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Mark 13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
KJV Verse:

Mark 13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

Greek Verse:

ΛΟΥΚΑΝ ​13:36 μὴ ἐλθὼν ἐξέφνης εὕρῃ ὑμᾶς καθεύδοντας:

Literal Alternative:

Don't want him showing up suddenly to possibly discover you all lying asleep.

Hidden Meaning:

The negative here is one of thought and desire and the verb is one of possibility.

 The negative "lest" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done.

The word translated as "coming" primarily means "to start out" but Christ usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas.  The form is an adjective, "sleeping".

The adverb translated as "suddenly" is unique for Jesus to use. It is spelled in an uncommon way. The meaning is "at a moment."

The term used for "he find" is the source of our word, "heuristic," meaning enabling a person to find out something for themselves. It means "find out" and "discover."  The form is one of possibly happening at some time, "might discover."

The "you" here is plural, indicating it was addressed to a group of Christ's listeners as the object, "you all".  There is a sense that the problem isn't want person sleeping but everyone in the group.

The Greek word translated as "sleeping" means "to lie down to sleep", "to sleep," and "to lie asleep." The form is that of an adjective, "sleeping".


μὴ (partic) "Lest" is me , which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective. --

ἐλθὼν ( part sg aor act masc nom ) "Coming" is erchomai, which means "to start," "to set out", "to come", "to go," and any kind of motion. It means both "to go" on a journey and "to arrive" at a place. --

ἐξέφνης {ἐξαίφνης}[unique](adv) "Suddenly" is  exaiphnēs, which means " on a sudden", "the moment then", and "instantaneously". However, the spelling is different than the word translated. As spelled, the word does not appear in the Perseus repository of ancient texts, but the word means "crazy" in modern Greek. 

εὕρῃ ( verb 3rd sg aor subj act ) "He find" is heurisko, which means "to find", "to find out", "to discover", "to devise", "to invent", "to get," and "to gain." --

ὑμᾶς (pron 2nd pl acc) "You" is humas which is the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." --

καθεύδοντας: ( part pl pres act masc acc ) "Sleeping" is from katheudô, (katheudo), which means "to lie down to sleep", "to sleep," and "to lie asleep." -

Most Recent Question

What did you hear in 1 John 1:9? "But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away."

This verse allows us a good opportunity to explore what I have been calling the "cult of sin" in Christianity. Last night I read the chapter called The Grand Inquisitor in Dostoevsky's Brother's Karamosov, and it seems to indicate that the teaching of sin started as a way for the church to gain early power. I find myself wondering if it arose in the fourteenth century during the decade of the Black Death, when Europe lost more than a third of its population.

In the Greek of this verse, there is no mention of "confession" or "God" or "his taking sins away." All these words come from a layer of interpretation through the cult of sin...

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