Matthew 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

Parables, Parable of the Weeds, Explanation

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

The hating one, however, the one sowing them, is the slanderer. The harvest, however, is a culmination of an age. The harvesters, however, are messengers.

KJV : 

Matthew 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Jesus only uses the Greek word translated here as "devil" four times, but it means "slanderer" or, more simply, "liar." He only uses the word translated as "enemy" twelve times, but that word means "hating," so Jesus is connecting "lying" with "hating" in this verse.

The phrase translated as "end of the word" doesn't include the common words usually translated as "end" or "world. It also doesn't include any definite articles, so no "the" end and no "the world. The literal meaning of the phrase is "a consummation of an age" or "a completion of a life."  It is a perfect example of the problems with "End of the World" concept in the Gospels discussed in this article 

The word translated as "angel" actually means "messenger." So those who slander others with lies are being counter by those who bring messages.

NIV : 

Matthew 13:39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

Wordplay: 

The word for sowing seeds also means betting offspring. 

My Takeaway: 

Those who slander others are always revealed in the end.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

(article sg masc nom)"The" is the Greek definite article, "the," which usually precedes a noun but here is separated from the noun by the conjunction.

δὲ  (conj) Untranslated is 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").

ἐχθρὸς [12 verses] (adj sg masc nom) "Enemy" is echthros, which means "the hated", "the hateful", "the hostile", "the enemy", "the alienated," and "the hating."

(article sg masc nom)"The" is the Greek definite article, "the," which usually precedes a noun but here is separated from the noun by the conjunction.

σπείρας (part sg aor act masc nom) "that sowed" is from speirô, which is a verb, that means "to sow seed", "to scatter like seed," and "to beget offspring.

αὐτά (adj pl neut nom/acc)"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."

ἐστιν (verb 3rd sg pres ind act ) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

(article sg masc nom)"The" is the Greek definite article, "the," which usually precedes a noun but here is separated from the noun by the conjunction.

διάβολος: [4 verses] (adj sg masc/fem nom) "The devil" is diabolos, which means "slanderous", "backbiting," and "slanderer."

(article sg masc nom)"The" is the Greek definite article, "the," which usually precedes a noun but here is separated from the noun by the conjunction.

δὲ (conj) Untranslated is 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").

θερισμὸς [7 verses](noun sg masc nom) "Harvest" is from therismos, which means "mowing", "reaping", "harvest time", "harvest," and "crop."

συντέλεια [3 verses](noun sg fem nom) "End" is synteleia, which means "joint contribution for the public burdens", "(compulsory) provision of recruits", "a body of citizens who contributed jointly to bear public burdens," generally, "company", "the consummation of a scheme", "an end of", "full realization", "unjust gain," and, in Grammar, "completed action."

αἰῶνός (noun sg masc gen) "Age" is from aion, which means "life", "lifetime", "age", "one's life", "destiny", "lot", "eternity", "space of time", "for ever", "all one's life long," or "generation."

ἐστιν, (verb 3rd sg pres ind act ) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible."

οἱ (article pl masc nom) "The" is the Greek definite article, "the," which usually precedes a noun but here is separated from the noun by the conjunction.

δὲ (conj) "And" 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").

θερισταὶ [2 verses](noun pl masc nom) "The reapers" is from theristes, which means "a reaper," and "harvester."

ἄγγελοί (noun pl masc nom) "Angels" is aggelos which means "messenger" and "envoy."

εἰσιν. (verb 3rd pl pres ind act ) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible."

KJV Analysis: 

The -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") that the English "the." See this article for more.

untranslated "but"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "but" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  

enemy  - (CW) The term, translated as "enemy" means both "hated" and "hateful." It is an adjective working as a noun because it is introduced by an article. As single term it encompasses the idea that someone or something who is hated also becomes something filled with hate.

that -- The word translated as "that"  is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which, when not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." Here, it precedes an adjective.

sowed  - (WF) "Sowed" is from a Greek verb that means "to scatter like seed," and "to beget offspring." However, it is in the form of an adjective, a participle, "sowing. It is introduced by an article, "the one begetting offspring."

them -- The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. 

is  - The word "is" is from the verb "to be," which is used to equate things or describe the characteristics of a thing in its current state of existence.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") that the English "the." See this article for more.

devil;  - (CW) The term translated as "devil" is another adjective, that means "to slander." Introduced by an article ("the") it becomes a noun and means "the slanderer", "the slander," or "the slandering" in Greek.

the  -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") that the English "the." See this article for more.

untranslated "but"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "but" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  

harvest  - "Harvest" is from a noun which means "mowing", "reaping", "harvest time", "harvest," and "crop." In John 4:35, Christ uses this term to refer to the gathering of the fruits for eternal life.

is  - The word "is" is from the verb "to be," which is used to equate things or describe the characteristics of a thing in its current state of existence.

the -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "the" here in the Greek source.

end  - The word translated as "end" here is discussed in  this article, but it is a word meaning literally "to bring together for an end." It means a group of people brought together for a joint purpose. so, "a company," and it means the accomplishment of a purpose, so "accomplishment."

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

the -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "the" here in the Greek source.

world;  - (WW) The Greek word translated as "the world" does not mean that "world" in the most common senses of the word. It is not he word translated as "the world" in Matthew 13:38 The field is the world. It primarily means "the age" as a span of time or "lifetime" as in one's life. It is not introduced by an article so "a lifetime" or "an era.'

and  - -- (WW) The Greek word translated as "and" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". It joins phrases in an adversarial way.

the  -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") that the English "the." See this article for more.

reapers -  The word translated as "the reapers" is a noun related to the word for "harvest" used above. Both are forms of the verb that means "to reap", "to mow," and "to harvest."

are   - The word "are" is from the verb "to be," which is used to equate things or describe the characteristics of a thing in its current state of existence.

the -- There is no Greek article "the" here in the source, but the noun is plural and in English an article is used before plural nouns in phrases like this.

angels. -- (UW) The word translated as "angels" means "messengers" or "envoys."It did not convey our concept of "angels" to anyone hearing Jesus speak, which was neither a Greek nor Jewish concept but comes from Zoroastrianism. The word "angel" comes directly from the Greek word as adapted into Latin.

KJV Translation Issues: 

10
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "but" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "enemy" is the adjective meaning "hating."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sowed" is not an active verb but a participle, "sowing."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "devil" is the adjective meaning "slandering."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "but" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "end" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "world" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "world" should be "age."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "and" should be "but."
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "angel" means "messenger." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English from Latin.

NIV Analysis: 

and   -- (WW) The word  translated as "but" and"but", "however", and "on the other hand". It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") that the English "the." See this article for more.

enemy  - (CW) The term, translated as "enemy" means both "hated" and "hateful." It is an adjective working as a noun because it is introduced by an article. As single term it encompasses the idea that someone or something who is hated also becomes something filled with hate.

who -- -- The word translated as "who"  is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which, when not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." Here, it precedes an adjective.

sows  - (WF) "Sows" is from a Greek verb that means "to scatter like seed," and "to beget offspring." However, it is in the form of an adjective, a participle, "sowing. It is introduced by an article, "the one begetting offspring."

them -- The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. 

is  - The word "is" is from the verb "to be," which is used to equate things or describe the characteristics of a thing in its current state of existence.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") that the English "the." See this article for more.

devil;  - (CW) The term translated as "devil" is another adjective, that means "to slander." Introduced by an article ("the") it becomes a noun and means "the slanderer", "the slander," or "the slandering" in Greek.

The -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") that the English "the." See this article for more.

untranslated "but"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "but" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  

harvest  - "Harvest" is from a noun which means "mowing", "reaping", "harvest time", "harvest," and "crop." In John 4:35, Christ uses this term to refer to the gathering of the fruits for eternal life.

is  - The word "is" is from the verb "to be," which is used to equate things or describe the characteristics of a thing in its current state of existence.

the -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "the" here in the Greek source.

end  - The word translated as "end" here is discussed in  this article, but it is a word meaning literally "to bring together for an end." It means a group of people brought together for a joint purpose. so, "a company," and it means the accomplishment of a purpose, so "accomplishment."

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

the -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "the" here in the Greek source.

age;  - The Greek word translated as "age"  means "the age" as a span of time or "lifetime" as in one's life. It is not introduced by an article so "a lifetime" or "an era.'

and  - -- (WW) The Greek word translated as "and" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". It joins phrases in an adversarial way.

the  -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") that the English "the." See this article for more.

harvesters -  The word translated as "harvesters " is a noun related to the word for "harvest" used above. Both are forms of the verb that means "to reap", "to mow," and "to harvest.",

are   - The word "are" is from the verb "to be," which is used to equate things or describe the characteristics of a thing in its current state of existence.

angels. -- (UW) The word translated as "angels" means "messengers" or "envoys."It did not convey our concept of "angels" to anyone hearing Jesus speak, which was neither a Greek nor Jewish concept but comes from Zoroastrianism.

NIV Translation Issues: 

9
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "but" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "enemy" is the adjective meaning "hating."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sowed" is not an active verb but a participle, "sowing."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "devil" is the adjective meaning "slandering."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "but" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "end" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "age" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "and" should be "but."
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "angel" means "messenger." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English from Latin.

The Spoken Version: 

“So weeds are what comes out of a worthless idea,” concluded Johnny Boy.
 “And the hating one,” asked Brother James. “What is he doing?”
“The hating one, however, the one seeding them?” the Master corrected. “He is the slanderer.”
“Spreading lies, then,” commented Brother James.
“So lies can grow, just like a crop grows,” observed Johnny Boy.
“But in growing truth and lies,” asked Flat Nose, “what is the end of the process, the harvest time?”
“The harvest, however,” added the Master, “is a culmination of an age.”
“So who judges the truth and lies of an era?” asked Flat Nose. “Who are the reapers to judge?”
 “The harvesters, however,” explained the Master, “are messengers.”

Front Page Date: 

Dec 25 2020