John 7:37 If any man thirst,

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

His challengers are still trying to figure out what he meant by the last verse when at the end of the festival, he says this.

KJV : 

John 7:37 If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

Literal Verse: 

When anyone: I thirst! He must come to me and drink!

What is Lost in Translation: 

The odd thing here is the the verb translated as "thirst" is in a first-person verb form. The same word form as John 19:28...I thirst. However, the pronoun tis is a nominative case, making it a subject of a verb, but it could just be the subject of the "come" and "drink," which are third-person commands.  The only way I think this verse can be spoken is using a funny voice, announcing, "When anyone," then changing to the funny voice as the voice of anyone saying, "I thirst!" Then Jesus asking/commanding them to come to him.  This idea of thirsting has a secondary meaning of longing while the idea of drinking also means celebrating. It is also important to know that this was said during the Feast of Tabernacles. One ceremony of that feast in Jesus's era was the temple priests taking a picture of water from a pool of Siloam and pour it on the altar at the Temple to ask God for "winter" (wet season) rains. So this statement, like his later one on light, is related to a specific ceremony.

My Takeaway: 

Jesus thirsts for us as we thirst for him.

Greek : 

Greek Vocabulary: 

He Ἐάν [162 verses](conj) "If" is ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if) and an (might), which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event. This is how we use the word "when."

τις [252 verses](pron sg masc/fem nom) "Any man" is tis which can mean "someone," "something," "any one," "everyone," "they [indefinite]," "many a one," "whoever," "anyone," "anything," "some sort," "some sort of," "each," "any," "the individual," "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who," "why," or "what."

διψᾷ [10 verses] (noun noun sg fem nom or verb 1st sg aor ind/subj act) "thirsty is dipsao, which means "to thirst," "to be thirsty," "to be parched," "to be in want of," "to lack," and "to thirst after" a thing. 

ἐρχέσθω [198 verses] (3rd sg pres imperat) "Let him come"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.

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

με [49 verses](pron 1st sg masc acc) "Me" is eme, which is the objective first-person, objective, singular pronoun that means  "me."

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "also." 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."

πινέτω. , [36 verses](3rd sg pres imperat act) "Drink" is  pino, which means "to drink," "to celebrate," and "soak up."

KJV Analysis: 

If -- (CW) The Greek word meaning "when" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is how we use the word "when." This is not the simple "if.

any man -- The Greek word translated as "any man" in the singular means "anyone," "someone,"  "something," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some," "they," and "those."  The pronoun can be either masculine or feminine so the "man" is a little confusing. The form is of a subject.

thirst, - (WF) "Thirst" is another common verb which means "to thirst," "to be thirsty," and "to thirst after" a thing. This verb is not in the third-person, but the first-person, "I thirst."

let -- This "let" is the helping verb used to translate the Greek form of the third-person command. In English all commands are in the second-person. This form is used as something like our word "must."

him -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb. It is in the form of a subject not an object.

come -- The word translated as "come" 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. This is a third-person command.

unto -- The word translated as "unto" 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."

me, -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek as the object of the verb or preposition.

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

drink. -- The word "drink" is the Greek for meaning to "drink." It also has a double meaning. "To drink" also means "to celebrate." This is a third-person command.

KJV Translation Issues: 

1
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "thirst" is not a third-person verb but a first-person.

NIV : 

John 7:37 Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.

NIV Analysis: 

Let  -- This "let" is the helping verb used to translate the Greek form of the third-person command. In English all commands are in the second-person. This form is used as something like our word "must."

missing "when"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is how we use the word "when."

anyone -- The Greek word translated as "anyone " in the singular means "anyone," "someone,"  "something," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some," "they," and "those."  The pronoun can be either masculine or feminine so the "man" is a little confusing. The form is of a subject.

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

is thirsty, - (WF) "Is thirsty" is another common verb which means "to thirst," "to be thirsty," and "to thirst after" a thing. This verb is not in the third-person, but the first-person, "I thirst."

him -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb. It is in the form of a subject not an object.

come -- The word translated as "come" 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. This is a third-person command.

to -- The word translated as "unto" 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."

me, -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek as the object of the verb or preposition.

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

drink. -- The word "drink" is the Greek for meaning to "drink." It also has a double meaning. "To drink" also means "to celebrate." This is a third-person command.

NIV Translation Issues: 

3
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "when" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "thirst" is not a third-person verb but a first-person.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "who" doesn't exist in the source.

Related Verses: 

Front Page Date: 

May 7 2022