Matthew 6:28 And why are you worried about clothing?...

KJV Verse: 

Mat 6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Also, why worry about coverings? Learn from the white flowers of the countryside. How do they grow? They don't go, neither do they sew.

Hidden Meaning: 

The verse comes close to duplicating the rhymes describing harvesting crops in Mat 6:26. The verbs here are still plural addressing all of Christ's listeners.

The Greek conjunction "and" is also used to give emphasis, translated as "also", "just," and "even."

The word translated as "why" usually means "anything" or "anyone." However, Christ often uses it in questions, where it can mean "who", "which", and "what". It is in a form indicating it is the object of the sentence.

"Take no thought" is a Greek verb that means "to care for", "be anxious about," and "to meditate upon." It has most of the sense of the way we use "worry" in English. The form is either that of a command or a statement. It could be a question, but remember all such punctuation was added centuries after the Gospels were written.

The Greek word translated as "for" means "around," "about", "concerning," and "on account of."

The word translated as "raiment" means "clothing" or "covering."

The word translated as "consider" means "to examine closely" or "to learn thoroughly." It is an uncommon word for Christ to use. It is not the "behold" used in Mat 6:26 or related to it, but that previous verb can also mean "consider". Like that word, it means to perceived with the senses, but it is usually used more for the mind. Its root word means "to learn", having the sense of "learn from".

The "lilies " is a straightforward translation for a word that means "lilies" that are regular white lilies. They were then, as now, a symbol of death.

The "field" means primarily an agricultural field but can refer to any type of land. It identifies a characteristic of the flowers. this is the term used to identify fields in which people work. The contrast here seems to be between this lack of work and all the field word described in Mat 6:26.

The word translated as "how" appears to identify this phrase as a question.

The three words here, "grow", "toil", and "spin" are again a bit of a rhyme, though "toil" is not exact. They match the rhymes in Mat 6:26, where all of the words ended in "-outsin". Here, only "toil" breaks the patter but comes close with "-osin" but the "o" is long, making it similar to the "ou" sound. These three words may well have rhymed when spoken.

The word translated as "grow" means literally "increase," not really grow. In the active form, this increase in most commonly in power or reputation.

The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence to captures the same idea.

The term translated as "toil" means "to tire" or "to grow weary" and only secondarily refers to the hard work that makes one tired. This continues with the theme of contrasting what is natural with what is social. Here, the lilies are nature. Doing what is natural for them is easy, requiring no effort. When people are in the fields, they do grow tired.

"Neither" is from a Greek negative meaning "but not" and as both parts of "neither...nor."

The word translated as "spin" is completely straightforward, meaning only "to spin."


 The contrast here is between the work people do in the fields and the lack of work that flowers do in the fields. 

The Spoken Version: 

“Also,” the teacher continued happily. “About your coverings. Why do you worry?” He bent down and picked a wildflower. “Look closely at the wildflowers of the countryside.” He held up the flower and sang, “How do they grow? They don’t slow. Nor do they sew.”


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."

περὶ (prep) "For" is from peri, which means "round about (Place)", "around", "about", "concerning", "on account of", "in regard to", "before", "above", "beyond," and "all around."

ἐνδύματος (noun sg neut gen) "Raiment" is from endyma, which means "garment," and "covering."

τί (irreg) "Why" is from tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."

μεριμνᾶτε; (2nd pl pres ind act ) "Take ye thought" is from merimanao , which means to "care for", "be anxious about", "meditate upon", "to be cumbered with many cares," and "to be treated with anxious care [passive]."

καταμάθετε [uncommon](2nd pl aor imperat act) "Consider" is from katamanthano, which means "observe well", "examine closely", "learn, acquire knowledge of", "perceive with the senses", "observe", "understand", "perceive", "observe", "consider to examine closely," or "to learn thoroughly."

τὰ κρίνα (noun pl neut acc) "Lilies" is from krinon, which means "white lily", "Lilium candidum", "symbolic of death", "Egyptian bean", "kind of choral dance", "kind of loaf," and "architectural ornament."

τοῦ ἀγροῦ (noun sg masc gen) "Field" is from ἀγρὸν agros (agros), which means "field", "lands," or "country."

πῶς (pron indeclform) "How" is from pos, which means "how", "how in the world", "how then", "in any way", "at all", "by any mean", "in a certain way,"and "I suppose."

αὐξάνουσιν: (3rd pl pres ind act) "They grow" is from auxano, which means to "increase", "increase in power", "strengthen", "exalt by one's deeds", "glorify", "exalt by one's deeds", "glorify", "amplify", "exaggerate", "bring up," and "sacrifice." In the passive, it means to "grow", and "increase" in size, number, strength, power,

οὐ (partic) "Not" is from ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.

κοπιῶσιν (3rd pl pres ind act) "They toil" is from kopiao, which means "to be tired", "grow weary", "to be tired", "grow weary", "work hard", "toil", "strive", "struggle", "come to rest," and "arrive at a state of saturation."

οὐδὲ (partic) "Neither" is from oude , which means "but not", "neither", "nor,"and "not even."

νήθουσιν: (3rd pl pres ind act) "Spin" is from netho, which means " to spin."

Related Verses: 

Mar 17 2017