Mark 13:17 But woe to them that are with child

KJV Verse: 

Mar 13:17 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Woe to those who are big with child and those who are nursing in those so civilized times.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The symbolic keys connect the physical body with our emotional relationships. The physical key is the belly, used throughout Christ's words to portray the physical aspect of life. That physical relationship is connected to the emotional relationship through the act of a mother nursing children. While eating always symbolizes the physical, nursing a child is the most basic form of emotional relationship. This is one of the many verses where Christ illustrate how one temporary state, in this case physical, is naturally transformed into another temporary state, in this case the emotional.

The emotional note here is the sadness and woe because this personal relationship arises in a time of social disorder. All the ideas in this verse are feminine. Not on those who are pregnant and nursing, but the day was feminine (the word for day comes from the name of the goddess of the day, Hemera) and, most significantly, the second meaning of "hemera" as "tame" is also feminine. Civilization was, in a sense, the feminine form of society as opposed to war, for example, which was the masculine.


Greek Vocabulary: 

"But" is from δὲ de (de), which means "but." It is the particle that joins sentences and an adversarial way.

"Woe" is from οὐαὶ ouai (ouai), which is an exclamation of pain or anger.

"To them that are" is from echô (echo), which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do." This is the present participle form used as a female dative noun.

"With child" is from ἐν γαστρὶ, en gaster, which means "in belly" "craving food," or "in womb." With the verb "to have" usually means "big with child."

"To them that give suck" is from θηλαζούσαις (thelazo), which means "to suckle", "to nurse," and "to suck (for animals)." This is the present participle form used as a female dative noun.

"Those" is from ἐκείναις ekeinos (ekeinos), which means "the person there", "that person", "that thing", "in that case", "in that way", "at that place," and "in that manner."

"Days" is from ἡμέραις 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)."





Christ is contrasting two meanings of the word, ἡμέραις, which means both a period of time and being civilized or taming an animal. There is actually a little joke here contrasting the chaotic end times of to civilized quiet times. Of course, since Christ is talking here primarily about the destruction of the Jewish state by the Romans, which the Roman's saw as taming animals.

Related Verses: