Bible Question:

In Luke 17:34 Jesus says, I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. What does the verse mean?

Bible Answer:

Luke 17:34 and Matthew 24:40 both describe events that will occur at the Goat and Sheep Judgment. For information on the “Goat and Sheep Judgment” read, “When and where does the Goat and Sheep judgment occur?

Two In Bed

The verse in the New American Standard Bible (NASB) and the New King James Version Bible (NKJV) reads as follows,

I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left. Luke 17:34 (NASB)

I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Luke 17:34 (NKJV)

The NKJV translates that Greek word duo as “two men” in Luke 17:34, but the NASB does not. The NASB simply translates the word as two. The New International Version (NIV) has concluded that males is too limiting and so translates the passage as,

I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Luke 17:34 (NIV)

Why have different Bibles translated the word duo differently? The answer begins by understanding that duo simply means “two.” The word can refer to two men, two women, two children, a mother and a child, or two of anything. The word duo simply refers to two – two of anything. Therefore, we do not know if Jesus was referring to two men, two women or just two people, such as a married couple.

Two Women Grinding

Jesus’ second illustration is about two people who will be grinding at a mill (it is assumed from the context they are women) and again one will be taken and one left.

There will be two women grinding at the same place; one will be taken and the other will be left. Luke 17:35 (NASB)

Second Coming of Christ

These are events that will take place after the Second Coming of Christ which is mentioned in Luke 17:30-33.

It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. Luke 17:30-33 (NASB)

Then in verses 34-35 Jesus describes the Goat and Sheep Judgment which is described in Matthew 25:31-46.

Conclusion:

Jesus’ Second Coming is for those who have believed in Him for the forgiveness of their sins. After He has defeated the nations of the world who attempted to annihilate Israel, He will judge everyone who survived Armageddon. That judgment is the Goat and Sheep Judgment. It is described in Matthew 25:31-46. Luke 17:34 describes what will happen after the judgment. Come quickly Lord Jesus . . .

Suggested Links:

Does two men in the field, one taken and one left refer to the rapture?
When and where does the Goat and Sheep judgment occur?