Luke 17:31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

In that the day whoever is going to be upon housetop and those equipment of his in the house doesn't want, descending,  to remove the same things and that one in a field likewise must not want to turn around towards those things thereafter.

KJV : 

Luke 17:31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse combines Matthew 24:17 and Matthew 24:18 and it has many of the unusual features of those verses. It also has a couple of peculiarities of its own, including a couple of words that are untranslated in the KJV and difficult to understand.  The most likely explanation of this verse is that it is an answer to a question or a series of them.

The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

The word translated as "that" is an adjective that highlights its noun as in a specific place from a word that means "there."

The Greek word translated as "day" also means "time," in general, and refers specifically to the "daytime."

The word translated as "he which" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause.

The verb "shall be" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.

The word translated as "upon" means "on", "over", "upon", "against", "before", "after", "during", "by" or "on."

"The housetop" is translated from a Greek word that is the source of our word domicile. Though Christ uses it to mean "housetop" in other verses, the use here seems to be more metaphorical. When this term is applied to the gods, it refers to the house of Plato, the lord of the underworld, which is a double meaning here.

The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, is best translated as "not only...but also."

The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English. 

"Stuff" is a Greek noun, which means a "vessel or implement of any kind," used in a collective sense, "all that belongs to a complete outfit", "house-gear", "utensils", "chattels", "accouterments", "equipment", "inanimate object," and metaphorically, "the body", as the vessel of the soul. The form is singular.

The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

The Greek word translated as "the house," refers to the building itself, all the people that dwell in it, including slaves and servants, all property owned by that family, and all the descendants of the continued line. We might say "estate" in English to capture this idea.

The problem here is with the word translated as "let him ...come down" The KJV version assumes that it is an alternative spelling of a verb meaning to "go down". If we assume the word was the misspelled verb, its meaning is "come down". This is the verb Christ uses to describe his own coming down from heaven. it is a third party command ("he must not" or "don't let him"), which is unusual for Jesus talking about a person. However, it is the correct spelling for an adjective meaning "descending", which also works here if we assume the "to take" is an active form of the verb.

The negative "not" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. This is the usual negative used with command since commands are an expression of opinion. The sense is "I don't want him" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used.  This fits both with a command (the KJV interpretation) or the form of the verb that indicates someone wishes something to be done, or, in this case, doesn't wish it, which is the possible form of the "to take" verb used here.

"To take...away" is from one of Christ's favorite "multiple meaning" words. It is a verb that means "to raise up", "elevate", "to bear", "to carry off", "to take and apply to any use," and "to cause to cease." Its form means "to lift," or "wishes to lift up." It is also a form of the word for "prayer" and it means "you pray to" in this form. Jesus uses this verb to refer to what will happen to "the son of man," which can apply either to his being raised from the dead or lifted up on the cross. Here the form is either the infinite ("to take"), which the KJV assumes, or an active verb in the form of someone wishing for something, in this case, "he doesn't want to take up."

The word translated as "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English. It means "the same" when used as an adjective.  The problem, however, is a plural neutral pronoun instead of a singular, feminine one, if it was referring to the "stuff" or "equipment" above. If it is being used as a noun, the sense would be "the same things".

The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness, "as".

The word translated as "he that" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. The sense here is "that one".

There is no "is" in the Greek source.

The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

"The field" is from the common noun that means "field", "lands," or "countryside." It has no article so "a field".

The word translated as "likewise " is an adjective that means "like", "resembling," and "matching."

The negative "not" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used.

"Let him...return" is translated from a Greek word "to turn about" or "to turn around," but also means "cause to return" and "to turn one's mind towards" something. It is a third person command that gets translated into English as a "let" phrase. In English, we would use the word "must" or a second person command.

An untranslated word here means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

Another untranslated word The Greek word  means, in the plural, "some", "they," and "those." The sense is "those things" mentioned earlier

The term translated as "back" means "back" both in space and in time. The sense here back in time, that is, "thereafter".

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἐν (prep) "In" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

ἐκείνῃ ( adj sg fem dat ) "That" 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."

τῇ ἡμέρᾳ (noun sg fem dat ) "Day" is hemera, which, as a noun, means "day" "a state or time of life", "a time (poetic)", "day break" and "day time." It is also and also has a second meaning, of "quiet", "tame (animals)", "cultivated (crops)," and "civilized (people)."

ὃς ( pron sg masc nom) "he which" is hos, which means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

ἔσται (verb 3rd sg fut ind mid ) "Is" is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen",  and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

ἐπὶ (prep) "Upon" is epi, which means "on", "over",  "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," "after" in position, "during", and "against."

τοῦ δώματος ( noun sg neut gen ) "The housetop" is doma, which means a "a house", "a hall", "housetop", "chief room", "household," or "a family." It has a special meaning referring to the house of Pluto, the god of the underworld.

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."

τὰ σκεύη (noun sg fem nom) "Stuff" is skeuos, which means a "vessel or implement of any kind," used in a collective sense, "all that belongs to a complete outfit", "house-gear", "utensils", "chattels", "accouterments", "equipment", "inanimate object," and metaphorically, "the body", as the vessel of the soul.

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "His" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

ἐν (prep) "In" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

τῇ οἰκίᾳ, ( noun sg fem dat ) "House" is oikia, which means "house", "building," and "household."

μὴ (partic) "Not" is me , which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

καταβάτω {This word is assumed by KJV translators to be an alternative spelling of καταβαινέτω} [uncommon](verb 3rd sg aor imperat) "Come down" is from katabaino, which means "go down", "come down from," and "dismount from." The actual spelling is that of an adjective {καταβατός}(adj sg masc gen) karabatos, which means "steep" and "descending". It cold also be the noun {καταβάτη}(noun sg masc gen) katabates, which means "one who dismounts.

ἆραι (verb 3rd sg aor opt act or verb aor inf act ) "Be removed" is airo, which means "to lift up", "to raise", "to raise up", "to exalt", "to lift and take away," and "to remove." In some forms, it is apaomai, which means to "pray to," or "pray for." -- "Shall be taken" is one of Christ's favorite "multiple meaning" words. It is a verb that means "to raise up", "elevate", "to bear", "to carry off", "to take and apply to any use," and "to cause to cease."Christ uses this verb to refer to what will happen to "the son of man," which can apply either to his being raised from the dead or lifted up on the cross.

αὐτά, ( adj pl neut acc ) "It" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

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."

( article sg masc nom) "He that" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." Here it is separated from its noun by a conjunction.

ἐν (prep) "In" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

ἀγρῷ ( noun sg masc dat ) "Field" is agros, which means "field", "lands," or "country."

ὁμοίως (adj sg fem nom) "Likewise" is homoios, which means "like", "resembling", "the same", "equal in force, "a match for one", "suiting", "of the same rank", "alike", "in like manner," and "equally."

μὴ (partic) "Not" is me , which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

ἐπιστρεψάτω (verb 3rd sg aor imperat) "Let...return" is from epistrepho, which means "to turn about", "to turn around", "turn towards", "return", "curve", "twist", "go back-and forwards", "pay attention to," "to turn one's mind towards," "regard", "conduct oneself," and "behave," and in the passive to "be converted", "to be distorted", "turn oneself round", "are turned," and as an adjective, "earnest", "vehement."

εἰς (prep) Untranslated is eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)", "until (of time)", "as much as (of measure or limit)", "as far as (of measure or limit)", "towards (to express relation)", "in regard to (to express relation)", "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

τὰ  (irreg pl neut nom/acc) Untranslated is tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what." --

ὀπίσω.” (adv) "Back" is from opiso, which means "back", "behind," and "hereafter." -- The term translated as "back" means "back" in space but "forward" in time. The logic regarding time is that, since the future is unseen, it should be regarded as behind us, whereas the past is known and therefore before our eyes. This seems quite strange to English speakers, but the use of this word in Greek is well-established to mean "future". Our English view coincides with the ancient Greek when discussing books. The "back" of the book in English means the "end" of the book, which is the future for the reader. This use of "back" is identical to the Greek. 

Front Page Date: 

Sep 29 2018