Matthew 5:15 Neither do men light a candle,

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Sermon on Mount, worthiness

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Nor do they light a lamp and bury it under the measuring jar. Instead, up on a lampstand and it illuminates all those in the household.

KJV : 

Matthew 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Jesus uses a lot of uncommon (for him) words in this verse and they all connect to light as a metaphor for knowledge. This verse tells us a kind of a story about how Jesus sees knowledge. The {candle/lamp" in this verse obviously connects to the light of knowledge from the previous verse, Mat 5:14.

We can think of this story about displaying knowledge. This Greek word means "to kindle" or "to set fire to,"  but it is usually used by Jesus to mean "burning" as in burning with passion. The word translated as "put" is also metaphorically used in Greek to mean "to put in one's mind" but it also means "bury." The word translated as "bushel/bowl/basket" is the word for a measurement, which Jesus indicates blocks knowledge. The lampstand, however, is its opposite, raising knowledge itslef higher. The word translated as "gives light" is more like "shines out" or "illuminates," which is consistent with Jesus's point that knowledge should not be hidden. The word "house" here means "those in the household."  The light of knowledge should be shared, especially within a household.

NIV : 

Matthew 5:15  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

NLT : 

Matthew 5:15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.

Wordplay: 

 The main wordplay here centers around the term translated as "put." which means "to bury" is a metaphor for "to put in one's mind." 

My Takeaway: 

We must be willing to show our insights to others.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

οὐδὲ (adv/conj) "Neither" is from oude , which, as a conjunction, means "but not", "neither", and "nor." As an adverb, it means "not at all" and "not even."

καίουσιν [4 verses](3rd pl pres ind act) "Do men light" is from kaio, which means "to kindle", "to set on fire", "to burn," and "to bake pottery."

λύχνον [9verses](noun sg neut acc) "A candle" is lychnos, which means "portable light," or "lamp."

καὶ (conj) "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."

τιθέασιν (3rd pl pres ind act) "Put" is tithemi,which means "to put", "to place", "to propose", "to suggest", "to deposit", "to set up", "to dedicate", "to assign", "to award", "to agree upon", "to institute", "to establish", "to make", "to work", "to prepare oneself," "to bear arms [military]," "to lay down and surrender [military]," "to lay in the grave", "to bury," and "to put words on paper [writing]," and a metaphor for "to put in one's mind."

αὐτὸν (adj sg masc 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."

ὑπὸ (prep) "Under" is from hypo (hupo), which means "by", "before,' and "under."

τὸν (article sg masc acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

μόδιον [3 verses](noun sg masc acc) "A bushel" is modios, which measures 7.8 dry quarts about 1/4 of a bushel and vessels, jars, or baskets, of that volume.

ἀλλ (adv) "But" is from alla, which means "otherwise", "but", "still", "at least", "except", "yet," nevertheless", "rather", "moreover," and "nay." It denotes an exception or a simple opposition.

ἐπὶ (prep) "On" is from epi which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against."

τὴν (article sg fem acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

λυχνίαν, [3 verses](noun sg fem acc) "Candlestick" is lychnia, which means "lampstand."

καὶ (conj) "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."

λάμπει [3 verses](3rd sg pres ind act) "It giveth light" is lampo, which means "to shine forth", "to ring loud and clear," and "to illuminate."

πᾶσιν (adj pl masc dat) "Unto all" is from pas, which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything."

τοῖς (article pl masc dat) "That" is from the article "the" which, when it appears without a noun means "the one" or, in plural, "the ones."

ἐν (prep) "In" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

τῇ (article sg fem dat) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

οἰκίᾳ. (noun sg fem dat) "The house" is from oikia, which means "house", "building," and "household."

KJV Analysis: 

Neither -- -- The Greek word for "neither" is an adverb that means "not at all" or "no even". As a conjunction, it works as both parts of the "neither/nor" constructions.  However, here, it works better here as an adverb, "not at all!"

do  -- This helping verb is added to make the English flow better. The Greek could be either a question or a statement.

men -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "men" in the Greek source.

light -- The Greek term translated as "light" means "to kindle", "to set on fire", "to burn," and "to bake pottery."

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

candle, -- The word translated a "candle" primarily means "lamp", specifically, a portable one. The main form of portable lights in this era were oil lamps made from clay.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

put-- The Greek word translated as "put" means "to place" but it has two other meanings that are relevant here. It means "to bury," which works for hiding a light under something. Jesus uses it to mean "bury" in the sense of "hide" in several other verses. It also is metaphorically used in Greek to mean "to put in one's mind."

it -- There is no Greek pronoun here, but Greek does not need pronouns when the object can be assumed from the context. In English, they are added for the subject-verb-object form of our sentences.

under -- The word translated as "under" primarily means "by", "under," or "with". Its primary meaning is "under" both in the sense of moving under, being under, and being under different forms of compulsion. 

a --  (WW) The word translated as "a" is the Greek definite article,"the" which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. Here, it defines the instrument of measurement, "the measure" from the measurement itself "a measure."

bushel, -- The Greek dry measure translated as "bushel" was actually less than a 1/4 the size of our bushel which is 8 dry gallons at only 7.8 dry quarts. "Basket," as in a "bushel basket," is used in more translations, but it also doesn't work to block the light. The most likely measuring vessel in this era would have been a pottery jar.

but -- The Greek word translated as "but" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "rather". It is from the Greek word "other" like we use "otherwise".

on  -- The word translated as "on" means "against", "before", "during", "by" or "on."

a --  (WW) The word translated as "a" is the Greek definite article,"the" which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more.

candlestick; -- The word translated as "candlestick" means "lampstand."

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

it -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

giveth light -- (CW) The word translated as "gives light" is better translated as  "shines out" or "illuminates." It does not contain either the words "give" or "light." The Greek word used here is the source of our word "lamp."

unto -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use. The most common is "to" for an indirect object.

all -- The word for "all" also has the sense of "everyone" or "everything" when used in the plural.

that  -- The word translated as "that" is the Greek definite article, which when not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more.  

are -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "are" in the Greek source.

in -- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among." With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") that the English "the." See this article for more. 

house -- The Greek word translated as "house" means both the house itself and the people in it. Then, even more than now, households and families were considered the backbone of civilization.

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "men" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "a" should be "the."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "a" should be "the."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "gives light" does not contain either "give" or "light."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "are" doesn't exist in the source.

NIV Analysis: 

Neither -- -- The Greek word for "neither" is an adverb that means "not at all" or "no even". As a conjunction, it works as both parts of the "neither/nor" constructions.  However, here, it works better here as an adverb, "not at all!"

do  -- This helping verb is added to make the English flow better. The Greek could be either a question or a statement.

people -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "men" in the Greek source.

light -- The Greek term translated as "light" means "to kindle", "to set on fire", "to burn," and "to bake pottery."

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

candle, -- The word translated a "candle" primarily means "lamp", specifically, a portable one. The main form of portable lights in this era were oil lamps made from clay.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

put-- The Greek word translated as "put" means "to place" but it has two other meanings that are relevant here. It means "to bury," which works for hiding a light under something. Christ uses it to mean "bury" in the sense of "hide" in several other verses. However, it also is metaphorically used in Greek to mean "to put in one's mind." Again, this is consistent with Christ's metaphor of light as knowledge and starting a light as having an insight.

it -- There is no Greek pronoun here, but Greek does not need pronouns when the object can be assumed from the context. In English, they are added for the subject-verb-object form of our sentences.

under -- The word translated as "under" primarily means "by", "under," or "with". Its primary meaning is "under" both in the sense of moving under, being under, and being under different forms of compulsion. 

a --  (WW) The word translated as "a" is the Greek definite article,"the" which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. Here, it defines the instrument of measurement, "the measure" from the measurement itself "a measure."

bowl, -- The Greek dry measure translated as "bowl," 8 dry gallons, was actually less than a 1/4 the size of our bushel at only 7.8 dry quarts. "Basket," as in a "bushel basket," is used in some translations, but it also doesn't work to block the light. The most likely vessel in this era would have been a pottery jar. Only pottery could keep pest out and block the light. The most complete idea is a "measuring jar".  It is a metaphor for a system. In this case, the idea is that putting information under control of a system is not possible.

Instead -- The Greek word translated as "but" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "rather". It is from the Greek word "other" like we use "otherwise".

they put it -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "they put it" in the Greek source.

on  -- The word translated as "on" means "against", "before", "during", "by" or "on."

its --  (WW) The word translated as "its" is the Greek definite article,"the" which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more.

stand; -- The word translated as "stand" means "lampstand."

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

it -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

gives light -- (CW) The word translated as "gives light" is better translated as  "shines out" or "illuminates." It does not contain either the words "give" or "light." The Greek word used here is the source of our word "lamp."

to -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use. The most common is "to" for an indirect object.

everyone -- The word for "all" also has the sense of "everyone" or "everything" when used in the plural.

untranslated "the ones"-- (MW) The untranslated word "the ones" is the Greek definite article, which when not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

in -- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among." With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") that the English "the." See this article for more. 

house -- The Greek word translated as "house" means both the house itself and the people in it. Then, even more than now, households and families were considered the backbone of civilization.

NIV Translation Issues: 

6
  1. IW - Inserted Word -- The word "people" doesn't exist in the source.
  2. WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "a" should be "the."
  3. IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "they put it" doesn't exist in the source.
  4. WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "its" should be "the."
  5. CW - Confusing Word -- The "gives light" does not contain either "give" or "light."
  6. MW - Missing Word -- The word "the ones" is not shown in the English translation.

NLT Analysis: 

No -- (WW) The "no" here is an adverb that means "not at all" or "no even". As a conjunction, it works as both parts of the "neither/nor" constructions. 

one -- (WN) This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

lights -- The Greek term translated as "light" means "to kindle", "to set on fire", "to burn," and "to bake pottery."

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

lamp, -- The word translated a "lamp" primarily means "lamp", specifically, a portable one. The main form of portable lights in this era were oil lamps made from clay.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

then -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "then" in the Greek source.

puts-- The Greek word translated as "put" means "to place" but it has two other meanings that are relevant here. It means "to bury," which works for hiding a light under something. Christ uses it to mean "bury" in the sense of "hide" in several other verses. However, it also is metaphorically used in Greek to mean "to put in one's mind." Again, this is consistent with Christ's metaphor of light as knowledge and starting a light as having an insight.

it -- There is no Greek pronoun here, but Greek does not need pronouns when the object can be assumed from the context. In English, they are added for the subject-verb-object form of our sentences.

under -- The word translated as "under" primarily means "by", "under," or "with". Its primary meaning is "under" both in the sense of moving under, being under, and being under different forms of compulsion. 

a --  (WW) The word translated as "a" is the Greek definite article,"the" which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. Here, it defines the instrument of measurement, "the measure" from the measurement itself "a measure."

basket, -- The Greek word translated as "basket," actually means a dry measure that is less than a 1/4 the size of our bushel at only 7.8 dry quarts. "Basket," as in a "bushel basket" makes some sense, but a basket doesn't block the light. The most likely vessel for a dry measure in this era would have been a pottery jar. Only pottery could keep pest out and block the light. The most complete idea is a "measuring jar".  It is a metaphor for a system. In this case, the idea is that putting information under control of a system is not possible.

Instead -- The Greek word translated as "but" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "rather". It is from the Greek word "other" like we use "otherwise".

a lamp is placed -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "a lamp is placed" in the Greek source.

on  -- The word translated as "on" means "against", "before", "during", "by" or "on."

a --  (WW) The word translated as "a" is the Greek definite article,"the" which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more.

stand; -- The word translated as "stand" means "lampstand."

where -- (WW) The Greek word translated as "where" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

it -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

gives light -- (CW) The word translated as "gives light" is better translated as  "shines out" or "illuminates." It does not contain either the words "give" or "light." The Greek word used here is the source of our word "lamp."

to -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use. The most common is "to" for an indirect object.

everyone -- The word for "all" also has the sense of "everyone" or "everything" when used in the plural.

untranslated "the ones"-- (MW) The untranslated word "the ones" is the Greek definite article, which when not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

in -- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among." With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") that the English "the." See this article for more. 

house -- The Greek word translated as "house" means both the house itself and the people in it. Then, even more than now, households and families were considered the backbone of civilization.

NLT Translation Issues: 

7
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "then" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "a" should be "the."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "a lamp is placed" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "a" should be "the."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "where" should be "and."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "gives light" does not contain either "give" or "light."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the ones" is not shown in the English translation.

The Spoken Version: 

Not at all!”
Many chuckled at the idea of equating this crowd with Jerusalem.
“Do they light up a lamp,” the teacher continued, holding up an imaginary lamp, “and put it—.” He moved the imaginary lamp under his tunic, below his belly.“Beneath a bushel basket?”

evidence: 

14.00

Front Page Date: 

Apr 21 2020