Matthew 6:28 And why are you worried about clothing?...

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Sermon on Mount, law and fulfillment, visible and hidden, temporary and permanent, worry and trust

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Also, why worry about coverings? Master the judge flowers of the countryside. How do they grow? They don't tire, neither do they spin.

My Takeaway: 

Flowers are a temporary expression of the eternal nature of beauty and truth.

KJV : 

Matthew 6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

NIV : 

Matthew 6:28  And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The verse comes close to duplicating the rhymes describing harvesting crops in Matthew 6:26.  Since the verses create a kind of parallel, this is unlikely to be a coincidence but humorous wordplay. The three verbs here, "grow", "toil", and "spin" mostly use the same verb ending, though "toil" is not exactly. In  Matthew 6:26, where all of the words ended in "-outsin". Two of the words here do as well, but "toil" breaks the patter but comes close with "-osin" but the "o" is long, perhaps making it more similar to the "ou" sound. These three words may well have rhymed as spoken.

The term translated as "consider" is used by Jesus just in this verse, which means it was chosen for a purpose. It means literally, "learn concerning" but I suspect it may

The Greek word translated as "lilies" means "lilies," but it is from the same root as the verb "to judge and the noun, "judge."  So the sense is the "judge" flower. This word seems to be chosen specifically for this sense than the more generic "flowers" as translated in the NIV. One possible reason this word is chosen is that in Jesus's time people were judged largely by their clothes. Another reason might be because these flowers are compared in the next verse to Solomon, the wise king know for his good judgment. This was the type of lily that decorated the column of Solomon's temple.

This is the term used to identify fields in which people work, agricultural fields. The contrast here is between this lack of work needed for wildflowers and all the fieldwork described in Matthew 6:26 needed to grow food.  The term translated as "toil" means "to tire" or "to grow weary" and only secondarily refers to the hard work that makes one tired. This continues with the theme of contrasting what is natural with what is social. Here, the lilies are nature. Doing what is natural for them is easy, requiring no effort. When people are in the fields, they do grow tired.

Wordplay: 

 The contrast here is between the work people do in the fields and the lack of work that flowers do in the fields. 

The word for "lilies" is a form of the word that means "to judge" and "judge." One possible reason this word is chosen is that in Jesus's time people were judged largely by their clothes.

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."

περὶ (prep) "For" is from peri, which means "round about (Place)", "around", "about", "concerning", "on account of", "in regard to", "before", "above", "beyond," and "all around."

ἐνδύματος [5 verses](noun sg neut gen) "Raiment" is from endyma, which means "garment," and "covering."

τί (irreg) "Why" is from tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."

μεριμνᾶτε; [6 verses] ( verb 2nd pl pres imperat act ) "Take ye thought" is merimanao , which means to "care for", "be anxious about", "meditate upon", "to be cumbered with many cares," and "to be treated with anxious care [passive]."

καταμάθετε [unique](2nd pl aor imperat act) "Consider" is from katamanthano, which means "observe well", "examine closely", "learn, acquire knowledge of", "perceive with the senses", "observe", "understand", "perceive", "observe", "consider to examine closely," or "to learn thoroughly." It means literally, "learn intensely" so the sense is mastering a topic. 

τὰ (article pl neut acc) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

κρίνα (noun pl neut acc) "Lilies" is from krinon, which means "white lily", "Lilium candidum", "symbolic of death", "Egyptian bean", "kind of choral dance", "kind of loaf," and "architectural ornament."

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

ἀγροῦ (noun sg masc gen) "Field" is from ἀγρὸν agros (agros), which means "field", "lands," or "country."

πῶς (pron indecl form) "How" is from pos, which means "how", "how in the world", "how then", "in any way", "at all", "by any mean", "in a certain way,"and "I suppose."

αὐξάνουσιν: (3rd pl pres ind act) "They grow" is from auxano, which means to "increase", "increase in power", "strengthen", "exalt by one's deeds", "glorify", "exalt by one's deeds", "glorify", "amplify", "exaggerate", "bring up," and "sacrifice." In the passive, it means to "grow", and "increase" in size, number, strength, power,

οὐ (partic) "Not" is from ou 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.

κοπιῶσιν (3rd pl pres ind act) "They toil" is from kopiao, which means "to be tired", "grow weary", "to be tired", "grow weary", "work hard", "toil", "strive", "struggle", "come to rest," and "arrive at a state of saturation."

οὐδὲ (partic) "Neither" is from oude , which means "but not", "neither", "nor,"and "not even."

νήθουσιν: [2 verses] (3rd pl pres ind act) "Spin" is from netho, which means " to spin."

KJV Analysis: 

And  - The Greek conjunction "and" is also used to give emphasis, translated as "also", "just," and "even."

why  - The word translated as "why" usually means "anything" or "anyone." However, Jesus often uses it in questions, where it can mean "who", "which", and "what". It is in a form indicating it is the object of the sentence.

take "Take," with the word "thought" below,  is a Greek verb that means "to care for", "be anxious about," and "to meditate upon." It has most of the sense of the way we use "worry" in English. It is plural and in the form of a command.

ye -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

thought  -- This noun completes the idea of the verb, but there is no separate noun in the Greek.

for  -  The Greek word translated as "for" means "around," "about", "concerning," and "on account of."

raiment? -- The word translated as "raiment" means "clothing" or "covering." It is in the possessive from so "of clothing" or "of covering." It is from the same root as the verb commonly translated as "put on" when referring to clothing.

Consider  - The word translated as "consider" means "to examine closely" or "to learn thoroughly." Jesus only uses this verb here. It means literally, "learn intensely" so the sense is mastering a topic.  It is not the "behold" used in Matthew 6:26 to point out the "birds of the air" nor is it the verb translated as "consider" in the Luke 12:27 version of this verse. Like that word, it means to perceive with the senses, but it is usually used more for the mind. Its root word means "to learn", having the sense of "learn" but the prefix means "to a greater degree."

the -- The word translated as "the" 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. 

lilies  - The "lilies " is a straightforward translation for a word that means "lilies" that are regular white lilies. They were then, as now, a symbol of death. The root of this word is the same as the verb translated as "judge" and the masculine noun translated as "judges." So the sense is the "judge" flower."

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

the -- The word translated as "the" 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. 

field,  - The "field" means primarily an agricultural field but can refer to any type of land. It identifies a characteristic of the flowers.

how -- "How" is the pronoun/adverb that means "how", "by any means", and "I suppose".  This is a common interrogatory pronoun used by Jesus.

they -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

grow;  - The word translated as "grow" means literally "increase," not really grow. In the active form, this increase in most commonly in power or reputation.

they  -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

toil  - The term translated as "toil" means "to tire" or "to grow weary" and only secondarily refers to the hard work that makes one tired.

not,  -  The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea.

neither  - "Neither" is from a Greek negative meaning "but not" and as both parts of "neither...nor."

do -- This helping verb is used to create commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English..

they-- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

spin: -- The word translated as "spin" is completely straightforward, meaning only "to spin." Jesus only uses this word here and in the Luke version of this verse. 

KJV Translation Issues: 

0

NIV Analysis: 

And  - The Greek conjunction "and" is also used to give emphasis, translated as "also", "just," and "even."

why  - The word translated as "why" usually means "anything" or "anyone." However, Jesus often uses it in questions, where it can mean "who", "which", and "what". It is in a form indicating it is the object of the sentence.

take "Take," with the word "thought" below,  is a Greek verb that means "to care for", "be anxious about," and "to meditate upon." It has most of the sense of the way we use "worry" in English. It is plural and in the form of a command.

ye -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

thought  -- This noun completes the idea of the verb, but there is no separate noun in the Greek.

for  -  The Greek word translated as "for" means "around," "about", "concerning," and "on account of."

clothes -- The word translated as "raiment" means "clothing" or "covering." It is in the possessive from so "of clothing" or "of covering." It is from the same root as the verb commonly translated as "put on" when referring to clothing.

See -  (CW) The word translated as "see" means "to examine closely" or "to learn thoroughly." Jesus only uses this verb here. It is not the "behold" used in Matthew 6:26 to point out the "birds of the air" nor is it the the verb translated as "consider" in the Luke 12:27 version of this verse. Like that word, it means to perceive with the senses, but it is usually used more for the mind. Its root word means "to learn", having the sense of "learn from".

how -- "How" is the pronoun/adverb that means "how", "by any means", and "I suppose".  This is a common interrogatory pronoun used by Jesus.

the -- The word translated as "the" 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. 

flowers - (WW) The "flowers " is a mistranslation for a word that means "lilies" that are regular white lilies. They were then, as now, a symbol of death. The root of this word is the same as the verb translated as "judge" and the masculine noun translated as "judges."

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

the -- The word translated as "the" 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. 

field,  - The "field" means primarily an agricultural field but can refer to any type of land. It identifies a characteristic of the flowers.

grow;  - The word translated as "grow" means literally "increase," not really grow. In the active form, this increase in most commonly in power or reputation.

They -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

do -- This helping verb is used to create commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English..

not,  -  The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea.

labor - The term translated as "labor " means "to tire" or "to grow weary" and only secondarily refers to the hard work that makes one tired.

or - "Neither" is from a Greek negative meaning "but not" and as both parts of "neither...nor."

spin: -- The word translated as "spin" is completely straightforward, meaning only "to spin." Jesus only uses this word here and in the Luke version of this verse. 

NIV Translation Issues: 

2
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "see" is not the common word for "see" but a unique word.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "flowers" should be "lilies."

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Flowers are temporary. Clothing is visible. Clothing is also temporary, especially as fashion changes. The truth, in this case, true beauty, is an eternal value that is the basis for both. The beauty of the flower attracts bees and continues the species. The beauty of the clothing allows us to judge the character of people. 

evidence: 

75.00

Front Page Date: 

Jun 20 2020