Matthew 10:15 ...It shall be more tolerable

KJV Verse: 

Mat 10:15 Verily I say to you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha on the day of judgment, than for that city.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Honestly, I am telling you. It is going to be more comfortable in a land, Sodom and Gomorra, in a time of crisis than for that city there.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

There is some tricky wording here, making points that are hard to see in English. The contrast here is between the physical area or ground of Sodom and the culture and society of the city rejecting the message but the time isn't necessarily the last judgment.

The "verily" phrase starts this verse. Its meaning is discussed in detail in this article.

"More tolerable" is the comparative form ("more") of an adjective which "bearable" or "sufferable."

The phrase "it shall be" is from the verb "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It is in the future tense.

The word translated as "for the land" refers to the physical ground or land, not the society. See this article for more on these words. It is in the form of an indirect object, which is used for an object of a comparison. The form of this word, feminine, does not match the comparative (more tolerable) which is either masculine or neutral, but the adjective can also be seen as an adverb. There is no article, "the" before the word, so not "the land" but "a land".

"Of Sodom" is the Greek letters for the biblical town. It does not have a Greek word ending but if it is interpreted that way, it would have to be plural possessive, not singular.

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

"Gomorra" is the Greek letters for the biblical town. It does not have a Greek word ending but if it is interpreted that way, it would have to be plural possessive, not singular.

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

The Greek word translated as "day" also means "time," in general, and refers specifically to the "daytime."

The Greek word translated as "judgment" means distinguishing among choices and "separating" things. Christ uses it in a variety of ways, though the KJV usually translates it as "judgment." It also means a "turning point," since it is the source of the meaning of "crisis" has in English. Only secondarily does it means "judgment" as in a court judgment.

While we have come to read lines like this as referring to the Last Judgment, in the Greek there is no article to distinguish this as "the day of judgment." The meaning here seems to be the challenge of any crisis or decision point.

"Than" is translated from a Greek word that means primary "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

The word translated as "that" is an adjective that highlights its noun as in a specific place from a word that means "there."

The Greek word for "city" meant not only a city but a nation, culture, or a society.

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἀμὴν (exclam indeclform_ "Verily" is from amen, which is from the Hebrew, meaning "truly", "of a truth," and "so be it." Though of Hebrew origin, it resembles a Greek word with a similar sound and meaning, the Greek word men, which is generally used to express certainty and, like amen, means "indeed", "certainly", "surely," and "truly."

λέγω (1st sg pres ind act) "I tell" is from lego means "pick up", "choose for oneself", "pick out," and "count," "recount", "tell over", "say", "speak", "teach", "mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," "nominate," and "command."

ὑμῖν, (pron pl masc acc) "You" is from humas the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ἀνεκτότερον (adj sg masc/neut acc comp OR adv comp) More tolerable" is anektoteros (the comparative "more" form of anektos), which "bearable", "sufferable", "that which can be endured," or "tolerable."

ἔσται (3rd sg fut ind mid) "It shall be" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

γῇ (noun sg fem dat) "For the land" is from ge, which means "the element of earth", "land (country)", "arable land", "the ground," and "the world" as the opposite of the sky. Like our English word "earth," it means both dirt and the planet.

Σοδόμων (indeclform) "Sodom" is from Sodoma, which means the biblical town of Sodom.

καὶ (conj) "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."

Γομόρρων ( indeclform) "Gomorra" is from Gomora, which is the name of the biblical town of Gomorra.

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".

ἡμέρᾳ (noun sg fem dat) "The day" is from 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)."

κρίσεως (noun sg fem gen) "Judgment" is from krisis, which means "separating", "distinguishing", "judgment", "choice", "election", "trial", "dispute", "event," and "issue."

(adv/conj) "Than" is from e which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than."

τῇ πόλει (noun sg fem dat) "" is from polis, which means "city", "citadel", "one's city", "one's country", "community", "state", "state affairs," and "civic duties." OR (3rd sg pres ind act) verb poleo, which means to "go about", "range over", "haunt", "revolve", "turn up the earth with the plough," and "plough."

ἐκείνῃ. (adj sg fem dat) "He" is from ekeinos (kakeinos), which means "the person there", "that person", "that thing", "in that case", "in that way", "at that place," and "in that manner."


 The play of the physical destruction of land against the historical destruction of a society. 

The Spoken Version: 

“Honestly, I am telling you,” he continued smiling and shaking his head.”It is going to be more comfortable in a land—.” He paused, thinking of the properly terrible description. “Sodom and Gomorra!” He announced, at last, saying the words as one of the Dedicated might. “In a time of crisis than for that city there.”
Most of the assembly laughed at this, though some took it seriously.

Related Verses: 



Front Page Date: 

May 22 2017