Luke 21:25-36

Luke 21:25-36
Advent C1


25 “There will beA signsB in the sun,C the moon,D and the stars,E

Notes on verse 25a

A “be” = eimi. This is to be or exist.
B “signs” = semeion. From the same as semaino (to give a sign, signify, indicate, make known); from sema (a sign or mark). It is literally a sign of any kind. It also refers to a sign given by God to confirm or authenticate a message or prophecy. It is not necessarily miraculous, but it can be. The Gospel of John generally uses this word instead of miracle.
C “sun” = helios. This is sun, which would imply light in general or the east.
D “moon” = selene. 9x in NT. From selas (bright flame). This is moon as bright.
E “stars” = astron. 4x in NT. From aster (star literally or figuratively); probably from stronnumi or stronnuo (to spread, make a bed). This is a star or a constellation seen as a single unit. It can also evoke the Roman god Saturn.

and on the earthF distressG among nationsH confusedI

Notes on verse 25b

F “earth” = ge. This is earth, land, soil, region, country, the inhabitants of an area.
G “distress” = sunoche. 2x in NT. From sunecho (to hold together or hold fast, to close or press together; to be struck by an illness, arrested, compressed as by a multitude or a siege; figuratively, to compel, perplex, preoccupy, afflict); {from sun (with, together with) + echo (to have, hold, possess)}. This is anguish or anxiety. It is something in hard circumstances where someone feels trapped or restrained. Hence, it is distress.
H “nations” = ethnos. Probably from etho (a custom or culture). This is people who are united by having similar customs or culture. Generally, it is used to refer to Gentiles. This is a tribe, race, nation, or Gentiles in general. This is where the term “ethnicity” comes from.
I “confused” = aporia. 1x in NT. From aporeo (perplexed, in doubt; mentally at a loss); {from a (not, without) + poros (way, resource)}. This is anxiety, confusion, doubt.

by the roaringJ of the seaK and the waves.L 

Notes on verse 25c

J “roaring” = echos. 4x in NT. From eche (noise or sound). This is a loud sound, roaring, or echo. It can also be a report, rumor, or fame. This is where the word “echo” comes from.
K “sea” = thalassa. Perhaps from hals (sea, salt, a boy of saltwater) or halas (salt; can be figurative for prudence). This is the sea, a lake, or seashore.
L “waves” = salos. 1x in NT. Probably from the base of saino (wag the tail, flatter, beguile, move, shake; figuratively, to disturb); related to seio (to shake, vibrate; figuratively to agitate or show fear). This is a rolling or tossing. It is used of waves or the sea, particularly during a storm.

26 PeopleM will faintN from fearO

Notes on verse 26a

M “people” = 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.
N “faint” = apopsucho. 1x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + psucho (to breathe, blow, breathe out, to cool or make cold). This is to faint because of not having enough breath. It can refer to being discouraged.
O “fear” = phobos. From phebomai (to flee, withdraw, be put to flight). This is panic flight, fear, fear being caused, terror, alarm, that which causes fear, reverence, respect.

and forebodingP of what is comingQ upon the world,R

Notes on verse 26b

P “foreboding” = prosdokia. 2x in NT. From prosdokao (to await, anticipate, expect, look for); {from pros (at, to, toward, with) + dokeuo (to watch)}. This is expectation or waiting. It can also be a sense of foreboding.
Q “coming” = eperchomai. 10x in NT. From epi (on, upon, to, against, what is fitting) + erchomai (to come or go). This is to come upon, arrive, occur. It focuses on the impact or influence beyond the initial coming.
R “world” = oikoumene. 15x in NT. From oikeo (to settle or be established somewhere in a permanent way, to make a home or live at home); from oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple). This is the world – the part where people live. It was used specifically for the Roman world. It is the root of the word “ecumenic.”

for the powersS of the heavensT will be shaken.U 

Notes on verse 26c

S “powers” = dunamis. From dunamai (to be able, have power or ability). This is might, strength, physical power, efficacy, energy, and miraculous power. It is force literally or figuratively – the power of a miracle or the miracle itself.
T “heavens” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill) with the notion of height. This is the air, the sky, the atmosphere, and heaven. It is the sky that is visible and the spiritual heaven where God dwells. Heaven implies happiness, power, and eternity.
U “be shaken” = saleuo. Related to “waves” in v25. 15x in NT. From salos (see note L above). This is to agitate or shake up. It can mean to disturb, topple, incite, or destroy.

27 Then they will seeV ‘the SonW of ManX comingY in a cloud’Z with power and greatAA glory.BB 

Notes on verse 27

V “see” = horao. Related to “people” in v25. See note M above.
W “Son” = Huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.
X “Man” = anthropos. Same as “people” in v25. See note M above.
Y “coming” = erchomai. Related to “coming” in v26. See note Q above.
Z “cloud” = nephele. From nephos (cloud; figurative for a great crowd or multitude). This is cloud or cloudiness.
AA “great” = polus. This is much, often, plenteous – a large number or a great extent.
BB “glory” = doxa. From dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is literally something that evokes a good opinion – something that connects to our understanding of intrinsic worth. The ultimate expression of this is, of course, God and God’s manifestation. So, this is opinion, honor, and dignity, but also praise, glory, renown, and worship.

28 Now when these things beginCC to take place,DD stand upEE

Notes on verse 28a

CC “begin” = archomai. From archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). This is to begin or rule.
DD “take place” = 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.
EE “stand up” = anakupto. 4x in NT. From ana (up, back, among, again, anew) + kupto (to stoop, bend forward, bow one’s head); {perhaps from kuma (wave, billow, curve, bend); from kuo (to swell as one pregnant)}.This is to stand up, roll back, be elated, unbend.

and raiseFF your heads,GG because your redemptionHH is drawing near.”II

Notes on verse 28b

FF “raise” = epairo. 19x in NT. From epi (on, upon, among, what is fitting) + airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is to lift up or raise in a literal or figurative sense. Figuratively, it could mean to exalt oneself.
GG “heads” = kephale. This is head or chief. It can be a literal head or, figuratively, a ruler or lord. It can also refer to a corner stone. This is where the word “cephalic” comes from.
HH “redemption” apolutrosis. 10x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + lutroo (to redeem, liberate, release because ransom was paid in full; figuratively, returning something or someone to their rightful owner) [from lutron (ransom, the money used to free slaves; also a sacrifice of expiation; figurative for atonement); from luo (to loose, release, untie; figuratively, to break, destroy, or annul; releasing what had been withheld)]. This is redemption, deliverance, or release particularly with the notion of ransom paid – a buying back what had been lost.
II “drawing near” = eggizo. From eggus (nearby or near in time). This is extremely close by – approaching, at hand, immediately imminent.

29 Then he told them a parable:JJ “LookKK at the fig tree and allLL the trees; 

Notes on verse 29

JJ “parable” = parabole. From paraballo (literally to throw beside, compare, arrive, liken); {from para (by, beside, in the presence of) + ballo (to throw, cast, place, put, drop)}. This is a parable, comparison, adage. Quite often a tale told or a metaphor to establish a point, but it could be a true story.
KK “look” = horao. Same as “see” in v27. See note V above.
LL “all” = pas. This is all or every.

30 as soon as they sproutMM leaves you can seeNN for yourselves and knowOO that summerPP is already near.QQ 31 So also, when you seeRR these things taking place, you know that the kingdomSS of GodTT is near. 

Notes on verses 30-31

MM “sprout” = proballo. Related to “parable” in v29. 2x in NT. From pro (before, first, in front of, earlier) + ballo (see note JJ above) This is to push forward, produce, germinate, or sprout.
NN “see” = blepo. This is literally to see – it is primarily used in the physical sense. However, figuratively it can be seeing, which includes attention and so to watchfulness, being observant, perceiving, and acting on the visual information. It can also mean beware.
OO “know” = ginosko. This is to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn. It is knowledge gained through personal experience.
PP “summer” = theros. 3x in NT. From thero (to heat). This is properly heat so it refers to the summer.
QQ “near” = eggus. Related to “drawing near” in v28. See note II above.
RR “see” = horao. Same as “see” in v27. See note V above.
SS “kingdom” = basileia. From basileus (king, emperor, sovereign); probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is kingdom, rule, authority, sovereignty, royalty, a realm.
TT “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

32 TrulyUU I tellVV you, this generationWW will not pass awayXX until all things have taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my wordsYY will not pass away.

Notes on verses 32-33

UU “truly” = amen. From Hebrew amen (verily, truly, amen, truth, so be it, faithfulness); from aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This word is literally firmness, but figuratively fidelity, faithfulness, honesty, responsibility, trust, truth, steadfastness. Properly, it is to be sure, certain, or firm. This is a word of emphasis indicating that something crucial follows.
VV “tell” = lego. This is to speak, say, name, call, command. It is generally to convey verbally.
WW “generation” = genea. Related to “take place” in v28. From genos (family, offspring, kin – in a literal or figurative sense); from ginomai (see note DD above). This is family, generation, kind, or nation. As generation, it implies an age as a period of time. It can also mean infinity. This is the root of the word “generation.
XX “pass away” = parerchomai. Related to “coming” in v26 & “coming” in v27. From para (from beside, by) + erchomai (see note Q above). This is pass by, neglect, disregard. Figuratively, it can mean to perish or to become void.
YY “words” = logos. Related to “tell” in v32. From lego (see note VV above). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.

34 “Be on guardZZ so that your heartsAAA are not weighed downBBB with dissipationCCC

Notes on verse 34a

ZZ “be on guard” = prosecho. Related to “distress” in v25. From pros (at, toward) + echo (see note G above). This is have towards, which is to say to give something your complete attention, beware, be cautious, hold to, turn to.
AAA “hearts” = kardia. Literally the heart, but figuratively mind, character, inner self, will, intention, thoughts, feelings. Also, the center of something. The word heart is only used figuratively in the Old and New Testaments. This is where “cardiac” comes from.
BBB “weighed down” = bareo. Related to “kingdom” in v31. 6x in NT. From barus (heavy, burdensome; figuratively, violent, oppressive; that which presses down on someone so that they cannot move freely); from the same as baros (weight, burden in a literal or figurative sense; authority); from baino (see note SS above). This is heavy, press, weigh down, or burden.
CCC “dissipation” = kraipale. 1x in NT. Perhaps from the same as harpazo (to seize by force, snatch away); from haireo (to choose, take).  This is squandering through drunkenness, a headache, a debauch.

and drunkennessDDD and the worriesEEE of this life,FFF

Notes on verse 34b

DDD “drunkenness” = methe. 3x in NT. This is heavy drinking – to the point of drunkenness. Always referenced as a negative.
EEE “worries” = merimna. 6x in NT. Perhaps from merizo (to divide, part, share, distribute, assign; figuratively, to differ); from meros (part, share, portion figurative or literal); from meiromai (to get your share, receive one’s allotment). This is a portion removed from the whole. Figuratively, it is care, worry, or anxiety that tears a person apart.
FFF “life” = biotikos. 3x in NT. From bioo (to live, life related to the physical); from bios (life, livelihood, goods, wealth). This is related to regular life, earthly life, physicality.

and that dayGGG does not catchHHH you unexpectedly,III 

Notes on verse 34c

GGG “day” = hemera. Perhaps from hemai (to sit). This is day, time, or daybreak.
HHH “catch” = ephistemi. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is to stand upon, happen, be present. Usually, it is used in a literal sense.
III “unexpectedly” = aiphnidios. From aiphnes (suddenly); {from a (not, without) + phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear); {perhaps from phos (light, radiance; light literal or figurative)}}. This is literally not apparent so sudden or unexpected.

35 like a trap.JJJ For it will comeKKK upon all who liveLLL on the faceMMM of the wholeNNN earth. 

Notes on verse 35

JJJ “trap” = pagis. 5x in NT. From pegnumi (to fasten, to set up a tent). This is a trap or a snare. It is often used to snare birds. Figuratively, this is a stratagem or a moral snare, a trick.
KKK “come” = eperchomai. Same as “coming” in v26. See note Q above.
LLL “live” = kathemai. Related to “day” in v34. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + hemai (see note GGG above). This is to sit, be enthroned, or reside.
MMM “face” = prosopon. Related to “people” in v25 & “see” in v27. From pros (at, towards, with) + ops (see note M above). This is the face, surface, or front. It can imply presence more generally.
NNN “whole” = pas. Same as “all” in v29. See note LL above.

36 Be alertOOO at all times,PPP prayingQQQ

Notes on verse 36a

OOO “be alert” = agrupneo. 4x in NT. From a (not, without) + hupnos (sleep – literal or figurative); {perhaps from hupo (by, under, about, subordinate to)}. This is awake, not asleep, vigilant, alert.
PPP “times” = kairos. This is season, opportunity, occasion. The word chronos is used for chronological time. Kairos is used for spiritually significant time – the right time or appointed time.
QQQ “praying” = deomai. From deo (to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel; to declare something against the law or prohibited) This is having an urgent need because one is missing or needing something so it is an earnest appeal or pressing request.

that you may have the strengthRRR to escapeSSS all these things that willTTT take place,UUU and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Notes on verse 36b

RRR “have the strength” = katischuo. Related to “distress” in v25 & “be on guard” in v34. 3x in NT. From kata (down, against, according to, throughout) + ischuo (to be strong, healthy and vigorous, able, have power, prevail; strength that engages a resisting force); from ischus (strength, might, power, force, ability; power that engages immediate resistance); {perhaps from is (force) + echo (see note G above)}}. This is to have strength or overpower.
SSS “escape” = ekpheugo. 8x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + pheugo (to run away in a literal or figurative sense; to flee, escape, shun, or vanish). This is to flee away or escape.
TTT “will” = mello. Perhaps from melo (something that one is worried or concerned about, something one pays attention to or thinks about). Properly, this is ready, about to happen, to intend, delay, or linger. This is just on the point of acting.
UUU “stand” = histemi. Related to “catch” in v34. See note HHH above.

Image credit: “Comet P1 McNaught02” by Soerfm, 2013.

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