Matthew 7:26 And every one that hears these sayings of mine,

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

The Sermon on the Mount, invisible and visible, worthwhile and worthless, acting  and speaking

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Also, all the one listening to my ideas, these, and not wanting to use them, he will be compared to a stupid man who constructed his house on the sand.

KJV : 

Matthew 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse completes the comparison began in Mat 7:24 and it echoes Jesus's words there. Of course, a key aspect of humor is repetition.  However, it changes the active verbs at the beginning of the verse, "hear" and "does," to verbal adjectives, "hearing" and "doing" but that change is not reflected in English translation. More about Christ's use of repetition in humor in this article.

The key difference is the addition of a negative "not" whose form is very important. It is the negative of opinion that has the sense of "not wanting" or "not thinking" something. So the foolish person doesn't want to act in these ideas. It is a choice. This negative is a different word from the "not fall" in the previous verse, Matthew 7:25.

Acommon word translated in an uncommon way is the word translated as "sayings" and "words." This Greek word means "ideas" and "concepts," but it is usually mistranslated as "word" even though it is not the Greek word for "word." See this article for more about this word.

NIV : 

Matthew 7:26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

My Takeaway: 

People are free to choose not to use ideas that are proven to work.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

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."

πᾶς (adj sg masc nom/voc) "Every" is from pas, which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form, it means "every way", "on every side", "in every way," and "altogether."

(article sg neut dat)  "One that" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which, when not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

ἀκούων (part sg pres act masc nom) "heareth" is from akouo, which means "hear of", "hear tell of", "what one actually hears", "know by hearsay", "listen to", "give ear to", "hear and understand," and "understand."

μου (pron 1st sg masc gen) "My" is from mou, which mean "my," or "mine."

τοὺς(article)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

λόγους (noun pl masc acc) "Sayings" is from logos, which means "word", "computation", "relation", "explanation", "law", "rule of conduct", "continuous statement", "tradition", "discussion," "reckoning," and "value."

τούτους (adj pl masc acc) "These" is from toutou, which is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar."

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."

μὴ (partic) "Not" 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.

ποιῶν (part sg pres act masc nom ) "Doeth" is from poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

αὐτοὺς (adj pl masc acc) "Them" 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."

ὁμοιωθήσεται (3rd sg fut ind pass) "Shall be likened" is from homoioo, which means "to make like", "to become like", "to liken," and "to compare.

ἀνδρὶ [8 verses](noun sg masc dat) "Man" is from aner, which means "a man (as opposed to a god)", "a man (as opposed to a woman)", "a husband", "a man in the prime of life (as opposed to a youth)," and "a man indeed."

μωρῷ, [6 verses](adj sg masc dat) "Foolish" is moros, which means "dull", "stupid", "sluggish," 'insipid", "blind," and "folly."

ὅστις (pron sg masc nom) "Which" is from hostis, which means "that", "anyone who", "anything which", "whosoever," "whichsoever" and "anybody whatsoever.

"ᾠκοδόμησεν (3rd sg aor ind act ) "Built" is from oikodomeo,which means to "build a house," generally, "build", "fashion," "found upon," and, metaphorically, "build up," and "edify."

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."

τὴν (article sg fem acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

οἰκίαν (noun sg fem acc) "House" is from oikia, which means "house", "building," and "household."

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

τὴν (article sg fem acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἄμμον.[1 verse] (noun sg fem acc) "Sand" is ammos, which means "sand", "sandy ground," and "racecourse."

KJV Analysis: 

And  - The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also."

every  - The word translated as "every" the KJV that means "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas.

one that -- The word translated as "one that" is the Greek definite article, which when not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

heareth  - (WF) The word translated as "one that heareth" means "having the ability to hear", "to hear", "to understand," and "to learn." The verb is in the form of an adjective, "hearing" used as a noun, "the one hearing".

these  - The Greek word translated as "these" in the KJV means "these" or "these here". This word appears after the noun, saying, and after the article, which has a similar meaning, so the point is clearly one of emphasis that is lost in translation.  This word doesn't appear in all Greek sources.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

sayings  -  (WW) The Greek word translated as "sayings" is usually translated in the KJV as "words," but it means something close to "concepts" or "ideas." To learn more about this important word, it meaning and translation in the Gospels, read this article.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

mine,  - The word translated as "mine" appears before the word they affect ("sayings"), which is unusual for Jesus, who usually puts this word after, so we must assume it is purposeful.

and  - The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

doeth   - (WF) The Greek word translated as "doeth" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service.  . In this context, our word "use" or "applies" seems to work well. The form is not an active verb, but a participle, "using" or with negative, "not wanting to use"

them,  - The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have.

not,  - The big change here is that this verse uses a different negative "not". The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "not wanting" to do something, not that it isn't done. In the previous verse,

shall -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

be -- This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

likened  - The verb translated as "likened" is a verb that means "to make like" "to compared" and, in the passive, as used here, "to become like" or "to be compared". This is the word Jesus usually uses in his parables comparing "the realm of the skies" to various situations.

unto -- This word "unto" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

foolish  - The Greek words translated as "foolish" is the Greek source of our word "moron." Here, it is in the form of an adjective form and means both "slow" and "stupid."

man, -- (CW) A uncommon word is translated as the very familiar term "man." It is not the Greek word almost always use for "man" or "men" in the Gospels. It is used specifically to compare a man to something else: a woman, god, boy, etc. Here the comparison is a wise fellow with foolish fellow.

which  - The word translated as "which" is the same word that was translated in the beginning of the sentence as "whosoever."

built  - The word translated as "built" means specifically to build a house as we might use the word "construct" in English, but it is used generally to mean "build" or "establish" but it also means to "build up" or "edify."

his  - The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  Again, this adjective precedes the article and the noun, which is unusual for Jesus who almost always uses this word after the noun in the sense of "of his.". We also saw this unusual use with the pronoun before "sayings." Again, this is clearly intended to emphasize the word.  This use of "his" before this word gives it the sense of everything of his not just his house and household.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

house  - The Greek word translated as "house," in Christ's time, was not only the physical building but the whole household, its members, its property, business interests, and position in the community, all connected to the "name" of the head of the house.

upon -- The word translated as "upon" means "on", "over", "upon", "against", "before", "after", "during", "by" or "on."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") that the English "the." See this article for more. 

sand:  - The term for "sand" also means any form sandy ground even a race-course as well as simple "sand". However, if we think of this as a comparison to the earlier verse's "cliff by the sea," it works to translate it as "a beach."

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "heareth" is not an active verb but a participle, "hearing."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "sayings" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "sayings" should be "ideas" or "teachings."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "doeth" is not an active verb but a participle, "doing."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "man" is not the word commonly translated as "man."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "house" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

But - (WW) The Greek word translated as "but" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also."

every-  - The word translated as "every" the KJV that means "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas.

-one who -- The word translated as "one who" is the Greek definite article, which when not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

hears  - (WF) The word translated as "hears" means "having the ability to hear", "to hear", "to understand," and "to learn." The verb is in the form of an adjective, "hearing" used as a noun, "the one hearing".

these  - The Greek word translated as "these" in the KJV means "these" or "these here". This word appears after the noun, saying, and after the article, which has a similar meaning, so the point is clearly one of emphasis that is lost in translation.  This word doesn't appear in all Greek sources.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

sayings  -  (WW) The Greek word translated as "sayings" is usually translated in the KJV as "words," but it means something close to "concepts" or "ideas." To learn more about this important word, it meaning and translation in the Gospels, read this article.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

mine,  - The word translated as "mine" appears before the word they affect ("sayings"), which is unusual for Jesus, who usually puts this word after, so we must assume it is purposeful.

and  - The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

does   - (WF) The Greek word translated as "does" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service.  . In this context, our word "use" or "applies" seems to work well. The form is not an active verb, but a participle, "using" or with negative, "not wanting to use."

not,  - The big change here is that this verse uses a different negative "not". The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "not wanting" to do something, not that it isn't done.

put -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "put" in the Greek source.

them,  - The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. 

into practice -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "into practice" in the Greek source.

is -- (WT) This helping verb "is" is the wrong tense. A "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

like - (WV) The verb translated as "I will liken" is a verb that means "to make like" "to compared" and, in the passive, as used here, "to become like" or "to be compared". It is not in the first person but the third-person, passive, future tense, "he will  be compared".

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

foolish  - The Greek words translated as "foolish" is the Greek source of our word "moron." Here, it is in the form of an adjective form and means both "slow" and "stupid."

man, -- (CW) A uncommon word is translated as the very familiar term "man." It is not the Greek word almost always use for "man" or "men" in the Gospels. It is used specifically to compare a man to something else: a woman, god, boy, etc. Here the comparison is a wise fellow with foolish fellow.

who - The word translated as "which" is the same word that was translated in the beginning of the sentence as "whosoever."

built  - The word translated as "built" means specifically to build a house as we might use the word "construct" in English, but it is used generally to mean "build" or "establish" but it also means to "build up" or "edify."

his  - The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  Again, this adjective precedes the article and the noun, which is unusual for Jesus who almost always uses this word after the noun in the sense of "of his.". We also saw this unusual use with the pronoun before "sayings." Again, this is clearly intended to emphasize the word.  This use of "his" before this word gives it the sense of everything of his not just his house and household.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

house  - The Greek word translated as "house," in Christ's time, was not only the physical building but the whole household, its members, its property, business interests, and position in the community, all connected to the "name" of the head of the house.

on -- The word translated as "on" means "on", "over", "upon", "against", "before", "after", "during", "by" or "on."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

sand:  - The term for "sand" also means any form sandy ground even a race-course as well as simple "sand". However, if we think of this as a comparison to the earlier verse's "cliff by the sea," it works to translate it as "a beach."

NIV Translation Issues: 

12
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "but" should be "and."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "hears" is not an active verb but a participle, "hearing."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "sayings" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "sayings" should be "ideas" or "teachings."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "does" is not an active verb but a participle, "doing."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "put" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "into practice" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "is" indicates the present tense, but the verb is the future.
  • WV - Wrong Voice - The verb "is like" is translated as active but it is passive.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "man" is not the word commonly translated as "man."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "house" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "sand" is not shown in the English translation.

The Spoken Version: 

Then, the Master looked at us more seriously.
“And everyone listening to my ideas?” he said sternly. “These ones? And not wanting to use them?”
He tossed the rock out of the speaking area with his throwing-out-the-trash gesture.
We laughed automatically.
“He will be compared to a foolish fellow,” he said, then affecting the voice of a haughty academic.
We laughed at the description as well as the familiar comic voice.
“Who constructed that house of his on that sand,” he continued, pointing down toward the sandy beach below.
Was it a coincidence?
As we looked down, we could see the Distinguished boarding their boat from that beach.

evidence: 

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Front Page Date: 

Jul 21 2020