Mark 7:27 Let the children first be filled:

KJV Verse: 

Mark 7:27 Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Permit first to be fed those children. No, because it isn't good to get the loaf of those children and to the puppies toss [it].

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is a longer version of Matthew 15:26, which lacks the introductory phrase about letting children eat first.  While this statement is cites as evidence of Jesus's prejudice, in Greek, the second part seems like a humorous response to something someone else has said. One clear clue is that the Greek word translated as "dogs" is a diminutive, more like "puppies."  Notice that neither the use of "children" nor "dogs" is explained. This means that they were common parlance. Most likely, the Samaritans insulted the Judeans by calling them "children" and the Judeans called the Samaritans "dogs." Jesus softens the insult.

KJV Analysis: 

Let -- The word translated as "let" primarily means "to let go," "permit," or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

children -- The word translated as "children" means "child" but in the most general sense of "offspring." Christ does not use it to refer specifically to children under seven, which is another term. See this article more about these words for "child."

first -- The word translated as "first" takes a lot of different types of "first" meanings from its context. Here, it is technically an adjective but it plays the role of the English adverb "initially."

be filled: "Filled" is the passive infinitive of the verb that means "feed", "fatten" and "to eat their fill." So "to be fed" or "to be fattened."

for --The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation so "because" and, in questions, "why."  To prevent a run-on sentence, it can be translated as "this is why" or "this is because..." to start a new sentence. However, since this word always appears in the second position, it is more like an aside remark like, "consequently" or "as a cause". 

it -- This comes frm the singujlar form of the following verb.

is -- The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics. When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are." 

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence to captures the same idea.

meet -- The word translated as "meet" means "good", "beautiful", "noble," or "of good quality."  See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil."  The word translated as "well" means, as an adverb, "well", "rightly",  "happily",  "thoroughly", "altogether", and "deservedly".  

to -- This comes from the infinitive form of the following verb.

take -- The word translated as "That they might receive" primarily means "take." However, it means "receive" in the same sense that we use "get" to mean "receive" and has many different uses as we use "get" in English. Among these are the ideas of "understanding" and "possessing." It is an infinitive, "to get."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article.The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

children's -- The word translated as "children" means "child" but in the most general sense of "offspring." Christ does not use it to refer specifically to children under seven, which is another term. See this article more about these words for "child." This word comes after the Greek word translated as "bread" so "of the children."

untranslated -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article.The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

bread, -- The word translated as "bread" means "small loaf or cake of bread". It is more like a slice of bread today.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

to -- This comes from the infinitive form of the following verb.

cast -- 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 -- This doesn't exist in the Greek, but is implied.

unto -- This comes from the form of the following noun. The form of this word requires that addition of a preposition in English to capture its meaning, a "to" as an indirect object, a "with" for instruments, an "in" for locations, an "as" for purposes, an "of" for possession, a "by" for agents, an "as" for comparisons, and an "in" for area of affect.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

dogs.-- The word translated as "dogs" is the diminutive of the word that means "dog," so "puppies" or "doggies," in English.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ἄφες ( verb 2nd sg aor imperat act ) "Let" is from aphiêmi (aphiemi), which means "to let fall", "to send away", "to let loose", "to get rid of", "to leave alone", "to pass by", "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself." This is the same word that is usually translated as "leave" and "forgive" in the New Testament.

πρῶτον ( adj sg neut nom/acc) "First" is protos. In place, this means "before", "in front," and, as a noun, "the foremost." Of time, it means "former", "earlier," and, as a noun, "the initial." In order, it means "the first." In math, it means the prime numbers. Of rank or degree, it means "superior" or, as a noun, "the highest" or "the best."

χορτασθῆναι ( verb aor inf pass ) "Be filled" is from chortazo, which means "feed", "fatten" and "to eat their fill."

τὰ  (article pl neut nom ) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

τέκνα, ( noun pl neut nom ) "Children" is teknon, which means "that which is born", "child," and "the young."

οὐ (partic) "Not" is 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.

γάρ (partic) "For" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for", "since," and "as." In an abrupt question, it means "why" and "what."

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

καλὸν ( adj sg neut nom ) "Meet" is 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."

λαβεῖν ( verb aor inf act ) "To take" is lambano means to "take", "take hold of", "grasp", "seize", "catch", "overtake", "find out", "detect", "take as", "take [food or drugs]", "understand", "take in hand", "undertake", "take in", "hold", "get", "receive [things]", "receive hospitably", "receive in marriage", "receive as produce", "profit", "admit", "initiate", "take hold of", "lay hold on", "seize and keep hold of", "obtain possession of", "lay hands upon", "find fault with", "censure," "to apprehend with the senses", "to take hold of," and "to seize." It is also specifically used to mean "seized with emotion."

τὸν (article sg masc acc ) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." -- The word translated as "the" 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. 

ἄρτον ( noun sg masc acc ) "Bread" is artos, which means specifically a "cake of whole wheat bread," and generally "loaf," and "bread."

τῶν (article pl neut gen ) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

τέκνων ( noun pl neut gen) "Children" is teknon, which means "that which is born", "child," and "the young."

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."

τοῖς ( article pl neut dat ) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

κυναρίοις ( noun pl neut dat diminutive ) "Dogs" is from kunarion (kynarion), which means "little dog," and "puppy."

βαλεῖν ( verb aor inf act ) "To cast" is 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."

 

Related Verses: 

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Jesus uses the nourishment of bread as a symbol for the satisfaction of knowledge. This analogy starts at the beginning of Matthew when Jesus says that we do not live by bread alone but by the knowledge that comes from God. The analogy still confused the apostles, for example in Matthew 16:11, when Jesus described the teaching of the Pharisees as their bread.

While both dogs and men eat bread, the knowledge that nourishes a child is not the same as the knowledge that nourishes a dog. Jesus is saying that the knowledge that he offers comes from context and can only satisfy us in that context. Jesus is addressing these words to us now, but in history, he addressed them to a Syrian woman who wanted Christ to cast a devil out of her daughter, but Jesus tells her that the power of the knowledge is meant for the children of Israel, that it must be satisfy their tradition before it can be translated and passed on. As Christ says elsewhere, little children can understand what wise men can confuse. This remain true.

Aug 13 2019