Matthew 26:45 Sleep on now, and take [your] rest:

KJV Verse: 

Mat 26:45 Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Lie down to sleep in the future and rest. Look, the time is nearly here. And the child of humanity is giving himself over into the hands of those erring.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is one of this verses that is much more serious in translation than in the Greek. It has several hallmarks of Christ's use of humor. In this case, making light of something very serious.

The "sleep on" here is a verb that means "to lie down to sleep" and, generally, "to sleep." The prefix of the word means "down."

The word translated as "now" means "the future" when referring to time. Most modern bibles get those more right than the KJV. However, it is also a very rare word for Christ. Christ often uses rare words for humorous effect.

The verb translated as "take your rest" means "to make to cease", " bring to a close", and "take rest". The word also means "sleep" but that would be redundant here.

"Behold" is from an adverb meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!" In a humorous vein, this about how Christ uses this like we use the phrase "tah-dah" in a magic show, or "voila" in French.

The word translated as "hour" means a period of time, generally, as we might say "moment." It refers to the division of daylight hours specifically.

The word translated as "is at hand" is another word that appears for the first time in the NT. It is the verb form of an adverb "near" in space, time, and relationships. In English, we would say "nears" or, in the form here, "has neared," doesn't quite work so perhaps "has gotten close" or, in the case of time, "is nearly here."

The phrase "the son of man" is the common way Christ refers to himself. It is discussed in detail in this article. Its sense is "the child of the man." The word translated as "son" more generally means "child" or "descendant". The Greek word for "of man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in the plural.

"Is betrayed" is a compound word which literally means "to give over." It has nothing to do with "betray." Nor is the form passive, but an active form where the subject act on himself. Literally, "he is giving himself over," but we would say "he is turning himself in."

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

Like "hands" in English, the Greek word has a lot of meanings including the physical hand, including the forearm, and someone's control.

"Sinners" is a noun from an adjective that means "erroneous" or "erring", so "the erring" or "those who make mistakes." It also means "of bad character" but with the sense of being a slave or low-born not evil. Most of the shades of meaning in our word "sin" come from religious teaching after Christ. More about the translation issues regarding "sin" here.

These are the words of a hero. They could have been written by Shakespeare. This is so dramatic: the hero knowing that his death is coming but bidding his friends to sleep on. I almost hate to get into any other meaning because the drama is so perfect.

Before this, Christ had found his disciples asleep and gone back to praying as before without waking them. The text says, "praying as before" indicating that for the third time he expressed his regret at dying (this time in private) but his acceptance of the Father's will.

Though a lot of the vocabulary here is unique and interesting, I find that I don't want to go into it because the drama of this statement is everything.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Καθεύδετε (verb 2nd pl pres imperat act or verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "Sleep on" is from katheudo, which means "to lie down to sleep", "to sleep," and "to lie asleep."

λοιπὸν [uncommon](adj sg neut acc) "Now" is from loipon, which means "remaining over", "descendants", "what remains", and of time "the future", "henceforth", and "hereafter."

καὶ "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

ἀναπαύεσθε: (verb 2nd pl pres imperat mp or verb 2nd pl pres ind mp) "Take your rest" is from anapauo, which means "to make to cease", "stop or hinder", "put an end to," "to relieve from,""bring to a close", "take rest", "sleep", "lie fallow", "regain strength," and "rest or settle [on an object]."

ἰδοὺ "Behold is from idou, which means "to behold", "to see," and "to perceive." It acts as an adverbial phrase in this form meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!' It is a form of the verb eido, which means "to see."

ἤγγικεν (verb 3rd sg perf ind act) "Is at hand" is from eggizo, which means "to bring near", "to join one things to another," to draw near," and "to approach." This word does not appear in the Perseus dictionary. It comes from an adverb ἐγγύς, eggus, which means 1) (of place) "near", "nigh", "at hand," 2) (of time) "nigh at hand" 3) (of numbers) "nearly", "almost", "coming near," and 4) (of relationship) "akin to."

ὥρα (noun sg fem nom) "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).

καὶ "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

υἱὸς (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 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.

παραδίδοται (verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Is betrayed" is from paradidomi, which means "to give over to another", "to transmit", "to hand down", "to grant", "to teach," and "to bestow."

εἰς "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)."

χεῖρας (noun pl fem acc) "Hands" is from cheir (cheir) which means "the hand and arm," and "with the help of agency of another." Like "hand" in English, it has a lot of meanings including "an act or deed", "a body of people," and the measurement "handful."

ἁμαρτωλῶν. (noun pl fem gen) "Sinners" is from hamartolos, which means "erroneous" or "erring." It also means "of bad character" but with the sense of being a slave or low-born not evil.

The Spoken Version: 

"Lie down to sleep," he said quietly, and then added more loudly, "in the future! Also rest."

He dusted himself off.

"Look, the time is nearly here," he explained lightly. "And the child of humanity is turning himself over into the hands of criminals."

Related Verses: 

Nov 30 2016