Matthew 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness:

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

A parable describing a man traveling abroad, turning over his stuff to personal servants. This is the moral of the story.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

And [all of you], toss out the useless servant into the darkness, the outside, where there is going to be whining and teeth chattering.

My Takeaway: 

Those that cannot create value are left out in the cold, let them whine and shiver.

KJV : 

Matthew 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

NIV : 

Matthew 25:30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The phrase "outer darkness" elsewhere in parables (Matthew 8:12, Matthew 22:13, Matthew 25:30). However, it is not in the form of an adjective and a noun, but of two adjectives used as nouns, "the darkenss" followed by "the outer." 

The weeping and teeth phrase seems clearly humorous in nature. Jesus speaks speaks verses that use this phrase.  It is always used at the end of the verse as a punchline. "The weeping and gnashing of teeth" are not the common participle forms of "wailing/weeping" and "gnashing" Greek verbs that Jesus uses almost every other verse. They are nouns that we might translate into English as "lamentation" and "mastication." The words are so theatrical that they seem more like Jesus's humor.  For more on this topic, see this article.

Wordplay: 

 The "gnashing of teeth" phrase captures both the sense of what we call "back biting" among people and the pain of loss.

The "darkness" is a metaphor for the netherworld. 

Greek Vocabulary: 

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "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."

τὸν [692 verses](article sg masc acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἀχρεῖον [2 verses](adj sg masc acc) "Unprofitable" is from achreios, which means "useless," "unprofitable," esp. "unfit for war," "helpless," "foolish," and "without cause."

δοῦλον [56 verses](noun sg masc acc)"The servant" is from doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave." -- The noun translated as "servant" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible.

ἐκβάλετε [33 verses](verb 2nd pl aor imperat act) "Cast out" is ekballo and means "throw out," "cast out of a place,"and "expose." Ek means "out of," "from," and "away from." Ballo is "to throw" or "to scatter." -- "Cast out" is from a verb that means "throw out." Depending on the context, it can mean "toss out," "turn out," or "take out." It is usually translated as "cast out" in the NT.

εἰς [325 verses](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)."

τὸ [692 verses](article sg neut acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

σκότος [7 verses](noun sg neut acc) "The darkness" is from skotos, which means "darkness," "gloom," "blindness," and "dizziness." It is a metaphor in Greek for ignorance and the nether world.

τὸ [692 verses](article sg masc acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἐξώτερον: (adj sg masc acc) "Outer" is from exoteros, which means "outer" and "utter," and literally means "more outside."

ἐκεῖ [33 verses](adv) "There" is from ekei, which means "there," "in that place," and in philosophy means "the intelligible world."

ἔσται [614 verses](3rd sg fut ind mid) "Shall be" is from eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," and "is possible." It can also mean "must" with a dative.

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

κλαυθμὸς [6 verses](noun sg masc nom) "Wailing" is klauthmos which means "a weeping."

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."

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

βρυγμὸς [7 verses](noun sg masc nom) "Gnashing" is brugmos, which means "biting," "gobbling," and "chattering."

τῶν (article pl masc gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ὀδόντων. [8 verses](noun pl masc gen) "Of teeth" is odous, which means "tooth," "anything pointed," "prong," "spike," "peak," and "tooth [of a saw]." It is a metaphor for the pain of grief.

KJV Analysis: 

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

cast  - "Cast " is from a verb that means "throw out." Depending on the context, it can mean "toss out," "turn out," or "take out." It is usually translated as "cast out" in the NT. However, Jesus often uses this word and its root word like we use the word "toss" for light or humorous effect. It is addressed to all his listeners.

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

the   -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

unprofitable  - "Unprofitable" is from a word Jesus uses twice that means means "useless" but also "unprofitable," which is the meaning here since the lesson is about profit.

servant-- The noun translated as "servant" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible.

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.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a adjective "outer" and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

outer  - The word translated as "outer" is the adjective that means "more outside," but it is preceded by an article, so it acts as a noun, "the outside".

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a adjective "outer" and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

darkness: -  The word translated as "darkness" means "darkness" and "gloom" and it is a metaphor in Greek for ignorance and the nether world. It is introduced with an article "the."

there  - (CW) "There" is a word meaning "there," "in that place," and in philosophy means "the intelligible world." It is more about a specific place than the English phrase "there is" which can mean much the same as "it is."

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

be  - When the verb "to be" appears in the future  and so it is translated as "shall be," but in Greek, it doesn't require the word "there" to mean something like "there will be."

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. 

weeping- The "weeping" come from a noun form of the verb "weep" which means "to weep," "to cry," "to lament," and "to wail."

and The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also."

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. 

gnashing  -- (CW) The word translated as "gnashing" which primarily means "biting." However, it also means "chattering". Used with the word "darkness," it gives a sense of extreme cold, but the same phrase is also used to refer to tossing people in the fire (Matthew 13:50).

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

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. 

teeth. -- The word translated as "teeth" means tooth but it is a metaphor for the pain of grief. Toothaches are serious, continued, painful conditions.

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "outer" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "darkness" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "there" specifically means "in that place."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "wailing" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "gnashing" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "gnashing" is a common word usually translated as "batting." It also means "chattering."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "teeth" is not shown in the English translation

NIV Analysis: 

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

throw - "Throw " is from a verb that means "throw out." Depending on the context, it can mean "toss out," "turn out," or "take out." It is usually translated as "cast out" in the NT. However, Jesus often uses this word and its root word like we use the word "toss" for light or humorous effect. It is addressed to all his listeners.

that -- The word translated as "that" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

unprofitable  - "Unprofitable" is from a word Jesus uses twice that means means "useless" but also "unprofitable," which is the meaning here since the lesson is about profit.

servant-- The noun translated as "servant" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a adjective "outer" and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

outside - The word translated as "outside" is the adjective that means "more outside," but it is preceded by an article, so it acts as a noun, "the outside".

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.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a adjective "outer" and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

darkness: -  The word translated as "darkness" means "darkness" and "gloom" and it is a metaphor in Greek for ignorance and the nether world. It is introduced with an article "the."

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

there  - (CW) "There" is a word meaning "there," "in that place," and in philosophy means "the intelligible world." It is more about a specific place than the English phrase "there is" which can mean much the same as "it is."

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

be  - When the verb "to be" appears in the future  and so it is translated as "shall be," but in Greek, it doesn't require the word "there" to mean something like "there will be."

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. 

weeping- The "weeping" come from a noun form of the verb "weep" which means "to weep," "to cry," "to lament," and "to wail."

and The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also."

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. 

gnashing  -- (CW) The word translated as "gnashing" which primarily means "biting." However, it also means "chattering". Used with the word "darkness," it gives a sense of extreme cold, but the same phrase is also used to refer to tossing people in the fire (Matthew 13:50).

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

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. 

teeth. -- The word translated as "teeth" means tooth but it is a metaphor for the pain of grief. Toothaches are serious, continued, painful conditions.

NIV Translation Issues: 

7
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "he" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "outer" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "darkness" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "there" specifically means "in that place."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "wailing" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "gnashing" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "gnashing" is a common word usually translated as "batting." It also means "chattering."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "teeth" is not shown in the English translation

Front Page Date: 

Nov 16 2021