Matthew 5:44 But I tell you, Love your enemies,

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

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

Greek : 

Matthew 5:44 Ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν καὶ προσεύχεσθε ὑπὲρ τῶν διωκόντων ὑμᾶς:

Textus Receptus : ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν εὐλογειτε τοὺς καταρωμένους ὑμᾶς καλῶς ποιεῖτε τοὺς μισοῦντας ὑμᾶς, καὶ προσεύχεσθε ὑπὲρ τῶν ἐπηρεαζόντων ὑμᾶς, καὶ διωκόντων ὑμᾶς,

Literal Verse: 

I myself, however, tell you, "Care for those haters of yours, and pray over tthe ones hounding you.

My Takeaway: 

What you do visibly in caring for those to whom you don't owe, you are invisibly doing for yourself.

KJV : 

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

NIV : 

Matthew 5:44  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

3rd Translation: 

Matthew 5:44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Though hidden in the English, the Greek phrase "love your enemies" combines opposing ideas because "enemies" means "hating" and "hated." So the idea is "love the hated." This phrase is a reversal of the traditional idea of tit-for-tat justice. It can be translated either as "care for those who are hated", "care for those who hate [you]", "embrace the hating," and so on. Many of these ideas are contradictory, which is part of the fun here. Jesus clearly doesn't mean to embrace the idea of hating but saying something that can be interpreted that way is provocative.

The "pray" here is in the  middle voice meaning that the subject act by or for themselves. The word translated as "for" can mean "on behalf of" but it can also mean "concerning." So you are praying both "for" yourselves and "for" those that abuse you at the same time.

Wordplay: 

 Joining the two parts of the previous verse into one to create a phrase that has many levels of meaning, including some, such as "embrace hating" that are clearly provocative. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ἐγὼ (pron sg 1st nom) "I" is from ego, which is the first person singular pronoun meaning "I". It also means "I at least", "for my part", "indeed," and for myself.

δὲ (partic) "But" is from 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").

λέγω (1st sg pres ind act) "Say" is from llego means "pick up", "choose for oneself", "pick out," and "count," "recount", "tell over", "say", "speak", "teach", "mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," "nominate," and "command."

ὑμῖν (pron pl 2nd dat) "You" is from humas and humon, which is a plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ἀγαπᾶτε (2nd pl pres imperat) "Love" is agapao, which means "to be fond of", "to greet with affection", "to persuade", "to caress", "to prize", "to desire", "to be pleased with," and "to be contended with." This love is more associated with affection than passion. See this article on love for more information.

τοὺς (article pl masc acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ἐχθροὺς (adj pl masc acc) "Enemies" is echthros, which means "the hated", "the hateful", "the hostile", "the enemy", "the alienated," and "the hating."

ὑμῶν (pron pl 2nd gen) "Your" is humon, which is a plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

καὶ (conj) "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."

προσεύχεσθε (2nd pl pres imperat mp) "Pray" is from proseuchomai, which means "to offer prayers or vows", "to worship," and "to pray for a thing. It is the combination of two Greek word, pros, meaning "towards" or "by reason of," and euchomai, meaning "to pray to God."

ὑπὲρ (prep) "For" is from hyper (huper), which means "over" (of place), "above' (in a state of rest), "off' (ships at sea), "over" and "across (in a state of motion), "over", "beyond", "on behalf of one (metaphor), "for", "instead of", "in the name of", "as a representative of" (in an entreaty), "for" and "because of" (of the cause of motive), "concerning", "exceeding" "above" and "beyond" (of measure), "above" and "upwards" (of numbers), "before" and "earlier than" (of time), "over much" and "beyond measure" (as an adverb), "for" and "in deference of" (doing a thing), and "above measure."

τῶν  (article pl masc gen) "The" 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."

διωκόντων (part pl pres act masc gen) "Them which persecute" is dioko, which means "to cause to run", "to set into motion", "to pursue", "to chase [away]," to follow", "to seek after," "to be hurried (passive)," "to urge on", "to prosecute [legally]", " or "to drive."

ὑμᾶς: (pron pl 2nd acc) "You" is from humas and humon, which is a plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

KJV Analysis: 

But  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.

I --  (MW) 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.

say -- The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak." When used with an object is has the sense of "call by name." . It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

to -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use: a "to" as an indirect object,.

you, The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc.

Love -- The word translated as "love" expresses a lot of different ideas including "to be fond of", "to greet with affection", "to persuade", and "to be contented with." Jesus however, applies it to relationships where we have a duty to care for others: family, God, etc. Another word, also translated as "love" is used to for relationships of affectionate friendship that are more voluntary. To distinguish this word, translated it as "cares for" seems to work best. See this article on love for more information.

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. 

enemies -- The Greek word translated as "enemies" has the primary meaning of is "the hated" or "the hateful" though from a different root word. The pure sense of the Greek here is that the social consensus is to hate those who others around us hate. This gets more interesting because a secondary meaning of this Greek word is "the hating" and "the hostile," that is, those who hate us. This is another common human reaction to others.

bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, -- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as this in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

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

pray -- The word translated as "pray" means "to pray to" "to pray for," or, more specifically, "to offer prayers for." This verb is the middle voice, which means that the subject acts by, to, or for him/herself.

missing "by/for yourselves"-- (WV) A phrase is necessary because the form of the previous verb is a middle voice, which means that the subject is to  act "for yourselves" or "by yourselves."

for -- "For" is a preposition that means "over" "beyond", "concerning," "on behalf of,"  and "instead of" with many other specific uses. This can mean either "about" or "on the behalf of" but since the verb is the middle voice, the sense is more "about."

them -- (CW) The word translated as "them" 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"). This is not the pronoun "them" in Greek. See this article for more. 

which despitefully use you, and -- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as this in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

persecute -- (WF) The word translated as "persecute" means "to chase" in both the sense of "chase away" and "seek after." It also means "to prosecute' in a legal sense. In English, we describe someone as being chased and harassed as "being hounded." That idea seems to come closest to capturing Jesus's use of this word. The form is a participle, "hounding" with the article, "the ones hounding."

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

KJV Translation Issues: 

7
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "enemies" is not shown in the English translation.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and " existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The verb is in the middle voice requiring the concept of "yourselves" as its object.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "them" is not a pronoun, but the article, which is close to it.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "which despitefully use you, and " existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "persecute" is not an active verb but a participle, "persecuting" or "hounding."

NIV Analysis: 

But  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.

I --  (MW) 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.

tell -- The word translated as "tell" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak." When used with an object is has the sense of "call by name." . It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

you, The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc. 

love -- The word translated as "love" expresses a lot of different ideas including "to be fond of", "to greet with affection", "to persuade", and "to be contented with." Jesus however, applies it to relationships where we have a duty to care for others: family, God, etc. Another word, also translated as "love" is used to for relationships of affectionate friendship that are more voluntary. To distinguish this word, translated it as "cares for" seems to work best. See this article on love for more information.

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. 

enemies -- The Greek word translated as "enemies" has the primary meaning of is "the hated" or "the hateful" though from a different root word. The pure sense of the Greek here is that the social consensus is to hate those who others around us hate. This gets more interesting because a secondary meaning of this Greek word is "the hating" and "the hostile," that is, those who hate us. This is another common human reaction to others.

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

pray -- The word translated as "pray" means "to pray to" "to pray for," or, more specifically, "to offer prayers for." This verb is the middle voice, which means that the subject acts by, to, or for him/herself.

missing "by/for yourselves"-- (WV) A phrase is necessary because the form of the previous verb is a middle voice, which means that the subject is to  act "for yourselves" or "by yourselves."

for -- "For" is a preposition that means "over" "beyond", "concerning," "on behalf of,"  and "instead of" with many other specific uses. This can mean either "about" or "on the behalf of" but since the verb is the middle voice, the sense is more "about."

those -- The word translated as "those" 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. 

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

persecute -- (WF) The word translated as "persecute" means "to chase" in both the sense of "chase away" and "seek after." It also means "to prosecute' in a legal sense. In English, we describe someone as being chased and harassed as "being hounded." That idea seems to come closest to capturing Jesus's use of this word. The form is a participle, "hounding" with the article, "the ones hounding."

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

NIV Translation Issues: 

5
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "enemies" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The verb is in the middle voice requiring the concept of "yourselves" as its object.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "who" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "persecute" is not an active verb but a participle, "persecuting" or "hounding."

3rd Analysis: 

But  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.

I --  (MW) 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.

say -- The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak." When used with an object is has the sense of "call by name." . It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

untranslated "you"-- (MW) The untranslated word "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc.

Love -- The word translated as "love" expresses a lot of different ideas including "to be fond of", "to greet with affection", "to persuade", and "to be contented with." Jesus however, applies it to relationships where we have a duty to care for others: family, God, etc. Another word, also translated as "love" is used to for relationships of affectionate friendship that are more voluntary. To distinguish this word, translated it as "cares for" seems to work best. See this article on love for more information.

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. 

enemies -- The Greek word translated as "enemies" has the primary meaning of is "the hated" or "the hateful" though from a different root word. The pure sense of the Greek here is that the social consensus is to hate those who others around us hate. This gets more interesting because a secondary meaning of this Greek word is "the hating" and "the hostile," that is, those who hate us. This is another common human reaction to others.

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

Pray -- The word translated as "pray" means "to pray to" "to pray for," or, more specifically, "to offer prayers for." This verb is the middle voice, which means that the subject acts by, to, or for him/herself.

missing "by/for yourselves"-- (WV) A phrase is necessary because the form of the previous verb is a middle voice, which means that the subject is to  act "for yourselves" or "by yourselves."

for -- "For" is a preposition that means "over" "beyond", "concerning," "on behalf of,"  and "instead of" with many other specific uses. This can mean either "about" or "on the behalf of" but since the verb is the middle voice, the sense is more "about."

those -- The word translated as "those" 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. 

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

persecute -- (WF) The word translated as "persecute" means "to chase" in both the sense of "chase away" and "seek after." It also means "to prosecute' in a legal sense. In English, we describe someone as being chased and harassed as "being hounded." That idea seems to come closest to capturing Jesus's use of this word. The form is a participle, "hounding" with the article, "the ones hounding."

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

3rd Issue Count: 

7
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word meaning "you" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "enemies" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The verb is in the middle voice requiring the concept of "yourselves" as its object.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "who" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "persecute" is not an active verb but a participle, "persecuting" or "hounding."

evidence: 

43.00

Front Page Date: 

May 20 2020