Matthew 13:27 So the servants of the householder

KJV Verse: 

Mat 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Approaching to speak, however, the slaves of the owner of the house said to him: Lord, didn't you certainly spread quality source in your larnd. From what source therefore does it have the means to make false wheat?

Hidden Meaning: 

At this point, this verse becomes the question about why that which is not good exists in a world made by a good creator. See this article on the "problem" of evil for more context.

The Greek word translated as"so" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

"Servants" is translated from a Greek word that really means "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave." In the KJV it was "updated" to "servant" but today, we might say "employee."

"Of the householder" is from a word that means the master, steward or owner of the house.

The word translated as "came" is a special form of the word commonly translated as "come." It has the sense of approaching someone in authority, so "come forward to speak." However, it is in the form of an adjective or noun modifying the subject of the sentence so "coming forward."

There is no "and" in the Greek source.

"Said" is from a verb that means "to say" and "to speak" also. However, it has less a sense of teaching and more a sense of addressing and proclaiming.

The word translated as "not" is a special form of the usual Greek negative of fact. It means "no truly", "assuredly not", "not however", "nevertheless," and "notwithstanding."

Didst...thou sow" is from a verb that means "to sow seed", "to scatter like seed," and "to beget offspring.

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

“Seed” is from a Greek noun for plant “seed,” animal “sperm,” and “origin,” “offspring," and “descent.”

"From where" is from an adverb which means "whence" and "from what source."

The Greek word translated as "then" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

The word translated as "hath it" means "to possess" or "have the means to do."

The term translated as "tares" is from a weed that grows among wheat crops, a kind of imitation wheat, that had black kernels instead of real wheat when it mature. It comes from a Sumerian word for "wheat."

Wordplay: 

The house holder becomes a metaphor for God.

The servants becomes a metaphor for the people of earth.

The field is the world.

The "good seed" has a double meaning of a "good source."

"Weeds" as "false wheat" becomes a metaphor for "evil" or what is second-rate. 

Vocabulary: 

προσελθόντες (part pl aor act masc nom) "Came" is from proserchomai, which means "come", "go to", "approach", "draw nigh," in hostile sense, "attack", "come in", "surrender", "capitulate", "come forward to speak", "appear before a tribunal or official", "apply oneself to," of things, "to be added", "come in (of revenue)" and :"have sexual intercourse."

δὲ "So" is from de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

δοῦλοι (noun pl masc nom) "The servants" is from doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."

τοῦ οἰκοδεσπότου (noun sg masc gen) "Of the house holder" is from oikodespotes , which means "master or steward of a house", "owner of a domicile," and "native ruler (as opp. foreign emperor)."

εἶπον (verb 3rd pl aor ind act) "Said" is from eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer."

αὐτῷ (adj sg masc dat) "Unto 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."

Κύριε, (noun sg masc voc) "Lord" is from kyrios (kurios), which means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family."

οὐχὶ "Not" is from ouchi, an adverb which means "no", "no truly", "assuredly not", "not however", "nevertheless," "notwithstanding", "yet", "still", "never yet", "for not", "indeed", "for surely not", "no,—certainly not", "for I don't suppose," and "for in no manner."

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." --

σπέρμα( noun sg neut acc) “Seed” is from a Greek noun for plant “seed,” animal “sperm,” and “origin,” “offspring," and “descent.”

ἔσπειρας (verb 2nd sg aor ind act) "Didst...thou sow" is from speirô, which is a verb, that means "to sow seed", "to scatter like seed," and "to beget offspring.

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".

τῷ σῷ (pron sg dat) "Thy" is from su which means "you" and "your."

ἀγρῷ; (noun sg masc dat) "Field" is from ἀγρὸν agros (agros), which means "field", "lands," or "country.""Field" is from ἀγρὸν agros (agros), which means "field", "lands," or "country."

πόθεν (adv indeclform) "From whence" is from pothen , (pothen) which means "whence" and "from what source."

οὖν "Then" is from oun, which means "certainly", "in fact", "really", "in fact," "so" and "then" (continuing a narrative), and "then" and "therefore."

ἔχει (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Hath" is from echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

ζιζάνια; (noun pl neut nom/acc) The term translated as "tares" is zizanion, which was a weed that grows in wheat, a kind of imitation wheat, that had black kernels instead of real wheat when it mature. It comes from a Sumerian word for "wheat."

Related Verses: