Matthew 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

A long section about "the end of the world" or, more precisely, "the culmination of an era." This section on remaining watchful not knowing the future.

KJV : 

Matthew 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,​

Literal Verse: 

He might show up, the master of this slave there, on a day that he is really doesn't expect before and on an hour that he really doesn't know.

What is Lost in Translation: 

The negatives here are the negative of fact, not opinion, and yet they are used with verbs of opinion, "not look/expect" and "not aware of." This contradiction is part of the humor of this verse, which acts as a setup line for the exaggerated punchline of the comedic story that began in the previous verse.

My Takeaway: 

What gets us in trouble is that we think we can predict the future.

Greek : 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἥξει [11 verses](3rd sg aor subj act or 3rd sg fut ind act ) "Shall come" is heko, which means "to arrive," "to have come," "to be present," "to have reached a point, "to pass though a point (geometry)," "to have come back," "returned," "to have come to table," "concern," "relate to," "to depend upon," and, as a metaphor, "to be a follower."

[821 verses](article sg masc dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

κύριος (noun sg masc dat) "Lord" is from kyrios (kurios), which means "having power," "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

τοῦ [821 verses](article sg masc gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

δούλου (noun sg masc gen) "Servant" is from doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."

ἐκείνου [107 verses](adj sg masc gen) "He" is ekeinos, which means "the person there," "that person," "that thing," "in that case," "in that way," "at that place," and "in that manner."

ἐν [413 verses](prep) "In" is from en, which means "in," "on," "at," "by," "among," "within," "surrounded by," "in one's hands," "in one's power," and "with."

ἡμέρᾳ [96 verses](noun sg fem dat) "A day" is from hemera, which, as a noun, means "day" "a state or time of life," "a time (poetic)," "day break" and "day time." It is also and also has a second meaning, of "quiet," "tame (animals)," "cultivated (crops)," and "civilized (people)."

[294 verses](pron sg fem dat) "When" is from hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

οὐ [269 verses](partic) "Not" is from ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.

προσδοκᾷ [2 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind/subj act) "When he looketh" is from prosdokao, which means "expect," "think," "look for," and "suppose."

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "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."

ἐν [413 verses](prep) "In" is from en, which means "in," "on," "at," "by," "among," "within," "surrounded by," "in one's hands," "in one's power," and "with."

ὥρᾳ [37 verses](noun sg fem dat) "An hour" is from hora, which means "any period," "season," (especially springtime), "year' (generally), "climate" (as determined by seasons), "duration," "the twelve equal parts into which the period of daylight was divided," "the fitting time" (for a task).

[294 verses](pron sg fem dat) "When" is from hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

οὐ [269 verses](partic) "Not" is from ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.

γινώσκει, [62 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind act ) "Aware of," is from ginosko which means "to learn to know," "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive."

KJV Analysis: 

The -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

lord . -- The word translated as "lord" is the same word that is often translated as "Lord" or "the Lord" in the NT. It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

that  - The word translated as "that" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there." It follows the noun.

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word 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. 

servant The noun translated as "servant" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible.

shall -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense or a form that indicates possibility at some time. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

come  - (CW) The word translated as "come" is a complicated one because it indicates a "coming" that has been completed, that is, "to arrive" or, even, "to be present." As a metaphor, it means "to be a follower." This is not the regular word translated throughout the NT as "come."

in -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

day  - The Greek word translated as "day" also means "time," in general, and refers specifically to the "daytime."

when  - (CW) The word translated as "when" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause. This is translated as "that" below.

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

looketh  - (WW) The verb translated as "looketh," it means "expect," "think," "look for," and "suppose." It is not one of the common words for "see" or "look." The root is a word meaning "expect," "suppose," or "imagine" with a prefix that means "before."

not  - The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea.

for -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "before" and "from" a place.

him, -- There is no Greek pronoun here, but Greek does not need pronouns when the object can be assumed from the context. In English, they are added for the subject-verb-object form of our sentences.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

in -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

an   -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

hour  - The word translated as "an hour" means a period of time, generally, as we might say "moment."

that  -  The word translated as "that" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause. This is the same word as the "when" above.

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

is -- This helping verb indicates the present tense of the verb.

not - The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea.

aware of,​  - (CW)  "Aware of" is from a verb that means "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn. This is the Greek word usually translated as "know" though Jesus often uses it to mean "learn."

KJV Translation Issues: 

4
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "servant" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "come" is not the common word usually translated as "come."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "when" is not the common word usually translated as "when."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "aware of" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.

NIV : 

Matthew 24:50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.

NIV Analysis: 

The -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

master . -- The word translated as "master " is the same word that is often translated as "Lord" or "the Lord" in the NT. It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

that  - The word translated as "that" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there." It follows the noun.

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word 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. 

servant The noun translated as "servant" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible.

will -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense or a form that indicates possibility at some time. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

come  - (CW) The word translated as "come" is a complicated one because it indicates a "coming" that has been completed, that is, "to arrive" or, even, "to be present." As a metaphor, it means "to be a follower." This is not the regular word translated throughout the NT as "come."

on -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

day  - The Greek word translated as "day" also means "time," in general, and refers specifically to the "daytime."

when  - (CW) The word translated as "when" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause. This is translated as "that" below.

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

does -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

not  - The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea.

expect - The verb translated as "expect ," it means "expect," "think," "look for," and "suppose." It is not one of the common words for "see" or "look." The root is a word meaning "expect," "suppose," or "imagine" with a prefix that means "before."

missing "before"  -- (MW) The untranslated prefix of the previous verb that means "before" and "from" a place.

him, -- There is no Greek pronoun here, but Greek does not need pronouns when the object can be assumed from the context. In English, they are added for the subject-verb-object form of our sentences.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

at -- The word translated as "at " means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

an   -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

hour  - The word translated as "an hour" means a period of time, generally, as we might say "moment."

missing "that"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "that" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause. This is the same word as the "when" above.

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

is -- This helping verb indicates the present tense of the verb.

not - The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea.

aware of,​  - (CW)  "Aware of" is from a verb that means "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn. This is the Greek word usually translated as "know" though Jesus often uses it to mean "learn."

NIV Translation Issues: 

6
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "servant" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "come" is not the common word usually translated as "come."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "when" is not the common word usually translated as "when."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "before" after "expect" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "aware of" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.

Related Verses: 

Unimportant Opinions and Imaginings: 

"He might show up," the teacher continued. "The master of this slave there."

He indicated the follower playing the role of the servant.

"On a day that he is really doesn't expect," he continued, indicating the time of day by pointing at the sun. "And on an hour that he really doesn't know.

Front Page Date: 

Oct 17 2021