Mark 10:21 One thing you lack: go your way, sell whatsoever you have...

KJV Verse: 

Mark 10:21 One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

One, however, yourself you are lacking. Depart, what  you have, and give to the beggars, and you a going to have treasure in the skies. And here! Follow me.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The play on words here is the contrast between falling behind and following. It starts with the word translated simply as "lack." That word's primary meaning is "to be or to fall behind."  It ties to the final word, that means "to follow". The play on words emphasizes that what we follow can be what holds us back. See this article for a discussion of the Greek word translated as "cross".

The lesson here goes back to Christ's third temptation, our desire for worldly, temporary power and comfort. While we following the rules that govern our temporary life are important, they are only important because they help us make spiritual progress. If we get stuck on some aspect of temporary life, in this case wealth, it become very difficult for us to think in terms of what is important in developing our eternal life.

KJV Analysis: 

One -- The Greek word translated as "one thing" means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

thing -- This comes from the form of the previous word as singular, neutral. -- The "thee" here is singular. This is uncommon for Christ when he is teaching, meaning that the line was likely addressed to an individual instead of all his listeners. 

untranslated -- The "thee" here is singular. This is uncommon for Christ when he is teaching, meaning that the line was likely addressed to an individual instead of all his listeners. 

thou -- This comes from the second-person, singular \ form of the following verb.

lackest: -- "Lcakst" is from hystereo, which means to "be behind", "to come later", "to come too late for", "to lag behind", "to fall below", "to fail to obtain", "to lack", "to fail," and "to be wanting."

go -- "Go" is a Greek verbal command that means literally "go under" or "bring under," but Christ usually uses it to mean "go away" and "depart."

thy -- This word doesn't exist in the Greek, but it might be implied by the previous word.

way, -- This word doesn't exist in the Greek, but it might be implied by the previous word..

sell -- "Sell" is a word that means "to sell" and "to exchange." When this word is applied to people (as it is metaphorically here), it means "to betray" or "to give up."

whatsoever The word translated as "whatsoever" means "as great as", ""as much as," and similar ideas of comparison.

thou -- This is from the form of the following verb.

hast, -- The word translated as "have" means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and many specific uses. This verb isn't used to form past tenses as it is in English.

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

give -- The verb translated as "given" means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe." It is almost always translated as some form of "give."

to -- This is from the form of the following article and noun.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article.The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

poor, -- "The poor" is an adjective that means "a beggar" and "beggarly" and it a metaphor for being lacking in something. It doesn't have an article "the" on it. 

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

thou -- This is from the form of the following verb.

shalt -- This helping verb is used to indicate

have -- The word translated as "have" means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and many specific uses. This verb isn't used to form past tenses as it is in English. 

treasure -- The word translated as "treasure" is the noun form of the word translated above as "lay up." Its primarily meaning is a "store" of something and its secondary meaning is valuables.

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

heaven: -- The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods.

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

come, -- "Come" is not the normal verb usually translated as "come" but an adverb that means "hither" and "come on."

take up the cross, and -- None of these words are in the Greek that we use today.

follow - The term "follow" means "to follow," or "go with," in a physical sense, but it is also a metaphor meaning "to be guided by" or "to follow the meaning of."

me. -- The "me" is in the indirect object form on the first-person pronoun, so usually "to me", though the form has other uses in Greek. 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἕν ( oun sg neut acc ) "One" is from heis (heis), which means "one", "single," and "one and the same." This adjective is irregular, having a number of forms depending on sex, number, and case: heis, henos, heni, hen, hena, mia, mias, miai, mian; hen, henos, hen. The form here is mia, feminine singular.

σε (pron 2nd sg acc) Untranslated is from se, the second person singular accusative pronoun.

ὑστερεῖ: [uncommon] ( verb 2nd sg pres ind mp) "Thou lackest" is from hystereo, which means to "be behind", "to come later", "to come too late for", "to lag behind", "to fall below", "to fail to obtain", "to lack", "to fail," and "to be wanting."

ὕπαγε ( verb 2nd sg pres imperat act ) "Go your way" is from hypago, which means "to lead under", "to bring under", "to bring a person before judgment", "to lead on by degrees", "to take away from beneath", "to withdraw", "to go away", "to retire", "to draw off," and "off with you."

ὅσα ( adj pl neut acc ) "Whatsoever" is hosos, which means "as many", "as much as", "as great as", "as far as," and "only so far as." --

ἔχεις ( verb 2nd sg pres ind act ) "Thou hast" is echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to have due to one", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to carry", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

πώλησον ( verb 2nd sg aor imperat act ) "Sell" is poleo, which means "to sell", "to offer to sell," and "to retail."

καὶ (conj/adv) "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."

δὸς  ( verb 2nd sg aor imperat act ) "Give" is didomi, which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe."

[τοῖς] (article pl masc dat) "To the" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

πτωχοῖς, ( adj pl masc dat ) "Poor" is ptochos, which means "beggar", "beggar-woman," and "beggarly." 

καὶ (conj/adv) "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." -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

ἕξεις ( verb 2nd sg fut ind act ) "Thou shalt have" is echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to have due to one", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to carry", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

θησαυρὸν ( noun sg masc acc ) "Treasure" is thesauros, which means a "store", "treasure", "strong-room", "magazine, "granary", "receptacle for valuables", "safe", "casket", "offertory-box", "cavern," and "subterranean dungeon."

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

οὐρανῷ, (noun pl masc gen) "Heaven" is the Greek ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky", "heaven as the seat of the gods", "the sky", "the universe," and "the climate."

καὶ (conj/adv) "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." -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

δεῦρο (adv) "Come" is from deuro, which means "hither" and "come on."

ἀκολούθει ( verb 2nd sg pres imperat act ) "Follow" is from akoloutheo which means "to follow," and "to go with." It also means "to be guided by" and means following a leader as a disciple.

μοι. (pron 1st sing dat) "Me" is moi, which means "I", "me", and "my".

Related Verses: 

Front Page Date: 

Oct 10 2019