Matthew 25:40  And the King shall answer and say unto them,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And, answering, the king is going to say, "Tell you true, on the principle of 'as you have produced for the benefit of one of these, my little people, you have produced for me.'"

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The only hidden thing in the vocabulary is that the word translation as "done" primarily means "to make" or "produce," though it is usually translated as variations of "to do" in the NT. However, Christ seems to value being productive over simply being active.

"Shall answer" is a verb that means to "set apart," "choose", "answer" a question, "answer charges," and "defend oneself." It is in the form of an adjective, "answering."

"King" is translated from a Greek word which means a "king" or "chief."

There is no "and" in the Greek. It is added because the translation uses and active form of "answer" instead of an adjective.

"And say" is from means "to say" and "to speak" also. It is in the future tense.

The "verily" phrase is used frequently by Christ as a personal signature. Its meaning is discussed in detail in this article. Currently, "tell you true" is the translation I currently use. In the previous parable, it was used as a joke, revealing that the bridegroom or celebrity was Christ. Here, it is repeated to echo that humor. Christ is making fun of his frequent use of it.

The word translated as "insomuch" is a preposition, but here it is used to introduce a phrase. It general meaning is "upon" but where used to describe a reason for something, in means "upon the principle of," which is its sense here. There are, as usual, several humorous things here as well.

The word translated as "as" means "as great as", ""as much as," and similar ideas of comparison.

The Greek word translated as "ye have done" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service.

The word translated as "unto one" is the number one. It is in the form of an indirect object, which, in Greek, can also means "for the benefit of" which is clearly the meaning here.

The word translated as "brethren" means a biological brother, any kinsmen, and more broadly any friend or associate. Christ uses it in the most general sense, in the sense of "one of your people".

"Of the least" is from the Greek means "the smallest", "the shortest", "the least," and "the fewest." It is the possessive form, "of the least" or "of the smallest." However, in English, we use the phrase "little people" to capture this idea.

The Greek word translated as "you have done" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service.

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."

ἀποκριθεὶς (part sg aor pass masc nom) "Shall answer" is from apokrinomai that means to "set apart," "choose", "exclude," "reject on examination", "decide", "answer" the question, "answer charges," and "defend oneself" and, in the passive, "to be parted or separated." In the Gospels, it is always translated as "answered."

βασιλεὺς (noun sg masc nom) "King" is from basileus, which means a "king", "chief", "prince", "lord", "master", "a great man," and "the first and most distinguished of any class." It is a form of the word used for "kingdom."

ἐρεῖ (verb 3rd sg fut ind act) "And say" is from eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer."

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."

Ἀμὴν "Verily" is from amen, which is from the Hebrew, meaning "truly", "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek of this meaning before the NT. However, this is also the infinitive form of the Greek verb amao, which means "to reap" or "to cut." -- The word translated as "verily" is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap."

λέγω (1st sg pres ind act) "I 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."

ὑμῖν, (pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is from humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ἐφ᾽ "Inasmuch" is from epi. which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against." Its is used with verbs of rest to mean "upon"; when used with verbs of motion, indicates the goal or how the motion is supported; in the context of time, "in the time of"; also used to indicate a cause "for" or "on the principle of."

ὅσον "As" is from hosos, which means "as many", "as much as", "as great as", "as far as," and "only so far as." --

ἐποιήσατε (verb 2nd pl aor ind act) "Ye have done" 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."

ἑνὶ (noun sg masc dat) "Unto one" is from heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

τούτων (adj pl masc gen) "Of these" is from touto, which means "from here", "from there", "this [thing]," or "that [thing]."

τῶν ἀδελφῶν "Brethern" is from adelphos, which means "son of the same mother", "kinsman", "colleague", "associate," and "brother."

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

τῶν ἐλαχίστων, (adj pl masc gen) "Of the least" is from elachistos, which is the superlative form of elachus which nmeans "small", "little," and "short." It means "the smallest", "the shortest", "the least," and "the fewest."

ἐμοὶ (pron 1st sg masc dat) "Me" is from emoi, which is 1st person,singular dative pronoun meaning "me' as the indirect object of a verb. -- "Me" is from the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

ἐποιήσατε. (verb 2nd pl aor ind act) "Ye have done" 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."

The Spoken Version: 

"And answering, the king," he said, indicating himself and while puffing out his chest, "is going to say..."

He paused and struck a pose, affecting a deep voice, and said, "Tell you true..."

His followers collapsed in laughter at his use of the signature phrase.

He was laughing as well, but he controlled himself held up his hands for silence and continued, "On the principle of 'as you have produced for the benefit of these..."

He paused and indicated his followers, and said pompously, "My little people."

This started more laughing. He again quieted them and continued in the bass voice, indicating himself, "You have produced for me."

Oct 27 2016