Asunder in Matthew 24:51 and Luke 12:46

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Asunder in Matthew 24:51 and Luke 12:46

nikolai_42
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nikolai_42
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Joined: 04 Oct 2013, 17:12

04 Aug 2015, 15:02 #1

I have a question, but first the context of it :

I'm meditating on Matthew 24:44-51 and find great parallel between it and the rather large-scale departure from unapologetic commitment to the truth of Scripture to a man-centered, feel-good, seeker-sensitive approach to the world. Tolerance of sin and wanting to empathize with the sinner have (in my view) emasculated the church - speaking generally, of course - and led the Lord to give it over to expose those that are more interested in the praise of men than of God. Of course I am speaking of the church most generally as those that in any way confess Christ even if only nominally - not the invisible church known for certain only to the Lord who bought her. When a generation of those that call themselves Christian will chastize those who call themselves by the name of the Savior for rejecting what He implicitly rejected in defining marriage as between a man and a woman, it can't but be that they are smiting their fellowservants (Matthew 24:49). And in the same breath, they sit down and eat and drink with the drunken - approving of their overt rebellion in calling evil good and good evil. I am certain there are more subtle applications of this verse (it seems to me that if the church had remained strong on the matter of divorce even a generation ago, we might not be in the same predicament we are now), but the current crisis hammers the point home quite well.

In trying to understand what the Lord is saying about the consequences of this spiritual defection, I have always glossed over the critical term "asunder" in verse 51. For context, here is the passage :

Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 24:44-51

I think I always assumed it just meant something like "cut him free" even though I know the word "asunder" means more than that. So my first thought now - in looking at it more carefully - is that it implies being separated from the company of the Savior and cast into outer darkness. That separation would then be what is in the word. But in looking up the Greek, I found that it is only used twice - and in the identical context both times (the other time is in Luke 12:46 which is Luke's rendition of the same utterance). The definition seems pretty stark - that it means essentially cutting the individual in two. It's the direct ancestor of our word dichotomy (if I understand correctly) and the secondary synonym is given by Strongs as bisect. Clearly a term of cutting.

But if that is the case, how can the man be cut in two and then survive to live with the hypocrites? Is this something that envisions an eminently just punishment (cutting in two reflecting the internal cutting that is already going on in the hypocrite who does so between his heart and his actions)? Or is it just a "severe flogging"?

And a further question arises since Jesus calls this man an evil servant. Not a servant of Satan, but admits (it seems) that he is a servant of the Lord - even if only with his actions and not internally. He still calls Himself "the lord of that servant". So is this a picture of someone saved but with no rewards to benefit him? It doesn't seem to be a punishment in the Lake of Fire, but it is a place of darkness where Jesus says (more than once) the hypocrites will dwell. So can we call this individual a believer (again, only in the barest sense of the word) or is this an unbeliever? And what is this punishment? Is it being cut in half or "just" being severely beaten?
If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale
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larry joseph pearson
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Joined: 12 Oct 2011, 20:44

04 Aug 2015, 19:25 #2

nikolai_42, you have raised an interesting discussion. "Shall cut him asunder," cut him into or in two.This is the exact meaning of the term, and no other has any support, in my opinion, from Greek usage. The Old Latin translates it by dividet,"will divide," or findet, "will cleave." The Memphitic  takes great pains in saying "will divide him in his middle." Such a severe punishment was not only practiced by Oriental kings but also among the Hebrews (2 Samuel 12:31) et al.

Many commentators think it must be a hyperbole for severe scourging because of the following phrase: "And appoint his portion with the hypocrites" (Matthew 24:51). Indeed this makes a sudden transition from the illustration to the thing illustrated. "Cut him in two" is the image. It is a severe temporal punishment; "his portion with the hypocrites" is in eternity. That hypocrites are grossly offensive in God's sight (Matthew 6:2) and must be severely punished was a thought familiar to the minds of the disciples (Matthew 6:2, 5, 16; 15:7; 16:3). Jesus had brought this up in a discourse on that same day) Matthew 23:13 29).

The good servant will be exalted to the highest position a servant can have (Matthew 24:47). The bad servant, who drank with the drunken, shall dwell with the hypocrites. Now if "appoint his portion" makes a transition from the earthly punishment to the punishment of hell (Matthew 25:41, 46) there is no occasion for objecting to the literal and only established since of "cut him asunder." Furthermore, I see no ground for the alternative rendering of the Revised Version margin.

Luke gave a similar comparison to the good and bad steward in his discourse in Luke 12:42 46. This subject is not passed up but summed up in the comprehensive and impressive sentences of Luke 21:34 36. I do not take this given in Matthew 24 or Luke 12 to be a Christian that has just lost one's rewards. The Greek word for "evil" used here is κακος which may be -subjectively a person depraved or objectively injurious. In other words this person is bad, evil, harmful, wicked and intrinsically so. Since his lot is with the hypocrites it may only be the Lake of Fire. :think:
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nikolai_42
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nikolai_42
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04 Aug 2015, 20:25 #3

larry joseph pearson:22660 wrote:nikolai_42, you have raised an interesting discussion. "Shall cut him asunder," cut him into or in two.This is the exact meaning of the term, and no other has any support, in my opinion, from Greek usage. The Old Latin translates it by dividet,"will divide," or findet, "will cleave." The Memphitic takes great pains in saying "will divide him in his middle." Such a severe punishment was not only practiced by Oriental kings but also among the Hebrews (2 Samuel 12:31) et al.

Many commentators think it must be a hyperbole for severe scourging because of the following phrase: "And appoint his portion with the hypocrites" (Matthew 24:51). Indeed this makes a sudden transition from the illustration to the thing illustrated. "Cut him in two" is the image. It is a severe temporal punishment; "his portion with the hypocrites" is in eternity. That hypocrites are grossly offensive in God's sight (Matthew 6:2) and must be severely punished was a thought familiar to the minds of the disciples (Matthew 6:2, 5, 16; 15:7; 16:3). Jesus had brought this up in a discourse on that same day) Matthew 23:13 29).

The good servant will be exalted to the highest position a servant can have (Matthew 24:47). The bad servant, who drank with the drunken, shall dwell with the hypocrites. Now if "appoint his portion" makes a transition from the earthly punishment to the punishment of hell (Matthew 25:41, 46) there is no occasion for objecting to the literal and only established since of "cut him asunder." Furthermore, I see no ground for the alternative rendering of the Revised Version margin.

Luke gave a similar comparison to the good and bad steward in his discourse in Luke 12:42 46. This subject is not passed up but summed up in the comprehensive and impressive sentences of Luke 21:34 36. I do not take this given in Matthew 24 or Luke 12 to be a Christian that has just lost one's rewards. The Greek word for "evil" used here is κακος which may be -subjectively a person depraved or objectively injurious. In other words this person is bad, evil, harmful, wicked and intrinsically so. Since his lot is with the hypocrites it may only be the Lake of Fire. :think:
Thank you, Larry. The other way I thought about it was that asunder meant severed from Christ - no longer called His servant (as he seemed to be in the parable). Not necessarily implying that the man was ever really Christ's, but that the Lord tolerated his affiliation for other reasons. Even though He may have known the man was not one of His, there is a sense of leaving things be until judgment. Let the wheat and the tares grow up together lest in pulling up one of the tares you disrupt the wheat. And even the understanding that those who are not explicitly against Christ are (for the time being, at least) for Him. But once He brings to light the hidden things, there can be no more hypocrisy. That man, then, would be considered riven from Christ. The bond between the servant and his lord (even if in name only) is torn asunder.

But I'm guessing that stretches this term a little too far...
If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale
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DrWhofan1
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DrWhofan1
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Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 22:14

06 Aug 2015, 11:44 #4

nikolai_42:22661 wrote:
larry joseph pearson:22660 wrote:nikolai_42, you have raised an interesting discussion. "Shall cut him asunder," cut him into or in two.This is the exact meaning of the term, and no other has any support, in my opinion, from Greek usage. The Old Latin translates it by dividet,"will divide," or findet, "will cleave." The Memphitic takes great pains in saying "will divide him in his middle." Such a severe punishment was not only practiced by Oriental kings but also among the Hebrews (2 Samuel 12:31) et al.

Many commentators think it must be a hyperbole for severe scourging because of the following phrase: "And appoint his portion with the hypocrites" (Matthew 24:51). Indeed this makes a sudden transition from the illustration to the thing illustrated. "Cut him in two" is the image. It is a severe temporal punishment; "his portion with the hypocrites" is in eternity. That hypocrites are grossly offensive in God's sight (Matthew 6:2) and must be severely punished was a thought familiar to the minds of the disciples (Matthew 6:2, 5, 16; 15:7; 16:3). Jesus had brought this up in a discourse on that same day) Matthew 23:13 29).

The good servant will be exalted to the highest position a servant can have (Matthew 24:47). The bad servant, who drank with the drunken, shall dwell with the hypocrites. Now if "appoint his portion" makes a transition from the earthly punishment to the punishment of hell (Matthew 25:41, 46) there is no occasion for objecting to the literal and only established since of "cut him asunder." Furthermore, I see no ground for the alternative rendering of the Revised Version margin.


Luke gave a similar comparison to the good and bad steward in his discourse in Luke 12:42 46. This subject is not passed up but summed up in the comprehensive and impressive sentences of Luke 21:34 36. I do not take this given in Matthew 24 or Luke 12 to be a Christian that has just lost one's rewards. The Greek word for "evil" used here is κακος which may be -subjectively a person depraved or objectively injurious. In other words this person is bad, evil, harmful, wicked and intrinsically so. Since his lot is with the hypocrites it may only be the Lake of Fire. :think:
Thank you, Larry. The other way I thought about it was that asunder meant severed from Christ - no longer called His servant (as he seemed to be in the parable). Not necessarily implying that the man was ever really Christ's, but that the Lord tolerated his affiliation for other reasons. Even though He may have known the man was not one of His, there is a sense of leaving things be until judgment. Let the wheat and the tares grow up together lest in pulling up one of the tares you disrupt the wheat. And even the understanding that those who are not explicitly against Christ are (for the time being, at least) for Him. But once He brings to light the hidden things, there can be no more hypocrisy. That man, then, would be considered riven from Christ. The bond between the servant and his lord (even if in name only) is torn asunder.

But I'm guessing that stretches this term a little too far...
Think that Jesus was making the point that though both called Him their Lord, only one showed by his actions and deeds that his was a real realtionship, as the other one was just a professing one!

Would this have any relationship to when Jesus also spoke comcerning about how one who refuses to forgive after he has been forgiven much will be turned over to the jailer until he pays all ?
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Ask Mr. Religion
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Joined: 28 Jul 2008, 09:13

07 Aug 2015, 04:29 #5

DrWhofan,

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[quote="nikolai_42:22661"][quote="larry joseph pearson:22660"]nikolai_42, you have raised an interesting discussion. "Shall cut him asunder," cut him into or in two.This is the exact meaning of the term, and no other has any support, in my opinion, from Greek usage. The Old Latin translates it by dividet,"will divide," or findet, "will cleave." The Memphitic takes great pains in saying "will divide him in his middle." Such a severe punishment was not only practiced by Oriental kings but also among the Hebrews (2 Samuel 12:31) et al.

Many commentators think it must be a hyperbole for severe scourging because of the following phrase: "And appoint his portion with the hypocrites" (Matthew 24:51). Indeed this makes a sudden transition from the illustration to the thing illustrated. "Cut him in two" is the image. It is a severe temporal punishment; "his portion with the hypocrites" is in eternity. That hypocrites are grossly offensive in God's sight (Matthew 6:2) and must be severely punished was a thought familiar to the minds of the disciples (Matthew 6:2, 5, 16; 15:7; 16:3). Jesus had brought this up in a discourse on that same day) Matthew 23:13 29).[/quote]

Thank you, Larry. The other way I thought about it was that asunder meant severed from Christ - no longer called His servant (as he seemed to be in the parable). Not necessarily implying that the man was ever really Christ's, but that the Lord tolerated his affiliation for other reasons.

But I'm guessing that stretches this term a little too far...[/quote]
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[quote="nikolai_42:22661"][quote="larry joseph pearson:22660"]nikolai_42, you have raised an interesting discussion. "Shall cut him asunder," cut him into or in two.This is the exact meaning of the term, and no other has any support, in my opinion, from Greek usage. The Old Latin translates it by dividet,"will divide," or findet, "will cleave." The Memphitic takes great pains in saying "will divide him in his middle." Such a severe punishment was not only practiced by Oriental kings but also among the Hebrews (2 Samuel 12:31) et al. [/quote]

DRWHOFAN'S RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE GOES HERE. NOTE I HAVE ADDED AN END QUOTE TAG [/quote] TO THE CONTENT ABOVE.

[quote]Many commentators think it must be a hyperbole for severe scourging because of the following phrase: "And appoint his portion with the hypocrites" (Matthew 24:51). Indeed this makes a sudden transition from the illustration to the thing illustrated. "Cut him in two" is the image. It is a severe temporal punishment; "his portion with the hypocrites" is in eternity. That hypocrites are grossly offensive in God's sight (Matthew 6:2) and must be severely punished was a thought familiar to the minds of the disciples (Matthew 6:2, 5, 16; 15:7; 16:3). Jesus had brought this up in a discourse on that same day) Matthew 23:13 29).[/quote]

DRWHOFAN'S RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE GOES HERE. NOTE I HAVE ADDED A BEGINNING QUOTE [quote] AND MADE SURE THE END QUOTE [/quote] TO THE CONTENT ABOVE REMAINS UNTOUCHED.

[quote]Thank you, Larry. The other way I thought about it was that asunder meant severed from Christ - no longer called His servant (as he seemed to be in the parable). Not necessarily implying that the man was ever really Christ's, but that the Lord tolerated his affiliation for other reasons.

But I'm guessing that stretches this term a little too far...[/quote]

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orchardman
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orchardman
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15 Aug 2015, 23:21 #6

My only question is: how is the cutting asunder different from the parallel analogy of the supper of the birds in Mt. 24:28 and Rev. 19:21 ?  All of these references are talking about the permanent wrath of God poured out on the reprobate at Christ's final coming.
Standing for a point of truth is mere flight and disgrace if you ignore the broader truths God is presently launching upon the world.
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DrWhofan1
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16 Aug 2015, 18:33 #7

orchardman:22674 wrote:My only question is: how is the cutting asunder different from the parallel analogy of the supper of the birds in Mt. 24:28 and Rev. 19:21 ? All of these references are talking about the permanent wrath of God poured out on the reprobate at Christ's final coming.
That would be only the lost/unsaved there. correct?
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