Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Because there is then going to be great pressure such as has not really come into being from the earliest of the world order to the one now. But not, never, is it .going to come into being.

KJV : 

Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The term translated as "world" means "world order."  The term translated as "affliction" means pressure and oppression. The word translated as "such as" only appears in Jesus's words here.

This verse has a lot in common with the Septuagint version of  Deu 4:32 but that relationship is clearer in Mark 13:19 because of a couple of words more common in the Septuagint that do not appear here.

The "was" and the FINAL "shall be" here are a word that means "becomes" or, in the case of describing events as we have hear, "happens." It is not the verb "to be," which actually starts the sentence as the first "shall be."

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἔσται (verb 3rd sg fut ind) "Shall be" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

γὰρ (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."

τότε (adv) "Then" is from tote, which means "at that time" and "then."

θλίψις (noun sg fem nom ) "Tribulation" is from thlipsis, which means "pressure", "crushing," and "oppression."\

μεγάλη adj sg fem nom) "Great" is from megas, which means "big", "full-grown", "vast", "high", "great", "mighty", "strong (of the elements)","loud" (of sounds), "over-great (with a bad sense), "impressive" (of style), and "long" ( of days).

οἵα [2 times](adj sg fem nom ) "Such as" is hoios, which means "such as", "of what sort", "so and so'" "fit", "able", "as", "just as", "for instance", "that is to say", "as it were", and "so to speak."

οὐ (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. -

γέγονεν (verb 3rd sg perf ind act) "Was" 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.

ἀπ᾽ (prep) "Since" is from apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause. -- The word translated as "from" means "from" in both location and when referring to a source. "Was" 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.

ἀρχῆς (noun sg fem gen) "The beginning" is from arche, which means "beginning", "origin", "first principles", "first place of power", "empire", "command," "heavenly power", "power of evil," and a lot of other ways of expressing the source of thins. this is the word from which we get both "archbishop," head bishops who can consecrate other bishops, and "archeology," the study of ancient history.

κόσμου (noun sg masc gen) "Of the world" is from kosmos, which mean "order", "good order", "ruler", "world order", "universe," and "the world of men." It is a form of the is verb kosmeô, which means "to order", "to arrange", "to rule", "to adorn" (especially women), and "to equip." It especially means controlling and arranging an army. -- Christ uses the word translated as "the world" to mean "the world order," specifically the powers-that-be. More about this word in this article about related words.

ἕως (conj) "To" is from heos which means "until", "till," and "in order that" and "up to the point that." -- The word translated as "until" means "until" but it also means "in order that."

τοῦ (article sg masc gen) "This" 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." -- The word translated as "who" is from the Greek article, "the," (masculine, possessive form) which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." It could also be a demonstrative pronoun, that often acts as a pronoun, especially a connective pronoun introducing a dependent clause.

νῦν (adv) "Time" is from nyn (nun), which means "now", "at the present moment", "at the present time", "just now", "presently," and "as it is."

οὐδ᾽(partic) "No" is from oude , which means "but not", "neither", "nor,"and "not even."

οὐ μὴ (partic) "Nor ever" is from ou me, the two forms of Greek negative used together. Ou is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. Mê (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

γένηται. (verb 3rd sg aor subj) "Shall 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. -- 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.

KJV Analysis: 

For -- The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation. To prevent a run-on sentence, it can be translated as "this is why" or "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

then -- The Greek word for "then" means "at this time" or "then". 

shall -- This helping verb indicates that the following verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

be -- The verb "be" 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. This is the first word in the verse.  When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."  This is plural.

great -- The word translated as "great" means "big", "high" "great," and "impressive."

tribulation, -- The Greek word translated as "tribulation" means "pressure," which is translated as a metaphor for "oppression." Since it primarily means pressure in the sense of "crushing" (and "castration"), it is a more colorful word than the words we used to describe a time of difficulty. Prior to Christ's use, it appears in Greek literature more as a scientific term than a social description. It is translation as "tribulation" in Matthew version of this verse.

such as -- "Such as" is an adjective that means "such as", "of what sort", "kind of," and can imply a fitness or capability of a thing. This word is only used by Jesus here and in parallel in Mark.

was -- The word translated as "was" 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.

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.

since -- The word translated as "since" means "from" in both location and time and when referring to a source.

the -- There are no Greek words that can be translated as "the" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. When a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

beginning -- "Beginning" is a noun that means "beginning", "origin", "first principles", "first place of power", "empire," and "command." This is the word from which we get both "archbishop," primal bishops who can consecrate other bishops, and "archeology," the study of ancient history.

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. 

the -- There are no Greek words that can be translated as "the" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. When a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

world The word translated as "world" is not the same word translated as world in "the end of the world" from the beginning of this chapter (Mat 24:3). Jesus uses to this world to refer to the world order, that is, human organization, This seems to be about the Jewish state.

to  -- The word translated as "to" means "until" but it also means "in order that."

this -- The word translated as "this" 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. 

time, -- The Greek adverb translated as "time" means "now", "at the present moment","presently," and "as it is."  It is not either of the words usually translated as "time," one of which is the "days" above.

no, The "not" here is both of the Greek negatives used together. Greek has two negatives, one objective, one subjective. The use of both together is more extreme, like saying "you cannot really think." It appears after the "nor."

nor -- "Nor" is from a Greek negative meaning "but not" and as both parts of "neither...nor."

ever -- There are no Greek words that can be translated as "it" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used.

shall -- This helping verb "shall" does not indicate the future tense, but that the following verb describes a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" or "should" in English is more appropriate, but is assumed in an "if" or "when" clause. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form. ]

be. -- 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. When applied to events, this words works like our "happen."

The Spoken Version: 

"Because," he explained. "There is going to be then a great pressure."

He demonstrated by pressing together his hands.

"As hasn't really come into being," he continued. "from the earliest earthly powers until the one now."

He gestured indicating the city beyond them.

"No," he emphasized. "Never."

"But," he continued. "It is going to come into being."

Front Page Date: 

Jul 28 2016