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Thread: The violent take it by force...

  1. #1
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    The violent take it by force...

    I'm trying to understand these 2 verses...

    Matthew 11:12-13

    12
    And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

    What does this mean that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence. Who are the "violent" that take it by force? What does it mean to "take it by force"?

  2. #2

    Re: The violent take it by force...

    Thanks for sharing this question. I never noticed that verse before and now I find it perplexing too. On first look, here are my thoughts:


    • "Suffers violence" - The ESV has a note for the phrase "the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence," saying another way to say it is "the kingdom of heaven has been coming violently." Maybe this means it is rolling forward, unstoppable?
    • "Take it by force" - Perhaps he is speaking of the Jewish zealots, who were convinced that the Messiah would politically crush Rome. They were ready to be part of a military army for the purpose of bringing the Kingdom along.


    Now I'm going to research. I'll come back and edit, and let you know if I was on the right track!

    Post Edit:

    So I found this post by Mark Driscoll on "Tough Text Thursday." (I don't know what you think of Driscoll; sometimes I don't either, but the post is informative.) Looks like my ideas are possible interpretations, but there are more. The post is well-organized and easy to read. It also includes what John Calvin said on the passage.
    Last edited by psyche643; Mar 10th 2013 at 11:02 PM. Reason: research update

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    Re: The violent take it by force...

    Some of my notes and thoughts. First I would say... Before I try to dissect a verse I better know what the book or letter and who and what the writer is trying to convey... So this may take a bit but let's look quickly at Matthew as a whole....

    Well lets take a step back even further, (I won't use supporting scripture unless you ask, when its fairly obvious.. Ok?) lets face it, Jesus was not the messiah the people waiting had expected. You have to agree even until now most Jewish people were expecting someone entirely different...
    I think one of Matthews main point of focus was to show Christ was the Messiah.. Hope we agree on this. I know there are other point but those deal with the verses you are asking about.
    Matthew uses kyrios.. lord a lot the son of God and Fullfilled as in prophecy.

    So for what I see , Matthew is showing Jesus as messiah, linage and his coming and being as a full fillet of prophecy. But, as we know the Jewish population didn't see it, they expected something entirely different.

    I am sure someone may have a different thought on things so far, but that's mine... Keep this in mind as we ho on....

    There will be a skip now, a bit hard for me to do, I will assume you know what's happened till now.. So now...

    John in now in prison, probably about a year or a bit less. His followers and he expect something. I dunno but it sounds like .. Well I do know, a earthly king, savior, ruler,judgement for the enemies of Israel for one. Right?

    I think John is in despair and sends out the message to Jesus asking if he is the messiah. I am unconvinced that John has lost faith, i think he is asking for reassurance for himself and his followers of the fulfillment of the prophecy.

    Jesus goes on to say John is great, John was the exact forerunner .. Prophet before Christ. He was the one that made the way for The Lord, John pointed Christ out. Jesus says he is greatest of them born of woman. Pretty awesome testimony there....

    Christ answers with another fulfillment which mirrors Isaiah. One of Matthews main points to show... Actually two that Jesus is Christ the messiah and that he the fulfillment of prophesy about himself. This is the first time.. He points out prophecy.

    The second time he says .The lest in the kingdom being greater. I think.. This opinion of mine is objective... Christ is talking about the saints to come... The saved, his bride... His children... He is pointing to us and what is to come. How the forgiven and born again will be greater. After the sacrifice and resurrection.

    Now to 11:11-12

    Tell me if you think I am wrong, he his talking about his death... Plane and simple... He is telling is that the world will reject him.

    Christ points to John as a prophet to the person of Christ, the Messiah. To Jesus

    Christ talks about the coming forgiven and saved...

    Christ points to his rejection and death by their hand. Now many commentaries point to john being taken by force. And soon to be put to death. That may be.. Who am I? I would suggest listen to Matthew Henry more then me. But for me.. I think it points to Christ. Some say its about Herod.. And it probably is.. But I think it's about Christ and what's to come. So as to stay with the theme mentioned earlier about Matthew. And Christ showing Prophet, the saints, and the sacrifice and resurrection.

    Check out both points of view. One thing for sure is, evil attacks the righteous by force in earth over and over again. We suffer and the saints while on earth are attacked continuously by darkness. They think, they take by force .... But they can never have what they father owns.


    Ok, there is a lot more to this, we could go way deeper. Bible study for me is in person and in small group. But that's my very simple and easy point. Please study more deeper with others thinking on what I said. I am sure I missed a ton and am not pointing correctly to many points that need to be discussed.

    But. It's a start from my view point. If you want cross references, ask. I am doing this with two fingers on an ipad... So it's very sloppy.


    Critique me. Iron sharpens iron... I am off to walk with my best friend, my love, my gift, my wife... See you all later.


    I will edit this later after I read it and see how wrong I probably am.
    Dont just study his word, friends...
    live it...

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    Re: The violent take it by force...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsdaughter View Post
    I'm trying to understand these 2 verses...

    Matthew 11:12-13

    12
    And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

    What does this mean that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence. Who are the "violent" that take it by force? What does it mean to "take it by force"?
    First, the translation is a little skewed. A fairly literal translation would be:

    And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of the heavens is being taken by force, and the forceful seize it.

    This probably refers back to what the Lord said just a bit earlier about what was needed to be worthy of Him:

    “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me" (Matthew 10:34–37, NKJV).

    (I think you are quoting from the NKJV, so I will follow).

    In this case, Jesus is speaking to the followers of John the Baptist and bringing them into His fold:

    As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he (Matthew 11:7–11).

    First, he had affirmed that John was a great prophet:

    But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. (Matthew 11:9).

    Second, he tells John's followers in not so many words that He is greater:

    “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (Matthew 11:11, NKJV).

    Here we need to scrutinize a couple of the words in the translation.

    First, the word for women in the Greek is γυνή (gyne) which typically means "wife" or "married woman" (it means the same in modern Greek today). Jesus was not born of γυνή, but rather of παρθένος (parthenos), which means "virgin" or "unmarried woman".

    Next, the word translated as least in both the old and the new King James is μικρός (micros) - which generally means "small" or "little" but can also mean "few in years" (i.e. "young"). Also, the Greek form is actually the comparative [μικρότερος - microteros] and not the superlative, as indicated in most English translations. So another another rendering of the Greek - and one which some Greek Church Fathers like Chrysostom read the rest of the verse is:

    He that is younger [i.e. Christ] is greater than he [i.e. John the Baptist] in the kingdom of heaven.

    Having affirmed that John is a great Prophet, but that He Himself is greater in the kingdom of heaven, he urges the followers of John to now take action and follow Him, even as those who had to forcefully separate themselves from their own families when they are a hindrance in their following God - the figurative sword of Matthew 10:34.

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    Re: The violent take it by force...

    ^^^He is quoting directly from the NASB which is a word-for-word translation and largely thought to be the most accurate. The NIV gives a more pacified translation of 11:12 with 3 possible explanations:

    1) Jesus may have been referring to a vast movement toward God, the momentum that began with John's preaching.
    2) He (Jesus) may have been reflecting the Jewish activists' expectation that God's kingdom would come through a violent overthrow of Rome
    3) Jesus may have meant that entering God's kingdom takes courage, unwavering faith, determination and endurance because of the growing opposition leveled at Jesus's followers.

    Whichever view you take all three agree that John's ministry ushered in the kingdom of heaven.

  6. #6

    Re: The violent take it by force...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Whichever view you take all three agree that John's ministry ushered in the kingdom of heaven.
    Yes! Whenever there is a difficult passage, my pastor explains different ways of interpreting it, and then he explains his way of interpreting it (which he jokingly calls the "right" way), and then he says, "But what really matters is this - " and he proceeds to explain the actual point of the passage as relates to the gospel.

    It's amazing that the Bible is deep enough that we can have so much study on it, yet is so simple that a child can understand the basic message.

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    Re: The violent take it by force...

    Thank you all for your responses, I'm taking it all in. The word "violent" was throwing me off I think and thank you guero for the other translation.

    I didn't know that the kingdom of heaven could be taken by force and only the forceful take it. I'm still seeking the Lord about this. I believe the Spirit is trying to tell me something.

    BTW welcome to the board psyche643 and Mark!!

  8. #8

    Re: The violent take it by force...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsdaughter View Post
    Thank you all for your responses, I'm taking it all in. The word "violent" was throwing me off I think and thank you guero for the other translation.

    I didn't know that the kingdom of heaven could be taken by force and only the forceful take it. I'm still seeking the Lord about this. I believe the Spirit is trying to tell me something.

    BTW welcome to the board psyche643 and Mark!!

    I found a web link by Avram Yehoshua seedofabraham.net; Kingdom Violence/Matthew 11:12 in which he states that if one goes to the Greek this passage is still hard to understand but if one translate the Greek to the Hebrew; the passage is more understandable and even matches with a OT passages. And some scholars believe that Matthew wrote an outline of his Gospel in Hebrew before he wrote it in it entirely.

    If you would like the whole story I would go to his website, but for now I will skip the Greek Words and go straight from English to Hebrew. His website break the keywords in this verse completely down.

    Matthew 11:12
    And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

    When one looks at the phrase suffereth violence in the Hebrew the word Poretzet would be used but this word means to break down or tear down. So Jesus is saying the kingdom gates (you will see this with the prophecy that is fulfilled from Micah) are being torn down or broke down.

    The phrase violent in the Hebrew is translated Peretz it means tearing down, breaking out; force or action; also one who is forceful in eager pursuit. Jesus great ancestor--Judah's Son, Pharez's name (Matthew 1:3) comes from this Hebrew noun. The kingdom of heaven is being breach by forceful eager puruit.
    Genesis 38:29
    And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez.

    By force in the Hebrew is translated oh-hah-zeem it means to seize...too take, catch in hunting or possession. These eager people will possess the Kingdom.


    Again this a short explaination Avram does a much better job explaining it. But the prophecy it fulfills is the following verses look at 13 very closely.
    Micah 2:12-13
    12) I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.
    13) The Breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by
    it: and their King shall pass before them, and the the LORD on the head of them.

    With this is mine we see that Jesus is the One who breaks or tears the wall/gates of the kingdom down so that we the forceful in eager pursuit, His saints might possess it.

  9. #9

    Re: The violent take it by force...

    The phrase "the kingdom of [the] heaven[s]" is, of course, connected with Christ and (I believe) with His role as "King," which is yet future (on the earth, in the promised kingdom, at the time of His Second Coming). So I see this verse as pertaining to an idea similar to what is expressed in John 6:15, which says,

    "When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone."

    The remainder of the chapter explains something further needing to take place before that would ultimately come to pass, at the right time, and by His doing, alone. (In other words, I see the phrase "the violent take it by force" as a negative, from God's perspective, rather than having a positive connotation... Though His death was indeed His plan.)

    That's my take on it, fwiw.

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    Re: The violent take it by force...

    Quote Originally Posted by Duggars19fan View Post
    I found a web link by Avram Yehoshua seedofabraham.net; Kingdom Violence/Matthew 11:12 in which he states that if one goes to the Greek this passage is still hard to understand but if one translate the Greek to the Hebrew; the passage is more understandable and even matches with a OT passages. And some scholars believe that Matthew wrote an outline of his Gospel in Hebrew before he wrote it in it entirely.

    If you would like the whole story I would go to his website, but for now I will skip the Greek Words and go straight from English to Hebrew. His website break the keywords in this verse completely down.

    Matthew 11:12
    And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

    When one looks at the phrase suffereth violence in the Hebrew the word Poretzet would be used but this word means to break down or tear down. So Jesus is saying the kingdom gates (you will see this with the prophecy that is fulfilled from Micah) are being torn down or broke down.

    The phrase violent in the Hebrew is translated Peretz it means tearing down, breaking out; force or action; also one who is forceful in eager pursuit. Jesus great ancestor--Judah's Son, Pharez's name (Matthew 1:3) comes from this Hebrew noun. The kingdom of heaven is being breach by forceful eager puruit.
    Genesis 38:29
    And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez.

    By force in the Hebrew is translated oh-hah-zeem it means to seize...too take, catch in hunting or possession. These eager people will possess the Kingdom.


    Again this a short explaination Avram does a much better job explaining it. But the prophecy it fulfills is the following verses look at 13 very closely.
    Micah 2:12-13
    12) I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.
    13) The Breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by
    it: and their King shall pass before them, and the the LORD on the head of them.

    With this is mine we see that Jesus is the One who breaks or tears the wall/gates of the kingdom down so that we the forceful in eager pursuit, His saints might possess it.
    Excellent post. I believe what you have said is very important for our understanding. I also thought to add this for reinforcement.-
    2Sam5v20
    And David came to Baalperazim, and David smote them there, and said, The LORD hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baal-perazim (Lord of the breakthrough)

    Also,-
    2Sam6v8 (less edifying example, when the Lord broke through on Uzzah and slew him for putting forth his hand to the Ark of the Covenant.)
    And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perez-uzzah to this day.

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    Re: The violent take it by force...

    Mic 3:8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.
    Mic 3:9 Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity.
    Mic 3:10 They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.
    Mic 3:11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.
    Mic 3:12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.


    The NAS puts v. 10 this way

    10 Who build Zion with bloodshed And Jerusalem with violent injustice.

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    Re: The violent take it by force...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDivineWatermark View Post
    The phrase "the kingdom of [the] heaven[s]" is, of course, connected with Christ and (I believe) with His role as "King," which is yet future (on the earth, in the promised kingdom, at the time of His Second Coming). So I see this verse as pertaining to an idea similar to what is expressed in John 6:15, which says,

    "When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone."

    The remainder of the chapter explains something further needing to take place before that would ultimately come to pass, at the right time, and by His doing, alone. (In other words, I see the phrase "the violent take it by force" as a negative, from God's perspective, rather than having a positive connotation... Though His death was indeed His plan.)



    That's my take on it, fwiw.
    This is a good understanding!!!!

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    Re: The violent take it by force...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsdaughter View Post
    I'm trying to understand these 2 verses...

    Matthew 11:12-13

    12
    And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

    What does this mean that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence. Who are the "violent" that take it by force? What does it mean to "take it by force"?
    Hello KD! I agree with a couple of posters above in that God was not advocating for taking the kingdom of heaven by force but instead showing it as a negative. It's mentioned twice in the gospels. Once in relation to John the Baptist and another

    There are those that want the blessings of the kingdom but do not want to surrender to the king. They try to take the kingdom by force and to forcefully enter into it! But God said in Luke that he gladly gives the kingdom to those who ask. There's no need to be forceful about it!

    Luke 12:32
    32 " Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.
    NASU

    Sheep do not violently take a kingdom. We trust in the Shepherd to give it.

    The other place in scripture where the "kingdom suffers violence" is

    Luke 16:16-17

    16 " The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. 17 " But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.
    NASU

    Everyone is trying to force their way into the kingdom. God was talking here to people who wanted to justify themselves. IOW, trust their own works to get in and try to force their way in without the blessing of the King. He had just finished speaking about the parable of the unrighteous steward and prior to that, the prodigal son. In the first, we see a son who wants to have the Father's blessings without the father, and in the second we see someone who wants the master's mercy without the master. Both were "forcing their way into the kingdom".

    When someone wants the blessings of the kingdom without submission to the King, they are trying to take the kingdom for themselves and that is a forceful thing and wrong in the sight of God. God would much rather just give it to the one who surrenders! He is a God full of grace and mercy!

    Grace to you!

    Mark
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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    Re: The violent take it by force...

    Quote Originally Posted by Duggars19fan View Post
    I found a web link by Avram Yehoshua seedofabraham.net; Kingdom Violence/Matthew 11:12 in which he states that if one goes to the Greek this passage is still hard to understand but if one translate the Greek to the Hebrew; the passage is more understandable and even matches with a OT passages. And some scholars believe that Matthew wrote an outline of his Gospel in Hebrew before he wrote it in it entirely.

    If you would like the whole story I would go to his website, but for now I will skip the Greek Words and go straight from English to Hebrew. His website break the keywords in this verse completely down.

    Matthew 11:12
    And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

    When one looks at the phrase suffereth violence in the Hebrew the word Poretzet would be used but this word means to break down or tear down. So Jesus is saying the kingdom gates (you will see this with the prophecy that is fulfilled from Micah) are being torn down or broke down.

    The phrase violent in the Hebrew is translated Peretz it means tearing down, breaking out; force or action; also one who is forceful in eager pursuit. Jesus great ancestor--Judah's Son, Pharez's name (Matthew 1:3) comes from this Hebrew noun. The kingdom of heaven is being breach by forceful eager puruit.
    Genesis 38:29
    And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez.

    By force in the Hebrew is translated oh-hah-zeem it means to seize...too take, catch in hunting or possession. These eager people will possess the Kingdom.


    Again this a short explaination Avram does a much better job explaining it. But the prophecy it fulfills is the following verses look at 13 very closely.
    Micah 2:12-13
    12) I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.
    13) The Breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by
    it: and their King shall pass before them, and the the LORD on the head of them.

    With this is mine we see that Jesus is the One who breaks or tears the wall/gates of the kingdom down so that we the forceful in eager pursuit, His saints might possess it.
    Thank you duggars, I will check out his website. I have a question for you, if the Father has freely given us(His children) the kingdom, then why would we have to be forceful and in eager pursuit of it? Is there a difference between the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God?

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    Re: The violent take it by force...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDivineWatermark View Post
    The phrase "the kingdom of [the] heaven[s]" is, of course, connected with Christ and (I believe) with His role as "King," which is yet future (on the earth, in the promised kingdom, at the time of His Second Coming). So I see this verse as pertaining to an idea similar to what is expressed in John 6:15, which says,

    "When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone."

    The remainder of the chapter explains something further needing to take place before that would ultimately come to pass, at the right time, and by His doing, alone. (In other words, I see the phrase "the violent take it by force" as a negative, from God's perspective, rather than having a positive connotation... Though His death was indeed His plan.)

    That's my take on it, fwiw.
    I understand, but then I go back to what Jesus says. He says that the violent take it by force, He doesn't say the violent TRY to take it by force. He says the "violent take it by force". Do you see the difference?

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