Luke 18:16 Suffer little children to come unto me,

KJV : 

Luke 18:16 Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Listeners Heard: 

Let these little kids pass to make their way towards me and you don't want to prevent them because of those like these is the realm of the Divine.

Lost in Translation: 

This verse is identical to Mark 10:14  and very similar to Matthew 19:14.

The word translated as "Suffer" primarily means "to let go" or "to pass by." This same word is usually translated as "leave," "forgive," "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. Here, the sense is "pass by" since they are being blocked.

"The children" is from a noun that means children and infants up to seven years of age. It is a diminutive form as we would say "kids." It has an article, so "these little kids" comes closer.

"Come" is from a verb that means "to come" and "to go." It is a little like we use the phrase "he is on his way,"or "to be under way," which can mean either that he is coming or going with no direct reference to the position of the speaker. More about Christ's use of this work in this article.  While "show up" usually works, "make their way" is comes closes because the verb is in a form where the subject acts on or for itself. It is an infinitive, "to make their way."

The word translated as "to" means "towards," "by reason of (for)," and "against."

"Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is can be translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used.

"Forbid" is from a verb that means "to hinder" and "to prevent."

The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, in written English, as "this is because..." to start a new sentence. It always appears in the second position.

Untranslated is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

"Of such" is from a word that is a strong form of the word that means "such" and "like such." Interestingly, Christ most commonly uses this word in describing children. This word and the article introducing it are both in the possessive case, which is used for a lot of purposes. It can mean that the kingdom is made of up of children or that it for the benefit of children or that it is possessed by children.

The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

The word translated as "of God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods. The sense is "of the Divine."


Ἄφετε  ( verb 2nd pl aor imperat act ) "Suffer" 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."

τὰ παιδία (noun pl neut nom/acc diminutive) "Children" is from paidion, which means "little child" or "young child," (up to seven years) "infant" or "young slave."

ἔρχεσθαι (verb pres inf mp) "Come" is erchomai, which means "to start," "to set out," "to come," "to go," and any kind of motion. It means both "to go" on a journey and "to arrive" at a place.

πρός (prep) "For" is pros, which means "on the side of," "in the direction of," "from (place)," "towards" "before," "in the presence of," "in the eyes of," "in the name of," "by reason of," "before (supplication)," "proceeding from (for effects)," "dependent on," "derivable from," "agreeable,""becoming," "like," "at the point of," "in addition to," "against," and "before."

με (noun sg masc acc) "Me" is eme, which means "I," "me," and "my."

καὶ "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "also." 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."

μὴ "Not" is from me , which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

κωλύετε (verb 2nd pl pres imperat act) "Forbid" is from kolyo, which means "to hinder," "withhold," and "to prevent."

αὐτὰ (adj pl neut acc) "Them" 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.

τῶν (article pl masc/fem gen) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

γὰρ "For" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for," "since," and "as." In an abrupt question it means "why" and "what." -

τοιούτων (adj pl neut gen) "Of such" is from toioutos, which means "such as this," "comparable," "similar," "alike," "in this way," "just so," and "even so." It is a stronger form of the word that means "such" and "like such."

ἐστὶν (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," and "is possible."

βασιλεία (noun pl neut nom) "The kingdom" is from basileia, which means "kingdom," "dominion," "hereditary monarchy," "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign."

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

Related Verses: 

Front Page Date: 

Oct 18 2018