Matthew 24:36

means what it says

By Dr. Ken Matto

(Mat 24:36 KJV) But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

God states emphatically in this verse that no man will ever know the day and hour of the return of Christ.

The term "no man" is in the cardinal form in the Greek making it a specific number. It is the word “oudeis." That fact illuminates the reality that not one man on earth will ever know the day or hour. Cardinal form means a specific number like one or two in contrast to the ordinal form which would be translated first or second. The word is only used in the cardinal form in seven inflections and over 100 times in the New Testament. Its meanings are “none, no one, not one, in no way, nothing, worthless, no.” Some uses of the word which illustrate this are found in the following verses:

(Mat 6:24 KJV) No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

(Mark 13:32 KJV) But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

(Luke 5:37 KJV) And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.

(John 14:6 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Each of these four verses uses the same word as used in Matthew 24:36. Notice that the same word is used in John 14:6 when Jesus states that no man cometh unto the Father but by Him. This means that not one person in all of creation can come to the Father except through Christ. This is the essence of the cardinal form when it speaks of not even one. The word in Matthew 24:36 is also in the Nominative Case. The Nominative Case is the naming case. It is used to show the subject of a sentence or a clause. This means that God is emphasizing the fact that NO ONE will ever know the exact timing of the Lord’s return. The word is also in the Nominative Case in the other four verses above and we see the emphasis in John 14:6 that NO MAN comes to the Father except through Christ.

So now when we do a comparison of John 14:6 and Matthew 24:36, we see that the emphasis is on NO MAN. The logic is like this, if a man can come to the Father without Christ, then that means one can also know the day and hour of Christ’s return. God has written it to us very plainly and used the same words to emphasize the fact that that NO MAN can come to the Father without Christ and that same word also states unequivocally that no man will ever know the day or hour of Christ’s return. One more principle concerning the word and its usage. There is absolutely no time frame connected with this word which means it is in effect until the last day.

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