Matthew 24:42-44

Matthew 24:42-44
Narrative Lectionary


42 Keep awake,A therefore, for you do not knowB on what dayC your LordD is coming.E 

Notes on verse 42

A “keep awake” = gregoreo. From egeiro (to awake, raise up or lift up; to get up from sitting or lying down, to get up from sleeping, to rise from a disease or from death; figuratively, rising from inactivity or from ruins). This is to be or stay awake, watch. Figuratively, it can be alertness or vigilance.
B “know” = eido. This is to know, consider perceive, appreciate, behold, or remember. It means seeing with one’s eyes, but also figuratively, it means perceiving – seeing that becomes understanding. So, by implication, this means knowing or being aware.
C “day” = hemera. Perhaps from hemai (to sit). This is day, time, or daybreak.
D “Lord” = Kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
E “coming” = erchomai. This is to come or go.

43 But understandF this: if the owner of the houseG had known in what part of the nightH the thiefI was coming,

Notes on verse 43a

F “understand” = ginosko. This is to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn. It is knowledge gained through personal experience.
G “owner of the house” = oikodespotes. 12x in NT. From oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple) + despotes (lord, master, despot; authority who has unrestricted power and jurisdiction) + posis (husband). This is the master of the house, head of a family, or the householder.
H “part of the night” = phulake. From phulasso (to guard something so that it doesn’t escape – to watch over it vigilantly; being on guard in a literal or figurative sense); related to phulaks (military guard, sentry, watcher). This is the act of guarding, the person who guards, the place where guarding occurs (i.e. a prison), or the times of guarding (the various watches).
I “thief” = kleptes. 16x in NT. From klepto (to steal secretively). This is a thief that steals using stealth rather than violence. It is a thief in a literal or figurative sense.

he would have stayed awakeJ and would not have letK his houseL be broken into.M 

Notes on verse 43b

J “stayed awake” = gregoreo. Same as “keep awake” in v42. See note A above.
K “let” = eao. 11x in NT. This is to allow, leave, put up with something.
L “house” = oikia. Related to “owner of the house” in v43. From oikos (see note G above). This is a house, household, goods, property, family, or means.
M “broken into” = diorusso. 4x in NT. From dia (through, for the sake of, across, thoroughly) + orusso (to dig, burrow, or excavate). This is to dig through i.e. break into a house.

44 Therefore you also must beN ready,O for the SonP

Notes on verse 44a

N “be” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
O “ready” = hetoimos. 17x in NT. From heteos (fitting, fitness). This is make ready, be ready because of being prepared, standing by, adjusted; ready to meet some opportunity or challenge.
P “Son” = Huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.

of ManQ is coming at an hourR you do not expect.S

Notes on verse 44b

Q “Man” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face); {from optanomai (to appear, be seen); perhaps from horao (become, seem, appear)}. This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
R “hour” = hora. This is a set time or period, an hour, instant, or season. This is where the word “hour” comes from.
S “expect” = dokeo. From dokos (opinion). This is to have an opinion, seem, appear, think, suppose. It deals with a personal judgment. This is the root of the word “doxology.”

Image credit: “Jesus Heals Many People” by Bible Society of Australia – The Wild Bible, 1995.

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