Matthew 6:8 Do not be like them: for your Father knows

Spoken to: 

audience then an individual

Context: 

The Sermon on the Mount on virtue signaling with public prayer. Prayer is not about speaking but listening.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

You certainly don't want to become like them. Since he has seen, [the Divine,] that Father of yours, of what needs you have before anyone. Ask him yours for yourself.

KJV : 

Matthew 6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse starts out addressing the crowd, but it ends by addressing an individual.  The first statement, to the crowd, is a statement not a command, "you don't want to be like." The last statement, to an individual, is not a statement,  "you ask him." It is a command, "Ask him yourself."

This is the first use of the verb Jesus uses to compare things. It is translated as "be like" in this verse. However, it in the passive, as it is here, it means to "become like." In the active voice, it means "to compare" as in pointing out similarities.

The end of the verse is mistranslated. The last clause is not "before you ask him." To translate it that way, you have to ignore one word and disregard the form of the verb. It says, "before anyone. Ask him yours." The "ask" is a command to an individual. The "yours" is an object in the same form as "needs."

NIV : 

Matthew 6:8  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Wordplay: 

 The use of "to have" where it it creates a play on words, "Want what you have" inside of the verse. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

μὴ (partic) "No" is from me, which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no."

οὖν (adv) "Therefore" is from oun, which means "certainly", "in fact", "really", "in fact," "so" and "then" (continuing a narrative), and "then" and "therefore."

ὁμοιωθῆτε (2nd pl aor subj pass) "Be...like" is homoioo, which means "to make like", "to become like", "to liken," and "to compare."

αὐτοῖς, (adj pl masc dat) "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."

οἶδεν (3rd sg perf ind act) "Knowth" is eido, which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

γὰρ (partic) "For" comes gar, which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for", "since," and "as."

[ὁ (article)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

θεὸς] (noun sg masc nom) "God" is theos, which means "God," "divine," and "Deity."

(article)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). --

πατὴρ (noun sg masc nom) "The Father" is pater, which means "father", "grandfather", "author", "parent," and "forefathers."

ὑμῶν (pron 2nd pl gen) "Your" is humon, which is a plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ὧν (pron pl fem gen) "What things" is from hos, which means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

χρείαν (noun pl fem gen) "Need of" is from chreia, which means "need", "want", "poverty", "a request of a necessity", "business", "military service", "a business affair", "employment", "familiarity", "intimacy," and "maxim."

ἔχετε (2nd pl pres ind act) "Ye have" is from echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

πρὸ (prep/adv) "Before" is from pro, which means (of place) "before", "in front of," (of time) "before," (of preference) "before", "rather than", "more than," and do on. As a preposition, it takes a genitive object.

τοῦ (pron sg gen) Untranslated is tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what." OR (article sg masc gen) It is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

ὑμᾶς (pron 2nd pl acc or adj pl fem acc) Untranslated is the adjective form of humas, which is the 2nd person plural pronoun.

αἰτῆσαι (verb 2nd sg aor imperat mid ) "Asked" is from aiteo, which means "to ask", "to demand", "to beg", "to claim," and "to ask for one's own use."

αὐτόν. (adj sg masc acc ) "Him" 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."

KJV Analysis: 

Be  -- (WW, WF) ) This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English. However, since the verb means "make like" the passive means "become like" not "be like."

not -- The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. I More about the Greek negative in this article.

ye -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

therefore -- The Greek word translated as "therefore" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

like -- The verb translated as "be...like" is a verb that means "to make like" and, in the passive, as used here, "to become like."  The form is not a command but a statement about what is not wanted.

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.

them:  -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  The "them" refers to the Greek word "foreigners" in the previous verse, Mat 6:7.

for -- The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, in written English, as "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

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

untranslated "God"-- (MW) The untranslated word "God" appears in some sources but not others, which is why it is shown in brackets. The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.

your  -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

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

Father  -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers". It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father. 

knoweth -- (WT) The verb translated as "knoweth" means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive." Here, the verb is the perfect tense, meaning something completed in the past, "has seen." This verb comes before the word "God" and "the Father."

what -- The word translated as "what" is a demonstrative pronoun. However, there is a problem with making it the object of the sentence, that is, what God sees, because it is the wrong case. This and the following word, "needs", are used primarily as a comparison, which accounts for their form. The comparison compares the needs you see with the ones that God sees.

things -- -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "things" in the Greek source.  A neutral ending is all the is required, but the "what" is feminine, matching the word for "needs."

ye -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

have -- The "you have" is the Greek word usually translated as "have". However, "needs" is not its object. The phrase just describes the needs, "what needs you have."

need -- (WN) The word translated as "need" means "need" and "poverty," but it also means "familiarity" and "intimacy."  It is plural matches the form of the "what" above. So the sense is "what needs."

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

before -- The Greek word translated as "before" here means "before" both in position and in time.  ye ask him.

untranslated "anyone"-- (MW) The untranslated word  "any" in the singular pronoun that means "anyone", "someone," and "anything."

ye -- (WF) The word  "you" here is the second-person, singular adjective in the form of an object. The form could be an adjective, matching "needs" above.

ask -- (WF) The Greek word translated as "ask" is in the form of a command. "Ask!". It is singular, which represents a change from the beginning of the sentence, which uses the plural "you".

him. -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

KJV Translation Issues: 

11
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "be" should be "become."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "be like" is not a command, but an simple statement.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "Father" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "knoweth" is not the present tense, but the past perfect tense.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "things" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "need" is translated as singular but it is plural, "needs."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "of" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "anyone"  is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "you" is not in the form of a subject, but an object matching "needs."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "ask" is a command to a singular person. It is not a statement as transalted.

NIV Analysis: 

Do -- This helping verb is used to create commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.  However, this is

not -- The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. I More about the Greek negative in this article.

be -- (WW, WF) This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English. However, since the verb means "make like" the passive means "become like" not "be like."

untranslated "therefore"-- (MW) The untranslated word "therefore" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

like -- The verb translated as "be...like" is a verb that means "to make like" and, in the passive, as used here, "to become like."  The form is not a command but a statement about what is not wanted.

them:  -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  The "them" refers to the Greek word "foreigners" in the previous verse, Mat 6:7.

for -- The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, in written English, as "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

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

untranslated "God"-- (MW) The untranslated word "God" appears in some sources but not others, which is why it is shown in brackets. The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.

your  -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

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

Father  -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers". It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father.  

knows -- (WT) The verb translated as "knoweth" means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive." Here, the verb is the perfect tense, meaning something completed in the past, "has seen." This verb comes before the word "God" and "the Father."

what -- The word translated as "what" is a demonstrative pronoun. However, there is a problem with making it the object of the sentence, that is, what God sees, because it is the wrong case. This and the following word, "needs", are used primarily as a comparison, which accounts for their form. The comparison compares the needs you see with the ones that God sees.

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

untranslated "have"-- (MW) The untranslated word "have" is the Greek word usually translated as "have".

need -- (WF) The noun translated as "need" means "need" and "poverty," but it also means "familiarity" and "intimacy."  It is plural matches the form of the "what" above. So the sense is "what needs." This is not a verb as translated here.

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

before -- The Greek word translated as "before" here means "before" both in position and in time.  ye ask him.

untranslated "anyone"-- (MW) The untranslated word  "any" in the singular pronoun that means "anyone", "someone," and "anything."

you -- (WF) The word  "you" here is the second-person, singular adjective in the form of an object. The form could be an adjective, matching "needs" above.

ask -- (WF) The Greek word translated as "ask" is in the form of a command. "Ask!". It is singular, which represents a change from the beginning of the sentence, which uses the plural "you".

him. -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

NIV Translation Issues: 

13
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "be" should be "become."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "be like" is not a command, but an simple statement.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "therefore" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "Father" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "knows" is not the present tense, but the past perfect tense.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "Father" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "need" is not an active verb but a plural noun, "needs."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "need" is translated as singular but it is plural, "needs."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "of" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "anyone"  is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "you" is not in the form of a subject, but an object matching "needs."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "ask" is a command to a singular person. It is not a statement as transalted.

The Spoken Version: 

“You all don’t want,” he continued more seriously, “really, to become like them. Because He has seen, the Divine—that Father of yours—what needs you all have before anyone.”
“Why should He care about my needs?” A cranky-sounding woman’s voice called out.
“Yours?” The speaker asked, pointing at her. Then indicating the sky with both hands, he told the woman, “Ask Him!”

evidence: 

55.00

Front Page Date: 

May 31 2020