Mark 13:8 For nation shall rise against nation...

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

It is going to be roused, consequently, nation against nation and realm against realm. There are going to be earthquakes beneath places. There are going to be hungers, a beginning of birth pains. These things...

KJV : 

Mark 13:8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these [are] the beginnings of sorrows.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

While this seems on the surface to be a litany of different types of problems, the double meanings seem to indicate that Jesus could be talking about political upheavals.

The first phrase does not describe nation "rising up" against nation, but "being roused up," that passive form. The word translated as "earthquakes" also means "agitation," so there is a sense here of political agitation that is rousing nations up. The phrase "in diverse" actually means "down into," giving us the sense of those above agitating those below into action. The word translated as "famines" is more general meaning "hungers," the idea of unsatisfied desires. The word translated as "beginning" also means "the first place of power" and "command." The word translated as "sorrows" has a most specific meaning of "struggles," the pain of child birth giving something new life.

This verse also has a number of words in the KJV, from their Greek version, that did not exist in the original Greek nor in the Latin Vulgate translation. These words were perhaps added to reconcile the last few words, which are problematic in translation.

NIV : 

Mark 13:8  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

NLT : 

Mark 13:8 Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἐγερθήσεται” (verb 3rd sg fut ind pass) "Shall arise" is from egeiro, which means "to awaken", "to stir up," and "to rouse."

γὰρ (adv) "For" comes from gar (gar) which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation:  "for", "since," and "as." In an abrupt question it means "why" and "what."

ἔθνος (noun sg neut nom/acc) "Nation" is from ethnos, which means "a number of people living together", "company", "body of men," "tribe", "a people", "nation," and (later) "foreign, barbarous nations."

ἐπὶ (prep) "Against" is from epi. which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against."

ἔθνος (noun sg neut nom/acc) "Nation" is from ethnos, which means "a number of people living together", "company", "body of men," "tribe", "a people", "nation," and (later) "foreign, barbarous nations." -- The word translated as "Gentiles" does not mean gentiles or even foreigners. Its primary meaning is "a group of people living together," a anation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. It is in the same form as the "them" above, so "to them" or "for them."

καὶ (conj/adv) "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."

βασιλεία (noun pl neut nom/acc) "Kingdom" is from basileia, which means "kingdom", "dominion", "hereditary monarchy", "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign." --

ἐπὶ (prep) "Against" is from epi. which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against."

βασιλείαν,” (noun pl neut nom/acc) "Kingdom" is from basileia, which means "kingdom", "dominion", "hereditary monarchy", "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign." --

ἔσονται ( verb 3rd pl fut ind mid ) "There shall be" is is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen",  and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.") -- The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics. -- When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are." 

σεισμοὶ [3 verses](noun pl masc nom) "Earthquake" is seismos, which means "shaking", "earthquake", "shock", "agitation", "commotion", "blackmail," and "extortion."

κατὰ  (prep) "In diverse" is kata, which, as a preposition, means "downwards", "down from", "down into", "against", "down toward", "opposite", "separately", "individually", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally." As an adverb, it means "according as", "just as", "in so far as", "wherefore", "like as if" and "exactly as."

τόπους, (noun pl masc acc)"Places" is from topos, which means "place", "region", "position", "part [of the body]", "district", "room," and "topic." It is also a metaphor for "opening", "occasion," and "opportunity."

ἔσονται ( verb 3rd pl fut ind mid ) "There shall be" is is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen",  and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.") -- The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics. -- When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."

λιμοί:  [6 verses](noun pl masc nom) "Famine" is limos, which means "hunger", "famine," and "a hungry wrench."

ἀρχὴ ( noun sg fem nom ) "Beginning" is arche, which means "beginning", "origin", "first principles", "first place of power", "empire," and "command." This is the word from which we get both "archbishop," primal bishops who can consecrate other bishops, and "archeology," the study of ancient.

ὠδίνων [2 verses](noun pl fem gen) "Sorrows" is from ôdin, which means specifically the "pain or throes of childbirth", "children", in singular, "that which is born amid throes"," "child," It is a metaphor for "anguish" but with the specific sense of suffering that bears fruit, "fruit of" the mind's "travail". This is very different from the sorrow we feel at death, which is what the term "sorrows" in the context of war and natural disaster seems to indicate.

ταῦτα. ( adj pl neut nom/acc ) "These" is tauta, which is a referring pronoun meaning "these", "this", "that," and "here." It can mean the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why."

KJV Analysis: 

For --The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation so "because" and, in questions, "why."  However, since this word always appears in the second position, it is more like an aside remark like, "consequently" or "as a cause". 

nation  -- The word translated as "nation" is usually translated as "gentiles." It does not mean gentiles or even foreigners. Its primary meaning is "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. It is in the same form as the "them" above, so "to them" or "for them." Its use here is more accurate.

shall -- This helping verb indicates that the following verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translated the Greek verb forms into English.

rise -- (WF) The word for "rise" means "awaken" and is the same word Christ uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising.  However, here this verb is in the passive, "be roused" or "be awakened."

against -- The word translated as "against" means "down from", "down into", "against", "opposite", "separately", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

nation, -- The word translated as "nation" means "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. It is in the same form as the "them" above, so "to them" or "for them." Its use here is more accurate.

and -- 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".

kingdom -- The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

against -- The word translated as "against" means "down from", "down into", "against", "opposite", "separately", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

kingdom: -- The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

and -- (OS) There is no Greek word that is translated as "and" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

there -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the following verb.  When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are." 

shall -- This helping verb indicates that the following verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translated the Greek verb forms into English.

be -- The verb "be" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.  The form is the middle voice, where the subject acts on itself.

earthquakes -- "Earthquakes" is a Greek word that means "shaking", "earthquake", "shock", "agitation", "commotion", "blackmail," and "extortion." This word is used only three times by Jesus, in this verse and in its parallels in Matthew and Luke.

in divers -- (WW) The word translated as "in diverse" means "down from", "down into", "against", "opposite", "separately", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

places, -- "Places" is translated from a Greek word that means "place", "position," and "topic." This is a fairly uncommon word for Christ to use.

and -- (IW) There is no Greek word that is translated as "and" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

there -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the following verb.  When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are." 

shall -- This helping verb indicates that the following verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translated the Greek verb forms into English.

be -- The verb "be" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.  The form is the middle voice, where the subject acts on itself.

famines "Famine" is a noun that means "hunger", "famine," and "a hungry wrench."

and troubles -- (OS) There is no Greek word that is translated as "and troubles" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

these -- The "these"  is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. This word is neutral, plural and could be a subject or an object. It appears at the end of the verse. It could refer to all the feminine and masculine nouns of the sentence together, but it doesn't match any of them specifically or any verbs, which should be singular to match a neutral plural.

are -- (IW) There is no Greek word that is translated as "are" in the source .

the  -- (IW) There is no Greek word that is translated as "the" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used.   There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation so an "a" could be used here.

beginnings -- "Beginnings" is a noun that means "beginning", "origin", "first principles", "first place of power", "empire," and "command." This is the word from which we get both "archbishop," primal bishops who can consecrate other bishops, and "archeology," the study of ancient history.

of -- This word comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive nouns. 

sorrows. -- (WW) "Sorrows" is a noun that means specifically the "pain or throes of childbirth", "children", in singular, "that which is born amid throes"," "child," It is a metaphor for "anguish" but with the specific sense of suffering that bears fruit.  It also means the "fruit of" the mind's "travail". This is very different from the sorrow we feel at death, which is what the term "sorrows" in the context of war and natural disaster seems to indicate. Perhaps "struggles" would be a better translation.

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "rise" is a passive verb, "be roused."
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "and"existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "in diverse" means "down from."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "and troubles" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "are" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "sorrows" means "birth pains."

NIV Analysis: 

For --The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation so "because" and, in questions, "why."  To prevent a run-on sentence, it can be translated as "this is why" or "this is because..." to start a new sentence. However, since this word always appears in the second position, it is more like an aside remark like, "consequently" or "as a cause". 

nation  -- The word translated as "nation" is usually translated as "gentiles." It does not mean gentiles or even foreigners. Its primary meaning is "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. It is in the same form as the "them" above, so "to them" or "for them." Its use here is more accurate.

will -- This helping verb indicates that the following verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translated the Greek verb forms into English.

rise -- (WF) The word for "rise" means "awaken" and is the same word Christ uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising.  However, here this verb is in the passive, "be roused" or "be awakened."

against -- The word translated as "against" means "down from", "down into", "against", "opposite", "separately", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

nation, -- The word translated as "nation" means "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. It is in the same form as the "them" above, so "to them" or "for them." Its use here is more accurate.

and -- 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".

kingdom -- The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

against -- The word translated as "against" means "down from", "down into", "against", "opposite", "separately", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

kingdom: -- The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

there -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the following verb.  When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are." 

will  -- This helping verb indicates that the following verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translated the Greek verb forms into English.

be -- The verb "be" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.  The form is the middle voice, where the subject acts on itself.

earthquakes -- "Earthquakes" is a Greek word that means "shaking", "earthquake", "shock", "agitation", "commotion", "blackmail," and "extortion." This word is used only three times by Jesus, in this verse and in its parallels in Matthew and Luke.

in various-- (WW) The word translated as "in various" means "down from", "down into", "against", "opposite", "separately", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

places, -- "Places" is translated from a Greek word that means "place", "position," and "topic." This is a fairly uncommon word for Christ to use.

and -- (IW) There is no Greek word that is translated as "and" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

untranslated "be"-- (MW) The untranslated word  is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.  The form is the middle voice, where the subject acts on itself.

famines "Famine" is a noun that means "hunger", "famine," and "a hungry wrench."

these -- -- The "these"  is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. This word is neutral, plural and could be a subject or an object. It appears at the end of the verse. It could refer to all the feminine and masculine nouns of the sentence together, but it doesn't match any of them specifically or any verbs, which should be singular to match a neutral plural.

are -- (IW) There is no Greek word that is translated as "are" in the source .

the  -- (IW) There is no Greek word that is translated as "the" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used.   There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation so an "a" could be used here.

beginning -- "Beginning" is a noun that means "beginning", "origin", "first principles", "first place of power", "empire," and "command." This is the word from which we get both "archbishop," primal bishops who can consecrate other bishops, and "archeology," the study of ancient history.

of -- This word comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive nouns. 

birth pains. --"Birth pains" is a noun that means specifically the "pain or throes of childbirth", "children", in singular, "that which is born amid throes"," "child," It is a metaphor for "anguish" but with the specific sense of suffering that bears fruit.  It also means the "fruit of" the mind's "travail". This is very different from the sorrow we feel at death, which is what the term "sorrows" in the context of war and natural disaster seems to indicate. Perhaps "struggles" would be a better translation.

NIV Translation Issues: 

5
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "rise" is a passive verb, "be roused."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "in various" means "down from."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The verb "be" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "are" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" doesn't exist in the source.

NLT Analysis: 

untranslated "for"-- (MW) The untranslated word "for" introduces a reason or explanation so "because" and, in questions, "why."  To prevent a run-on sentence, it can be translated as "this is why" or "this is because..." to start a new sentence. However, since this word always appears in the second position, it is more like an aside remark like, "consequently" or "as a cause". 

Nation  -- The word translated as "nation" is usually translated as "gentiles." It does not mean gentiles or even foreigners. Its primary meaning is "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. It is in the same form as the "them" above, so "to them" or "for them." Its use here is more accurate.

will -- This helping verb indicates that the following verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translated the Greek verb forms into English.

go -- (WW) The word for "rise" means "awaken" and is the same word Christ uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising.  However, here this verb is in the passive, "be roused" or "be awakened."

to war -- (IP) There are no Greek words that can be translated as "to war" in the Greek source.

against -- The word translated as "against" means "down from", "down into", "against", "opposite", "separately", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

nation, -- The word translated as "nation" means "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. It is in the same form as the "them" above, so "to them" or "for them." Its use here is more accurate.

and -- 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".

kingdom -- The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

against -- The word translated as "against" means "down from", "down into", "against", "opposite", "separately", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

kingdom: -- The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

There -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the following verb.  When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are." 

will  This helping verb indicates that the following verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translated the Greek verb forms into English.

be -- The verb "be" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.  The form is the middle voice, where the subject acts on itself.

earthquakes -- "Earthquakes" is a Greek word that means "shaking", "earthquake", "shock", "agitation", "commotion", "blackmail," and "extortion." This word is used only three times by Jesus, in this verse and in its parallels in Matthew and Luke.

in many -- (WW) The word translated as "in various" means "down from", "down into", "against", "opposite", "separately", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

parts  --  (WW) "Places" is translated from a Greek word that means "place", "position," and "topic." This is a fairly uncommon word for Christ to use.

of the world  as well as -- (IP) There are no Greek words that can be translated as "of the world as well as" in the Greek source.

untranslated "be"-- (MW) The untranslated word  is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.  The form is the middle voice, where the subject acts on itself.

famines "Famine" is a noun that means "hunger", "famine," and "a hungry wrench."

But -- (IW) There is no Greek word that is translated as "but" in the source .

this -- (WN) The "this"  is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. This word is neutral, plural and could be a subject or an object. It appears at the end of the verse. It could refer to all the feminine and masculine nouns of the sentence together, but it doesn't match any of them specifically or any verbs, which should be singular to match a neutral plural.

is only the -- (IP) There are no Greek words that can be translated as "is only the" in the Greek source.

first -- (WW) "Beginning" is a noun that means "beginning", "origin", "first principles", "first place of power", "empire," and "command." This is the word from which we get both "archbishop," primal bishops who can consecrate other bishops, and "archeology," the study of ancient history.

of -- This word comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive nouns. 

the -- (IW) There is no Greek word that is translated as "the" in the source .

birth pains. --"Birth pains" is a noun that means specifically the "pain or throes of childbirth", "children", in singular, "that which is born amid throes"," "child," It is a metaphor for "anguish" but with the specific sense of suffering that bears fruit.  It also means the "fruit of" the mind's "travail". This is very different from the sorrow we feel at death, which is what the term "sorrows" in the context of war and natural disaster seems to indicate. Perhaps "struggles" would be a better translation.

with more to come. -- (IP) There are no Greek words that can be translated as "with more to come" in the Greek source.

NLT Translation Issues: 

12
  • MW - Missing Word -- The conjunction "for" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "go" means "be roused."
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "to war" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "in many" means "down from."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "parts" means "places."
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "of the world as well as" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The verb "will be" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "but" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "this " is translated as singular but it is plural, "these."
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "is only the" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "first" means "beginning."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "but" doesn't exist in the source.

Front Page Date: 

Dec 13 2019