Luke 12:29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat,

KJV Verse: 

Luke 12:29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And you yourselves! Don't inquire what might you eat? What might you drink? Don't lift yourselves up (to pass gas}! 

Hidden Meaning: 

This is a really, really funny line. It has a punchline at the very end that may be one of the best in the Gospels. The Greek is a spoken phrase, not written sentences. It also has a unique word as the punchline and that word doesn't have much at all to do with how it is translated in the KJV. 

The pronoun "you" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say "you yourselves." It is plural.

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 negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used. When used in a command, it works like our "don't". 

The Greek verb translated as "seek ye" means "inquire for", "search for", "seek after", "desire", and "feel the want of."  The sense here is clearly "inquire". 

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

The word translated as "you shall eat" means "eat" but it also means "fret," as we say "something is eating me up," which is a play with the "worry" concept here. ," as we say "something is eating me up," which seems to go better with the "worry" concept earlier. Though the verb is translated as the future, it is not the future tense. Since the context is worrying, the time frame is some point the future. It is also in a form indicating something that "might" happen.

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

The word translated as "To drink" seems chosen for its double meaning as well. It means "to celebrate." As with the "eat" above, the word seems chosen for its double meaning since "to celebrate," the opposite of "to fret." Though the verb is translated as the future, it is not the future tense.

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 negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used. When used in a command, it works like our "don't". 

The Greek verb translated as "be ye of doubtful mind" means to "raise to a height", "lifts up", "buoys up", and "suffer from flatulence". It is a command. It is not passive but a middle voice where the subject acts on themselves, so "lift yourself up", but the joke is that this word applies both the idea of "lifting yourself up" in the sense of pretending you can control what you can't, but it also refers to passing gas. It refers to how people rise from the seat to fart. This clearly goes to the easting and drinking. 

Wordplay: 

The word for "eat" also means "fret" or "worry". 

The verb translated as "be ye of doubtful mind" actually means "lift yourselves up" in the sense of inflating yourself but it has a double meaning of "don't fart yourselves". 

Vocabulary: 

 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." 

ὑμεῖς (pron 2nd pl nom) "You" is hymeis (humeis), which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you." 

μὴ (partic) "Not" is me , which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective. --

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

τί (pron sg neut acc/nom) "What" is from 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."

φάγητε (verb 2nd pl aor subj act) "Ye shall eat" is from esthio, which means "to eat", "devour", "fret", "vex," and to "take in one's mouth." It is also a metaphor for decay and erosion.

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."

τί  (pron sg neut acc/nom) "What" is from 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."

πίητε, (verb 2nd pl aor subj act) "Shall we drink" is from pinô (pino), which means "to drink", "to celebrate," and "soak up."

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." -- 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." 

μὴ (partic) "Neither" is me , which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective. -

μετεωρίζεσθε, [unique](verb 2nd pl pres imperat mp) "Be ye of doubtful mind" is meteorizomai, which means "raise to a height", "lifts up", "buoys up", "suffer from flatulence", "attain considerable height",  "buoy up", "elevate", esp. with false hope , and, in the passive, "to be elevated" and "to be anxious". 

Related Verses: 

Apr 16 2018