Greek Study Luke 21:25-38
v 25 της γης "the earth" - "The whole world." εθνων (ος) gen. "nations" - [anguish] of nations, Gentiles, peoples - the word can describe geopolitical, language groupings or tribes, so "all the people will be in…" της συνοχη (η) "anguish"
θαλασσης και σαλου gen. "[at the roaring] and tossing of the sea" - probably ablative denoting origin, the sound that comes from the sea an allusion to Psalm 46:3.
v26 αποψυχοντων (αποψυχω) gen. pres. part. "will faint" – idiom: a Hapax legomenon, literally, to stop breathing from φοβου και προσδοκιας (α) "terror, [apprehensive of what is coming]" - Possibly a hendiadys (a single idea is being expressed in two words joined by και).
των ουρανων (ος) gen. "the heavenly bodies" - NIV understands "powers" as referring to the stars but in the Greek this word usually refers to earthly authorities, yet here cosmic bodies (planets, stars) seems more likely. For the ancients, the stars of the night sky were associated with heavenly powers and authorities which is why in the NRSV it is rendered. "The powers of the heavens.”
σαλευθησονται (σαλευω) fut. pas. "will be shaken"
v27 οψονται (οραω) fut. "they will see" του ανθρωπου (ος) gen. "[the Son] of Man" ερχομενον (ερχομαι) pres. part. "coming" πολλης adj. "[power and] great [glory]" - This description of the coming of the Son of Man is expanded in 9:26 where we are told "he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." Unlike Luke, who uses the genitive "of the holy angels" Mark uses the preposition "with".
v28 αρχομενων (αρχων) pres. part. "when [these things] begin" a temporal clause.
γινεσθαι (γινομαι) pres. inf. "take place"
ανακυψατε (ανακυπτω) aor. imp. "stand up" διοτι "because" υμων gen. pro. "your" απολυτρωσις (ις εως) "redemption"- released by the payment of a price, therefore deliverance. If we take v35 literally, the "redemption" is from the persecution of the Jewish rebels by the Roman armies around 70. If, on the other hand, we regard that v25 and following is about the future return of Christ, then either we are looking at "deliverance" from the great tribulation, or "redemption" in eternal terms. εγγιζει (εγγιζω) pres. "is palpable" – within reach.
v29 παραβολην (η) "this parable" - in the sense of illustration, rather than a riddle - this is a teaching not a kingdom parable. The "lesson" supports Jesus' teaching that the signs of the coming "desolation" will be easily understood, namely Jerusalem under siege.
ιδετε (ειδον) aor. imp. "look at" Mark has "learn from".
v30 βλεποντες (βλεπω) pres. part. "you can see" - with the adverb "already", untranslated, "as soon as you see."
v31 οταν + subj. "when you see" ταυτα "these things" – i.e. the events associated with the destruction of the temple, particularly the siege of Jerusalem.
γινομενα (γινομαι) pres. part. "happening" -
εγγυς adv. "near" – spatially; literally “at hand, within reach”.
v32 η γενεα αυτη "this generation" – i.e. Jesus' contemporaries.
παντα "all these things" - "these things" is assumed, and properly so since Mark has "all these things", but we are again left wondering what makes up the "all". Presumably it is again the events associated with the destruction of the temple, but there are other possibilities, eg. the "dreadful commotions" "before the end of the age."
v34 προσεχετε (προσεχω) pres. imp. "be careful" - the present tense expressing the idea of a constant state of alertness.
βαρηθωσιν (βαρεω) aor. pas. subj. "will be burdened” a futuristic subjunctive. The sense is of our minds ("hearts") becoming insensitive, such that spiritual insight is dulled. μεριμναις (α) "the anxieties" - the worries of βιωτικαις adj. "of life"
αιφνιδιος adj. "suddenly" - Best in the sense of "unexpectedly".
v35 επεισελευσεται (επεισερχομαι) fut. "it will come [upon]" ους καθημενους (καθημαι) pres. part. "[all] those who live"
v36 αγρυπνειτε (αγρυπνεω) pres. imp. "be [always] on the watch" - be alert, stay awake, be watchful, be vigilant. Along with the phrase "in every moment (always)" underlines the idea of "constant watchfulness", in the sense of a sentry on guard in a watchtower being always alert.
δεομενοι (δεομαι) pres. pas. part. "praying" – participle is expressing manner, how a person should keep alert; or possibly expressing purpose, "stay awake in order to pray".
κατισχυσητε (κατισχυω) aor. subj. "you may be able [to escape]" - have strength [to pass through safely.
τα μελλοντα γινεσθαι "that is about to happen"
σταθηναι (ιστημι) aor. pas. inf. "[that you may be able] to stand" - aorist is ingressive, so the emphasis is on the beginning of the action, so "take a stand" a la Luther (Here I stand!)
εμπροσθεν "before/in front of" - often viewed as a negative image, i.e. like standing in the docket ready to be judged, but the image can also be a positive one denoting a believer's "successful negotiation of the trials.