch Jacob (at whose well Jesus and the woman met) had wrestled with the angel of YHWH, who had wacked him on the ירך (yarek), the genitalia (not the euphemistic "thigh"), so that said yarek was dislocated and Jacob understandably took to limping. From that moment on, Jacob the individual (a man, and a fertile one, as he had eleven sons and a daughter by then; only Benjamin still had to be born) became Israel the People.

John's original audience doubtlessly understood these subtleties. If the matter had merely been about water, the woman would have simply borrowed Jesus her own bucket and let him draw all the water he wanted. Now that the woman so elaborately observed that Jesus — how shall we put this? — had nothing hanging, John's audience certainly appreciated the great promise thus expressed (and had a hardy chuckle to boot).

So, you are saying...?

Q: So, are you saying that Jesus was really a woman?

A: No, Jesus was really a man. But he was really a man not because he really had a penis but because he really stood alone with the algorithmic truth he embodied.

Q: So, what is a woman?

A: A woman is someone who requires or desires government. A man is someone who desires to govern, or at least dominate. That's because a man has too much of something and a woman not enough (in a blind & lame sort of sense). Man and woman are essentially incomplete without the other. Jesus was not incomplete in any way, because he was whole.

Q: So, men are better than women?

A: The job of the government is not to govern but to guarantee the freedom of the governed to self-organize. The job of the governed is not to pursue government but to pursue freedom. Just like bondage follows from government by force, so freedom follows from government by enlightenment.

Q: So, genders are social constructs?

A: Is light a wave or a particle? The difference between animals and humans is that humans have technology and animals don't. God met Moses in the fire (Exodus 3:3), but the bush that wasn't consumed by the fire it contained was technological (because it was certainly not natural). The bush of the meeting became the tent of the meeting (Exodus 29:42). Tents are woven, and weaving requires technology and domesticated sheep (sheep that are not natural).

The tabernacle, with all its bronze and woven patterns, was a technological marvel, made by divinely inspired engineers (Exodus 31:1-11). The tabernacle became the Temple, which became the Body of Christ. We fortunate moderns have our very own copies of the magnificent Word of God because engineers invented writing and printing. Written and printed text is today's tent of the meeting, god-breathed because in text we meet God (2 Timothy 3:16).

All text is technological, and these two words (and the word textile) share their root with the noun τεκτων (tekton), meaning Assembler, which describes Jesus' and Joseph's earthly profession (Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3).

Jesus embodies the Logos, which is science (Romans 1:20, 1 Thessalonians 5:21, 1 Kings 4:33), and the crucial difference between science and mythology is that science yields useful technology (Matthew 11:19). The difference between primitive man and modern man is that modern man can make the lame walk and the blind see (John 14:12), because modern man has science and technology, and in technology (specifically: in information technology) man meets God, and shares the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), which is Oneness (Deuteronomy 6:4, Ephesians 4:1-6, John 17:21-23). Humanity will live with God in the New Jerusalem, which is a city, not a beach resort, a technological complex, and not a jungle.

Now ask yourself: the words you are now reading, the website you are on, the computer or phone you are using, the network your device is connected to, the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the language you speak, the city you live in, the rules you live by — the entire broad circus of technological marvels that allows you your precious human existence, your freedom, your dignity, and your elevated contemplations: was it made by a man or by a woman? And if you can't tell, then ask yourself why you are asking.

When we were unreasoning animals (Psalm 73:22, Ecclesiastes 3:18, 2 Peter 2:12, Jude 1:10), and our existence was determined by our physical qualities, it mattered greatly whether we were male or female. In our modern technological world, our identities are mental rather than physical, and our mental selves have no genitalia (Romans 8:9). In the world of technology, where man meets God, there is neither male nor female.

Said otherwise: the algorithmic (and not the historic) Adam describes the most fundamental truth about every living thing on earth, and whatever goes for Adam goes or everything that is alive (which is why Eve is the mother of all living; what we moderns call the "biosphere"). That means that (taking complexity, not time, as the axis of progression), a thing that exists under or before Adam is not alive, but a thing that exists in Adam is alive. Entirely likewise, a person who exists under the resurrected Christ (and thus before Golgotha) is not reborn. Such a person believes in a Christ who is out there, somewhere, far ahead. But someone who exists in the resurrected Christ, and thus post-Golgotha, is reborn and lives in a whole other reality. Such a person does all their believing (in everything) within the environment that is Christ. Now then, people who are under Christ, desire a king, and look ahead down the Via Dolorosa toward Golgotha, and see a man. People who are in Christ enjoy a perfect republic, which is a woman.

Just like the quantum mechanical revolution could commence only when people understood that light is both particle and wave, and therefore neither particle nor wave, so Jesus neither had a penis or a vagina, or was short a penis or a vagina. He certainly was a man by law, but law is limited by death and does not govern reality in the resurrection (Romans 7:1-6).