Mark 13:18 And pray ye that your flight

Greek Verse: 

Literal Translation: 

Pray, however, that no it shouldn't happen during a storm.

KJV Verse: 

Mark 13:18 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The words translated as "your flight" do not exist in the source we use today. It appeared in the KJV source and seems to come from the Matthew 24:20 version of this verse. The verb translated as "be" means "become" or, of events, "happen." The form is one of possibility so "shouldn't happen." The negative is subjective, "don't want," which is appropriate for commands and requires. The word translated as "winter" also means "storm" which is its clear meaning in the one other context in which Jesus uses it.


Greek Vocabulary: 

προσεύχεσθε (verb 2nd pl pres impera) "Pray ye" is from proseuchomai (proseuchomai), which means "to offer prayers or vows", "to worship," and "to pray for a thing. It is the combination of two Greek word, pros, meaning "towards" or "by reason of," and euchomai, meaning "to pray to God."

δὲ (conj) "And" is from de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

ἵνα (adv/conj) "That" is from hina, which means "in that place", "there", "where", "when", "that", "in order that", "when," and "because."

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.

γένηται (verb 3rd sg aor subj) "Be" is from ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", "to be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being. It is the complementary opposite of the verb "to be" (eimi)which indicates existence in the same state.

χειμῶνος [3 times] ( noun sg masc gen ) "Winter" is from cheimon, which means "winter", "wintery", "storm", "stormy" and it is a metaphor for a calamity sent by the gods.

KJV Analysis: 

But -- The Greek word translated as "but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. However, it also can act as the word "so" explaining a cause, which is what it seems to do here. When used in writing, it creates complex sentences, but when spoken, it makes a good pausing point so that an important or humorous word can follow.

pray - "Pray" is a compound Greek word meaning "to pray to God towards" or "pray to God by reason of." It has the sense of praying for something specific rather than praying as a conversation or worship. Christ has been using the third person command until this point. This is a second person command, as we would see in English.

ye -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the following verb.

that -- The word translated as "that" is not the simple demonstrative pronoun, but a word that means "there", "where," and "in order that."

your -- There is no Greek words that can be translated as "also" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

flight -- There is no Greek words that can be translated as "also" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

be The word translated as "be" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Jesus, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state. It doesn't equate two things, as does "to be" but describe one thing becoming another, in this case, the flight becoming bad weather. In English, we would say "your flight comes into bad weather."

not The negative 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.

in -- 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 it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive nouns. 

the -- There is no Greek words that can be translated as "the" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. When a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article ("a", "an" can be added in English translation.

winter, --  "Winter" is a noun that means primarily "winter" but also "wintry, stormy weather." It is a metaphor for a calamity sent by the gods. We know Jesus uses it to mean "stormy weather" because it is the word he uses to in the "red sky in the morning" verse. However, the fact that it also means a calamity "sent by the gods" is humorous because Christ is describing just such a calamity. Because this word describes what the flight becomes "calamity" would certainly be implied.


Considering that Christ is talking about a) the destruction of Israel, b) the end of an age, and c) death in general, this verse comes across as an almost humorous aside.

Related Verses: 

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Jesus uses the word translated here as "be" consistently to mean God's will coming into being. It is the word translated as "done" in the Lord's Prayer verse, "Thy will be done." It is used to express God's choices for the world, that is, what happens. Some things come into being from the laws of the universe (which Christ describes as God's kingdom or reign), his will, and from our own choices.

Front Page Date: 

Dec 23 2019