Little Tricky Things


Ruddy Adam answering a question regarding Matthew 11.11-12

How is this verse to be understood:

Mt 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence,[a] and violent people have been raiding it.

Answer Regarding Matthew 11.11-12

Good question, dear Bro. That monkey was one of those troublesome verses my favorite language tutor assigned me to work on many years ago. Back then it took me quite some time to conquer this one, as well as many others. This one—as so many others—is surely impossible for folks to understand in most translations.

Khrist here is speaking to what we would call the Cult today: the many people who followed Him and indeed a lot of them believed in Him, but they all wanted Him to do something physical for them. He speaks to them of course in a language they cannot understand, from riddles to quoting the ancient Scriptures which they had no knowledge of.

On top of that, there are a couple of little tricky things that are impossible for a general reader to know about, without having studied such things as parallelism and the fact that there are so many ellipses (omissions) in the Biblical languages; and that often verb tenses must be changed when brought into the receiver language, in this case, English.

Now, let me start you off with this, and then you let me know what you think. These words the Lord spoke before Yohn the Baptizer was killed. Yasu represents the Rulership/Kingdom, as He informs the Pharisees at a later time in Luke 17.20-21 when He said, “the Rulership sent by the Ever-Living is among you,” and He the Humble Servant sent by the Ever-Living is the least in the Rulership/Kingdom.

Yasu is making a prophecy for those who can understand it.

Matthew 11.11-12

11. Most assuredly I declare to you, among those born from women, there has not been one greater than Yohn the Baptizer. But He Who is least in the Rulership from the Upper-Levels is greater than He is.

12. But since the days that Yohn the Baptizer began proclaiming the Message until now, the Rulership from the Upper-Levels has been attacked, and the attackers will seize It.

You may notice my use of the future tense in the last verse, when your translation, for example, uses a past progressive participle, which is kind of weird, but not necessarily incorrect in this case. (The Helada verb is actually present tense.)

When Biblical authors and speakers were using parallel verbs, they often kept the parallelism going—yet to understand the verse translators must often change one of the verbs. When they are present tense verbs, if they need changing it is often to the future tense, as is the case here.

A word for word translation of those two clauses would be this: “the Rulership/Kingdom is attacked, and the attackers seize It.” You can easily see how the last clause must be taken as a future tense, because they (the attackers; the Pharisees) are not seizing It at that time, but the Lord is saying that they are going to seize It.

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