Luke 9:60 Let the dead bury their dead:

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Leave the dying to bury the ones of themselves dying. You yourself, however, going away give the realm of the Divine message. 

KJV : 

Luke 9:60 Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The last part of this verse 

The word translated as "leave" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. It is from a noun that means "letting go" or "release." It is also in the form of a command.

The word translated as "the dead" means "corpse" and "a dying man." It is plural not singular as it would be if it referred to the boy's dead father. So if refers to a group of people, "the dying". It is in the form of an object, describing what to leave. The command is "Leave the dying."

The word translated as "bury" means "bury" but it also means "to pay the last dues to a corpse", "to honor with funeral rites." The form of this verb, however, has two potential meanings. It could be the infinitive ("to bury") though they don't actually translate it that way. If it was an infinitive, the literal translation would be "leave the dead to bury the dead". However, its form could also be a second person command, simply, "Bury!" Because of the potential confusion, Christ clarifies his meaning in the following word.

The word translated as "their" actually means "themselves". It is in a possessive form, referring to the earlier noun "the dead", not the one that follows. It could be a simple "of themselves" or it could be used in apposition, so "who are themselves".

The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun but here is separated by "of themselves" above. When standing alone, the sense is "the ones".  The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

The word translated as "dead" means "corpse" and "a dying man." It is again plural.

The Greek word translated as "but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. When used in writing, it creates complex sentences, but when spoken, it makes a good pausing point so that an important or humorous word can follow.

The "you" here is the singular, pronoun in the form of a subject.Since this information is part of the verb, the use of the pronoun emphasizes the "you" as we might say "you yourself."

The Greek verb translated as "go" means "to go away," "to depart from", "to spread abroad," and "to depart from life." It is not the common verb used by Jesus translated as "go" in the Gospels, but it is not rared. It is usually used to means "go away". The form of the verb is not a command as translated, but it indicates the use of the verb as an adjective, "going away" or "getting away". 

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.

Wordplay: 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ἄφες (2nd sg aor imperat act) "Let" 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."

τοὺς νεκροὺς (noun pl masc acc) "The dead" is from nekros, which specifically means "a corpse" as well as a "dying person", "the dead as dwellers in the netherworld", "the inanimate," and "the inorganic"

θάψαι (aor inf act or 2nd sg aor imperat) "Bury" is from thapto, which also means "to pay the last dues to a corpse", "to honor with funeral rites."

τοὺς (article pl masc acc) "The" 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."

ἑαυτῶν (adj pl masc gen) "Their" is from heautouis a reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself", "itself" "themselves," and "ourselves." It is an alternative to autos.

νεκρούς. (noun pl masc acc) "Dead" is from nekros, which specifically means "a corpse" as well as a "dying person", "the dead as dwellers in the netherworld", "the inanimate," and "the inorganic"

σὺ (pron 2nd sg nom) "You" is  su the singular pronoun of the second person, "you."

δὲ (conj/adv) "But" is 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"). 

ἀπελθὼν (part sg aor act masc nom) "Go " is aperchomai, which means "to go away," "to depart from", "to spread abroad," and "to depart from life."

διάγγελλε [unique] (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Preach" is diaggello which means "give notice by messenger", "noise abroad", and "proclaim". 

τὴν βασιλείαν (noun sq fem acc) "The kingdom" is 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." 

Front Page Date: 

Jan 1 2018