Mark 13:25 And the stars of heaven shall fall

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

"And the stars is going to be out of the sky falling and the ones in those skies are going to be rocking.

KJV : 

Mark 13:25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The same word for  "heaven" is used twice in this verse. This verse is a good example of the general liberties taken in translation with the word translated as "heaven," which are discussed in detail this article.  The "heaven" of the stars is singular, meaning simply the sky. The second version of "heaven" is plural, "heavens," which could mean the greater cosmos.

There is a contrast here in the two prepositions meaning "in" and "out" is lost in translation. The stars fall "out of the sky" but the powers are described as "in the skies."

NIV : 

Mark 13:25  the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.

NLT : 

Mark 13:25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

Wordplay: 

Jesus plays on two difference meanings of "heaven" here, the sky and the greater universe.  He also plays with two meanings of "stars". both as physical star (and meteors) and as illustrious people, the same way we use "stars" today to refer to Hollywood or media stars.

Related Verses: 

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Jesus is drawing a strong parallel here between physical signs, such a falling stars, and social upheavals. In this verse, the physical falling of the stars, which is the same word the Greeks used for shooting stars and meteors, is paralleled with the toppling of the forces of the universe. This is consistent with the idea that the physical star portended other changes. Our term "disaster" means literally "bad star." However, a "star" also means an illustrious person.

Another way to read this version is as a refers to the world's biggest "heroes" falling and their powers being taken away.

Greek Vocabulary: 

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is from 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." -

οἱ (article pl masc nom) "The" 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."

ἀστέρες [2 verses](noun pl masc nom) "Stars" is from aster, which means "star", "shooting star," and "meteor" and is used lyrically to refer to flame, light, and fire. It was also used, as in English, to refer to "illustrious" people.

ἔσονται ( verb 3rd pl fut ind mid ) "Shall" 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.") -- The verb "is" 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.

ἐκ  (prep) "From" is ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of", "from", "by", "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond", "outside of", "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after", "from;" 4) [of rest] "on", "in," 5) [of time] "since", "from", "at", "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of", "made from."

τοῦ (article sg masc gen) 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."

οὐρανοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "Heaven" is from the Greek ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky", "heaven as the seat of the gods", "the sky", "the universe," and "the climate."

πίπτοντες, (part pl pres act masc nom pres) "Fall" is the verb pipto, which means "to fall", "to fall down", "to be cast down," and "to fall upon." It also means "to descend to a prostrate position," as one does when worshiping. Participles are used as adjective or nouns. The English equivalent would be "felled" or "toppled."

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is from 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." -

αἱ (article pl fem nom) "The" 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."

δυνάμεις ( noun pl fem nom ) "Power" is dunamis, which means "power", "might", "influence", "authority", "capacity", "elementary force", "force of a word," and "value of money." Elemental forces are forces such as heat and cold.

αἱ (article pl fem nom) "That" 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."

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

τοῖς (article pl masc dat) 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."

οὐρανοῖς (noun pl masc dat) "Of the heavens" is from the Greek ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky", "heaven as the seat of the gods", "the sky", "the universe," and "the climate."

σαλευθήσονται. ” [4 verses] (verb 3rd pl fut ind pass) "Shaken" is from saleuô, which means "to cause to rock", "to make vibrate", "to be shaken", "to waver", "to totter", "to move up and down", "to roll," and "to toss."

KJV Analysis: 

And -- 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".

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. 

stars -- The word translated as "stars" means "star" but it is also the term for "shooting stars", which is the sense here. Jesus only uses the word for "stars" twice.

of -- (CW)The Greek preposition translated as "of" means "out of" or "from." In Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases with usually use with "of."

untranslated "the" -- (MW) 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. 

heaven -- The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. More about the word in this article. While Jesus often uses it in the plural when referring to it as the throne of God, here it is singular.

shall  -- (CW) This is the verb "to be" in the future tense not a helping verb indicating the next verb is in the future tense. When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."  In Greek, the verb doesn't act as a helping verb as it does in English, but it is translated that way here.

fall, -- (WF) The word translated as "fall" is the verb that means "fall" generally and has a lot of related uses like the English word. The form is an adjective, "falling," not an active verb modified by "shall."

and  -- 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".

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. 

powers  -- "Powers" is from a word that describes abilities and capacities, so "power", "might", "influence", and "force." It does not carry the sense of authority over others, either people or laws. In describing the "influence" of the sky, the sense is people's confidence in the sky for its ability to predict the future.

that -- (CW) The word translated as "that" is the Greek definite article, "the," 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. 

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

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

untranslated "the" -- (MW) 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. 

heaven (WN) "Heaven" is from the same word as "heaven" used above and, again, it is plural, not singular, so "the sky."  This is the opposite of the problem in the parallel in Matthew 24:29 where the Greek is singular and it is translated as plural.

shall -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the following verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translated the Greek verb forms into English.

be -- This helping verb "be" indicates that the following verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translated the Greek verb forms into English.

shaken: -- "Shaken" is from saleuô, which means "to cause to rock", "to make vibrate", "to be shaken", "to waver", "to totter", "to move up and down", "to roll," and "to toss." The word is the future, passive form.

KJV Translation Issues: 

7
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "of" is not the "of" or possession as it usually is and appears here. It is the preposition that means "out of" or "from."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "shall" here does not indicate the future tense of the following verb. It is the future tense of the verb "to be." Greek does not use helping verbs like English does. 
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "fall" is not an active verb but a participle, "falling."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "that" here is not the Greek pronoun that is usually translated as "that" to connect clauses. It is the Greek article and has the sense of "the ones" when not used with a noun.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "are" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  • WN -- Wrong Number -- The Greek word for "heaven" is plural but translated as singular.

NIV Analysis: 

untranslated "and"-- (MW) The untranslated word "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".

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. 

stars -- The word translated as "stars" means "star" but it is also the term for "shooting stars", which is the sense here. Jesus only uses the word for "stars" twice.

from -- The Greek preposition translated as "of" means "out of" or "from." In Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases with usually use with "of."

the -- This 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. 

sky -- The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. More about the word in this article. While Jesus often uses it in the plural when referring to it as the throne of God, here it is singular.

will - (CW) This is the verb "to be" in the future tense not a helping verb indicating the next verb is in the future tense. When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."  In Greek, the verb doesn't act as a helping verb as it does in English, but it is translated that way here.

fall, -- (WF) The word translated as "fall" is the verb that means "fall" generally and has a lot of related uses like the English word. The form is an adjective, "falling," not an active verb modified by "shall."

and  -- 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".

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. 

heavenly (WF, WN) "Heaven" is from the same word as "heaven" used above and, again, it is plural, not singular, so "the sky."  This is the opposite of the problem in the parallel in Matthew 24:29 where the Greek is singular and it is translated as plural. The word is not an adjective, but a noun.

bodies -- (WW) "Bodies" is from a word that describes abilities and capacities, so "power", "might", "influence", and "force." It does not carry the sense of authority over others, either people or laws. In describing the "influence" of the sky, the sense is people's confidence in the sky for its ability to predict the future.

untranslated "the ones"-- (MW) The untranslated word  is the Greek definite article, "the," 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.

untranslated "in"-- (MW) The untranslated word "in" that means "within", "with," or "among."

untranslated "the" -- (MW) 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.

NOTE: The word for "heavens" or "skies" appears here in the Greek.

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the following verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translated the Greek verb forms into English.

be -- This helping verb "be" indicates that the following verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translated the Greek verb forms into English.

shaken: -- "Shaken" is from saleuô, which means "to cause to rock", "to make vibrate", "to be shaken", "to waver", "to totter", "to move up and down", "to roll," and "to toss." The word is the future, passive form.

NIV Translation Issues: 

11
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "will" here does not indicate the future tense of the following verb. It is the future tense of the verb "to be." Greek does not use helping verbs like English does. 
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "fall" is not an active verb but a participle, "falling."
  • WN -- Wrong Number -- The Greek word for "heaven" is plural but translated as singular.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "heavenly" is not an active adjective but a noun, "skies."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "bodies" means "powers."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "in" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "are" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "heaven" is translated as singular but it is plural.

NLT Analysis: 

untranslated "and"-- (MW) The untranslated word "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".

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. 

stars -- The word translated as "stars" means "star" but it is also the term for "shooting stars", which is the sense here. Jesus only uses the word for "stars" twice.

will - (CW) This is the verb "to be" in the future tense not a helping verb indicating the next verb is in the future tense. When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."  In Greek, the verb doesn't act as a helping verb as it does in English, but it is translated that way here.

fall, -- (WF) The word translated as "fall" is the verb that means "fall" generally and has a lot of related uses like the English word. The form is an adjective, "falling," not an active verb modified by "shall."

from -- The Greek preposition translated as "of" means "out of" or "from." In Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases with usually use with "of."

the -- This 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. 

sky -- The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. More about the word in this article. While Jesus often uses it in the plural when referring to it as the throne of God, here it is singular.

and  -- 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".

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. 

powers -- "Powers" is from a word that describes abilities and capacities, so "power", "might", "influence", and "force." It does not carry the sense of authority over others, either people or laws. In describing the "influence" of the sky, the sense is people's confidence in the sky for its ability to predict the future.

untranslated "the ones"-- (MW) The untranslated word  is the Greek definite article, "the," 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.

in --   The word "in" that means "within", "with," or "among."

the --  This 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. 

heavens -- "Heaven" is from the same word as "heaven" used above and, again, it is plural, not singular, so "the sky."  This is the opposite of the problem in the parallel in Matthew 24:29 where the Greek is singular and it is translated as plural. The word is not an adjective, but a noun.

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the following verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translated the Greek verb forms into English.

be -- This helping verb "be" indicates that the following verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translated the Greek verb forms into English.

shaken: -- "Shaken" is from saleuô, which means "to cause to rock", "to make vibrate", "to be shaken", "to waver", "to totter", "to move up and down", "to roll," and "to toss." The word is the future, passive form.

NLT Translation Issues: 

4
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "will" here does not indicate the future tense of the following verb. It is the future tense of the verb "to be." Greek does not use helping verbs like English does. 
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "fall" is not an active verb but a participle, "falling."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the ones" is not shown in the English translation.

Front Page Date: 

Dec 30 2019