Matthew 10:5 Do not go to the way of the Gentiles

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

The beginning of the Sending of the Apostles.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

In regards to a road of foreigners, you all might not want to leave [it]. Also, into the city of a Watchers, you may not want to enter.

KJV : 

Matthew 10:5 Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The verse is interesting because it says the opposite of the way it is translated. The verb doesn't mean "go." It means "go away from." In each subsequent translation from the KJV, to the NIV, to the NLT, more and more words in the original Greek's key words are left out. All translations make this sound like Jesus is issuing commands, but these  verbs are statements about what might or should happen.

The first part of this verse is more likely about the use of Roman roads than the "way" of the foreigners. However, a double meaning may well be intentional.

NIV : 

Matthew 10:5  Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans.

NLT : 

Matthew 10:5 Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans,

Wordplay: 

The verse is both a description about where to go physically and direction about how to think. 

My Takeaway: 

We each have areas that we must avoid and must not avoid.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Εἰς (prep) "Into" is from eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)", "until (of time)", "as much as (of measure or limit)", "as far as (of measure or limit)", "towards (to express relation)", "in regard to (to express relation)", "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

ὁδὸν (noun sg masc/fem acc) "The way" is hodos, which means literally "way" or "road" but which is used symbolically to mean "a way of doing things" or "a philosophy of life."

ἐθνῶν (noun pl neut gen) "Of the gentiles" is ethnos, which means "a number of people living together", "company", "body of men," "tribe", "a people", "nation," and (later) "foreign, barbarous nations."

μὴ (partic) "Not" is from 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.

ἀπέλθητε, (2nd pl aor subj act) "Go" is from aperchomai, which means "to go away," "to depart from", "to spread abroad," and "to depart from life." With the preposition eis, it means leaving one place and arrival at another.

καὶ (partic/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." --

εἰς (prep) "Into" is from eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)", "until (of time)", "as much as (of measure or limit)", "as far as (of measure or limit)", "towards (to express relation)", "in regard to (to express relation)", "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

πόλιν (noun sg fem acc) "City" is from polis, which means "city", "citadel", "one's city", "one's country", "community", "state", "state affairs," and "civic duties."

Σαμαρειτῶν (noun pl masc gen) "Of the Samaritans" is from Samarites, which means a "Samaritan." The Samaritans shared much of Jewish religion and culture but felt Judaism had been changed during the exile in Assyria and Babylon and they kept the original faith.

μὴ (partic) "Not" is from 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.

εἰσέλθητε (2nd pl aor subj act) "Enter ye" is from eiserchomai which means both "to go into", "to come in", "to enter", "to enter an office", "to enter a charge," (as in court) and "to come into one's mind."

KJV Analysis: 

Go -- (WW, WF))  "Go" is a Greek word that means "go away" and "depart from." The root of this word is not the Greek word usually translation as "go." Its root is the word usually translated as "come," that primarily means "to start," with a prefix that means "from."  With the Greek word translated here as "into" here, however, it implies a departure from one place and arrival at another, to "go back to." It is not a command but a statement in a form of a possibility that indicates a possibility "might."  This "go" is especially wrong because it is confused with the different Greek word translated as "go" in the next two verses.

not -- (CW) The negative "not" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article.

into The word translated as "into" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "up to" limits in time and measure. However, used with the verb meaning "depart" is can mean the place departed from and you are headed toward.

the -- There is no Greek article "the" here in the source. There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article "a" or "and"  can be added in English translation.

way -- "Way", it means both a "road" and a way of thinking, like our English word "way." Since the context is traveling, "road" seems the most likely meaning. There is no "the" used with it, so "a way".

of  -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs. 

the -- There is no Greek article "the" here in the source, but the noun is plural and in English an article is used before plural nouns in phrases like this.

Gentiles, -- The word translated as "Gentiles" means "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. Christ used it to mean "non-Judean" people. The road of the time had been built by the Greek and especially the Romans.

and -- 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, it is best translated as "not only...but also."

into -- The word translated as "into" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

any --  There is no "any" here, but when a word doesn't have a definite article in Greek, the indefinite article, "a,"  can be added in English translation.

city -- The Greek word for "city" meant not only a city but a nation, culture, or a society.

of  -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs. 

the -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "the" in the Greek source.

Samaritans -- (WN) This word means "Samaritan" but it also means "Samaria," the region. It is singular, not plural. The Greek word translated as "the Samaritans" is the Greek form of a Hebrew or Aramaic word. It means "Watcher" or "Keeper", referring to the people of the northern kingdom of Israel who worshiped on the mountains of Moses rather than at the temple in Jerusalem. The area was part of the Roman province of Judea. Foreigners consider these people to be northern Judeans, but the Judeans considered them foreigners because, after their Assyrian conquest, they interbred with foreign people and some adopted foreign gods. Samaritans, on the other hand, thought that the Judeans had changed their Torah when captive in Babylon before returning to Israel. The Samaritans never left their region.

enter -- (WF) "Enter" is a Greek word that means both "to go out" and "to enter in," but it is also a metaphor for "coming to mind." It is in the form of a verb that expresses a possibility. It is not a command.

ye -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

not:  -- The negative "not" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article. 

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "go" means "depart" that should have a "should."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "go" or "depart" is not a command but a statement.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" does not mean a command but a suggestion.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "Samaritans" is translated as plural but it is singular.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "enter" is not a command but a suggestion that should have a "should."

NIV Analysis: 

Do  -- This helping verb is added to make this a negative  sentence.

not -- (CW) The negative "not" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article.

go -- (WW, WF))  "Go" is a Greek word that means "go away" and "depart from." With the Greek word translated here as "into" here, however, it implies a departure from one place and arrival at another, to "go back to." It is not a command but a statement in a form of a possibility that indicates a possibility "might."

among -- The word translated as "among" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "up to" limits in time and measure. However, used with the verb meaning "depart" is can mean the place departed from and you are headed toward.

the -- There is no Greek article "the" here in the source. There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article "a" or "and"  can be added in English translation.

untranslated "way"-- (MW) The untranslated word "way" means both a "road" and a way of thinking, like our English word "way." Since the context is traveling, "road" seems the most likely meaning. There is no "the" used with it, so "a way".

Gentiles, -- (WF) The word translated as "Gentiles" means "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. Christ used it to mean "non-Judean" people. The road of the time had been built by the Greek and especially the Romans.

or- (WW)- The Greek word translated as "or" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also."

untranslated "not"-- (MW) The untranslated word "not" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article.

enter -- (WF) "Enter" is a Greek word that means both "to go out" and "to enter in," but it is also a metaphor for "coming to mind." It is in the form of a verb that expresses a possibility. It is not a command.

untranslated "into"-- (MW) The untranslated word "into" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

any --  There is no "any" here, but when a word doesn't have a definite article in Greek, the indefinite article, "a,"  can be added in English translation.

town -- The Greek word for "town" meant not only a city but a nation, culture, or a society.

of  -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs. 

the -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "the" in the Greek source.

Samaritans -- (WN) This word means "Samaritan" but it also means "Samaria," the region. It is singular, not plural. The Greek word translated as "the Samaritans" is the Greek form of a Hebrew or Aramaic word. It means "Watcher" or "Keeper", referring to the people of the northern kingdom of Israel who worshiped on the mountains of Moses rather than at the temple in Jerusalem. The area was part of the Roman province of Judea. Foreigners consider these people to be northern Judeans, but the Judeans considered them foreigners because, after their Assyrian conquest, they interbred with foreign people and some adopted foreign gods. Samaritans, on the other hand, thought that the Judeans had changed their Torah when captive in Babylon before returning to Israel. The Samaritans never left their region.

NIV Translation Issues: 

10
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" does not mean a command but a suggestion.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "go" means "depart" that should have a "should."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "go" or "depart" is not a command but a statement.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "way" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "Gentiles" is not an object by a genitive, "of Gentiles."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "or" means "and."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "not" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "enter" is not a command but a suggestion that should have a "should."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "Samaritans" is translated as plural but it is singular.

NLT Analysis: 

Do  -- This helping verb is added to make this a negative  sentence.

not -- (CW) The negative "not" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article.

go -- (WW, WF))  "Go" is a Greek word that means "go away" and "depart from." With the Greek word translated here as "into" here, however, it implies a departure from one place and arrival at another, to "go back to." It is not a command but a statement in a form of a possibility that indicates a possibility "might."

to -- The word translated as "to" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "up to" limits in time and measure. However, used with the verb meaning "depart" is can mean the place departed from and you are headed toward.

the -- There is no Greek article "the" here in the source. There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article "a" or "and"  can be added in English translation.

untranslated "way"-- (MW) The untranslated word "way" means both a "road" and a way of thinking, like our English word "way." Since the context is traveling, "road" seems the most likely meaning. There is no "the" used with it, so "a way".

Gentiles, -- (WF) The word translated as "Gentiles" means "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. Christ used it to mean "non-Judean" people. The road of the time had been built by the Greek and especially the Romans.

or- (WW)- The Greek word translated as "or" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also."

untranslated "not"-- (MW) The untranslated word "not" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article.

untranslated "enter"-- (MW) The untranslated word "enter" is a Greek word that means both "to go out" and "to enter in," but it is also a metaphor for "coming to mind." It is in the form of a verb that expresses a possibility. It is not a command.

untranslated "into"-- (MW) The untranslated word "into" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

untranslated "city"-- (MW) The untranslated word "city" meant not only a city but a nation, culture, or a society.

the -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "the" in the Greek source.

Samaritans -- (WF, WN) This word means "Samaritan" but it also means "Samaria," the region. It is singular, not plural. The Greek word translated as "the Samaritans" is the Greek form of a Hebrew or Aramaic word. It means "Watcher" or "Keeper", referring to the people of the northern kingdom of Israel who worshiped on the mountains of Moses rather than at the temple in Jerusalem. The area was part of the Roman province of Judea. Foreigners consider these people to be northern Judeans, but the Judeans considered them foreigners because, after their Assyrian conquest, they interbred with foreign people and some adopted foreign gods. Samaritans, on the other hand, thought that the Judeans had changed their Torah when captive in Babylon before returning to Israel. The Samaritans never left their region.

NLT Translation Issues: 

13
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" does not mean a command but a suggestion.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "go" means "depart" that should have a "should."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "go" or "depart" is not a command but a statement.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "way" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "Gentiles" is not an object by a genitive, "of Gentiles."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "or" means "and."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "not" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "enter" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "into" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "city" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "Samaritans" is translated as plural but it is singular.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "Samaritans" is not an object by a genitive, "of Samaritans."

The Spoken Version: 

The conversation went around like this until the student fell into two groups. One group wanted to use the foreign road when necessary, but use boats and footpaths wherever possible. The other group want to stick to the foreign roads , to save time, effort, and to prevent getting lost.
When the two groups seemed deadlock, Rock turn to the Master.
“Master,” he asked, “Can you help us?”

“About a road of foreigners?” he asked, looking up for the baby as if he had only partly been paying attention.
He though for a moment.
“No, don’t depart from it,” he said as if it was obvious.
This decision lead to next topic of debate among student. The issue was about visiting the cities of Watchers. If they were going to use the foreign roads to go to western Judea, they would have to pass by many Watcher cities. Again, the same two groups, the fishermen and Galileans versus the newer members from outlying areas, seemed to take opposite sides. The original fishermen opposed visiting any foreign cities.
“We just came back from visiting foreigners in Decapolis,” laughed Brother John. “They preferred their pigs hearing from the Master!”
The group laughed at this reference to the recent disastrous trip.
“But Watchers worship that same God that we do!” argued Nathaniel.
This statement sparked a whole debate about whether that was true of not.  Most considered the Watchers heretics. Still,  there were strong arguments for visting those cities.
“A whole group came to Seven Springs to hear the Master!” pointed Aristarches.
“If we are going right by a city of theirs?” asked Sopater, who came from western Judea and new the territory.
Again, the two sides went back and forth until Rock stepped in. \
“Master?” pleaded the big man. “Help?”
“ And as far as a city of a Samaritan?” the Master said. He again seemed to think a moment before deciding. “No, don’t enter it!:
And that settled that.

evidence: 

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Front Page Date: 

Aug 21 2020