Matthew 5:45 That you may be the children of your Father

KJV Verse: 

Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

 

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

So you might become children of the Father of yours, the one in the skies. Since the sun he makes rise up upon vagrants and luminaries. Also, he showers on law followers and law breakers.

Hidden Meaning: 

The word translated as "that" has a number of translations, but it introduces an explanation.

The verb translated as "may be" is not the verb "to be." It is the Greek verb for "to become," that is, to change into a new state of being. It is in the subjunctive mood, meaning that indicates something that may or might happen.

The word translated as "children" specifically means "sons," but any concept of offspring and often descendants fits. The Greek for "Father" can mean any form of parentage. Christ makes it clear in several places that being a son means emulating the Father. For example, in he says he can claim to be the Son of God (John 10:36) because he does the works of God. He also says that the sons of Abraham would to the works of Abraham (John 8:39). In Christ's definition, sons do what their father desires.

The word translated as "which" is from the Greek article, "the," (masculine, possessive form) which usually proceeds a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one."

The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article. It is not singular, but plural, as it usually is when referring to what God is "in".

The Greek word translated as "for" introduced an explanatory clause: "this is because."

The word translated a "maketh rise" has many meanings, depending on the context. It means "to rise up" and "to bring forth," but it is a more colorful word that simple "rise" or "bring." It also means for water "to gush forth" and "to give birth." The play on words here is that when applied to the sun, the word means "to rise above the horizon," but when referring to "brightness" another meaning of "sun," it means "to give birth."

The Greek word for "sun," also means sunshine and, more generally, brightness. Brightness is Christ's metaphor for intelligence. Light is his metaphor for knowledge.

The word translated as "the evil" means "second-rate" or "worthless." This article explores it meaning in more detail. It is an adjective, but when used as a noun, therefore, "the worthless." However, there is no article in front of it, which is typically the case when Christ uses it as a noun. However, its is in a plural form, so it seems to refer a social group, say, derelicts. Especially in contrast to the following word.

The adjective translated as "the good" means "useful", "worthwhile," and "of high quality. See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil." Again, it is in the plural form and without an article ("the") so something like "nobles" worked in Christ's time and maybe "luminaries" in our era.

The Greek word translated on "sendeth the rain" means "to moisten" and "to wet," but it has a lot of additional meanings including "to bath in sweat", "to shower", and "to get drunk." It means "to send rain" in the same way we use "shower on" to mean "rain on". However, this sense also has the specific sense of "showing with wealth".

The Greek word translated as "the just" is an adjective that means "law-abiding", "the virtuous", or "the just". As with the adjectives above, it is not introduced by an article ("the") and it is plural. So the sense is "law-obeyers".

The Greek word translated as "the unjust" means "unrighteous," unjust", "obstinate", and "unmanageable". It is a negative from of the previous word. Again, it is without an article and plural. So "law-breakers".

The words translated as "the just" and "the unjust" have a number of different meanings, but unlike "the good and evil" above," they are direct opposites. The Greek word meaning "just" or "fair" is negated to mean "unjust" or "unfair." Using the later meaning seems more appropriate because "fair" and "unfair" emphasize the point that Christ is making that life is not fair.

Wordplay: 

The play on words here is that when applied to the sun, the word means "to rise above the horizon," but when referring to "brightness" another meaning of "sun," it means "to give birth." Using "to wet on" to mean bringing unpleasantness to people. 

The Spoken Version: 

In order that you might become children of your Father, the one in the skies.”
He pointed to the sky in a familiar way. The crowd missed the cue. He raised his eyebrows and pointed more emphatically. The audience caught on and responded raggedly, “It has come close—the realm of the skies!”
“Because,” explained the speaker, now smiling, “that sun of his?” He pointed up at the sun, hidden behind the clouds. “He makes it rise on the worthless.” He patted his own chest humbly.
Most people laughed but a few protested.
“And the valuable,” he continued, gesturing toward a group of farm workers.
The others applauded.
“Not only does He shower on the law-abiding,” he added, indicating the Dedicated. “But also the law-breakers,” he added, gesturing toward the foreigners.

Vocabulary: 

ὅπως (conj) "That" is from hopos, which is a conjunction that means "in such a manner as", "in order that", "in the manner in which", "how," [with negative] "there is no way that," and [in questions] "in what way."

γένησθε (2nd pl aor subj mid) "Ye may be" is from ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", "to be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being. It is the complementary opposite of the verb "to be" (eimi)which indicates existence in the same state.

υἱοὶ (noun pl masc nom) "Children" is from huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child."

τοῦ πατρὸς (noun sg masc gen ) "Father" is from pater (pater), which means "father", "grandfather", "author", "parent," and "forefathers."

ὑμῶν (pron pl 2nd gen) "Of your" is from humon, which is a plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

τοῦ (article sg masc gen) "Which"  is the Greek article, "the," which usually proceeds a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." Here it is separated from its noun by a conjunction.

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".

οὐρανοῖς, (noun pl masc dat) "Heaven" is from ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky", "heaven as the seat of the gods", "the sky", "the universe," and "the climate."

ὅτι (adv) "For" is from hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

τὸν ἥλιον (noun sg masc acc ) "Sun" is from helios, which means the "sun", "life", "day", "sunshine", "the sun's heat", "brightness," and the sun-god.

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen ) "His" 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."

ἀνατέλλει (3rd sg pres ind act) "He maketh...to rise" is from anatellô, which means "to rise", "to make rise up", "to give birth", "to gush forth [water]", "to bring forth", "to spring up [plants]", "rise [mountains]," and "to appear above the horizon [sun,moon]."

ἐπὶ (adv) "On" is from epi which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against."

πονηροὺς (adj pl masc acc ) "The evil" is from poneros, which means “oppressed by toil,” “burdened,” and “worthless.” Of things, it means “toilsome,” “painful,” and “grievous.” In a moral sense, “worthless,” “base,” and “cowardly.” We discuss extensively in this page.

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."

ἀγαθοὺς (adj pl masc acc) "The good" is from agathos, which means “sound,” “serviceable,”“useful,”beneficial," and “correct.” When applied to people, it primarily “well-born,” “gentle,” “brave,” “capable,” and "correct.” We discuss it extensively in this page.

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."

βρέχει (3rd sg pres ind act) "Sends rain" is from brecho, which means "to wet", "to moisten", "to shower [with wealth]", "to bath [in sweat]", "to get drunk", "to rain", "to send rain," and "to be filled with water."

ἐπὶ (conj) "On" is from epi which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against."

δικαίους (adj pl masc acc) "Just" is from dikaios which means "observant of rules", "observant of customs", "well-ordered", "civilized", "equal", "even," "legally exact", "precise," and "observant of duty." Later it means "well-balanced", "impartial," 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."

ἀδίκους. (adj pl masc acc) "The unjust' is from adikos, which means "wrongdoing", "unrighteous," unjust", "obstinate", "unmanageable", "unjust", "unrighteous [of things]," and "one who play unfairly."

Related Verses: 

Feb 11 2017

evidence: 

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