Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me

KJV Verse: 

Mat 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

This tribe values me with its lips but its heart is far, far away from me.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse quotes Isaiah 29:13 so our discussion of original language compares the original Hebrew and the resulting Greek. The Greek of the Septuagint is identical to Christ's Greek.

"This" is translated from a Greek word that means "this", "that", "the nearer."

"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.

Today's source lacks "the draweth night unto me" phrase in the KJV but that phrase precedes this one in the Septuagint version and in the original Hebrew.

"Honoureth" is from a Greek verb which means "to revere", "to honor," and "to value." It even has a sense of value in an economic sense meaning "to estimate," which has the same root as our word "to esteem."  In the original Hebrew, it is from kabad, which means "to be heavy", "to be rich," and "to be honored." Though the Greek word doesn't have the same sense of "weight" as the Hebrew, weight is often connected in Greek with value. In a commodity-based society, value and weight were the same. We say that we give "weight" to an argument in the same sense that the ancients would give "weight" to the rules of a leader or a God.

"With their lips" is a single word meaning "lip," but it is in the form of an indirect object, which, in Greek, can describe an instrument with which something is done. There is no "their" there. In Greek, the word "lips" are used in many phrases in which we use "tongue" or "mouth."

The verb translated as "is far" is a verb that means "to keep off or away from", "to abstain or desist from it", "to be far from," and "to receive payment in full." The Hebrew is rachaq , which means "to be or become distant."

There is an untranslated word here that means "far off" or "far away." Since the verb already includes the sense of being far from something, this accentuates it.

The quote references a number of Christ's common symbols, which demonstrates that Christ relies on Old Testament in his system of metaphors. Symbolically, hearts are the realm of feelings, and Christ uses them to describe the relationships between things. In general, spoken words are symbolic of thoughts and the mental realm, but Christ connects this to various forms of success in life.

Greek Vocabulary: 

λαὸς (noun sg masc nom) "People" 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."

οὗτος (adj sg masc nom) "This" is from houtos, which means "this", "that", "the nearer." As an adverb, it means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why."

τοῖς χείλεσίν (noun pl neut dat) "Lips" is from cheilos, which meanss a "lip," for birds, "bill", "beak," and is a metaph. the "edge", "brink," and "rim."

με (pron 1st sg masc/fem acc) "Me" is from eme, which means "I", "me", and "my".

τιμᾷ, (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Honoureth" is from the Greek timaô , (timao) which means "to revere", "to honor," and "to value."

( article sg fem nom) Untranslated is the Greek article, "the," which usually proceeds a noun, but which is separated from its noun here by the conjunction.

δὲ "But" 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").

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)."

αὐτῶν (adj pl fem 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."

πόρρω Untranslated is porro, which is an adverb that means "forwards", "onwards," generally with a notion of motion, of Distance, "far off", "too far," of Time, "forward," of Place, "further into."

ἀπέχει (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Is far" is from apecho, which means "to keep off or away from", "to hold one's hands off or away from", "to hold oneself off a thing", "to abstain or desist from it, ""to project", "to extend", "to be far from," and "to receive payment in full."

ἀπ᾽ "From" is from apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause.

ἐμοῦ: (adj sg masc gen) "Me" is from emou, which means "me", and "mine".

Septuagint version:

ἐγγίζει μοι ὁ λαὸς οὗτος τοῖς χείλεσιν αὐτῶν τιμῶσίν με ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῶν πόρρω ἀπέχει ἀπ᾽ ἐμοῦ 

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