Luke 12:22 ...Take no thought for your life,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

By this, I teach you: don't worry, for the ego of yours, anything you might eat nor for that body yours: what you might put on.

KJV : 

Luke 12:22 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The verse is a shorter version of Matthew 6:25. Both center around two words that are described in this article about the way Christ describes aspects of human life, the body and the ego. 

The words translated as "therefore" is not the common Greek word translated as "therefore" but two words, meaning "through this" or "by this" referring to the previous verse, Mat 6:24.

The word translated as "I 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.

"To you" is the plural forms second person pronoun, "you." This is a change from the last several verses that addressed a single person using the singular you, in both verbs and pronouns.

"Take no thought" is a Greek verb that means "to care for", "be anxious about," and "to meditate upon." It has most of the sense of the way we use "worry" in English. Again, it is plural and in the form of a command.

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. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article.

The "your" here is plural, but the word it modifies in the singular. This means that the following word cannot refer to individual lives, but to the concept of life generally.

The word translated here as "soul" is psyche, a common word in Greek, familiar in English, meaning "life", "soul", "consciousness," and "a sense of self." Jesus uses it to specifically mean our identity in our worldly life, the role we play on earth, what we commonly call our "ego", not the soul that lives after death nor the physical life of the body. See this article for detail about this word and related words. 

There word translated as "what" means "anything" or "anyone." But it can act as "what" in a question, which is often how Christ uses it. 

The word translated as "ye shall eat" has several issues. First, it does mean "eat" but it also means "fret," as we say "something is eating me up," which seems to go better with the "worry" concept earlier. Second, it is not in the future tense, but a tense meaning something that happens at a specific point in time. Since the context is worrying, the time frame is some point the future. It is also in a form indicating something that "might" happen. Again, this verb is plural.

The "your" here is plural though the word it modifies, "body", is singular. This means the following word is the general concept of a physical existence since people do not share a single body.

The Greek word translated as "body" means a physical body, either living or dead. It also refers to material existence generally, which is its use here since it is referred to as something shared by all those in the audience. It is also in the form of an indirect object, as a counterpart to "mind" above. However, here the indirect object describing a benefit. This word is often used in with the word translated here as "life". The reason is explained in the aforementioned article. Again, this word is singular, despite the plural "your".

The word translated as "ye shall put on" one means that when the context is clothes. However, like the other two words, it has a double meaning. It more generally means "get into".

Wordplay: 

 The Greek words translated as "eat" also mean "to fret." 

The word translated as "shall put on" also means "get into" or "undertake." 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Διὰ (prep) "Therefore" is dia (with touto below) which means "through", "in the midst of", "in a line (movement)", "throughout (time)", "by (causal)", "among," and "between." -- The word translated as "through" means "through," in the midst of," or "by (a cause)."

τοῦτο (adj sg neut acc) "Therefore" is touto (with dia above) , which means "from here", "from there", "this [thing]," or "that [thing]." -- The word translated as "this" means "from here" or "this/that thing."

λέγω (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." -- The word translated as "I tell" 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.

ὑμῖν, (pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc. 

μὴ (partic) "No" 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. -- 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.

μεριμνᾶτε () "Thought" is merimnao , which means to "care for", "be anxious about", "meditate upon", "to be cumbered with many cares,"and "to be treated with anxious care [passive]." -- "Take no thought" is translated from a Greek word that means "to care for", "be anxious about," and "to meditate upon." It has most of the sense of the way we use "worry" in English.

τῇ ψυχῇ  (noun sg fem dat) "Life" is from psyche, which means "breath", "life", "self", "spirit," and "soul." It has the clear sense of the conscious self and is often translated as "life" in the Gospels. It is also used to describe "the spirit" of things. It is often translated as "soul."

τί (irreg) "What" is from tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."

φάγητε, (2nd pl aor subj act) "Ye shall eat" is from esthio, which means "to eat", "devour", "fret", "vex," and to "take in one's mouth." It is also a metaphor for decay and erosion.

μηδὲ (partic) "Nor yet for" is from mede, which means "and not", "but not", "nor," and "not."

τῷ σώματι  (noun sg neut dat) "Body" is soma, which means "body", "dead body", "the living body", "animal body", "person", "human being", "any corporeal substance", "metallic substance", "figure of three dimensions [math]", "solid", "whole [of a thing]", "frame [of a thing]", "the body of the proof", "a body of writings." and "text of a document." It is the opposite of "spirit" or "mind." It is the physical substance of things, the body of men and animals or of heavenly bodies or groups of people.

[ὑμῶν] (pron 2nd pl gen) "Your" is from humon, which is a plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

τί (irreg) "What" is from tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."

ἐνδύσησθε. (2nd pl aor subj mid) "Put on" is from endyo, which means to "go into", "put on [clothes]", "enter", "press into", "sink in", "enter upon it", "undertake it," and "insinuate oneself into."

Front Page Date: 

Apr 9 2018