Luke 19:15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned,

KJV Verse: 

Luke 19:15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And it happened with the returning of him, having gotten that realm. And he said to be commanded to him the bondsmen, these ones to whom he had given the money in order that he knew what they had accomplished by it.

Hidden Meaning: 

There are some very odd word choices here for Jesus. This seems to indicate a larger context that we cannot find in the words themselves. He normally says things like this in a much more direct way. This is especially true in his parables, which tell a story rather than play with words. This may have been less of a story than a discussion while telling a story. This would also explain the last verse which doesn't seem to fit the rest.

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

The word translated as "it came to pass" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Christ, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state. The sense is "it happened" or "it developed".  The problems with this verse are that this Greek word doesn't quite map into any English one since our "become" works quite differently with other words.

There is no "that" here, but the sentence would read better if there was one. Several spoken phrases seem to have been put together here without the intervening dialogue.

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

The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English.  It is not in the form of a normal subject, but it is being used as the object of an infinitive, which is being used as a noun. This takes the form of an object, that is, the accusative case. We have only seen this structure once before in Jesus's words, in the story of Lazarus and the rich man, which was also odd for different reasons.

"Was returned" is from an uncommon verb that means "go back", "return", "return to", and "recapitulate". The form is an infinitive, "to return", but used as a noun, that is, being introduced by an article, "the return".

The word translated as "having received " primarily means "take." However, it means "receive" in the same sense that we use "get" to mean "receive" and has many different uses as we use "get" in English. Among these are the ideas of "understanding" and "possessing." It is in the form of an adjective, "having gotten".

The word translated as "the kingdom," can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate.

The Greek word translated as "then" is usually used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). "Then" seems like it would have worked better here but it wasn't used.

"He commanded" is from the Greek verb that means "to say" and "to speak". It is not a word Jesus usually uses to say "command".

The noun translated as "these servants" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible. This phrase follows the next verb, not the previous one.

"To be called" is from a verb that means "to produce a sound or tone", "to speak loudly or clearly" (of men), "uttering cries" (of animals), "affirm" (in court), "call by name", "command," and "speak of." This word is more easily translated as "command" than the previous one. It is in the form of a passive infinitive, "to be commanded".

The word translated as "unto him" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English. 

The word translated as "to whom" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause.

The verb translated as "he had given" means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe." It is almost always translated as some form of "give."

The word translated as "the money" is very uncommon for Christ. It means "money" in the sense we use the term "cash," referring to the actual metal "silver." 

The word translated as "that" is not the simple demonstrative pronoun, but a word that means "there", "where," and "in order that."

"he might know" is a verb that means "to know", "to recognize", "make known", "to know carnally," and "to learn. The form is not the normal form of this verb. In any case, it is not the form that you would add a "might" to, even though the context seems to demand it.

There was no word meaning "how much" here. There is a word that means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why". 

There is no word that can be translated as "every man" unless we go to the plural form of the verb, though it is not necessarily masculine.

"Had gained from trading" is from a unique verb that means to "discuss", "examine thoroughly", and "accomplish". This is actually a "combination" word made from a prefix that means "through"  "by (causal)", "among," and "between and  a verb that appeared in Luke 19:13 which means to "busy oneself", "take trouble", "to be engaged in business".

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."

ἐγένετο (verb 3rd sg aor ind mid) "It came to pass" is ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", "to be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being. It is the complementary opposite of the verb "to be" (eimi) which indicates existence in the same state.

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

τῷ ἐπανελθεῖν [uncommon](verb pres inf mp)  "Was returned" is from epanerchomai,  which means "go back", "return", "return to", and "recapitulate". --

αὐτὸν (adj sg masc acc) "He" 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." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

λαβόντα ( part sg aor act masc acc ) "Having received" is lambano means to "take", "take hold of", "grasp", "seize", "catch", "overtake", "find out", "detect", "take as", "take [food or drugs]", "understand", "take in hand", "undertake", "take in", "hold", "get", "receive [things]", "receive hospitably", "receive in marriage", "receive as produce", "profit", "admit", "initiate", "take hold of", "lay hold on", "seize and keep hold of", "obtain possession of", "lay hands upon", "find fault with", "censure," "to apprehend with the senses", "to take hold of," and "to seize." It is also specifically used to mean "seized with emotion."

τὴν βασιλείαν (noun sg fem acc) "The kingdom" is basileia, which means "kingdom", "dominion", "hereditary monarchy", "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign."

καὶ (conj/adv) "Then" 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."

εἶπεν ( verb 3rd sg aor ind act ) "He commanded" 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."

φωνηθῆναι ( verb aor inf pass ) "To be called" is phoneo which means "to produce a sound or tone", "to speak loudly or clearly" (of men), "uttering cries" (of animals), "affirm" (in court), "call by name", "command," and "speak of."

αὐτῷ (adj sg masc dat) "Him" 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." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

τοὺς δούλους ( noun pl masc acc ) "The servant" is doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."

τούτους (adj pl masc acc ) "These" is toutou, which is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar." -- "Of these" is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar."

οἷς (pro pl masc dat) "To whom" is hos, which means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

δεδώκει ( verb 3rd sg plup ind act ) "He had given" is didomi, which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe."

τὸ ἀργύριον, uncommon] (noun sg neut acc) "Money" is from argyrionwhich means "small coin", "piece of money", "money", "cash", and "silver."

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

γνοῖ (γνῷ (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "He might know," is ginosko which means "to learn to know", "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive."

τί (pron sg neut acc) "How much" 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."

διεπραγματεύσαντο. [unique]( verb 3rd pl aor ind mp) "Had gained from trading" is diapragmateuomai, which means to "discuss", "examine thoroughly", and "accomplish". (prep) From dia which means "through"  "by (causal)", "among," and "between and pragmateuomai, which means to "busy oneself", "take trouble", "to be engaged in business".

Related Verses: 

Nov 8 2018