Luke 12:54 When ye see a cloud rise out of the west,

KJV Verse: 

 Luke 12:54 When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

When you might notice a cloud during the sunset immediately you say that a rainstorm shows itself and it coming in being in this way. 

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse is something of a contradiction of Matthew 16:2,  but the explanation is the Jesus was speaking to different people in different climates. The verses in Matthew 16:2 and Matthew 16:3 were meant for sailors, and Jesus words echo the old sailing adage, "red sky at morning". This verse and the following are clearly meant for people near the desert where rain is fair weather and dry heat not so much. However, the parallel, especially between this verse and the "red sky" in the evening verse, is easier to see if we know that in Greek the "west" is the direction of the setting sun. The term "west" means setting. A cloud in the west during sun set is red. This verse is also a play on words, hidden in the Greek. The term "rise" describing the cloud is contrasted with the term "west" which means "setting".  

The Greek word translated as "when" introduces a phrase that explains a certain condition so "whenever" or "since."

The verb translated as "ye see" means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive."

"A cloud" is a noun that means "clouds" or "mist" but in Greek, this word is associated with a metaphor for death and sorrow.

The Greek verb translated as "rise out" means "to rise", "to make rise up", "to give birth", "to gush forth [water]", "to bring forth", "to spring up [plants]", "rise [mountains]," and "to appear above the horizon [sun,moon]."

The word translated as "west" means "setting," as the opposite of "rising."

"Straightway" is  an adverb, it means "straight", "simple", "straightway," forthwith", "immediately", "directly," and "at once."

The word translated as "you say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

A word usually translated as "that" appears here but is untranslated  It introduces a statement of fact or cause.

The word translated as "a shower" means "storm of rain", "thunder-storm", "storm", and "shower",

The word translated as "there cometh" primarily means "to start out" but Christ usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. 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. 

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

The word translated in KJV as "So" is in its adverbial form, so it means "in this manner" or "in this way."

The word translated as "it is" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Christ, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state.

The sense of the last two words, "coming into being in this way" would probably be closer to "coming this way". 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ὅταν (adv/conj) "When" is from hotan, which means "whenever (as a condition)," and "since (as a cause)." 

ἴδητε (verb 2nd pl pres subj act ) "Ye see" is eido which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know." --

νεφέλην  (noun pl fem gen) "A cloud" is from nephelê, which means "clouds", "mist," and "fog." 

ἀνατέλλουσαν (part sg pres act fem acc) "Rise out" is anatellô, which means "to rise", "to make rise up", "to give birth", "to gush forth [water]", "to bring forth", "to spring up [plants]", "rise [mountains]," and "to appear above the horizon [sun,moon]."

ἐπὶ (prep) "Out of" 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."

δυσμῶν, (noun pl fem gen) "West" is dysme, which means "setting (mostly in pl.)", "the quarter of sunset," and "west." --

εὐθέως (adverb) "Straightway" is from eutheoswhich as an adverb, it means "straight", "simple", "straightway," forthwith", "immediately", "directly," and "at once."

λέγετε (verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "I tell" is lego, which means "to recount", "to tell over", "to say", "to speak", "to teach", "to mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself", "pick up", "gather", "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelled the same means "to lay", "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep." 

ὅτι (adv/conj) "That" 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."

Ὄμβρος [unique](noun sg masc nom) "A shower' is ombros, which means "storm of rain", "thunder-storm", "storm", and "shower",

ἔρχεται, (verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "There cometh" is 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. 

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." 

γίνεται (verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "It is" is ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", "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. 

οὕτως: (adv) "So" is houtos, as an adverb, it means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why." 

Wordplay: 

It describes a "rising" in the "setting". 

Related Verses: 

May 9 2018