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

KJV Verse: 

Mat 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?

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

If, however, the foliage of the countryside, existing for today and tomorrow into the oven tossing itself, the God in this way clothes, not really much better you all, you tiny believers?

Hidden Meaning: 

The order of the Greek words is very different than the English. In Greek, the word order indicates the importance of the idea expressed, which is more like the way we speak in English than we write (see this article). The primary point This verse is a little unusual because the subject and verb are used twice, once in the "if" clause that begins the sentence and again, by inference, in the phrase that closes the sentence. To construct the verse, we have to look at the exact form of each word in Greek.

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.

The subject of this sentence, the one acting, is clearly God, but the word doesn't appear until toward the end of the verse in Greek.

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 Mat 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 also appears toward the end of the phrase, de-emphasizing it.

The verse starts with the term translated as "grasses" means "an enclosed place" with the sense of a feed lot. 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."

The "of the field" means primarily an agricultural field but can refer to any type of land. this is the term used to identify fields in which people do agricultural work.

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

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

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".

However the term translated as "tomorrow," is not 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.

The word translated as "in" can be "into" when referring to a location. However, it can also mean "for" referring to a purpose for an action.

The oven is Greek for a small, clay vessel used for baking bread. In our ovens, the fire is on the outside, but the bread is on the inside. But the ovens Christ describes are different. The first is made in the clay vessel and the dough for the bread is attached to its sides. Christ says that the "grass" thrown inside, he is describing it being baked, not burned up in a fire. So the "grass", that is, the foliage, of "the lilies of the field" (Mat 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 burnt, while the wheat the makes the bread is gathered into barns (Mat 13:30).

The verb means "put on" or "wrap in". It is not a common verb for Christ to use. He uses it one other time to refer to John the Baptist's a well-dressed, which was clearly a joke.

The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact.

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

The "much" is an adjective "great," "large" and "many". It is in the singular, which creates a problem because the "you" is plural. The form could indicate an instrument ("with a great"), a purpose ("..as a great"), a benefit ( "...a great"); or a comparison ("...than a great").

The "more" is an adverb meaning "to the highest degree" or "more certainly.

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 it doesn't appear in the Greek.

Wordplay: 

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

The Spoken Version: 

“As well as one of these.” He held up the flower again, spinning it. “If, however, the foliage of the countryside,” he said, gesturing to the surrounding vegetation, “existing for today, and tomorrow? Into the oven, it is being tossed! The Divine in this way,” he said, holding up his flower. “Clothes!”
“But he doesn’t clothe us like that!” Someone complained.
“No?” The speaker asked. He indicated their clothing. “Much better!” He suggested. Together, the audience was a riot of clothing colors and styles. “For all of you! You tiny trusters!”

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 χόρτον (noun sg masc acc) "The grass" is from 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 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 from 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." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

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 (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 (noun sg masc acc) "The oven" is from 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."

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

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

ἀμφιέννυσιν, [uncommon] (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 ) "Much" is from polus, which means "many (in number)", "great (in size or power or worth)," and "large (of space)."

μᾶλλον (adv) "More" is from 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 are the plural forms of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ὀλιγόπιστοι; (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."

Related Verses: 

Mar 19 2017

evidence: 

77.00