Luke 12:28 If then God so clothe grass, which is to day

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

If, however, in a countryside the pastures existing today--and presently? Into the over tossing itself! The Divine, in this way, clothes==how much more for you, you tiny believers? 

KJV : 

Luke 12:28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The parallel in Matthew 6:30 uses much the same vocabulary, but the ending here uses a positive, more straightforward statement. Both here and in Matthew, the order of the Greek words is very different than the English. In Greek, the word order indicates the importance of the idea expressed. Most important words are first. This is more like the way we speak than we write (see this article). 

The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. It also means "if ever" and "whenever."

The Greek word translated as "then" joins phrases in an adversarial way. It is usually translated as "but," but, since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

The subject of this sentence, the one acting, is clearly God, but the word doesn't appear until the middle of the verse,. not the beginning.  

The Greek verb translated as "clothe" means "to cloth," but this verb is uncommon for Jesus. This verb has a meaning, "put around," but its secondary meanings all involved putting on clothing. This verb also appears toward the end of the phrase, de-emphasizing it.

The term translated as "grasses" means "an enclosed place" with the sense of a feedlot. It means "food" generally, as well, specifically various forms of animal fodder. It is also used to describe the "expanse" of heaven as we might say, "the pastures of heaven."

The phrase "in the field" appears before the word "grasses" the verb "is." It is not associated in any way, with the word "today." The word translated as "in" also means "within," "with," or "among."  The "the field" means primarily an agricultural field but can refer to any type of land. This is the term used to identify fields in which people do agricultural work.

The term translated as "today" is an adverb meaning "for today" or any short period of time. 

The "is" is the verb "to be" in the form of an adjective, meaning "being" or "existing." It comes before "today." 

The terms translated as "cast" is also an adjective form of a verb meaning "to toss" or "to throw." This is one of the most common terms Christ uses. It has the sense of "tossing" something. Jesus always uses this verb when discussing "tossing" something into a fire or the "outer darkness." He often uses it in a humorous sense. 

The term translated as "tomorrow," is not a noun. Instead, it is an adverb meaning something more like "until tomorrow," "until the morning" meaning "shortly" or "presently." Unlike the noun "tomorrow" in English, this adverb doesn't take in the entire future, just the opposite. The term indicates not now but the immediate future.

The word translated as "in" can be "into" when referring to a location. However, it can also mean "for" referring to a purpose for an action.

The oven is Greek for a small, clay vessel used for baking bread (see picture above). The ovens Jesus describes are different than ours, which have the fire is on the outside and bread on the inside. These ovens are clay vessels. The fire is burned in the vessel. The dough for the bread is attached to the vessel's sides. The "grass," that is, the foliage, of "the lilies of the field" (Matthew 6:28) becomes the fuel for baking bread. This image is similar to the one evoked by the "Parable of the Weeds," where the weeds are bundled to be burned in ovens. The wheat, gathered into barns (Matthew 13:30) for flour, makes the dough cooked by these weeds. 

The adjective translated as "how much"  means "of what quantity," [in distance] "how far." [of number] how far," [of time] "how long," [of value] "how much," "how great," "how many," and "how much."

The "more" is an adjective "great," "large" and "many." It is in the singular, which creates a problem because the "you" is plural. The form could indicate an instrument ("with a great"), a purpose (.".as a great"), a benefit ( ."..a great"); or a comparison (."..than a great").

There is no phrase "will he clothe" in the Greek source. It is implied by the phrasing, not stated. 

The "you" is the object of the verb. It is plural, so Christ is referring to all his listeners.

The final "little faith" word is addressed to the listeners. The word itself is used only in the NT. It means "small trust" or "little faith." Since it is addressed to the listener, we can the "you" to it, though it doesn't appear in the Greek.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

εἰ (conj) "If" is from ei, which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect questions, "whether." It also means "if ever," "in case," and "whenever." It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions.

δὲ (partic) "Then" 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").

ἐν (prep) "In" is en, which means "in," "on," "at," "by," "among," "within," "surrounded by," "in one's hands," "in one's power," and "with." 

ἀγρῷ (noun sg masc dat) "Field" is ἀγρὸν agros (agros), which means "field," "lands," or "country."

τὸν χόρτον (noun sg masc acc) "The grass" is from chortos, which means "an enclosed place," "pastures," "herbage," "growing crops," "any feeding-ground," "green crop," "the expanse [of heaven]," "fodder," "provender," "food [generally]," "farmyard," and "growing grass."

ὄντα (part sg pres act masc acc) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," and "is possible." It can also mean "must" with a dative.

σήμερον (adv) "To day" is from semeron, which is an adverb that means "for today" and "on this day."

καὶ (conj) "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."

αὔριον (adv) "To morrow" is from aurion, which means "tomorrow at this time," "on the morrow," "till morning," "presently," and "shortly."

εἰς (prep) "Into" is from eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)," "until (of time)," "as much as (of measure or limit)," "as far as (of measure or limit)," "towards (to express relation)," "in regard to (to express relation)," "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

κλίβανον (noun sg masc acc) "The oven" is from klibanos, which means "covered earthen vessel [in which bread is baked in a fire], "funnel-shaped vessel [used for drawing water]," "underground channel," "vaulted passage," "hollow," and "cavern in a rock."

βαλλόμενον (part sg pres mp masc acc) "Is cast" is from ballo, which means "to throw," "to let fall," "to put," "to pour," or "to cast."

θεὸς (noun sg masc nom) "God" is from theos, which means "God," "divine," and "Deity."

οὕτως (adv) "So" is from houtos, which, as an adverb, it means "in this way," "therefore," "so much," "to such an extent," and "that is why."

ἀμφιάζει, [uncommon] (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Clothe" is from amphiennymi, which means "put round," "clothed in," "wearing," "clothe one in or with," "put on oneself," and "dress oneself in.

πόσῳ (adj sg masc dat) "How much" is from posos, which means "of what quantity," [in distance] "how far." [of number] how far," [of time] "how long," [of value] "how much," "how great," "how many," and "how much."

μᾶλλον (adv) "More" is from mallon, which is the comparative form of the adverb mala which means "very," "exceedingly," "more certainly," "especially," "more," "to a greater degree," and "rather."

ὑμᾶς, (pron 2nd pl acc) "You" is from humas and humon, which is a plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ὀλιγόπιστοι; (adj pl masc/fem voc ) "Oh ye of little faith" is from oligopistos, which means "of little faith." From oligos, which means "little," "small," and "weak," and pistos means "believing," "trustful," "obedient," and "loyal."

Front Page Date: 

Apr 15 2018