Matthew 7:14 Because narrow [is] the gate,

KJV Verse: 

Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Because narrow the passage and having squeezed itself the way, the one leading into the living and few are the ones discovering it.

Hidden Meaning: 

There are a lot of interesting features in this verse. Notice how many of these terms have meanings in economics. Even today in English, we talk about being squeezed to pay a debt. This verse is also filled with verbs acting as adjectives. All are in the present, except for the one about having been squeezed. The

The word translated as "because" was translated as "for" in the previous verse, Matthew 7:13. It acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

The term translated as "strait" primarily means "narrow," but it is not a positive term in Greek having many negative associations including "small minded" and "confined."

The term translated here as "gate" means specifically one side of a double gate that served as the entry to a town or large building. It was also frequently a toll booth, changing a tax for entry into a town. The term also meant special doors or gates such as that to the women's quarters or the gates of hell. These gates were points of control and authority.

The Greek word translated as "narrow" is actual a verb meaning "to squeeze" or "compress." This verb is in the form of an adjective describing a completed action, "the squeezed" or "the compressed". However, the verb is in a form where the subject acts on themselves, so "having squeezed themselves"

It is unclear here what of many possible roles the Greek word translated as "and" plays here. It could join the adjectives or phrases or it could be part of a series "and...and" joining phrases, which in Greek, it becomes "not only...but also". It could also be an "also" here and there.

The term translated as "the way" means a "route" or a "path", and a "manner of behavior", a "method" and a "philosophy". The sense is the same as we use the term in "a way of life" or "a way of thinking."

The word translated as "that" is assumed to be a demonstrative pronoun, but it is much more likely to be the article "the" with the following verb acting as an adjective, so it takes the meaning of "the one".

The Greek translated as "leadeth" means "to lead". "to carry away", "to pay" and "to render a service." It is an uncommon word for Christ to use. It is in the form of an adjective, "leading", but with the article above, it acts like a noun, "the one leading". the "one paying off a debt", "the one rendering a service".

The word translated as "unto" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

The word translated as "life" means "living" but it also means "substance", "existence," and "property." It means "a living," very much like we would use the term in "making a living." Christ uses it to mean "existence" beyond physical life. In is contrasted to "destruction" in the previous verse. For more on how Christ uses this word with other words about human existence (soul, heart, spirits, etc.), read this article.

"Few" is a Greek word meaning "little", "small", "slight", "few," and "weak."

The verb here is the common form of "there be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. When used without a clear subject, it can me "it is" or "there are". It is plural.

The term used for "that find" is the source of our word, "heuristic," meaning enabling a person to find out something for themselves. It means "find out" and "discover." It is in the form of an adjective used as a noun, "the ones finding".

 

Wordplay: 

The term used for "find" is the source of our word, "heuristic," meaning enabling a person to find out something for themselves. It means "find out" and "discover." 

The Spoken Version: 

“Because narrow the opening,” the speaker explained, bringing his hands a few inches apart again and trying to fit through the gap. “And squeezing itself—” His voice went up an octave as he sucked in his belly. “The way—the one leading into—.” He squeezed through. “The life!” He exclaimed, raising his arms in triumph. “And, few,” he said, nodding at his audience, “are the ones discovering it.”

Vocabulary: 

ὅτι (conj/adv) "Because" 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."

στενὴ (adj sg fem nom) "Strait" is from stenos, which means "narrow", "narrows", "straits", "close", "confined", "scanty", "petty", "small-minded", "narrow-minded", "thin or meagre [of sound and style]," and, as an adverb "[to be] in difficulties."

πύλη (noun sg fem nom) "The gate" is from pyle, which means "one wing of a pair of double gates", "gates of a town", "house-door", "gate or door leading to the women's apartments", "gates of the nether world", "custom-house", "entrance", "orifice", "entrance into a country through mountains", "pass," and "narrow straits."

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."

τεθλιμμένη [uncommon](part sg perf mp fem nom) "Narrow" is from thlibo, which means to "squeeze, "chafe", "pinch", "exercise pressure", "compress", "straiten", "reduce", "oppress", "afflict," and "distress."

ὁδὸς (noun sg fem nom ) "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."

ἀπάγουσα (part sg pres act fem nom) "Leadeth" is from apago, which means to "lead away", "carry off", "hold far off", "draw off", "retire", "withdraw", "abduct", "bring back", "bring home", "return", "render what one owes", "pay", "render service," and "arrest and carry off."

εἰς (prep) "Unto" 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)."

τὴν ζωήν, (noun sg fem acc) "Life" is from zoe, which means "living", "substance", "property", "existence," and, incidentally, "the scum on milk." It has the sense of how we say "make a living" to mean property. Homer used it more to mean the opposite of death.

καὶ (and) "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."

ὀλίγοι (adj pl masc nom ) "Few" is from oligos, which means "little", "small," and "weak", "not copious", "few, "almost", "low [voice]", "low [degree]," and, as an adverb "a little," and "slightly."

εἰσὶν (3rd pl pres ind act) "There be" 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.") -

οἱ εὑρίσκοντες (part pl pres act masc nom)"That find" is from heurisko, which means "to find", "to find out", "to discover", "to devise", "to invent", "to get," and "to gain."

αὐτήν. (adj sg fem acc) "It" 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."

Related Verses: 

Apr 6 2017

evidence: 

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