Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation

KJV Verse: 

Mat 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

At the same time, however, with the pressure of the times in those places, the sun is going to be made dark and the moon in not really going to give its light and the shooting stars are going to fall from the sky and the influence of the sky is going to be rocked.

Hidden Meaning: 

While this phrase seems very apocalyptic in translation, it seems less so in the Greek. What is hidden is that this verse refers omens occurring in at times with trouble in certain places, not to one time after a specific event. The verse describes solar and lunar eclipses and meteors falling, all of which are considered bad omens in times of trouble. This fits with the previous verse, Mat 24:28, because the birds ("eagles" or, more accurately "vultures") were also considered birds of omen in Greek.

In the Greek sources used today, the phrase about the sun and the moon is shown in quotes, suggesting that it is from the Old Testament. It most likely refers to Isa 13:10 (and perhaps to Ecc 12:2). However, the original Greek contained no punctuation, so these quotes are a later addition.

"Immediately" is from an adverb that means "straight", "simple", "straightway," forthwith", "immediately", "directly," and "at once."

An untranslated conjunction usually translated as "but" appears here. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. When used in writing, it creates complex sentences, but when spoken, it makes a good pausing point so that an important or humorous word can follow.

"After" is from the Greek word that is almost always translated as "with" or a related concept such as "among" or "by the means of". It is not the term usually translated as "after."

The Greek word translated as "tribulation" means "pressure," which is translated as a metaphor for "oppression." Since it primarily means pressure in the sense of "crushing" (and "castration"), it is a more colorful word than the words we used to describe a time of difficulty. Prior to Christ's use, it appears in Greek literature more as a scientific term than a social description.

The word translated as "those" is an adjective that highlights its noun as in a specific place from a word that means "there." Note that the use of this word indicates that Christ was referring to a time in a specific physical location, rather than a time in history.

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

"Darken" is from the verb form of the word for "darkness" that means "to make dark", and, in the passive, as it appears here "to be darkened," and "to be blinded."

The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence to captures the same idea.

The verb translated as "shall...give" means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe." It is almost always translated as some form of "give."

"Light" is from a verb that means "light" and "splendor". It is used as a metaphor for glory, pride, and joy.

The word translated as "stars" means "star" but it is also the term for "shooting stars", which is the sense here.

The word translated as "shall...fall" is the verb that means "fall" generally and has a lot of related uses like the English word.

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

The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. More about the word in this article. While Christ often uses it in the plural when referring to it as the throne of God, here it is singular.

"Powers" is from a word that describes abilities and capacities, so "power", "might", "influence", and "force." It does not carry the sense of authority over others, either people or laws. In describing the "influence" of the sky, the sense is people's confidence in the sky for its ability to predict the future.

"Of the heavens" is from the same word as "heaven" used above and, again, it is singular, not plural, so "the sky."

"Shaken" is from saleuô, which means "to cause to rock", "to make vibrate", "to be shaken", "to waver", "to totter", "to move up and down", "to roll," and "to toss."

"Power" is from dunamis, which means "power", "might", "elemental force", "faculty", "art", "worth," and "capacity."

Wordplay: 

"Sun" also means "brightness" and "be darken" also means "be blinded." 

The Spoken Version: 

"At the same time," he said. "However..."

He paused, holding up a hand for patience, while he took a sip from a water.

"With the pressure of the times in those places," he explained in a matter of fact tone. "The sun is going to get darker.

He passed his right hand before his face and closed his right eye.

"Also, the moon isn't really going to give its light," he continued.

He passed his left hand in front of his face and closed his left eye.

'Also, shooting stars are going to fall from the sky," he said, dragging both hands down with their fingers spead to simulate meteors falling.

"And the influence of the sky is going to be shaken," he added casually.

Vocabulary: 

Εὐθέως (adverb) "Immediately" is from eutheos,which as an adverb, it means "straight", "simple", "straightway," forthwith", "immediately", "directly," and "at once."

δὲ (conj) Untranslated is de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

μετὰ "After" 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."

τὴν θλίψιν (noun sg fem acc) "Tribulation" is from thlipsis, which means "pressure", "crushing", and "castration". It is a metaphor for "affliction"and "oppression." Earlier in Mat 24:9, it was translated as "afflicted."

τῶν ἡμερῶν (noun pl fem gen) "Of... days" 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)." --

ἐκείνων (adj pl fem gen)"Those" is from ekeinos which means "the person there", "that person", "that thing", "in that case", "in that way", "at that place," and "in that manner."

ἥλιος (noun sg masc nom) "Sun" is from helios, which means the "sun", "life", "day", "sunshine", "the sun's heat", "brightness," and the sun-god.

σκοτισθήσεται, (verb 3rd sg fut ind pass) "Shall... be darken" is from skotizo, which means "to make dark."

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." -

σελήνη (noun sg fem nom) "Moon" is from σελήνη selene, which means "moon", "full moon", "month," and is the name of the goddess of the moon.

οὐ "Not" is from ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.

δώσει (verb 3rd sg fut ind act) "Shall...give" is from didomi, which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe."

τὸ φέγγος (noun sg neut acc) "Light" is from pheggos, which means "light", "splendor", "luster", "moonlight", "day," and "light" as a metaphor for glory, pride, and joy.

αὐτῆς, (adj sg fem gen) "Her" 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."

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." -

οἱ ἀστέρες (noun pl masc nom) "Stars" is from aster, which means "star", "shooting star," and "meteor" and is used lyrically to refer to flame, light, and fire. It was also used, as in English, to refer to "illustrious" people.

πεσοῦνται (verb 3rd pl fut ind mid) "Fall" is from the verb pipto, which means "to fall", "to fall down", "to be cast down," and "to fall upon."

ἀπὸ "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.

τοῦ οὐρανοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "Heavens" is from the Greek ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky", "heaven as the seat of the gods", "the sky", "the universe," and "the climate."

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." -

αἱ δυνάμεις "Power" is from dynamis (dunamis), which means "power", "might", "influence", "authority", "capacity", "elementary force", "force of a word," and "value of money." Elemental forces are forces such as heat and cold.

τῶν οὐρανῶν (noun sg masc gen) "Of the heavens" is from the Greek ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky", "heaven as the seat of the gods", "the sky", "the universe," and "the climate."

σαλευθήσονται.” (verb 3rd pl fut ind pass) "Shaken" is from saleuô, which means "to cause to rock", "to make vibrate", "to be shaken", "to waver", "to totter", "to move up and down", "to roll," and "to toss."

Related Verses: 

Aug 18 2016