Matthew 18:9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 18:9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And if your eye trips you up, you should take it out for yourself and toss away from you! Beautiful to you it is one-eyed into the life to enter than, two eyes having, to be tossed in the trash heap of the fire.

Hidden Meaning: 

This line is much more humorous in Greek than the KJV because it says you are more beautiful with one-eye than two. 

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, is best translated as "not only...but also." When used in writing, it creates complex sentences, but when spoken, it makes a good pausing point so that an important or humorous word can follow.

The word translated as "eye" means "eye," and has many of the same uses as a metaphor as English, but different ones also. For example, the head of a household was called the "eye" of the household. The king's "eye" was considered his confidant.

A key word here is the Greek word translated as "offend." It is one that is found only in the Bible and later Christian works. It refers to putting a stumbling block before someone so that they trip and thereby offending them. In English, we would simply say, "trips you up."

The Greek verb translated as "pluck..out" means literally to "choose out of," but its primary meaning is "to take out for oneself" with a strong secondary means of "to choose for oneself." In referring to the "eye," it means both taking out the eye for yourself and choosing the best for yourself. The word is humorous in the way it is applied to a large range of situations. It is much like our phrase 'picking out," which can be applied to making a selecting and pulling out a splinter.

The Greek word translated as "cast" means "to throw" or "to toss." Christ uses it most commonly in the sense of "tossing out" something from demons to trash. Like our word, "to toss" it takes on a humorous feeling the way Christ uses it.

The verb "it is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition.

The word translated as "better"  means "beautiful", "noble," or "of good quality." It is different than the verb above. See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil." The form is not a comparative one. 

"To enter" is a Greek word that means "go or come into" and has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind."

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

The word translated as "life" means "living" but it also means "substance", "existence," and "property." Christ uses it to mean "existence" beyond physical life.

One Greek word is translated into the phrase "with one eye". The word is an adjective meaning "one-eyed". 

"Than" is translated from a Greek word that means primary "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison. 

The word translated as "having" means "to possess" or "to keep" but it isn't used in the same way as a "helper" verb that the English "have" is. It is in the form of an adjective, "having". 

The Greek word for "two" means "two" or a "couple."

The Greek word for "eyes" is the more technical terms for "eye" but it also means "sight". It is a metaphor for "cheer."

The word translated as "cast" has a number of meanings revolving around "throw" as we do in English with both "throw" and "toss." Christ often uses this word in the same way we use "dump" in English. In dice, it means "to throw" the dice, but with the sense of being lucky. It is in the form of a passive infinitive, "to be tossed". 

The word "hell" as the name of an area where a constant fire was kept for disposing of trash from the city. This area was originally where children were sacrificed to Baal, and Baal (Beelzebub, " lord of the flies"), Christ's personification of evil. See this article on the words for "hell".  It is preceded by an Greek article "the hell". 

"Fire" is a noun that means "fire", "sacrificial fire", "funeral fire", and so on, but Christ only uses this word to describe the fire of a trash dump. This word is also introduced by an article. 

Wordplay: 

The "right eye" also means a "lucky sight," in this case, referring to looking at an attractive woman.

"Plucking out" an eye also means "choosing" the best "for yourself." 

Vocabulary: 

καὶ   "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." 

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.

ὀφθαλμός (noun sg masc nom) "Eye" is from ophthalmos, which means "eye", "sight", "the dearest and best", "light", "cheer", "comfort," and "the bud [of a plant]."

σου (pron 2nd sg gen) "Thy" is from sou which means "you" and "your."

σκανδαλίζει ,(3rd sg pres ind act) "Offend" is from skandalizo, which means "to cause to stumble", "to give offense," and "to scandalize."

σε (pron 2nd sg acc) "Thee" is from su which means "you" and "your."

ἔξελε (2nd sg aor imperat act) "Pluck...out" is from exaireo, which means "to take out", "to take out for oneself", "to remove from stock", "to choose for oneself", "to chose", "to carry off booty", "to have accepted", "to be set apart [for funds]", "to remove [people]", "to destroy", "to annul," and "to set free." It literally means "to choose from."

αὐτὸν (adj sg masc acc) "It" 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 ones own accord."

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."

βάλε (2nd sg aor imperat act) "Cast" is from ballo (ballo), which means "to throw", "to let fall", "to put", "to pour," or "to cast."

ἀπὸ (prep) "From" is from apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to a place or a motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause.

σοῦ, (pron 2nd sg gen) "Thee" is from sou which means "you" and "your.""Good" is from kalos, which means "beautiful", "good", "of fine quality", "noble," and "honorable." It is most often translated as "good" juxtaposed with "evil" in the New Testament, but the two ideas are closer to "wonderful" and "worthless", "noble" and "base." -- The word translated as "good" referring to the "fruit" means "beautiful", "noble," or "of good quality." It is different than the verb above. See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil."

καλόν (adj sg neut nom/acc) "Better" is from kalos, which means "beautiful", "good", "of fine quality", "noble," and "honorable." It is most often translated as "good" juxtaposed with "evil" in the New Testament, but the two ideas are closer to "wonderful" and "worthless", "noble" and "base."

σοί (pron sg masc dat) "You" is from soi which is the singular, second person pronoun, "you".

ἐστιν (verb 3rd pl pres ind act) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.") 

μονόφθαλμον (adj sg masc acc) "With one eye" is from monophthalmoswhich means "one-eyed". 

εἰς "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)." 

τὴν ζωὴν (noun sg fem acc)  "Life" is from zoe, which means "living", "substance", "property", "existence," and, incidentally, "the scum on milk." It has the sense of how we say "make a living" to mean property. Homer used it more to mean the opposite of death. -

εἰσελθεῖν, (verb aor inf act) "Enter" is from eiserchomai which means both "to go into", "to come in", "to enter", "to enter an office", "to enter a charge," (as in court) and "to come into one's mind." 

  "Than" is which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than."

 δύο (numeral) "Two" is from duo, which means the number "two", "a couple," and "a pair." --

ὀφθαλμοὺς (noun pl masc acc)"Eyes" is from ophthalmos, which means "eye", "sight", "the dearest and best", "light", "cheer", "comfort," and "the bud [of a plant]." 

ἔχοντα (part sg pres act masc acc) "Having" is from echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to carry", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do." 

βληθῆναι (verb aor inf pass) "Cast" is from ballo, which means "to throw", "to let fall," "to cast," "to put", "to pour", "to place money on deposit", "push forward or in front [of animals]", "to shed", "to place", "to pay,"to throw [of dice,]" "to be lucky", "to fall", "to lay as foundation", "to begin to form", "to dash oneself with water," and "to bathe." 

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

τὴν γέενναν (noun sg fem acc) "Hell" is geenna which is Greek for Gehenna, the valley of Hinnom (the Hebrew word), south of Jerusalem where trash, including diseased animals and human corpses was burned. A constant fire was kept burning there. --

τοῦ πυρός.(noun sg neut gen) "Fire" is from pyr (pur), which means "fire", "sacrificial fire", "funeral fire", "hearth-fire", "lightning", "the light of torches," and "heat of fever." --

Related Verses: 

Jan 24 2017