Matthew 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign

KJV Verse: 

Mat 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

A worthless and unfaithful tribe begged for a signal, and a signal will not really be given but only the signal of Jonah.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The beginning of this verse is more humorous in Greek than its English translation. It compares those that desire proof to a unfaithful woman who, who, in reading between the lines, when accused of sin, demands proof.

The word translated as "evil" means "second-rate" or "worthless." This article explores it meaning in more detail. It is an adjective, but when used as a noun, therefore, "what is worthless."

The word translated as "and" also can mean "as" afters words implying sameness.

"Adulterous" is from a Greek noun meaning "an unfaithful woman." It is in the same form as the noun ("generation") implying that they are equivalent. It is a metaphor for those unfaithful to God.

"Generation" is a Greek word that means "race", "family", "offspring," and "age."

"Seeks after" is from a verb that means "to seek after", "to wish for," and "to demand."

"Sign" is Greek word that means a "mark", "sign," or "proof." The word in Greek is used specifically to means a sign from the gods and it that sense, it means "omen", "portent," and "constellations."

There is not Greek word for "there" in the Greek source.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Γενεὰ (sg fem nom)"Generation" is from genea, which means "race", "family", "generation", "class," and "kind." It is a form of the word from which we get the scientific word,"genus."

πονηρὰ (adj sg fem nom) "Evil" is from poneros, which means "burdened by toil", "useless," and "worthless." In a moral sense, it means "worthless", "base," and "cowardly." -- The word translated as "evil" means "second-rate" or "worthless." This article explores it meaning in more detail. It is an adjective, but when used as a noun, therefore, "what is worthless."

καὶ "And" is from 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."

μοιχαλὶς (noun sg fem nom) "Adulterous" is from moichalis, which is translated from a Greek word for "an adulterous woman," and primarily means "unfaithful to God."

σημεῖον (noun sg neut nom/acc) "Sign" is from semeion, which means "mark (by which things are known)," , "a proof" (in reasoning), "sign (of the future)", "sign from the gods", "signal (to do things)," and "standard (flag).

ἐπιζητεῖ, (3rd sg imperf ind act or 3rd sg pres ind act) "Seek after" is from epizeteo, which means "seek after", "wish for", "miss", "request," desire ""demand" and, in the passive, "is a matter of question."

 

καὶ "And" is from 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."

σημεῖον (noun sg neut nom/acc) "Sign" is from semeion, which means "mark (by which things are known)," , "a proof" (in reasoning), "sign (of the future)", "sign from the gods", "signal (to do things)," and "standard (flag).

οὐ "No" is from 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.

δοθήσεται (3rd sg fut ind pass) "Shall be...given" is from didomi, which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe."

αὐτῇ "Them" 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."

εἰ μὴ "But" is from ei me, which is the conjunction that means "if not", "but," and "except." εἰ is the particle use with the imperative usually to express conditions "if" or indirect questions, "whether." (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no."

τὸ σημεῖον "The sign" is from semeion, which means "mark (by which things are known)," , "a proof" (in reasoning), "sign (of the future)", "sign from the gods", "signal (to do things)," and "standard (flag).

Ἰωνᾶ. "Jonas" is from Ionas, the Greek word for the OT prophet Jonah.

 

 

 

Wordplay: 

The word translated as "adulterous" means both an unfaithful woman and those unfaithful to God. 

The word translated as "sign" means both "a sign from the gods" and "a proof" in reasoning. 

Related Verses: