Matthew 24:41  Two women shall be grinding at the mill

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

A long section about "the end of the world" or, more precisely, "the culmination of an era." The appearance of stability before a crisis is an illusion.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Two grinding in the mill, one is taken prisoner and one woman is left.

Two grinding in the mill, one woman is invited and one woman left alone.

My Takeaway: 

People are always being left and taken and we don't know if that is a good thing or bad.

KJV : 

Matthew 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

NIV : 

Matthew 24:41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

What is Lost in Translation: 

There is no future tense here. This is not a prediction of the future but a statement about now.

The wordplay in this verse and the previous one (Matthew 24:40) revolves around which one is to be desired: being "taken" or "left." The words themselves both have positive and negative connotations. In Mat 24: 31, the "chosen" are gathered, and we assume that is a good thing, but in explaining the parable of the weeds, Matthew 13:49, it is clearly the evil who are gathered first.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

δύο [36 verses](numeral)"Two" is from duo, which means the number "two," "a couple," and "a pair."

ἀλήθουσαι [2 verses] (part pl pres act fem nom) "Grind" is from aletho which is a form of aleo, which means "to grind," "to bruise," and "to mill."

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."

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

μύλῳ, [1 verses](noun sg masc dat) "Mill" is from mylon, which means "mill," "millstone," "grinder," "molar," and, generally, "stone."

μία [85 verses](noun sg fem nom) "One" is from heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

παραλαμβάνεται [8 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Taken" is from paralambano, which means "to receive from," "to take to oneself," "to admit," "to employ," "to undertake," "to take a pledge," "to take or to receive as a substitute," "to take up," "to catch up," "to invite," "to take to oneself" (as in a wife), "to get control of," and "to take a prisoner." In the passive, it means "to be received," "to be admitted," "to be accepted," "to be found," "to be used," "to be derived," "to be taken prisoner."

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "And" is from 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."

μία [85 verses](noun sg fem nom) "One" is from heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

ἀφίεται. [73 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Left" is 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."

KJV Analysis: 

Two  - The Greek word for "two" means "two" or a "couple."

women - This is from the feminine form of the participle.

shall -- (WT) There is nothing that can be translated as "shall" in the Greek source. The following verb is not the future tense nor in a form that requires a "might" or "should."

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

grinding  - The Greek verb translated as "grinding" is from a verb that means "to grind" and "to mill." It is in the form of an adjective, "grinding," in the feminine word form (hence "woman") and in the present tense, not the future.

at  - The word translated as "at" also means  "in," "within," "with," or "among."

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. 

mill;  - The Greek word translated as "mill" means "mill," "millstone," and generally "stone." It is not related to the word "grind" above, but it is the same word translated as "millstone" in Matthew 18:6. The earlier reference modified the word "mill" or "stone" with the word "of an ass," indicating that it was a large grinding stone rotated by an ass.

the -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "the" in the Greek source.

one  - The word translated as "one" here are in the female form, which looks very different than the male form of the word seen in the previous verse, but they are the same word.

shall -- (WT) There is nothing that can be translated as "shall" in the Greek source. The following verb is not the future tense.

be -- This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

taken,  - (CW) The Greek translated as "taken" is very uncommon in the Gospels, but very common in Greek. One of the reasons it is so common is that it has a wide variety of different uses. It is from a verb that means to "to receive from," "to take upon oneself," and "to undertake." The root word is very common in the Gospels and its meaning is both to "take" and to "receive," as we use the word "get" in English. The literal meaning is something to "to get with" or "to get from." It also has a number of special meanings such as "to invite" and "to take a prisoner." For transitive meanings, such as "to take prisoner," this form acts as the passive, "to be taken prisoner."

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

the -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "the" in the Greek source.

other  - (WW)   - The word translated as "other" here is the same as the word translated as "one" above.

left. -  The word translated as "left" primarily means "to let go" "to pass by," or "to send away." This word is common both in Greek and in the Gospels. This word translated in a wide variety of ways, however, in the Gospels, "leave," "forgive," "suffer," (in the sense of "put up with") and "let" (in the sense of "to leave alone") in the New Testament. This word figures largely in modern Christianity because it is translated as "forgive" in phrases such as "forgive sins."

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "shall" indicates the future tense, but that is not the tense here.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "one" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "shall" indicates the future tense, but that is not the tense here.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "taken" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "other" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "other" should be something more like "one."

NIV Analysis: 

Two  - The Greek word for "two" means "two" or a "couple."

women - This is from the feminine form of the participle.

will -- (WT) There is nothing that can be translated as "shall" in the Greek source. The following verb is not the future tense nor in a form that requires a "might" or "should."

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

grinding  - The Greek verb translated as "grinding" is from a verb that means "to grind" and "to mill." It is in the form of an adjective, "grinding," in the feminine word form (hence "woman") and in the present tense, not the future.

with - (WW) The word translated as "at" also means  "in," "within," "with," or "among."

a -- (WW) The word translated as "a" 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. 

hand -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "hand" in the Greek source.

mill;  - The Greek word translated as "mill" means "mill," "millstone," and generally "stone." It is not related to the word "grind" above, but it is the same word translated as "millstone" in Matthew 18:6. The earlier reference modified the word "mill" or "stone" with the word "of an ass," indicating that it was a large grinding stone rotated by an ass.

one  - The word translated as "one" here are in the female form, which looks very different than the male form of the word seen in the previous verse, but they are the same word.

will -- (WT) There is nothing that can be translated as "will" in the Greek source. The following verb is not the future tense.

be -- This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

taken,  - (CW) The Greek translated as "taken" is very uncommon in the Gospels, but very common in Greek. One of the reasons it is so common is that it has a wide variety of different uses. It is from a verb that means to "to receive from," "to take upon oneself," and "to undertake." The root word is very common in the Gospels and its meaning is both to "take" and to "receive," as we use the word "get" in English. The literal meaning is something to "to get with" or "to get from." It also has a number of special meanings such as "to invite" and "to take a prisoner." For transitive meanings, such as "to take prisoner," this form acts as the passive, "to be taken prisoner."

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

the -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "the" in the Greek source.

other  - (WW)   - The word translated as "other" here is the same as the word translated as "one" above.

left. -  The word translated as "left" primarily means "to let go" "to pass by," or "to send away." This word is common both in Greek and in the Gospels. This word translated in a wide variety of ways, however, in the Gospels, "leave," "forgive," "suffer," (in the sense of "put up with") and "let" (in the sense of "to leave alone") in the New Testament. This word figures largely in modern Christianity because it is translated as "forgive" in phrases such as "forgive sins."

NIV Translation Issues: 

8
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "will" indicates the future tense, but that is not the tense here.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "with" should be something more like "in."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "a" should be something more like "the."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "hand" before "mill" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "will" indicates the future tense, but that is not the tense here.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "taken" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "other" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "other" should be something more like "one."

Front Page Date: 

Oct 8 2021