John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months,

KJV Verse: 

Jhn 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Didn't you say that it is still four months and the harvest starts? Look, I say to you. Raise those eyes of yours and look with wonder at the appointed places because they are pale gold, clear for harvest.

Hidden Meaning: 

A lot of unusual words in this verse. Specifically, the words translated as "lift up," "look on," "fields," and "white," are all unusual. There meanings are all also deeper than the simple KJV translation. The alternative translation tries to capture all of the shades of their meaning, making it somewhat wordy, but coming closer to what Christ is saying. 

The word translated as "lift up," epairo, is used where we might expect another word Christ uses all the time, aeiro, which means "lift up." Epairo also has the sense of getting excited that aeiro doesn't.

The use of theaomai for "look on" is a surprise because earlier, Christ uses the common word for "look" or "Behold," idou , which is a form of eidon, to see. The fancier word theaomai has more of a sense of gazing with wonder or contemplation. It also creates a nice alliteration with therismos, "the harvest."

The word translated as "fields" is also unusual. Christ usually uses the term "agros," to refer to fields, the source of our word "agriculture." The word used here, chora, means a special place or spot. It means land more in the sense of an estate, that is, granted land.

Finally, the terms translated as "white" can mean white, but if it is used as a color, it also means "pale gold", which is more the color of wheat. However, it primarily means "bright" and it is a metaphor for "clear."

Wordplay: 

 Christ uses an unusual (for him) for translated as "look at," theaomai. Why? Because he as asking his disciples to look at the harvest, therismos. Theaomai therismos. 

 

 

 

Vocabulary: 

οὐχ "Not" is from οὐ ou "You" is from hymeis, which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you."

ὑμεῖς "You" is from hymeis, which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you.

λέγετε (2nd pl imperf ind act) "Say" is from legô (lego) means "pick up", "choose for oneself", "pick out," and "count," but it used to mean "recount", "tell over", "say", "speak", "teach", "mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," nominate," and "command."

ὅτι "That" is from hoti (hoti), which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

Ἔτι "Yet" is from eti (eti), which means "yet" and "still" (with the Present), "already" (with the Past), "yet" and "longer" (with the Future), "no longer" (with a negative), and"still" and "besides" (of degree).

τετράμηνός "Four months" is from tetramenos, which means "of four months", "lasting four months," and "for a space of four months." It is a compound word of "four," (tetra) and "months" (menos).

ἐστιν (3rd sg pres ind act) "Are" is from eimi (eimi), which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

καὶ "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

θερισμὸς "Harvest" is from therismos, which means "mowing", "reaping", "harvest time", "harvest," and "crop."

ἔρχεται; (3rd sg pres ind mp) "Then Cometh" is from erchomai (erchomai), which means "to start," "to set out", "to come", "to go," and any kind of motion. It means both "to go" on a journey and "to arrive" at a place.

ἰδοὺ ( 2nd sg aor imperat mid "Behold is from idou (idou), which means "to behold", "to see," and "to perceive." It is a form of the verb eido, which means "to see."

λέγω (1st sg pres ind act) "I say" is from legô (lego) means "pick up", "choose for oneself", "pick out," and "count," but it used to mean "recount", "tell over", "say", "speak", "teach", "mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," nominate," and "command."

ὑμῖν "To you" is from humas (humas) and humôn (humon), which are the plural forms of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ἐπάρατε (2nd pl aor imperat act) "Lift up" is from epairo, which means "lift up", "set on", "raise", "stir up", "excite", "urge on," and "persuade."

τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς "Eyes" is from ophthalmos (ophthalmos), which means "eye", "the dearest and best," and "the bud [of a plant]."

ὑμῶν "Your" is from humas (humas) and humôn (humon), which are the plural forms of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

καὶ "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

θεάσασθε "Look on" is theaomai, which means "to behold", "to gaze with a sense of wonder", "view as a spectator," and "to contemplate."

τὰς χώρας "Fields" is from chora, which means "space", "the spot in a room where a thing is", "place", "spot", "the position", "the proper place for a thing or person", "land," and "landed estate." It is a metaphor for "station", "place" or "position," in society.

ὅτι "That" is from hoti (hoti), which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

λευκαί "White" is from leukos, which means "light", "bright", "brilliant," and the colors "white" and "pale gold." It is a metaphor for "clear", "distinct," and "plain."

εἰσιν (3rd pl pres ind act) "They are" is from eimi (eimi), which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

πρὸς "For" is from pros (pros), which means "from (place)", "on the side of", "toward", "before", "in the presence of", "in the eyes of", "before (supplication)", "proceeding from (for effects)", "dependent on", "derivable from", "agreeable,""becoming", "like", "at the point of", "in addition to", "against," and "before."

θερισμόν "Harvest" is from therismos, which means "mowing", "reaping", "harvest time", "harvest," and "crop."