Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning comes out of the east,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

A long section about "the end of the world" or, more precisely, "the culmination of an era."

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Because the same as the flash of light shows up out of the rising and shines itself until its setting, in this way, it will be the arrival of the son of the man.

My Takeaway: 

The sign of Jesus's presence was a comet (not lightning) known as the star of Bethlehem.

KJV : 

Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

NIV : 

Matthew 24:27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The terms translated as "east" and "west" actually mean "rising" and "setting," since those directions reflected where objects in the sky rise and set.

This word translated in the Bible as "lightning" means "shining," but it is translated as "lightening" three out of four times it appears. However, if we consider the context of it rising and setting, this "shining" seems much more like a celestial object, like a comet, which is the word translated as "trumpet" in Matthew 24:31. In likening his presence to a comet, he may have been referring to the "star of Bethlehem" that announced his own birth, which some saw but few understood.

The word translated as "coming" is unrelated to the verb "comes" appearing in this verse. The first time this word is used in this section is in  Matthew 24:3, with his students asking what the "sign" of his presence with them means regarding the end of the era. This word, only used by Jesus three times, means "presence," always in the phrase "the presence of the son of the man."

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

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."

γὰρ [205 verses](partic) "For" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for," "since," and "as." In an abrupt question, it means "why" and "what."

 [821 verses](article sg fem nom)-- 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. 

ἀστραπὴ [4 verses](noun sg fem nom) "Lightning" is astrapê, which means "a flash of lightning," "lightning," and the "light of a lamp. " It is a metaphor for the "flashing" of the eyes.

ἐξέρχεται [54 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Cometh" is 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."

ἀπὸ [190 verses]​(prep) "Out of" 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.

ἀνατολῶν [3 verses](noun pl fem gen) "East" is anatole, which means "rising above the horizon (of any heavenly body)," "the quarter of sunrise," "east," "the ascendant (i.e. the point where the eastern horizon cuts the zodiac)," "a phase of new moon," "sources of a river (in pl.), and "growing ( of the teeth)."

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."

φαίνεται [10 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Shineth" is phaino , which means "to shine," "to give light," and "to appear."

ἕως [63 verses](conj) "Even unto" is heos which means "until," "till," and "in order that" and "up to the point that."

δυσμῶν, [3 verses](noun pl fem gen) "West" is dysme, which means "setting," "the point of setting," and "the quarter of sunset."

οὗτός [137 verses](adj sg masc nom) "So" is from houtos, which as an adjective means "this," "that," "the nearer." As an adverb, it means "in this way," "therefore," "so much," "to such an extent," and "that is why."

ἔσται [614 verses](verb 3rd sg fut ind mid) "Shall" is from eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," and "is possible."

[821 verses](article sg fem nom)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

παρουσία [3 verses] (noun sg fem nom) "The coming" is parousia, which means "presence," "arrival," "occasion," "situation," "substance," "property," and "contribution."

τοῦ [821 verses](article sg masc gen)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

υἱοῦ [158 verses](noun sg masc gen) "The Son" is huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child."

τοῦ [821 verses](article sg masc gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἀνθρώπου:[209 verses (noun sg masc gen) "Of man" is from anthropos, which is "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate.

KJV Analysis: 

For  - The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation.

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

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. 

lightning  - "Lightning" is translated from a Greek word that means "a flash of lightning," "lightning," and the "light of a lamp. " It is a metaphor for the "flashing" of the eyes.

cometh  - The word translated as "comes out" means literally "to go or come out," but it has a secondary meaning of "making something come true." It is in a form which indicates something acting upon itself, so "makes its way."

out -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "out of."

of  - The word translated as "out of" means "from" in location and when referring to a source.

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

east,  - The word translated as "east" primarily refers to the "rising" of heavenly bodies above the horizon. It comes to mean "east" because that is the direction in which heavenly bodies arise. However, it also refers to the sources of a river or a source in general when it is in the plural as it is here. The strongest sense is of the rising of the sun to give light.

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

shineth  - The Greek word translated as "shineth" primarily means "to shine" and "to appear." It is also in a form which indicates something acting on itself, This is a different word than the word translated as "shineth" in Luke 17:24. Both mean "to shine" and "to give light." This word also means "appear."

even unto  - The word translated as "even unto" means "until" but it also means "in order that."

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

west;  - "West" is from dusmê, which means "setting," "the point of setting," and "the quarter of sunset."

so  - (WW) The word translated as "so" is translated from a Greek word that means "this," "that," "the nearer." It is not the word in Greek used to mean "so."

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

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

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. 

coming  - (CW) The word translated as "coming" means "presence," "arrival," "occasion," "situation," "substance," "property," and "contribution." It is an uncommon word, only used by Jesus in this section of Matthew. It was first used in the apostle's question about the "coming" of the end of the world that we discuss in Matthew 24:4. Since it is not related to the word usually translated as "come" in the NT, "arrival" might be a better word though the sense is more about the nature of that arrival. It has nothing to do with the verb usually translated as "coming."

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.

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. 

Son  - "The son of man" is one of Jesus's common phrases The word translated as "son" means a male descendant and more generally "child.." More about it in this article.

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.

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. 

man  - The Greek word for "of man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in the plural. Since it is used with a definite article, "the man," the sense is more of "humanity" in general than any specific person,

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

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "east" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "west" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "also"  doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "coming" is not the common word usually translated as "coming."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "man" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "be"  doesn't exist in the source.

NIV Analysis: 

For  - The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation.

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

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. 

lightning  - "Lightning" is translated from a Greek word that means "a flash of lightning," "lightning," and the "light of a lamp. " It is a metaphor for the "flashing" of the eyes.

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

comes  - The word translated as "comes " means literally "to go or come out," but it has a secondary meaning of "making something come true." It is in a form that indicates something acting upon itself, so "makes its way."

missing "out"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "out of."

from - The word translated as "out of" means "from" in location and when referring to a source.

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

east,  - The word translated as "east" primarily refers to the "rising" of heavenly bodies above the horizon. It comes to mean "east" because that is the direction in which heavenly bodies arise. However, it also refers to the sources of a river or a source in general when it is in the plural as it is here. The strongest sense is of the rising of the sun to give light.

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

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

missing "shines"  -- (MW) The untranslated word as "shineth" primarily means "to shine" and "to appear." It is also in a form that indicates something acting on itself, This is a different word than the word translated as "shineth" in Luke 17:24. Both mean "to shine" and "to give light." This word also means "appear."

even - The word translated as "even " means "until" but it also means "in order that."

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

west;  - "West" is from dusmê, which means "setting," "the point of setting," and "the quarter of sunset."

so  - (WW) The word translated as "so" is translated from a Greek word that means "this," "that," "the nearer." It is not the word in Greek used to mean "so."

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

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.

coming  - (CW) The word translated as "coming" means "presence," "arrival," "occasion," "situation," "substance," "property," and "contribution." It is an uncommon word, only used by Jesus in this section of Matthew. It was first used in the apostle's question about the "coming" of the end of the world that we discuss in Matthew 24:4. Since it is not related to the word usually translated as "come" in the NT, "arrival" might be a better word though the sense is more about the nature of that arrival. It has nothing to do with the verb usually translated as "coming."

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.

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. 

Son  - "The son of man" is one of Jesus's common phrases The word translated as "son" means a male descendant and more generally "child.." More about it in this article.

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.

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. 

Man  - The Greek word for "of man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in the plural. Since it is used with a definite article, "the man," the sense is more of "humanity" in general than any specific person,

NIV Translation Issues: 

11
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "lightening" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "that" before "comes" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "out" after "comes" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "east" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "is visible" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and"  is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "shines" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "west" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "so"  doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "coming" is not the common word usually translated as "coming."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "man" is not shown in the English translation.

Front Page Date: 

Sep 24 2021