Matthew 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations:

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

A parable about the final judgment of the sheep and the goats.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

And they will be brought together before him, all the foreigners, but he shall separate them from each other as that shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

My Takeaway: 

There are only two categories of people, sheep and goats.

KJV : 

Matthew 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

NIV : 

Matthew 25:32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse is a good example of how word meanings are hidden by translation. It seems to be that the nations are being separated here, but the pronoun is masculine while the word translated as "nations" is neutral so it seems the men of those nations are being separated.

The word translated as "nations" means "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. Jesus used it to mean "non-Judean" people, which may be the meaning here since the apostles are the ones who judge Judeans (Matthew 19:28).

The word translated as "divideth" and "separates"  is a Greek verb which means "to mark off boundaries," "to determine," and "to separate" in the sense of "distinguish" as well as "to banish." "Separate" works best here because the object is sheep and goats.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "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."

συναχθήσονται [20 verses](verb 3rd pl fut ind pass) "Shall be gathered" is from synago, which means "bring together," "gather together," "pit [two warriors against each other]," "join in one," "unite," "make friends of," "lead with one," "receive," "reconcile," "draw together," "narrow," "contract," "conclude [from premises]," " infer," and "prove."

ἔμπροσθεν [18 verses](adv, prep)  "Before" is from emprosthen, which as an adverb means [of place]"in front of," "before," "forwards," [of time] "before," "of old," and as a preposition, "facing," "opposite," "in front," [of time] beforehand," and [of degree] "preferred before." It also denotes a ranking.

αὐτοῦ [720 verses](adj sg masc gen)  "Him" 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."

πάντα [212 verses](adj pl neut acc) "All" is from pas, which means "all," "the whole," "every," "anyone," "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form, it means "every way," "on every side," "in every way," and "altogether." --

τὰ [692 verses](article pl neut nom)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἔθνη, [22 verses] (noun pl neut nom) "Nations" is from ethnos, which means "a number of people living together," "company," "body of men," "tribe," "a people," "nation," and (later) "foreign, barbarous nations."

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "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."

ἀφορίσει [3 verses](verb 3rd sg fut ind act) "He shall separate" is from aphorizo which means "to mark off boundaries," "to separate," "distinguish," "bring to an end," "finish," "grant as a special gift," "banish," "set apart for rejection," and "distinguish."

αὐτοὺς [720 verses](adj pl masc acc ) "Them" 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." -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. The word technically means "the same," and when used as a pronoun can mean "the true self" as opposed to appearances.

ἀπ᾽ [190 verses]​(prep) "From" is from apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause. -- The word translated as "from" means "from" in both location and when referring to a source.

ἀλλήλων, [13 verses] (adj pl masc/fem/neut gen ) "One" and "another" is from allelon, which means "one another," "to one another," "mutually," and "reciprocally." This word only appears once in verse.

ὥσπερ [13 verses](adv/prep) "As" is from hosper, which means "the very man who," "the very thing, which," "the same as," "wherefore," and "although."

[692 verses](article sg masc nom))  "A" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ποιμὴν [8 verses](noun sg masc nom) "Shepherd" is from poimen, which means "herdsmen," "shepherd," and, generally, "captain," and "chief."

ἀφορίζει [3 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind act)"Divideth" is from aphorizo which means "to mark off boundaries," "to separate," "distinguish," "bring to an end," "finish," "grant as a special gift," "banish," "set apart for rejection," and "distinguish."

τὰ [692 verses](article pl neut acc)  "His" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

πρόβατα [26 verses](noun pl neut acc) "Sheep" is from probaton, which means any domesticated four-footed animal, "sheep," "cattle," "herds," and "flocks.

ἀπὸ [190 verses]​(prep) "From" is from apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause. -- The word translated as "from" means "from" in both location and when referring to a source.

τῶν [692 verses](article sg masc nom))  "A" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἐρίφων, [3 verses] (noun pl masc gen) "Goats" is from eriphos, which means "young goat" and "kid."

KJV Analysis: 

And  - 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, it is best translated as "not only...but also." Here, the two are used together to have the "not only...but always" sense.

before -- The Greek word translated as "before" means "in front of" referring to place and when used to apply to time means "beforehand."

him -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

shall -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

be -- This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

gathered  - The Greek word translated as "gathered" means "to bring together." It has many different uses but Christ uses it to mean "bring together."

all  - The word translated as "all" is from the Greek adjective meaning "all," "the whole," "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything." As an adverb, it means "in every way," "on every side," and "altogether."

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word 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. 

nations: -- The word translated as "nations" means "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. Jesus used it to mean "non-Judean" people.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

shall -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

separate  - "Separate" is a Greek verb that means "to mark off boundaries," "to determine," and "to separate" in the sense of "distinguish" as well as "to banish." "Separate" works best here because the object is sheep and goats.

them -- The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  

one -- The word translated as "one...another" is allelon, which means "one another," "to one another," "mutually," and "reciprocally." This word appears after the preposition "from."

from -- The word translated as "from" means "from" in both locations and when referring to a source or a cause.

another, -- This completes the idea of the earlier word.

as -- The Greek word translated as "as" indicates a match with a person or thing.

a -- (WW) The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

shepherd  - "Shepherd" is a Greek word that means "herdsmen," "shepherd," and, generally, "captain," and "chief."

divideth --  "Divideth" is a verb that means "to mark off boundaries," and "to separate" in the sense of "distinguish" as well as "to banish."

his -- (WW) The word translated as "his" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

sheep  - "Sheep" is Jesus's symbol for his followers. The Greek word refers to any domesticated animal and works better if translated simply as "flock" or "herd." The flock follows the shepherd, which is above them. It is also together, a united group.

from -- The word translated as "from" means "from" in both locations and when referring to a source or a cause.

the  - The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

goats: -- "Goat" is from a word, meaning "young goat" or "kid," that Christ uses only twice, here and in Luke.

KJV Translation Issues: 

3
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "nations" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "a" should be "the."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "his" should be "the."

NIV Analysis: 

missing "And"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "and" 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." Here, the two are used together to have the "not only...but always" sense.

All - The word translated as "all" is from the Greek adjective meaning "all," "the whole," "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything." As an adverb, it means "in every way," "on every side," and "altogether."

the -- -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

nations: -- The word translated as "nations" means "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. Jesus used it to mean "non-Judean" people.

will-- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.-- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

be -- This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

gathered  - The Greek word translated as "gathered" means "to bring together." It has many different uses but Christ uses it to mean "bring together."

before -- The Greek word translated as "before" means "in front of" referring to place and when used to apply to time means "beforehand."

him -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

will -- This helping verb "will " indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

separate  - "Separate" is a Greek verb that means "to mark off boundaries," "to determine," and "to separate" in the sense of "distinguish" as well as "to banish." "Separate" works best here because the object is sheep and goats.

the people -- The word translated as "the people" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. Here the form is "them." However, it masculine so it indicates people rather than the nations themselves.

one -- The word translated as "one...another" is allelon, which means "one another," "to one another," "mutually," and "reciprocally." This word appears after the preposition "from."

from -- The word translated as "from" means "from" in both locations and when referring to a source or a cause.

another, -- This completes the idea of the earlier word.

as -- The Greek word translated as "as" indicates a match with a person or thing.

a -- (WW) The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

shepherd  - "Shepherd" is a Greek word that means "herdsmen," "shepherd," and, generally, "captain," and "chief."

separates --  "Separates " is a verb that means "to mark off boundaries," and "to separate" in the sense of "distinguish" as well as "to banish."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

sheep  - "Sheep" is Jesus's symbol for his followers. The Greek word refers to any domesticated animal and works better if translated simply as "flock" or "herd." The flock follows the shepherd, which is above them. It is also together, a united group.

from -- The word translated as "from" means "from" in both locations and when referring to a source or a cause.

the  - The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

goats: -- "Goat" is from a word, meaning "young goat" or "kid," that Christ uses only twice, here and in Luke.

NIV Translation Issues: 

3
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "a" should be "the."

Front Page Date: 

Nov 18 2021