Luke 13:18 Unto what is the kingdom of God like?

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

To what likeness is the realm of the Divine? And to what might you liken it for yourself? 

KJV : 

Luke 13:18 Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

While in English translation, the two phrases in this verse seem to same thing in different words, but in the Greek, they use the same root words to say something slightly different. The second phrase could just as well be in the second person as the first. This is especially interesting because the closest similar verse is in the first person plural, including both Jesus and his listeners. Two key words in this verse are reused in Luke 13:20 but translated differently. 

The word translated as "unto what" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why". The form is that of a comparison. 

The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics. 

The phrase, "kingdom of God" is used more commonly in Luke than the "the kingdom of heaven" generally used in the other Gospels. It discussed in more detail in this article.

The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God" or "the Divine".  Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the uniqueness of God as opposed to the pagan gods.

The word translated as "like" means "like", "resembling," and "matching."  It is an adjective.

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, it is best translated as "not only...but also." 

The word translated as "Whereunto" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why". 

The verb translated as "shall I resemble" is a verb that means "to make like" and, in the passive, as used here, "to become like." The form could be the first person as translated or it could be the second person, "compare it for yourself?" 

The word translated as "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective. It is in the same form as the word "kingdom". 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Τίνι (irreg sg dat) "Unto what" 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."

ὁμοία (adv) "Like" is homoios, which means "like", "resembling", "the same", "equal in force, "a match for one", "suiting", "of the same rank", "alike", "in like manner," and "equally."

ἐστὶν (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

βασιλεία (noun sg fem nom) "The kingdom" is basileia, which means "kingdom", "dominion", "hereditary monarchy", "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign." 

τοῦ θεοῦ, (noun sg masc gen) "God" is theos, which means "God," "divine," and "Deity." 

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." 

τίνι (irreg sg dat) "Whereunto" 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."

ὁμοιώσω (verb 1st sg aor subj act or verb 1st sg fut ind act or verb 2nd sg aor ind mid) "Shall I resemble" is homoioo, which means "to liken," "to compare", "to make like", and and in the passive, "to become like". . --

αὐτήν;  (adj sg fem acc) "It" 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." 

Front Page Date: 

May 26 2018