Matthew 20:7 They told him, Because noone has hired us

KJV Verse: 

Mat 20:7 They told him, Because noone has hired us. He told them, Go also into the vineyard; and your shall receive whatever is right.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

They say to him, "Because no one offered to hire us [at this time]." He says to them, "Go down into the vineyard."

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse is the first time in the parable that the laborers have spoken.

The word "they said" is from the common verb translated as "said. However, it is in the present tense. Earlier verbs in the parable were in the "at the time" tense of Greek, which is usually translated as the past. These verse are in the present tense. This gives the story a "homier" sense, more like a country folk tale in English.

"Hire" is from a verb that means to "offer to rent for hire," and "to make a contract for hire." It is not a common word for Christ, but it is the verb from of the word that is usually translated as "reward". It is not in the present tense, but the "at the time" tense in Greek. This emphasizes the sense that they had not offers for this final hour of the day, not that they hadn't worked during the day for themselves or others.

The "he saith" is the same common "said" verb used above and it is in the present tense. This is a change from Mat 20:4. There a different verb was translated as "told" and in the "at the time" tense, not the present. The rest of this verse is the same as what is in that verse.

"Go" is from a Greek verbal command that means literally "go under" or "bring under," but Christ usually uses it to mean "go away" and "depart."

The "also" is from the same word that is translated as "and" two other times in this verse. However, it also is used to add emphasis as also in some situations.

Note, however, there is not discussion here of compensation at all.

Greek Vocabulary: 

λέγουσιν (verb 3rd pl pres ind act) "They say" 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."

αὐτῷ (adj sg masc dat) "To 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."

Ὅτι "Because" is from hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

οὐδεὶς (adj sg masc nom) "No man" is from oudeis which means "no one", "not one", "nothing", "naught", "good for naught," and "no matter." -- The Greek word translated as "nothing" also means "no one" and other negatives nouns. However, to avoid the English double-negative, we translate it as its opposite "anyone" when used with another Greek negative.

ἡμᾶς (pron 1st pl masc acc) "Us" is from hemeis, the first person plural pronoun, "we", "us".

ἐμισθώσατο: (verb 3rd sg aor ind mid) "Hired" is from misthoo, which means to "let out for hire," "farm out," "offer to let", "hire," "make a contract (for a thing)", "contract," and "engage (services)."

λέγει (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "He saith" 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."

αὐτοῖς (adj pl masc dat) "Unto 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."

Ὑπάγετε (verb 2nd pl pres imperat act) "Go" is from hypago, which means "to lead under", "to bring under", "to bring a person before judgment", "to lead on by degrees", "to take away from beneath", "to withdraw", "to go away", "to retire", "to draw off," and "off with you."

καὶ "Also" 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."

ὑμεῖς (pron 2nd pl nom) "You" is from hymeis (humeis), which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you." -- The pronoun is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use creates emphasis on the "you." The "you" here is plural, indicating all Christ's listeners.

εἰς "Into" is from eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)", "until (of time)", "as much as (of measure or limit)", "as far as (of measure or limit)", "towards (to express relation)", "in regard to (to express relation)", "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

τὸν ἀμπελῶνα. (noun sg masc acc) "Vineyard" is from ampelon which means simply "vineyard."

The Spoken Version: 

They say to him, "Because no one offer to reward us." And he says," Get into the vineyard!"

Related Verses: