Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know no

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 does not mean that change will not soon show up.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Wake up! Really! Because you really haven't seen on which day that master of yours shows up for himself.

My Takeaway: 

We have not seen the present much less the future.

KJV : 

Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

NIV : 

Matthew 24:42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse is not about the future.

The "know" is in the past, perfect tense, "have seen" not the present tense, as translated. It doesn't mean "know" as much as "see." The common Greek word usually translated as "know" appears in the very next verse but not here.

Worse, the "come" is in the present tense, the "doth come" in the KJV tries to make it seem like the future tense, but the NIV is more blatant, making it "will come." Jesus is saying something about his presence with them, not any future coming. The verb translated as "come" can also mean "go," though it is never translated that way in the Gospels but this could be a reference to his death.

This verse is funny because just a little later in the story, the apostles will be falling asleep in the same garden when Jesus has asked them to stay away.

Greek Vocabulary: 

γρηγορεῖτε [14 verses] (2nd pl pres imperat act) "Watch" is from gregoreo, which means "to become fully awake," and "to watch."

οὖν [82 verses](adv) "Therefore" is from oun, which means "certainly," "in fact," "really," "in fact," "so" and "then" (continuing a narrative), and "then" and "therefore."

ὅτι [332 verses](adv/conj)"For" is from hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that," "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore." --

οὐκ [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. -- 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.

οἴδατε [38 verses](verb 2nd pl perf ind act) "Ye know" is oida which is a form of eido, (eido) which means "to see," "to examine," "to perceive," "to behold," "to know how to do," "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

ποίᾳ [13 verses](adj sg fem dat) "What" is from poios, which means "of what kind," "whose," "what," and "which."

ἡμέρᾳ [96 verses](noun sg fem dat) "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)."

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

κύριος [92 verses](noun sg masc nom) "Lord" is 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."

ὑμῶν [168 verses](pron 2nd pl gen) "Your" is from humon, the plural possessive form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." -- The word translated as "your" is plural addressing a group of Jesus's listeners.

ἔρχεται.[198 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Doth 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.

KJV Analysis: 

Watch  - "Watch" is from a Greek verb that also means "to be or to become fully awake." It is in the form of a command.

therefore:  - The Greek word translated as "therefore" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly," "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

for  - (CW) The Greek word translated as "for" is not the usual conjunction translated as "for," but an adverb that introduces a statement of fact ("that") or a cause ("because").

ye -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

know -  (CW, WT) The word translated as "ye know" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know' as we use the word "see" to mean "know" in English. It is not the common Greek word usually translated as "know." However, it is not in the present tense, but the perfect tense indicating an act completed in the past, "you haven't seen."

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.

what -  The word translated as "what" also means "which," "what kind" and "whose."

hour  - (OS) The Greek word translated as "hour"  was hour in the source the KJV translators used, but it is "day" the sources we used today. It also means "time," in general, and refers specifically to the "daytime." This is not in a form that makes it the object of the sentence, that is, what is seen or known. It is in the form of an indirect object, which has a number of uses in Greek, including indicating the times something happens.

your -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

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. 

Lord  - The Greek word translated as "lord," means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

doth -- (IW) This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the verb here is not of these things. It is added to make the following verb seem like the future tense, which it isn't. It is the present tense.

come.  - -- The word translated as "come" primarily means "to start out" but Christ usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas.

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "for" is not the common word usually translated as "for."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "know" is not the common word usually translated as "know."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb "know" is the present tense, but Greek is in the past perfect, a completed action, "have seen."
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "hour" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "lord" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "doth" doesn't exist in the source.

NIV Analysis: 

“Therefore   - The Greek word translated as "therefore" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly," "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

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

watch,   - "Watch" is from a Greek verb that also means "to be or to become fully awake." It is in the form of a command.

because - The Greek word translated as "because" is not the usual conjunction translated as "for," but an adverb that introduces a statement of fact ("that") or a cause ("because").

you -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

do  - This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the verb here is not of these things.

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.

know -  (CW, WT) The word translated as "ye know" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know' as we use the word "see" to mean "know" in English. It is not the common Greek word usually translated as "know." However, it is not in the present tense, but the perfect tense indicating an act completed in the past, "you haven't seen."

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

what -  The word translated as "what" also means "which," "what kind" and "whose."

day - The Greek word translated "day" also means "time," in general, and refers specifically to the "daytime." This is not in a form that makes it the object of the sentence, that is, what is seen or known. It is in the form of an indirect object, which has a number of uses in Greek, including indicating the times something happens.

your -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

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. 

Lord  - The Greek word translated as "lord," means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

will -- -- (WT) This helping verb "will" indicates the future tense, but the verb is not the future.

come.  - -- The word translated as "come" primarily means "to start out" but Christ usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas.

NIV Translation Issues: 

6
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "keep" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "know" is not the common word usually translated as "know."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb "know" is the present tense, but Greek is in the past perfect, a completed action, "have seen."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "on" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "lord" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "will" indicates the future tense, but that is not the tense here.

Front Page Date: 

Oct 9 2021