Matthew 21:39  And they caught him, and cast him

KJV Verse: 

Mat 21:39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And they got him, and tossed him out from the vineyard and destroyed him.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse is a good example of how Christ uses certain words and exagerration to lighten the story. The feeling is a little like you would tell a story for children, making it dramatic and entertaining. Indeed, why "toss" the son from the vineyard before he is "destroyed" except for the drama of the story.

The word translated as "they caught" primarily means "take." However, it also means "receive," which is usually the way it is transalated in the Gospels, in the same sense that we use "get" to mean "receive" and has many different uses as we use "get" in English. Among these are the ideas of "understanding" and "possessing." It is not an active verb, but a verb used as a anjective, "getting him."

"Cast " is from a verb that means "throw out." Depending on the context, it can mean "toss out", "turn out," or "take out." It is usually translated as "cast out" in the NT. However, because "tossed" usually works better since that captures the generaly casualness of the word.

"Killed" is translated from a Greek word that means "destroy" more than just "kill" because the base word means "slay." The Greek source has the sense of "kill off," that is, destroy in a more thorough way. This exaggeration is contrasted with the casualness of the previous word.

Greek Vocabulary: 

καὶ "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."

λαβόντες (part pl aor act masc nom) "They caught" is from lambano means to "take", "take hold of", "grasp", "seize", "catch", "overtake", "find out", "detect", "take as", "take [food or drugs]", "understand", "take in hand", "undertake", "take in", "hold", "get", "receive [things]", "receive hospitably", "receive in marriage", "receive as produce", "profit", "admit", "initiate", "take hold of", "lay hold on", "seize and keep hold of", "obtain possession of", "lay hands upon", "find fault with", "censure," "to apprehend with the senses", "to take hold of," and "to seize." It is also specifically used to mean "seized with emotion."

αὐτὸν (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."

ἐξέβαλον "Cast" is from ekballo and means "throw out", "cast out of a place,"and "expose." Ek means "out of", "from," and "away from." Ballo is "to throw" or "to scatter."

ἔξω "From" is from ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of", "from", "by", "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond", "outside of", "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after", "from;" 4) [of rest] "on", "in," 5) [of time] "since", "from", "at", "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of", "made from." -- The Greek preposition translated as "of" means "out of" of "from." In Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases with usually use with "of."

τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος (noun sg masc gen) "Vineyard" is from ampelon which means simply "vineyard."

καὶ "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." -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, in a series, is best translated as "not only...but also."

ἀπέκτειναν. (verb 3rd pl aor ind act) "Killed" is from apokteino, which means "to kill," and "to slay." It combines the word for "to slay" (kteino) with the proposition, apo, indicating separation, meaning "from" or "away from."but it is a stronger form than the normal verb kteino. It is more like our "destroy."

Wordplay: 

The casual word "toss" is contrasted with the exaggerated word "destroy." 

Related Verses: