Luke 12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

So much [for], this one hoarding for himself and not [wanting/thinking] in regard to divinity being rich. 

KJV : 

Luke 12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The verse is interesting for two reasons: it has no active verbs and the word for "God" is used in an unusual way. It has a couple verb used as adjectives. It is a great example of the difference between a spoken statement, which this clearly is, versus a written one (see this article).  And, despite being so short, it still contains a word Jesus uses nowhere else, a common feature of Luke. 

The word translated in KJV as "so" is in its adverbial form, so it means "in this manner", "so much", or "in this way." Beginning a statement like this, it acts like the English statement "so much for". 

The word translated as "he that" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun 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. 

The word translated as "layeth up treasure" primarily means "to store" but it has the more specific meaning of storing valuables like our "stockpiling" though perhaps "hoard" capture the selfishness sense better. It is in the form of an adjective, so "hoarding." We can think of it as an adjective used as a noun because it is introduced by an article. 

The word translated as "for himself" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective, and when used as a pronoun can mean "the true self" as opposed to appearances. It is in the form of an indirect object, which, in Greek, can be used to declare a purpose. 

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." 

The unique--for Jesus--verb used here is translated as "is...rich"which means to "be rich", "to be wealthy", "becomes rich", and "to be rich" in a thing. It is also in the form of an adjective, "being rich" as opposed to an active verb. 

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 or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used. Since the sense of "want" or "think" is implicit in the verb, it does occur in a high percentage of verses without a verb. 

The word translated as "toward" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "up to" limits in time and measure. It also means "in regard to", which is its sense here.

The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." Normally, Jesus introduces it with an article, so "the God." Christ uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods. However, in this verse, there is no article so the sense becomes either "a god" or "divinity". 

Wordplay: 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

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

(article sg masc nom) "He that" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." ​

θησαυρίζων (part sg pres act masc nom) "Layeth up treasure" is thesaurizo, which means to "store", " treasure up", "hoard", "lay up treasure", "lay up a store of", "store up for oneself," and "to be reserved[passive]." 

αὑτῷ (adj sg masc dat) "For himself" is 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." 

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is 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." 

μὴ (partic) "Not" is 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. 

εἰς (prep) "Into" is 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)."

θεὸν (noun sg masc acc) "God" is theos, which means "God," and "the Deity." 

πλουτῶν.] [unique](part sg pres act masc nom) "Is...rich" is plouteo, which means to "be rich", "to be wealthy", "becomes rich", and "to be rich" in a thing". 

Front Page Date: 

Apr 8 2018