Matthew 16:2 When it is evening, you say, fair weather:

KJV Verse: 

Mat 16:2 When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Evening comes into being, you teach, tranquility is the fiery heaven.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is one of those sentences that the KJV translators switched around to make it more understandable for English speakers. Today, we have our own saying for this idea: "Red sky at night, sailor's delight." However, in the Greek, there is also a metaphorical meaning and an interesting connection here between fire and heaven.

There is no Greek for "when" in this sentence.

The word translated as "it is" is not the normal word "to be," but something like is opposite. It means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Christ, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state or having a certain characteristic.

"Fair weather" is translated from a Greek word that means literally, "good weather." It is a metaphor for tranquility and peace.

The word translated as "you sayl" 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."

"Sky" is from ouranos, the word translated as "heaven," the dwelling place of God. It means the "vault of heaven" specifically, that arc of the sky. It is also used to refer to the universe beyond eary

"Is red" is from a Greek verb that means literally, "to be fire colored." It is from the base word for "fire" which, in Greek is also the base for the color, red. "Fire" is associated in Christianity with punishment, but Christ refers both to the productive use of fire in ovens for the baking of bread and in getting rid of trash in the junk yard.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ὀψίας (noun sg fem gen) "Evening" is from opsios, which means "the latter part of day," and"evening."

γενομένης (part sg aor mid fem gen) "When it is" is from ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", "to be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being. It is the complementary opposite of the verb "to be" (eimi)which indicates existence in the same state.

 

λέγετε (verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "Ye say" is from 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 spelt the same means "to lay", "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

Εὐδία, (noun sg fem nom) "Fair weather" is from eudia, which means "fair weather" or "fine weather," and is a metaphor for "tranquility" and "peace."

πυρράζει(verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Is red" is from ="color: rgb(169, 41, 10);">pyrrazô, which is a verb that means "to be fiery red." It is from ="color: rgb(169, 41, 10);">pyrros, which means "ed" and "flame-colored."

γὰρ "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." --The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, in written English, as "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

οὐρανός: (noun sg masc nom) "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." -- The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods.

 

Wordplay: 

Good weather is a metaphor for tranquility. 

Heaven means the sky and the universe.

"Red" is another way of saying "like fire." Fire is a metaphor for purification. 

Related Verses: