Matthew 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise...

KJV Verse: 

Matthew 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
 

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Males of Nineveh are going to raise themselves in the decision with this type of person. And they are going to decide against it because they changed their minds in regards to the proclamation. And look! Something greater of Jonah: here! 

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The end of this verse is very different in Greek, seemingly referring to the idea that something greater than the preaching of Jonah is here. The word translated as "generation" has a much broader meaning as well. Was Christ speaking only about his own generation or to a certain type of person? 

"Men" is a noun that isn't the normal Greek word translated as "man" but a special word that indicates that manliness of "men," both for good and bad. In English, we would say "male." It emphasizes the adult man when compared to a youth or the mortality of a man when compared to the divinity of God. It is also used to mean "husband."

"Shall rise " is a Greek verb that means "to make to stand up", "to raise from the dead", "to rouse to action," and "to make people rise up." In the future form used, it indicates the men acting on themselves, so, "are going to raise themselves."

The Greek word translated as "judgment" means distinguishing among choices and "separating" things. Christ uses it in a variety of ways, while the KJV usually translates it as "judgment," but in doing so, Christ seems to make contradictory statements ("I judge no one", "The Father does not judge but has given all judgment to the Son,") so he obviously uses it to means different things based on the context. 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.

"Generation" is a Greek word that means "race", "family", "offspring," and "age." Christ uses it to mean a certain type of person. This is the root word for our word "genus", "generic," "general", and "generation."

The verb translated as "shall condemn" is a verb form of the word translated as "judgment" above. It means "to judge against" or "decide against."

The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause. To separate phrases, it can be translated as "this is because."

The word translated as "repent" primarily means "to change minds."

The word translated as "preaching" means "proclamation" or "announcement." Jonah actually didn't preach to Nineveh. He announced that God would destroy them if they didn't reform. Jonah was personally disappointed that Nineveh, Israel's enemy, listened to his warnings and changed their ways. Jonah was the herald, predicting God's wrath. Jonah was a flawed herald in the sense that he didn't want God to spare Nineveh even if they did reform. Jonah wanted God to judge people by who they were (enemies of Israel) rather than what they did (change their ways).

"See" is a Greek verb that means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know." It is in a form of a command tell listeners to acts on themselves "See for yourselves." We would say "Look!" in English. 

The word translated as "a greater" is an adjective meaning "greater" but it is neutral, not masculine. This gives it the sense of "something greater" rather than indicating someone greater. 

The "than Jonah" is in the form of "of Jonah", the same form of the word used after "preaching". The sense is that something greater of Jonah than his preaching.

The word translated a "here" means "here I am" when the speaker is referring to himself. However, here it refers to the "something greater of Jonah than his preaching" is here. 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἄνδρες (noun pl masc nom) "The men" is from aner, which means "a man (as opposed to a god)", "a man (as opposed to a woman)", "a husband", "a man in the prime of life (as opposed to a youth)," and "a man indeed."

Νινευεῖται (noun sg gen) "Of Nineveh" is from Nineuites which is the Greek from of the kingdom's name from the story of Jonah.

ἀναστήσονται (3rd pl fut ind mid) "Shall rise" is from anistemi, which means "to make stand up", "to raise up", "to raise from sleep", "to wake up", "to raise from the dead", "to rouse to action", "to put up for sale", "to make people rise", "to emigrate", "to transplant," and "to rise and leave the sanctuary."

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".

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

μετὰ (prep) "With" is from meta, which means "in the midst of", "among", "between", "in common", "along with", "by the aid of", "in one's dealings with", "into the middle of", "coming into", "in pursuit of", "after", "behind", "according to," and "next afterward"

τῆς γενεᾶς (noun sg fem gen) "Generation" is from genea, which means "race", "family", "generation", "class," and "kind." It is a form of the word from which we get the scientific word,"genus."

ταύτης (adj sg fem gen) "This" is from tauta, which is a referring pronoun meaning "these", "this", "that," and "here." It can mean the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why."

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."

κατακρινοῦσιν (verb 3rd pl pres ind act or verb 3rd pl fut ind act or verb 3rd pl aor subj pass or verb 3rd pl aor subj act  or part pl pres/fut act masc/neut dat) "Shall condemn" is katakrinô, which means "to give a sentence against," and "to condemn."

αὐτήν: (adj sg fem acc) "It" is from 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."

ὅτι "That" is from hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore." -- In the Greek source, this is a word here that means "that" or "because." So what follows is a dependent clause, indicating either what they were "saying" or why they were saying it.

μετενόησαν (3rd pl aor ind act) "Repented" is metanoeô, which means "to perceive too late", "too perceive afterwards", "to change one's mind or o," and "to repent."

εἰς (prep) "At" is from 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)."

τὸ κήρυγμα (noun sg neut nom/acc) "Preaching" is kêrugma, which means "proclamation", "announcement," and "that which is proclaimed by a herald.

Ἰωνᾶ, (proper noun) "Jonas" is from Ionas, the Greek word for the OT prophet Jonah.

καὶ (and) "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."

ἰδοὺ (2nd sg aor imperat mid or 2nd sg aor ind mid) "Behold" is from eido which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

πλεῖον (adj sg neut nom) "A greater than" is from pleiôn, which means "more [of number, size, extent]", "longer [of time], ""greater than, ""further than," (with an article) "the greater number", "the mass or crowd", "the greater part", "the advantage. As an adverb, "more," or "rather."

Ἰωνᾶ (proper noun) "Jonas" is from Ionas, the Greek word for the OT prophet Jonah.

ὧδε. (adv) Here" is hode, the demonstrative pronoun which means "this" in the sense of "what is present" and "what can be seen." With verbs of action and with a person (its use here), it means "here" as in "here I am" in the sense of "I am present."

Related Verses: 

Aug 7 2017