Matthew 24:44 Therefore be you also ready:

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: 

Through this also you yourself become ready. Because when you don't expect an hour, the son of the man shows up.

Throughout this [time of pressure] you also become active [for yourself]: since for it [the night hour] you don't expect, for the day hour, the son of man is on his way for himself.

My Takeaway: 

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition or Jesus's showing up.

KJV : 

Matthew 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

NIV : 

Matthew 24:44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Again, we see the translators trying to make the "come" seem like the future tense, the KJV translating it as "cometh" and the NIV translating it as "will come."  Other English translations use the same slight of hand using the phrase "is coming." However, the verb is the simple present tense. To me, this verse seems like a general comment about how Jesus shows up unexpectedly on a regular basis. One clue t this is that the verb translated as "think" and "expect" is not a subjunctive form but a normal indicative, not something that might happen but what does happen.

The Greek here is very difficult to resolve into a single complete sentence. This may be why the words are rearranged in the parallel verse in Luke 12:40m and why they are rearranged in English translation. This verse works best as a series of short statements. Especially difficult are two adverb/conjunctions appearing together, one meaning "because" and the other meaning "when" or "in order that." The "because" seems to be Jesus posing a question. The when" is the beginning of his answer.  The KJV moves the "when" word to modify the "hour." The NIV moves the entire last phrase to after the "because."

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

διὰ  [88 verses](prep)"Through" is from dia (with touto below) which means "through," "in the midst of," "in a line (movement)," "throughout (time)," "by (causal)," "among," and "between." -

τοῦτο [93 verses](adj sg neut acc) "This" is from touto, (with dia above) which means "from here," "from there," "this [thing]," or "that [thing]." -- The word translated as "this" means "from here" or "this/that thing."

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv)   "Also" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." Also used to give emphasis, "even," "also," and "just."

ὑμεῖς [92 verses](pron 2nd pl nom) "Ye" is from hymeis (humeis), which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you."

γίνεσθε [117 verses](verb 2nd pl pres ind/imperat mp) "Be" is from ginomai, which means "to become," "to come into being," "to happen," "to be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being. It is the complementary opposite of the verb "to be" (eimi)which indicates existence in the same state.

ἕτοιμοι, [8 verses](adj pl masc/fem nom) "Ready" is from hetoimos, which means "at hand," "ready," "prepared," of persons, "ready," "active," "zealous," of the mind, "ready," "bold," and as an adverb, "readily," "willingly."

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."

[ 167 verses](adv) "In such" could be from 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."

οὐ  [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.

δοκεῖτε [17 verses](verb 2nd pl pres ind act/opt/imperative) "As ye think" is dokeo, which means "expect," "suppose," "imagine," "have an opinion," "seem," "seem good," and "to be reputed."

ὥρᾳ [37 verses](noun sg fem dat) "The hour" is from hora, which means "any period," "season," (especially springtime), "year' (generally), "climate" (as determined by seasons), "duration," "the twelve equal parts into which the period of daylight was divided," "the fitting time" (for a task).

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

υἱὸς [158 verses](noun sg masc nom) "The Son" is from huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child." It is used generally to refer to any male descendant.

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

ἀνθρώπου (noun sg masc gen) "Of man" is from anthropos, which is "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate.

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

Therefore  - (WW) The words translated as "therefore" are not the word usually translated as "therefore." There are two Greek words here meaning "by this."  The preposition translated as "by" means "through," "in the midst of," or "by (a cause)."  "This" is translated from a Greek word that means "this," "that," "the nearer."

be  - (WW) The word translated as "be" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Jesus, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state. It is in a form that could be a command or just a regular statement "you are becoming." It is in a form that indicates you do this for your own benefit.

ye -- you - This from the second-personal pronoun in the form of a subject, which emphasizes it because this information is in the verb. The sense is "you yourselves."

missing "yourselves" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "you yourselves."

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

ready:  - "Ready" is from an adjective which means "ready," "active," and "bold."

for  - The word translated as "for" introduces a statement of fact ("seeing that") or cause ("since"). It is not the most common Greek word translated as "for." It is usually translated as "that."

in  - This word "in" comes from the dative case of the word "hour" that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

such  -(WP)  Now it gets interesting. The next word is translated as "such" is most likely adverb that has a very broad meaning, including "how," "when," "where," "just as," "like," "as far as" and related words, but, obviously "when" works well here. The problem is that the following verb isn't the right form for a "when" clause (the form of possibility, the subjunctive, nor is this the word Jesus usually uses in a when clause. The word does not modify the "hour" word, appearing before the verb not the hour.

an  - -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

hour  - The word translated "an hour" means a period of time, generally, as we might say "moment," but it was also specifically one of the twelve division of daylight hours.

as  - -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "as" in the Greek source. This complete one meaning of the "such" word above, but again it is wrongly placed.

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

think  - (CW) "Think" is from a verb that doesn't mean think as much as it means "expect" or "imagine." Obviously, those meanings, especially "expect," fit much better here.

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.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

Son -- The word translated as "son" more generally means "child" or "descendant." The phrase "the son of man" is the common way Christ refers to himself. It is discussed in detail in this article. Its sense may be "the child of the man."

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of," "which is," "than" (in comparisons), or  "for," "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs. 

untranslated "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. 

man - The Greek word for "man" means "man," "person" and "humanity" in the singular. In the plural, it means "men," "people," and "peoples." 

cometh.  - . -- The word translated as "cometh" primarily means "to start out" but Jesus ally 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. See this article for more.

KJV Translation Issues: 

7
  • Wrong Word -- The word translated as "therefore" should be "by this."
  • Wrong Word -- The word translated as "be" should be "become."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "yourselves" is not shown in the English translation, but it is needed to capture the pronoun as well as the form of the verb.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "such" doesn't appear here but before the verb "not think."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "as" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "think" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "man" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

So - (WW) The words translated as "therefore" are not the word usually translated as "therefore." There are two Greek words here meaning "by this."  The preposition translated as "by" means "through," "in the midst of," or "by (a cause)."  "This" is translated from a Greek word that means "this," "that," "the nearer."

ye --  This is from the second-personal pronoun in the form of a subject, which emphasizes it because this information is in the verb. The sense is "you yourselves."

missing "yourselves" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "you yourselves."

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

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

be  - (WW) The word translated as "be" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Jesus, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state. It is in a form that could be a command or just a regular statement "you are becoming." It is in a form that indicates you do this for your own benefit.

ready:  - "Ready" is from an adjective which means "ready," "active," and "bold."

because - The word translated as "because " introduces a statement of fact ("seeing that") or cause ("since"). It is not the most common Greek word translated as "for." It is usually translated as "that."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

Son -- The word translated as "son" more generally means "child" or "descendant." The phrase "the son of man" is the common way Christ refers to himself. It is discussed in detail in this article. Its sense may be "the child of the man."

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of," "which is," "than" (in comparisons), or  "for," "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs. 

untranslated "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. 

Man - The Greek word for "man" means "man," "person" and "humanity" in the singular. In the plural, it means "men," "people," and "peoples." 

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

come  -- The word translated as "cometh" primarily means "to start out" but Jesus ally 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. See this article for more.

at - This word "at" comes from the dative case of the word "hour" that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

an  - -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

hour  - The word translated "an hour" means a period of time, generally, as we might say "moment," but it was also specifically one of the twelve division of daylight hours.

when   -   (WP) Now it gets interesting. The next word is translated as "when" is most likely adverb that has a very broad meaning, including "how," "when," "where," "just as," "like," "as far as" and related words, but, obviously "when" works well here. The problem is that the following verb isn't the right form for a "when" clause (the form of possibility, the subjunctive, nor is this the word Jesus usually uses in a when clause.

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 Greek could be either a question or a statement.

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.

expect -  "Expect" is from a verb that doesn't mean think as much as it means "expect" or "imagine." Obviously, those meanings, especially "expect," fit much better here.

him -- This English objective pronoun is added and not in the Greek source.   In Greek, pronoun objects are not repeated after each verb because they are implied by their first occurrence.

NIV Translation Issues: 

7
  • Wrong Word -- The word translated as "so" should be "by this."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "must" doesn't exist in the source.
  • Wrong Word -- The word translated as "be" should be "become."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "yourselves" is not shown in the English translation, but it is needed to capture the pronoun as well as the form of the verb.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "man" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "will" indicates the future tense, but that is not the tense here.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "when" doesn't appear here but after the "because."

Front Page Date: 

Oct 11 2021