Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword,

KJV Verse: 

Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Not only shall they fall to the mouth of a sword but also they shall be taken prisoner into those other ethnic areas all, and Jerusalem  is going to be trampling itself down under other ethnic groups continually until  this: they are filled up as they shall be, opportunities of other ethnic groups.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This may say something more than is translated because there are several untranslated words here. There is also a unique word, as we usually see in Luke. There is also a very poetic phrase that is sadly lost in translation. This verse also demonstrates the problems in translating the Greek word word other ethnic groups.

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".

"They shall fall" is translated from a Greek word that means "to fall" and "to fall down." It is the root word for dozens of Greek terms involving moving from a higher state to a lower one. Like our word "to fall" it has a number of special meanings including "to fall into a given class", "to prostrate", "to fall from power", "to perish," and so on.

The Greek word translated as "by the edge" is  means "mouth" and therefore, "speech" or "utterance." However, it also means the "face" or "front" of something. With a weapon, it means "point" or "edge", which is very poetic, in a bloody kind of way. The image is of the weapon eating the flesh or drinking its blood. There is no "the" here. The "by" comes from the form of the word, which it usually an indirect object but has a number of other uses. Here it describes an instrument.

Next, the term for "of the sword" means a short sword, a weapon much more like a machete, since the Greek is the source for the English word "machete", via Spanish. It specifically the type of weapon used for making sacrifices, by assassins, bodyguards, and jugglers. Jugglers is particularly interesting because of the word "toss".

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."  This is the second use so the sense is "but also".

"Shall be led away captive" is the unique word in this verse. It is also a very long word, which means to "take prisoner". It is so long because it is built up, starting with the simple verb for "take", which when lengthened, becomes the verb "capture", which when lengthened again become the noun "captive", which, when lengthened  into a verb again becomes "take prisoner. Was this humorous? Perhaps.

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

The word translated as "all" is the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything."

The word translated as "nations" does not mean "nations", "gentiles", or even foreigners. Its primary meaning is "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. I translated it as "other ethnic groups" or "other ethnic areas".

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

The word "Jerusalem" denotes the city or its inhabitants. Two different forms of this word appear in the NT.  This version is used most heavily in Luke, mostly in his narration, but a few times in Christ's words. It seems to be the more formally Greek version of the name.

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. It is not usually used as a "helper" verb like English "to be" is. To create a future form of a verb, Greek just adds the appropriate ending. So the use it is to say something more complicated than a simple future tense,

"Trodden down" is an uncommon verb, which means to "tread", "walk", "dwell in", "frequent", "tread under foot", and "trample on".   The form is also uncommon, a middle passive adjective. The sense is "being trampled down by itself", which is the form of an adjective.

The word translated as "of" primarily means "by", "under," or "with". Its primary meaning is "under" both in the sense of moving under, being under, and being under different forms of compulsion.  This is not a possessive form as translated, but nor does it mean "by"  in the sense of the ones doing the trampling. It merely indicates the position.

There is no "the" here. It is added because of the problem with the following word.

The word translated as "Gentiles" here is the same word translated as "nations" above.  Its primary meaning is "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people.

"Until" is from another uncommon word that means "until", but unlike the more common word for "until", it also has the sense of "continually until".

There is an untranslated word here. It 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.  It is the object of the "until" so "until this".

There is no "the" here. It is added because in English, we always seem to add "the" before a plural. However, in Greek, adding it limits the word to a specific set of things. Leaving it out, leaves the following word unbound,

"Times" is a noun that means "due measure", "season", "opportunity", "time," and "profit." I like "opportunities" here. This is not the common word to indicate a period of time. Jesus uses "days" for that idea. This begins the phrase that ends the verse as a punch line. In the Greek, a lot more comes before it.

The word translated as "of the Gentiles" here is the same word translated as "nations" above.  Its primary meaning is "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. The "of" comes from the form, which can be a possessive.

"Be fulfilled" is a verb that means "to fill", "to fulfill," and "to fill full."  The form is not the future. The tense indicates something happening at some point in time. The form is "They are fulfilled". Since the verb comes far before the possible subject, the "they" is needed. This verb comes after the untranslated "this", before the phrase above.

There are  two untranslated words between the verb above and the ending phrase about the Gentiles.  They  are left out of the KJV and most other Bibles. They are shown in the order they appears after the verb.

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

The next verb 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 form is the future. When the verb "to be" appears early in the sentence before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there shall be." 

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."

πεσοῦνται ( verb 3rd pl fut ind mid ) "They shall...fall" is the verb pipto, which means "to fall", "to fall down", "to be cast down," "fall upon", "intersect (geometry)", "meet", "pass through", "fall violently upon", "attack", "fall in battle", "sink{in water)", "fall short i.e. fail", " fall out of", "lose a thing", "escape from", "fall asleep", "to be accessible to perception", "to fall (between her feet, i.e. to be born)", "to let fall[dice)", "turn out," and "fall under (belong to a class)."

στόματι ( noun sg neut dat ) "Edge" is stoma, which means "mouth" and therefore, "speech" or "utterance." In English, we say someone has a "foul mouth" when we mean they use bad language. The Greek use to mean speech was a little more direct. However, it also means the "face" or "front" of something. With a weapon, "point" or "edge".

μαχαίρης (noun sg fem gen) "Sword" is machaira, which means a "large knife", "large dagger", "short sword," or "dirk." It specifically the type of weapon used for making sacrifices, by assassins, bodyguards, and jugglers.

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."

αἰχμαλωτισθήσονται [unique]( verb 3rd pl fut ind pass ) "Shall be led away captive" is aichmalōtizō, which means to "take prisoner".

εἰς (prep) "Into" 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 ἔθνη ( noun pl neut acc ) "Nations" is ethnos, which means "a number of people living together", "company", "body of men," "tribe", "a people", "nation," and (later) "foreign, barbarous nations."

πάντα, (adj pl neut acc) "All" is pas, which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form, it means "every way", "on every side", "in every way," and "altogether."

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."

Ἰερουσαλὴμ” (Hebrew name) "Jerusalem" is from Ierousalēm, which is a form wof word that denotes the city or its inhabitants. Two different forms, this form and Hierosolyma, in the NT. Luke uses this form. 

ἔσται ( verb 3rd sg fut ind mid ) "Shall be" 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.")

πατουμένη [uncommon](part sg pres mp fem nom) "Trodden down" is from pateo, which means to "tread", "walk", "dwell in", "frequent", "tread under foot", and "trample on". 

ὑπὸ (prep) "Of" is hypo (hupo), which means [with genitive] "from under (of motion)", "down under," under, beneath," indicating a cause with passive verbs, "by", "under," or "with", "under the cover or protection of", "of the agency of feelings, passions," "expressing subjection or dependence," "subordinate", "subject to;" [with accusative] "towards" and "under" (to express motion), "under" (without a sense of motion), "subjection", "control", "dependence," of Time, "in the course of", "during", "about," as an adverb, "under", "below," beneath, the agency or influence under which a thing is done"by", "before,' and "under," (with genitive and passive verbs of cause).

ἐθνῶν,” ( noun pl neut gen ) "The gentiles" is ethnos, which means "a number of people living together", "company", "body of men," "tribe", "a people", "nation," and (later) "foreign, barbarous nations."

ἄχρι [uncommon] (prep, adv) "Until" is from achri, which means "until", "continually", "as far is", "so long as", and "as far as."

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

πληρωθῶσιν (verb 3rd pl aor subj pass) "Be fulfilled" is plêroô (pleroo), which mean "to fill", "to fulfill", "to make complete", "to pay in full", "to make pregnant," and "to fill full." -- "Fill" is a verb that means "to fill", "to fulfill," and "to fill full."

[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." --

ἔσονται] ( verb 3rd pl fut ind mid ) Untranslated 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.")

καιροὶ ( noun pl masc nom ) "The times" is kairos, which means "due measure", "proportion", "fitness", "exact time", "season", "opportunity", "time", "critical times", "advantage," and "profit."

ἐθνῶν. (noun pl neut gen) "The gentiles" is ethnos, which means "a number of people living together", "company", "body of men," "tribe", "a people", "nation," and (later) "foreign, barbarous nations." -

Wordplay: 

Related Verses: 

Jan 12 2019