Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son

KJV Verse: 

Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And at that time the sign of the child of humanity is going to shine for itself in the sky. And then all the groups of the planet shall beat themselves. And they shall observe for themselves the child of humanity making his way on the clouds of the sky with authority and a great recognition.

Hidden Meaning: 

In translated, it is difficult to see how closely connected this verse is with the previous three verses. Hidden here is an"omen" connection with the previous two verses. There is also a light and darkness aspect. Christ uses light to symbolize knowledge and truth and darkness to mean ignorance and falsehood. Remember the question that started this chapter, "What is the significance of your presence to the culmination of the era?" This verse is part of that answer.

The verb translated as "shall appear" means "to bring to light", "to make known", and "to shine." This was translated as "shine" just two verses ago when referring to the coming of the son of man. It is also a root word for the word translated as "prophets". The form of the verb indicates the subject acting on itself.

"Sign" is Greek word that means a "mark", "sign," or "proof." The word is used specifically to means a sign from the gods and it that sense, it means "omen", "portent," and "constellations." Of course, various forms of omens have been the focus of the two previous verses. It is in a form that can be either the subject or object of the sentence.

The phrase "of the son of man" is Christ's common way of referring to himself. It is discussed in more detail in this article. The word translated as "son" more generally means "child." The Greek word for "of man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in the plural. "Man" has a "the" in front of it, so the sense in English is "mankind" or "humanity". The word translated as "heaven" means "sky", the "climate", and the "universe". It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article. When Christ uses it in the singular, he tends to mean "the sky."

The word translated as "all" is from the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas.

"The tribes" is from the noun that means "a race", "a tribe", "people with ties of descent", "representatives of a tribe," and "the military contingent of a tribe." We might say "groups" or "races" in English.

The word translated as "of the earth" means the physical planet, not society, which Christ describes as the world. See this article for more on these words.

"Shall...mourn" is from a verb that means "to cut", "to strike", "to smite", "to slaughter", "to hammer", "to forge", "to knock", "to tire out," and "to beat one's breast." Christ usually uses this word in a different form that means "cut out" or "strike out". However, here it is in a form where the subject acts on themselves or for their own benefit.

The verb translated as "shall see" means "to see", "to behold", "to perceive", and "to observe." It is a metaphor for mental sight, "to perceive", "to discern", "to see visions", " and "to interview." This verb is in a form where the subject act on or for itself, so "they shall observe for themselves."

The phrase "of the son of man" is Christ's common way of referring to himself. It is discussed in more detail in this article.

The phrase "of the son of man" is the same as the phrase above. It is discussed in more detail in this article.

The word translated as "coming" primarily means "to start out." It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being under way." It is in the form of an adjective describing someone acting on or for themselves.

The word translated as "in" means "against", "before", "by" or "on". It is not the word commonly translated as "in".

"Cloud" is from a word that means "clouds", "mist," and "fog."

The word translated as "of the heavens" means "sky", the "climate", and the "universe". It is singular, not plural, so, "of the sky".

"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".

"Power" is from a word that describes abilities and capacities, what actions a person can do or has done so "power", "might", "influence", "authority," and "force." This is the "influence" that was shaken in the previous verse when the sun and mood darken and stars fall.

The word translated as "great" means many in number, great in power or worth, and large in size.

"Glory" is a word that means "expectation", "notion", "opinion", "repute," and "popular repute." Translations as "glory" or "splendor" are found exclusively in translating the Bible. The English word "recognition" seems to fit most consistently with its use in the Gospels.

The Spoken Version: 

"And then," he continued. "The sign, an omen, of the child of humanity is going to show itself, shining in the sky."

He shaded his eyes with a hand and indicated something bright shining overhead.

"And then, all those groups on the planet are going to smack themselves," he said, slapping the side of his head as people do when they realize that they've done something stupid.

"And they see for themselves," he said added lightly. "The child of humanity making his way on the clouds."

He smiled, putting his hands up next to his shoulders and fluttering them like little wings.

"With an authority," he said, happily contradicting that image he created. "And general recognition."

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."

τότε "Then" is from tote, which means "at that time" and "then."

φανήσεται (verb 3rd sg fut ind mid) "Shall appear" is from phaino , which means "to shine", "to give light," and "to appear."

τὸ σημεῖον (noun sg neut nom/acc) "Sign" is from semeion, which means "mark (by which things are known)," , "a proof" (in reasoning), "sign (of the future)", "sign from the gods", "signal (to do things)," and "standard (flag).

τοῦ υἱοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "The Son" is from huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child."

τοῦ ἀνθρώπου (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.

ἐν "In" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with". -- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

οὐρανῷ, (noun sg masc dat) "Heaven" 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."

τότε "Then" is from tote, which means "at that time" and "then."

κόψονται (verb 3rd pl fut ind mid) "Mourn" is from koptô, which means "to cut", "to strike", "to smite", "to slaughter", "to hammer", "to forge", "to knock", "to tire out," and "to beat one's breast."

πᾶσαι (adj pl fem nom) "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."

αἱ φυλαὶ (noun pl fem nom) "Tribes" is from phyle, which means "tribe", "a group related by birth or location", "clan," and, of things, a "class" or "kind."

τῆς γῆς” (noun sg fem gen) "Of the earth" is from 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.

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."

ὄψονται (verb 3rd pl fut ind mid) "Shall see" is from optanomai, which means "to see", "to look", "to aim at", "to look towards", "to have sight", "to take heed," (in transitive) "to behold", "to perceive", "to observe", "to look out for," and "to be seen (passive)." It is a metaphor for mental sight, "to perceive", "to discern", "to see visions", "to appear in visions (passion), and "to interview."

τὸν υἱὸν (noun sg masc acc) "The Son" is from huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child." -- The word translated as "son" more generally means "child."

τοῦ ἀνθρώπου (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. -- The Greek word for "of man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in the plural.

ἐρχόμενον (part sg pres mp neut acc) "Coming" is from erchomai, which means "to start," "to set out", "to come", "to go," and any kind of motion. It means both "to go" on a journey and "to arrive" at a place.

ἐπὶ "In" is from epi. which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against."

τῶν νεφελῶν (noun pl fem gen) "Clouds" is from nephelê, which means "clouds", "mist," and "fog."

τοῦ οὐρανοῦ” (noun sg masc gen) "Heaven" 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."

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."

δυνάμεως (noun sg fem gen) "Power" is from dynamis (dunamis), which means "power", "might", "influence", "authority", "capacity", "elementary force", "force of a word," and "value of money."

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."

δόξης (noun sg fem gen) "Glory" is from doxa, which means "expectation", "notion", "opinion", "repute," and "popular repute." Translations as "glory" or "splendor" are applied to external appearances but are found primarily in translating the Bible. The words "recognition" and "reputation" come closest to capturing the way Christ uses the word, especially if we consider how he uses the verb form.

πολλῆς: (adj sg fem gen) "Great" is from polus, which means "many (in number)", "great (in size or power or worth)," and "large (of space)."

Related Verses: 

Aug 19 2016