Luke 15:8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece,

KJV Verse: 

Luke 15:8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Or any woman silver coins having, ten, when she might lose a coin, one, doesn't she light a lamp and clean the house and searches carefully until of that one she might discover?

Hidden Meaning: 

This verse is a good example of how Greek word order differs from English, but it also show the difference in spoken language. For example, the numbers following the noun seems dramatic. 

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

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 sense here seems to be "any". 

The word translated as "woman" is  the Greek word that means "woman (as opposed to man)", "wife", "spouse", "mortal woman (as opposed to a goddess)," and "female mate (among animals)." It is closer to our "female." 

The word translated as "having" means "to possess" or "to keep" but it isn't used in the same way as a "helper" verb that the English "have" is.

"Ten" is the Greek word for the numeral "ten". 

"Pieces of silver" is from the Greek coin and unit of weight meaning "as much as one can hold in the hand". The silver coin has about the same value as a Roman denarius, which was about one day's wages.  A better translation would be a "silver coin". 

The Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when".

The word translated as "she lose" means to destroy or demolish.  It also means "lose" but in a very negative way as in "losing one's life". 

The Greek word translated as "one " 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.

"Pieces " is from the same Greek coin and unit of weight used above. 

The word translated as doth "not" is a different form of the usual Greek negative of fact meaning "no truly", "assuredly not", "not however", "nevertheless," and "notwithstanding."

The Greek verb translated as  "light" means primarily "to join" or "touch" with a lot of the same special uses as "join" in English. However, one of its special uses is to kindle a fire. It is not the common word meaning to light a fire, but an uncommon one. 

"Candle" is from the Greek noun, which means "portable light," or "lamp."

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

"Sweep" is an uncommon verb for Jesus which means "to sweep", "to clean", "sweep clean," and, metaphorically, "to be exhausted."

The Greek word translated as "the house," refers to the building itself, all the people that dwell in it, including slaves and servants, all property owned by that family, and all the descendants of the continued line. We might say "estate" in English to capture this idea.

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

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

"Diligently" is a Greek adverb that Jesus only uses here that means  "careful",  "anxious about", "carefully", and "attentive".

The word translated as "till" means "until" but it also means "in order that."

The term used for "she finds" is the source of our word, "heuristic," meaning enabling a person to find out something for themselves. It means "find out" and "discover." It is in the form of something that might happen. 

The word translated as "it" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that). The form is neutral instead of feminine, which would match the form of the word for coin.

Wordplay: 

"Sweep" means to "exhaust yourself". 

Vocabulary: 

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

τίς (irreg sg masc nom indeclform) "What" 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."

γυνὴ (noun sg fem nom) "Woman" is gyne, which means "woman (as opposed to man)", "wife", "spouse", "mortal woman (as opposed to a goddess)," and "female mate (among animals)."

δραχμὰς [uncommon](noun pl fem acc) "Pieces of silver" is drachme, which means "as much as one can hold in the hand", "a weight", drachm, and a "silver coin" about the same value as a Roman denarius, worth six obols. 

ἔχουσα (part sg pres act fem nom ) "Having" 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." 

δέκα, (numeral) "Ten" is from deka, which means the number ten. 

ἐὰν (conj) "If" is ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if)and an (might)) which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event. 

ἀπολέσῃ (verb 3rd sg aor subj act) "She lose" is apollymi, which means "to demolish", "to lay waste", "to lose", "to perish", "to die", "to cease to exist," and "to be undone." 

δραχμὴν [uncommon](noun sg fem acc ) "Piece" is drachme, which means "as much as one can hold in the hand", "a weight", drachm, and a "silver coin" about the same value as a Roman denarius, worth six obols. 

μίαν, (adj sg fem acc ) "One" is heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "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.  

οὐχὶ (partic) "Not" is ouchi, an adverb which means "no", "no truly", "assuredly not", "not however", "nevertheless," "notwithstanding", "yet", "still", "never yet", "for not", "indeed", "for surely not", "no,—certainly not", "for I don't suppose," and "for in no manner."

ἅπτει [uncommon] (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Light" is hapto, which means to " fasten or bind to", "join", metaph. "engage in", "undertake", "begin", "set to work", "lay hands on",  "touch", "affect",  "grasp with the senses", "perceive", "have intercourse with a woman", "come up to", "reach", "overtake", "make use of", "avail oneself of", "kindle", and "set on fire". 

λύχνον (noun sg masc acc) "Candle" is lychnos, which means "portable light," or "lamp."

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."

σαροῖ  [uncommon] (verb 3rd sg pres ind act contr) "Sweep" is saroô, which means "to sweep", "to clean", "sweep clean," and, metaphorically, "to be exhausted."

τὴν οἰκίαν (noun sg fem acc) "House" is oikia, which means "house", "building," and "household." -

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."

ζητεῖ (verb 3rd sg pres ind act ) "Seek" is zeteo, which means "inquire for", "search for", "seek after", "desire", and "feel the want of." --

ἐπιμελῶς [unique](adv) "Diligently" is epimelos, which means  "careful",  "anxious about", "carefully", "careful", and "attentive".

 ἕως (conj) "Till" is heos which means "until", "till," and "in order that" and "up to the point that." --

οὗ (pron sg neut gen  "It" is hos, which means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings. 

εὕρῃ; (verb 3rd sg aor subj act) "Findeth" is heurisko, which means "to find", "to find out", "to discover", "to devise", "to invent", "to get," and "to gain." --

Jul 13 2018