Matthew 6:31 Therefore do not worry

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

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

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

You shouldn't want to worry, saying: What should we eat? What should we drink? What should we put ourselves?

My Takeaway: 

We don't want to worry about short-term, temporary problems more than our long-term direction.

KJV : 

Matthew 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

NIV : 

Matthew 6:31  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The form of all four verbs "take...thought/worry,  "eat," "drink," and "put on" are a form that indicates a possibility that requires a helper verb of "should" or "might" in English. The "should" is the most likely because it could indicate social pressure as well as physical needs.  The form of the word translated as "take...thought/worry" is especially interesting because it is a change from Matthew 6:25 that introduced these ideas.

The word translated here as "clothed" has more the sense of "wrapped," and it was used in to describe Solomon's dressing himself in Matthew 6:29. Jesus used three different verbs in this section to describe wearing clothing. In  Matthew 6:30.  more specifically means "clothe." And the one in   Matthew 6:25 means "put on." All three of these Greek words are uncommon in Jesus's words.

This verse repeats the plays on words from Matthew 6:25 for the words  "eat" and "drink" that have the sense of "to fret" and "to celebrate." While there are no common alternatives to "drink" Jesus often used another more common word for "eat" that doesn't have this sense of "fret." "Fret" goes with the sense of "worry."

Wordplay: 

 The Greek words translated as "eat and drink" also mean "to fret and celebrate." 

The word translated as "shall put on" also means "get into" or "undertake." 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

μὴ (partic) "No" is from me, which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

οὖν (adv) "Therefore" is from oun, which means "certainly", "in fact", "really", "in fact," "so" and "then" (continuing a narrative), and "then" and "therefore." --

μεριμνήσητε (2nd pl aor subj act) "Take thought" is from 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]."

λέγοντες (part pl pres act masc nom) "Saying" is from lego, which means "to recount", "to tell over", "to say", "to speak", "to teach", "to mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," nominate," and "command." Another Greek word spelled the same means "to pick up", "to choose for oneself", "to pick out," and "to count."

Τί (irreg sg neut nom/acc) "What" 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."

φάγωμεν; (1st pl aor subj act) "Shall we eat" is from esthio, which means "to eat", "devour", "fret", "vex," and to "take in one's mouth." It is also a metaphor for decay and erosion.

(conj) "Or" is from e which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than."

Τί (irreg sg neut nom/acc) "What" 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."

πίωμεν; (1st pl aor subj act) "Shall we drink" is from pinô (pino), which means "to drink", "to celebrate," and "soak up."

(conj) "Or" is e which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than."

Τί (irreg sg neut nom/acc) "What" 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."

περιβαλώμεθα; [7 verses] (1st pl aor subj mid) "Shall we be clothed" is periballo, which means "to throw around", "to put on", "to encompass", "to surround", "to bring under one's power", "amplify", "expand", "appropriate mentally", "comprehend", "to excel", "to surpass", "throw beyond," and "beat in throwing." In the passive, it means "to have put around oneself." "to be involved in," and "to have come into possession of one."

KJV Analysis: 

Therefore  - The Greek word translated either as "therefore" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative. either works here, but the "really" seems to make difference between real and false charity here.

take  - (WF) "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. In earlier verses, this verb has been a common, but here is is either the future tense or a form of probability that requires a "should" or "might."

no  --The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article.

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

saying,  - "Saying" is from the Greek word Christ uses frequently in the repeated statement, "Truly, I say unto you" (KJV), which is translated alternatively as "I teach you reality." The concept of the word is that something isn't just said once, but repeatedly so it is "teaching" or, as here, "repeating.

"What  - The Greek word translated as "what" generally means "anything", "something," or "anyone." However, it in a question it means "what", "which", "who", etc. It is used the same in each of the repeated phrases here.

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.

we -- This is from the first-person, plural form of the verb.

eat?  - The word translated as "shall we eat" means "eat" but it also means "fret," as we say "something is eating me up," which is a play with the "worry" concept here. ," as we say "something is eating me up," which seems to go better with the "worry" concept earlier. Though the verb is translated as the future, it is not the future tense. Since the context is worrying, the time frame is some point the future. It is also in a form indicating something that "might" happen.

or, - "Or" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

What - The Greek word translated as "what" generally means "anything", "something," or "anyone." However, it in a question it means "what", "which", "who", etc. It is used the same in each of the repeated phrases here.

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.

we -- This is from the first-person, plural form of the verb.

drink?  - The word translated as "To drink" seems chosen for its double meaning as well. It means "to celebrate." As with the "eat" above, the word seems chosen for its double meaning since "to celebrate," the opposite of "to fret." Though the verb is translated as the future, it is not the future tense.

or, - "Or" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

Wherewithal - (WW) The Greek word translated as "wherewithall" generally means "anything", "something," or "anyone." However, it in a question it means "what", "which", "who", etc. It is the "what" in the other repeated phrases here.

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.

we -- This is from the first-person, plural form of the verb.

be (WF) This helping verb is added to make this a question, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement. The form is a middle form that should be followed by a "myself."

clothed?  - The word translated as "shall we be clothed" means "to throw around" or "to expand" or "excel." The best translation is "wrapped" because Jesus doesn't always use this verb se to refer to refer to clothing. Unlike the other verbs here, it is in a form that indicates someone doing something to themselves.

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "take" is not a command but a verb of possibility that should be preceded with a "you should" or "you might."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The verb form of "eat" translated with the helper verb, "shall," is not the future tense but a possibility requiring "should" or "might" as a helper verb.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The verb form of "drink" translated with the helper verb, "shall," is not the future tense but a possibility requiring "should" or "might" as a helper verb.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The verb form of "clothed" translated with the helper verb, "shall," is not the future tense but a possibility requiring "should" or "might" as a helper verb.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "wherewithall" should be "what."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "be" is not passive verb but one in the middle form, "wrap oneself."

NIV Analysis: 

So - The Greek word translated either as "so" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative. either works here, but the "really" seems to make difference between real and false charity here.

do -- This helping verb is used to create commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement and it not a command.

not  --The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article.

worry- (WF) "Worry," 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. In earlier verses, this verb has been a common, but here is is either the future tense or a form of probability that requires a "should" or "might."

saying,  - "Saying" is from the Greek word Christ uses frequently in the repeated statement, "Truly, I say unto you" (KJV), which is translated alternatively as "I teach you reality." The concept of the word is that something isn't just said once, but repeatedly so it is "teaching" or, as here, "repeating.

"What  - The Greek word translated as "what" generally means "anything", "something," or "anyone." However, it in a question it means "what", "which", "who", etc. It is used the same in each of the repeated phrases here.

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.

we -- This is from the first-person, plural form of the verb.

eat?  - The word translated as "shall we eat" means "eat" but it also means "fret," as we say "something is eating me up," which is a play with the "worry" concept here. ," as we say "something is eating me up," which seems to go better with the "worry" concept earlier. Though the verb is translated as the future, it is not the future tense. Since the context is worrying, the time frame is some point the future. It is also in a form indicating something that "might" happen.

or, - "Or" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

What - The Greek word translated as "what" generally means "anything", "something," or "anyone." However, it in a question it means "what", "which", "who", etc. It is used the same in each of the repeated phrases here.

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.

we -- This is from the first-person, plural form of the verb.

drink?  - The word translated as "To drink" seems chosen for its double meaning as well. It means "to celebrate." As with the "eat" above, the word seems chosen for its double meaning since "to celebrate," the opposite of "to fret." Though the verb is translated as the future, it is not the future tense.

or, - "Or" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

What - The Greek word translated as "what" generally means "anything", "something," or "anyone." However, it in a question it means "what", "which", "who", etc. It is the "what" in the other repeated phrases here.

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.

we -- This is from the first-person, plural form of the verb.

wear?  - (WF) The word translated as "wear" means "to throw around" or "to expand" or "excel." The best translation is "wrapped" because Jesus doesn't always use this verb se to refer to refer to clothing. Unlike the other verbs here, it is in a form that indicates someone doing something to themselves.

NIV Translation Issues: 

4
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "worry" is not a command but a verb of possibility that should be preceded with a "you should" or "you might."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The verb form of "eat" translated with the helper verb, "shall," is not the future tense but a possibility requiring "should" or "might" as a helper verb.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The verb form of "drink" translated with the helper verb, "shall," is not the future tense but a possibility requiring "should" or "might" as a helper verb.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The verb form of "clothed" translated with the helper verb, "shall," is not the future tense but a possibility requiring "should" or "might" as a helper verb.

evidence: 

78.00

Front Page Date: 

Jun 23 2020