Matthew 13:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross

KJV Verse: 

Mat 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

this is because the desires of this group of people have coarsened. Not only have they heard with their ears with disgust but they have also closed their eyes. At no time, do they want to possibly see with [their] eyes and hear with [their] ears and possibly put it together with [their] hearts and they might turn around [at some time], and I [at some time]might recover them myself.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Christ is quoting Isa 6:10, but Christ reverses the original order of eyes and ears in Isaiah because Christ associates eyes with the physical body and ears with the mind. This reversal isn't accidental, we we see again in Mar 4:12 where Christ makes the same change when quoting Isa 6:9. In the Greek, the words are chosen make it clear that people are choosing not to see and not to hear, motivated by their spirit. What they fear is being "converted," that is "turned around" in the spirit, from the social realm (religion and tradition) to the internal/awareness realm (relationship with God). What is healed is the whole, everything is put back together working as it should.

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.

"People" is from a very uncommon word for Christ. It means a specific group such as, the common people, the multitude. It is the assembly of an troops or a tribe sharing the same name. With the use of the word "this" it most likely refers to the Jewish people of Christ's era.

The "heart" is from a word that means the physical heart as well as the seat of emotions. It was used by Christ to mean the seat of the "higher" emotions or desires that motivate people. Symbolically, it connects with the realm of relationships and emotions.

"Waxed gross" is from a verb that means many things such as "to thicken", "to strengthen," and "to increase." It has both positive and negative meanings, but in the passive, as it appears here, most of its meaning is more negative "to become thick", "to become dull," and is a metaphor for "to become stupid." However, one of its basic meanings, "to become fat" was not seen in the negative in Christ's era as it is in developed nation's today.

The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but, in a series, as here, is best translated as "not only...but also."

The word for "ears" is the indirect object of the sentence, not the subject of the sentence as translated in the KJV, so "to/by/with/of" the ears. Symbolically, Christ associates "ears" with understanding and the realm of the mind.

The verb translated as "are...of hearing" is the common verb that means "to hear" and "to listen." It is a form that is usually translated as "they have heard or listened"

"Dull" is from an adjective/adverb which means generally as an adjective "heavy (in many forms)" and, as an adverb "heavily," but with many, many specific uses. Here it is in the form of a adverb and has a specific meaning of "with disgust" when applied to listening.

"Eyes" is from the word that "eye", "sight", "the dearest and best", "light", "cheer", "comfort," and "the bud [of a plant]." Christ associated the eye symbolically with the realm of the physical.

"They have closed" is from a verb which means specifically "to close or shut the eyes."

"Lest" is from the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "it doesn't seem" not that it isn't or "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done.

The word translated as "at any time" means "when", "at what time", "at some time or other", "at some unknown time, and "at some time in the future."

The "they shall see" is from the common verb for "to see" and "to understand." It is not in the future tense, as in the KJV, but in a tense that indicates something that might probably happen at a specific time in the past present and future.

The "hear" is the same verb meaning "to hear" and "to listen" used above, but in the same form as the previous verb "see" of possibly happening at some time.

"Should 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 same form as the two previous verbs "see" and "hear" of possibly happening at some time.

"Should be converted" is translated from a Greek word "to turn about" or "to turn around," but also means "cause to return" and "to turn one's mind towards" something. It is usually translated as "return" or "turn around" in the NT. It is in the same form as the other verbs above.

"Heal" is from a verb which means "to cure", "to treat," and "to repair." The form is different, indicating that the subject is acting in some way on himself.

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἐπαχύνθη (verb 3rd sg aor ind pass) "Waxed gross" is from pachuno, which means to "thicken", "strengthen", "make gross or dull," metaph., "cause to wax fat," and "increase." In the passive, it means "to be coarsened", "to become thick," of fruit juices, "become concentrated", "to be dulled (of the sun's light)," and "to grow fat." It is also a metaphor for "to become stupid."

γὰρ "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."

καρδία (noun sg fem nom ) "Heart" is from kardia, which means "heart (the physical organ)", "the seat of emotions (especially passion, rage, and anger)", "inclination", "desire, ""purpose", "mind", "the pith (in wood), and "the deep (of the sea)."

τοῦ λαοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "People's" is from the Greek laos, which means "men (of the army), ""the common men", "subjects (of a ruler)", "work people", "people assembled", "the multitude", "a specific group or tribe of people," and "a people."

τούτου, (adj sg masc gen) "This" is from toutou, which is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar."

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." -

τοῖς ὠσὶν (noun pl neut dat) "Ears" is from ous, which means "ear" and things that resemble an ear, such as a handle on pitchers, cups, etc.

βαρέως "Dull" is from bareos, which as an adverb means "impatiently", "slowly", "with dignity", "(of hearing) with disgust," "heavily", "pressed down", "with difficulty," and "weighed down;" as an adjective, it means "heavy in weight", "heavy with age", "infirmity or suffering", "heavy to bear", "grievous", "burdensome", "grievous", "oppressive," causing disgust", "indigestible", "violent", "weighty", "grave", "ample", "of persons", "severe", "stern", "wearisome", "troublesome", "overbearing", "important", "powerful", "difficult," of soldiers "heavy-armed," of sound, "strong, deep, bass," of musical pitch, "low," of speech, "unaccented," and of smell, "strong, offensive."

ἤκουσαν, (verb 3rd pl aor ind act) "Are...of 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."

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."

τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς (noun pl masc acc) "Eyes" is from ophthalmos, which means "eye", "sight", "the dearest and best", "light", "cheer", "comfort," and "the bud [of a plant]."

αὐτῶν (adj pl masc gen) "Their" 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." -- The word translated as "him" 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.

ἐκάμμυσαν: (verb, 3rd, pl, aor, ind) "Closed" is from kammuo, which means specifically "to close or shut the eyes."

μή "Lest" is from me , which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.
ποτε "At any time" comes from pote, which means "when", "at what time", "at some time or other", "at some unknown time, and "at some time in the future."

δωσιν (verb 3rd pl aor subj act)"They shall see" is from eido which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς (noun pl masc dat) "With eyes" is from ophthalmos, which means "eye", "sight", "the dearest and best", "light", "cheer", "comfort," and "the bud [of a plant]."

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." -

τοῖς ὠσὶν (noun pl neut dat) "Ears" is from ous, which means "ear" and things that resemble an ear, such as a handle on pitchers, cups, etc.

ἀκούσωσιν (verb 3rd pl aor subj act) "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."

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."

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." -

τῇ καρδίᾳ (noun sg fem dat) "Hearts" is from kardia, which means "heart (the physical organ)", "the seat of emotions (especially passion, rage, and anger)", "inclination", "desire, ""purpose", "mind", "the pith (in wood), and "the deep (of the sea)."

συνῶσιν (verb 3rd pl pres subj act) "Should 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.

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." -

ἐπιστρέψωσιν, (3rd pl aor subj act) "Should be converted" is from epistrepho, which means "to turn about", "to turn around", "turn towards", "return", "curve", "twist", "go back-and forwards", "pay attention to, ""to turn one's mind towards, ""regard", "conduct oneself," and "behave," and in the passive to "be converted", "to be distorted", "turn oneself round", "are turned," and as an adjective, "earnest", "vehement." -- "Return" is translated from a Greek word "to turn about" or "to turn around," but also means "cause to return" and "to turn one's mind towards" something. In the passive, which is used here, it means "to turn oneself around" or "be turned around."

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." -

άσομαι (verb 1st sg aor subj mp) "Heal" is from iaomai which means "to cure", "to treat," and "to repair." In the passive, it means "be healed," and "recover."
αὐτούς. (adj pl masc acc)

Wordplay: 

The verb translated as "waxed gross" can be interpreted positively, to become big, or negatively, to become coarse. 

Related Verses: