Matthew 24:41  Two women shall be grinding at the mill

KJV Verse: 

Mat 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Two grinding in the mill, one woman is gotten and one woman is left alone.

Two grinding in the mill, one woman is invited and one woman left alone.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse reflects the previous one (Mat 24:40) but it addresses the fate of women. Again, it is hard to tell if being "taken" or "left" is better. There is no future tense here, but it takes that sense from the verb introducing the previous verse.

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

The Greek verb translated as "two women shall be grinding" is from a verb that means "to grind" and "to mill." It is in the form of an adjective, "grinding", in the feminine word form (hence "woman") and in the present tense, not the future.

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

The Greek word translated as "mill" means "mill", "millstone", and generally "stone". It is not related to the word "grind" above, but it is the same word translated as "millstone" in Mat 18:6. The earlier reference modified the word "mill" or "stone" with the word "of an ass", indicating that it was a large grinding stone rotated by an ass.

The words translated as "one" here are in the female form, which looks very different than the male form of the word seen in the previous verse, but they are the same word.

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: 

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

ἀλήθουσαι [uncommon] (part pl pres act fem nom) "Grind" is from aletho which is a form of aleo, which means "to grind", "to bruise," and "to mill."

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 μύλῳ, (noun sg masc dat) "Mill" is from mylon, which means "mill", "millstone", "grinder", "molar", and, generally, "stone".

μία (noun sg fem 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."

μία (noun sg fem 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.

ἀφίεται. (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: 

"Two women are grinding," he said emphasizing the final word and grinding his first into his hand.

His followers chuckled.

"At the mill," he explained innocently, which brought more chuckles.

"One is taken away," he continued, pulling away his fist. "And the other is left alone."

He lifted his remaining hand, showing its empty palm to his followers.

Related Verses: 

Sep 1 2016