21:34 “But be on your guard 1 so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day close down upon you suddenly like a trap. 2 21:35 For 3 it will overtake 4 all who live on the face of the whole earth. 5 21:36 But stay alert at all times, 6 praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that must 7 happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
1 tn Grk “watch out for yourselves.”
sn Disciples are to watch out. If they are too absorbed into everyday life, they will stop watching and living faithfully.
2 sn Or like a thief, see Luke 12:39-40. The metaphor of a trap is a vivid one. Most modern English translations traditionally place the words “like a trap” at the end of v. 34, completing the metaphor. In the Greek text (and in the NRSV and REB) the words “like a trap” are placed at the beginning of v. 35. This does not affect the meaning.
3 tn There is debate in the textual tradition about the position of γάρ (gar) and whether v. 35 looks back to v. 34 or is independent. The textual evidence does slightly favor placing γάρ after the verb and thus linking it back to v. 34. The other reading looks like Isa 24:17. However, the construction is harsh and the translation prefers for stylistic reasons to start a new English sentence here.
4 tn Or “come upon.”
5 sn This judgment involves everyone: all who live on the face of the whole earth. No one will escape this evaluation.
6 sn The call to be alert at all times is a call to remain faithful in looking for the Lord’s return.
7 tn For the translation of μέλλω (mellw) as “must,” see L&N 71.36.