Matthew 21:38  But when the husbandmen saw the son,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 21:38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, this is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

The vine keepers, however, seeing the son, spoke among themselves, "This is the heir. We might him and have his inheritance."

Hidden Meaning: 

The word translated as "to husbandmen" means to those "tilling the ground," and from that, "vine dresser", "gardener," and "peasant."

The verb translated as "saw" means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive." It is in the form of an adjective, "seeing" or "knowing."

The word translated as "son" more generally means "child."

"They said" is from means "to say" and "to speak" also. However, it has less a sense of teaching and more a sense of addressing and proclaiming.

The word translated as "among " also means "within", "with," or "in." It is usually translated a "in."

"This" is translated from a Greek word that means "this", "that", "the nearer."

"Heir" is from a noun which means "heir" and "heir apparent."

"Kill" is translated from a Greek word that means "destroy" more than just "kill" because the base word means "slay." The Greek source has the sense of "kill off," that is, destroy in a more thorough way. It is in a form that indicates someting that might happen.

The word translated as "seize" means "to possess" or "to keep" but it isn't used in the same way as a "helper" verb that the English "have" is.

"Inheritance" is from a noun that means "inheritance", "property," and "possession." It is from the same root as the word for "heir" above.

Vocabulary: 

οἱ (article pl masc nom) "the" is the Greek article, "the," which usually proceeds a noun but is separated here by the conjuction.

δὲ "But" is from de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

γεωργοὶ (adj pl masc nom) "Husbandmen" is from georgos, which means "tilling the ground," and from that, "husbandman", "vine dresser", "gardener," and "peasant."

ἰδόντες (part pl aor act masc nom) "Saw" is from eido which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

τὸν υἱὸν (noun sg masc acc) "The son" is from huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child."

εἶπον (verb 3rd pl aor ind act​) "They said" is from eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer."

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

ἑαυτοῖς (adj pl masc dat) "Themselves" is from heautou, is a reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself", "itself" "themselves," and "ourselves." It is an alternative to autos.
Οὗτός "This" is from houtos, which means "this", "that", "the nearer." As an adverb, it means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why."

ἐστιν (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" 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.")

κληρονόμος: "Heir" is from klêronomos, which means "heir" and "heir apparent."

δεῦτε "Come" is an adverb from deute, which means "come here" and "come hither."

ἀποκτείνωμεν (verb 1st pl pres subj act) "Let us kill" is from apokteino, which means "to kill," and "to slay." It combines the word for "to slay" (kteino) with the proposition, apo, indicating separation, meaning "from" or "away from."but it is a stronger form than the normal verb kteino. It is more like our "destroy."

αὐτὸν (adj sg masc acc) "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 one's own accord."

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."

σχῶμεν (verb 1st pl aor subj act) "Seize"is from echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

τὴν κληρονομίαν (noun sg fem acc) "Inheritance" is from klêronomia, which means "inheritance", "property," and "possession."

αὐτοῦ: (adj sg masc acc) "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."

Related Verses: