Matthew 7:24 Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine,

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

The Sermon on the Mount, valuable and worthless,  acting,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

All, in fact, anyone who is listening to mine, these ideas, these ones, and uses them, will be compared to a practical fellow who constructed his, that house, on that rocky cliff.

KJV : 

Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse has a lot of surprises: untranslated words, a common word with poor translations, and uncommon words translated to look like common words.

The missing words are mostly the articles "the" before "sayings," "house," and "rock," but the "all" that begins the verb is missing in the KJV.  The missing "the" is important because the Greek words translated as "mine" and "his" come before these articles, and this is very uncommon for Jesus. The construction emphasizes the possession of something. See this article on the use of the Greek article for more.

The common word translated in an uncommon ways is the word translated as "sayings" and "words." This Greek word means "ideas" and "concepts," but it is usually mistranslated as "word" even though it is not the Greek word for "word." See this article for more about this word.

The uncommon words are those translated as "man," "wise," and "rock" are uncommon.  The word translated as "man" is used to contrast one male with something else: god, woman, or another man. The "wise" has no relation to the common word "wisdom." The "rock" is not related to the word translated as "stone."  This word translated as "rock" also has the specific meaning of the "cliffs above the sea."

NIV : 

Matthew 7:24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

Wordplay: 

The word "rock" means a rock and a rocky cliff.

My Takeaway: 

Successful action must be based on a solid foundation.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Πᾶς (adj sg masc nom) Untranslated is from pas, which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form, it means "every way", "on every side", "in every way," and "altogether."

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

ὅστις (pron sg masc nom ) "Whosoever" is from hostis, which means "that", "anyone who", "anything which", "whosoever," "whichsoever" and "anybody whatsoever."

ἀκούει (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Heareth" is from akouo, which means "hear of", "hear tell of", "what one actually hears", "know by hearsay", "listen to", "give ear to", "hear and understand," and "understand."

μου (pron 1st sg masc gen) "My" is from mou, which mean "my," or "mine."

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

λόγους (noun pl masc acc) "Sayings" is from logos, which means "computation", "relation", "explanation", "law", "rule of conduct", "continuous statement", "tradition", "discussion," "reckoning," "word", and "value."

[τούτους] (adj pl masc acc) "These" is from toutou, which is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar."

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."

ποιεῖ (3rd sg pres ind act) "Doeth" is from poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

αὐτούς, (adj pl masc acc) "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."

ὁμοιωθήσεται (3rd sg fut ind pass) "I will liken" is from homoioo, which means "to make like", "to become like", "to liken," and "to compare.

ἀνδρὶ [8 verses](noun sg masc dat) "Man" is aner, which means "a man (as opposed to a god)", "a man (as opposed to a woman)", "a husband", "a man in the prime of life (as opposed to a youth)," and "a man indeed."

φρονίμῳ,[9 verses] (adj sg masc dat) "Wise" is phronimos, which means "in one's right mind", "showing presence of mind", "sensible", "prudent," and "possessing sagacity or discernment."

ὅστις (pron sg masc nom) "Which" is from hostis, which means "that", "anyone who", "anything which", "whosoever," "whichsoever" and "anybody whatsoever."

ᾠκοδόμησεν (3rd sg aor ind act ) "Built" is oikodomeo,which means to "build a house," generally, "build", "fashion," "found upon," and, metaphorically, "build up," and "edify."

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." -

τὴν (article sg fem acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). --

οἰκίαν (noun sg fem acc) "House" is from oikia, which means "house", "building," and "household."

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

τὴν (article sg fem acc)  "A" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

πέτραν. [8 verses](noun sg fem acc) "rock" is petra, which means "rock", "boulder," and "stone" as a building material. It has the specific meaning of "rocky cliffs" of "ledges" over the sea and a "rocky peak" or "ridge."

KJV Analysis: 

untranslated "all"-- (MW) The untranslated word "all" also means "the whole", "every," and similar ideas begins this verse, but it is untranslated in the KJV. It is in the form of the subject of the verb.

Therefore  - The Greek word translated either as "therefore" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative. Biblical translators always choose the "continuing narrative" translation of "therefore" but in many cases, like this one, there is clearly a change of narrative, not a continuation of it since the previous narrative was about people claiming his authority when he doesn't know them. Here, it separates the two competing "subjects" in a productive way.

whosoever  - "Whosoever" is a Greek word meaning "anyone who" or "whoever." It too is in the form of a subject. Two subjects don't work well in written language, but it is typical of a restatement in spoken language. (More about the difference between spoken and written language here.)

heareth  - The Greek word translated as "heareth" means "having the ability to hear", "to hear", "to understand," and "to learn." This is the common word for "hear" in the present tense.

these  - The Greek word translated as "these" in the KJV means "these" or "these here". This word appears after the noun, saying, and after the article, which has a similar meaning, so the point is clearly one of emphasis that is lost in translation.  This word doesn't appear in all Greek sources.

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. 

sayings  -  (WW) The Greek word translated as "sayings" is usually translated in the KJV as "words," but it means something close to "concepts" or "ideas." To learn more about this important word, it meaning and translation in the Gospels, read this article.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

mine,  - The word translated as "mine" appears before the word they affect ("sayings"), which is unusual for Jesus, who usually puts this word after, so we must assume it is purposeful.

and  - The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

doeth   - The Greek word translated as "doeth" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service.  . In this context, our word "use" or "applies" seems to work well.

them,  - The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have.

I -- (WW) This is indicates a first-person, singular form of the verb, but the verb is the third-person passive not the first person.

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

liken  - (WV) The verb translated as "I will liken" is a verb that means "to make like" "to compared" and, in the passive, as used here, "to become like" or "to be compared". It is not in the first person but the third-person, passive, future tense, "he will  be compared".

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

unto -- This word "unto" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

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.

wise  - (CW) The word translated as "wise" means "to be in one's right mind", "to be prudent," and "to be sensible." It refers to practical wisdom, not sagacity. This word is not related to the Greek word normally translated as "wisdom."

man, -- (CW) A uncommon word is translated as the very familiar term "man." It is not the Greek word almost always use for "man" or "men" in the Gospels. It is used specifically to compare a man to something else: a woman, god, boy, etc. Here the comparison is a wise fellow with foolish fellow.

which  - The word translated as "which" is the same word that was translated in the beginning of the sentence as "whosoever."

built  - The word translated as "built" means specifically to build a house as we might use the word "construct" in English, but it is used generally to mean "build" or "establish" but it also means to "build up" or "edify."

his  - The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  Again, this adjective precedes the article and the noun, which is unusual for Jesus who almost always uses this word after the noun in the sense of "of his.". We also saw this unusual use with the pronoun before "sayings." Again, this is clearly intended to emphasize the word.  This use of "his" before this word gives it the sense of everything of his not just his house and household.

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. 

house  - The Greek word translated as "house," in Christ's time, was not only the physical building but the whole household, its members, its property, business interests, and position in the community, all connected to the "name" of the head of the house.

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

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

rock:  - The Greek word translated as "rock" also means specifically a "high cliff over the sea." It is not the word commonly translated as "stone." Both the height and its position over the sea first well into the environment that Jesus was speaking, which was on a shore with cliffs over the sea. .

KJV Translation Issues: 

9
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "all" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "sayings" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "sayings" should be "ideas" or "teachings."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "I" should be "he."
  • WV - Wrong Voice - The verb "liken" is translated as active but it is passive.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "wise" is not related to "wisdom" but practical knowledge.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "man" is not the word commonly translated as "man."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "house" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "a should be "the."

NIV Analysis: 

Therefore  - The Greek word translated either as "therefore" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative. Biblical translators always choose the "continuing narrative" translation of "therefore" but in many cases, like this one, there is clearly a change of narrative, not a continuation of it since the previous narrative was about people claiming his authority when he doesn't know them. Here, it separates the two competing "subjects" in a productive way.

everyone  - The word "everyone means "all," "the whole", "every," and similar ideas begins this verse, but it is untranslated in the KJV. It is in the form of the subject of the verb.

who - "Who" is a Greek word meaning "anyone who" or "whoever." It too is in the form of a subject. Two subjects don't work well in written language, but it is typical of a restatement in spoken language. (More about the difference between spoken and written language here.)

hears - The Greek word translated as "hears" means "having the ability to hear", "to hear", "to understand," and "to learn." This is the common word for "hear" in the present tense.

these  - The Greek word translated as "these" in the KJV means "these" or "these here". This word appears after the noun, saying, and after the article, which has a similar meaning, so the point is clearly one of emphasis that is lost in translation.  This word doesn't appear in all Greek sources.

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. 

words -  (WW) The Greek word translated as "words" is usually translated in the KJV as "words," but it means something close to "concepts" or "ideas." To learn more about this important word, it meaning and translation in the Gospels, read this article.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

mine,  - The word translated as "mine" appears before the word they affect ("sayings"), which is unusual for Jesus, who usually puts this word after, so we must assume it is purposeful.

and  - The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

puts - (CW) The Greek word translated as "puts " has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service.  . In this context, our word "use" or "applies" seems to work well. This word has not sense of "put" nor is the habitual implication of "putting something into practice" indicated. 

them,  - The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have.

into practice -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "into practice" in the Greek source.

is -- (WT) This helping verb "is" is the wrong tense. A "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

like - (WV) The verb translated as "I will liken" is a verb that means "to make like" "to compared" and, in the passive, as used here, "to become like" or "to be compared". It is not in the first person but the third-person, passive, future tense, "he will  be compared".

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.

wise  - (CW) The word translated as "wise" means "to be in one's right mind", "to be prudent," and "to be sensible." It refers to practical wisdom, not sagacity. This word is not related to the Greek word normally translated as "wisdom."

man, -- (CW) A uncommon word is translated as the very familiar term "man." It is not the Greek word almost always use for "man" or "men" in the Gospels. It is used specifically to compare a man to something else: a woman, god, boy, etc. Here the comparison is a wise fellow with foolish fellow.

who  - The word translated as "which" is the same word that was translated in the beginning of the sentence as "whosoever."

built  - The word translated as "built" means specifically to build a house as we might use the word "construct" in English, but it is used generally to mean "build" or "establish" but it also means to "build up" or "edify."

his  - The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  Again, this adjective precedes the article and the noun, which is unusual for Jesus who almost always uses this word after the noun in the sense of "of his.". We also saw this unusual use with the pronoun before "sayings." Again, this is clearly intended to emphasize the word.  This use of "his" before this word gives it the sense of everything of his not just his house and household.

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. 

house  - The Greek word translated as "house," in Christ's time, was not only the physical building but the whole household, its members, its property, business interests, and position in the community, all connected to the "name" of the head of the house.

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

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

rock:  - The Greek word translated as "rock" also means specifically a "high cliff over the sea." It is not the word commonly translated as "stone." Both the height and its position over the sea first well into the environment that Jesus was speaking, which was on a shore with cliffs over the sea. .

NIV Translation Issues: 

9
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "words" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "words" should be "ideas" or "teachings."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "puts" is not the common Greek word translated as "put."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "into practice" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "is" indicates the present tense, but the verb is the future.
  • WV - Wrong Voice - The verb "is like" is translated as active but it is passive.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "wise" is not related to "wisdom" but practical knowledge.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "man" is not the word commonly translated as "man."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "house" is not shown in the English translation.

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Water was one of Christ's metaphors for the physical world and change, while rock was is a metaphor for stability.

The Spoken Version: 

“Everyone,” he said hopefully, “in fact, anyone, who listens to these ideas of mine and—uses them. He is going to be compared to a practical person, who constructed his house on a rocky heights.” He gestured toward the cliff behind him.

evidence: 

106.00

Front Page Date: 

Jul 19 2020