Matthew 13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables:

KJV Verse: 

Mat 13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables: because seeing they see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

By this [rule], I relay [information] to them in analogies. This is because looking they don't really look, and hearing they do really not listen nor are they going to put it together.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

In the Greek, Christ refers to his teachings very humbly, but the real difference here is in the words translated as "parables" and "understand. ""Parables" is just Greek word for analogies and "understand" is the Greek for "putting things together."

"Therefore" is a combination of two Greek words meaning "by this [cause]," where the cause refers to the rule of "more to more/less to less" of the previous verse, Mat 13:12.

The Greek word translated as "speak I" is not the ordinary "to say" or "to speak" in Greek. This word means both "idle chatter", "gossip," and "the proclamations of an oracle." Christ uses it to capture the idea of "relaying" information because that captures both someone gossiping and an oracle does. The word is somewhat self-effacing.

"Parables" is translated from a Greek word, which means "comparison", "illustration," and "analogy."

The word translated as "to them" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. The word technically means "the same," and when used as a pronoun can mean "the true self" as opposed to appearances.

In the Greek word translated as "because" that means "that" or "because." So what follows is a dependent clause, indicating either what they were "saying" or why they were saying it. To avoid "run on" sentences in English, it often works better to translate this word as "this is because."

"Seeing" is from a word that means "to look" and "to see." It is the more tangible sense of seeing, such as seeing what is right in front of you rather than understanding. In this first version, it is in the form of an adjective or noun "looking."

The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact.

"They...see" is from a word that means "to look" and "to see." It is the more tangible sense of seeing, such as seeing what is right in front of you rather than understanding. Here, it is in the form

"Hearing" and "They hear" is translated from a Greek word that has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.

"Neither" is from a Greek negative meaning "but not" and as both parts of "neither...nor."

"Understand" is from a Greek verb which means "to bring together" or "to set together." It is also a metaphor for "perceive", "hear," and "understand" as we would say that we "put it all together" when figuring something out. It is in the future tense.

Greek Vocabulary: 

διὰ "Therefore" is from dia (with touto below)which means "through", "in the midst of", "in a line (movement)", "throughout (time)", "by (causal)", "among," and "between."

τοῦτο "Therefore" is from touto (with dia above), which means "from here", "from there", "this [thing]," or "that [thing]."

ἐν "In" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

παραβολαῖς (noun pl fem dat) "Parable" is from parabolê (parabole), which means "comparison", "illustration," and "analogy." It is most often translated in the NT as "parable" but occasionally as "comparison."

αὐτοῖς (adj pl masc dat) "To them" 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."

λαλῶ, (verb 1st sg pres ind act) "Speak I" is from laleo, which means "to talk, ""to speak ""to prattle", "to chat," and [for oracles] "to proclaim." It also means "chatter" as the opposite of articulate speech.

ὅτι "Because" is from hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

βλέποντες (part pl pres act masc nom) "They seeing" is from of blepo, which means "to look", "to see", "to look to", "to look like", "to rely on", "to look longingly", "to propose", "to beware", "to behold," and "to look for."

οὐ "Not" is from ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single 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.

βλέπουσιν (verb 3rd pl pres ind act) "They seeing" is from of blepo, which means "to look", "to see", "to look to", "to look like", "to rely on", "to look longingly", "to propose", "to beware", "to behold," and "to look for."

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."

ἀκούοντες (part pl pres act masc nom) "Hearing" is from akouo, which means "hear of", "hear tell of", "what one actually hears", "know by hearsay", "listen to", "give ear to", "hear and understand," and "understand."

οὐκ "Not" is from ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single 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.

ἀκούουσιν (verb 3rd pl pres ind act) "They hear" is from akouo, which means "hear of", "hear tell of", "what one actually hears", "know by hearsay", "listen to", "give ear to", "hear and understand," and "understand."

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

συνίουσιν: (3rd pl fut ind act) "Understand" is from suniêmi (syniemi) which means "to bring together" or "to set together." It is also a metaphor for "perceive", "hear," and "understand" as we would say that we "put it all together" when figuring something out.

Wordplay: 

The word translated as "understand" means "bring together." It is the word that is the verbal root for synagogue. 

Related Verses: