Matthew 24:51 And shall cut him asunder,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.​

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And he is going to be divided in two, and his part/destiny with the actors, he will be put in the place. It will be whining and chatter their teeth.

Hidden Meaning: 

This entire "end of the world" speech is clearly highly comical and gets more so. This verse has several cues that this is humor, including plays on words, that are completely lost in translation, and ending in one of Christ's comedic catch phrases.

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, as it is here, is best translated as "not only...but also." When used in writing, it creates complex sentences, but when spoken, it makes a good pausing point so that an important or humorous ideas can follow.

The mist important word play here is lost in translating of "Cut asunder" which means "to cut in two", "to bisect," and "to divide in two." this is another uncommon word for Christ, but it is chosen specifically. This idea of being "cut in two" refers both to the two roles that the servant plays, good and bad. It is also referred to again with the Greek word, hypocrites, which means actor and refers directly to the idea that actors are playing a role, hence, are two-faced.

Here, the Greek word order becomes important and, again, the English translation loses it. Following the "cut in two" the Greek says "his part with the hypocrites," that is, "his part with the actors." This joke here is that being having two faces, being cut in two, makes him like an actor.

The word translated as "appoint" follows the phrase "his part with actors". It is from a word that has a lot of different uses and means, "to put", "to place", "to propose", and "to suggest." So it has all the meanings of our "put" and "place" with some extras from the "propose" so it is a metaphor for "to put in one's mind."

"Portion" is from a noun that means a "share", "portion", "lot", "destiny" and "the part one takes". Here, this is another important aspect of the verse's word play. It refers both to the destiny of the servant, but also this his part as an actor.

"With" is from the Greek word that is almost always translated as "with" or a related concept such as "among" or "by the means of".

The Greek for "the hypocrites" is a great example of a word that has taken its English meaning from how it is used in the Bible rather than the original Greek. The primary meaning during Christ's era was "an actor." The great thing about the Greek here is the idea of hypocrites being punished by being "torn in two." Christ favorite criticism of religious leaders is that they are "actors," that is, hypocrites. They preach one thing and do another. They pretend. In Mat 6:24, Christ says that we cannot serve two masters.

The last part here is a common catch phrase that Christ uses in a humorous way. It is mentioned in this article about how Christ, like all entertainers, uses exaggeration to make his point. It is used in same dramatic and humorous way that that we say in English "whining and complaining" or "bitching and moaning." The "gnashing of teeth" in this phrase could indicate the chattering of teeth, conveying the sense that this person is tossed out "in the cold," which is one place Christ uses this phrase, except that Christ also uses this same phrase elsewhere to describe weeds cast into a fire.

The word translated as "there" means "there" or "in that place" but it also means "the intelligible world," that is, the world we understand. It refers to a place much more strongly than our word "there" which can be a simple helper to introduce a verb of being. In Greek, the verb used alone has the sense of "there is" or "there are."

When the verb "to be" appears in the future passive and so it is translated as "shall be," but in Greek, it doesn't require the word "there" to mean something like "there will me."

The "weeping" come from a noun form of the verb "weep"which means "to weep", "to cry", "to lament," and "to wail."

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, is best translated as "not only...but also."

The word translated as "gnashing" which primarily means "biting."

The word translated as "teeth" means tooth but it is a metaphor for the pain of grief.

The Spoken Version: 

"And," he continued. "He is going to be divided in two."

He made pantomimed tearing the follower playing the servant in half.

"And," he continued. "His part, his destiny, with the actors, he will be put in the place..."

He paused for effect and continued dramatically, "It shall be weeping..."

He pantomimed weeping, and continued, "And chattering of teeth."

He pantomimed shivering and chattering. His followers laughed at the old joke.

Vocabulary: 

καὶ "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."

διχοτομήσει [uncommon](verb 3rd sg fut ind act) "Cut asunder" is from dichotomeo, which "to cut in two", "to bisect," and "to divide in two."

αὐτὸν (adj sg masc acc) "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 ones own accord."

καὶ "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."

τὸ μέρος (noun sg neut nom/acc) "Portion" is from meros, which means "share", "portion", "lot", "destiny", "heritage", "one's turn," the part one takes,""proportion," and "part" (as an opposite of whole).

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "His" 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 ones own accord."

μετὰ "With" is from 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," and "next afterward."

τῶν ὑποκριτῶν (noun pl masc gen) "Hypocrites" is from hypokrites, which means "an interpreter", "an actor", "a stage player," and "a dissembler."

θήσει: "Appoint" is from tithemi which means "to put", "to place", "to propose", "to suggest", "to deposit", "to set up", "to dedicate", "to assign", "to award", "to agree upon", "to institute", "to establish", "to make", "to work", "to prepare oneself," "to bear arms [military]," "to lay down and surrender [military]," "to lay in the grave", "to bury," and "to put words on paper [writing]," and a metaphor for "to put in one's mind."

ἐκεῖ "There" is from ekei, which means "there", "in that place," and in philosophy means "the intelligible world."

ἔσται (3rd sg fut ind mid) "Shall be" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

κλαυθμὸς (noun sg masc nom) "Weeping" is from klauthmos which means "a weeping."

καὶ "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."

βρυγμὸς (noun sg masc nom) "Gnashing" is from brugmos , which means "biting", "gobbling," and "chattering."

τῶν ὀδόντων. (noun pl masc gen) "Of teeth" is from odous, which means "tooth", "anything pointed", "prong", "spike", "peak," and "tooth [of a saw]." It is a metaphor for the pain of grief.

Sep 16 2016