Matthew 12:26 And if Satan casts out Satan,...

KJV Verse: 

Matthew 12:26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Also, if the enemy tosses out the enemy, from himself, he is split.  How really is it going to be stood up, a realm of his?

Hidden Meaning: 

There is a hidden humor here. Jesus is making light of the accusation against him. His responses are set up like jokes, with a punchline. As we see so often, the key ideas are at the end of the phrases/sentences, which is the opposite of the "most important words first" order in normal Greek. This "punch line" ending form is a way Christ lightens his messages. 

"Satan" is an Aramaic word meaning "adversary" or "one who opposes another in purpose or act." The meaning that it has today, as the enemy of God or personification of evil, comes from Christian traditions unknown at the time the Gospels were written. It appears twice in a row: the first time as the subject of the sentence and the second as the object. this is consistent with the previous verse, where the subjects also acted on themselves. (More about satanas and life's adversity in this article.) This verb is in the present tense. 

"Cast out" is a verb that means "throw out." Depending on the context, it can mean "toss out", "turn out," or "take out." It is usually translated as "cast out" in the NT, but the English "toss out" captures the humor of the word somewhat better. Strangely, the form of the word doesn't seem to match how it is used. There is a special form of verbs in Greek when the subject (here adversity) acts on itself. This indicates that the sense here could be two different enemies: one acting and another acted upon.  this is in the present tense, something happening now 

"Is divided" is a verb, in the form of an adjective which means "to divide", "to spit up," and "to be divided." It is in the passive, so, having been divided, have been split up." this is a rare word for Christ to use, seen only here (and previous verse) and in similar verse in Luke. It is in a passive form, "it is spit." Again, the form is not the subject acting upon itself. The sense is that the enemy acted upon is split. However, the form indicates something that happens at the time, in this case, when an enemy tosses out an enemy. 

The "against" is the preposition meaning "from" as a source. Because of the form of the verb, the sense is "from". 

The word translated as "himself" is the Greek word used as a reflexive pronoun. The form of the verbs doesn't act on themselves. 

The Greek word translated as "then" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

"Kingdom" is a Greek word that means "kingdom", "dominion", "royal power," and "reign." It is the same word used in the phrase "kingdom of heaven." It means that which is ruled by a specific person. It is not a synonym for a state, a country, or any social group of people. It is defined by its control or ownership by a master and refers both to people, organizations, and property under that control.

"Shall...stand" is a Greek verb that means (among other things) "to stand", "to set up", "to place," and "to rise up." Here, it is in the future, "going to stand or arise." It is also passive. "going to be set up" or "going to be stood up". 


The reflexive pronouns contrast with the non-reflexive verbs. The enemy here is clearly split so that he is no longer acting on himself but against himself. 


καὶ (conj) "And" is from 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."

εἰ (prep) "If" is from ei, which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect questions, "whether." It also means "if ever", "in case," and "whenever." It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions.

Σατανᾶς (noun sg masc nom) "Satan" is satanas which is an Aramaic word meaning "adversary", "opponents," or "one who opposes another in purpose or act. "

τὸν Σατανᾶν  (noun sg masc acc)"Satan" is satanas which is an Aramaic word meaning "adversary", "opponents," or "one who opposes another in purpose or act. "

ἐκβάλλει, (3rd sg pres ind act) "Cast out" is from ekballo and means "throw out", "cast out of a place", "throw ashore", "drive out of", "banish", "expel", "publish", "strike out of", "let fall", "drop", "throw away", "cast aside", "reject," "expose," "go out", "depart", "divorce (a spouse)", "depose (a king)", "fell (trees)", "throw decisively (in wrestling)", "dig wells", "get rid of," in the passive, "to be ejected." Ek means "out of", "from," and "away from." Ballo is "to throw" or "to scatter."

ἐφ᾽ (prep) "Against" is from ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of", "from", "by", "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond", "outside of", "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after", "from;" 4) [of rest] "on", "in," 5) [of time] "since", "from", "at", "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of", "made from." 

ἑαυτὸν (adj sg masc acc) "Himself" is from heautou, is a reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself", "itself "themselves," and "ourselves." It is an alternative to autos.

ἐμερίσθη: (3rd sg aor ind pass) "He is divided" is from merizo, which means "divide", "distribute", "assign", "sever", "cut-off," (passive) "to be divided", "to be dispersed," and "to be reckoned a part."

πῶς (adv) "How" is from pos, which means "how", "how in the world", "how then", "in any way", "at all", "by any mean", "in a certain way,"and "I suppose."

οὖν (adv) "Therefore" is from oun, which means "certainly", "in fact", "really", "in fact, ""so" and "then" (continuing a narrative), and "then" and "therefore."

σταθήσεται (3rd sg fut ind pass) "Shall...stand" is from histemi, which means "to make to stand", "to stand", "to set up", "to bring to a standstill", "to check", "to appoint", "to establish", "to fix by agreement", "to be placed", "to be set", "to stand still", "to stand firm", "to set upright", "to erected", "to arise," and "to place." Like the English words "put" and "set," it has a number of specific meanings from "to put down [in writing]", "to bury", "to establish", "to make", "to cause," and "to assign."

βασιλεία (adj sg fem nom) "The kingdom" is from basileia, which means "kingdom", "dominion", "hereditary monarchy", "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign."It means that which is ruled by a specific person, a basileus, which means "leader", "prince", "commander," or "king." Basileia is not a synonym for a state, a country, or any social group of people. A basileia is defined by its control or ownership by the master and refers both to people and property under that control.

αὐτοῦ; ("adj sg masc gen ) His" is from 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."

Related Verses: 

Jul 25 2017