Matthew 22:12 And he said to him, Friend, how

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

And he said to him, "How in the world did you come in here/in this way not wanting to have clothing for the wedding?"

He, however, was silent.

KJV : 

Mat 22:12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

There are a lot of fun double meanings here, but the key word is the form of negative used.

The word translated as "he saith" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach.". 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.

The word translated as "friend" means "friend," but it also means "disciple," and "associate."

The word translated as "how" ranges in meaning from the extreme, "how in the world" to the vacillating "I suppose."

"Camest thou" is from a word that means "go or come into" and has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind."

The word translated as "in hither" means in manner, "in this way," referring to manner, or "here," referring to place. Here, it could refer either to the manner of dress or the place of the wedding feast.

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. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article.

The word translated as "he" is the article used without a noun, so "the one."

The verb translated as "speechless" means simply "to be silent." There is no sense in this word that he didn't know what to say or was struck dumb. He simply didn't say anything, didn't open his mouth, and didn't offer a defense. Not answering a king's question is itself disrespectful.


The word translated as "come in" also means "come into one mind" so it means physically coming in, but also getting the idea of coming in. 

The word translated as "in hither" means both "[dressed in this] way" and "here {to this wedding]."

Related Verses: 

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."

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."

αὐτῷ (adj sg masc dat) "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."

Ἑταῖρε, (noun sg masc voc_ "Friend" is from hetairos, which means "comrade", "companion", "pupil", "disciple," and "associate."

πῶς "How" is from pos, which means "how", "how in the world", "how then", "in any way", "at all", "by any mean", "in a certain way,"and "I suppose."

εἰσῆλθες (verb 2nd sg aor ind act) "Camest thou" is from eiserchomai which means both "to go into", "to come in", "to enter", "to enter an office", "to enter a charge," (as in court) and "to come into one's mind."

ὧδε "In hither" is from hode, the demonstrative adverb that means in manner, "in this wise," "thus," "so very", "so exceedingly," of Place, "hither," and "here."

μὴ "Not" is from me , which 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.

ἔχων (part sg pres act masc nom) "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." -

ἔνδυμα (noun sg neut nom/acc) "Garment" is from endyma, which means "clothing," and "covering."

γάμου; (noun sg masc gen) "Wedding" is from the from gamos, which means "marriage", "wedding," and "wedlock."

(article sg masc nom​) "He" is from the Greek article, "the," which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one."

δὲ "But" is from de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

ἐφιμώθη. (verb 3rd sg aor ind pass) "Was speechless" is from phimoo, which means "to muzzle," "close," "seal up" and, in the passive, "to be silent," and "to be put to silence."

The Spoken Version: