Matthew 5:25 Agree with your adversary quickly,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 5:25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Be friendly with that plaintiff of yours, Speedy! Until the time you are with him in the way. Otherwise, at some time or another, your opponent might turn you over to a judge, and the judge to [his] subordinate, and you are going to be thrown under guard.

Hidden Meaning: 

A number of words that are uncommon for Christ beginning this verse. It also contains some words that don't work well in written sentences, but work as verbal exclamations.

The initial verb is not a command to "agree." It is two Greek words. The first is the command "Be!" Unlike more of the times Christ addresses his audience with a command, this is aimed at an individual person (it is singular), not the group in general. This indicates clearly that

The second one is another verb meaning "to be well-inclined", and "to be friendly." It is in the form of an adjective, modifying the subject of the sentence. However, it is also a bit of a joke because it is a homonym with another word meaning "to lay down", which, with this word, was a way of describing, then as now, having sexual intercourse. So the "be friendly" is something of a double entendre.

The word translated as "adversary" primarily means an opponent in a lawsuit, but it can be used to mean opponents in general.

The "swiftly" here is not an adverb but a Greek adjective meaning "fast" or "speedy". It matches the form of the subject only if it is used to address the person being commanded like we would call someone "Speedy!"

The Greek terms translated as "whiles" are two Greek words that mean literally "until which" but the general sense of this form is "until which time" or "until when".

The "thou art" is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition.

"With" is the Greek word that is almost always translated as "with" or a related concept such as "among" or "by the means of". It also has a strong sense of being "in common" and "along with" in the sense of being "together with".

In the phrase translated in the KJV as "with him in the street", the term translated as "street" means literally, "the way." And like the idea of "the way" in many languages, it includes the meaning of a philosophy or a way of seeing. If we translated it that way (with that philosophy?) we get "until that you are with him in philosophy," which is a way you to an agreement.

The negative "lest" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true.

The Greek word translated as "delivery" means literally to "give over." In this context in English, we would usually say "turn you over."

"The judge" is a Greek word that means "judge", "umpire," and "interpreter." It is a from the same root as "judgment" in Mat 5:22.

In today's Greek source the second verb "deliver" does not appear. The phase is simply "and from the judge to the officer."

The Greek word translated as "officer" has a meaning much closer to "underling" and "subordinate."

The Greek word translated as "prison" means "guarding" or "guard." In modern English, we would say "under guard."

The word translated as "cast" has a number of meanings revolving around "throw" as we do in English with both "throw" and "toss." Christ often uses this word in the same way we use "dump" in English. In dice, it means "to throw" the dice, but with the sense of being lucky.

Wordplay: 

The word meaning "agree" also means "to lull to sleep" "having sexual intercourse."

The adjective "fast" is applied to "friendly", creating the sense not of fast friends, but "instant" friends. 

The phrase translated in the KJV as "while with him in the street" also means "until you are with him in philosophy."

The Spoken Version: 

“But my ‘brother’ is taking me to court!” Another man blurted out over the applause, almost before the speaker had finished.
Both the question and the man’s abrupt manner drew some laughs.
“Be friendly to that plaintiff of yours, Speedy,” the speaker advised to the man.
This drew more laughter from the crowd.
“Until you are together with him.” The speaker knit his hands together. “In the way forward.” His intertwined hands pointed their index fingers forward. “He shouldn’t want at any time to turn you over to the judge,” he said, tugging on the shoulder of his tunic. “And the judge to the officer,” he added, tugging himself in another direction. “And, into a cell,” he said, “getting tossed.” The speaker flung himself as if he had been pushed.
People laughed.

Vocabulary: 

ἴσθι (2nd sg pres imperat act) "Agree" is from eimi (with eunoeō below) , 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.")

εὐνοῶν [uncommon](part sg pres act masc nom) "Agree" is from eunoeō, (with eimi above) which means "to be well-inclined", "to be favorable", "to be kindly", "to be friendly", "to be liked," and "to be affectionately treated." It is a homonym with another word, eunao meaning "to lay in ambush," "to lay or lull to sleep" and "to have sexual intercourse."

τῷ ἀντιδίκῳ [uncommon](adj sg masc dat) "Adversary" is from antidikos, which means "opponent or adversary in a suit", "the defendant [primarily]," "the plaintiff," and, generally, "opponent," and "adversary."

σου (adj sg masc gen) "Thine" is from sou which means "you" and "your."

ταχὺ (adj sg neut nom/acc) "Swiftly" is from tachy. In the adjective form it means "swift", "fleet", "quick", "hasty", "rapid", "sudden," and "short." As an adverb, it means "swiftly", "hastily," and (rarely) "perhaps."

ἕως (conj) "While" is from heos (with hostis below) which means "until", "till," and "in order that" and "up to the point that."

ὅτου (pron sg masc gen) "While" is from hostis (with heos above), which means "that", "which", "anyone who", "anything which", "whosoever," "whichsoever", "anybody whatsoever", "from which time," and "for which cause." However, with the preposition heos, it means "until which time."

εἶ (2nd sg pres ind act) "Thou art" 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.")

μετ᾽ (prep) "With" is from meta, which means "in the midst of", "among", "between", "in common", "along with", "by the aid of", "in one's dealings with", "into the middle of", "coming into", "in pursuit of", "after", "behind", "according to," and "next afterward"

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "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 ones own accord."

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

τῇ ὁδῷ, (noun sg fem dat) "The way" is from hodos, which means literally "the way" or "the road" but which is used symbolically to mean "a way of doing things" or "a philosophy of life."

μή (partic) "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.

ποτέ (adv) "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."

σε (pron 2nd sg acc) "Thee" is from su which means "you" and "your."

παραδῷ (3rd sg aor subj act) "Deliver" is from paradidomi, which means "to give over to another", "to transmit", "to hand down", "to grant", "to teach," and "to bestow."

ἀντίδικος (adj sg masc nom) "Adversary" is from antidikos, which means "opponent or adversary in a suit", "the defendant [primarily]," "the plaintiff," and, generally, "opponent," and "adversary."

τῷ κριτῇ, (noun sg masc dat) "To the judge" is from krites, which means "judge", "umpire," and "interpreter."

καὶ (conj) "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."

κριτὴς (noun sg masc nom) "The judge" is from krites, which means "judge", "umpire," and "interpreter."

τῷ ὑπηρέτῃ, (noun sg masc dat) "The officer" is from hyperetes, which means "rower", "underling", "servant", "attendant", "subordinate," and "aides-de-camp."

καὶ (conj) "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."

εἰς (prep) "Into" is from eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)", "until (of time)", "as much as (of measure or limit)", "as far as (of measure or limit)", "towards (to express relation)", "in regard to (to express relation)", "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

φυλακὴν (noun sg fem acc) "Prison" is from phylake, which means "a watching or guarding", "a guard", "a ward", "a watch", " "a station", "a post," "a keeping", "a preserving", "safekeeping", "a safe-guard," and "a precaution."

βληθήσῃ: (2nd sg fut ind pass) "Cast" is from ballo, which means "to throw", "to let fall", "to put", "to pour," or "to cast."

Related Verses: 

Jan 20 2017

evidence: 

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