Matthew 25:45 Inasmuch as you did [it] not to one of the least of these

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

A parable about the final judgment of the sheep and the goats.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Then he will answer to them saying:  "Honestly I'm telling you upon [the principle of] as much as you did not produce for one of these, the least, neither for me did you produced.'"

My Takeaway: 

If you don't produce for others, we are not producing for the Divine.

KJV : 

Matthew 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

NIV : 

Matthew 25:45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The vocabulary here is basically a simplified version of Matthew 25:34 . The only hidden thing in the vocabulary is that the word translated as "done" primarily means "to make" or "produce," though it is usually translated as variations of "to do" in the NT. However, Jesus seems to value being productive over simply being active. It is one of the most common words used by Jesus in his stories, but it's hidden by the much blander and less specific verbs, "to do" and "to make."

The word meaning "as much as" is translated only "as" (KJV) or left out entirely (NIV), which compares but not specifically the quantity or size.  Jesus sets the principle of getting "as much as" we produce in Matthew 7:11 but it is edited out there as well.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

τότε [53 verses](adv) "Then" is tote, which means "at that time," "when," and "then."

ἀποκριθήσεται [17 verses] (verb 3rd sg fut ind pass) ) "Shall he answer" is from apokrinomai that means to "set apart," "choose", "exclude," "reject on examination", "decide", "answer" the question, "answer charges," and "defend oneself" and, in the passive, "to be parted or separated." In the Gospels, it is always translated as "answered."

αὐτοῖς [720 verses](adj pl masc dat) "Them" is from autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

λέγων[264 verses]( (part sg 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." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself", "pick up", "gather", "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelt the same means "to lay", "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

ἀμὴν [88 verses](exclaim) "Verily" is amen, which is the Hebrew, meaning "truly", "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek of this meaning before the NT. However, this is also the infinitive form of the Greek verb amao, which means "to reap" or "to cut."

λέγω [264 verses](1st sg pres ind act) "I say" is lego, which means "to recount", "to tell over", "to say", "to speak", "to teach", "to mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself", "pick up", "gather", "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelled the same means "to lay", "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

ὑμῖν, [289 verses](pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ἐφ᾽ [138 verses](prep) "Inasmuch" is from epi. which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against." Its is used with verbs of rest to mean "upon"; when used with verbs of motion, indicates the goal or how the motion is supported; in the context of time, "in the time of"; also used to indicate a cause "for" or "on the principle of."

ὅσον [28 verses](adj sg masc acc) "As" is from hosos, which means "as many", "as much as", "as great as", "as far as," and "only so far as." --

οὐκ [269 verses](partic) "Not" is ou ( οὒ ) 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.

ἐποιήσατε [168 verses](verb 2nd pl aor ind act) "Ye have done" is from poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

ἑνὶ [94 verses](noun sg masc dat) "Unto one" is from heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

τούτων [93 verses](adj pl masc gen) "Of these" is from touto, which means "from here", "from there", "this [thing]," or "that [thing]."

τῶν [821 verses](article pl masc gen)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").  -

ἐλαχίστων, (adj pl masc gen) "Of the least" is from elachistos, which is the superlative form of elachus which means "small", "little," and "short." It means "the smallest", "the shortest", "the least," and "the fewest."

οὐδὲ [51 verses](partic) "Neither" is oude, which, as a conjunction, means "but not," "neither," and "nor." As an adverb, it means "not at all" and "not even."

ἐμοὶ [96 verses](pron 1st sg masc dat) "Me" is from moi, which is 1st person,singular dative pronoun meaning "me' as the indirect object of a verb. -- "Me" is from the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

ἐποιήσατε. [168 verses](verb 2nd pl aor ind act) "Ye have done" is from poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

KJV Analysis: 

Then -- The Greek word for "then" means "at this time" or "then." With the subjective negative, the sense is "not when."

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. The following verb is not the future tense, but the next verb "say" is.

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

answer -  "Answer" is a verb that means to "set apart," "choose", "answer" a question, "answer charges," and "defend oneself." It is in the form of an adjective, "answering." The tense is "at that point in time."

them, -- The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

, saying, "Saying" is averb that means "to say" and "to speak" also. Interestingly, it is a different verb than the one in Matthew 25:40, the verse about speaking to the ones on the right.

Verily -- The word translated as "verily" is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

say -- The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. 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.

unto -- This word "unto" 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.

Inasmuch  - The word translated as "insomuch" is a preposition, but here it is used to introduce a phrase. It general meaning is "upon" but where used to describe a reason for something, in means "upon the principle of," which is its sense here.

as  - The word translated as "as" means "as great as", ""as much as," and similar ideas of comparison.

Verily -- The word translated as "verily" is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

say -- The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. 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.

unto -- This word "unto" 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.

Inasmuch  - The word translated as "insomuch" is a preposition, but here it is used to introduce a phrase. It general meaning is "upon" but where used to describe a reason for something, in means "upon the principle of," which is its sense here.

as  - (CW) The word translated as "as" means "as great as", ""as much as," and similar ideas of comparing size or volume.

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

did -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly."

do - The Greek word translated as "do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service.

it -- This English objective pronoun is added and not in the Greek source.   In Greek, pronoun objects are not repeated after each verb because they are implied by their first occurrence.

unto -- This word "unto" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

one  - The word translated as "one" is the number, one. It is in the form of an indirect object, which, in Greek, can also mean "for the benefit of" which is clearly the meaning here.

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.

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. 

least  - "Least" is from the Greek means "the smallest", "the shortest", "the least," and "the fewest." It is the possessive form, "of the least" or "of the smallest." However, in English, we use the phrase "little people" to capture this idea.

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.

these " -- The word translated as "these" means "from here" or "this/that thing.

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

did - The Greek word translated as "did" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service.

it -- This English objective pronoun is added and not in the Greek source.   In Greek, pronoun objects are not repeated after each verb because they are implied by their first occurrence.

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly."

to -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

me. -- The "me" is in the indirect object form on the first-person pronoun, so usually "to me," though the form has other uses in Greek.

KJV Translation Issues: 

1
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "as" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.

NIV Analysis: 

missing "then"  -- (MW) The untranslated word"then" means "at this time" or "then." With the subjective negative, the sense is "not when."

He -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

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. The following verb is not the future tense, but the next verb "say" is.

reply - "Reply" is from means "to say" and "to speak" also. It is in the future tense. It is normally translated as "say" or "tell."

missing "to them"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "to them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. It is an indirect object so "to them."

Truly -- The word translated as "truly " is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

tell -- The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. 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.

whatever - (WW) The word translated as "whatever" is a preposition, but here it is used to introduce a phrase. It general meaning is "upon" but where used to describe a reason for something, in means "upon the principle of," which is its sense here.

missing "as much as"  -- (MW) The untranslated word means "as great as", ""as much as," and similar ideas of comparison.

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

did -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly."

do - The Greek word translated as "do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service.

for -- This word "for " comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context

one  - The word translated as "one" is the number one. It is in the form of an indirect object, which, in Greek, can also mean "for the benefit of" which is clearly the meaning here.

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.

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. 

least  - "Least" is from the Greek means "the smallest", "the shortest", "the least," and "the fewest." It is the possessive form, "of the least" or "of the smallest." However, in English, we use the phrase "little people" to capture this idea.

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.

these " -- The word translated as "these" means "from here" or "this/that thing.

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

did -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly."

do - The Greek word translated as "do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service.

for -- This word "for " comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context

me. -- The "me" is in the indirect object form on the first-person pronoun, so usually "to me," though the form has other uses in Greek.

NIV Translation Issues: 

4
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "then" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "to them" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "whatever" should be "upon."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "as much as" is not shown in the English translation.

Front Page Date: 

Dec 1 2021