Matthew 18:13 And if it is that he finds it,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 18:13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And when he might come to discover it, I tell you the truth, that he takes more pleasure from it than from the ninty-nine, the ones (that in his opinion) did not stray.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

In the Greek, the word "sheep" is not used directly in this passage just the pronouns and the number, which makes it seem less about sheep and more about anything lost and discovered. There is a tiny bit a humor at the end, indicating that Christ understood how silly it was for the shepherd to leave the whole flock untended while searching for one sheep.

The word translated as "be" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In the previous verse, where it appeared in exactly the same form, it was translated as "have" but it does have a secondary meaning of "to belong to." In Greek, especially as used by Christ, it is the opposite of "to be," which is existence in the current state.

The term used for "find" is the source of our word, "heuristic," meaning enabling a person to find out something for themselves. It means "find out" and "discover."

The phrase translated as "verily, I say to you" is a common phrase that Christ uses. It is discussed in this article.

"Rejoiceth" is from a Greek verb that means "rejoice", "take pleasure in," and "welcome."

The word "more" is the compartive form of the word meaning "greater than."

The word translated as "of" in both instances, primarily means "upon" but is used in the same sense as we say today, take pleasure "in" or "from" something.

The word translated as "that sheep" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English. Normally, it would just be translated as "it." but it also has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. The word technically means "the same," and when used as a pronoun can mean "the true self" as opposed to appearances.

"Than" is translated from a Greek word that means primary "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

The negative "not" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "you don't want" or "don't think" something, not that it isn't true. If it wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used. However, it is also a relative negative, so something is less true than something else, that is, a matter of degrees which is a matter of opinion. Here, its use indicates that it is either the shepherds opinion that the 99 hadn't strayed or that they hadn't strayed as much as the one found.

"Went...astray" is from the same word as used in the previous verse, which means "to cause to wander", "to lead astray" and "to be misled."

Greek Vocabulary: 

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."

ἐὰν "If" is from ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if)and an (might)) which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event. -- The Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone.

γένηται (verb 3rd sg aor subj mid) "Have" is from ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", "to be produced", "fall to", "belong to", "under control of," (of events}, "take place," an "come to pass." 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.

εὑρεῖν (verb aor inf act) "That he find" is from heurisko, which means "to find", "to find out", "to discover", "to devise", "to invent", "to get," and "to gain."

αὐτό, (adj sg neut acc) "It" 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." -

ἀμὴν "Verily" is from amen, which is from the Hebrew, meaning "truly", "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek before the NT.

λέγω (1st sg pres ind act) "I tell" is from llego means "pick up", "choose for oneself", "pick out," and "count," "recount", "tell over", "say", "speak", "teach", "mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," "nominate," and "command."

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl dat) "You" is from humas and humon, which is a plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ὅτι Untranslated is hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore." -

χαίρει (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "He rejoiceth" is from chairô (chairo) which means "rejoice", "take pleasure in", "delight in (doing)," and "welcome."

ἐπ ᾽"Of" is from epi. which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against." -- The word translated as "unto" means "against", "before", "by" or "on."

αὐτῷ (adj sg masc dat) "That" 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." -

μᾶλλον "More" is from mallon, which is the comparative form of mala which means "very", "exceedingly", "more certainly", "especially," "more", "to a greater degree," and "rather."

"Or" is e which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than."

ἐπὶ "Of" is from epi. which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against." -- The word translated as "unto" means "against", "before", "by" or "on."

τοῖς ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα "The ninty nine" is from enenekonta that is the Greek number ninty plus the number ennea, the number nine. The article preceding it makes it a noun and the object of the verb.

τοῖς (article pl masc dat) "Which" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." -- The word translated as "who" is from the Greek article, "the," (masculine, possessive form) which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." It could also be a demonstrative pronoun, that often acts as a pronoun, especially a connective pronoun introducing a dependent clause.

μὴ "Not" is from me , which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

πεπλανημένοις. (part pl perf mp masc dat) "went...astray" is from planaô, which means "to cause to wander", "to lead astray," and, in the passive, "wander", "stray," and "to be misled."

Wordplay: 

The negative used here to describe "the ones not straying" refers to an opinion or a comparison, suggesting either that the other sheep may have in fact strayed when the shepherd went of to look for the wandering sheep or that they also strayed but not as much. 

Related Verses: