Matthew 12:4 How he entered into the house of God,

KJV Verse: 

Matthew 12:4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

How he entered into the house of the Divine and, the bread of the display, he consumed, that not being allowed it was for him to consume, nor those the with him, except the priests alone. 

Hidden Meaning: 

In most modern translations, the bread here is described as "sacred" or "consecrated", but the Greek word describing it means that it was "for show." The parallel verses in Mark 2:26 are phrased differently and include more information. this is one of those cases where Matthew is the simplest of the three versions. 

"He entered" is a word that means "go or come into" and has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind."

The Greek word translated as "house," is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house. It means the household or clan that lives in the building as well.

The word translated as "of God" means "God" and "diety." It is introduced with an article, so "the God" or "the Divine". Christ often uses the article this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.

The word translated as "eat" means "eat" and devour but it also means "fret," as we say "something is eating me up."

"Shewbread" is from two Greek words meaning "loaves of offering" and refers to the twelve loaves representing the twelve tribes of Israel that was set out before the sanctuary for a week every week. The word translated as "bread" means "small loaf or cake of bread". It is more like a slice of bread today. The word for "shew" is a word that means "placing in public", "public notice," or "offering."

"Lawful" is a verb in the form of an adjective, which means "it is possible" and "it is allowed." It generally refers to something within someone's power, or, in this case with the negative, something outside of someone's power.

The word translated as "to eat" means "eat" and is the same above. 

The "but" here is two words meaning "if not," which is best translated as "except". 

The word translated a "the priests" is the noun that we translated as "priest" or "sacrificer" but it is also the noun form of the verb meaning "to consecrate" or "to dedicate" so "the ones consecrating" or "the ones dedicating."

The word translated as "alone" means alone,""solitary," and "only". 

Wordplay: 

The word translated as "shew" in the KJV and "consecrated" or "sacred" in other translations primarily means something for public display. 

Vocabulary: 

πῶς (pron indeclform) "How" is from pos, which means "how", "how in the world", "how then", "in any way", "at all", "by any mean", "in a certain way,"and "I suppose."

εἰσῆλθεν (3rd sg aor ind act ) "He entered into" is from eiserchomai which means both "to go into", "to come in", "to enter", "to enter an office", "to enter a charge," (as in court) and "to come into one's mind."

εἰς (perp) "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)."

τὸν οἶκον (noun sg masc acc) "House" is from oikos, which means "house", "dwelling place", "room", "home", "meeting hall," "household goods", "substance," and "ruling family." It is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house.

τοῦ θεοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "Of God" is from theos, which means "God," the Deity."

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."

τοὺς ἄρτους (noun pl masc acc) "The ...bread" is from artos, which means specifically a "cake of whole wheat bread," and generally "loaf," and "bread." It was smaller than loaves today, more like a bread roll.

τῆς προθέσεως (noun sg fem gen ) "Shew..." is prothesis, which means "placing in public", "public notice", "offering", "purpose", "end proposed", "goodwill", "supposition", "calculation", "prefixing", "placing first," and, in grammar, "preposition."

ἔφαγον, (3rd pl aor ind act) "To eat" is from esthio, which means "to eat", "devour", "consume", "fret", "vex," and to "take in one's mouth." It is also a metaphor for decay and erosion.

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

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.

ἐξὸν (part sg pres act neut acc) "Lawful" is exesti, which means "to be allowed", "is possible," and, in the passive, "to be in one's power."

ἦν (3rd sg imperf ind act) "Was" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible."

αὐτῷ (adj sg masc dat) "For 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 ones own accord."

φαγεῖν (aor inf act) "To eat" is from esthio, which means "to eat", "devour", "consume", "fret", "vex," and to "take in one's mouth." It is also a metaphor for decay and erosion.

οὐδὲ (partic) "Neither" is from oude, which means "but not", "neither", "nor,"and "not even."

τοῖς (article pl masc dat )"Them" is the Greek article, "the," which usually proceeds 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 ones own accord."

εἰ μὴ (conj-part) "But" is from ei me, which is the conjunction that means "if not", "but," and "except." εἰ is the particle use with the imperative usually to express conditions "if" or indirect questions, "whether." The negative (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no."

τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν (noun pl masc dat) "Priest" is hiereus, which means a "priest", "sacrificer", "diviner" and is a metaphor for a "minister." It is also a verb meaning "to consecrate" or "to dedicated" in the form of a present participle so "the ones consecrating" or "the ones dedicating."

μόνοις; (adj pl masc dat) "Only" is from monos, which means "alone,""solitary," "only," "single," "unique," "made in one piece," "without [someone]," "only [something]", "unique", "one above all others," and "on one condition only."

Related Verses: 

Jul 15 2017