Mark 13:16 And let him that is in the field not

Greek Verse: 

Literal Translation: 

Also, the one in the field, no he must not turn around for the ones behind to pick up that robe of his.

KJV Verse: 

Mark 13:16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The word translated as "clothes" is a specific word meaning "cloak" or the cloth that was worn over a tunic. The word is not plural but singular. This was the clothing that largely identified social status in Judean society. See the section below on symbolism and and this article. for more).

This verse has a phrase that is not translated, one that is something of a mystery unless we imagine that Jesus used gestures to complete his meaning. The phrase is "for these" or "for them."

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."

(article sg masc nom) "He that is" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one."

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

τῷ (article sg masc dat) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ἀγρῷ (noun sg masc dat) "Field" is from agros, which means "field", "lands," "tilled land" as opposed to fallow land, or "country" as opposed to "town."

μὴ Partic_ "Not" is from 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) "For" 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  (article pl neut acc)  Untranslated 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."

ὀπίσω (adv) "Back" is from opiso, which means "back", "behind," and "hereafter."

ἆραι (verb aor inf act or verb 3rd sg aor opt) "To take" is from airo, which means "to lift up", "to raise", "to raise up", "to exalt", "to lift and take away," and "to remove." OR (verb 2nd sg pres subj mp) "To take" is from apaomai, which means to "pray to," or "pray for."

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

ἱμάτιον (article sg neut acc) "Garment" is from himation, which was an oblong piece of cloth worn as an outer garment. The term generally means "clothes" and "cloth."

αὐτοῦ, (adj sg masc gen) "His" is from 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."

KJV Analysis: 

And-- This is the Greek word usually translated as "and" is used as the conjunction, but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, in a series, is best translated as "not only...but also."

let -- This "let" is the helping verb used to translated the Greek form of the third-person command. In English all commands are in the second-person. This form is used something like our word "must."

him that-- The word translated as "the" 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. 

is -- There is no Greek words that can be translated as "is" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. It follows the "and" or "also" that really begins the verse.

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

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. 

field -- "Field" is the Greek word that means "farmland" or the "countryside" as opposed to "city."

not-- "Not" is from me, which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." The negative 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. The position is later in the verse, before the verb "return," the usual position for a negative command.

turn -- "Turn back" 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.

back -- The term translated as "back" means "back" both in space and in time.

 again -- There is no Greek words that can be translated as "again" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. It was added for clarity.

for-- The preposition translated as "for" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure. It also means "for (of purpose or object)."  This word comes before "back." Its object is also not translated.

untranslated -- The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." Since the form is neutral plural, the sense is "these" or "them." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more.

to  -- This "to" is from the infinitive form of the following verb.

take up -- "Take up" is from one of Jesus'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." It is not the word commonly translated as "take" in the NT.  Its form means "to lift," or "wishes to lift up." We would say "pick up" in English.

untranslated -- The untranslated word 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. 

his -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English.  This word appears after the noun so "of his."

garment. -- The word translated as "garment" means an outer garment ("a cloak"), like we would use a coat or jacket today. This quality of this garment was how people judge social status. The word is not plural but singular.

 

 

Wordplay: 

The term used for "fields" also means a land or country. The term translated as "back" means both going back in space and in time. The term used for "take up" also means "to exalt."

Related Verses: 

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

This verse deals with what happens to social status at the end of the era in the same way that the last verse dealt with what happens to our physical possessions.

Christ uses clothing as a symbol for a person's station in the community. During Christ's time, people were judge by the quality of their clothes. The quality of clothing was more important than any status symbol the we have today. this is why the guest who did not wear a wedding garment was thrown out in Matthew 22:11. The type of clothes people wore identified where the were from and their status in that community. The poorest people and lowest slaves were basically naked.

Being out in a field captures the idea of being out in the world, away from society. People worked in the field with very few or old clothes because they didn't want to ruin their good clothes. While working in the field, their social status was not important. The natural, physical world didn't care about such things.

At the end of the era, such as the fall of Judea, this social status doesn't matter. The old order is done. We cannot go back.

If the "era" is our lives, we cannot take our social status with us any more than we can take our property.

Front Page Date: 

Dec 21 2019