Matthew 5:41 And whoever compels you to go a mile,

Spoken to: 

an individual

Context: 

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

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

And someone might commandeer you a mile? One? Go along with him--a couple!

My Takeaway: 

If the person is forced to go one mile, he is a slave, but if he chooses to go the second mile, he is making a sacrifice to become a partner.

KJV : 

Matthew 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

NIV : 

Matthew 5:41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.

3rd Translation: 

Matthew 5:41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse is spoken to an individual. It is a change of topic. It English translators have to add an "soever" or an "if" to make it word. As with the previous verse,  it seems to be the response of a remark from someone else. In Jesus's era, powerful people who traveled with armed retinues thought nothing of compelling bystanders to serve them as porters, carrying things. The most famous example was Simon of Cyrene who helped Christ carry the cross.

The form is clearly humorous,. It has the setup about being forced to go a mile, the lead in seems like that answer, "go with him," but then concluding the surprise punchline "two," which if the final word. 

There are two words that Jesus only uses in this verse. One is the word for "mile," which is the source for our word "mile." The other is more interesting. It is translated as "compelled/forced to go." This word first appears in the Greek of the NT. It is used three times, once by Jesus here and twice to describe Simon the Cyrene. Some claim that the word was used to describe Roman soldiers forcing others to carry military equipment, which explains the NLT translation, but a more general use of the term is clear. Josephus used it to describe King Demetrius forbidding using other people's animals.  Jesus is teaching that our actions communicate ideas more loudly than words.

Wordplay: 

 Using the Greek word duo to mean "two miles" and "a pair" or "couple" in the sense of partners. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

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."

ὅστις (pron sg masc nom) "Whoever" is from hostis, which means "that", "anyone who", "anything which", "whosoever," "whichsoever" and "anybody whatsoever."

σε (pron 2nd sg acc) "Thee " is from su which means "you" and "your."

ἀγγαρεύσει [unique] (3rd sg aor subj act) subj act) "Shall compel...to go" is from aggareuo, which means "to press into service." This could be from the Greek noun, aggaros, ἄγγαρος, which means "mounted courier" who carried mail.  However, that word seems more likely from Assyrian, agarru, which means 'hired labourer.'

μίλιον [unique](noun sg neut acc ) "Mile" is from milion, which was the Roman mile, 8 stades, a thousand paces, about 80 yards less than our mile.

ἕν, (noun sg neut acc) "One" is from heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

ὕπαγε (2nd sg pres imperat) "Go" is hypago, which means "to lead under,""to go", "to go forward", "to bring under", "to reduce", "to subsume", "to bring forward [in reply]", "to give one a lead [in a speech]", "to bring a person before judgment", "to accuse", "to impeach", "to lead on by degrees", "to lead on", "to take away from beneath", "to withdraw", "to go away", "to retire", "to draw off", "to loosen one's bowels," and "off with you."

μετ᾽ (prep) "With" is from meta, which means "in the midst of", "among", "between", "in common", "along with", "by the aid of", "in one's dealings with", "into the middle of", "coming into", "in pursuit of", "after", "behind", "according to," and "next afterward"

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "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."

δύο. (numeral) "Twain" is from duo, which means the number "two", "a couple," and "a pair."

KJV Analysis: 

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

whosoever -- The "whosoever" here is a common pronoun indicating a specific person or thing.

shall-- (CW) This helping verb "shall" does not indicate the future tense, but that the verb describes a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" or "should" in English is more appropriate, but is assumed in an "if" or "when" clause. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form.

compel -- The word translated as "compel" means "to press into service." It is used uniquely here. It is an uncommon word for Christ to use. In the Bible it appears only here and in the story of Simon of Cyrene so its sense if very specific.

thee  -- The word translated as "thee" is the objective form of the second person pronoun.

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

a -- (CW) The Greek word translated as "a" means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

mile -- ,The word translated as "mile" is the Greek source word for our word and it is surprisingly close to our mile in length, only 240 feet less.

go  -- "Go" is a Greek word  that means literally "go under" or "bring under," but Christ usually uses it to mean "go away" and "depart."

with - The preposition translated as "with" encompasses many different forms of "togetherness." Typically, it means "along with" but it also means "by the aid of." So, if the person is forced to go one mile, he is a slave, but it he chooses to go the second mile, he becomes a partner. Christ is teaching that our actions communicate ideas more loudly than words.

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

twain. -- The "twain" is the numeral, "two," which, like numbers in English, plays a lot of roles. Often, it acts as an adjective, but without a noun to modify, so it takes on the role of a noun. The Greek word is "duo," which of course in English means "a pair of singers", or, more generally, any "pair." It uses joins the two people walking together as a pair or a couple.

KJV Translation Issues: 

3
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "shall" does not mean the future tense.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "to go" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "a" is the number "one."

NIV Analysis: 

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

anyone -- The "anyone " here is a common pronoun indicating a specific person or thing.

untranslated "might" (MW) The verb is in the form that indicates something is possible. In requires that a helping verb "might" or "should" to the possibility intended in English.

forces -- The word translated as "forces " means "to press into service." It is used uniquely here. It is an uncommon word for Christ to use. In the Bible it appears only here and in the story of Simon of Cyrene so its sense if very specific.

you  -- The word translated as "you" is the objective form of the second person pronoun.

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

one - The Greek word translated as "one" means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

mile -- ,The word translated as "mile" is the Greek source word for our word and it is surprisingly close to our mile in length, only 240 feet less.

go --  "Go" is a Greek word  that means literally "go under" or "bring under," but Christ usually uses it to mean "go away" and "depart."

with - The preposition translated as "with" encompasses many different forms of "togetherness." Typically, it means "along with" but it also means "by the aid of." So, if the person is forced to go one mile, he is a slave, but it he chooses to go the second mile, he becomes a partner. Christ is teaching that our actions communicate ideas more loudly than words.

them -- (WN) The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. It is singular not plural.

two. -- The "two" is the numeral, "two," which, like numbers in English, plays a lot of roles. Often, it acts as an adjective, but without a noun to modify, so it takes on the role of a noun. The Greek word is "duo," which of course in English means "a pair of singers", or, more generally, any "pair." It uses joins the two people walking together as a pair or a couple.

miles -- This word doesn't exist in the source, but it can be assumed from context.

NIV Translation Issues: 

4
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "if" should be "and."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "might" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "to go" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "them" is translated as plural but it is singular.

3rd Analysis: 

If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles.

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

a soldier -- (WW)  The "a solider" here is a common pronoun, someone" indicating a specific person or thing.

untranslated "might" (MW) The verb is in the form that indicates something is possible. In requires that a helping verb "might" or "should" to the possibility intended in English.

demands -- The word translated as "forces " means "to press into service." It is used uniquely here. It is an uncommon word for Christ to use. In the Bible it appears only here and in the story of Simon of Cyrene so its sense if very specific.

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

you  -- (WF) The word translated as "you" is the objective form of the second person pronoun.

carry his gear for  -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "carry his gear for" in the Greek source.

- (CW) The Greek word translated as "a" means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

mile -- ,The word translated as "mile" is the Greek source word for our word and it is surprisingly close to our mile in length, only 240 feet less.

carry -- (WW) "Carry" is a Greek word  that means literally "go under" or "bring under," but Christ usually uses it to mean "go away" and "depart."

untranslated "with"-- (MW) The untranslated word "with" encompasses many different forms of "togetherness." Typically, it means "along with" but it also means "by the aid of."

untranslated "him"-- (MW) The untranslated word "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. It is singular not plural.

two. -- The "two" is the numeral, "two," which, like numbers in English, plays a lot of roles. Often, it acts as an adjective, but without a noun to modify, so it takes on the role of a noun. The Greek word is "duo," which of course in English means "a pair of singers", or, more generally, any "pair." It uses joins the two people walking together as a pair or a couple.

miles -- This word doesn't exist in the source, but it can be assumed from context.

3rd Issue Count: 

10
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "if" should be "and."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "a soldier" should be "someone."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "might" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "that" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "you" is not subject but an object.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "carry his gear for doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "a" is the number "one."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "carry" should be "go."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "with" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "him" is not shown in the English translation.

evidence: 

40.00

Front Page Date: 

May 17 2020