Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will,

KJV Verse: 

Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

That one, however, the slave, the one knowing the will of that master of his and not getting ready [not wanting or thinking to get ready] or performing in the direction of that will of his? He is going to be flogged much. 

Hidden Meaning: 

This verse and the one following have no parallels in the other Gospels, but the vocabulary and structure is that which Jesus commonly uses. The "and" at the beginning of the KJV seems to indicate that Jesus is talking about the same servant as in the previous verse (Luke 12:46), but he is really talking about an alternative situation. 

The Greek word translated as "and" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  This statement is an alternative case to the previous one. Since that one seemed final (and was in Matthew), this feels like the response to a question such as "what about if the servant isn't ready but doesn't beat his fellows or party?"

The word translated as "those" is an adjective that highlights its noun as in a specific place from a word that means "there." This word works as a pronoun and starts the sentence, "that one". The sense seems to refer to another servant, one mentioned by a questioner perhaps. 

The noun translated as "servant" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible.

"Which knew" is a verb that means "to know", "to recognize", "make known", "to know carnally," and "to learn." The form is an adjective, "learning", used as a noun, "the one learning". 

The word translated as "Lord" is the same word that is often translated as "Lord" or "the Lord" in the NT. It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family." It is the specific terms for the master of slaves or servants, but it was a common term of respect both for those in authority and who were honored. It was the term people used to address Jesus, even though he had no formal authority. Today, we would say "boss" or "chief". The form is possessive and it follows the word for "will" as does the "his". The form is "the will of that lord of his". 

The word translated as "will" means what someone wants or desires as well as the "will" of character. It mostly means what one wishes or has determined shall be done. It also means a desire or a choice. 

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 "prepared" means to "get ready," "prepare", "make ready," and "to cause to prepare." It is in a form that indicates the action has been completed. This form is an adjective, "preparing" or "getting ready." 

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. The sense here is that the servant didn't want or think to get ready. 

"Or" is translated from a Greek word that means primary "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

The Greek word translated as "did" 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.  The sense here is "perform" but against it is in the form of an adjective, "performing". 

The word translated as "according" means "towards", "by reason of (for)," and "against."

The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have.  

The word translated as "will" means what someone wants or desires as well as the "will" of character. It mostly means what one wishes or has determined shall be done. It also means a desire or a choice. When applied to people, "desires" works, but when applied to God, the concept "purpose" seems closer to Christ's usage.

The Greek verb translated as "shall be beaten" means "to flay" or "to skin" someone, though in later use it came to mean "to cudgel" or "to thrash." Jesus seems to use it to mean being "flogged", which was more in keeping with the punishments of the time. 

The word translated as "with many" means many in number, great in power or worth, and large in size. The word is singular so the sense is "much" instead of many. 

There is no word for "stripes". It is added to clarify that the verb can mean flogging but it adds a sense of violence not in the original. 

Wordplay: 

Vocabulary: 

ἐκεῖνος (adj sg masc nom) "That" is ekeinos (kakeinos), which means "the person there", "that person", "that thing", "in that case", "in that way", "at that place," and "in that manner." ​

δὲ (conj/adv) "And" is de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if"). --

δοῦλος (noun sg masc nom) "The servant" is doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave." 

γνοὺς (part sg aor act masc nom) "Which knew" is ginosko which means "to learn to know", "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive." 

τὸ θέλημα (noun sg neut acc) "Will" is the noun, thelema, which means "will" and "pleasure." 

τοῦ κυρίου (noun sg masc gen) "Lord" is kyrios (kurios), which means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family." 

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "His" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." 

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." 

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. 

ἑτοιμάσας (part sg aor act masc nom) "Prepared" is from hetoimazô, which means to "get ready," "prepare", "make ready," and "to cause to prepare." 

(conj/adv) "Nor" is which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than." 

ποιήσας (part sg aor act masc nom) "Did" 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." 

πρὸς (prep) "According" is pros, which means "on the side of", "in the direction of", "from (place)", "towards" "before", "in the presence of", "in the eyes of", "in the name of", "by reason of", "before (supplication)", "proceeding from (for effects)", "dependent on", "derivable from", "agreeable,""becoming", "like", "at the point of", "in addition to", "against," and "before." 

τὸ θέλημα (noun sg neut acc) "Will" is the noun, thelema, which means "will" and "pleasure." 

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "His" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

δαρήσεται (verb 3rd sg fut ind pass) "Shall be beaten" is from derô (dero), which means "to flay" or "to skin" someone, though in later use it came to mean "to cudgel" or "to thrash." 

πολλάς: (adj pl fem acc or adj sg fem gen) "With many" is polus, which means "many (in number)", "great (in size or power or worth)," and "large (of space)." 

Related Verses: 

May 2 2018