Matthew 5:26 ...Thou shalt by no means come out thence,

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Sermon on Mount, law and fulfillment, murder and anger, visible sacrifice and invisible sacrifice

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Truly I tell you, never should you get out of there until you would have given over your last penny!

KJV : 

Matthew 5:26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Notice the "honestly" catchphrase that starts this verse. This is the first time that Jesus addresses this phrase to an individual rather than the audience.

The term translated a "pay" actually means "give back," which emphasize the idea that money is part of a flow, coming from others and going back to them. This is a very important part of the idea of "debt" that drives much of Jesus's teaching.

Jesus hedges in an entertaining way about the costs saying that it "probably might" cost you last penny. 

NIV : 

Matthew 5:26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

NLT : 

Matthew 5:26 And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.

My Takeaway: 

You must buy back your freedom once you have given it to social authority.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἀμὴν (adv) "Verily" is from amen, which is from the Hebrew, meaning "truly", "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek of this meaning before the NT. However, this is also the infinitive form of the Greek verb amao, which means "to reap" or "to cut."

λέγω (1st sg pres ind act) "I tell" is from lego 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."

σοι, (pron 2nd sg dat) "Thee" is from soi which is the singular, second person pronoun, "you".

οὐ μὴ (partic) "By no means" is from ou me, the two forms of Greek negative used together. Ou is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. Mê (me) 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.

ἐξέλθῃς (2nd sg aor subj act) "Thou shalt...come out" is from exerchomai, which means "to come or go out of " "to march forth", "go out on", "to stand forth", "to exceed all bounds", "to come to an end", "to go out of office," and [of dreams or prophecies] "to come true."

ἐκεῖθεν (adv) "Thence" is from ekeithen, which means "from that place", "thence", "from that fact," and "thence forward."

ἕως (conj) "Till" is from heos which means "until", "till," and "in order that" and "up to the point that."

ἂν (partic) Untranslated is an, which is a particle used with verbs to indicate that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. There is no exact equivalent in English, but it is translated as "possibly," "would have", "might", "should," and "could."

ἀποδῷς (2nd sg aor subj act) "Thou hast paid" is from apodidomi which means "to give back", "to restore," and "to deliver." It has the economic sense of "to sell" or "to give something for one's own profit." It begins with apo the preposition of separation and origin, the idea of "from" in English, didômi which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over," and "to describe."

τὸν  (article sg masc acc) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἔσχατον (adj sg masc acc) "The uttermost" is from eschatos. In space, this means "furthest." In degree, it means "uttermost" and "highest." In persons, it means "lowest" and "meanest." Of time, it means "last" and "ending."

κοδράντην. (noun sg masc acc) "Farthing" is from kodrantes, which is the Greek for the Latin quadrans, which means "one quarter of an assarion (a larger coin)." The quadrans was a bronze coin and the least valuable form of Roman currency.

KJV Analysis: 

Verily -- The word translated as "verily" is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

say -- The word translated as "say" 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." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

unto -- This word "unto" 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: a "to" as an indirect object.

thee ,  -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is SINGULAR and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc. This is the first time Jesus addresses an individual with his catch phrase.

Thou -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

shalt -- (CW) This helping verb "shall" does not indicate the future tense, but that the verb describes a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" or "should" in English is more appropriate, but is assumed in an "if" or "when" clause. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form.

by no means -- The two Greek words translated as "by no means" are a combination of the two negatives. The first is an objective "not" referring to facts and the second is a subjective not, referring to opinions. When Christ uses them together, the sense is a strong negative, something like our word "never."

come out  -- The word translated as "come out" means literally "to go or come out," but it has a secondary meaning of "making something come true." However, in English, when we are talking about being in jail, we usually say "to get out."

thence, The word translated as "thence" literally means "from the place." Here, the place being referred to is the jail.

till -- The word translated as "till" means "until" but it also means "in order that."

thou  -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

untranslated "probably"-- (MW) The untranslated word is a particle used with verbs to indicate that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. There is no exact equivalent in English, but it is translated as "possibly," "would have", "might", "should," and "could."

hast  -- (WW) This helping verb "hast" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verbs here. However, the verb is a form that should have a "might" or "should" before it.

paid -- (WW) The word translated as "paid" doesn't have any economic meaning of "to pay" though it does have a meaning of "to sell." It literally means "to give back." However, it also means "to hand over," which works best here.

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. 

uttermost -- "The uttermost" is a Greek word that means "furthest." In degree, it means "uttermost" and "highest." In persons, it means "lowest" and "meanest." Of time, it means "last" and "ending."

farthing. -- The coin referenced in this verse was the smallest denomination of Roman currency. We would describe it as a penny.

KJV Translation Issues: 

3
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "probably" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "hast" should be "might."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "pay" should be "give back."

NIV Analysis: 

Truly -- The word translated as "truly " is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

tell -- The word translated as "tekk" 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." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

you,  -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is SINGULAR and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc. This is the first time Jesus addresses an individual with his catch phrase.

you -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

will -- (WW) This helping verb "will" does not indicate the future tense, but that the verb describes a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" or "should" in English is more appropriate, but is assumed in an "if" or "when" clause. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form.

not -- (CW) The two Greek words translated as "not" are a combination of the two negatives. The first is an objective "not" referring to facts and the second is a subjective not, referring to opinions. When Christ uses them together, the sense is a strong negative, something like our word "never."

get out  -- The word translated as "get out" means literally "to go or come out," but it has a secondary meaning of "making something come true." However, in English, when we are talking about being in jail, we usually say "to get out."

untranslated "from there"-- (MW) The untranslated word "thence" literally means "from the place." Here, the place being referred to is the jail.

until -- The word translated as "until " means "until" but it also means "in order that."

you -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

untranslated "probably"-- (MW) The untranslated word is a particle used with verbs to indicate that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. There is no exact equivalent in English, but it is translated as "possibly," "would have", "might", "should," and "could."

have -- (WW) This helping verb "have " indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verbs here. However, the verb is a form that should have a "might" or "should" before it.

paid -- (WW) The word translated as "paid" doesn't have any economic meaning of "to pay" though it does have a meaning of "to sell." It literally means "to give back." However, it also means "to hand over," which works best here.

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.

last -- "Last" is a Greek word that means "furthest." In degree, it means "uttermost" and "highest." In persons, it means "lowest" and "meanest." Of time, it means "last" and "ending."

penny. -- The coin referenced in this verse was the smallest denomination of Roman currency. We would describe it as a penny.

NIV Translation Issues: 

6
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "will" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" is not the common negative but a more extreme one.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "from there" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "probably" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "hast" should be "might."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "pay" should be "give back."

NLT Analysis: 

And if that happens, -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "and if that happens, " in the Greek source.

untranslated "truly"-- (MW) The untranslated word "truly " is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

untranslated "I say"-- (MW) The untranslated word "say" 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." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

untranslated "to you"-- (MW) The untranslated word "you" here is SINGULAR and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc. This is the first time Jesus addresses an individual with his catch phrase.

you -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

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

wo- -- (WW) This helping verb "will" does not indicate the future tense, but that the verb describes a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" or "should" in English is more appropriate, but is assumed in an "if" or "when" clause. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form.

n't -- (CW) The two Greek words translated as "no" are a combination of the two negatives. The first is an objective "not" referring to facts and the second is a subjective not, referring to opinions. When Christ uses them together, the sense is a strong negative, something like our word "never."

 be free -- (WW) The word translated as "be free" means literally "to go or come out," but it has a secondary meaning of "making something come true." However, in English, when we are talking about being in jail, we usually say "to get out."

untranslated "from there"-- (MW) The untranslated word "thence" literally means "from the place." Here, the place being referred to is the jail.

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

until -- The word translated as "until " means "until" but it also means "in order that."

you -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

untranslated "probably"-- (MW) The untranslated word is a particle used with verbs to indicate that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. There is no exact equivalent in English, but it is translated as "possibly," "would have", "might", "should," and "could."

have -- (WW) This helping verb "have " indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verbs here. However, the verb is a form that should have a "might" or "should" before it.

paid -- (WW) The word translated as "paid" doesn't have any economic meaning of "to pay" though it does have a meaning of "to sell." It literally means "to give back." However, it also means "to hand over," which works best here.

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.

last -- "Last" is a Greek word that means "furthest." In degree, it means "uttermost" and "highest." In persons, it means "lowest" and "meanest." Of time, it means "last" and "ending."

penny. -- The coin referenced in this verse was the smallest denomination of Roman currency. We would describe it as a penny.

NLT Translation Issues: 

13
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "and if that happens," doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "truly" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "I say" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "to you" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "surely" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "wo-" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "n't" is not the common negative but a more extreme one.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "be free" should be "come out."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "from there" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "again" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "probably" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "hast" should be "might."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "pay" should be "give back."

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Jesus never suggest that money is a solution to our problems, but here he uses the loss of money to illustrate a problem. His view of the legal system was that it was expensive, more expensive that being friendly with people and coming to an agreement with them

The Spoken Version: 

Then the Master gripped imaginary bars and stared out at us. He then turned to the big man who asked the question. “Honestly, I’m telling you,” the Teacher said, putting his hand over his heart. “Never should you get out of there, until you would have given over...”
The Master searched his clothing for something and, finding it, held up a penny.
“That last penny!” he announced.
He kissed his penny good-bye and tossed it toward the Romans, who caught it and cheered.
For the first time, the beefy man laughed,
The rest of us laughed and applauded the Master’s concise description of our legal system.
“Keep the authorities out of it,” the beefy man concluded. He was not happy, but he looked resolved.
The Master beamed, nodded, and gave the man a quick shoulder hug before sending him back into the crowd.

evidence: 

26.00

Front Page Date: 

May 2 2020