Greek Study Mark 12:38-44
V 38 βλεπετε (βλεπω) pres. imp. "watch out" – beware- on your guard.
των θελοντων (θελω) pres. part. "[they] like" - the ones desiring. The articular participle is a warning specific of those scribes who are hypocritical, rather than all scribes in general.
περιπατειν (περιπατεω) pres. inf. "to walk around" - to walk about. The infinitive may simply complementary, completing the verbal aspect of the participle "wanting",
or forming an object clause/statement of perception expressing what the scribes desire.
εν στολαις (η) "in flowing robes" - long robes. Dressing up "in" something is a common expression, but not in Mark. The sense is probably "festive robes".
ασπασμους (ος) "greeted" - greetings. Introducing a second object clause/ statement of perception expressing what the scribes desire namely, "greetings in the market place", greetings in the sense of "deferential salutations".
v39 πρωτοκαθεδριας (α) "the most important seat" – a third object clause/statement of perception following the participle "desiring". And also (kai) "desiring/wanting" the best seat in the house. In a synagogue this is the box in front of the ark within which is stored the scrolls of scripture.
πρωτοκλισιας (α) "the places of honor" - the chief seat at a dinner table. Introducing the fourth object clause/statement of perception.
δειπνοις (ον) "banquets" - Usually an evening meal, so "Dinner parties".
v40 οι κατεσθιοντες (κατεσθιω) pres. part. nom. "they devour" - the ones exploiting.
This is sometimes translated adjectivally, modifying "the teachers of the law/the scribes",
τας οικιας (α) "[devour widow's] houses" - The sense is of a religious person abusing the generosity of those who have little to spare. So, "house" may be better expressed as "property/belongings/wealth."
των χηρων (α) gen. "of widow's" - The genitive is possessive; "that belong to widows."
προφασει (ις εως) dat. "for a show" - pretense, pretext. The dative is modal expressing manner.
προσευχομενοι (προσευχομαι) pres. part. nom. "make [lengthy] prayers" This participle presents the same difficulties as "devouring" above; probably "beware the scribes who make lengthy prayers for a show."
λαμψονται (λαμβανω) fut. "will receive
περισσοτερον adj. "most severely" - greater [judgment]. a comparative sense is also possible, such that those scribes who do such things will receive a more severe sentence.
v41 Mark's point here is that the robbed widows stand in contrast to the robber scribes, and are those who truly serve God.
καθισας (καθιζω) aor. part. "Jesus sat down" - having sat. The participle is adverbial, best taken as temporal; "Then he sat down in front of the collection box".
κατεναντι + gen. "opposite [the place where the offerings were put]" - opposite, before [the treasury]. This adverb is used here as a preposition.
χαλκον (ος) "money" copper usually meaning copper coinage, here likely just money.
το γαζοφυλακιου (ον) "[into] the temple treasury" Usually identified as the thirteen trumpet-shaped offering bowls in the Court of Women, although some suggest it is the treasury itself where the gift must be publicly declared and so, easily overheard.
εθεωρει (θεωρεω) imperf. "watched" The imperfect expressing a repeated observation of those who were putting money in the offering boxes. "He was watching how the crowds of people were putting their money into the treasury.
εβαλλον (βαλλω) imperf. "threw" The imperfect is used at this point to express a supplementary action to the action of the crowd who were ballei "throwing", their money into the offering box.
v42 ελθουσα (ερχομαι) aor. part. "[a poor widow] came"
λεπτα (ον) "very small copper coins" - the smallest Jewish coin, worth a fraction of a
κοδραντης a penny" Mark explains the value of a lepton by comparing it with Roman coinage.
v43 προσκαλεσαμενος (προσκαλεομαι) aor. part. "calling" - participle is adverbial, probably consecutive, expressing result, "so he called his disciples and said to them".
αμην λεγω υμιν "I tell you the truth" - truly I say to you. Always used to underline the saying that follows.
εβαλεν (βαλλω) aor. "has cast" Variant perfect tense is accepted by many translations.
πλειον adv. "more" - much, many. Comparative adverb; "to a greater extent."
των βαλλοντων (βαλλω) gen. pres. part. "than all the others cast" - [into the treasury]. The participle functions as a substantive, while the genitive is ablative, of comparison. The sense is possibly that the value of her gift exceeded the total value of all that was thrown in, although probably Jesus is saying she gave a gift of greater value, in devotional terms, than even the most generous gift given that day.
v44 περισσευοντος (περισσευω) pres. part. "wealth" – from that which abounds.
της υστερησεως (ις εως) "poverty" - want, need, deficiency, lack, poverty..
παντα adj. "everything" - specified by the final appositional phrase, "her whole living." She gave what she had to live on, excluding her home and possessions.
τον βιον (ος) "[all she] had to live on" - [but this widow, from the need of her, everything she had she put in as much - all] the livelihood, living [of her].