Matthew 18:29 And his fellow servant fell down...

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

A lesson of letting go of people's mistake in a parable about the unforgiven.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Falling down, then, this fellow slave of his called out to him saying, "Withhold anger against me and  I will it give back."

KJV : 

Matthew 18:29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The unusual word here is "be patient/have patience," which Jesus uses only three times. It more literally means "delay anger" or "withhold anger." The other uncommon word here is translated as "besought" and "begged" but it literally means "called out" and isn't a common word for "ask" or "beg."

The unusual word here is "be patient/have patience," which Jesus uses only three times. It more literally means "delay anger" or "withhold anger."Very like Matthew 18:26 where the servant fell down before his master,  and kowtowed. In this verse, the fellow servant falls down but "called out."  In the earlier verse, "all things" were paid back, but not here. Both of these changes may be a recognition that the king is a symbol for the Divine, to whom we should bow down and to whom we owe all things.

NIV : 

Matthew 18:29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

Wordplay: 

This joke here is, of course, that this is the same thing the original servant said to his king. The "slaves together" noun and "call to" verb are used to make it clear how similar they two people are. The repetitious sense of the word for "saying" also works here. 

My Takeaway: 

We bow down to the Divine and call out to our fellow man.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

πεσὼν (part sg aor act masc nom) "Fell down" is from the verb pipto, which means "to fall", "to fall down", "to be cast down," "fall upon", "intersect (geometry)", "meet", "pass through", "fall violently upon", "attack", "fall in battle", "sink{in water)", "fall short i.e. fail", " fall out of", "lose a thing", "escape from", "fall asleep", "to be accessible to perception", "to fall (between her feet, i.e. to be born)", "to let fall[dice)", "turn out," and "fall under (belong to a class)."

οὖν (adv) "And" is from oun, which means "certainly", "in fact", "really", "in fact," "so" and "then" (continuing a narrative), and "then" and "therefore."

(article sg masc nom)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

σύνδουλος [5 verses](noun sg masc nom) "Fellowservant" is syndoulos, which means "slave of the same master", "companion in slavery," and "fellow slave."

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." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

παρεκάλει  [6 verses](verb 3rd sg imperf ind act) "Besought" is parakaleo which means "call to", "call in", "send for", "invite," "summon", "address", "demand", "exhort", "encouraged", "excite", "demand," and "beseech." It means literally "call closer."

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."

λέγων [264 verses](part sg pres act masc nom) "Saying" is from lego, which means "to recount", "to tell over", "to say", "to speak", "to teach", "to mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself", "pick up", "gather", "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelt the same means "to lay", "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

Μακροθύμησον [3 verses](verb 2nd sg aor imperat act) "Be patient" is makrothymeo, which means "to be long-suffering", "to persevere," "to be slow (to help)," and "to bear patiently.) "Be patient" is from makrothymeo, which means "to be long-suffering", "to persevere," "to be slow (to help)," and "to bear patiently.

ἐπ᾽ (prep) With" is from epi. which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against."

ἐμοί, (pron 1st sing dat) "Me" is from emoi, which is 1st person,singular dative pronoun meaning "me' as the indirect object of a verb.

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."

ἀποδώσω [22 verses](verb 1st sg fut ind act) "I will pay" is from apodidomi which means "to give back", "to restore," and "to deliver." It has the economic sense of "to sell" or "to give something for one's own profit." It begins with apo the preposition of separation and origin, the idea of "from" in English, didômi which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over," and "to describe."

σοι. (pron 2nd sg dat) "Thee" is from soi which is the singular, second person pronoun, "you".

KJV Analysis: 

And  - (WW) The Greek word translated as "and" at the beginning of this verse is almost always translated as "therefore". It either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative and "then" or "therefore". This same word was translated as "therefore" in Matthew 18:26.

his  - -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

fellowservant  - The word translated as "fellow servant" means literally "slaves together."

fell down - (WF) "Fell down" is translated from a Greek word that means "to fall" and "to fall down." It is the root word for dozens of Greek terms involving moving from a higher state to a lower one. Here the form is an adjective, "falling down."

at his feet,  - -- - (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "at his feet" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

and -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "iandt" in the Greek source used by the KJV. It was added because the previous verb was translated as active rather than a participle.

besought  - (CW) This verb translated as "besought" primarily means "call to." However, it also refers to a variety of other types of calling based on the many meanings of its prefix. It also means "summon (call by)", "to demand," ("called from") "to encourage," ("called along") and "to excite" (called beyond").

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

saying,  - The word translated as "saying" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," and it is in the form of an adjective, "saying," as translated here.

Have patience  - "Have patience" is from a Greek verb that "to be long-suffering", "to persevere," and "to bear patiently." It means literally "remote anger," so patience is a matter of putting off anger, as we say "long-suffering."

with  - The word translated as "with" means "against", "before", "by" or "on."

me, -- The "me" is in the indirect object form on the first-person pronoun, so usually "to me", though the form has other uses in Greek. 

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

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

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

pay  - "Pay" is from the word that means literally, "give back" or "give up." It is in the future tense.

all. - -- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "all" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used. Unlike Matthew 18:26, there is no "all" here today.

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "and" should be "therefore" or "then."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "fellowservant" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "fell down" is not an active verb but a participle, "falling."
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "at his feet" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "besaught" is from the common word usually translated as "to call."
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "all" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.

NIV Analysis: 

missing "then"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "then" at the beginning of this verse is almost always translated as "therefore". It either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative and "then" or "therefore". This same word was translated as "therefore" in Matthew 18:26.

His - -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

fellowservant  - The word translated as "fellow servant" means literally "slaves together."

fell down - (WF) "Fell down" is translated from a Greek word that means "to fall" and "to fall down." It is the root word for dozens of Greek terms involving moving from a higher state to a lower one. Here the form is an adjective, "falling down."

to his knees   - -(IP) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "to his knees " in the source we use today. It seems to be added to match a phrase in the KJV.

and -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "iandt" in the Greek source used by the KJV. It was added because the previous verb was translated as active rather than a participle.

begged - (CW) This verb translated as "besought" primarily means "call to." However, it also refers to a variety of other types of calling based on the many meanings of its prefix. It also means "summon (call by)", "to demand," ("called from") "to encourage," ("called along") and "to excite" (called beyond").

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

missing "saying"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "saying" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," and it is in the form of an adjective, "saying," as translated here.

‘Be patient  - "Be patient" is from a Greek verb that "to be long-suffering", "to persevere," and "to bear patiently." It means literally "remote anger," so patience is a matter of putting off anger, as we say "long-suffering."

with  - The word translated as "with" means "against", "before", "by" or "on."

me, -- The "me" is in the indirect object form on the first-person pronoun, so usually "to me", though the form has other uses in Greek. 

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

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

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

pay  - "Pay" is from the word that means literally, "give back" or "give up." It is in the future tense.

it  -- -- This English objective pronoun is added and not in the Greek source.   In Greek, pronoun objects are not repeated after each verb because they are implied by their first occurrence.

back -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "back."

NIV Translation Issues: 

6
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "then" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "fellowservant" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "fell down" is not an active verb but a participle, "falling."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "to his knees" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "begged" is from the common word usually translated as "to call."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "saying" is not shown in the English translation.

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

By not prostrating himself here (as compared to Matthew 18:26),  Jesus recognizes a difference in the relationship between God (the king) and another person to whom a debt is owed. In the earlier verse, Jesus says  "all things" because we owe all things to the Divine.

The Spoken Version: 

Then, dropping to the floow, the fellow slave called out to him repeating, "Stick with me and I will [it] give back."

Front Page Date: 

Apr 10 2021