Luke 12:53 The father shall be divided against the son,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

They shall be divided: father against son and son against father;  mother against daughter and daughter against the mother; mother-in-law against that daughter-in-law of hers, and daughter-in-law against the mother-in-law. 

KJV : 

Luke 12:53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is a more detailed statement than the version in Matthew 10:35, It has a couple of interesting features which makes more than a repetition of the humor regarding mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law, perhaps applying to a specific people in the audience who asked the question.  This is a quote from Mic 7:6.

"They shall be divided" is a verb, in the form of an adjective which means "to divide", "to separate," and "to be divided." It is a more complex form word that the word used in Matthew's version. The verb is passive, which is different than the Matthew version where Jesus says he is doing the separating. 

"Father" is the common word that Christ uses to address his own Father, though it can mean any male ancestor. When referring to others, Christ uses it to refer to their ancestors, that is, "forefathers." There is no article "the" used as shown in translation so the sense is either "father" or "a father". This is important because later one a couple articles are used. 

The word translated as "against" means "against", "before", "during", "by" or "on." This is a different preposition than the one used in Matthew. The Matthew's version is more negative since the preposition has the sense of "downwards". 

The word translated as "son" more generally means "child." It refers to all offspring in later generations, just like "father" refers to all previous generations. Jesus also used it metaphorically to describe those that follow a way of thought or set of beliefs that descend from an individual. More about it in this article.  There is no article used here either so "a son" or "son". 

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, it is best translated as "not only...but also." 

The father and son are simply reversed here, still both without articles. 

"Mother" is the common Greek word for "mother" and "grandmothers," but it also means "the source" of something. Again, no article is used, "a mother" or "mother" not "the mother". 

The word translated as "daughter" means any female descendant and was used to address female servants and slaves. Again, it appears without the article. 

Again, we have the "and" conjunction. 

The daughter and mother are reversed. but here "the mother" does use the article. This "the" may be a setup for what follows. 

This last section following is clearly humorous. Daughters-in-law and mothers-in-law have always been divided against each other. 

The word "mother-in-law" means "mother-in-law" as the female form of the word for "father-in-law."

The word translated as "her" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. Here, it appears after the word so the sense of "of hers". 

"Daughter-in-law" is from the Greek word meaning a young wife, especially as a bride. It also has a number of related meanings including "daughter-in-law." Here, it uses the article and it is followed by the "of hers" so "that daughter-in-law of hers". This adds emphasis to the word, which is, of course, the punchline of the humorous reference. 

Though a "her" appears before the last "mother-in-law", it doesn't appear in the Greek. It is simply "the mother". 

Related Verses: 

Matthew 10:35 For I have come to set a man at variance

Luke 12:52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided,

Greek Vocabulary: 

διαμερισθήσονται [uncommon](verb 3rd pl fut ind pass) "Shall be divided" is from diamerizowhich means ""divide", "distribute", "part", and "separate". 

πατὴρ (noun sg masc nom) "The Father" is pater, which means "father", "grandfather", "author", "parent," and "forefathers."

ἐπὶ (prep) "Against" is epi, which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," "during", and "against." --

υἱῷ (noun sg masc dat) "The Son" is huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child." It is used generally to refer to any male descendant.

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is 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." --

υἱὸς (noun sg masc nom ) "The Son" is huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child." It is used generally to refer to any male descendant. 

ἐπὶ (prep) "Against" is epi, which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," "during", and "against."

πατρί,” (noun sg masc dat) "The Father" is pater, which means "father", "grandfather", "author", "parent," and "forefathers."

μήτηρ (noun sg fem nom) "Mother" is mêtêr (meter), which means "mother", "grandmother", "mother hen", "source," and "origin."

ἐπὶ  (prep) "Against" is epi, which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," "during", and "against."

θυγατέρα (noun sg fem acc) "Daughter" is the Greek, thygater, which is generally a female descendant, "maidservant", "female slave," and "villages dependent on a city."

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is 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."

θυγάτηρ (noun sg fem nom) "Daughter" is the Greek, thygater, which is generally a female descendant, "maidservant", "female slave," and "villages dependent on a city." -

ἐπὶ  (prep) "Against" is epi, which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," "during", and "against." 

τὴν μητέρα,”(noun sg fem acc) "Mother" is mêtêr (meter), which means "mother", "grandmother", "mother hen", "source," and "origin."

πενθερὰ (noun sg fem nom)  "Mother-in-law" is from pentherawhich means "mother-in-law."

ἐπὶ (prep) "Against" is epi, which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," "during", and "against." 

τὴν νύμφην (noun sg fem acc) "Daughter-in-law" is from nymphe, which means "young wife", "bride", "marriageable maiden", "daughter-in-law", "young girl," the goddess of springs, Nymph or goddess of lower rank, "doll", "puppet", "opening rosebud," and "clitoris."

αὐτῆς (adj sg fem gen) "Her" is 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."  

καὶ "And" is 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." -- 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, it is best translated as "not only...but also." 

νύμφη (noun sg fem acc) "Daughter-in-law" is from nymphe, which means "young wife", "bride", "marriageable maiden", "daughter-in-law", "young girl," the goddess of springs, Nymph or goddess of lower rank, "doll", "puppet", "opening rosebud," and "clitoris."

ἐπὶ (prep) "Against" is epi, which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," "during", and "against." -- The word translated as "unto" means "against", "before", "during", "by" or "on." ​

τὴν πενθεράν.” (noun sg fem acc)  "Mother-in-law" is from pentherawhich means "mother-in-law."

Front Page Date: 

May 8 2018