Matthew 12:13 Stretch forth your hand.

Spoken to: 

an individual

Context: 

Pharisees attack, the Sabbath

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Stretch out yours, that hand.

KJV : 

Matthew 12:13 Stretch forth thy hand.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This phrase has a simple meaning when addressed to the crippled man, but it also means to go beyond your abilities in extending help. A common meaning for the verb translated as "stretch out" is "to offer food.  In terms of the larger discussion about religion and the Sabbath, Christ answers his own question about the priority of doing good in the context of religious tradition. He has said clearly that religious tradition is our servant not our master. It is meant to give us power and ability not to take it away. The parallel verses in Luke 6:10  and Luke 6:10  are identical except for the position of the pronoun, "your". 

NIV : 

Matthew 12:13 Stretch out your hand.

Wordplay: 

The phrase meaning "stretch out your hand" also means to "go beyond words to deeds with your abilities." 

My Takeaway: 

We must reach out our hands.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ἔκτεινόν [4 verses](2nd sg aor imperat act) "Stretch forth" is ekteinô, which means "to stretch out", "to offer food", "to prostrate yourself", "to straighten", "spread out," to extend," "spin out, "prolong", "put forth" and, in the passive, "be unfolded", "be smoothed."

σου (pron 2nd sg gen) "Thy" is from sou which means "you" and "your."

τὴν (article sg fem acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the")

χεῖρα (noun sg fem acc) "Hand" is from cheir which means "the hand and arm," and "with the help of agency of another." Like "hand" in English, it has a lot of meanings including "an act or deed", "a body of people," and the measurement "handful."

KJV Analysis: 

Stretch  - "Stretch " is  a verb that means "to stretch out," but also means "to offer food", "to prostrate yourself," and "to extend." The Greek word for "stretch" has the same meaning as the word in English with all its related ideas of extending yourself and your abilities. This extension of abilities has the same sense of being work and a struggle.

forth -- This is from the prefix that means "from" and "out of" of the previous verb.

thy -- The word translated as "thy" is the genitive form of the singular, second-person pronoun, which is most commonly the possessive form. This pronoun usually follows the noun but here it is before it.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

hand. -- "Hand" is a noun "the hand" but has a host of meanings in Greek beyond a simple body part. It means "helping another" (like the English "lending a hand") and it means "an act or deed," especially in the sense of going beyond words.  Christ used the hand, both in his actions and words, as symbolic of an individual's personal power. Every time he used the word (or used his hands), they were an expression of power. Being "in someone's hands" means being in their power (Matthew 17:22). He said that we are better off losing our abilities as symbolized by our hands (Matthew 5:30) than misusing them.

KJV Translation Issues: 

1
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

Stretch out your hand.

Stretch  - "Stretch " is  a verb that means "to stretch out," but also means "to offer food", "to prostrate yourself," and "to extend." The Greek word for "stretch" has the same meaning as the word in English with all its related ideas of extending yourself and your abilities. This extension of abilities has the same sense of being work and a struggle.

out -- This is from the prefix that means "from" and "out of" of the previous verb.

your -- The word translated as "your " is the genitive form of the singular, second-person pronoun, which is most commonly the possessive form. This pronoun usually follows the noun but here it is before it.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

hand. -- "Hand" is a noun "the hand" but has a host of meanings in Greek beyond a simple body part. It means "helping another" (like the English "lending a hand") and it means "an act or deed," especially in the sense of going beyond words.  Christ used the hand, both in his actions and words, as symbolic of an individual's personal power. Every time he used the word (or used his hands), they were an expression of power. Being "in someone's hands" means being in their power (Matthew 17:22). He said that we are better off losing our abilities as symbolized by our hands (Matthew 5:30) than misusing them.

NIV Translation Issues: 

1
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

This is a command to us all, to reach out an offer to others.

The Spoken Version: 

The Master turned his smile toward the crippled man and addressed him.
“Stretch out yours,” he said, indicating the man’s hand. “That hand.”
The man kept looking at the Master as he struggled to open hand. Then the man suddenly look down at his hand. Clearly to the jos surprise, he was able to open it. He held it out beside his other hand. Now that his hand wasn’t clamped closed, the two hands looked the same.

Front Page Date: 

Oct 30 2020