Matthew 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God,

KJV Verse: 

Matthew 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

If, however, in a spirit of a divinity, I myself toss out personal demons, straightway, it caught up to you, realm of the divine. 

Hidden Meaning: 

Again, though Greek puts the most important words first in the sentence, this verse puts the key idea last, as in a punch line. Its sense cannot be "the Spirit" as the KJV has it because the word form is all wrong for that meaning. The last phrase, "come to you" uses a unique word, not the word that is usually translated as "come" in the NT. 

The pronoun "I" is used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." In English, we do something similar saying "I myself". 

The word translated as "by" primarily means "in", "with," and "into." It means "by" in the sense of physically "near" not as a source of power. In Greek, the sense is "in" and "in the name" of someone or "in the power" of someone. 

"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. "Toss out" catches its sense of playfulness the way Christ uses it. 

"Devils" is a Greek word that means "divinity", "divine power", "a lower divine being," and "evil spirit. "Evil spirit" is a New Testament usage or interpretation. More about Biblical use in this article.) Today, we would use psychological terms for these disorders, like "delusions", or, more closely, "personal demons". 

The Greek word for "spirit" also means "breath" or "wind." Christ uses it to describe the invisible force that animates living creatures. God is the primary, invisible animating force. However, this is not "the Spirit". The Greek article ("the") is not used. The sense is "a spirit". 

The word translated as "God' means "God" and "deity".  Christ usually uses this word with an article "the God" to refer to the Father, but here he doesn't use the article so "a god" or "a deity." 

The phrase, "the kingdom of God" appears at the very end of the verse, not in the middle. It is the punch-line. 

"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 (see this article on the use of the "kingdom of heaven").

"Come" is a Greek verb that actually means "to come or do first". It has the sense of overtaking someone or beating them in a race. this is the only time Christ uses this word. this is no the typical word translated as "come" in the NT. In English, we would say "overtook you" or, since a preposition is used, "caught up to you". 

The Greek word "unto" primarily means "on" or "onto" but it also is often translated as "against." 

 

Wordplay: 

The word translated as "unto" is usually translated as "against" in the Gospels. It is a vague threat to those challenging those who challenge him. 

Vocabulary: 

εἰ (partic) "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.

δὲ (partic) "But" is from 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").

ἐν (prep) The word translated as "by" is en primarily means "in", "with," and "into." It means "by" in the sense of "near."

πνεύματι (noun sg neut dat) "Spirit" is pneuma,  which means "blast", "wind", "breath", "the breath of life", "divine inspiration", "a spiritual or immaterial being," and "the spirit" of a man.

θεοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "God" is from theos, which means "God," the Deity."

ἐγὼ (pron 1st sg nom) "I" is from ego, which is the first person singular pronoun meaning "I". It also means "I at least", "for my part", "indeed," and for myself. 

ἐκβάλλω (1st 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."

τὰ δαιμόνια, (noun pl neut nom/acc) "Devils" is from daimonion, which means "divinity", "divine power", "a lower divine being," and "evil spirit."

ἄρα (partic) "Then" is from ara, which means "there and then", "straightway", "then", "next", "mark you!", "for this cause", "so true is it that," and "namely."

ἔφθασεν [uncommon](3rd sg aor ind act) "Come" is from phthanô, which means to "come or do first", "to act before others", "to be beforehand", "overtake", "outstrip", "arrive first", "make haste," as a participle, to express previous action or happening, with negative, "no sooner had we come," to express immediate futurity, "will soon (or inevitably)."

ἐφ᾽ (prep) "To" is from epi, (epi) which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against."

ὑμᾶς (pron 2nd pl acc) "You" is from humas  the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

βασιλεία (noun 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.

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

Related Verses: 

Jul 26 2017