Luke 15:14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land;

KJV Verse: 

Luke 15:14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

After his  using up, however, everything, it came into being, a famine mighty, down on the domain there, and he himself began to fail. 

Hidden Meaning: 

This verse has several uncommon words and one unique one. The first part is changed a little because it is a specific structure in Greek (the absolute genitive), which has no exact equivalent in English. Some misleading translation are used as well. 

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. 

"When" is added to make the following words a depended clause. With this word structure adding "while" or "after" allows us to preserve the forms of the words. 

 The word translated as "he" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective.  The form here is actually "his". 

"Had spent" is a Greek verb used only by Jesus here. It means to "spend", "consume", and  "use up".  The form is an adjective, "using up" or "spending".

The word translated as "all" is the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun in the plural we would say "everything." 

The word translated as "there arose" is misleading. The verb means "to become," It is not the common Greek word translated that as "arise". This word means "to enter into a new state". In Greek, especially as used by Christ, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state. "Comes into being" best captures the idea in English. 

"Mighty" is an adjective that means "strong", "mighty," and "violent." It is somewhat uncommon. 

"Famine" is the Greek word for "hunger", and "famine". It is an uncommon word for Jesus to use. 

The word translated as "in" is also misleading. It means "down from", "down into", "against", "opposite", "separately", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."  Here, the sense is "down in". 

The word translated as "that" is an adjective that highlights its noun as in a specific place from a word that means "there."

The word translated as "land" is uncommon. In the last verse, Luke 15:13, it was translated as "country".  The word means "a special place", "a spot" and "a landed estate". It means "land" more in the sense of an estate, that is, granted land.

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

The word translated as "ge" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but not usually as a subject since the idea is part of the verb. The use of this adjective accentuates the subject like saying "he himself."

"Began" is from a verb in the form of an adjective that means "to be first", "to begin," and "to make a beginning", "to rule", "to govern," and "to command."  The two meanings, "to start" and "to command" create different meanings when paired with the following verbs.  The form is someone acting on themselves, so "make a start for yourself" or "command yourself". 

The verb translated as "to be in want" means "to be or to fall behind",  "to fail," and "to be wanting." It is also an uncommon word. 

Vocabulary: 

δαπανήσαντος [unique](part sg aor act masc gen) "Had spent" is depanao, which means to "spend", "consume", and  "use up". 

 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"). --

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "He" 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." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there." --

πάντα (adj pl neut acc) "All" is pas, which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form, it means "every way", "on every side", "in every way," and "altogether." --

ἐγένετο (verb 3rd sg aor ind mid) "There arose" is ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", "to be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being. It is the complementary opposite of the verb "to be" (eimi) which indicates existence in the same state. -- The word translated as "be" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Christ, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state.

λιμὸς  [uncommon](noun pl masc/fem nom) "Famines" is from limos, which means "hunger", "famine," and "a hungry wrench."

ἰσχυρὰ (adj sg fem nom ) "Mighty" is  ischyros, which means "strong", "mighty," and "powerful." It is from ischys, meaning strength. Here is seems as though it is used to refer to demons that control people. 

κατὰ (prep) "In" is kata, which, as a preposition, means "downwards", "down from", "down into", "against", "down toward", "opposite", "separately", "individually", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally." As an adverb, it means "according as", "just as", "in so far as", "wherefore", "like as if" and "exactly as."

τὴν χώραν [uncommon](noun sg fem acc) "Land" is from chora, which means "space", "the spot in a room where a thing is", "place", "spot", "the position", "the proper place for a thing or person", "land," and "landed estate." It is a metaphor for "station", "place" or "position," in society.  --

ἐκείνην, () "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." 

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." 

αὐτὸς adj sg masc nom) "He" 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." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

ἤρξατο (verb 3rd sg aor ind mid) "Began" is from archomai, which is a form of archô, which means "to be first", "to begin", "to make a beginning", "to rule", "to govern," and "to command." 

ὑστερεῖσθαι. [uncommon](verb pres inf mp ) "To be in want" is from hystereo, which means to "be behind", "to come later", "to come too late for", "to lag behind", "to fall below", "to fail to obtain", "to lack", "to fail," and "to be wanting." --

Related Verses: 

Jul 19 2018