Matthew 24:17 Let him who is on the housetop not come down

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

A long section about "the end of the world" or, more precisely, "the culmination of an era."

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

The one upon the rooftop must not come down to take up some things from that house of his.

My Takeaway: 

Be willing to sacrifice your possession for your life.

KJV : 

Matthew 24:17 Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house:

NIV : 

Matthew 24:17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The key word in this verse is misspelled, or at least, doesn't show parsed in the Perseus resource as it does in biblical resources. This verse is echoed again in Luke 17:31 and Mark 13:15 ,with the exact same problems with this word. Generally,

Wordplay: 

The word "rooftop" also means the house of Pluto, lord of the underworld, since it was above the underworld. 

The word translated as the verb "come down" is actually the noun that means "descending in lightning and thunder" but it also refers to descending into the netherworld. 

This verse may be a play on the words that Christ uses to describe himself coming down from heaven and rising from the grave. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

[692 verses](article sg masc nom) "He that is" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one.

ἐπὶ [138 verses](prep) "On" is from epi. which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," "in the presence of," and "against."

τοῦ [692 verses](article sg neut gen)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

δώματος [2 verses](noun sg neut gen) "The housetop" is doma, which means a "a house", "a hall", "housetop", "chief room", "household," or "a family." It has a special meaning referring to the house of Pluto, the god of the underworld.

μὴ [447 verses](partic) "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.

καταβάτω [1 verse](adj sg masc gen) "Come down" is katabatos, an adjective meaning "steep" and "descending".  OR  [3 verses](noun sg masc gen) "Come down" could also be the noun katabates, which means "one who dismounts". OR [25 verses](verb 3rd sg aor imperat) "Come down" is katabaino, which means "go down", "come down from," and "dismount from." The actual spelling is that of an adjective καταβατός but the word is assumed by KJV translators to be an alternative spelling of καταβαινέτω.

ἆραι [56 verses][verb 3rd sg aor opt act or verb aor inf act) "To take" is from airo, which means "to lift up", "to raise", "to raise up", "to exalt", "to lift and take away," and "to remove." OR (verb 2nd sg pres subj mp) "To take" is from apaomai, which means to "pray to," or "pray for."

τὰ [252 verses] (pl neut nom/acc) "Any thing" is tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."

ἐκ {ἐξ} [121 verses] (prep) "Out of" is from ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of", "from", "by", "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond", "outside of", "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after", "from;" 4) [of rest] "on", "in," 5) [of time] "since", "from", "at", "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of", "made from."

τῆς [692 verses](article sg fem acc/gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

οἰκίας [29 verses](noun sg fem acc/gen) "House" is from oikos, which means "house", "dwelling place", "room", "home", "meeting hall", "household goods", "substance," and "ruling family." It is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house.

αὐτοῦ, [720 verses](adj sg masc gen) "His" 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."

KJV Analysis: 

Let -- This "let" is the helping verb used to translate the Greek form of the third-person command. In English all commands are in the second-person. This form is used as something like our word "must."

him  - (CW) The word translated as "him" is from the Greek article, "the," which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one."

who is -- (IP) There are no Greek words that can be translated as "who is" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. It was added for clarity.

on  - The word translated as "on" means "against", "before", "in the presence of" or "on." Here, given the context,

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. 

housetop--  "Housetop" is translated from a Greek word that is the source of our word domicile. Though Christ uses it to mean "housetop" in other verses, the use here seems to be more metaphorical. When this term is applied to the gods, it refers to the house of Plato, the lord of the underworld, which is a double meaning here.

not -- (CW) The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. This is the usual negative used with command since commands are an expression of opinion. The sense is "I don't want him" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used.  This fits both with a command (the KJV interpretation) or the form of the verb that indicates someone wishes something to be done, or, in this case, doesn't wish it,which is the possible form of the "to take" verb used here.

come --  The confusion here is with the word translated as "come down." The KJV version assumes that it is an alternative spelling of a verb meaning to "go down". If we assume the word was the misspelled verb, its meaning is "come down," a third party command ("he must not" or "don't let him"). However, if it is the correct spelling for an adjective meaning "descending", which also works here if we assume the "to take" is a form of verb.

down  -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "down."

to - This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

take -- "To take" is from one of Christ's favorite "multiple meaning" words. It is a verb that means "to raise up", "elevate", "to bear", "to carry off", "to take and apply to any use," and "to cause to cease." Its form means "to lift," or "wishes to lift up." It is also a form of the word for "prayer" and it means "you pray to" in this form. Jesus uses this verb to refer to what will happen to "the son of man," which can apply either to his being raised from the dead or lifted up on the cross. Here the form is either the infinite ("to take"), which the KJV assumes or an active verb in the from of someone wishing for something, it his case, "he doesn't want to take up."

anything  - (WN) The Greek word translated as "anything" in the singular means "anyone", "someone," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some", "they," and "those." Here the word is in the plural, so "those things."

out of  - The Greek preposition translated as "out of" means "out of" or "from."

his -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. It follows the noun so "of his."

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. 

house: The Greek word translated as "house," is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house. It means the household or clan that lives in the building as well. The house could refer to the ruling house of the underworld.

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "him" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "who is" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" is the subjective negative of opinion with the sense of "not wanting," "not thinking" or not seeming when used with a non-opinion verb.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "anything" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural, "some things."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "house" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

Let -- This "let" is the helping verb used to translate the Greek form of the third-person command. In English all commands are in the second-person. This form is used as something like our word "must."

no -- (CW, WP) The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. This is the usual negative used with command since commands are an expression of opinion. The sense is "I don't want him" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used.  This fits both with a command (the KJV interpretation) or the form of the verb that indicates someone wishes something to be done, or, in this case, doesn't wish it,which is the possible form of the "to take" verb used here.

one - (CW) The word translated as "him" is from the Greek article, "the," which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one."

on  - The word translated as "on" means "against", "before", "in the presence of" or "on." Here, given the context,

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. 

housetop--  "Housetop" is translated from a Greek word that is the source of our word domicile. Though Christ uses it to mean "housetop" in other verses, the use here seems to be more metaphorical. When this term is applied to the gods, it refers to the house of Plato, the lord of the underworld, which is a double meaning here.

go --  The confusion here is with the word translated as "go down." The NIV assumes that it is an alternative spelling of a verb meaning to "go down" a third party command ("he must not" or "don't let him"). However, if it is the correct spelling for an adjective meaning "descending", which also works here if we assume the "to take" is a form of verb.

down  -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "down."

to - This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

take -- "To take" is from one of Christ's favorite "multiple meaning" words. It is a verb that means "to raise up", "elevate", "to bear", "to carry off", "to take and apply to any use," and "to cause to cease." Its form means "to lift," or "wishes to lift up." It is also a form of the word for "prayer" and it means "you pray to" in this form. Jesus uses this verb to refer to what will happen to "the son of man," which can apply either to his being raised from the dead or lifted up on the cross. Here the form is either the infinite ("to take"), which the KJV assumes or an active verb in the from of someone wishing for something, it his case, "he doesn't want to take up."

anything  - (WN) The Greek word translated as "anything" in the singular means "anyone", "someone," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some", "they," and "those." Here the word is in the plural, so "those things."

anything out of the house.

out of  - The Greek preposition translated as "out of" means "out of" or "from."

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. 

house: The Greek word translated as "house," is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house. It means the household or clan that lives in the building as well. The house could refer to the ruling house of the underworld.

missing "of his"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. It follows the noun so "of his."

NIV Translation Issues: 

6
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "no" is the subjective negative of opinion with the sense of "not wanting," "not thinking" or not seeming when used with a non-opinion verb.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "no" doesn't appear here but before the verb "go down."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "one" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "who is" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "anything" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural, "some things."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "of his" after"house" is not shown in the English translation.

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Jesus's ideas here could be a specific prophecy or they are applied to the fall of Jerusalem or any civilization, and they can also be applied the death of a single person.

Front Page Date: 

Sep 14 2021