Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Being weak, serve! Dying, awaken! Rough, cleanse! Disability, toss out!
Freely, you got. Freely, give!

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This phrase is a great example of how Christ's words in the original Greek have a series of double or deeper meanings. It also demonstrates how Biblical translation stretches the meaning of words. It is also an example of how The verbs here are actual commands. Many things that look like commands are actually simple statements (see previous verse, Mat 10:6 or statements of possibility. The order of the phrases in today's best Greek sources is a little different than the order in the KJV source. The word order is different as well, but that is common for Greek.

All the verbs here are plural, Christ is addressing a group, not an individual.

"Heal" is a Greek verb that means "to serve" and "to treat" in a medical sense. It doesn't mean "cure" in any sense. It is in the form of a command.

"The sick" is another verb that means "to be weak", "to be powerless", "to be sick." It is in the form of an adjective ("being weak"). It does not have an article ("the") before it. However, it is in the form of an object of an action. So it means "those being weak, powerless, and sick."

In the Greek source that we use today, the "raise the dead" line comes before the "cleanse the lepers".

The Greek word translated as "clean," means to remove dirt. It is used for a lot of specific types of "cleaning" including cleansing a person of leprosy but it also has a general meaning of "purifying" anything. It means to "to clean" is both a physical and metaphorical sense. It is the base for the English word, catharsis. It is in the form of a command.

"Leper" is an adjective that means "scaly," scabrous," and "rough". It describes any skin problem, not just the disease leprosy.

The Greek word translated "raise" means "awaken", "to stir up," and "to rouse." It is the same word Christ uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising. It is in the form of a command.

The word translated as "the dead" means "corpse", "a dying man," and "inanimate, non-organic matter." Christ uses it in all three senses, referring to the actual dead, the spiritually dead, and inanimate matter.

"Cast out" is a Greek verb that means "throw out." Depending on the context, it can mean "toss out", "turn out," or "take out." It is usually translated as "cast out" in the NT. It also means "to throw out of society" and "to draw out." It has a sense of violence in its use as "cast out" but no sense of violence when used as "to draw out." Jesus often uses this word in the same way we use "dump" in English. It is in the form of a command.

"Devils" is a Greek word which means "divine power", "divinity," as well as "a spirit inferior to God," or an "evil spirit." Christ is often described by the Gospel writers as "casting out devils" but he only uses this word a few times himself. More interestingly, he usually uses it in the context of what others are saying about him. More about this word and related words in this article. There is also this article on Demons from Today's Perspective.

"Freely" is from the Greek adjective that means "as a free gift," and "underserved," from the word for "gift."

The word translated as "you have received" 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 not in the passive form, as translated. It says, "You get" or "you got."

"Freely" is from the Greek adjective that means "as a free gift," and "undeserved," from the word for "gift."

The verb translated as "give" means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe." It is almost always translated as some form of "give." It is in the form of a command.


Greek Vocabulary: 

ἀσθενοῦντας (part pl pres act masc acc) "The sick" is from the verb astheneo, which means "to be weak", "to be feeble," and "to be sickly."

θεραπεύετε, (2nd pl pres imperat act) "Heal" is from therapeuo, which means "to provide service", "to be an attendant", "pay court to", "pay attention", "to consult", "attend to (things)", "take care of", "observe (a day)", "train (of animals)", "cultivate (of land)", "prepare (food or drugs)," and "mend (garments)."

νεκροὺς (noun pl masc acc) "The dead" is from nekros, which specifically means "a corpse" as well as a "dying person", "the dead as dwellers in the nether world", "the inanimate," and "the inorganic"

ἐγείρετε, (2nd pl pres imperat act) "Raise" is from egeiro, which means "to awaken", "to stir up," and "to rouse."

λεπροὺς (adj pl masc acc) "Lepers" is from lepros, which "scaly," scabrous," and "rough" and is used to describe the leprous.

καθαρίζετε, (2nd pl pres imperat act) "Be clean" is from katharizo, which means "to clean", "to clear the ground of weeds,""prune away", "to remove dirt", "to purify," and "to remove impurities." It is also used to describe the removal of the inedible parts from grain (winnowing), clearing weeds from a field, pruning a plant and so on.

δαιμόνια (noun pl neut acc) "Devils" is from daimonion, which means "divinity", "divine power", "a lower divine being," and "evil spirit."

ἐκβάλλετε: (2nd pl pres imperat act) "Cast out" is from ekballo and means "throw out", "cast out of a place,"and "expose." Ek means "out of", "from," and "away from." Ballo is "to throw" or "to scatter." --

δωρεὰν (adv) ( noun sg fem acc ) "Freely" is from dorean, which means "as a free gift," and "undeserved," from dorea, which means "gift" and "present."

ἐλάβετε, (2nd pl aor ind act) "You have received" is from 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."

δωρεὰν (adv) (noun sg fem acc) "Freely" is from dorean, which means "as a free gift," and "undeserved," from dorea, which means "gift" and "present."

δότε. (2nd pl aor imperat act) "Give" is from didomi, which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "offer (to the gods),""to forgive a thing", "devote oneself", "establish," and "to describe."


All the verbs have been chosen so their endings create a rhyme.  They all have double meanings. 

So the first phrase means both "heal the sick" and "arouse the spiritually dead."

So the second (third in Greek), means both "cleanse the lepers" and "transform the rough."

So the third KJV phrase, "raise the dying" and "arouse the spiritually dead."

The fourth, "cast out devils" also means "expose divinity."


The Spoken Version: 

“How can we help them?” Jim persisted.
“Feeling sickly?” Asked the teacher, holding his stomach and making a face. “Nurse!” He pretended to feed someone with a spoon. “Dying?” He asked, closing his eyes and sticking out his tongue. “Arouse!” He pretended to shake someone gently. “Scabby?” He asked, scratching himself all. “Cleanse!” He pretended to wash someone with his sleeve. “Personal demons?” He asked, mimicking drunkenness while drinking from a cup. “Toss out!” He dumped out the imaginary cup.
This got the assembly laughing more.
“What do we ask in return for our services?” Asked Jude.
“Freely, you got,” said the teacher more with a shrug and a smile. “Freely, give!”

Related Verses: 



Front Page Date: 

May 15 2017