Luke 12:59 I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

I say to you. Never are you going to get out of there until also you the last penny you might pay.

KJV : 

Luke 12:59 I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is an unusual verse it resembles Matthew 5:26, more in the Greek than in translation. Usually the translators try to make verses look more similar than they are. The Matthew begins with the "verily I tell you" phrase. Luke does not use that phrase as often as the other Gospel, perhaps because Jesus didn't use it throughout his teaching career or perhaps Luke just dropped the Aramaic word because he was writing for Greeks speakers only. This verse is otherwise very close to Matthew except for one word at the ending and the ending's word order

 The word translated as "I tell" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

The Greek pronoun "you" here is singular and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc. 

The Greek word translated as "thou shall...depart" means both "to come out" and "to go out." However, in English, when we are talking about being in jail, we usually say "to get out."

The two Greek words translated as "not" are a combination of the two negatives. The first is an objective "not" referring to facts and the second is a subjective not, referring to opinions. When Christ uses them together, the sense is a strong negative, something like our word "never."

The word translated as "thence" literally means "from the place." Here, the place being referred to is the jail.

The Greek word usually translated as "and" appears here but in not translated. It 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."  This word does not appear in the Matthew version. 

The word translated as "thou hast paid" doesn't have any economic meaning of "to pay" though it does have a meaning of "to sell." It literally means "to give back." However, it also means "to hand over," which works best here.

"The very last" is a Greek word that means "furthest." In degree, it means "uttermost" and "highest." In persons, it means "lowest" and "meanest." Of time, it means "last" and "ending."

The coin referenced in this verse is different than Matthew, In Matthew, it was the smallest denomination of Roman currency. Here, it is the smallest coin used in the Greek world, first used in the area of Judea. The word is from an adjective meaning "thin".


Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

λέγω (1st sg pres ind act) "I tell" is from lego means "pick up", "choose for oneself", "pick out," and "count," "recount", "tell over", "say", "speak", "teach", "mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," "nominate," and "command."

σοι, (pron 2nd sg dat) "Thee" is from soi which is the singular, second person pronoun, "you".

οὐ μὴ "Not" is from ou me, the two forms of Greek negative used together. Ou is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. Mê (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

ἐξέλθῃς (2nd sg aor subj act) "Thou shalt...depart" is from exerchomai, which means "to come or go out of " "to march forth", "go out on", "to stand forth", "to exceed all bounds", "to come to an end", "to go out of office," and [of dreams or prophecies] "to come true."

ἐκεῖθεν (adv) "Thence" is from ekeithen, which means "from that place", "thence", "from that fact," and "thence forward."

ἕως (conj) "Till" is from heos which means "until", "till," and "in order that" and "up to the point that."

καὶ (conj/adv) Untranslated 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."

τὸ ἔσχατον (adj sg neut acc) "The last" is from eschatos. In space, this means "furthest." In degree, it means "uttermost" and "highest." In persons, it means "lowest" and "meanest." Of time, it means "last" and "ending."

λεπτὸν [unique](noun sg neut acc) "Mite" is lepton, which means "a very small coin", "a mite", 

ἀποδῷς. (2nd sg aor subj act) "Thou hast paid" is from apodidomi which means "to give back", "to restore," and "to deliver." It has the economic sense of "to sell" or "to give something for one's own profit." It begins with apo the preposition of separation and origin, the idea of "from" in English, didômi which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over," and "to describe."

Front Page Date: 

May 14 2018