Matthew11:24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom .

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

About John, answering critics

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Except I tell you all: for a land of Sodoms? More bearable it will be during a time of crisis than for you.

KJV : 

Matthew 11:24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

NIV : 

Matthew 11:24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Again, we see a plural "Sodoms" but here we see the word "land" or "planet" preceding it, which makes more sense. I think we can all imagine a "land of Sodoms." Otherwise, this verse echoes Matthew 11:22. This seems part of Jesus's use of repetition as a form of humor.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

πλὴν (prep) "But" is from plen, which means as a preposition means "except," "save," taking the genitive, and acts as the conjunction "but."

λέγω (verb 1st sg pres ind act)  "I tell" is from lego, which means "to recount," "to tell over," "to say," "to speak," "to teach," "to mean," "boast of," "tell of," "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself," "pick up," "gather," "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelt the same means "to lay," "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

ὑμῖν, (pron 2nd pl dat) "Unto you" is from hymin (humin), which is the 2nd person plural dative pronoun. Dative is the case which indicates to whom something is given.

ὅτι (adv/conj) "That" is hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that," "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

γῇ (noun sg fem dat ) "Land" is ge, which means "the element of earth," "land (country)," "arable land," "the ground," and "the world" as the opposite of the sky. Like our English word "earth," it means both dirt and the planet. -

Σοδόμων  (noun, pl masc gen) "Sodom" is from Sodoma, which means the biblical town of Sodom, destroy in the OT alone by a hail of fire.-

ἀνεκτότερον (adj sg neut nom comp ) More tolerable" is anektoteros (the comparative "more" form of anektos), which "bearable," "sufferable," "that which can be endured," or "tolerable."

ἔσται (3rd sg fut ind mid) "It shall be" is from eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," and "is possible." It can also mean "must" with a dative.

ἐν (prep) "At" is from en, which means "in," "on," "at," "by," "among," "within," "surrounded by," "in one's hands," "in one's power," and "with."

ἡμέρᾳ (noun sg fem dat) "Day" is from hemera, which, as a noun, means "day" "a state or time of life," "a time (poetic)," "day break" and "day time." It is also and also has a second meaning, of "quiet," "tame (animals)," "cultivated (crops)," and "civilized (people)."

κρίσεως (noun sg fem gen ) "Judgment" is from krisis, which means "separating," "distinguishing," "judgment," "choice," "election," "trial," "dispute," "event," and "issue."

 (prep) "Than" is e which is a particle meaning "either," "or," or "than."

σοὶ (pron 2nd sg dat) "You" is soi which is the singular, second=person pronoun, "you."

KJV Analysis: 

But -- (CW) The Greek word translated here as "but" is not the common conjunctions used to mean "but." He usually uses two other words to mean "but." The primary meaning of the word used here is "except" or "save."

I  - -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

say- The "say" is one of the common verbs that means "to say" or "to tell." 

unto -- This word "unto" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

you,  - The "you" here is plural, indicating many of Christ's listeners, which is normal with this phrase.

That -- -- The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

It  - -- 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.

be  - The "it shall be" verb here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It is singular and the future tense.

more tolerable - "More tolerable" is the comparative form ("more") of an adjective which "bearable" or "sufferable."

for -- This word "for" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose another prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

the -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "it" in the Greek source.

land -- The word translated as "land" means "earth," "land," "ground" and "dirt." Translated as "earth," it refers to the physical planet, not society, which Christ describes as the world. See this article for more on these words.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

Sodom -- (WN) "Sodom" is from Greek spelling of  the biblical town of Sodom, destroy in the OT alone by a hail of fire. The odd thing is that the word seem to have a plural ending on it.

in  -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time), or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

the -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "the" in the Greek source. There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

day The Greek word translated as "day" also means "time," in general, and specifically to the "daytime."

of - This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

judgment,  - (CW) The Greek word translated as "judgment" means distinguishing among choices and "separating" things. Christ uses it in a variety of ways, though the KJV usually translates it as "judgment." It also means a "turning point," since it is the source of the meaning of "crisis" has in English. Only secondarily does it means "judgment" as in a court judgment. This Greek word (krisis) is the source of our word "crisis" in the sense that a "crisis" is a time of choosing or a separation. 

than -- "Than" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparisons.

thee. -- The word for "the" is the indirect object form of the singular, second-person pronoun. 

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "but" is not the common words usually translated as "but."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "Sodom" is translated as singular but it is plural, "Sodoms."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "day" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "judgment" is closed in meaning to "separating" or "turning point."

NIV Analysis: 

But -- (CW) The Greek word translated here as "but" is not the common conjunctions used to mean "but." He usually uses two other words to mean "but." The primary meaning of the word used here is "except" or "save."

I  - -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

tell - The "say" is one of the common verbs that means "to say" or "to tell."

you,  - The "you" here is plural, indicating many of Christ's listeners, which is normal with this phrase.

that -- -- The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

it  - -- 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.

be  - The "it shall be" verb here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It is singular and the future tense.

more bearable - "More bearable " is the comparative form ("more") of an adjective which "bearable" or "sufferable."

for -- This word "for" comes from the dative case of the word "land" or "world" not translated that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose another prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

untranslated "earth"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is"earth" means "ground," "land," and "dirt." Translated as "earth," it refers to the physical planet, not society, which Christ describes as the world. See this article for more on these words.

Sodom -- (WN) "Sodom" is from Greek spelling of  the biblical town of Sodom, destroy in the OT alone by a hail of fire. The odd thing is that the word seem to have a plural ending on it.

on -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time), or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

the -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "the" in the Greek source. There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

day The Greek word translated as "day" also means "time," in general, and specifically to the "daytime."

of - This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

judgment,  - (CW) The Greek word translated as "judgment" means distinguishing among choices and "separating" things. Christ uses it in a variety of ways, though the KJV usually translates it as "judgment." It also means a "turning point," since it is the source of the meaning of "crisis" has in English. Only secondarily does it means "judgment" as in a court judgment. This Greek word (krisis) is the source of our word "crisis" in the sense that a "crisis" is a time of choosing or a separation. 

than -- "Than" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparisons.

you. -- The word for "the" is the indirect object form of the singular, second-person pronoun. 

  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "but" is not the common words usually translated as "but."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "earth" or "land" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "Sodom" is translated as singular but it is plural, "Sodoms."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "day" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "judgment" is closed in meaning to "separating" or "turning point."

Front Page Date: 

Oct 15 2020