Matthew 12:11 What man is there among you, if he has one sheep,

Spoken to: 

The Pharisees

Context: 

Pharisees attack, violating the Sabbath

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Who will be from among you all? A  man, that will have a sheep, one, and, when it falls down, this one,  on the Sabbath into a hole, nevertheless, you will seize it and rouse arouse yourself.

KJV : 

Matthew 12:11 What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse seems more like a series of statements in response to a series of questions. The Greek is simply too rambling and disjointed to seem like a continuous statement, especially for Jesus..

While the KJV version shows the last part of this verse in the third person ("he") in the KJV, the forms of the verbs in Greek could also be the second person as we see in the NIV. One of them adds the important idea that you are doing something for yourself. The words translated as  "laying hold of" and "lifting" mean "being strong" and "rousing." The last is probably "rousing yourself." The idea is that If you have the power to do something, you "awaken" yourself from your day of rest.

NIV : 

Matthew 12:11 If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?

Wordplay: 

The verb "lay hold of it" primarily means "to take control." The verb "lift" primarily means to "awaken."

My Takeaway: 

Solving problems sould always be allowed by the law.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Τίς (irreg sg masc nom) "What" is from 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."

[ἔσται] (verb 3rd sg fut ind mid] [Does not appear in all sources]"Shall there be" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai.)

ἐξ (prep) "Among" is from ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of", "from", "by", "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond", "outside of", "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after," "from;" 4) [of rest] "on", "in," 5) [of time] "since", "from", "at," "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of", "made from.

ὑμῶν (pron 2nd pl gen) "You" is humon, the plural possessive form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ἄνθρωπος (noun sg masc nom) "Man" is from anthropos, which is "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate.

ὃς (pron sg masc nom) "That" is from hos, which means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who," "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

ἕξει . (verb 3rd sg fut ind act or 2nd sg fut ind mid) "Shall have" 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."

πρόβατον (noun sg neut acc) "Sheep" is from probaton, which means any domesticated four-footed animal, "sheep", "cattle", "herds," and "flocks.

ἕν, (prep) "One" is from heis, which 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

καὶ (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."

ἐὰν (prep/partic)  "If" is from 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.

ἐμπέσῃ [3 verses](3rd sg aor subj act) "Fall into" is from empipto, which means to "fall upon", "fall in" and "to fall on." It's root is the verb pipto, which means "to fall", "to fall down", "to be cast down, ""fall upon," "intersect (geometry)", "meet", "pass through", "fall violently upon," "attack", "fall in battle", "sink{in water)", "fall short i.e. fail", " fall out of", "lose a thing", "escape from", "fall asleep", "to be accessible to perception", "to fall (between her feet, i.e. to be born)", "to let fall[dice)", "turn out," and "fall under (belong to a class).

τοῦτο (adj sg neut nom ) "It" is from touto,  which means "from here", "from there", "this [thing]," or "that [thing]."

τοῖς (article pl neut dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

σάββασιν (noun pl neut dat)  "Sabbath " is from sabbaton, which means "Sabbath", "seven days of week," and "first day of week." 

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).

βόθυνον, [3 verses](noun sg masc acc) "Pit" is from bothunos, which means "pit" and "well." It is a version of bathuno, which means "to make deep", "deep," and, interestingly, "poverty."

οὐχὶ (adv) Not" is from 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."

κρατήσει [7 verses](3rd sg fut ind act or 2nd sg fut ind mid) "Lay hold" is from krateo, which means to be strong, powerful: "to rule", "to hold sway", "to be the lord and master", "to conquer", "to prevail over", "to get the upper hand", "to seize", "to control," and "to command."

αὐτὸ (adj sg neut acc)"On it" is from 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."

καὶ "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."

ἐγερεῖ; (3rd sg fut ind act or 2nd sg fut ind mid) "Will he lift it out" is from egeiro, which means "to awaken", "to stir up," and "to rouse."

KJV Analysis: 

What  - The Greek word translated as "what " means "someone," and "anything." In questions, it means "what", "who," or "why." The gender is masculine so it refers to a man.

man --  (WP) The Greek word for "man" means "man", "person" and "humanity" in the singular. In the plural, it means "men", "people", and "peoples".  This word does not appear near the "what" but later in the verses, after the "among you."

shall -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

there  - -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb. When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are." 

be -- The verb "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. The verb translated as "shall there be" is the future tense of the verb "to be" but it does not appear of all sources.

among -- (CW) The Greek preposition translated as "among" means "out of" or "from." This is not the normal preposition used for "among."

you, -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case.

that -- The word translated as "that" 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.

shall -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

have -- The word translated as "have" means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and many specific uses. This verb isn't used to form past tenses as it is in English. 

one  -- 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.

sheep, "Sheep" is the Greek word that refers to any domesticated animal and, when plural, works better if translated simply as "flock" or "herd." It is singular here. 

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

if -- 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".

it --- The word translated as "this" means "from here" or "this/that thing."

fall  -  "Fall" is  a verb, which means "to fall in" and "to fall on." The root verb has means "to fall" that has a wide variety of meanings and the prefix/preposition that means "in". "on". and "among." This verb is in a form that suggests a "might" of possibility but that is implied by the "if" in English.

into-- This is from both the prefix that means "into"of the previous verb and a preposition that "into" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

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

pit  - "Pit" is a word that means "pit" or "well." It is a verb that means "to make deep", "deep," and, interestingly, "poverty." Its use here seems to indicate a "wallow" or "pond."

on -- This word "on" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") that the English "the." See this article for more. 

sabbath day,  - "Sabbath day" is a single word meaning "rest" or "day of rest" from the Hebrew. It is in a Greek form indicating something happening at this time. 

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

he -- (CW) This could from the third-person, singular form of the verb, but the verb could also be the second person singular. Both were used previously, but the second person was plural earlier and this is singular.

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

lay hold  - (WW) "Lay hold" is f a verb that means "to be strong", "to prevail", "to get possession of," "seize" "control," and similar ideas. The noun of the word means "might," "power," and "dominion." Jesus rarely used this word so it was probably used for its special meaning. It is usually used to mean "to lay hold of" when used with the Greek word for hands and arms, which are not used here. The form could be the third person or second person future, but the second person would indicate that the person did this either by themselves or for themselves. 

on -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "on" in the Greek source. The form of the following word is a direct object not an indirect one. This problem is caused by the choice of verb used in translation.

it, -- The word translated as "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  It is in the form of an object.

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

lift  - (CW) The verb translated as "lift out" means "awaken" and "rouse". It is the same word Christ uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising. It again is in the future tense. It again could be either the third- or second-person singular. If it is the second-person, its form indicates that her does this by or for himself. This is not the common Greek verb that means "raise." Jesus usually uses it in a way that can mean "awaken"So you are going to "arouse" yourself from the "rest" of the Sabbath. Jesus uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising.

it -- (CW) There is no Greek pronoun here, but Greek does not need pronouns when the object can be assumed from the context. However, if the verb is in the middle voice, the sense here would be "rousing yourself."

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

KJV Translation Issues: 

7
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "man" doesn't appear here but later in the verse.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "among" is not the common word usually translated as "among."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "he" could also be a "you" from of the verb.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" is not either of tje common words usually translated as "not."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "lay hold" should be "seize."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "it" may be assumed, but the object could also be "yourself" based upon the verb form.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "ln" doesn't exist in the source.

NIV Analysis: 

If -- (WP) 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". This word appears much later in the verse

any - The Greek word translated as "any" means "someone," and "anything." In questions, it means "what", "who," or "why." The gender is masculine so "someone."

untranslated "man"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is means "man", "person" and "humanity" in the singular. In the plural, it means "men", "people", and "peoples". 

untranslated "will be "  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "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. The verb is the future tense of the verb "to be" but it does not appear of all sources.

of  -- The Greek preposition translated as "of" means "out of" or "from." This is not the normal preposition used for "among."

you -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case.

untranslated "that"  -- (MW) The untranslated word 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.

has -- (WT) The word translated as "has" means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and many specific uses. This verb isn't used to form past tenses as it is in English. The tense is the future tense.

a   -- (WW) 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.

sheep, "Sheep" is the Greek word that refers to any domesticated animal and, when plural, works better if translated simply as "flock" or "herd." It is singular here.

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

it --- The word translated as "this" means "from here" or "this/that thing."

falls  -  "Fall" is  a verb, which means "to fall in" and "to fall on." The root verb has means "to fall" that has a wide variety of meanings and the prefix/preposition that means "in". "on". and "among." This verb is in a form that suggests a "might" of possibility but that is implied by the "if" in English.

into-- This is from both the prefix that means "into"of the previous verb and a preposition that "into" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

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

pit  - "Pit" is a word that means "pit" or "well." It is a verb that means "to make deep", "deep," and, interestingly, "poverty." Its use here seems to indicate a "wallow" or "pond."

on -- This word "on" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") that the English "the." See this article for more. 

Sabbath,  - "Sabbath " is a single word meaning "rest" or "day of rest" from the Hebrew. It is in a Greek form indicating something happening at this time.

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

you -- This could from the third-person, singular form of the verb, but the verb could also be the second person singular. Both were used previously, but the second person was plural earlier and this is singular.

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

take hold  - (WW) "take hold" is f a verb that means "to be strong", "to prevail", "to get possession of," "seize" "control," and similar ideas. The noun of the word means "might," "power," and "dominion." Jesus rarely used this word so it was probably used for its special meaning. It is usually used to mean "to lay hold of" when used with the Greek word for hands and arms, which are not used here. The form could be the third person or second person future, but the second person would indicate that the person did this either by themselves or for themselves. 

of -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "on" in the Greek source. The form of the following word is a direct object not an indirect one. This problem is caused by the choice of verb used in translation.

it, -- The word translated as "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  It is in the form of an object.

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

lift  - (CW) The verb translated as "lift out" means "awaken" and "rouse". It is the same word Christ uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising. It again is in the future tense. It again could be either the third- or second-person singular. If it is the second-person, its form indicates that her does this by or for himself. This is not the common Greek verb that means "raise." Jesus usually uses it in a way that can mean "awaken"So you are going to "arouse" yourself from the "rest" of the Sabbath. Jesus uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising.

it -- (CW) There is no Greek pronoun here, but Greek does not need pronouns when the object can be assumed from the context. However, if the verb is in the middle voice, the sense here would be "rousing yourself."

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

NIV Translation Issues: 

12
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "if" doesn't appear here but later in the verse.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "man" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "be" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "has" indicates the present tense, but the Greek verb is the future tense.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "a should be "one."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" is not either of the common words usually translated as "not."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "take hold" should be "seize."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "of" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "lift" means "rouse" and "awaken."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "it" may be assumed, but the object could also be "yourself" based upon the verb form.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "ln" doesn't exist in the source.

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

A "sheep" also means "follower" as Jesus uses it.  The Greek word "pit" is an analogy for problems, specifically, poverty. So the sense is "if a follower falls into poverty, you will take control and awaken."

The Spoken Version: 

However, before they could start, a man having a withered hand approached the Nazarene, begging to be healed.
Friends of the man and others in the crowd who wanted to see a healing supported the man’s request.
However, several of the Distinguished noted that no work was allowed on Sabbath. However, the leader, controlling the meeting, did not want to completely frustrate the crowd.
“That will be our challenge question,” noted the leader of the Distinguished. “Is it allowed on the Sabbath to provide a service?”
The crowd applauded the idea.
“But the Nazarene shouldn’t have to debate you all,” someone called out from the crowd. “Only one of you should answer the Nazarene?”
“Who will it be  from among you all?” responded the Master, forcing the Distinguished to pick a champion.
“I, certainly!” responded Judah the lawyer. “I can quote the law about all the types of service forbidden on the Sabbath!
“A  man, this one!” the Master said, praising the lawyer to the crowd.
The crowd applauded the lawyer and the Nazarene, looking forward to the competition.
The lawyer smiled at the praise and applause.
“Pose any situation that calls for us rousing ourselves on the day of rest,” the lawyer challenged. “And I will analyze it.”
“You will have a sheep, one,” said the Master, holding up a finger. “ And when this one falls into—on the Sabbath—into a hole. Nevertheless, will you seize it yourself—and rouse yourself?”

Front Page Date: 

Oct 28 2020