Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner

KJV Verse: 

Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

I'm telling you that as much delight in the sky is going to exist upon a mistake-maker seeing in hindsight than upon ninty-nine law-abiding who don't a need have of changing. 

Hidden Meaning: 

The word translated as "I tell" 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. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

The Greek pronoun "to you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc. 

The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause.

The word translated in KJV as "likewise" is in its adverbial form, so it means "in this manner" or "in this way."

 "Joy" is from a worth that means "joy" and "delight." More about Christ's use of emotions in this article.

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

The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article.

The verb "shall be" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics. Here, "shall exist" works better.

The word translated as "over" means "on", "over", "against", "before", "after", "during", "by" or "on."

The Greek word translated as "one thing" means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

"Sinner" is an adjective that means "erroneous" or "erring." It also means "of bad character" but with the sense of being a slave or low-born not evil. Only in biblical translations is this term given the sense of wickedness. More about the translation issues regarding "sin" here

The word translated as "that repenteth" has nothing to do with sin or, generally, with religion or asking for forgiveness. The Greek word translated as "repent" has a primary meaning of "to understand something after the fact", with the sense of seeing in hindsight. Is specific meaning is to "understand afterward," as seeing the truth after a mistake is made. From this idea, it comes to mean to change your mind, shifting your perspective. The form is that of a verb used as an adjective, "seeing in hindsight". 

"Than" is translated from a Greek word that means primary "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

The "ninty-nine" are the Greek numerals "ninty" and "nine". These are uncommon. 

The Greek adjective translated as "just persons" means "observant of rules", "observant of customs", "well-ordered", "civilized," and "observant of duty." It could be translated as "law-abiding".

"Which" is a pronoun that means "that", "anyone who", "anything which", "whosoever," "whichsoever" and "anybody whatsoever."  Here, "who" works best.

There is an untranslated verb here that means "have" means "to possess" or "to keep". The sense is "have no need". 

The word translated as "need" means "need" and "poverty," but it also means "familiarity" and "intimacy."

The Greek word translated as "no" 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.

"Repentance," is the noun form of the verb above. It means "a change of mind or heart", "repentance", "regret", "afterthought", and "correction". In English, this idea is more precisely expressed as "hindsight". It is from a verb that means "to perceive afterward". 

Vocabulary: 

λέγω (verb 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."

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

ὅτι (adv/conj) "That" is 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." 

οὕτως (adv) "Likewise" is houtos, which as an adverb, it means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why."

χαρὰ (noun sg fem nom) "Joy" is from chara (chara), which means "joy" and "delight." --

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

τῷ οὐρανῷ (noun sg masc dat) "Heaven" is the Greek ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky", "heaven as the seat of the gods", "the sky", "the universe," and "the climate." 

ἔσται (verb 3rd sg fut ind mid) "Shall be" is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen",  and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.") --

ἐπὶ (prep) "Over" is epi, which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," "after" in position, "during", and "against."

ἑνὶ (noun sg masc dat) "One" is heis, which means "one", "single," and "one and the same." This adjective is irregular, having a number of forms depending on sex, number, and case: heis, henos, heni, hen, hena, mia, mias, miai, mian; hen, henos, hen. -- "One" means "one", "single", and "one and the same". 

ἁμαρτωλῷ (adj sg masc dat) "Sinner" is hamartolos, which means "erroneous" or "erring." It also means "of bad character" but with the sense of being a slave or low-born not evil. --

μετανοοῦντι (part sg pres act masc dat) "That repenteth," is from  metanoeo, which literally means "to perceive afterward", "to perceive too late", "to change one's mind", "to change one's purpose," and "to repent." 

(conj/adv) "Than" is which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than." --

ἐπὶ (prep) "Over" is epi, which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," "after" in position, "during", and "against." -- The word translated as "unto" means "against", "before", "after", "during", "by" or "on."

ἐνενήκοντα [uncommon] (numeral) "The ninty " is from enenekonta that is the Greek number ninty The article preceding it makes it a noun and the object of the verb.

ἐννέα [uncommon](numeral) "Nine" is ennea, the number "nine".

δικαίοις (adj pl masc dat) "Just persons" is dikaios which means "observant of rules", "observant of customs", "well-ordered", "civilized," and "observant of duty." Later it means "well-balanced", "impartial," and "just." As a verb, it means to "set right", "hold or deem right", "claim or demand as a right", "pronounce judgment", "do a man right or justice", "chastise", "punish, and in passive, "have right done one."

οἵτινες (pron pl masc nom) "Which" is hostis, which means "that", "anyone who", "anything which", "whosoever," "whichsoever" and "anybody whatsoever."

οὐ (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.--

χρείαν (noun sg fem acc) "Need" is chreia (chreia ), which means "need", "want", "poverty", "a request of a necessity", "business", "military service", "a business affair", "employment", "familiarity", "intimacy," and "maxim." 

ἔχουσιν (part pl pres act masc dat) Untranslated is echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to carry", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do." 

μετανοίας. [uncommon] (noun sg fem gen) "Repentance," is from  metanoia, which "a change of mind or heart", "repentance", "regret", "afterthought", and "correction". In English, this idea is more precisely expressed as "hindsight". It is from a verb that means "to perceive afterward". 

Related Verses: 

Jul 12 2018