Matthew 5:40 And if any man sues you in court,

Spoken to: 

an individual

Context: 

Sermon on Mount, law and fulfillment, visible and hidden, debts and repayment

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

And to the one desiring for you to be judged and that shirt of yours to take? Leave him also that cloak.

My Takeaway: 

The hidden costs of going to court are more than any visible rewards, even for lawyers.

KJV : 

Matthew 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.

NIV : 

Matthew 5:40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.

3rd Translation: 

Matthew 5:40 If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse is addressed to an individual, and it starts by responding to him or her. The Biblical translators add an "if" and make the verb active so that it makes sense without the initial statement.  It is also such a change of topic that suggests that it suggests a response to someone else. Someone taking another person to court over the ownership of a shirt is clearly a humorous situation, but it is interesting that it reflects our English humorous saying "losing your shirt in court."

The word translated as "sue" means "to be judged." While we would describe the situation of someone as a lawsuit, Jesus uses the verb that means "to be judged" because the context from the previous verse is comparing one person to another. This is hidden because the word that means "compare" in the previous verse was translated as "resist."

The last clause in this verse is a setup and a punchline. The setup is the verb "leave him also," translated variously as "let have," "hand over," and "give." This line makes you think Jesus is suggesting abandoning the accuser, but then he finishes with the punchline, "the coat." This changes the meaning of the word "leave." This is clause is structure very much like the classic Henny Goodman line, "Take my wife, please."

Wordplay: 

Jesus creates a humorous image that is similar to the English saying, "giving someone the shirt off your back."

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

καὶ (conj) "And if" 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.

"τῷ (article sg masc dat) "Any man" 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."

θέλοντί (part sg pres act masc dat) "will" is from thelo, which as a verb means "to be willing", "to wish", "to ordain", "to decree", "to be resolved to a purpose" and "to desire." As an adjective, it means "wished for" and "desired."

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

κριθῆναι (aor inf pass) Sue...at the law" is from krino, which primarily means "to separate", "to put asunder," and "to distinguish." It has a lot of other secondary meanings, including "to pick out", "to choose", "to decide" disputes or accounts, "to win" a battle, "to judge" especially in the sense of "estimate", "to expound," or "to interpret" in a particular way.

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.

τὸν (article sg masc acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

χιτῶνά (noun sg masc acc) "Coat" is from chiton, which means "the garment worn next to the skin", "tunic [a men's]", "a coating", "a covering", "a membrane [anatomical]", "the upper part of a show", "vesture," and "coat of mail."

σου (adj sg masc gen) "Thy" is from sou which means "you" and "your."

λαβεῖν, (aor inf act ) "Take away" is from lambano means "to take", "to receive", "to apprehend with the senses", "to take hold of," and "to seize." It is also specifically used to mean seized with emotion."

ἄφες (2nd sg aor imperat act) "Let...have" is from aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "give up", "hand over", "to let loose", "to get rid of", "to leave alone", "to pass by", "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament.

αὐτῷ (adj sg masc dat) "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 (conj) "Also" 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.

τὸ   (article sg neut acc) (article) "Thy" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἱμάτιον: (noun sg neut acc) "Thy cloke" is from himation, which was an oblong piece of cloth worn as an outer garment. The term generally means "clothes" and "cloth."

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." This verse uses a series of three of these verbs, but the first and last work best as "also's" with an "and" connecting the two infinitive verbs.

if -- (IW) There is no Greek word meaning "if" in this verse. It begins with the Greek word meaning "and" or "also." Greek verbs have a special form if something might happen that Christ always uses it. It is not used here.

untranslated "to"-- (MW) The dative case of the following word requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use:  a  "to,"  "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at" or "on," can all be used depending on the context.

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

man -- (CW) The word translated as "man" 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. 

will  -- (CW, WF) The Greek word translated as "will" is not the same as the helper verb "will" in English, which primarily expresses the future tense. This verb does not indicate a future tense of another verb. . Its primary purpose is to express consent and even a delight in doing something. It means "to want," "to desire," "to consent" and "to be resolved to a purpose". With the article, it means "to the one who is wanting", "for the one wishing," or "to the one desiring."

sue -- (CW, WF)) The Greek verb translated as "sue" means "to separate." It usually is translated in the Gospels  as "to judge." It has many other meanings including "to separate", "to decide," and "to win." It is not an active verb but a passive infinitive, that is, "to be judged."

untranslated "for" --  (MW) The dative case of the following word requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use:  a  "to,"  "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at" or "on," can all be used depending on the context.

thee -- The "thee" here is in the form an indirect object. However, it could also mean "by you" or "for you".

at the law, -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "at the law" in the Greek source.

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".

take away -- The verb translated as "take away" does mean "to take", "to take hold of," and "to seize. It is also infinitive, "to have seized." This is what we call a legal seizure in English. In the Greek, this verb follows the word translated as "coat".

thy -- The word translated as "thy" is the possessive form of the second person pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

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. 

coat, -- (WW) The Greek word translated as "coat" is an undergarment, a garment worn next to the skin, not an outer garment, which is something of the opposite of the way we use "coat" today. It is more like what we call an undershirt or a shirt. Metaphorically, this is the least important and least costly garment. In our culture, this is the last garment we give up hence the meaning of "losing the shirt off my back" as losing your last item. Here, it is the first item lost.

let -- The word translated as "let" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. This is the word that the Gospels translates a "forgive" in the phrase, the "forgiveness of sins."

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

have -- This verb with the "let" above creates the sense of "leave."

thy -- (WW) The word translated as "thy" 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.  

cloke -- The word translated as "cloke" is the outer garment, which was a single piece of cloth draped over the outside of an outfit. We would call it a "coat" or a cloak. It was worn in public but people took it off in their own homes. Typically, people were judged by the quality of this cloth and its design was often a signal for a person's place in society. As opposed to the "undershirt" above, this is the most expensive part of the clothing of Christ's time. There is no "thy" here, but the word is introduced by an article, "the coat". This is the punchline of the verse.

also. The end "also" is the same conjunction usually translated as "and" that began the verse. In the Greek, it precedes the "cloke" so the cloak is the last word.

KJV Translation Issues: 

13
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "if" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "to" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "any" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "man" means simple "the one" in the masculine not the word "man."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "will" does not indicate the future tense of another verb, but the "desiring."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "will" is not a helping verb but a participle, "desiring," with the article before it, "the one desiring."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "sue" has the meaning of "to judge."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sue" is not an active verb but an infinitive, "to judge," in the passive form, "to  be judged."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "for" or some other preposition is required by the dative form of the "thee" pronoun since it is the subject or object of a verb.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "at the law" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "coat" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "coat" should be "shirt."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "thy" should be "the" or "that."

NIV 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." This verse uses a series of three of these verbs, but the first and last work best as "also's" with an "and" connecting the two infinitive verbs.

if -- (IW) There is no Greek word meaning "if" in this verse. It begins with the Greek word meaning "and" or "also." Greek verbs have a special form if something might happen that Christ always uses it. It is not used here.

untranslated "to"-- (MW) The dative case of the following word requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use:  a  "to,"  "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at" or "on," can all be used depending on the context.

any -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "any" in the Greek source. There is a Greek word that means "anyone" that Jesus uses frequently but not here.

one --  The word translated as "one" 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. 

wants -- (WF) The Greek word translated as "want" expresses consent and even a delight in doing something. It means "to want," "to desire," "to consent" and "to be resolved to a purpose". With the article, it means "to the one who is wanting", "for the one wishing," or "to the one desiring."

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

sue -- (CW, WF)) The Greek verb translated as "sue" means "to separate." It usually is translated in the Gospels  as "to judge." It has many other meanings including "to separate", "to decide," and "to win." It is not an active verb but a passive infinitive, that is, "to be judged."

untranslated "for" --  (MW) The dative case of the following word requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use:  a  "to,"  "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at" or "on," can all be used depending on the context.

you -- The "you" here is in the form an indirect object. However, it could also mean "by you" or "for you".

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".

take -- The verb translated as "take" does mean "to take", "to take hold of," and "to seize. It is also infinitive, "to have seized." This is what we call a legal seizure in English. In the Greek, this verb follows the word translated as "coat".

your -- The word translated as "your " is the possessive form of the second person pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

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. 

shirt, -- The Greek word translated as "shirt" is an undergarment, a garment worn next to the skin. It is more like what we call an undershirt or a shirt. Metaphorically, this is the least important and least costly garment. In our culture, this is the last garment we give up hence the meaning of "losing the shirt off my back" as losing your last item. Here, it is the first item lost.

hand over -- (WW) The word translated as "hand over" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. This is the word that the Gospels translates a "forgive" in the phrase, the "forgiveness of sins." It is not the common word that Jesus uses that means "hand over" and "give over."

untranslated "him"-- (MW) The untranslated word "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

your -- (WW) The word translated as "your" 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. 

coat -- The word translated as "coat" is the outer garment, which was a single piece of cloth draped over the outside of an outfit. We would call it a "coat" or a cloak. It was worn in public but people took it off in their own homes. Typically, people were judged by the quality of this cloth and its design was often a signal for a person's place in society. As opposed to the "undershirt" above, this is the most expensive part of the clothing of Christ's time. There is no "thy" here, but the word is introduced by an article, "the coat". This is the punchline of the verse.

as well -- The end "as well" is the same conjunction usually translated as "and" that began the verse. In the Greek, it precedes the "coat" so the cloak is the last word.

NIV Translation Issues: 

11
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "if" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "to" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "any" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "want" is not a helping verb but a participle, "desiring," with the article before it, "the one desiring."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "sue" has the meaning of "to judge."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sue" is  in the passive form, "to  be judged."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "for" or some other preposition is required by the dative form of the "thee" pronoun since it is the subject or object of a verb.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "shirt" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "hand over" should be "leave."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "him" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "your" should be "the" or "that."

3rd Analysis: 

untranslated "and"-- (MW) The untranslated word "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." This verse uses a series of three of these verbs, but the first and last work best as "also's" with an "and" connecting the two infinitive verbs.

If -- (IW) There is no Greek word meaning "if" in this verse. It begins with the Greek word meaning "and" or "also." Greek verbs have a special form if something might happen that Christ always uses it. It is not used here.

you -- (WF) The "you" here is in the form an indirect object. However, it could also mean "by you" or "for you".

untranslated "the one"-- (MW) The untranslated word "the one" 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. 

untranslated "wanting"-- (MW) The untranslated word "wanting" expresses consent and even a delight in doing something. It means "to want," "to desire," "to consent" and "to be resolved to a purpose". With the article, it means "to the one who is wanting", "for the one wishing," or "to the one desiring."

untranslated "to"-- (MW) The untranslated word "to" is needed because the infinitive form of the verb "sued" requires a "to" in English.

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

sued -- (CW) The Greek verb translated as "sue" means "to separate." It usually is translated in the Gospels  as "to judge." It has many other meanings including "to separate", "to decide," and "to win." It is not an active verb but a passive infinitive, that is, "to be judged."

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

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".

your -- The word translated as "your " is the possessive form of the second person pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

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. 

shirt, -- (WF) The Greek word translated as "shirt" is an undergarment, a garment worn next to the skin. It is more like what we call an undershirt or a shirt. Metaphorically, this is the least important and least costly garment. In our culture, this is the last garment we give up hence the meaning of "losing the shirt off my back" as losing your last item. Here, it is the first item lost.

is -- (WF) This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive, but the verb is not passive.

taken -- The verb translated as "taken" does mean "to take", "to take hold of," and "to seize. It is also infinitive, "to have seized." This is what we call a legal seizure in English. In the Greek, this verb follows the word translated as "coat".

from you, -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "from you" in the Greek source.

give -- (WW) The word translated as "give" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. This is the word that the Gospels translates a "forgive" in the phrase, the "forgiveness of sins." It is not the common word that Jesus uses that means "give."

untranslated "him"-- (MW) The untranslated word "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

your -- (WW) The word translated as "your" 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. 

coat -- The word translated as "coat" is the outer garment, which was a single piece of cloth draped over the outside of an outfit. We would call it a "coat" or a cloak. It was worn in public but people took it off in their own homes. Typically, people were judged by the quality of this cloth and its design was often a signal for a person's place in society. As opposed to the "undershirt" above, this is the most expensive part of the clothing of Christ's time. There is no "thy" here, but the word is introduced by an article, "the coat". This is the punchline of the verse.

too -- The end "too" is the same conjunction usually translated as "and" that began the verse. In the Greek, it precedes the "coat" so the cloak is the last word.

3rd Issue Count: 

15
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "if" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "you" is not a subject but an indirect object, "for you."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the one" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "want" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "to" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "sued" has the meaning of "to judge."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "in court" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "shirt" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "shirt" is not the subject of the verb but its object.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "is" indicates a passive verb when the verb is not passive.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "from you" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "give" should be "leave."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "him" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "your" should be "the" or "that."

evidence: 

39.00

Front Page Date: 

May 16 2020