Matthew 11:15 He who has ears to hear,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 11:15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

The one having ears? He must hear!

Hidden Meaning: 

Christ uses a phrase similar to this a number of times. See the related verses below. It makes a point but in a humorous way. 

The Greek verb translated as "he that haveth" means "to possess" or "to keep" but it isn't used in the same way as a "helper" verb that the English "have" is. The form of the verb is that of an adjective, "having", but used as a noun, introduced by an article, "the one having."

The term translated as "ears" means "ear," things resembling a handle and is a metaphor for understanding.

The Greek verb for "to hear," means "to hear", "to listen", "to obey," and "to understand." It is in a Greek form that the KJV and most other Bible translations translate as "let him hear", but in modern English "let" has the sense of allowing something. That is not the sense in Greek. this is a command, something that must happen. A more accurate translation is "he must hear." 


The Spoken Version: 

The one with the ability to hear, he must understand. 


ἔχων (part sg pres act masc nom) "He that haveth" is from echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

ὦτα (noun pl neut acc)  "Ears" is from ous, which means "ear" and things that resemble an ear, such as a handle on pitchers, cups, etc.

ἀκουέτω. (3rd sg pres imperat act) "Hears" is from akouo, which means "hear of", "hear tell of", "what one actually hears", "know by hearsay", "listen to", "give ear to", "hear and understand," and "understand."

Related Verses: 

Jun 30 2017