Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good,

KJV Verse: 

Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Either you make the tree good and the fruit of it good; or you make the tree rotten and the fruit of it rotten: Because from the fruit the tree becomes itself. 

Hidden Meaning: 

The economic aspects of Christ's teachings are often hidden in the Greek. In Christ' time a "tree" was a symbol for any productive asset. The word "fruit" actually meant "profit".  Also, the Greek word translated as "good" in this verse is completely different than the word translated as "good" in the next verse. See this article on the words Christ uses about "good" and "evil". 

"Make" is the Greek common verb which means primarily, "to make ", "to produce", "to create," and "to cause, "but it is usually translated in the Gospels as "to do." In English, the word "do," can mean any action, even doing nothing. This Greek verb always means doing something productive, having an economic sense of producing something through effort. The verb is in the form of a command or a statement about you doing this at some time.

The word for "tree" most commonly means fruit bearing trees. The tree was a symbol for the naturally productive assets of nature as opposed to "fields," which must be replanted each year.

The word translated as "good" referring to the "fruit" means "beautiful", "noble," or "of good quality." It is different than the verb above. See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms usually translated as "good" and "evil."

The word translated as "fruit" primary meaning is "fruit", "seed," or "offspring," but its secondary meaning is "returns," specifically, "profit," as we would say "fruit of our labors."

The word translated as "corrupt" means "rancid", "rotten," and "worn out." Since it also means "mellow" when applied to wine, it means food that is either old or bad. Again, this word has a moral sense and an economic sense. It is used to mean "worn out" and "stale," that is, not retaining any value. It is also used as a metaphor for "unsound" and "bad."

The Greek preposition translated as "by" means "out of" of "from."

The word translated as "be" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. It is in the form which indicates something acting on itself, so the "tree becomes itself."

Wordplay: 

Both "tree" and "fruit" have an economic double meaning of "productive asset" and "profit." 

Vocabulary: 

 (partic) "Either" is from e which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than."

ποιήσατε (2nd pl aor imperat act or 2nd pl aor ind act ) "Make" 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."

τὸ δένδρον (noun sg neut acc) "Tree" is from dendron (more commonly spelled dendreon), which means "tree", "fruit-tree", "tall plants (such as rattan) ""stick," and "timber."

καλὸν (adj sg neut acc) "Good" is from kalos, which means "beautiful", "good", "of fine quality", "noble," and "honorable." It is most often translated as "good" juxtaposed with "evil" in the New Testament, but the two ideas are closer to "wonderful" and "worthless", "noble" and "base."

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."

τὸν καρπὸν (noun sg masc acc) "Fruit" is from karpos, which means "fruit", "the fruits of the earth", "seed", "offspring", "returns for profit," and "reward."

αὐτοῦ (adj sg neut gen) "Its" 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 ones own accord."

καλόν, (adj sg neut gen) "Good" is from kalos, which means "beautiful", "good", "of fine quality", "noble," and "honorable." It is most often translated as "good" juxtaposed with "evil" in the New Testament, but the two ideas are closer to "wonderful" and "worthless", "noble" and "base."

 (partic) "Or" is from e which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than."

ποιήσατε (2nd pl aor imperat act or 2nd pl aor ind act ) "Make" 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."

τὸ δένδρον (noun sg neut acc ) "Tree" is from dendron (more commonly spelled dendreon), which means "tree", "fruit-tree", "tall plants (such as rattan) ""stick," and "timber."

σαπρὸν (adj sg neut acc) "Corrupt" is from sapros, which means "rotten", "putrid", "stale", "rancid", "worn-out," and "mellow [of wine]."

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."

τὸν καρπὸν  (noun sg masc acc ) "Fruit" is from karpos, which means "fruit", "the fruits of the earth", "seed", "offspring", "returns for profit," and "reward."

αὐτοῦ (adj sg neut gen) "Its" 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 ones own accord."

σαπρόν:  (adj sg masc acc) "Corrupt" is from sapros, which means "rotten", "putrid", "stale", "rancid", "worn-out," and "mellow [of wine]."

ἐκ (prep) "From" 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."

γὰρ (partic) "For" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for", "since," and "as." In an abrupt question it means "why" and "what." --The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, in written English, as "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

τοῦ καρποῦ (noun sg masc gen) "Fruit" is from karpos, which means "fruit", "the fruits of the earth", "seed", "offspring", "returns for profit," and "reward."

τὸ δένδρον (noun sg neut nom) "Tree" is from dendron (more commonly spelled dendreon), which means "tree", "fruit-tree", "tall plants (such as rattan) ""stick," and "timber."

γινώσκεται. (3rd sg pres ind mp) "Is known" is from ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", "to be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being. It is the complementary opposite of the verb "to be" (eimi)which indicates existence in the same state. -

Related Verses: 

Jul 31 2017