Luke 12:40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Also you yourselves get ready. Seeing that, at the hour you don't know, the son of the man shows himself. 

KJV : 

Luke 12:40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

A lot of little differences from the parallel verse in Matthew 24:44. As usual, the translation makes them seem more alike than they are. The KJV rearranges the words, changing their emphasis, but that meaning is still close.

The word translated as "be" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Jesus, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state. It is in a form that could be a command or just a regular statement "you are becoming". It is in a form that indicates you do this for your own benefit. With the word "ready" below, it works most like "get ready" or "get prepared" in English. 

The pronoun "ye" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you." It is plural, so "you all". Adding to the emphasis is the fact that it comes before the verb, not after. 

No Greek word for "therefore" appears in the Greek. It was added to make this verse seem more like Matthew. 

"Prepared" is from an adjective which means "ready", "active", and "bold."

The Greek word translated as "also" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). 

The word translated as "for" introduces a statement of fact ("seeing that") or cause ("since"). It is not the most common Greek word translated as "for". It is usually translated as "that".

The phrase "the son of man cometh" appears at the end of the Greek, where is where the Matthew version shows it. 

The phrase "the son of man" is the common way Christ refers to himself. It is discussed in detail in this article. Its sense is "the child of the man." The word translated as "son" more generally means "child" or "descendant". The Greek word for "of man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in the plural.

The word translated as "cometh" 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 underway." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas. Here it is in a form indicate doing something for himself so "shows himself". 

The word translated as "at an hour" comes right after "for" and the word means a period of time, generally, as we might say "moment", but it was also specifically one of the twelve division of daylight hours. There is not "at" but it is in a form that is used to indicate a location in time or place so "at an hour" works.

There is no "when" in this verse. 

"Ye think" is from The verb that doesn't mean think as much as it means "expect" or "imagine." Obviously, those meanings, especially "expect", fit much better here.

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 captures the same idea.


The word translated as "in such" means "when" "its lets go" and "for this". 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

καὶ (conj/adv) "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." 

ὑμεῖς (pron 2nd pl nom) "You" is hymeis (humeis), which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you." -- The pronoun "you" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say "you yourselves." It is plural.

γίνεσθε (verb 2nd pl pres ind/imperat mp) "Be" is from ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", "to happen", "to be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being. It is the complementary opposite of the verb "to be" (eimi)which indicates existence in the same state.

ἕτοιμοι, (adj pl masc/fem nom) "Ready" is from hetoimos, which means "at hand", "ready", "prepared", of persons, "ready", "active", "zealous," of the mind, "ready", "bold," and as an adverb, "readily", "willingly."

ὅτι (adv/conj) "For" is hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore." 

ὥρᾳ (noun sg fem dat) "The hour" is hora, which means "any period", "season," (especially springtime), "year' (generally), "climate" (as determined by seasons), "duration", "the twelve equal parts into which the period of daylight was divided", "the fitting time" (for a task). -- The word translated as "hour" means a period of time, generally, as we might say "moment."

οὐ (partic) "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.

δοκεῖτε (verb 2nd pl pres ind act/opt/imperative) "As ye think" is from dokeo, which means "expect", "suppose", "imagine", "have an opinion", "seem", "seem good," and "to be reputed."

υἱὸς (noun sg masc nom) "The Son" is from huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child." It is used generally to refer to any male descendant.

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.

ἔρχεται. (verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Cometh" 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. -

Front Page Date: 

Apr 27 2018