Luke 11:9 ... Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find;

KJV Verse: 

Luk 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And I myself to you say: Ask, and it is going to be given to you; search and you are going to discover; examine, and it is going to be disclosed to you:

Hidden Meaning: 

Except for the introductory first phrase, this verse is identical to Matthew 7:7  from the Sermon on the mount. The two words translated as "ask," and "seek,"have secondary meanings of "desire" or "crave". Since they are both commands, there is a strong sense that we are must desire things.

The "and I" that starts the phrase is a contraction of the two Greek words meaning "and I". The pronoun "I" is added to add emphasis that Jesus is referring to his own words. It is unnecessary because the first person is part of the verb ending. Christ sometimes uses it humorously to refer to himself.

The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. 

The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc.  In this phrase, "I say to you", Jesus usually puts this pronoun after the verb. Here it is before, giving it more emphasis. Jesus seems to be emphasizing what he says to his listeners reinforcing the message of the last verse (Luke 11:8), which also began with a similar phrase.  

The word translated as "ask" primarily means "ask" but it also has shades of meaning from "demand" to "claim." It is in the form of a command addressed to all his listeners.

The term for "given," is one of the most common terms that Christ uses. It means to "give" or "grant." He often uses it to refer to an ability or, more specifically, knowledge. Christ uses this word to describe those fulfilling other people's desires. It is in the future tense.

The Greek verb translated as "seek ye" has a variety of meaning, but it has the specific sense of "feeling a need", which is the sense that Christ uses a form of this word in Mat 6:3. Again, this is in the form of a command addressed to all of his listeners.

The term used for "find" means "to find", "to discover", "to devise", "to invent", and similar ideas. It is the source of our word, "heuristic," meaning enabling a person to find out something for themselves. It also specifically means finding by intellectual inquiry, as in analyzing and understanding something. It is the source word for our idea of heuristic methods, that is, testing our ideas. The ancient view of science was based on intellectual analysis rather than testing.

The word translated as "knock" also means "to examine" and "to prove." Even more interesting, the word used for "knock," is a metaphor for "examining", "trying," or "proving" something. This idea comes from tapping an earthen vessel to see if it "rings true." The use of this word is especially telling because, unlike English, the Greek term describes testing appearances. The idea of physical testing as a form of advancing scientific knowledge is the foundation of our modern scientific method rather than the intellectual methods of the ancients.

The term for "open" means "to disclose" or "to lay open." It means revealing something that is there, but that you cannot access.

Wordplay: 

 All the key terms in this verse have double meanings that relate to experimentation, testing, and discovery. Two of them also have double meanings relating to craving and desiring. 

Vocabulary: 

Κἀγὼ (conj pron) "And I" is kago, a contraction of kai ego. "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." "I" is ego, which is the first person singular pronoun meaning "I". It also means "I at least", "for my part", "indeed," and "for myself."

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl dat) "Unto you" is humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." --

λέγω, (1st sg pres ind act) "I tell" is lego, which means "to recount", "to tell over", "to say", "to speak", "to teach", "to mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself", "pick up", "gather", "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelled the same means "to lay", "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep." 

αἰτεῖτε, (2nd pl pres imperat) "Ask" is from aiteo, which means "to ask", "to demand", "to beg", "to claim," and "to ask for one's own use."

καὶ (conj) "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."

δοθήσεται (3rd sg fut ind pass) "It shall be given" is from didomi, which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe."

ὑμῖν: (pron 2nd pl dat) "You" is from humin, which is the 2nd person plural dative pronoun. Dative is the case which indicates to whom something is given.

ζητεῖτε, (verb 2nd pl pres imperat act) "Seek" is from zeteo, which means "inquire for", "search for", "seek after", "desire", and "feel the want of."

καὶ (conj) "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."

εὑρήσετε ( 2nd pl fut ind act) "Ye shall find" is from heurisko, which means "to find", "to find out", "to discover", "to devise", "to invent", "to get," and "to gain."

κρούετε, (2nd pl pres imperat) "Knock" is from krouo, which means to "strike", "smite", "strike one against another", "strike together", "knocking", "examine", "try", "prove," and "knock at the door [on the outside]."

καὶ (conj) "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."

ἀνοιγήσεται (3rd sg fut ind pass) "It shall be opened" is from anoigo, which means "to open", "to throw open," and "to disclose."

ὑμῖν. (pron 2nd pl dat ) "You" is from humin, which is the 2nd person plural dative pronoun. Dative is the case which indicates to whom something is given.

Related Verses: 

Feb 11 2018