Matthew 22:8 Then he said to his servants, The wedding is ready,

KJV Verse: 

Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

At that time, he recounted to his servants: the wedding indeed: the one that had been called, however, were not really worth [it]. It is ready.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse returns to the simple vocabulary of a parable, since the "drama" is over, at least until the end. As we return from the drama to the story, the language is simple, but much more conversational that we see in translation.

The word translated as "Saith he" 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. However, it also has a sense of repeating something heard, which fits here since this verse repeats ideas from earlier verses in parable, especially Mat 22:4.

The noun translated as "servants" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible.

The Greek word for "wedding" means a "marriage" and it is the same as the word used earlier in parable but here it is singular, not plural as it was earlier. This is evidence that the used of the plural was just common usage, not referring to multiple brides.

An untranslated word appears here meaning "indeed" or "certainly."

The phrase "is ready" doesn't appear at this point in the Greek.

The Greek word translated as"but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

The term translated as "which were bidden" is from verb that works like our word "call" means both "to summon" and also "to name." Here it is in the form of a plural noun in the tense of something completed in the past.

The verb "were" is the common form of "to be" in the past tense.

The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact.

The word translated here as "worthy" means "counterbalancing." It is the idea of weighing the sames as something of equal value. From this comes the idea of "being worthy" or "due," not from inherent worth but because you give value for equal value. Here, they are not worthy of the wedding feast.

The "is ready" phrase appears here in the Greek, returning from a digression about those originally invited. Since it is separated from the subject, the phrase means "it is ready."

Greek Vocabulary: 

τότε "Then" is from tote, which means "at that time" and "then."

λέγει (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Saith he" 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."

τοῖς δούλοις (noun pl masc dat) "Servants" is from doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."

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."

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

μὲν Untranslated is men, which is generally used to express certainty and means "indeed", "certainly", "surely," and "truly."

γάμος (noun sg masc nom) "Marriage" is from the from gamos, which means "marriage", "wedding," and "wedlock."

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

δὲ "But" is from de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

κεκλημένοι (part pl perf mp masc nom) "Which were bidden" is from kaleo, which means "call", "summon", "invite", "invoke", "call by name," and "demand."

οὐκ "Not" 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.

ἦσαν (verb 3rd pl imperf ind act) "Were" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible."

ἄξιοι: (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Worthy" is from axios, which means "counterbalancing", "weighing as much", "of like value", "worth as much as", "worthy", "goodly", "deserved", "due", "worthy", "estimable", "worthy of", "deserving", "fit", "due," and "as deserved."

ἕτοιμός (adj sg masc nom) "Are ready" is from hetoimos, which means "at hand", "ready", "prepared", of persons, "ready", "active", "zealous," of the mind, "ready", "bold," and as an adverb, "readily", "willingly."

ἐστιν, (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Were" 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.") -- When the verb "to be" appears early in the sentence before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."

Related Verses: