Matthew 24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say...

KJV Verse: 

Mat 24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

If more likely, however, he might [at some time] say, the worthless slave there in his heart, "My master is taking his time."

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The Greek word translated as "but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. When used in writing, it creates complex sentences, but when spoken, it makes a good pausing point so that an important or humorous word can follow.

There is no "and" in the Greek sources.

The "if" here is the Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone.

The word translated as "that" is an adjective that highlights its noun as in a specific place from a word that means "there."

The word translated as "evil" is an adjective which means many different forms of "bad," including "ugly", "low born", "craven," and "ill." In the NT, it is often translated as "evil." More about it in this article.

The noun translated as "servant" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible. Interesting, usually the adjective follows the noun, but here and in Mat 24:45, the adjective precedes it.

"Shall say" is from means "to say" and "to speak" also. It is in a form that indicates something that might happen at some time.

"Heart" is from the Greek word that means "heart" both the physical organ and as the seat of emotions. However, this phrase can be read as defining the "heart" and both the "soul" and "the mind". The sense here is closer to our idea of saying something to yourself.

The Greek word translated as "lord," means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family."

"Delayeth" is from a verb that means "to spend time", "last", "continue", "to take time," and "to linger." It is very close to how we say, "talking his time." It is an uncommon word, used only here and later in Mat 25:5.

There is no Greek word for coming. We do see such a word in the version in Luke 12:45

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἐὰν "If" is from ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if)and an (might)) which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event.

δὲ "But" is from de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

εἴπῃ (verb 3rd sg aor subj act) "Shall say" is from eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer."

κακὸς (adj sg masc nom) "Evil" is from kakos, which means "bad", "mean", "base", "ugly", "ill-born", "evil", "worthless", "sorry", "pernicious," and "ill."

δοῦλος (noun/adj sg masc nom) "Servant" is from doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."

ἐκεῖνος (adj sg masc nom) "He" is from ekeinos (kakeinos), which means "the person there", "that person", "that thing", "in that case", "in that way", "at that place," and "in that manner." --

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

τῇ καρδίᾳ (noun sg fem dat) "Heart" is from kardia, which means "heart (the physical organ)", "the seat of emotions (especially passion, rage, and anger)", "inclination", "desire," "purpose", "mind", "the pith (in wood), and "the deep (of the sea)."

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "His" is from autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

Χρονίζει [uncommon](verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Delayeth" is from chronizo, which means "to spend time", "last", "continue", "to take time," and "to linger."

μου (pron 1st sg masc gen) "My" is from mou, which mean "my," or "mine."

κύριος, "Lord" is from kyrios (kurios), which means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family." --

The Spoken Version: 

"More likely, however," he said loudly, interrupting the applause. "He could say, the worthless servant there."

He indicated the follower still taking his bows. The follower pretended offense, putting his hand to his chest as if to say, "Who, me?"

The crowd laughed.

"He could say to himself, 'Hmmm, my master is taking his time," the teacher continued, posed as if he was thinking and mimicked the voice of the follower playing the servant.

The other followers laughed harder.

Related Verses: 

Sep 14 2016