Sunday, September 1, 2013

Matthew 24:9

Approaching this verse, Jesus has just warned his disciples that famines and plagues will only be the beginning of their problems:
τότε παραδώσουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς θλῖψιν καὶ ἀποκτενοῦσιν ὑμᾶς, καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι ὑπὸ πάντων τῶν ἐθνῶν διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου.

Then they will betray you to suffering and will kill you, and you will be hated by all the nations because of my name. (Matthew 24:9)
Disciples should expect betrayal and to be hated. While the individuals hating the disciples is clearly "all the nations" or "all the Gentiles" the antecedent to the verbs for betraying and killing is less clear. The last previous plural personal noun mentioned in the chapter is back in verse 5: the πολλοὶ  ἐλεύσονται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου "many who will come in my name" (Matthew 24:5). It would appear that those who claim to represent Jesus will be those who will betray the disciples and attempt to kill them. This is not a pleasant prospect.