Matthew 13:9 Who has ears to hear,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 13:9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

The one possessing understanding, listen!

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Christ is telling his audience that there is more here than meets the ear. He is saying that you must pay attention to understand. However, this phrase was later used by Plutarch, a Greek historian living after Christ. He used it to refer to spies in Persia. It may have been a more general phrase referring to speaking on coded terms, as this parable does. This raises a question about a possible reason for the parables: so Jesus could say more revolutionary things about the coming of the kingdom of heaven without triggering laws against sedition.

KJV Analysis: 

The word translated as "who" is from the Greek article, "the," which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" especially when it precedes the verb form that follows.

The word translated as "hath" is a verb meaning "to possess", "to hold," or "to keep" but it is in the form of adjective.

"Ear" is from the Greek word for "ears" or any similar "handles" on the sides of something. The term is also a metaphor for understanding.

There is no Greek verb that translates as "to hear" only the verb below. There is also no pronoun "him." Both were added by the translators.

"Let...hear" is from a verb that means "to hear", "to listen," and "to understand." It is in the form of a command, that in English, is usually in the second person.

Greek Vocabulary: 

(article sg masc nom ) "Who" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one."

ἔχων (part sg pres act masc nom) "Hath" is from echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

ὦτα "Ears" is from ous, which means "ear" and things that resemble an ear, such as a handle on pitchers, cups, etc.

ἀκουέτω. (3rd sg pres imperat act) "To hear...let him hear" is from akouo, which means "hear of", "hear tell of", "what one actually hears", "know by hearsay", "listen to", "give ear to", "hear and understand," and "understand."

Wordplay: 

The word for "ear" is a metaphor for understanding.

The word for "hear" also means "to understand" and "to give ear to." 

The Spoken Version: 

"Do you have ears?" he said laughing with them and cupping his ears. "Then listen."

Related Verses: