Mark 3:26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

And if this suffering stands up against itself and is divided, it does not have the power to last but it has a purpose.

KJV : 

Mark 3:26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

In the standard translation, this line seems to just rephrase the previous few verses, but it does much more than that in the Greek. It doesn't talk about suffering casting out suffering or how kingdoms and houses cannot be divided between two warring authorities. It brings in the new concepts, of "rousing people to action" and, most importantly, the idea of telos, that is, purpose. In this verse, Jesus is telling us the purpose of adversity, that is, explaining the need for problems and suffering. Of course, much of this is lost in the desire to personalized "Satan" instead of simply translating the word into what it means, which is "adversity" or "suffering." Personalizing suffering as "Satan" makes our suffering here on earth seem like some war between the gods, which a pagan view.

The key for me in understanding this verse is the use of the word, telos, which is translated as "end" but which  carries with it a strong sense of purpose, bringing something to completion to meet a goal. Instead, suffering wakes up opposition in us against it. It exists to call us to action. This opposition to adversity ends up dividing or minimizing it. In the process, we learn and grow. This makes each individual problem temporary, and adversity as a whole cannot stop us. This is the purpose of adversity in the end.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

καὶ (conj) "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."

εἰ (prep) "If" is from ei, which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect questions, "whether." It also means "if ever", "in case," and "whenever." It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions.

Σατανᾶς (noun sg masc nom) "Satan" is satanas which is an Aramaic word meaning "adversary", "opponents," or "one who opposes another in purpose or act. "

ἀνέστη (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Rise up" is from anistemi, which means "to make stand up", "to raise up", "to raise from sleep", "to wake up", "to raise from the dead", "to rouse to action", "to put up for sale", "to make people rise", "to emigrate", "to transplant," and "to rise and leave the sanctuary."

ἐφ᾽ (prep) "Against" is from ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of", "from", "by", "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond", "outside of", "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after", "from;" 4) [of rest] "on", "in," 5) [of time] "since", "from", "at", "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of", "made from." 

ἑαυτὸν (adj sg masc acc) "Himself" is from heautou, is a reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself", "itself "themselves," and "ourselves." It is an alternative to autos.

καὶ (conj) "And" is 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." -

ἐμερίσθη, (verb 3rd sg aor ind pass) "Be divided" is from merizo, which means "divide", "distribute", "assign", "sever", "cut-off," (passive) "to be divided", "to be dispersed," and "to be reckoned a part."

 οὐ (partic) "Not" is 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. -- 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.

δύναται (verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Can" is the verb, dynamai, which means "to have power by virtue of your own capabilities", "to be able," and "to be strong enough." - The word translated as "I can" means having the power or possibly a desire to accomplish something. Often, in English, "can" is a helper verb, indicating a possibility. In Greek, it indicates ability or power.

στῆναι (verb aor inf act) "Shall...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." Like the English words "put" and "set," it has a number of specific meanings from "to put down [in writing]", "to bury", "to establish", "to make", "to cause," and "to assign."

ἀλλὰ (adv) "But" is alla, which means "otherwise", "but", "still", "at least", "except", "yet," nevertheless", "rather", "moreover," and "nay." -- The Greek word translated as "but" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "rather". It is the Greek word "other" like we use "otherwise".

τέλος (noun sg neut acc) "End" is from telos, which means "come to pass", "performance", "consummation", "result", "product, ""outcome", "end", "achievement", "attainment", "goal", "state of completion, ""maturity", "services rendered", "something done", "task", "duty", "toll," and "custom."

ἔχει.(verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Hath" is echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to carry", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do." -- The word translated as "have" means "to possess" or "to keep" but it isn't used in the same way as a "helper" verb that the English "have" is.

KJV Analysis: 

And The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

if The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. It also means "if ever" and "whenever." This different

Satan "Satan" is from an Aramaic word meaning "adversary" or "opponent". This is the closest Jesus comes to using it to refer to the OT "Lucifer".  See this article on the word and this article on this word and related terms

rise up   "Rise up " is a Greek verb that means "to make to stand up", "to raise from the dead", "to rouse to action," and "to make people rise up."

against The word translated as "against" means "on", "over", "upon", "against", "before", "after", "during", "by" or "on."

himself, "Himself" is a special reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself," and so on.

and - The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." 

be divided, "Be divided" is from an uncommon noun, which means "divide", "distribute", "assign", "sever", "cut-off," (passive) "to be divided", "to be dispersed," and "to be reckoned a part." Jesus only uses this word in this and parallel phrases and two others referring to satanas's realm that is, suffering's domain.

he can- The word translated as "can" means having the power or possibly a desire to accomplish something. Often, in English, "can" is a helper verb, indicating a possibility. In Greek, it indicates ability or power.  This is the active verb in the sentence.

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.

stand, The verb translated as "stand" means "to make stand", "to set up", "to establish and similar words. The form is a passive infinitive, "be made to stand." Like the English words "put" and "set," it has a number of specific meanings from "to put down [in writing]", "to bury", "to establish", "to make", "to cause," and "to assign."

but The Greek word translated as "but" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "rather". It is the Greek word "other" like we use "otherwise".

hath The word translated as "hath" means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep."

an The "an" comes from the fact that the following word has no definite article.  There is no indefinite article in Greek,

end. The word translated as "end" means "purpose", "outcome", "something done," or "goal."

Front Page Date: 

Jun 4 2019