Mar 3:26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided,

Mar 3:26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.
Alternative: And if adversity rouses to action up against itself and is minimized, it cannot last but it has a purpose.

In the standard translation, this line seems to just rephrase the previous few verses, but it does much more than that. It doesn't talk about adversity casting out adversity or how kingdoms and houses cannot be divided between two warring authorities. It brings in the new concepts, of "rousing people to action" and, most importantly, the idea of telos, that is, purpose. In this verse, Christ is simply telling us the purpose of adversity, that is, explaining the need for problems and suffering. Of course, much of this is lost in the desire to personalized "Satan" instead of simply translating the word into what it means, which is "adversity."

Adversity cannot eliminate itself.

Mar 3:23 discussed here). Nor is adversity caused by some war between the gods (a pagan view that unfortunately touches many versions of Christianity) as Christ explains in Mar 3:24 (discussed here). Adversity is subject to God's will as a "house" within his kingdom (Mar 3:25 discussed here).

The key for me in understanding this verse is the use of the world telos, which means "end," but not only in the simple sense of a finish to something. It carries with it a strong sense of purpose, bringing something to completion to meet a goal. Its "light weight" translation simple as "end" misses one of Christ's key points throughout the Gospels: events and especially suffering have a purpose. Understanding this sheds important light on critical ideas such as "the end of the age" prophecies that Christ makes (discussion of that section of Matthew starts here).

Instead, adversity wakes up opposition in us against it. It exists to call us to action. Though the ideas seem at first similar to the words in the previous verses, the idea of adversity "rising up" against itself is added here, not to deny that it happens but to explain its purpose. In the previous verses, Christ describes the impossibility of adversity ejecting itself or dividing itself. However, those similar words are changed here

This opposition to adversity ends up dividing or minimizing it. In the process, we learn and grow. This make each individual problem temporary, and adversity as a whole cannot stop us. This is the purpose of adversity in the end.

"Rise up" is from anistêmi (anistemi), which means "to make stand up", "to raise up", "to raise from sleep", "to wake up", "to raise from the dead", "to rouse to action", "to put up for sale", "to make people rise", "to emigrate", "to transplant," and "to rise and leave the sanctuary."

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

"Divided" is from merizô (merizo), which means "divide", "distribute", "assign", "sever", "cut-off," (passive) "to be divided", "to be dispersed," and "to be reckoned a part."

"Can" is from the verb, dunamai (dunamai) which means "to have power by virtue of your own capabilities", "to be able," and "to be strong enough."

"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."

"End" is from telos, which means "come to pass", "performance", "consummation", "result", "product, ""outcome", "end", "achievement", "attainment", "goal", "state of completion, ""maturity", "services rendered", "something done", "task", "duty", "toll," and "custom."

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