Home

Latest Article

Mat 12:25 Every kingdom divided against itself...
KJV Verse:

Mat 12:25 Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

Greek Verse:

Πᾶσα βασιλεία μερισθεῖσα
καθ᾽ ἑαυτῆς ἐρημοῦται,
καὶ πᾶσα πόλις οἰκία μερισθεῖσα
καθ᾽ ἑαυτῆς οὐ σταθήσεται.

Literal Alternative:

Each realm, dividing itself against itself wastes itself, and each city or household, dividing itself against itself, is not going to be held up.

Hidden Meaning:

In the Greek, this verse is much more self-referencing than in English. All of the verbs are in a form when the subject acts on themselves, plus each phrase contains a preposition phrase referring to the subject. These phrases are not as common in Greek because the verb form indicates action on or for itself. 

The word translated as "every", it means "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas. As an adverb, it means "in every way", "on every side," and "altogether."

"Kingdom" is a Greek word that means "kingdom", "realm", "dominion", "royal power," and "reign." It is the same word used in the phrase "kingdom of heaven." It means that which is ruled by a specific person. It is not a synonym for a state, a country, or any social group of people (see "city" below). It is defined by its control or ownership by a master and refers both to people, organizations, and property under that control.

"Divided" is a verb, in the form of an adjective which means "to divide", "to spit up," and "to be divided." It is in the passive, so, having been divided, have been split up." This is a rare word for Christ to use, seen only here and in similar verse in Luke.

"Is brought to desolation" is a verb that means "to strip bare," and and "to abandon," but it also means "to set free" and "to deliver from." It is in a form where the subject acts on itself.

The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, in a series, is best translated as "not only...but also."

"City" is the Greek word that means "city," but at the time also indicated a country, a society, a country, and a community. It was generally thought of as the defining social unity for a people.

The Greek word translated as "house," in Christ's time, was not only the physical building but the whole household, its members, its property, business interests, and position in the community, all connected to the "name" of the head of the house. It had the same sense of "kingdom," but for a regular person, not a ruler.

The negative here is the negative referring to objective facts, not opinions. Adding "really" is sometimes necessary to capture this sense in English. 

"Shall stand" is a Greek verb that means (among other things) "to stand", "to set up", "to place," and "to rise up." Here, it is in the passive, however, "being set up". "being stood up."  It is in the future tense, "going to be stood up. 

Wordplay:

The word translated as "is brought to desolation" also means "sets itself free." 

Vocabulary:

Πᾶσα (adj sg fem nom) "Every" is pas, which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form, it means "every way", "on every side", "in every way," and "altogether."

βασιλεία (noun sg fem nom) "The kingdom" is from basileia, which means "kingdom", "dominion", "hereditary monarchy", "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign."It means that which is ruled by a specific person, a basileus, which means "leader", "prince", "commander," or "king." Basileia is not a synonym for a state, a country, or any social group of people. A basileia is defined by its control or ownership by the master and refers both to people and property under that control.

μερισθεῖσα (part sg aor pass fem nom) "Divided" is from merizo, which means "divide", "distribute", "assign", "sever", "cut-off," (passive) "to be divided", "to be dispersed," and "to be reckoned a part."

καθ᾽ (prep) "Against" is from kata, which means "downwards", "down from", "down into", "against", "down toward", "opposite", "separately", "individually", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

ἑαυτῆς (adj sg fem gen) "Itself" is from heautou, is a reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself", "itself", "themselves," and "ourselves." It is an alternative to autos.

ρημοῦται, (3rd sg pres ind mp) "Is brought to desolation" is from eremoo, which means "to strip bare", "to lay waste," "to desolate", "bereave one of a thing", "set free", "deliver from", "abandon", "desert", "leave alone", "keep isolated," and, in the passive, "to be bereft of", "to left without", "being free from...," and "being isolated from."

καὶ (conj) "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

πᾶσα (adj sg fem nom) "Every" is from pas, which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form, it means "every way", "on every side", "in every way," and "altogether."

πόλις (noun sg fem nom) "City" is from polis, which means "city", "citadel", "one's city", "one's country", "community", "state", "state affairs," and "civic duties." -- The Greek word for "city" meant not only a city but a nation, culture, or a society. It worked something like the word "community" today.

 (conj) "Or" is e which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than."

οἰκία (noun dual fem nom) "House" is from oikia, which means "house", "building," and "household."

μερισθεῖσα (part sg aor pass fem nom) "Divided" is from merizo, which means "divide", "distribute", "assign", "sever", "cut-off," (passive) "to be divided", "to be dispersed," and "to be reckoned a part."

καθ᾽ (prep) "Against" is from kata, which means "downwards", "down from", "down into", "against", "down toward", "opposite", "separately", "individually", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

ἑαυτῆς (adj sg fem gen) "Itself" is from heautou, is a reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself", "itself ""themselves," and "ourselves." It is an alternative to autos.

οὐ (partic) "Not" is from ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.

σταθήσεται. (3rd sg fut ind pass) "Shall...stand" is from histemi, which means "to make to stand", "to stand", "to set up", "to bring to a standstill", "to check", "to appoint", "to establish", "to fix by agreement", "to be placed", "to be set", "to stand still", "to stand firm", "to set upright", "to erected", "to arise," and "to place." Like the English words "put" and "set," it has a number of specific meanings from "to put down [in writing]", "to bury", "to establish", "to make", "to cause," and "to assign."

Related Verses:

Mar 3:24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself,