Matthew 9:37 The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;

KJV Verse: 

Mat 9:37 The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

This, on one hand, reaping? Large! These, on the other hand, workers? Few. 

Hidden Meaning: 

This is a great example of a statement that works better spoken than written. Verbs are added to make complete sentences in the translation, but the Greek spoken form works just as well in English. The phrase does have a special Greek construction in it that is untranslated. 

The "indeed" here is a particle, which. when used alone. expresses certainty, "truly" and "certainly". However, when used with the conjunction translated here as "but" take on the meaning "one one hand..." with the "on the other hand" identified by the "but" phrase.​  So, the sense here is "On one hand". 

The word translated as "the" is the Greek article, "the," which usually proceeds a noun but here it is separated by the particle above. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). Here the form is plural so "those". See this article for more. 

"Harvest" is from a noun which means "mowing", "reaping", "harvest time", "harvest," and "crop." In John 4:35, Christ uses this term to refer to the gathering of the fruits for eternal life. Think of this word with its article as a question, "this harvest?" 

There is no "is" in the Greek. The structure is question/answer. 

The word translated as "great" means many in number, great in power or worth, and large in size.​ This is the answer, "large!" 

The Greek word translated as "but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. When used in writing, it creates complex sentences, but when spoken, it makes a good pausing point so that an important or humorous word can follow.

Again, the article is separated by the particle above from the word below. 

"Laborers" is from a word that means "workman", "one who works the soil", "husbandman", and "producer."  Think of this word with its article as a question, "these workers?" 

Again, there is no "are" in the Greek. The structure is question/answer. 

The Greek word translated as "few" means "little", "small", "slight", "few," and "weak." 

Wordplay: 

Vocabulary: 

(article sg masc nom) "The" 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. -

μὲν (partic) "Truly" is men, which is generally used to express certainty and means "indeed", "certainly", "surely," and "truly." Used with the conjunction de, as it is here, it points out the specific word being contrast after the conjunction. In English, we usually say, one one hand...on the others... See the article here for specific uses with other particles. 

θερισμὸς (noun sg masc nom) "Harvest" is from therismos, which means "mowing", "reaping", "harvest time", "harvest," and "crop."​

πολύς, (adj sg masc nom) "Many" is polus, which means "many (in number)", "great (in size or power or worth)," and "large (of space)." As an adverb, it means "far", "very much", "a great way," and "long." 

οἱ (article pl masc nom) "The" 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.

δὲ (conj/adv) "But" is 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"). 

ἐργάται (noun pl masc nom) "Laborers" is ergates, which means "workman", "one who works the soil", "husbandman", "hard-working", "strenuous", "one who practices an art", "practitioner", "doer," and "producer."

ὀλίγοι: (adj pl masc nom) "Few" is oligos, which means "little", "small", "slight", "few," and "weak." As an adverb it means "a little", "slightly," and "little."

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