Here is the passage, for context:

And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. And He came the third time, and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough; the hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!” Immediately while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who were from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. -Mark 14:40-43, NASB

My question is about the word "ἄγωμεν" (highlighted above.) This is the first person plural present active subjunctive of the verb ἀγω, which Mounce defines as "I lead, bring, arrest." That sounds more like delivering someone over than simply "going." So my question is: Is Jesus simply saying "let's go" or is the language here more nuanced, like "let's deliver [Me] over"?

1 Answer 1


This verse has a parallel in Matt. 26:46, in which the same verb ἄγωμεν occurs. The particular conjugation ἄγωμεν,1 the equivalent of the English phrase, “Let’s go...,” also occurs in the following four verses:

  • Mark 1:38
  • John 11:7
  • John 11:15
  • John 14:31

Joseph Henry Thayer (translating Wilke) describes this usage sense as intransitive (lacking a direct object).2 However, it can be followed by a prepositional phrase.

Regarding its usage in Matt. 26:46, Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer (translated by Christie) wrote,3

ἄγωμεν is not a summons to take to flight, in consequence perhaps of a momentary return of the former shrinking from suffering (which would be inconsistent with the fact of the victory that had been achieved, and with the clear consciousness which He had that [the son of man is betrayed..., Matt. 26:45), but: to go to meet the betrayer, with a view to the fulfilling of the παραδίδοται (betrayal) of which He had just been speaking.

It seems, then, that Jesus said “let’s go” (ἄγωμεν) in order to meet Judas, his betrayer (ὁ παραδιδούς), whom he noticed approaching.


Meyer, Heinrich August Wilhelm. Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the Gospel of Matthew. Trans. Christie, Peter. Ed. Crombie, Frederick; Stewart, William. New York: Funk, 1884.

Wilke, Christian Gottlob. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Being Grimm Wilke’s Clavis Novi Testamenti. Trans. Thayer, Joseph Henry. Ed. Grimm, Carl Ludwig Wilibald. Rev. ed. New York: American Book, 1889.


1 1st person, plural number, present tense, subjunctive mood, active voice
2 p. 10, ἄγω, §4
3 p. 475

  • Wouldn't the sense of the subjunctive be "we should go"? Or perhaps, "shouldn't we go?" if a question?
    – Ruminator
    Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 10:29
  • @Ruminator: “Let us go (let’s go)” is a hortatory subjunctive. Your suggestion, “we should go” (i.e., “we ought to go”) would be expressed in Greek as perhaps «δεῖ ἡμᾶς ἄγειν».
    – user862
    Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 3:10
  • Thanks. ntgreek.org/learn_nt_greek/subj-hortatory.htm
    – Ruminator
    Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 3:42

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