Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear:

KJV Verse: 

Luk 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

[I am going to show, however, to you someone you might be frightened of]. Fear for yourselves the one along with the destroying holds the authority to dump into the trash heap. Yes, I tell you this one you are to be frightened of.  

Hidden Meaning: 

This verse a couple of unique words. The first phrase of this verse appears at the end of in the Greek source of the last verse but it is discussed here.  In the last phrase, Jesus put in an emphasis that is lost because a change of word in Greek is not recognized in the translation. 

The Greek word translated as "but" 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. 

The Greek verb translated as "I will forewarn"  means "show", "indicate", "indicate one's will", "intimate", "show by tracing out", "mark out", and generally, "teach".  It does not have the sense of warning. It is used uniquely here. 

The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc. 

The Greek word translated as "whom" in the singular means "anyone", "someone," and "anything." The sense is "someone" more than "whom". 

"Fear" is translated from a Greek word that means "to terrify" and "to put to flight," but in the passive (as here), it means to be put to flight and be frightened. When applied to people, as here, it means to "be in awe of" or "dread." It is not a command, as you would think from the KJV.

The word translated as "him" is the Greek article, "the," which usually proceeds a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

 "After" is the Greek word that is almost always translated as "with" or a related concept such as "among" or "by the means of". It is not the term usually translated as "after."

"He hath killed" is translated from a Greek word that means "destroy" more than just "kill." The base word means "to slay" but it has a prefix that means "out of". This has the sense of "kill off," that is, destroy in a more thorough way. It is used with an article which turns this form of the verb into a noun describing the action,  "the destroying". 

 The word translated as "hath" means "to possess" or "to keep" but it isn't used in the same way as a "helper" verb that the English "have" is.

The term translated as "power" isn't the "power" of skill or energy but of authority, control, and the ability to choose.

The Greek verb translated as "to cast" is a unique form of the verb usually translated as "to cast" in the Gospels. The regular form has more our sense of "to toss", which this form has a number of specialized meanings  "throw in", "throw upon or against", "lay or put in", "hand in", "submit",  and so on.  My sense is that when referring to a trash heap, it means something like our "dump". 

The word translated as "into" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

The word "hell" as the name of a trash dump outside Jerusalem where a constant fire was kept for disposing of trash from the city. This area was originally where children were sacrificed to Baal, and Baal (Beelzebub, "lord of the flies"), Jesus's personification of evil.

The Greek word for "yes" is used here, but it is an uncommon word for Jesus to use. 

The word translated as "I tell" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Jesus uses it more frequently.

The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc. 

"Fear" is translated from a Greek word that means "to terrify" and "to put to flight," but in the passive (as here), it means to be put to flight and be frightened. When applied to people, as here, it means to "be in awe of" or "dread." It is not a command, as you would think from the KJV.

"Him" is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar." This is not the "him" used after "fear" earlier in the verse.  The sense is more "that one" that "him". 

 

 

Vocabulary: 

The beginning words of this verse appear in the Greek source for the previous verse (Luke 12:4), but they are translated in in this verse of KJV. I show this vocabulary in both verses. 

ὑποδείξω [unique](verb 1st sg fut ind act) "I will forewarn" is hypodeiknymi, which means "show", "indicate", "indicate one's will", "intimate", "show by tracing out", "mark out", and generally, "teach". 

δὲ (conj/adv) "But" 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"). --

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl dat) "You" is humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." 

τίνα (irreg sg masc acc) "Whom" is tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what." 

φοβηθῆτε:  (verb 2nd pl aor ind/subj pass) "Fear" is phobeo, which means to "put to flight." "terrify", "alarm", "frighten," and in the passive, "be put to flight", "be seized with fear," be frightened", "stand in awe of" (of persons)", "dread (of persons)," and "fear or fear about something."

The Greek for this verse in our Greek source starts here. 

φοβήθητε (2nd pl pres imperat mp) "Fear" is phobeo, which means to "put to flight." "terrify", "alarm", "frighten," and in the passive, "be put to flight", "be seized with fear," be frightened", "stand in awe of" (of persons)", "dread (of persons)," and "fear or fear about something."

τὸν (article sg masc acc ) "Him which" is the Greek article, "the," which usually proceeds a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." Here it is separated from its noun by a conjunction.

μετὰ (prep) "After" is meta, which means "with", "in the midst of", "among", "between", "in common", "along with", "by the aid of", "in one's dealings with", "into the middle of", "coming into", "in pursuit of", "after", "behind", "according to," and "next afterward." 

τὸ ἀποκτεῖναι (verb aor inf act) " He hath killed" is from apokteino, which means "to kill," and "to slay." It combines the word for "to slay" (kteino) with the proposition, apo, indicating separation, meaning "from" or "away from."but it is a stronger form than the normal verb kteino. It is more like our "destroy."

ἔχοντα (verb 3rd pl pres imperat act) "Hath" is echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to carry", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

ἐξουσίαν (noun sg fem acc) "Power" is exousia which means "control", "the power of choice", "permission", "the power of authority", "the right of privilege", "abundance of means," and "abuse of power."

ἐμβαλεῖν [unique] (verb aor/fut inf act) "To cast" is emballo, which means  "throw in", "throw upon or against", "lay or put in", "hand in", "submit",  "give pledge", "put into" (place), "graft" (a tree), "insert" (word or letter), "make" (a trench), "pay", "contribute", "denounce" (an offender), "burst", and "rush in".

εἰς (prep) "Into" is eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)", "until (of time)", "as much as (of measure or limit)", "as far as (of measure or limit)", "towards (to express relation)", "in regard to (to express relation)", "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

τὴν γέενναν: (noun sg fem acc) "Hell" is geenna which is Greek for Gehenna, the valley of Hinnom (the Hebrew word), south of Jerusalem where trash, including diseased animals and human corpses was burned. A constant fire was kept burning there. -

ναί, (adv) "Yes" is nai, which means "yea,""yes", "truly," and similar ideas.

λέγω (1st sg pres ind act) "I tell" is lego, which means "to recount", "to tell over", "to say", "to speak", "to teach", "to mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself", "pick up", "gather", "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelled the same means "to lay", "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep." --

ὑμῖν, (pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." 

τοῦτον (adj sg masc acc) "Him" is toutou, which is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar."

φοβήθητε. (verb 2nd pl aor ind pass) "Fear" is phobeo, which means to "put to flight." "terrify", "alarm", "frighten," and in the passive, "be put to flight", "be seized with fear," be frightened", "stand in awe of" (of persons)", "dread (of persons)," and "fear or fear about something."

Related Verses: 

Mar 24 2018