John 4:38 I sent you to reap

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

His apostles ask if someone else has brought him something to eat and he talks about his future work and the place being ripe for harvest.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

I myself send you off to reap what none of you yourselves have worked hard for. Others have worked hard and you yourselves into that labor of theirs have entered.

My Takeaway: 

Jesus's point is that his students are joining into the work of the ages.

KJV : 

John 4:38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

NIV : 

John 4:38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

What the KJV (and most other NT translations) translates as "labor" has much more of a sense of struggle and suffering. The verb kapiao does not mean simply to work. It means to grow tired from toil. The noun, kopos, has a primary meaning of "beating" or "striking" something.

Unlike the earlier verse, Jhn 4:36, there is no mention of sharing in a reward (or fruit, from karpos ) here, even though that appears in some translations. However, there is wordplay at alliteration: karpos (fruit), kapiao ("to be tired") and kopos ("suffering").

The sense of this statement is a warning to the apostles of their future struggles.

Wordplay: 

 Alliteration:  karpos (fruit), kapiao ("to be tired") and kopos ("suffering"). 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἐγὼ [162 verses](pron 1st sg masc nom) "I" is ego, which is the first-person singular pronoun meaning "I." It also means "I at least," "for my part," "indeed," and for myself.

ἀπέστειλα [60 verses](1st sg aor ind act) "Sent" is apostello, which means "to send off," "to send away," or "to dispatch."

ὑμᾶς [210 verses](pron 2nd pl acc) "You" is humas which is the plural obejective form of the second-person pronoun, "you."

θερίζειν[10 verses] (pres inf act) "To reap" is therizo, which means "to do summer work," "to reap," "to mow," "to cut off," and, in some areas, "to plunder."

[294 verses](pron sg neut acc) This" is hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

οὐχ [269 verses](partic) "No" is ou ( οὒ ) 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.

ὑμεῖς [92 verses](pron 2nd pl nom) "You" is hymeis (humeis), which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you."

κεκοπιάκατε: [1 verse](2nd pl perf ind act) "Bestowed...labor" is from kapiao, which means "to be tired", "to grow weary", "to work hard", "to toil", "to strive" and "to struggle."

ἄλλοι [34 verses](adj pl masc nom) "The other" is allos, which means "another," "one besides," "of another sort," "different," "other than what is true," "as well," "besides," with numerals: "yet," "still," "further," "of other sort," "other than what is," "untrue," "unreal," "other than right," "wrong," "bad," "unworthy," [with an article] "the rest," "all besides," and [in series] "one...another."

κεκοπιάκασιν, [1 verse](3rd pl perf ind act) "Labored" is from kapiao, which means "to be tired", "to grow weary", "to work hard", "to toil", "to strive" and "to struggle."

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "And" is 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."

ὑμεῖς [92 verses](pron 2nd pl nom) "You" is hymeis (humeis), which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you." -- The pronoun "you" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say "you yourselves." It is plural.

εἰς [325 verses](prep) "Into" is 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)."

τὸν [821 verses](article sg masc acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

κόπον [5 verses](noun sg masc acc) "Labors" is from kopos, which means "striking", "beating", "toil and trouble", "work", "suffering", "pain of disease," and "fatigue."

αὐτῶν [720 verses](adj pl masc/fem/neut gen) "Their" is 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." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

εἰσεληλύθατε. [68 verses](2nd pl perf ind act) "Entered" is eiserchomai which means both "to go into," "to come in," "to enter," "to enter an office," "to enter a charge," (as in court) and "to come into one's mind."

KJV Analysis: 

I -- The pronoun "I" is used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." Saying "I myself" captures this feeling in English.

missing "myself" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

sent -- The "send forth" here is a word that means "to send off" and "dispatch." It is the source of our word "apostle."

you -- The "you" here is the second-person, plural pronoun in the form of an object.

to -- This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

reap -- The Greek word translated as "reap" means "to do summer work" and "to reap."

that -- The word translated as "that" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause.

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

ye -- The pronoun "you" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say "you yourselves." It is plural.

missing "yourselves" -- -- (MW) The pronoun is used here explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since this information is already in the verb, the sense is repetitive as we say "you yourselves."

bestowed  - (WT) "Bestowed" is from a verb that means "to be tired", "to grow weary", "to work hard", "to toil", "to strive" and "to struggle." This is in the past perfect tense, "have bestowed labor."

no -- (WP) The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly." It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures  - the same idea. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words. Here, it comes before "you" so the sense is "none of you yourselves."

labour: -- This completes the idea of the verb.

other --  The word translated as "other" means "another," "one besides," "of another sort," "different," "other than what is true," "as well," "besides," with numerals: "yet," "still," "further."

men -- (CW) This is from the masculine form of the previous word. The word "men" does not appear here.

laboured, - (WT) "Labored" is from a verb that means "to be tired", "to grow weary", "to work hard", "to toil", "to strive" and "to struggle." This is in the past perfect tense, "have bestowed labor."

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

ye -- The pronoun "you" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say "you yourselves." It is plural.

missing "yourselves" -- -- (MW) The pronoun is used here explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since this information is already in the verb, the sense is repetitive as we say "you yourselves."

are -- (WW) This helping verb indicates the present tense of the verb. The tense here is past perfect, so "have."

entered -- "Entered" is a word that means "go or come into" and has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind."

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

their -- The word translated as "their" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. 

labours. -- (WN) "Labors" is  a noun that means "striking", "beating", "toil and trouble", "work", "suffering", "pain of disease," and "fatigue." It is singular, not plural.

KJV Translation Issues: 

9
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "myself" is not shown in the English translation, but it is needed to capture the pronoun as well as the form of the verb.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "whereon" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb "bestowed" is the present tense, but Greek is in the past perfect, a completed action, "have bestowed."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb "labored" is the present tense, but Greek is in the past perfect, a completed action, "have larbored."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "men" is not the common word usually translated as "men."
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "no" doesn't appear here but before the "you" pronoun.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "yourselves" is not shown in the English translation, but it is needed to capture the pronoun as well as the form of the verb.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "are" should be "have."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "labors" is translated as plural but the Greek word is singular.

NIV Analysis: 

I -- The pronoun "I" is used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." Saying "I myself" captures this feeling in English.

missing "myself" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

sent -- The "send forth" here is a word that means "to send off" and "dispatch." It is the source of our word "apostle."

you -- The "you" here is the second-person, plural pronoun in the form of an object.

to -- This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

reap -- The Greek word translated as "reap" means "to do summer work" and "to reap."

what -- The word translated as "that" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause.

you -- The pronoun "you" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say "you yourselves." It is plural.

missing "yourselves" -- -- (MW) The pronoun is used here explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since this information is already in the verb, the sense is repetitive as we say "you yourselves."

have -- This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past.

not -- (WP) The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly." It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures  - the same idea. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words. Here, it comes before "you" so the sense is "none of you yourselves."

worked  - "Worked" is from a verb that means "to be tired", "to grow weary", "to work hard", "to toil", "to strive" and "to struggle."

for. -- This completes the idea of the verb.

Others --  The word translated as "others" means "another," "one besides," "of another sort," "different," "other than what is true," "as well," "besides," with numerals: "yet," "still," "further."

have -- This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past.

done -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

the hard work,  - - (WF) "the hard work" is from a verb that means "to be tired", "to grow weary", "to work hard", "to toil", "to strive" and "to struggle."  It is not a noun but a verb.

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

you -- The pronoun "you" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say "you yourselves." It is plural.

missing "yourselves" -- -- (MW) The pronoun is used here explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since this information is already in the verb, the sense is repetitive as we say "you yourselves."

have -- This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past.

their labor.”

reaped -- (WW) "Reaped" is a word that means "go or come into" and has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind."

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

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "into" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

their -- The word translated as "their" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. 

labor. -- (WN) "Labors" is  a noun that means "striking", "beating", "toil and trouble", "work", "suffering", "pain of disease," and "fatigue." It is singular, not plural.

NIV Translation Issues: 

6
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "myself" is not shown in the English translation, but it is needed to capture the pronoun as well as the form of the verb.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "no" doesn't appear here but before the "you" pronoun.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "hard work" is not a noun but a verb.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "yourselves" is not shown in the English translation, but it is needed to capture the pronoun as well as the form of the verb.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "the benefits of" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "into" is not shown in the English translation.

Front Page Date: 

Feb 13 2022