John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth,

Greek Verse: 

Literal Translation: 

And if I should be raised [at some point] out of the dirt, I should attract [at that point] all like myself.

KJV Verse: 

Jhn 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The author of the Gospel says Christ said this to signify what type of death he would have. However, this might also be a reference to the resurrection.

First, though the KJV translated the verbs as the future tense, both verbs here are in the aorist tense, meaning they occur at some point in time in the past, present, or future though it is usually translated as the past tense (see "raised" above). However, they are also the subjunctive voice, indicating that they might potentially happen or are expected to happen. The word "should" captures this idea in English. This might happen at some point, but at this point in time, Christ is not saying that it certainly will.

The phrase "out of the earth" uses the Greek word ge for "earth." This word is very much like the word "earth" in English because it means both the "dirt" and the planet. We saw this word most recently in Jhn 12:24, where Christ talks about a kernel of grain falling into the earth, using its meaning as "dirt."

The phrase, "raised out of the earth" has three meanings here. It means 1) being lifted on a cross, 2) being raised from the dead, and 3) being elevated above the planet.

The word translated as "draw" in the KJV captures many of the different ways we use the word "draw" in Engllish. The meaning here seems to be drawn in the sense of "attract" though we could translated it more generally as "pull."

The primary and obvious meaning of the word translated in the KJV at "unto" in the phrase "unto me" is "from [a place]" and "toward [something]," but it also has the meaning of "derived from", "like" and "agreeable to" indicating an similarity or connection to something. This meaning is vert possible here because of the special word used for "me." He used not the simple, common form of the Greek "me" (me, eme, etc.) but a more complicated form, emautou, "of myself," which indicates a connection.

Greek Vocabulary: 

κἀγὼ "And...I" is from kago, a contraction of kai ego. "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." "I" is from ego, which is the first person singular pronoun meaning "I". It also means "I at least", "for my part", "indeed," and "for myself."

ἂν "If" is from 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.

ὑψωθῶ (1st sg aor subj pass) "I be lifted up" is from hupsoo (hypsoo), which means "to lift high", "to raise up." It is a metaphor for "to elevate" and "to exalt."

ἐκ "From" is from ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of", "from", "by", "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond", "outside of", "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after", "from;" 4) [of rest] "on", "in," 5) [of time] "since", "from", "at", "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of", "made from."

τῆς γῆς, "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.

πάντας "All men" is from pas (pas), which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything."

ἑλκύσω (1st sg aor subj act) "Will draw" is from helko, which means "to draw", "to drag", "to draw after one", "to tear to pieces", "to worry," [metaphorically] "to carp at", "to draw [a sword or box]", "to tow [a ship]", "to drag [into court]", "to suck up", "to drag out", "to draw to oneself", "to attract", "to draw [from a source]", "to tear out [one's hair]", "to be wretched", "to scrape up", "to amass," and "to be drawn [at a pace]."

πρὸς "To" is from pros (pros), which means "from (place)", "on the side of", "toward", "before", "in the presence of", "in the eyes of", "before (supplication)", "proceeding from (for effects)", "dependent on", "derivable from", "agreeable,""becoming", "like", "at the point of", "in addition to", "against," and "before."

"Myself" is from emautou, which means "of me," and "of myself".


 A play of the three meaning of "raise from the earth" and the two meanings of "toward/like me." 

Related Verses: