Matthew 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothes the grass

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

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

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

If, however, the fodder of the field, existing for today and shorty...into an oven being tossed, the God in this way clothes?  No, with much better! [Clothes] you, you tiny believers?

My Takeaway: 

If we think of our bodies as temporary clothes, we have to think about what it is hiding that is permanent.

KJV : 

Matthew 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

NIV : 

Matthew 6:30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The KJV translator had to assume a lot of words to make this translation. The Greek is is more like the way we speak than we write (see this article) and Jesus appears to be answering a question in the middle of this verse.

The word Jesus used that is translated as "oven" describes a clay vessels, which has the fire is on the outside and bread on the inside. The fire is burned in the vessel. The dough for the bread is attached to the vessel's sides. The "grass", that is, the foliage, of "the lilies of the field" (Matthew 6:28) becomes the fuel for baking bread. This image is similar to the one evoked by the "Parable of the Weeds", where the weeds are bundled to be burned in ovens. The wheat, gathered into barns (Matthew 13:30) for flour, makes the dough cooked by these weeds. 

The "no" at the end of the verse does not negate the clause but the phrase "much more." Those words are in the dative case, so they need a preposition, missing in the translation, to complete the thought. The phrase means something like "No, with much more." This is a nonsequitor if we do not assume it is the answer to a question. The "you" that comes after this is even odder because it is in the form of an object,  but it is separated from the verb by the negative phrase,

Wordplay: 

A different word for "cloth" is used here to play against the "tossing themselves" verb. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

εἰ (conj) "If" is from ei, which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect questions, "whether." It also means "if ever", "in case," and "whenever." It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions.

δὲ (partic) "Wherefore" 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").

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

χόρτον [4 verses] (noun sg masc acc) "Grass" is chortos, which means "an enclosed place", "pastures", "herbage", "growing crops", "any feeding-ground," "green crop", "the expanse [of heaven]", "fodder", "provender", "food generally", "farmyard," and "growing grass."

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

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

σήμερον (adv) "Which to day" is semeron, which is an adverb that means "for today" and "on this day."

ὄντα (part sg pres act masc acc) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." It can also mean "must" with a dative.

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."

αὔριον [6 verses](adv) "To morrow" is from aurion, which means "tomorrow at this time", "on the morrow", "till morning", "presently," and "shortly."

εἰς (prep) "Into" is from eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)", "until (of time)", "as much as (of measure or limit)", "as far as (of measure or limit)", "towards (to express relation)", "in regard to (to express relation)", "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

κλίβανον [2 verses] (noun sg masc acc) "Oven" is klibanos, which means "covered earthen vessel [in which bread is baked in a fire], "funnel-shaped vessel [used for drawing water]", "underground channel", "vaulted passage", "hollow," and "cavern in a rock."

βαλλόμενον (part sg pres mp masc acc) "Is cast" is from ballo, which means "to throw", "to let fall", "to put", "to pour," or "to cast."

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

θεὸς (noun sg masc nom) "God" is from theos, which means "God," "divine," and "Deity."

οὕτως (adv) "So" is houtos, which, as an adverb, it means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why."

ἀμφιέννυσιν, [2 verses] (3rd sg pres ind act) "Clothe" is from amphiennymi, which means "put round", "clothed in", "wearing", "clothe one in or with", "put on oneself," and "dress oneself in.

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.

πολλῷ (adj sg masc dat ) "More" is from polus, which means "many (in number)", "great (in size or power or worth)," and "large (of space)."

μᾶλλον (adv) "Much" is mallon, which is the comparative form of the adverb mala which means "very", "exceedingly", "more certainly", "especially," "more", "to a greater degree," and "rather."

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

ὀλιγόπιστοι;[6 verses] (adj pl masc/fem voc ) "Oh ye of little faith" is from oligopistos, which means "of little faith." From oligos, which means "little", "small," and "weak," and pistos means "believing", "trustful", "obedient," and "loyal."

KJV Analysis: 

Wherefore, - (WW) The Greek word translated as "Wherefore" joins phrases in an adversarial way. It is usually translated as "but," but, since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

if  - The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. It also means "if ever" and "whenever." The form of the if/then statement seems to 

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. 

God --  The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods. The subject of this sentence, the one acting, is clearly God, but the word doesn't appear until the middle of the verse, not the beginning.  

so -- The word translated in KJV as "so" is in its adverbial form, so it means "in this manner" or "in this way."

clothe  - (WP, CW) The Greek verb translated as "clothe" means "to cloth" much more than the other verbs Christ uses in this section, but this verb is uncommon for Christ Unlike the verb in Matthew 6:29, which has more the sense of "put on" or "wrapped around," this verb has a similar primary meaning, "put around," but its secondary meanings all involved putting on clothing. This verb appears toward the end of the phrase, deemphasizing it.

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. 

grass  - The verse starts with the term translated as "grasses" means "an enclosed place" with the sense of a feedlot. It means food generally, as well, specifically various forms of animal fodder. It is also used to describe the "expanse" of heaven as we might say, "the pastures of heaven."

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.

which  -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "which" in the Greek source.  This is added because the verb form "is" is made active.

to day  -  The term translated as "to day" is an adverb meaning "for today" or any short period of time.

is,  - (WF) The "is" is the verb "to be" in the form of an adjective, meaning "being" or "existing."

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

to morrow  - (WW) The term translated as "tomorrow," is the word for "tomorrow" or even a noun. Instead, it is an adverb meaning something more like "until tomorrow", "until the morning" meaning "shortly" or "presently." Unlike the noun "tomorrow" in English, this adverb doesn't take in the entire future, just the opposite. The term indicates not now but the immediate future.

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

cast  - The terms translated as "cast" is also an adjective form of a verb meaning "to toss" or "to throw." This is one of the most common terms Christ uses. It has the sense of "tossing" something. Christ always uses this verb when discussing "tossing" something into a fire or the "outer darkness".

into -- The word translated as "into" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

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

oven,  - The oven is Greek for a small, clay vessel used for baking bread (see picture above). 

shall he -- (IP, WT) There is nothing that can be translated as "shall he " in the Greek source. There is no repeated verb "clothe" in the last part of this verse. The word appears only once as described above being applied to the grasses or pasture. It never appears in the future tense.

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.

missing "with" -- (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.

much  -- "Much" is the comparative form of mala which means "very", "exceedingly", "more certainly", "especially," "more", "to a greater degree," and "rather."

more - The "more" is an adjective "great," "large" and "many".\The form could indicate an instrument ("with a great"), a purpose ("..as a great"), a benefit ( "...a great"); or a comparison ("...than a great").

clothe -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "clothe" in the Greek source. This verb was shown earlier in the verse and not repeated.

you,  - The "you" is the object of the verb. It is plural, so Christ is referring to all his listeners.

O ye  of -- This comes from the adjective's form, which is one of address.

little faith? -- The final "little faith" word is addressed to the listeners. The word itself is used only in the NT. It means "small trust" or "little faith." Since it is addressed to the listener, we can add the "you" to it, though that word doesn't appear in the Greek.

KJV Translation Issues: 

11
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "wherefore" should be "however."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "clothe" doesn't appear here but toward the end of the verse.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "clothe" is not the same verb translated as "cloth" in the other verses in this section.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "which" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "is" is not an active verb but a participle, "existing" or "being."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "tommorrow" should be "shortly."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "oven" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "shall he" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "shall" does not indicate the future tense. The tense of "clothe" is the present tense.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "with" before "much" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word second "clothe" before doesn't exist in the source, but this location is closer to the Greek than the first "clothe."

NIV Analysis: 

If  - The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. It also means "if ever" and "whenever." The form of the if/then statement seems to 

that is how  -- The word translated in KJV as "that is how" is in its adverbial form, so it means "in this manner" or "in this way."

untranslated "the"-- (MW) The untranslated word "however" joins phrases in an adversarial way. It is usually translated as "but," but, since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

God --  The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods. The subject of this sentence, the one acting, is clearly God, but the word doesn't appear until the middle of the verse, not the beginning. 

clothes  - (WP, CW)) The Greek verb translated as "clothes" means "to cloth" much more than the other verbs Christ uses in this section, but this verb is uncommon for Christ Unlike the verb in Matthew 6:29, which has more the sense of "put on" or "wrapped around," this verb has a similar primary meaning, "put around," but its secondary meanings all involved putting on clothing. This verb appears toward the end of the phrase, deemphasizing it.

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. 

grass  - The verse starts with the term translated as "grasses" means "an enclosed place" with the sense of a feedlot. It means food generally, as well, specifically various forms of animal fodder. It is also used to describe the "expanse" of heaven as we might say, "the pastures of heaven."

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.

which  -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "which" in the Greek source.  This is added because the verb form "is" is made active.

is,  - (WF) The "is" is the verb "to be" in the form of an adjective, meaning "being" or "existing."

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

today  -  The term translated as "today" is an adverb meaning "for today" or any short period of time.

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

tomorrow  - (WW) The term translated as "tomorrow," is the word for "tomorrow" or even a noun. Instead, it is an adverb meaning something more like "until tomorrow", "until the morning" meaning "shortly" or "presently." Unlike the noun "tomorrow" in English, this adverb doesn't take in the entire future, just the opposite. The term indicates not now but the immediate future.

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

thrown - The terms translated as "thrown " is also an adjective form of a verb meaning "to toss" or "to throw." This is one of the most common terms Christ uses. It has the sense of "tossing" something. Christ always uses this verb when discussing "tossing" something into a fire or the "outer darkness".

into -- The word translated as "into" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

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

fire,  - (WW) The oven is Greek for a small, clay vessel used for baking bread (see picture above). 

will he -- (IP, WT) There is nothing that can be translated as "will he " in the Greek source. There is no repeated verb "clothe" in the last part of this verse. The word appears only once as described above being applied to the grasses or pasture. It never appears in the future tense.

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.

missing "with" -- (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.

much  -- "Much" is the comparative form of mala which means "very", "exceedingly", "more certainly", "especially," "more", "to a greater degree," and "rather."

more - The "more" is an adjective "great," "large" and "many".\The form could indicate an instrument ("with a great"), a purpose ("..as a great"), a benefit ( "...a great"); or a comparison ("...than a great").

clothe -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "clothe" in the Greek source. This verb was shown earlier in the verse and not repeated.

you,  - The "you" is the object of the verb. It is plural, so Christ is referring to all his listeners.

O ye  of -- This comes from the adjective's form, which is one of address.

little faith? -- The final "little faith" word is addressed to the listeners. The word itself is used only in the NT. It means "small trust" or "little faith." Since it is addressed to the listener, we can the "you" to it, though that word doesn't appear in the Greek.

NIV Translation Issues: 

13
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "however" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "clothe" doesn't appear here but toward the end of the verse.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "clothe" is not the same verb translated as "cloth" in the other verses in this section.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "here"  is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "which" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "is" is not an active verb but a participle, "existing" or "being."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "tomorrow" should be "shortly."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "fire" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "fire" should be "over."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "shall he" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "shall" does not indicate the future tense. The tense of "clothe" is the present tense.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "with" before "much" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word second "clothe" before doesn't exist in the source, but this location is closer to the Greek than the first "clothe."

evidence: 

77.00

Front Page Date: 

Jun 22 2020