John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

His apostles ask if someone else has brought him something to eat and he talks about his future work.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

None of you yourselves say that still four months it is and the harvest shows up. Look, I say to you. Raise those eyes of yours and view these places because golden are they for harvest.

My Takeaway: 

We must know the time to know what we should do.

KJV : 

John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

NIV : 

John 4:35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Time of the harvest has a lot of meaning because the Jewish calendar has a number of holidays built around different harvests. The flax harvest was about four months after the planting of grain. The flax harvest (March) is before Passover, which the barley (early May) and wheat (Shavuot - late May) harvests are right after. The grape harvest (August) is before Rosh Hashanah, the Fig Harvest (September) follows before Yom Kippur, Olive Harvest (October) follows, while the Feast of Booths/Tents (Sukkot) is the Fruit Harvest (later October). The golden color here makes it seem like the flax, barley, or wheat harvest.

A lot of unusual words in this verse. Specifically, the words translated as "lift up," "look on," "fields," and "white," are all unusual. There meanings are all also deeper than the simple translation. "Life up" is a form of the word that means "raise on." The word translated as "look on" has the sense of "view" and it is the source of our word for "theater."

The word translated as "fields" is not the common word for "field." The word used here means a special place or spot including places in society. Jesus is asking his students to examine the places people have in society.

Finally, the terms translated as "white" can mean white, but if it is used as a color, it also means "pale gold," which is more the color of wheat. However, it primarily means "bright" and it is a metaphor for "clear."  This is the color of the most valuable forms of metal, that is, money in Jesus's time.

Wordplay: 

 Christ uses an unusual (for him) for translated as "look at," theaomai. Why? Because he as asking his disciples to look at the harvest.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

οὐχ [269 verses](partic) "Not" is ou ( οὒ ) which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences.  The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.

ὑμεῖς [92 verses](pron 2nd pl nom) "You" is hymeis (humeis), which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you."

λέγετε [264 verses](verb 2nd pl pres imperat act OR 2nd pl pres/imperf ind act) "Say" is lego, which means "to recount," "to tell over," "to say," "to speak," "to teach," "to mean," "boast of," "tell of," "recite," nominate," and "command." When used with an object is has the sense of "call by name."  It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself," "pick up," "gather," "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelled the same means "to lay," "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

ὅτι [332 verses](adv/conj) "That" is 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." -

Ἔτι [18 verses](adv) "Yet" is eti, which means "yet" and "still" (with the Present), "already" (with the Past), "yet" and "longer" (with the Future), "no longer" (with a negative), and"still" and "besides" (of degree).

τετράμηνός [1verse](adj sg masc nom) "Four months" is from tetramenos, which means "of four months," "lasting four months," and "for a space of four months." It is a compound word of "four," (tetra) and "months" (menos).

ἐστίν.[614 verses](3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen,"  and "is possible." With the genitive object, the sense is "belongs to." It can also mean "must" with a dative.

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "And" is 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."

[821 verses](article sg masc nom)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").  -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

θερισμὸς [7 verses](noun sg masc nom) "Hst" is from therismos, which means "mowing," "reaping," "harvest time," "harvest," and "crop."​ 

ἔρχονται [198 verses](3rd pl pres ind mp) "Comethe" is  erchomai, which means "to start," "to set out," "to come," "to go," and any kind of motion. It means both "to go" on a journey and "to arrive" at a place.

Ἰδοὺ [52 verses](adv, verb 2nd sg aor imperat mid) "Behold is idou, which means "to behold," "to see," and "to perceive." It acts as an adverbial phrase in this form meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!' It is a form of the verb eido, which means "to see."

λέγω [264 verses](1st sg pres ind act) "I say" is 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 spelled the same means "to lay," "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

ὑμῖν [289 verses](pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc.

ἐπάρατε [5 verses](2nd pl aor imperat act) "Lift up" is from epairo, which means "lift up," "set on," "raise," "stir up," "excite," "urge on," and "persuade."

τοὺς [821 verses](article pl masc acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ὀφθαλμοὺς [26 verses](noun pl masc acc)"Eyes" is ophthalmos, which means "eye," "sight," "the dearest and best," "light," "cheer," "comfort," and "the bud [of a plant]."

ὑμῶν [168 verses](pron 2nd pl gen) "Your" is humon, the plural possessive form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "And" is 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."

θεάσασθε [6 verses](verb 2nd pl aor imperat mp) "Look on" is theaomai, which means "to behold", "to gaze with a sense of wonder", "view as a spectator", "to see clearly," and "to contemplate."

τὰς [821 verses](article pl fem acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

χώρας [8 verses](noun pl fem acc)"Fields" is from chora, which means "space," "the spot in a room where a thing is," "place," "spot," "the position," "the proper place for a thing or person," "land," and "landed estate." It is a metaphor for "station," "place" or "position," in society.

ὅτι [332 verses](adv/conj) "That" is 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."

λευκαί [2 verses](adj pl fem nom) "White" is from leukos, which means "light," "bright," "brilliant," and the colors "white" and "pale gold." It is a metaphor for "clear," "distinct," and "plain."

εἰσιν [614 verses](3rd pl pres ind act) "They are" is eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen,"  and "is possible." With the genitive object, the sense is "belongs to." It can also mean "must" with a dative.

πρὸς [92 verses](prep)  "Before" is from pros, which means "from (place)," "on the side of," "toward," "before," "in the presence of," "in the eyes of," "before (supplication)," "proceeding from (for effects)," "dependent on," "derivable from," "agreeable,""becoming," "like," "at the point of," "in addition to," "against," and "before."  It also means "dependent upon."

θερισμόν: [7 verses](noun sg masc acc) "Harvest" is from therismos, which means "mowing," "reaping," "harvest time," "harvest," and "crop."​ 

KJV Analysis: 

Say " -- The word translated as "Say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak,"  but when used with an objective noun or pronoun, the sense is "say of" or "speak of."  When two accusative objects are used, the sense is  "say of him this," or "call him this." This is either a command or a statement in the present or past.

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly." It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, in this case "ye" its force is limited to those words. Here, it comes before "you" so the sense is "none of you yourselves."

ye, -- The pronoun "you" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say "you yourselves." It is plural.

missing "yourselves" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "you yourselves."

missing "that"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

There -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

are -- The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics. With the genitive object, the sense is "belongs to."-- When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."

yet -- Yet" is an adverb that means "yet" and "still", "already",  "longer", "no longer" (with a negative), "still" and "besides".

four months , -  "Four months" is from a compound word that means "of four months," "lasting four months," and "for a space of four months."

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

then -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "then" in the Greek source.

cometh -- The word translated as "cometh" primarily means "to start out" but Christ usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas. See this article for more.

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

harvest? - "Harvest" is from a noun which means "mowing," "reaping," "harvest time," "harvest," and "crop."

behold, -- "Behold" is a verbal command meaning "See!" and "Look!" It is from the most common word meaning "to see" in Greek. In a humorous vein, it is also an adverbial exclamation like we use the phrase "tah-dah" in a magic show, or "voila" in French. "Look!" or "See!" comes closest in English. Jesus uses it both ways.

I --This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

say -- The word translated as "I say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach." The form Jesus uses to describe his own speaking can be either indicative, "I say/tell" or subjunctive, "I should/could say/tell." 

unto -- This word "to" comes from the dative casThe form Jesus uses to describe his own speaking can be either indicative, "I say/tell" or subjunctive, "I should/could say/tell."  e of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use: a "to" as an indirect object.

you, -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc. 

, Lift  -  "Lift " is from a word that means "lift up," "set on," "raise," "stir up," "excite," "urge on," and "persuade."

up - -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "upon."

your -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

eyes, -- The Greek word for "eye" is the more technical terms for "eye" but it also means "sight." In Greek, an eye is a metaphor for comfort and cheer.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

look --  (CW) The Greek word translated as "look" is not one of the common words Jesus uses for seeing and being seen. It is a fancier word that has more of a sense of viewing something as a spectator. This word is the root of the English word "theater."

on -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "on" in the Greek source.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

fields; - (CW) "Fields" is a word that means "space,"  "place," "spot," "the position," "the proper place for a thing or person," "land," and "landed estate." It is a metaphor for "station," "place" or "position," in society. This is not the common word usually translated as "fields."

for -- The word translated as "for" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

they -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

are -- The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics. With the genitive object, the sense is "belongs to." When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."

white  - -  "White" is from the word for "light," "bright," "brilliant," and the colors "white" and "pale gold." It is a metaphor for "clear," "distinct," and "plain."

already -- -- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "already" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

to  - - (CW) The word translated as "to" means "towards," "by reason of (for)," "before" both in time and place, "in the presence of," "against," and several other types of "before." With verbs of seeing it specifically means "towards." However, translating it as "to" here makes the following noun look like an infinitive of a verb.

harvest. - "Harvest" is from a noun which means "mowing," "reaping," "harvest time," "harvest," and "crop." Time of the harvest has a lot of meaning because the Jewish calendar has a number of holidays built around different harvests. The flax harvest (March) is before Passoever, which the barley (early May) and wheat (late May) harvests are right after. The grape harvest (August) is before Rosh Hashanah, the Fig Harvest (September) follows before Yom Kippur, Olive Harveest (October) follows, while the Feast of Booths/Tents is the Fruit Harvest (later October). The golden color her makes it seem like the flax, barly, or wheat harvest.

KJV Translation Issues: 

9
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "yourselves" is not shown in the English translation, but it is needed to capture the pronoun as well as the form of the verb.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "then" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "harvest" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "eyes" is not shown in the English translation.
  •  IW- Inserted Word -- The word "on" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "fields" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "already" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "to" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.

NIV Analysis: 

Do -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

n’t -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly." It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words. Here, it comes before "you" so the sense is "none of you yourselves."

you -- The pronoun "you" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say "you yourselves." It is plural.

missing "yourselves" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "you yourselves."

have -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "have" in the Greek source.

a saying,  --  (WF) The word translated as "saying" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak,"  but when used with an objective noun or pronoun, the sense is "say of" or "speak of."  It is not a noun but an active verb. This is either a command or a statement in the present or past.

missing "that"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

‘It --  (WN) This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

’s -- The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics. With the genitive object, the sense is "belongs to." It is plural.

still -- "Still" is an adverb that means "yet" and "still", "already",  "longer", "no longer" (with a negative), "still" and "besides".

four months , -  "Four months" is from a compound word that means "of four months," "lasting four months," and "for a space of four months."

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

missing "comes"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "comes" primarily means "to start out" but Christ usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas. See this article for more.

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

harvest? - "Harvest" is from a noun which means "mowing," "reaping," "harvest time," "harvest," and "crop."

missing "Look"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "See!" and "Look!" It is from the most common word meaning "to see" in Greek. In a humorous vein, it is also an adverbial exclamation like we use the phrase "tah-dah" in a magic show, or "voila" in French. "Look!" or "See!" comes closest in English. Jesus uses it both ways.

I --This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

tell - The word translated as "I say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach." The form Jesus uses to describe his own speaking can be either indicative, "I say/tell" or subjunctive, "I should/could say/tell." 

you,  -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc.

open -  (WW) "Open" is from a word that means "lift up," "set on," "raise," "stir up," "excite," "urge on," and "persuade."

up - -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "upon."

your -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

eyes, -- The Greek word for "eye" is the more technical terms for "eye" but it also means "sight." In Greek, an eye is a metaphor for comfort and cheer.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

look --  (CW) The Greek word translated as "look" is not one of the common words Jesus uses for seeing and being seen. It is a fancier word that has more of a sense of viewing something as a spectator. This word is the root of the English word "theater."

at -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "at" in the Greek source.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

fields; - (CW) "Fields" is a word that means "space,"  "place," "spot," "the position," "the proper place for a thing or person," "land," and "landed estate." It is a metaphor for "station," "place" or "position," in society. This is not the common word usually translated as "fields."

missing "for"  -- (MW) The untranslated word"for" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

They -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

are -- The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics. With the genitive object, the sense is "belongs to." When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."

ripe - -  (WW) "Ripe" is from the word for "light," "bright," "brilliant," and the colors "white" and "pale gold." It is a metaphor for "clear," "distinct," and "plain."

for -   The word translated as "to" means "towards," "by reason of (for)," "before" both in time and place, "in the presence of," "against," and several other types of "before." With verbs of seeing it specifically means "towards." However, translating it as "to" here makes the following noun look like an infinitive of a verb.

harvest. - "Harvest" is from a noun which means "mowing," "reaping," "harvest time," "harvest," and "crop."

NIV Translation Issues: 

15
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "yourselves" is not shown in the English translation, but it is needed to capture the pronoun as well as the form of the verb.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "have" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "a saying" is not a noun but an active verb, "say."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "until" should be "and."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "comes" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "harvest" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "look" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "open" should be "raise."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "eyes" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "look" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  •  IW- Inserted Word -- The word "at" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "fields" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "for" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "ripe" should be "white" or "yellow."

Front Page Date: 

Feb 10 2022