Luke 12:33 Sell that ye have, and give alms;

KJV Verse: 

Luke 12:33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Sell that accumulation of yours and give a mercy. Make yourselves purses not decaying, a storeroom unfailing in the skies where a thief doesn't come near nor a moth ruin. 

Hidden Meaning: 

This verse seems to abbreviate and conflate a number of other verses (Matthew 19:21Mark 10:21Matthew 6:20) but in doing so, it introduced three words that Jesus uses nowhere else and an uncommon word only used in Luke. These additions do simplify aspects of those other verses. The last part of this verse appears in the Greek source I use in the following verse, but we will translate it here to follow the KJV translation. 

"Sell" is which means "to exchange" and "to barter." When this word is applied to people (as it is metaphorically here), it means "to betray" or "to give up."

"That...have" is a verb that means "to already be in existence", It is in the form of an adjective used as a noun, "the things already in existence".

The word translated as "ye" is plural possessive 2nd person pronoun a group of Jesus's listeners. It means "of yours" in this context, 

The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

The verb translated as "give" means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe." It is almost always translated as some form of "give."

The Greek word translated as "charity" is the Greek source for our word "alms." However, primarily means "pity" or "mercy." It is another form of the word used in the Beatitudes as "merciful" and "obtain mercy." The sense is "a charity". "a pity",  or "a charitable gift". 

The Greek word translated as "provide" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service. It describes a productive action.  It is not as broad a word as the English "do", which covers all actions, productive or not. 

"Yourselves" is the reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself", "itself" "themselves," "yourselves", and "ourselves."

"Bags" is a Greek noun that means "bag", "pouch", and "purse." It is uncommon, used only in one earlier verse of Luke's. 

There is no "which" in the Greek. 

The verb translated as "wax"  means to "decay through time", "make old", and, of wine, "become old". It is the form of an adjective, "decaying". 

The negative 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 or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used.

The word translated as "treasures" is the noun form of the word translated above as "lay up." Its primary meaning is a "store" of something and its secondary meaning is valuables.

The adjective translated as "that faileth not"means 'incessant", "uninterrupted", "infinite" (of divisions of space), and "unfailing". 

The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article. It is plural, which is often the form used in the NT. 

"Where" is an adverb, which means "somewhere", "anywhere", "wherever," and "where."

The Greek word translated as "no" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence to captures the same idea.

The Greek word translated as "thief" primarily means "thief" but it also encompasses other forms of theft by fraud. It is the noun form of the following word translated as "steal".

The word translated as "approaches" is verb form of an adverb "near" in space, time, and relationships. In English, we would say "nears" or, in the form here, "has neared," doesn't quite work so perhaps "has gotten close" or, in the case of time, "is nearly here."

"Nor" is from to an conjunction that means "and not," and "neither/nor" when used in a series.

The word translated as "moth" means the type of moth that eat cloth and whose larva eats books. It is a metaphor for academics as "bookworms". It is singular, that is, a single moth.

"Corrupteth" is a verb, used for the first time here, that means "destoy utterly", "ruin", "spoil", "break", "corrupt", "falsify", "counterfeit", "lose", and "forget". 

Vocabulary: 

Πωλήσατε (verb 2nd pl aor imperat act) "Sell" is from poleo, which means "to sell," "to exchange", "to barter," "to offer to sell," and "to retail." Metaphorically, it means to "give up" and "betray." In the passive, it means "to be sold", "to be offered for sale," and, of persons, "to be bought and sold," and " betrayed."

τὰ ὑπάρχοντα (part pl pres act neut acc) "What...have" is from hyparchonta, which is the past participle noun form of huparcho, which means "to take the intiative", "to begin." In this form, it means, "that which is in existence," and "the past record."

ὑμῶν (pron 2nd pl gen) "Ye" is humon, the plural possessive form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." -- The word translated as "your" is plural addressing a group of Jesus's listeners.

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is 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."

δότε (verb 2nd pl aor imperat act) "Give" is from didomi, which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe."

ἐλεημοσύνην: (noun sg fem acc) "Alms" is eleemosyne, which means "pity", "mercy", "charity," and "alms." It is the noun for of the verb eleeo, which means "to have pity on," "to show mercy to," and "to feel pity." In the passive, "to be shown pity," and "to be pitied."

ποιήσατε (verb 2nd pl aor imperat act) "Provide" is poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do." --

ἑαυτοῖς (adj pl masc dat) "Yourselves" is heautou, is a reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself", "itself" "themselves," and "ourselves." It is an alternative to autos.

βαλλάντια [uncommon](noun pl neut acc) "Bags" is from ballantion, which means "bag", "pouch", and "purse."

μὴ (partic) "Not" 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. --

παλαιούμενα,[unique](part pl pres mp neut acc) "Wax" is palaioowhich means "decay through time", "make old", and, of wine, "become old". 

θησαυρὸν (noun sg masc acc) "Treasures" is from thesauros, which means a "store", "treasure", "strong-room", "magazine, "granary", "receptacle for valuables", "safe", "casket", "offertory-box", "cavern," and "subterranean dungeon."

ἀνέκλειπτον [unique](adj sg masc acc) "That faileth not" is anekleiptoswhich means 'incessant", "uninterrupted", "infinite" (of divisions of space), and "unfailing". 

ἐν (prep) "In" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, (noun pl masc dat) "Heaven" is from the Greek ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky", "heaven as the seat of the gods", "the sky", "the universe," and "the climate."

NOTE: The section below is from the Greek of the following verse, from next Greek verse, Luke 12:34, that we use. It is translated here to follow the KJV translation. 

ὅπου (adv/conj) "Where" is hopou, which means "somewhere", "anywhere", "wherever," and "where."

κλέπτης (noun sg masc nom) "Thief" is from kleptês (kleptes), which means a "thief", "cheat," and "knave."

οὐκ (partic) "Not" is 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. 

ἐγγίζει (verb sg pres inc act) "Approaches" is eggizo, which means "to bring near", "to join one things to another," to draw near," and "to approach." This word does not appear in the Perseus dictionary. It comes from an adverb ἐγγύς, eggus, which means 1) (of place) "near", "nigh", "at hand," 2) (of time) "nigh at hand" 3) (of numbers) "nearly", "almost", "coming near," and 4) (of relationship) "akin to." 

οὐδὲ (adv) "Nor" is from oute, which means "and not," and "neither/nor" when used in a series.

σὴς (noun sg masc nom) "Moth" is from ses, which means "moth" and is a metaphor for "book worms." \

διαφθείρει: [unique] (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Corrupteth" is diaphtheiro which means "destoy utterly", "ruin", "spoil", "break", "corrupt", "falsify", "counterfeit", "lose", and "forget". 

Related Verses: 

Apr 20 2018