Matthew 13:31 The kingdom of heaven is like

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Parables, Parable of the Mustard Seed

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Similar is the reign of the skies to a kernel of mustard that an  understanding person seeded in that field of his.

KJV : 

Matthew 13:31 The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The word translated as "took" works like our word "get" and means "understanding" in the same sense as "getting an idea" or "getting a message" means "understanding." The Greek word translated as "word" is closer in meaning to "idea" and "message." Here, this word is in the form of an adjective applied to a man "getting" the mustard seed. Jesus has already describe that "seed" as the "idea" or "message" in his explanation of the parable of the Sower. 

NIV : 

Matthew 13:31 The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ὁμοία (adj pl neut acc) "Like" is homoios, which means "like", "resembling", "the same", "equal in force, "a match for one", "suiting", "of the same rank", "alike", "in like manner," and "equally."

ἐστὶν (3rd sg pres ind act) "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.")

(article sg fem nom)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

βασιλεία (noun sg fem nom) "The kingdom" is from basileia, which means "kingdom", "dominion", "hereditary monarchy", "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign." -

τῶν (article pl masc gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

οὐρανῶν (noun pl masc gen) "Of Heaven" is from the Greek ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky", "heaven as the seat of the gods", "the sky", "the universe," and "the climate." --

κόκκῳ [6 verses](noun sg masc dat) "To a grain" is kokkos, which means "a grain" and "a seed," and a metaphor for a "grain of sense."

σινάπεως, [4 verses](noun sg neut gen) "Of mustard seed," is sinapi which means simply "mustard."

ὃν (pron sg masc acc) "Which" is from hos, which means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

λαβὼν (part sg aor act masc nom) "Took" 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."

ἄνθρωπος (noun sg masc nom) "A man" is from anthropos, which is "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate.

ἔσπειρεν (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Sowed" is from speirô, which is a verb, that means "to sow seed", "to scatter like seed," and "to beget offspring.

ἐν (prep) "In" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

τῷ (article pl masc gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ἀγρῷ (noun sg masc dat) "Field" is from ἀγρὸν agros, which means "field", "lands," or "country.

αὐτοῦ: (adj sg masc gen) "His" is from 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."

KJV Analysis: 

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") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

kingdom  - The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the rule, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "rule" or "reign" seems more appropriate.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession. However, it it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs. 

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

heaven  - The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It is also plural here. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods.

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.

like -- -- The word translated as "like" is an adjective that means "like", "resembling," and "matching." 

to -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

grain  - The Greek word translated as "grain" means "a grain" and "a seed," but interestingly is used as a metaphor for a "grain of sense," which fits directly into the meaning here.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

mustard  - "Mustard"  means simply "mustard."

seed, -- (IW) There is  nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "seed" in the Greek source.

which  - The word translated as "which" is a demonstrative pronoun, but it often acts as a connective pronoun introducing a dependent clause.

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

man  - The Greek word for "man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in plural.

took,  - (WF) - The word translated as "took" primarily means "take." It is often translated as "receive, but it means "receive" in the same sense that we use "get" to mean "receive" in English and has many different uses as we use "get" in English. Among these are the ideas of "understanding" and "possessing." It is in the form, not of a verb, but an adjective modifying the subject. It means "understanding" in the sense that we "get" an idea or "get" a punchline. The only meaning the modifies "a man" very well is "understanding."

and -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "it" in the Greek source. It was added because the previous verb was translated as active rather than a participle.

sowed  -- The Greek word translated as "sow" means specifically to "sow seeds" and "to scatter" as in sowing seeds. It is, however, from the same root word as the Greek word for "seeds" so "seeding" is closer to its meaning.

in  - The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

his -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

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

field: -- "Field" is from the common noun that means "field", "lands," or "countryside."

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "heaven" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "seed" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "took" is not an active verb but a participle, "understanding."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "field" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

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") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

kingdom  - The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the rule, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "rule" or "reign" seems more appropriate.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession. However, it it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs. 

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

heaven  - The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It is also plural here. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods.

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.

like -- -- The word translated as "like" is an adjective that means "like", "resembling," and "matching." 

to -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

mustard  - "Mustard"  means simply "mustard."

grain  - The Greek word translated as "seed" means "a grain" and "a seed," but interestingly is used as a metaphor for a "grain of sense," which fits directly into the meaning here.

which  - The word translated as "which" is a demonstrative pronoun, but it often acts as a connective pronoun introducing a dependent clause.

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

man  - The Greek word for "man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in plural.

took,  - (WF) - The word translated as "took" primarily means "take." It is often translated as "receive, but it means "receive" in the same sense that we use "get" to mean "receive" in English and has many different uses as we use "get" in English. Among these are the ideas of "understanding" and "possessing." It is in the form, not of a verb, but an adjective modifying the subject. It means "understanding" in the sense that we "get" an idea or "get" a punchline. The only meaning the modifies "a man" very well is "understanding."

and -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "it" in the Greek source. It was added because the previous verb was translated as active rather than a participle.

planted -- The Greek word translated as "planted" means specifically to "sow seeds" and "to scatter" as in sowing seeds. It is, however, from the same root word as the Greek word for "seeds" so "seeding" is closer to its meaning.

in  - The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

his -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

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

field: -- "Field" is from the common noun that means "field", "lands," or "countryside."

NIV Translation Issues: 

4
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "heaven" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "took" is not an active verb but a participle, "understanding."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "field" is not shown in the English translation.

The Spoken Version: 

“If your realm of the skies is a storehouse of what is good,” someone called. “Won’t it be empty considering how little good is in this world?”
The Master smiled at the question.
“Similar is the reign of the skies to a kernel of mustard,” he responded.
This statement confused the crowd, but the Master paused to let them ponder it.  
 “That a person getting it,” the Master added, tapping his head to indicate that he meant understanding, “seeded in that field of his.”

Front Page Date: 

Dec 20 2020