Matthew 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

A long section about "the end of the world" or, more precisely, "the culmination of an era." The last verse returns to the topic of the presence of the son of man and everything appearing stable.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Since, just like they were in the days there, the ones before the deluge, grazing and drinking, taking wives, and giving wives, continually until the day he entered, Noah into that box,

My Takeaway: 

Life goes on until it doesn't.

KJV : 

Matthew 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

NIV : 

Matthew 24:38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The Greek verb translated as "eating" is intentionally humorous rather than innocuous. It is not a common word  with the simpler sense of just "eating." This word means "to gnaw," "to nibble," and "munch," but it usually refers to herbivorous animals. It specifically means to eat vegetables or fruit. This is the least common word Christ uses for eating. This one is different, having the sense more of "grazing," like cattle. It is in the form of an adjective, "grazing."

Also, to add to the humor, Jesus uses a special version of the word translated as "until," which means "continually until." It is not the common "until."

"Giving in marriage" is a good example of how a verb, "to marry" is transformed by the addition of a special ending to mean "to make to marry" as we would add "-ize" to make a verb form.  Generally, in the ancient world, the father gave the daughter in marriage, but in Jewish tradition, this was considered a contract, often in writing, where specific rights and responsibilities were transferred from the father to the husband. The "bride-price" paid by the husband was for those rights.

- "The ark" is translated from a Greek word that means a "box," "chest," and "coffer." The Hebrew word translated as "ark" both for the boat Noah built and the papyrus boat of the baby Moses also means "box" or "coffin."

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ὡς  [167 verses](adv) "As" is hos, an adverb which means to "thus," "as," "how," "when," "where," "like," "just as," "so far as," "as much as can be," "that," "in order that," "nearly (with numbers)," and "know that."

γὰρ [205 verses](partic) "For" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for," "since," and "as." In an abrupt question, it means "why" and "what."

ἦσαν .[614 verses](verb 3rd pl imperf ind act) "Were" is from eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," and "is possible."

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." -

ταῖς [821 verses](article pl fem dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ἡμέραις [96 verses](noun pl fem dat) "The days" 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)."

[ἐκείναις] [107 verses](adj pl fem dat) Untranslated is ekeinos (kakeinos), which means "the person there," "that person," "that thing," "in that case," "in that way," "at that place," and "in that manner."

ταῖς [821 verses](article pl fem dat) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

πρὸ [12 verses](prep) "Before" is from pro, which means (of place) "before," "in front of," (of time) "before," (of preference) "before," "rather than," "more than," and do on.

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

κατακλυσμοῦ [3 verses]](noun sg masc gen) "Flood" is kataklysmos, which means "flood," "inundation," and "deluge."

τρώγοντες [6 verses](part pl pres act masc nom) "They were eating" is trogo, which means "to eat vegetable," "to nibble," "to munch," and "to eat fruits or desserts."

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but."

πίνοντες, [36 verses](part pl pres act masc nom) "Drinking" is pino, which means "to drink," "to celebrate," and "soak up."

γαμοῦντες [12 verses](part pl pres act masc nom) "Marrying" is gameo, which mean "to marry" and "to take a wife." For a woman, it means "to give yourself in marriage." It can also mean to "take a lover."

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but."

γαμίζοντες, [6 verses]((part pl pres act masc nom) "Giving in marriage" is gamizo, which it translated in the Bible as "give [a daughter] in marriage." This word appears nowhere else in Greek classical literature. Normally, "giving in marriage" is another Greek word, ekgamizo.

ἄχρι " [3 verses] (prep, adv) "Until" is from achri, which means "until," "continually," "as far is," "so long as," and "as far as."

ἧς [821 verses](article sg fem gen)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ἡμέρας [96 verses](noun sg fem gen) "The 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)."

εἰσῆλθεν [68 verses](verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Entered" is eiserchomai which means both "to go into," "to come in," "to enter," "to enter an office," "to enter a charge," (as in court) and "to come into one's mind." --

Νῶε [4 verses](Hebrew name) "Noah" is from Noe, which is the Greek form of the name of Noah.

εἰς [325 verses](prep) "Into" is from eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)," "until (of time)," "as much as (of measure or limit)," "as far as (of measure or limit)," "towards (to express relation)," "in regard to (to express relation)," "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

τὴν [821 verses](article sg fem acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

κιβωτόν, (noun sg fem acc) "Ark" is from kibotos, which means "box," "chest," and "coffer." The Greek word is translated from the Hebrew tebah, which means "box" or "coffin."

KJV Analysis: 

For  - The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation, "since" or "because."

as  - The word translated as "as" has a very broad meaning, translating as "how," "when," "where," "just as," "like," and related words.

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

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. 

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

missing "there"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "those" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there."

that -- The word translated as "that" 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. 

were  - -- The verb "were" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics. 

before  - -- The Greek word translated as "before" means (of place) "before," "in front of," (of time) "before," (of preference), "rather than," "more than," and so on.

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. 

flood  - The word translated as "flood" also means "deluge."

they were  - -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "they were" in the Greek source. This was added to make the next verbs active rather than as participles.

eating  - The Greek verb translated as "eating" is a "to gnaw," "to nibble," and "munch," but it usually refers to herbivorous animals. It specifically means to eat vegetables or fruit. This is the least common word Christ uses for eating. The most common word has the sense of "consuming" something while the other word is the simpler sense of just "eating." Both of those words, however, are very close in meaning. This one is different, having the sense more of "grazing," like cattle. It is in the form of an adjective, "grazing."

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

drinking,  - The only Greek verb used to mean "drink" is the only word used to refer to drinking. It also means "to celebrate," which could be the sense here. It is in the form of an adjective, "drinking."

marrying  - The Greek word translated as "marrying" means "to marry" and "to take a wife." It is in the form of an adjective.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

giving  in marriage,- The Greek word translated as "giving in marriage" is a form of the same word as above. This word is so uncommon, it only appears four times in the NT. It is the It is in the form of an adjective.

until - (CW) "Until" is from another uncommon word that means "until," but unlike the more common word for "until," it also has the sense of "continually until."

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. 

day  - The word that means "day" used above, appears again here but in the singular rather than the plural.

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

Noe - "Noe" is the Greek spelling of the Hebrew name. 

entered  - "Entered" is from a word that means "go or come into" and has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind."

into -- The word translated as "into" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

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. 

ark,  - "The ark" is translated from a Greek word that means a "box," "chest," and "coffer." The Hebrew word translated as "ark" both for the boat Noah built and the papyrus boat of the baby Moses also means "box" or "coffin."

KJV Translation Issues: 

4
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "there" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "they were" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "until" is not the common word usually translated as "until."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "that" doesn't exist in the source.

NIV Analysis: 

For  - The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation, "since" or "because."

missing "just as"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "just as" has a very broad meaning, translating as "how," "when," "where," "just as," "like," and related words.

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

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. 

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

missing "there"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "those" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there."

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

before  - -- The Greek word translated as "before" means (of place) "before," "in front of," (of time) "before," (of preference), "rather than," "more than," and so on.

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. 

flood  - The word translated as "flood" also means "deluge."

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

were  - -- (WP) The verb "were" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.  However, it does not appear in this clause, but beginning the verse. This was moved to make the next verbs active rather than as participles.

eating  - The Greek verb translated as "eating" is a "to gnaw," "to nibble," and "munch," but it usually refers to herbivorous animals. It specifically means to eat vegetables or fruit. This is the least common word Christ uses for eating. The most common word has the sense of "consuming" something while the other word is the simpler sense of just "eating." Both of those words, however, are very close in meaning. This one is different, having the sense more of "grazing," like cattle. It is in the form of an adjective, "grazing."

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

drinking,  - The only Greek verb used to mean "drink" is the only word used to refer to drinking. It also means "to celebrate," which could be the sense here. It is in the form of an adjective, "drinking."

marrying  - The Greek word translated as "marrying" means "to marry" and "to take a wife." It is in the form of an adjective.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

giving  in marriage,- The Greek word translated as "giving in marriage" is a form of the same word as above. This word is so uncommon, it only appears four times in the NT. It is the It is in the form of an adjective.

up to - (CW) "Up to" is from another uncommon word that means "until," but unlike the more common word for "until," it also has the sense of "continually until."

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. 

day  - The word that means "day" used above, appears again here but in the singular rather than the plural.

Noah - "Noah " is the Greek spelling of the Hebrew name. 

entered  - "Entered" is from a word that means "go or come into" and has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind."

missing "into"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "into" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

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. 

ark,  - "The ark" is translated from a Greek word that means a "box," "chest," and "coffer." The Hebrew word translated as "ark" both for the boat Noah built and the papyrus boat of the baby Moses also means "box" or "coffin."

NIV Translation Issues: 

6
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "just as" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "there" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the one" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "were" doesn't appear here but at the beginning of the verse.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "up to" is not the common word usually translated as "up to."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "into" is not shown in the English translation.

Front Page Date: 

Oct 5 2021