Matthew 23:36 Verily...All these things shall come upon this generation.

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

A long condemnation of the religious leaders of the time

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Truly I tell you. It might return, these things, all, upon this type.

My Takeaway: 

What has happened in the past returns to the present.

KJV : 

Matthew 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

NIV : 

Matthew 23:36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The word translated as "come" here is not the common verb usually translated as "come," appearing in the previous verse, Matthew 23:35. This word must have been chosen to mean something else, probably "is present" or "returned." The verb could be 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.

The verb is singular. The "these things" could be either a subject or object. The word is plural, but a plural neuter conglomeration of things is treated as a single item in Greek. It isn't clear what "these things" are, the persecution in Matthew 23:34 or the blood in Matthew 23:35. The blood, as the closer neuter noun, is usually more likely but it is singular, not plural. The subject could also be the answer to an unrecorded question with a related subject.

The word translated as "generation" means "race" or "family." It is the word from which we get "genus" in English. Jesus uses it to refer to a type of person, specifically those like the Pharisees. His first describes this type earlier in Matthew as children who insist that everyone dance to their tune. His favorite adjectives describing of this type is "evil and adulterous," which in Greek, is closer to "worthless and cheating." In one previous discussion of this type, he compares them unfavorably with the people of Nineveh reacting to Jonah, and the queen of Sheba reacting to Solomon.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἀμὴν [91 verses](exclaim) "Verily" is from amen, which is from the Hebrew, meaning "truly," "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek before the NT

λέγω [264 verses](1st sg pres ind act) "I tell" is from lego, which means "to recount," "to tell over," "to say," "to speak," "to teach," "to mean," "boast of," "tell of," "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself," "pick up," "gather," "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelt the same means "to lay," "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

ὑμῖν, [289 verses](pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is from humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ἥξει [11 verses](verb 3rd sg fut ind act) "Shall come" is from 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."

ταῦτα [96 verses](adj pl neut nom/acc) "These things" is tauta, which is a referring pronoun meaning "these," "this," "that," and "here." It can mean the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why."

πάντα [212 verses](adj pl neut nom/acc) "All" is from pas, which means "all," "the whole," "every," "anyone," "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form, it means "every way," "on every side," "in every way," and "altogether." ​

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

τὴν[821 verses](article pl fem acc/gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

γενεὰν (noun pl fem acc/gen) "Generation" is from genea, which means "race," "family," "generation," "class," and "kind." It is a form of the word from which we get the scientific word,"genus."

ταύτην. [96 verses](adj sg fem acc) "This" is from tauta, which is a referring pronoun meaning "these," "this," "that," and "here." It can mean the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why."

KJV Analysis: 

Verily -- The word translated as "verily" is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

say -- The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

unto -- This word "unto" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use: a "to" as an indirect object.

you,  -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc.

All  - The word translated as "all" is from the Greek adjective meaning "all," "the whole," "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything." As an adverb, it means "in every way," "on every side," and "altogether." This word is in a form that can be either the subject or object of a sentence.

these  - The "these things" is from a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb, it can mean "therefore" and "that is why." It is not typically used as an adjective. This word is in a form that can be either the subject or object of a sentence.

things -- Though the subject is plural, the verb is singular because neuter plural verbs are treated as a collective.

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." However, it is in the future tense and it doesn't match the "all these things" as a subject. The meanings of this word that take an object are that ideas of "depend up" and "relate to."

upon  - The word translated as "upon" means "against," "before," "by" or "on."

this  - The "this" is from a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb, it can mean "therefore" and "that is why." It is not typically used as an adjective.

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. 

generation - The word translated as "generation" means "race" or "family." It is the word from which we get "genus" in English. Jesus uses it to refer to a type of person, specifically those like the Pharisees. His first describes this type earlier in Matthew as children who insist that everyone dance to their tune. His favorite adjectives describing of this type is "evil and adulterous," which in Greek, is closer to "worthless and cheating." In one previous discussion of this type, he compares them unfavorably with the people of Nineveh reacting to Jonah, and the queen of Sheba reacting to Solomon.

KJV Translation Issues: 

2
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "come" is not the common word usually translated as "wherefore."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "generation" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

Truly -- The word translated as "truly " is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

tell -- The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

you,  -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc.

all  - The word translated as "all" is from the Greek adjective meaning "all," "the whole," "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything." As an adverb, it means "in every way," "on every side," and "altogether." This word is in a form that can be either the subject or object of a sentence.

this - (WN) The "these things" is from a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why." It is not typically used as an adjective. This word is in a form that can be either the subject or object of a sentence.

will -- This helping verb "will" 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." However, it is in the future tense and it doesn't match the "all these things" as a subject. The meanings of this word that take an object are that ideas of "depend up" and "relate to."

on  - The word translated as "on" means "against," "before," "by" or "on."

this  - (WN) The "this" is from a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb, it can mean "therefore" and "that is why." It is not typically used as an adjective. It is plural, not singular.

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. 

generation - The word translated as "generation" means "race" or "family." It is the word from which we get "genus" in English. Jesus uses it to refer to a type of person, specifically those like the Pharisees. His first describes this type earlier in Matthew as children who insist that everyone dance to their tune. His favorite adjectives describing of this type is "evil and adulterous," which in Greek, is closer to "worthless and cheating." In one previous discussion of this type, he compares them unfavorably with the people of Nineveh reacting to Jonah, and the queen of Sheba reacting to Solomon.

NIV Translation Issues: 

3
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "come" is not the common word usually translated as "wherefore."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "this" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural, "these."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "generation" is not shown in the English translation.

Front Page Date: 

Aug 27 2021