Acts 17:27

That they should seek God (Zhtein ton qeon). Infinitive (present active) of purpose again. Seek him, not turn away from him as the nations had done ( Romans 1:18-32 ). If haply they might feel after him (ei ara ge pshlaphseian auton). First aorist active (Aeolic form) optative of pshlapaw, old verb from psaw, to touch. So used by the Risen Jesus in his challenge to the disciples ( Luke 24:39 ), by the Apostle John of his personal contact with Jesus ( 1 John 1:1 ), of the contact with Mount Sinai ( Hebrews 12:18 ). Here it pictures the blind groping of the darkened heathen mind after God to "find him" (euroien, second aorist active optative) whom they had lost. One knows what it is in a darkened room to feel along the walls for the door ( Deuteronomy 28:29 ; Job 5:14 ; Job 12:25 ; Isaiah 59:10 ). Helen Keller, when told of God, said that she knew of him already, groping in the dark after him. The optative here with ei is due to the condition of the fourth class (undetermined, but with vague hope of being determined) with aim also present (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1021). Note also ara ge the inferential particle ara with the delicate intensive particle ge. Though he is not far from each one of us (kai ge ou makran apo eno ekastou hmwn uparconta). More exactly with B L (kai ge instead of kaitoi or kaitoi ge), "and yet being not far from each one of us," a direct statement rather than a concessive one. The participle uparconta agrees with auton and the negative ou rather than the usual me with the participle makes an emphatic negative. Note also the intensive particle ge.