Mark 12:39 And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts:

KJV Verse: 

Mar 12:39 And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts:

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And the front seats in gatherings and the best chairs at meals.

Hidden Meaning: 

The first word use for "seat" has the same broad meaning that "seat" has in English.  It refers to the furniture, our posteriors, the act of sitting, and the idea of sitting idle, doing nothing. The second word similarly generally describes the idea of reclining at meals. It refers to the furniture, a hut for reclining, and  the act of joining others in eating. Both refer to social activities rather than work.

On a symbolic level, like clothing mentioned in the previous verse, Christ uses these ideas to represent social position. In Christ's system breaking our lives in this world into three aspects, physical, mental, and emotional/relationship, social position is the flaw of concerning ourselves with what people in general think of us rather than on our personal relationships.

Wordplay: 

Christ invents a couple of new words here to create an alliteration here contrasting two ideas  that refer both to position of honor but also subtly refer to doing nothing. He starts each phrase in this verse with similar sounding words. The two words translated as "chief seats" and "uppermost rooms" both start with "protok-". Both also refer to different types of furniture, one for sitting in and one for reclining. And both also refer to doing nothing.

Vocabulary: 

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

πρωτοκαθεδρίας "Chief seats" is from prôtokathedria (protokathedria), which literally means "first seat." It is a word only used in the New Testament.  "First" is from prôtos (protos). In place, this means "the foremost." Of time, it means "the initial." In order, it means "the first." In math, it means the prime numbers. Of rank or degree, it means "the highest" or "the best."  "Seats" is from kathedra, which means a "seat" to sit on, the "posterior," the "sitting posture", "sitting idle", "inaction," the "chair of a teacher," and "a throne."

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

ταῖς συναγωγαῖς "Synagogue" is from sunagôgê (synagoge), which means a "bringing together", "assembly", "place of assembly", "contracting", "collection", "combination", "conclusion," and "demonstration." It comes from a Greek word Christ uses commonly, sunagô, to mean "gather" or "bring together."

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

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

πρωτοκλισίας "Uppermost rooms" is from prôtoklisia (protoklisia), which means "first seat at a table."  Again, this word occurs only in the New Testament.  It is from "proto" (see above) and klisia (klisia), which means "a place for lying down or reclining", "anything for lying or sitting upon," a "couch for reclining at a table", "nuptial bed," and  a "company" of people reclining at meals.

τοῖς δείπνοις "Feasts" is from deipnon (deipnon), which means "a meal", "noonday meal," and, generally, "food."

Related Verses: 

Mat 23:6 is the parallel verse in Matthew but it reverses the two phrases, putting "feasts" before "synagogues".

Luke 11:43 Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues,