Mark 12:43 ...That this poor widow has cast more in...

Greek Verse: 

Literal Translation: 

Honestly I'm telling you that the bereaved this the beggar more than all the ones tossing into this treasury.

KJV Verse: 

Mark 12:43 Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow has cast more in, than all they which hath cast into the treasury:

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

There are two meanings of the word translated as "cast" and they are echoed not only in this verse but throughout this chapter. One is the idea of making and effort and the other is the idea of just letting things drop. It is the difference between casting a spear and casting off.  In this chapter this idea is applied to casting off our debt to God (and others) as opposed to putting in effort into it.

This story comes at the end of a chapter that has focused on what we owe God. The chapter started with the story of the vineyard which was taken over by workers and who refused to pay the owner. Christ then points out that Caesar's picture is on money and that the greatest commandment is that we owe God love from our heart, soul, mind, and ability. Christ then criticizes religious teachers for seeking glory and monetary rewards for offering prayers.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ἀμὴν  (adv) "Verily" is amen, which is the Hebrew, meaning "truly", "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek of this meaning before the NT. However, this is also the infinitive form of the Greek verb amao, which means "to reap" or "to cut.""

λέγω (1st sg pres ind act) "I say" 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."

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl dat) "Unto you" is humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." 

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."

(article sg fem nom ) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

χήρα ( noun sg fem nom ) "Widow" is from chera, which means "widow" and "bereaved."

αὕτη ( adj sg fem nom ) "This" is houtos, which as an adjective means "this", "that", "the nearer." As an adverb, it means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why." --

(article sg fem nom ) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

πτωχὴ ( adj sg fem nom ) "Poor" is ptochos, which means "beggar", "beggar-woman," and "beggarly." 

πλεῖον ( adj sg neut acc ) "More" is pleiôn, which means "more [of number, size, extent]", "longer [of time]," "greater than," "further than," (with an article) "the greater number", "the mass or crowd", "the greater part", "the advantage. As an adverb, "more," or "rather."

πάντων ( adj pl masc gen ) "All they" 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."

ἔβαλεν: ( verb 3rd sg aor ind act ) "Hath cast in" is ballo, which means "to throw", "to let fall," "to cast," "to put", "to pour", "to place money on deposit", "push forward or in front [of animals]", "to shed", "to place", "to pay,"to throw [of dice,]" "to be lucky", "to fall", "to lay as foundation", "to begin to form", "to dash oneself with water," and "to bathe."

τῶν (article pl masc gen) "Which" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

βαλλόντων ( part pl pres act masc gen) "Which have cast"  is ballo, which means "to throw", "to let fall," "to cast," "to put", "to pour", "to place money on deposit", "push forward or in front [of animals]", "to shed", "to place", "to pay,"to throw [of dice,]" "to be lucky", "to fall", "to lay as foundation", "to begin to form", "to dash oneself with water," and "to bathe." The form is an adjective in the present tense, "casting in" used as a noun, "those casting in".

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)."

τὸ (article sg neut acc ) "They" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

γαζοφυλάκιον: [unique]( noun sg neut acc ) "Treasury" is gazophulakion, which means "treasury," but it is a special word used to describe the special rooms in the Jewish temple for offerings. It appears primarily in the NT and other Greek histories of the Jewish people.

KJV Analysis: 

Verily  -- The word translated as "verily" is the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap.

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

say -- The word translated as "I tell" 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.

unto -- This word comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English: a "to" as an indirect object is the most common.

you, -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc. 

That -- The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause.

untranslated -- The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the" that precedes the word "widow." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

this -- "This" is translated from a Greek word that means "this", "that", "the nearer." This word appears after the noun "window" before the article and adjective meaning "the beggar."

untranslated -- The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the," that precedes the word meaning "poor" or "beggar."  The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

poor -- "Poor" is an adjective that means "a beggar" and "beggarly" and it a metaphor for being lacking in something. It doesn't have an article "the" on it. 

widow --  "Widow" is a noun that means "widow" and "bereaved."

hath -- This helping verb indicates that the following verb is the past tense but the verb is a tense that indicates something happening at a specific point in time, past, present, or future, but we can assume past from the context. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translated the Greek verb forms into English.

cast -- The word translated as "cast" has a number of meanings revolving around "throw" as we do in English with both "throw" and "toss." Jesus often uses this word in the same way we use "dump" in English. In dice, it means "to throw" the dice, but with the sense of being lucky.

more  -- The Greek word translated as "more " is an adjective that means "more" in many different senses of the word.

in, -- There is no Greek word that is translated as "it" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. It was added for clarity.

than -- This word comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but here the sense is that "than" used in comparisons).

all -- 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." As an adverb, it means "in every way", "on every side," and "altogether."

they-- This is from the third-person, plural form of the previous verb.

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

have -- This helping verb indicates that the following verb is the past tense, but the next verb is the present tense and not in the form of an active verb. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translated the Greek verb forms into English.

cast -- The word translated as "cast" has a number of meanings revolving around "throw" as we do in English with both "throw" and "toss." Jesus often uses this word in the same way we use "dump" in English. In dice, it means "to throw" the dice, but with the sense of being lucky.

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

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

treasury: "Treasury" is a word that Jesus only uses here that means "treasury," but it is a special word used to describe the special rooms in the Jewish temple for offerings. It appears primarily in the NT and other Greek histories of the Jewish people.

Wordplay: 

In the Greek, the phrase "poor more than all" is an alliteration, (ptocho pleion panton). In this verse it does double duty, referring both the the widow being poorer than everyone else and to her throwing more than everyone else.  It appears before the another repetition of the two verb forms of "cast." They describe her act of throwing is next to the participle (the noun form of a verb) describing what they had thrown.

Related Verses: 

Front Page Date: 

Dec 7 2019