Matthew 12:3 Have you not read what David did,

Spoken to: 

The Pharisees

Context: 

Pharisees attack, violating the Sabbath

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Don't you acknowledge what he did, David, when he starved and those with him? 

KJV : 

Matthew 12:3 Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

In the Greek, the response has a more ironic note. Christ says this upon being challenged gleaning on the Sabbath. There are parallel verses in Luke 6:3 and Mark 2:2

NIV : 

Matthew 12:3 Haven’t you read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry?

Wordplay: 

 The word translated as "read" also means "to recognize" as well as "know well." It's use both challenges the honest of those speaking against him and asks them to recognize that his actions are like David's. 

My Takeaway: 

Religion was meant to serve human needs.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Οὐκ (partic) "Not" is from ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both singles words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.

ἀνέγνωτε [4 verses] (2nd pl aor ind act) "Ye read" is anagignôskô, which means to "know well", "know certainly", "perceive", "attend lectures on", "acknowledge", "recognize", "induce" one to do a thing, "persuade", "convince," of books. "read aloud", "published," in the passive, "to be persuaded" to do a thing, and, as a noun, "students" (those who attend lectures).

τί (irreg sg neut 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." --

ἐποίησεν (3rd sg aor ind act) "Did" is from poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider," "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

Δαυεὶδ (noun) "David" is from is from the Greek Dabid, which is the Greek form of the Hebrew name.

ὅτε (conj) "When" is from hote, which means "when", "as when", "at the time when," and "sometimes."

ἐπείνασεν [9 verses] (3rd sg aor ind act ) "Was an hungered" is peino, which means "to be hungry", "crave after," or "to be starved," and it is a metaphor for desire and cravings.

καὶ (partic) "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.

οἱ (pron pl masc nom)   "They" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one"or, in the plural, "they."

μετ (prep) "With" is from meta, which means "in the midst of", "among", "between", "in common", "along with", "by the aid of", "in one's dealings with", "into the middle of," "coming into", "in pursuit of", "after", "behind", "according to," and "next afterward"

αὐτοῦ; (adj sg masc gen​) "Him" 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."

KJV Analysis: 

Have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

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

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no", "not," or"no truly." It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words.

read -- (WW) "Ye...read" is  a Greek verb that means "to know well", "to acknowledge", "to persuade," and "to recognize." It doesn't  "read" in the normal sense, Christ uses a different Greek word to mean "read," but this one can mean "to read aloud" or "to attend a lecture." This perhaps refers to the Jewish practice of reading the scriptures at meetings.

what . -- The word translated as "what" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why". 

David -- This is the Greek spelling of the name of the Judaic king.

did, - The Greek word translated as "did" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service. This is one of the situations where "did" works better. 

when  -- This Greek word means which means "when", "as when", "at the time when," and "sometimes."

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

was -- There is not verb "to be" in the Greek, but it is used to construct the verb with an adjective.

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

hungred,  - "Hungered" is from a Greek verb that means "to be hungry" or "to be starved," and it is a metaphor for desire and cravings. This verb works more like our verb "starved."

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

they -- The word translated as "they" is the Greek definite article, which when not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

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

with --" is the Greek word that usually means "with" or a related concept such as "among" or "by the means of". It also refers to "after" or "behind" when referring to a place, time, or pursuit.

him; -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

KJV Translation Issues: 

4
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "read" should be "recognized."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "an" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "that were" doesn't exist in the source.

NIV Analysis: 

Have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

n't -- The Greek word translated as "n't" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no", "not," or"no truly." It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words.

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

read -- (WW) "Ye...read" is  a Greek verb that means "to know well", "to acknowledge", "to persuade," and "to recognize." It doesn't  "read" in the normal sense, Christ uses a different Greek word to mean "read," but this one can mean "to read aloud" or "to attend a lecture." This perhaps refers to the Jewish practice of reading the scriptures at meetings.

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

what . -- The word translated as "what" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why". 

David -- This is the Greek spelling of the name of the Judaic king.

did, - The Greek word translated as "did" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service. This is one of the situations where "did" works better.

when  -- This Greek word means which means "when", "as when", "at the time when," and "sometimes."

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

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

untranslated "with "  -- (MW) The untranslated word means "with" or a related concept such as "among" or "by the means of". It also refers to "after" or "behind" when referring to a place, time, or pursuit.

his -- (WF)  The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English but it is an object, "him.

companions  -- (WW) The word translated as "companions" is the Greek definite article, which when not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

were -- (WN) There is not verb "to be" in the Greek, but it is used to construct the verb with an adjective. It is singular, only referring to David.

hungry? - "Hungered" is from a Greek verb that means "to be hungry" or "to be starved," and it is a metaphor for desire and cravings. This verb works more like our verb "starved."

NIV Translation Issues: 

8
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "read" should be "recognized."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "in the Scriptures" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "with" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "his" is not possessive but an object "him."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "companions" should be "the ones."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The verb"were" is translated as plural but it is singular.

The Spoken Version: 

“Look, those students of yours!” one of them accused. “At what they are doing!  It is not allowed to produce on a Sabbath!”
“Don’t you recognize what he did, David, when he starved and those with him?” the Master responded.
This statement stopped them. They consulted among themselves as to what the Master meant.

Front Page Date: 

Oct 22 2020