Mark 11:14 No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

No longer in this lifetime, nobody hopefully eats fruit from you.

KJV : 

Mark 11:14 No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The loss of the phrase "in this lifetime" in the English translation of this verse is particularly sad because this statement comes near the end of Jesus's own lifetime. See symbolic meaning below.

This verse is also interesting because it uses a different a verb form than we normally see in Jesus's words. Though the "eat" here is portrayed as a command, this is not a command.  A command would be in the imperative mood, but this is the optative mood, which expresses a wish or desire for an action to occur where the completion of action is doubted.  This mood was fading away at the time of the New Testament and Jesus hardly uses it at all. The sense is that no one will happily eat the fruit of that plant.

Rather than a "curse" as this verse is often portrayed, this verse comes across as a bit of sad rumination about the lack of satisfaction in the future.

The word translated in the KJV as "hereafter" actually means "no more." The combination of "no more" and "no one" sets up a double negative, which is avoided in English, but which is perfectly acceptable in Greek. Both negative forms use the negative of opinion rather than the negative of fact. Jesus much more commonly uses the negative of fact to form these same Greek words.

The English translations all put the beginning of the verse at the end. This is misleading because the words at the beginning of the Greek sense are the most important, though Jesus often reverses this, saving his key words for the end of verses.

NIV : 

Mark 11:14 May no one ever eat fruit from you again.

NLT : 

Mark 11:14 May no one ever eat your fruit again!

Wordplay: 

The "hopefully" here, that is, the optative mood, confuses Jesus's hopes with the hope of the person eating.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Μηκέτι [uncommon] (adv) "Hereafter" is from meketi, which means "no more", "no longer," and "no further."

εἰς (prep)  "For" 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)."

τὸν (article sg masc acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." 

αἰῶνα (noun sg masc acc) "Ever" is from aion, which means "life", "lifetime", "age," or "generation."

ἐκ (prep)  "From" 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."

σοῦ (pron 2nd sg gen) "Thee" is from sou which means "you" and "your."

μηδεὶς ( adj sg masc nom ) "No man" is from the word medeis, which means "nobody", "no one", "not even one", "naught", "good for naught," and "nothing."

καρπὸν  (noun sg masc acc) "Fruit" is from karpos, which means "fruit", "the fruits of the earth", "seed", "offspring", "returns for profit," and "reward."

φάγοι ( verb 3rd sg aor opt act ) "Eat" is phago) which is a form of the word, phagein, which means to eat", "to eat up," and "to devour."

KJV Analysis: 

No  man -- "No man" is from a word that "nobody", "no one", "not even one", "naught", "good for naught," and "nothing." Jesus much more commonly uses the objective rather than subjective form of this word.

eat -- (WM) The word translated as "eat" is one of the two common words used to mean "eat."It means "to eat", "to eat up," and "to devour." However, the unusual mood of this verb, the optative, should be expressed with some helping words such as "hopefully."

fruit -- The word translated as "fruit" primary meaning is "fruit", "seed," or "offspring," but its secondary meaning is "returns," specifically, "profit," as we would say "fruit of our labors."

of -- (WW) The Greek preposition translated as "of" means "out of" or "from." Using "of" means this look like a genitive possessive, which it is not.

thee -- The word translated as "thee" is the possessive form of the second person pronoun.

hereafter "Hereafter" is an uncommon word for Jesus, at least in this negative opinion form. It means "no more", "no longer," and "no further."

for -- The word translated as "from" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

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

ever. -- (WW) "Ever" is the Greek word that means "lifetime", "life", "a space of time", "an age," an epoch," and "the present world." It is the word from which we get "eon." It is often translated as "world" in the KJV.   See this article on words translated as "world" in Jesus's words

KJV Translation Issues: 

4
  • WM  - Wrong Mood  - The verb "eat" is translated as a command, but the Greek word a mood that expresses a hope, in this case, a negative one.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "of" means "from."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "ever" means "lifetime" or "age."

NIV Analysis: 

May -- (WM) This helping verb indicates a command or a subjunctive form of the following verb, but the verb is neither. It is the optative mood, expressing the hope for something that probably won't happen.

no one -- "No one" is from a word that "nobody", "no one", "not even one", "naught", "good for naught," and "nothing." Jesus much more commonly uses the objective rather than subjective form of this word.

untranslated-- (MW) The untranslated word  means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

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

ever. -- (WW) "Ever" is the Greek word that means "lifetime", "life", "a space of time", "an age," an epoch," and "the present world." It is the word from which we get "eon." It is often translated as "world" in the KJV.   See this article on words translated as "world" in Jesus's words. This is a compounding of the mistakes in the KJV.

eat -- The word translated as "eat" is one of the two common words used to mean "eat."It means "to eat", "to eat up," and "to devour."

fruit -- The word translated as "fruit" primary meaning is "fruit", "seed," or "offspring," but its secondary meaning is "returns," specifically, "profit," as we would say "fruit of our labors."

from --  The Greek preposition translated as "from" means "out of" or "from." Using "of" means this look like a genitive possessive, which it is not.

you -- The word translated as "thee" is the possessive form of the second person pronoun.

again -- (WW) This word is not the Greek word for "again," but a word meaning "no more", "no longer," and "no further."

NIV Translation Issues: 

5
  • WM  - Wrong Mood  - The helping verb "may"  seems to indicate a command, but the Greek word a mood that expresses a hope, in this case, a negative one.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The preposition "in" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "ever" means "lifetime" or "age."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "again" means "no longer."
  •  

NLT Analysis: 

May -- (WM) This helping verb indicates a command or a subjunctive form of the following verb, but the verb is neither. It is the optative mood, expressing the hope for something that probably won't happen.

no one -- "No one" is from a word that "nobody", "no one", "not even one", "naught", "good for naught," and "nothing." Jesus much more commonly uses the objective rather than subjective form of this word.

untranslated-- (MW) The untranslated word  means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

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

ever. -- (WW) "Ever" is the Greek word that means "lifetime", "life", "a space of time", "an age," an epoch," and "the present world." It is the word from which we get "eon." It is often translated as "world" in the KJV.   See this article on words translated as "world" in Jesus's words. This is a compounding of the mistakes in the KJV.

eat -- The word translated as "eat" is one of the two common words used to mean "eat."It means "to eat", "to eat up," and "to devour."

untranslated--  (MW) The Greek preposition translated as "from" means "out of" or "from." Using "of" means this look like a genitive possessive, which it is not.

your -- The word translated as "your" is the possessive form of the second person pronoun.

fruit -- The word translated as "fruit" primary meaning is "fruit", "seed," or "offspring," but its secondary meaning is "returns," specifically, "profit," as we would say "fruit of our labors."

again -- (WW) This word is not the Greek word for "again," but a word meaning "no more", "no longer," and "no further."

NLT Translation Issues: 

6
  • WM  - Wrong Mood  - The helping verb "may"  seems to indicate a command, but the Greek word a mood that expresses a hope, in this case, a negative one.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The preposition "in" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "ever" means "lifetime" or "age."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The preposition "from" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "again" means "no longer."
  •  

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Rather than a "curse" as this verse is often portrayed, this verse comes across as a bit of sad rumination, with Jesus perhaps contemplating his own death and his own lack of fruit, in several sense of the word. This is harder to see in translations because the phrase "in this lifetime" is entirely lost.  He could be talking about the end of his own life here and his no longer being able to offer his fruit to others.

Front Page Date: 

Nov 1 2019