Mark 3:24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself,

KJV Verse: 

Mar 3:24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And if a rule is divided against itself, that rule cannot be established.

Hidden Meaning: 

The general discussion is about the nature of power over adversity. Is adversity caused by a group of evil spirits who fight against good or by the nature of the universe?

What kingdom is Christ referring to here? Christ only recognizes one kingdom, one rule, the rule of the God. Those who teach that the rule of God is somehow divided between good and evil do not understand the nature of power and the nature of authority. The universal rule is not at conflict with itself.

When rules are at conflict with themselves, they are not rules at all. In making human rules, for example, we run into problems when laws can be interpreted in different ways, so broadly to make everything a crime or so narrowly to make nothing a crime. The rule cannot stand because it contradicts itself.

However, a real kingdom is not divided against itself. It has clear rules and one rule-maker. The universal kingdom Christ teaches about is just that kind of place. There is no separate authority over good and evil, but one authority over all. Can you think of another place where Christ says this specifically? That God doesn't treat the good and evil any differently at least on earth?


καὶ (conj) "And" is 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." -- 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." 

ἐὰν (conj) "If" is ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if)and an (might)) which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event. -- The Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when".

βασιλεία (noun sg fem nom) "Kingdom" is from basileia (basileia), which means "kingdom", "dominion", "hereditary monarchy", "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign."

ἐφ᾽ (prep) "Against" is epi, which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," "during", and "against." -- The word translated as "unto" means "against", "before", "during", "by" or "on."

ἑαυτὴν (adj sg fem acc) "Itself" is from heautouis a reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself", "itself", "themselves," and "ourselves." It is an alternative to autos.

μερισθῇ,  [uncommon](verb 3rd sg aor subj pass) "Divided" is from merizo, which means "divide", "distribute", "assign", "sever", "cut-off," (passive) "to be divided", "to be dispersed," and "to be reckoned a part."

οὐ (partic) "Not" is 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. -- 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.

δύναται (verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Can" is the verb, dynamai, which means "to have power by virtue of your own capabilities", "to be able," and "to be strong enough." - The word translated as "I can" means having the power or possibly a desire to accomplish something. Often, in English, "can" is a helper verb, indicating a possibility. In Greek, it indicates ability or power.

σταθῆναι (verb aor inf pass) "Stand" is from histêmi (histemi), which means "to make to stand", "to stand", "to set up", "to bring to a standstill", "to check", "to appoint", "to establish", "to fix by agreement", "to be placed", "to be set", "to stand still", "to stand firm", "to set upright", "to erected", "to arise," and "to place." Like the English words "put" and "set," it has a number of specific meanings from "to put down [in writing]", "to bury", "to establish", "to make", "to cause," and "to assign."

βασιλεία (noun sg fem nom) "Kingdom" is from basileia (basileia), which means "kingdom", "dominion", "hereditary monarchy", "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign."

ἐκείνη: (adj sg fem nom) "He" is ekeinos (kakeinos), which means "the person there", "that person", "that thing", "in that case", "in that way", "at that place," and "in that manner." -- The word translated as "those" is an adjective that highlights its noun as in a specific place from a word that means "there."

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