Luke 13:7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard,

KJV Verse: 

Luke 13:7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

He said, for that reason, in the presence of his vine worker, "Look, three year after, nothing! I show up, desiring fruit in the tree, this one, and I nothing find. Cut it off! Because why also the earth it leaves idle. 

Hidden Meaning: 

The Greek is much more like a series of short spoken phrases than a long sentence. There are several Greek words that are not translated, some because they don't fit in the English sentence as it is constructed. A couple of words here unique for Jesus are included. This is one of the many verses where Jesus makes it clear that productivity is critically important. As we saw in the previous verse (Luke 13:6) beginning this parable, there are many references to the male and feminine roles in being productive.  Again, the  "fig tree" here seems to represent the barren religion that is being practiced. 

The Greek word translated as "then" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". It can also give a reason, which it does in this case. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" or "for that reason" often captures its feeling better. 

"He said" is from the Greek verb that means "to say" and "to speak" also. However, it has less a sense of teaching and more a sense of addressing and proclaiming.

The word translated as "unto" means "towards", "by reason of (for)," and "against."  It also means "in the presence of". 

The word translated as "vinedresser" means "vine-dresser", a combination of the word for "vine" and "worker".  It is a word Jesus uses nowhere else. Other references to vine workers use another word. 

"Behold" is an adverb meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!" In a humorous vein, this about how Christ uses this like we use the phrase "tah-dah" in a magic show, or "voila" in French. "Look!" or "See!" comes closest in English. It is also the imperative form of the word meaning "see!". 

There is no Greek "these" here. 

"Years" is from a Greek word that means "year", "yearly", and "annually". It is also an uncommon word for Jesus, appearing primarily by Luke. Jesus normally uses a different Greek word for "years". 

An untranslated preposition appears here. It means "from" in both location and when referring to a source. Referring to time, as it does here, it means "after", as in "three years after". 

An untranslated Greek negative appears here. Appearing after the preposition, it has the sense of "after nothing" or "from nothing" or may, considering the verb that follows, the sense is "by reason of nothing" as we might say "for nothing". 

The word translated as "I come" primarily means "to start out" but Christ usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas. 

The Greek verb translated as "sought" has a variety of meanings around the idea of "searching" and "desiring". It has a sense of seeking with a specific aim. 

The word translated as "fruit" primary meaning is "fruit", "seed," or "offspring," but its secondary meaning is "returns," specifically, "profit," as we would say "fruit of our labors." In the previous verse, it had the sense of referring to offspring, here it has the sense of being productive. Fruit, the product of the tree, is masculine while the tree is feminine. 

The word translated as "on" means"in",  "within", "with," or "among."

The "this" is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. It appears after the "fig-tree" here, pointing to it. 

"Fig tree" means "fig tree." The word is feminine. Trees in general were assets in ancient culture. 

The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, in a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." 

The term used for "find" is the source of our word, "heuristic," meaning enabling a person to find out something for themselves. It means "find out" and "discover."

The Greek word translated as "none" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence to captures the same idea.

The word translated as "cut...down" means various forms of being "cut off," an idea that has a range of meanings similar to those in English from being hindered to being chopped down or ended. It is a command. 

The word translated as "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective.

The word translated as "why" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why".

An untranslated word appears here that means "there", "where," "because", and "in order that."

The untranslated Greek word that is used as the conjunction "and" appears here, but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

"Cumbereth it" is another unique word for Jesus that means "leave unemployed", "cause to be idle", "have no effect", "lie idle", and "to have missed opportunities". When applied to the feminine earth, the earth mother, the sense is that she is left barren. 

The word translated as "ground" means the ground and the physical planet, earth. It is the ultimate feminine symbol, from the word for the goddess representing the mother earth. See this article for more on these words.

Vocabulary: 

εἶπεν (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "He said" is eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer." --

δὲ (conj/adv) "Then" is de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if"). 

πρὸς (prep) "Unto" is pros, which means "on the side of", "in the direction of", "from (place)", "towards" "before", "in the presence of", "in the eyes of", "in the name of", "by reason of", "before (supplication)", "proceeding from (for effects)", "dependent on", "derivable from", "agreeable,""becoming", "like", "at the point of", "in addition to", "against," and "before." --

τὸν ἀμπελουργόν [unique](noun sg masc acc) "Vinedresser" is from ampelourgos, which means "vine-dresser", a combination of the word for "vine" and "worker". 

Ἰδοὺ (verb 2nd sg aor imperat mid) "Behold is idou, which means "to behold", "to see," and "to perceive." It acts as an adverbial phrase in this form meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!' It is a form of the verb eido, which means "to see." --

τρία (numeral) "Three" is from treis, which means the number three. -- 

ἔτη [uncommon] (noun pl neut acc) "Years" is from etos, which means "year", "yearly", and "annually". 

ἀφ᾽ (prep) Untranslated is apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause. It also means "by reason of". 

οὗ (partic) Untranslated is ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.  

ἔρχομαι (verb 1st sg pres ind mp) "I come" is 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. --

ζητῶν (part sg pres act masc nom ) "Seeking" is zeteo, which means "inquire for", "search for", "seek after", "desire", and "feel the want of." --

καρπὸν (noun sg masc acc) "Fruit" is karpos, which means "fruit", "the fruits of the earth", "seed", "offspring", "returns for profit," and "reward."

ἐν (prep) "On" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with". --

τῇ συκῇ (noun sg fem dat) "Fig tree" is from syke, which means "fig tree."

ταύτῃ (adj sg fem dat) "This" is tauta, which is a referring pronoun meaning "these", "this", "that," and "here." It can mean the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why." --

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is 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."

οὐχ (partic) "Not" is ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective. --

εὑρίσκω: (verb 1st sg pres ind act) "Find" is heurisko, which means "to find", "to find out", "to discover", "to devise", "to invent", "to get," and "to gain." --

ἔκκοψον (verb 2nd sg aor imperat act) "Cut...down" is ekkopto, which means "to cut out", "to knock off", "to beat off [in battle]", "to hinder", "to break open", "to win [in throwing dice]", "to erase [an inscription]," "to come to a stop", "to stamp a coin", "to pause," or "to cut off." It is also a metaphor for "to make an end of." 

αὐτήν: (adj sg fen acc) "It" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." 

ἵνα (adv/conj) Untranslated is hina, which means "in that place", "there", "where", "when", "that", "in order that", "when," and "because." --

τί (irreg sg neut nom) "Why" is tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."

καὶ (conj/adv) Untranslated is 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." -

τὴν γῆν (noun sg fem acc) "Ground" is ge, which means "the element of earth", "land (country)", "arable land", "the ground," and "the world" as the opposite of the sky. Like our English word "earth," it means both dirt and the planet. 

καταργεῖ; [unique](verb 3rd sg pres/imperfect ind act ) "Cumbereth" is katargeo, which means "leave unemployed", "cause to be idle", "have no effect", "lie idle", and "to have missed opportunities". 

Related Verses: 

May 20 2018