Mark 9:45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off:

KJV Verse: 

Mark 9:45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And if your foot trip up you, cut it off. It is better for you to go through life limping than having two feet that let you be fallen into the Gehenna.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This KJV of this verse is the same as Mark 9:43 with the word "feet" replacing "hand/" and "cast" replacing "go." However, the Greek is shorter, lacking the clause about the fire. Like the early verse,  (in Mark 9:41),  all the second person pronouns are in the singular, addressed to one person, rather than a group. The word translated as "cast" usually is used in the sense of "tossed" but it also has the double meaning of "fall," which works well with the foot analogy.

KJV Analysis: 

 

And -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

if -- The Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when".

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

thy -- The word translated as "thy" is possessive form of the second person pronoun.

foot -- The word translated as "foot" refers to human feet, birds's talons, and trampling things.

offend -- "Offend" is a verb that means means "to cause to stumble", "to give offense," and "to scandalize." 

thee, -- The "thee" here is singular. This is uncommon for Christ when he is teaching, meaning that the line was likely addressed to an individual instead of all his listeners. 

cut -- "Cut off" is an uncommon verb for Jesus, used only here and in the next verse, that means "cut off", "hew off", "exclude from reckoning", "cut short", "bring to an abrupt close," and "smite in the breast from mourning." It is in the form of a command or request.

it -- The word translated as "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English.  

off  -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb.

it -- This pronoun comes from the singular/plural, third person form of the verb. 

is -- 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. 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." 

better -- The word translated as "good means "good", "beautiful", "noble," or "of good quality."  See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil."  The word translated as "well" means, as an adverb, "well", "rightly",  "happily",  "thoroughly", "altogether", and "deservedly".  

for -- These is no "for" in the Greek.

thee - The "thee" here is singular. This is uncommon for Christ when he is teaching, meaning that the line was likely addressed to an individual instead of all his listeners. The "maimed" appears here as an adjective modifying this pronoun.

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

enter -- "Enter" is a word that means "go or come into" and has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind."

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

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

life -- The word translated as "life" means "living" but it also means "substance", "existence," and "property." Christ uses it to mean "existence" beyond physical life.

halt -- "Halt" is an uncommon word for Jesus that means "lame", "limping," and "defective." A very similar word, cholos, which means "gall", "bitter", "angry," and "wrathful."

than -- "Than" is translated from a Greek word that means primary "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison. The same word could also be the exclamation "hi" or the adverb meaning "in truth."

having -- The word translated as "have" means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and many specific uses.  The form is that of an adjective, "having."

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

two -- The Greek word for "two" means "two" or a "couple."

feet -- The word translated as "feet" refers to human feet, birds's talons, and trampling things.

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

be -- This is from the passive form of the verb.

cast - The word translated as "cast" has a number of meanings revolving around "throw" as we do in English with both "throw" and "toss." Christ 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 "into" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

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

hell,  -- The word "hell" as the name of an area where a constant fire was kept for disposing of trash from Jerusalem. This area was originally where children were sacrificed to Baal, and Baal (Beelzebub, "lord of the flies"), Christ's personification of evil.

into the fire that never shall be quenched: -- None of these words exist in the source that we use today.

 

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."

ἐὰν (conj) "If" is ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if)and an (might)) which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event.

(article sg 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." 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."

πούς ( noun sg masc nom ) "Foot" is pous, which means a "foot", "a talon [of a bird]," and the concept of "to trample" or "to tred upon." -- The word translated as "feet" refers to human feet, birds's talons, and trampling things. It was the Jewish

σου (adj sg masc gen) "Thy" is sou which means "of you" and "your." 

σκανδαλίζῃ ( verb 2nd sg aor subj mid ) "Offend" is skandalizo, which means "to cause to stumble", "to give offense," and "to scandalize." -

σε (pron 2nd sg acc) "Thee" is from se, the second person singular accusative pronoun.

ἀπόκοψον [uncommon]( verb 2nd sg aor imperat act ) "Cut off" is apokopto, which means "cut off", "hew off", "exclude from reckoning", "cut short", "bring to an abrupt close," and "smite in the breast from mourning."

αὐτήν: ( adj sg fem acc ) "His" (adj sg masc acc) "Him" is 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." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

καλόν ( noun sg neut nom ) "Good" is kalos, which means "beautiful", "good", "of fine quality", "noble," and "honorable." It is most often translated as "good" juxtaposed with "evil" in the New Testament, but the two ideas are closer to "wonderful" and "worthless", "noble" and "base."

ἐστίν (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" 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.")

σε (pron 2nd sg acc) "Thee" is from se, the second person singular accusative pronoun. -

εἰσελθεῖν ( verb aor inf act ) "To enter" is eiserchomai which means both "to go into", "to come in", "to enter", "to enter an office", "to enter a charge," (as in court) and "to come into one's mind."

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)."

τὴν (article sg fem 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."

ζωὴν ( noun sg fem acc ) "Life" is zoe, which means "living", "substance", "property", "existence," and, incidentally, "the scum on milk." It has the sense of how we say "make a living" to mean property. Homer used it more to mean the opposite of death.

χωλὸν [uncommon]( adj sg masc acc ) "Halt" is from chôlos, which means "lame", "limping," and "defective." A very similar word, cholos, which means "gall", "bitter", "angry," and "wrathful."

(conj/adv)  "Than" is e which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than." OR (exclam) "Or" is e which is an exclamation meaning "hi!" OR (adv) "Or" is e, which is an adverb meaning "in truth" and "of a surety".

τὰς (article pl masc 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."

δύο (number) "Two" is duo, which means the number "two", "a couple," and "a pair."

πόδας ( noun pl masc acc) "Foot" is pous, which means a "foot", "a talon [of a bird]," and the concept of "to trample" or "to tred upon." -- The word translated as "feet" refers to human feet, birds's talons, and trampling things.

ἔχοντα ( part sg pres act masc acc ) "Having" is echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to have due to one", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to carry", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

βληθῆναι  (verb aor inf pass) "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."

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)."

τὴν (article sg fem 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."

γέενναν, ( noun sg fem acc ) "Hell" is geenna which is Greek for Gehenna, the valley of Hinnom (the Hebrew word), south of Jerusalem where trash, including diseased animals and human corpses was burned. A constant fire was kept burning there.

Wordplay: 

The word translated as "cast" usually is used in the sense of "tossed" but it also has the double meaning of "fall," which works well with the foot analogy.

Related Verses: 

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

This is a variation of verse in Mark 9:43. The first time, Jesus warns us of our hands, which is the symbol for our relationships with others. Here, the foot is the symbol for our physical bodies. Next is the eye, which is the symbol for our mental world.

In the underlying Greek, besides the change from "hand" to "foot," there is another slight change in vocabulary that represents the fun plays on words Christ likes to make. With one leg we "enter into life," but with two legs, we "fall" into the trash heap.  In the previous Mark 9:43, the word used is aperchomai, which is the idea of "departing" as in leaving from a relationship, which is what the hand symbolized.  But here, that word is changed to ballo, which means "to let fall," making a bigger joke on the "stumbling" (skandalizô) part of the verse, adding the idea of falling at the end. The foot symbolizes the physical part of life, so "falling" is a stronger analogy than simply "departing."

The point here is that physical handicaps are meaningless in terms of the bigger picture. The purpose of life is making spiritual progress. Our physical abilities or lack of them dictate what we can do in terms of functioning in this world, but they are immaterial in term of our physical progress. What we need to avoid is wasting our lives. Each age is unique and special. The end of the age is the accounting for our progress or lack of it.

Our failure to make progress in this life sticks with us forever but that doesn't mean that we cannot make progress when we fail.

Sep 22 2019