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This "Generation"

Mark 13:30 et al


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With great humility, we're:

Posted by Steve Caruso , updated Sunday, March 23, 2003 1:13 PM

"Verily I say to you, That this generation shall not pass away, until all these things occur." ‑Mark 13:30

The Problem

The bold area in Greek reads "?????" (genea), which can mean "generation" (not to be confused with "?????" (genos) which means "offspring"). Here it would seem that our Messiah prophesized incorrectly in the Greek.

The Solution

The answer comes in the Aramaic. Here we don't see the word for "generation," but the word "??????" (sharvtho), which means "family," or "family branch." A "??????" (sharvtho), is like a ray in geometry. It starts at a point, then continues onwards. Usually "??????" (sharvotho, plural) come from other "??????" (sharvotho, plural), so we can see these branching rays make up a family tree.

The only way for a "?????" (sharvtho) can be extinguished, is if the entire family is wiped out, an entire branch destroyed. And "?????" (sharvtho) can also be used to describe a people as a whole, like someone could be from an Italian "?????" (sharvtho) or the "?????" (sharvtho) of New York.

So you can see that since "?????" (genea) implies a length of time equal to one person's lifespan, a generation, a "?????" (sharvtho) can last from a few days to thousands of years (for example, we are all still within the "?????" (sharvtho) of Adam).

The Significance

Who Was He Talking To?

Since we now know what "?????" (sharvtho) means, how do we know which "?????" (sharvtho) our Messiah was referring to? Taking a look at the beginning of the chapter, at verse 3:

" And as he sat on the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when these things are all about to be accomplished? " ‑Mark 13:3‑4

Bingo: His disciples. But some of them came from different biological families. What did they all have in common?

They were Christians.

The Bride of Christ

This is of even more importance, considering the events of the night before the Messiah was handed over:

When the he gave the last supper, it paralled the Jewish betrothal custom of winedrinking.

Back in the days of olde, in Jewish custom, when a man wanted to get betrothed to a woman, a cup of wine would be poured at the table. He would drink from it, then offer it to his intended. If she took the wine and drank from it as well, it meant that she accepted the betrothal offer.

This also jives with the many parables Yeshu' taught concerning marriage, placing himself as the bridegroom.

The Conclusion

Putting It All Together

"Verily I say to you, That this family shall not pass away, until all these things occur." ‑Mark 13:30

The Christian family will not die out. :‑)

Further Study

So see how "?????" (sharvtho) is used in other passages, take a peek at the article

Reference Materials