Luke 11:20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

If, however, by a finger of a divinity, I myself toss out personal demons, straightway, it caught up to you, the realm of the divine. 

KJV : 

Luke 11:20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Again, though Greek puts the most important words first in the sentence, this verse puts the key idea last, as in a punch line. Its sense cannot be "the Spirit" as the KJV has it because the word form is all wrong for that meaning. The last phrase, "come to you" uses a unique word, not the word that is usually translated as "come" in the NT. 

The pronoun "I" is used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." In English, we do something similar saying "I myself". 

The Greek word for "spirit" also means "breath" or "wind." Christ uses it to describe the invisible force that animates living creatures. God is the primary, invisible animating force. However, this is not "the Spirit". The Greek article ("the") is not used. The sense is "a spirit". 

The word translated as "God' means "God" and "deity".  Christ usually uses this word with an article "the God" to refer to the Father, but here he doesn't use the article so "a god" or "a deity." 

The word translated as "by" primarily means "in", "with," and "into." It means "by" in the sense of physically "near" not as a source of power. In Greek, the sense is "in" and "in the name" of someone or "in the power" of someone. 

"Cast out" is a verb that means "throw out." Depending on the context, it can mean "toss out", "turn out," or "take out." It is usually translated as "cast out" in the NT. "Toss out" catches its sense of playfulness the way Christ uses it. "Finger" is from another uncommon (for Christ) Gree word that means "fingers", "toes", "the thumb" "an inch," and "a digit." It is used in the same sense that we might say, "keeping someone under your thumb." Since the term also means "toes", under someone's foot also works best.

The phrase, "the kingdom of God" appears at the very end of the verse, not in the middle. It is the punch-line. 

"Kingdom" is a Greek word that means "kingdom", "dominion", "royal power," and "reign." It is the same word used in the phrase "kingdom of heaven." It means that which is ruled by a specific person. It is not a synonym for a state, a country, or any social group of people. It is defined by its control or ownership by a master and refers both to people, organizations, and property under that control (see this article on the use of the "kingdom of heaven").

"Come" is a Greek verb that actually means "to come or do first". It has the sense of overtaking someone or beating them in a race. This is the only time Christ uses this word. This is no the typical word translated as "come" in the NT. In English, we would say "overtook you" or, since a preposition is used, "caught up to you". 

The Greek word "unto" primarily means "on" or "onto" but it also is often translated as "against." 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

εἰ (partic) "If" is from ei, which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect questions, "whether." It also means "if ever", "in case," and "whenever." It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions.

δὲ (partic) "But" is from de, which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

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

δακτύλῳ [uncommon](noun sg masc dat)  "Finger" is from daktylos, which means "finger", "thumb", "toes," a measure of length, "finger's breadth," "date," and "a kind of grape."

θεοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "God" is from theos, which means "God," "divine," and "Deity."

[ἐγὼ] (pron 1st sg nom) "I" is from ego, which is the first person singular pronoun meaning "I". It also means "I at least", "for my part", "indeed," and for myself. 

ἐκβάλλω (1st sg pres ind act) "Cast out" is from ekballo and means "throw out", "cast out of a place", "throw ashore", "drive out of", "banish", "expel", "publish", "strike out of", "let fall", "drop", "throw away", "cast aside", "reject, ""expose, ""go out", "depart", "divorce (a spouse)", "depose (a king)", "fell (trees)", "throw decisively (in wrestling)", "dig wells", "get rid of," in the passive, "to be ejected." Ek means "out of", "from," and "away from." Ballo is "to throw" or "to scatter."

τὰ δαιμόνια, (noun pl neut nom/acc) "Devils" is from daimonion, which means "divinity", "divine power", "a lower divine being," and "evil spirit."

ἄρα (partic) "Then" is from ara, which means "there and then", "straightway", "then", "next", "mark you!", "for this cause", "so true is it that," and "namely."

ἔφθασεν [uncommon](3rd sg aor ind act) "Come" is from phthanô, which means to "come or do first", "to act before others", "to be beforehand", "overtake", "outstrip", "arrive first", "make haste," as a participle, to express previous action or happening, with negative, "no sooner had we come," to express immediate futurity, "will soon (or inevitably)."

ἐφ᾽ (prep) "To" is from epi, (epi) which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against."

ὑμᾶς (pron 2nd pl acc) "You" is from humas  the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

 βασιλεία (noun sg fem nom) "The kingdom" is from basileia, which means "kingdom", "dominion", "hereditary monarchy", "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign."It means that which is ruled by a specific person, a basileus, which means "leader", "prince", "commander," or "king." Basileia is not a synonym for a state, a country, or any social group of people. A basileia is defined by its control or ownership by the master and refers both to people and property under that control.

τοῦ θεοῦ.(noun sg masc gen) "God" is from theos, which means "God," the Deity."

Front Page Date: 

Feb 19 2018