Luke 22:15 With desire I have desired to eat this passover

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

With a hunger, I hunger for this, the passover,. To eat among you before this passes over me.

KJV : 

Luke 22:15 With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This line is very entertaining in the Greek. There are several plays on words here, but only the final one makes a punchline to a joke. So Jesus starts his meal, not with sorrow, but with a light heart and playfully.  However, he is also clearly equating his sacrifice with the passover, but perhaps that can only be seen in hindsight.

"With desire" is from a Greek noun that means "desire", "yearning", "appetite", "lust", "sexual desire," and "the object of desire."  The "with" comes from the form of thd word, which requires that addition of a preposition in English to capture its meaning, a "to" as an indirect object, a "with" for instruments, an "in" for locations, an "as" for purposes, an "of" for possession, a "by" for agents, an "as" for comparisons, and an "in" for area of affect.  Over course, in the context of a meal, the word would mean "appetite" or appetite, but on the few other places Jesus uses it he uses it to refer to sexual desire or lust.

"I have desired" is a Greek verb that means "to set one's heart upon", "to desire", "to covet," and "to long for."  This is the verb form of the previous noun. Again, it is mostly used to describe sexual desire, but here would be heard as the desire for food. It is not in the past or perfect tense as translated, but a tense that indicates a specific point in time that can mean past, present, or future. Since the next active verb is the present tense, that seems the best translation.

The word translated as "to eat" is one of the two common words used to mean "eat."It means "to eat", "to eat up," and "to devour." However, this verb comes later in the sentence, part of a separate clause.

 "This" is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar."

"Passover" is the Greek word that means the "paschal feast."  It has an article before it, so "the passover". This is what is hungered for or desired.

The "with you" is part of the "to eat" clause. "With" is the Greek word that usually means "with" or a related concept such as "among" or "by the means of". The word translated as "you" is plural addressing a group of Jesus's listeners.

"Before" is a Greek preposition that means (of place) "before", "in front of," (of time) "before," (of preference) "before", "rather than", "more than," and do on.

Now, this is where things get strange. The "before" takes an object of a certain form. The word that follows is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more.  This article is in the right form to follow the preposition and it plays an important role with the verb.  But notice, it is not translated in the KJV.

"I" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek, but its form is not that of a subject but of an object, something that is acted upon, so "me". Here, this word would be the object of  the "suffer" verb. The object often comes before the verb in Greek especially in the forms used here.  I wish it was a form that matched the article, which would make it simple to translated, but it isn't.

First, there is a little play on words with the the verb translated as "suffer". The verb is pascho which is a play on the noun that is translated as passover pascha. The verb primarily means "to have done to one",  "to have happen to", "to be treated so" or "to pay a penalty." However, it is nothing like an active verb. First, the nature of this verb is passive. The form is an infinitive ("to suffer") but when introduced by an article an infinitive acts like a noun, as we would use an "ing" word (gerund), so "the suffering". But since the word takes an object, "me",  the sense is really "this happening to me".

This verb ends the verse completing a fun joke, "eat this passover before this passes over me."

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ἐπιθυμίᾳ [uncommon]( noun sg fem dat ) "With desire" is from epithymia, which means "desire", "yearning", "appetite", "lust", "sexual desire," and "the object of desire."

ἐπεθύμησα ( verb 1st sg aor ind act ) "I have desired" is epithymeo, which means "to set one's heart upon", "to desire", "to covet," and "to long for."

τοῦτο ( adj sg neut acc ) "This" is toutou, which is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar." --

τὸ πάσχα (irreg sg neut acc) "Passover" is from pascha, which means the "paschal feast."

φαγεῖν ( verb aor inf act ) "To eat" is phago) which is a form of the word, phagein, which means to eat", "to eat up," and "to devour." --

μεθ᾽ (prep) "With" is meta, which means "with", "in the midst of", "among", "between", "in common", "along with", "by the aid of", "in one's dealings with", "into the middle of", "coming into", "in pursuit of", "after", "behind", "according to,"  "after", "behind",  and "next afterward." --

ὑμῶν (pron 2nd pl gen) "You" is humon, the plural possessive form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." --

πρὸ (prep) "Before" is pro, which means (of place) "before", "in front of," (of time) "before," (of preference) "before", "rather than", "more than," and do on.

τοῦ ( article sg masc gen) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." --

με ( pron 1st sg masc acc ) "Me" is eme, which means "I", "me", and "my". --

παθεῖν: ( verb aor inf act) "Suffer" is from pascho, which means "to have done to one", "to suffer", "to be treated so", "to come to be in a state", "to pay a penalty", "to suffer legal punishment," and "to be ill."

Front Page Date: 

Jan 29 2019