Matthew 24:40 Then shall two be in the field;

KJV Verse: 

Mat 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Then there are going to be two in the field, one is gotten and one is left alone.

Then there are going to be two in the field one is invited and one left alone.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The wordplay in this verse and the next (Mat 24:41) revolves around which one is to be desired: being "taken" or "left". The words themselves both have positive and negative connotations. In Mat 24: 31, the "chosen" are gathered, and we assume that is a good thing, but in explaining the parable of the weeds, Mat 13:49, it is clearly the evil who are gathered first.

"Then" is translated from a Greek word that means "at that time."

The verb "shall" here is the future form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. When it begins a sentence like this, the sense is, "there are going to be."

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

"Field" is from a noun that means "field", or "countryside."

The Greek translated as "taken" is very uncommon in the Gospels, but very common in Greek. One of the reasons it is so common is that it has a wide variety of different uses. It is from a verb that means to "to receive from", "to take upon oneself", and "to undertake". The root word is very common in the Gospels and its meaning is both to "take" and to "receive" as we use the word "get" in English. The literal meaning is something to "to get with" or "to get from". It also has a number of special meaning such as "to invite" and "to take a prisoner." As you can see, it doesn't quite mean "taken" except in the sense of taking prisoners. The form of the verb further complicates its meaning. For transitive meanings, such as "to take prisoner", this form acts as the passive, "to be taken prisoner", but for words where the passive doesn't work, such as "to undertake" (you can't "be undertaken"), it gives the word the sense of doing something for one's own benefit: "to undertake for one's benefit."

The word translated as "left" primarily means "to let go" "to pass by", or "to send away." This word is common both in Greek and in the Gospels. This word translated in a wide variety of ways, however, in the Gospels, "leave", "forgive", "suffer," (in the sense of "put up with") and "let" (in the sense of "to leave alone") in the New Testament. This word figures largely in modern Christianity because it is translated as "forgive" in phrases such as "forgive sins". Again, it is in the form where the subject acts on itself, so "to be let go by oneself", "to be forgiven by oneself" and "to be left alone by oneself".

Greek Vocabulary: 

τότε "Then" is from tote, which means "at that time" and "then."

ἔσονται (verb 3rd pl fut ind mid) "Shall" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." -

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

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

τῷ ἀγρῷ, "Field" is from agros, which means "field", "lands," or "country."

εἷς (noun sg masc nom) "One" is from heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

παραλαμβάνεται [uncommon](verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Taken" is from paralambano, which means "to receive from", "to take to oneself", "to admit", "to employ", "to undertake", "to take a pledge", "to take or to receive as a substitute", "to take up", "to catch up", "to invite", "to take to oneself" (as in a wife), "to get control of," and "to take a prisoner." In the passive, it means "to be received", "to be admitted", "to be accepted", "to be found", "to be used", "to be derived", "to be taken prisoner".

καὶ "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."

εἷς (noun sg masc nom) "One" is from heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

φίεται: (verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "I leave" is from aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "give up", "hand over", "to let loose", "to get rid of", "to leave alone", "to pass by", "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself."

The Spoken Version: 

"Then, he continued. "There are going to be two."

He held up two fingers.

"In the field," he continued, indicating the fields below. "One is taken away."

He grabbed on of this fingers with his other hand and took it away, leaving only one finger standing.

"And the other, left alone," he said, bobbing his hand with the finger sticking up as if it as walking away.

Related Verses: 

Aug 31 2016