Matthew 24:15 When you therefore shall see the abomination

KJV Verse: 

Mat 24:15 When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Certainly, when you might see the nastiness of the ravaging, the one commented upon by Daniel of the light bringer, erected within a place devoted to God. Let the one recognizing reflect.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse also has a number of sexual double entendres. However, the key unusual words here are quotes from the Greek OT. The sense is that this verse, both in the original Hebrew of Daniel and from Christ's choice of words, refers to a male sex organ.

The Greek word translated as "when" introduces a phrase that explains a certain condition so "whenever" or "since."

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

The verb translated as "ye shall see" means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive." It is not in the future tense here, but a tense indicating something that might happen.

"Abomination" is translated from a Greek word appears first in Septuagint, the Greek OT, but it doesn't appear elsewhere in Greek writings, except, of course, in the NT and religious writing after Christ. It is translated consistently as "abomination," but a related noun means "sickness", "nausea," "filth," and "nastiness." The verb form means "to feel loathing for food", "to make a stink," and "to make loathsome." The most common word of this root word is the adjective that means "disgusting" and "loathsome." In the source reference, Dan 12:11, the Hebrew word means "detestable things", "idol", "impure clothing," and "flesh of victims." The root means "to contaminate," and "to pollute."

"Desolation" is from a Greek word that means "making desolate," the idea of being stripped bare" and being abandoned or deserted. It is in the possessive form. It too is from the Septuagint, but it appears elsewhere in Greek literature. Here, the Hebrew source word means "to be desolate", "to be deflowered," "to stun", "to be appalled", "to devastate", "to ravage", "to cause horror," and "to cause oneself ruin." When Christ refers to the "desert" or "wilderness" he uses the noun form of this word.

The Greek word translated as "spoken of" is from one of the special words that mean "to say", "to speak", "to proclaim", and "to be mentioned." It has the sense of "to reference" or "to remark." It is in the passive and in the form of an adjective used as a noun, "the one commented upon".

The Greek word translated as "the prophet" means "one who speaks for God", "interpreter" and was the highest level of priesthood in Egypt. Christ uses it to refer not only to divine spokespeople but their books in the OT. It is from the verb that means "to shine before" so the phrase "light bringer" in English captures it feeling.

The Greek word translated as "stand" means "to stand up" "to set up", "to be placed," and "to erect." This is Christ's word, continuing the sexual references we saw in Mat 24:13.

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

The word translated as "holy" means "devoted to the gods", "ritually pure", and on the negative side "accursed." The sense is that those using things of the gods are cursed.

The Greek word translated as "place", means "place" "region", and "topic." It is also a metaphor for "opening", "occasion," and "opportunity."

"He who readeth" is from a verb that means "to know well", "to know certainly", and "to recognize". Christ usually uses this word when referring to biblical references.

"Let...understand" is from another verb that means "to observe", "to perceive by the eyes", "to perceive by the mind", "to think", and "to reflect",. This is another word Christ uses only when referring to OT references. It is in a form of third person command we don't have in English, that is usually translated as "let..." and then the command. We would just say in the second person, "Reflect" or "ponder."

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ὅταν "When" is from hotan, which means "whenever (as a condition)," and "since (as a cause)."

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

ἴδητε (verb 2nd pl pres ind/subj act) "Ye...shall see" is from 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." --

τὸ Βδέλυγμα [uncommon](noun sg neut acc)"Abomination" is from bdelugma , which means "abomination," but this word appears only in the NT. A related word, bdelugmia, means "sickness", "nausea," "filth," and "nastiness." The verb form, bdelussomai, means "to feel loathing for food", "to make stink," and "to make loathsome." The most common word of this base is the adjective, bdeluros, which means "disgusting" and "loathsome." In the source reference, Dan 12:11, the Hebrew word is shiqquwts, which means "detestable things", "idol", "impure clothing," and "flesh of victims." The root, shaqats, means "to contaminate," and "to pollute."

τῆς ἐρημώσεως” [uncommon](noun sg fem gen) "Desolation" is erêmôsis, which means "making desolate." It is from erêm, which means "to strip bare", "desolate", "to lay waste", "to abandon", "to desert" "to bereave," and "to be left without." The Hebrew source is shamem, which means "to be desolate", "to stun", "to be appalled", "to devastate", "to ravage", "to cause horror," and "to cause oneself ruin." Christ uses the noun form, eremos, that is translated as "desert" or "wilderness."

τὸ ῥηθὲν (part sg aor pass neut nom/acc) "Spoken of" is from rheo, which means "to say", "to speak", ""to proclaim", "to announce", "to tell", "to order," "to be pronounced [passive]", "to let suffice [passive]", "to have been given orders", "to be mentioned," and "to be specified, agreed, or promised."

διὰ "By" is from dia which means "through", "in the midst of", "in a line (movement)", "throughout (time)", "by (causal)", "among," and "between." -- The word translated as "through" means "through," in the midst of," or "by (a cause)."

Δανιὴλ "Daniel" is from Daniel, the Hebrew name of the Jewish prophet.

τοῦ προφήτου (noun sg masc gen) "The prophet" is from prophetes, which means "one who speaks for a god and interprets his will", "interpreter", "keepers of the oracle", "the highest level of priesthood in Egypt", "interpreter," and "herald." It is a verb that means "to shine forth" It is a form of the verb, prophao. which means "to shine forth," or "to shine before."

ἑστὸς (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Stand" is from histemi, which means "to make to stand", "to stand", "to set up", "to bring to a standstill", "to check", "to appoint", "to establish", "to fix by agreement", "to be placed", "to be set", "to stand still", "to stand firm", "to set upright", "to erected", "to arise," and "to place."

ἐν "In" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

τόπῳ (noun sg masc dat) "Place" is from topos, which means "place", "region", "position", "part [of the body]", "district", "room," and "topic." It is also a metaphor for "opening", "occasion," and "opportunity."

ἁγίῳ, (adj sg masc dat) "Holy" is from hagios, which means "devoted to the gods", "pure", "holy," and on the negative side "accursed."

ἀναγινώσκων (part sg pres act masc nom) "Him who readeth" is from anaginosko, which means "to recognize", "to know well", "to know certainly", "to know again", "to own," and "to acknowledge."

νοείτω, (verb 3rd sg pres imperat act) "Let... understand" is from noeo, means specifically "to perceive with the mind", "apprehend", "think out, "devise", "consider," (of words) "bear a certain sense," and "reflect."

Wordplay: 

The word translated as "stand" has more the sense of "stand up" and, given the Biblical quote, could refer to the male organ. 

The Spoken Version: 

"Certainly," he continued. "You might see 'the nastiness of the ravaging'...."

He said the phrase as a quote.

"The one mentioned by Daniel, the light bringer," he explained.

Then he paused as if searching for a word.

"Erected," he said at last, but his tone was serious despite the playfulness of the word. "In the place dedicated to the divine."

His followers sense not that he was speaking about something deadly serious.

"If you recognize," he continued simply. "Ponder."

Related Verses: 

Jul 22 2016