Matthew 12:4 How he entered into the house of God,

Spoken to: 

The Pharisees

Context: 

Pharisees attack, violating the Sabbath

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

How he entered into the house of the Divine and, the bread of the display, they consumed, that not being allowed it was for him to consume, nor those with him, except the priests alone. 

My Takeaway: 

The house of the Divine serves many needs.

KJV : 

Matthew 12:4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?

NIV : 

Matthew 12:4 He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

In most modern translations, the bread here is described as "sacred" or "consecrated," but the Greek word describing it means that it was "for show." The parallel verses in Mark 2:26 are phrased differently and include more information. This is one of those cases where Matthew is the simplest of the three versions. 

Wordplay: 

The word translated as "shew" in the KJV and "consecrated" or "sacred" in other translations primarily means something for public display. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

πῶς (pron indeclform) "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."

εἰσῆλθεν (3rd sg aor ind act ) "He entered into" 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."

εἰς (perp) "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)."

τὸν (article sg masc acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

οἶκον (noun sg masc acc) "House" is from oikos, which means "house," "dwelling place," "room," "home," "meeting hall," "household goods," "substance," and "ruling family." It is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house.

τοῦ (article sg masc gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

θεοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "Of God" is from theos, which means "God," "divine," and "Deity."

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."

τοὺς  (article pl masc acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἄρτους (noun pl masc acc) "The ...bread" is from artos, which means specifically a "cake of whole wheat bread," and generally "loaf," and "bread." It was smaller than loaves today, more like a bread roll.

τῆς (article sg fem gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

προθέσεως [3 verses](noun sg fem gen ) "Shew..." is prothesis, which means "placing in public," "public notice," "offering," "purpose," "end proposed," "goodwill," "supposition," "calculation," "prefixing," "placing first," and, in grammar, "preposition."

ἔφαγον, (3rd pl aor ind act) "To eat" is from esthio, which means "to eat," "devour," "consume," "fret," "vex," and to "take in one's mouth." It is also a metaphor for decay and erosion.

 (article sg neut nom) "Which" is from hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings. --

οὐκ (partic) "Not" is from ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both singles 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.

ἐξὸν[7 verses] (part sg pres act neut acc) "Lawful" is exesti, which means "to be allowed," "is possible," and, in the passive, "to be in one's power."

ἦν (3rd sg imperf ind act) "Was" is from eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," and "is possible."

αὐτῷ (adj sg masc dat) "For 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."

φαγεῖν (aor inf act) "To eat" is from esthio, which means "to eat," "devour," "consume," "fret," "vex," and to "take in one's mouth." It is also a metaphor for decay and erosion.

οὐδὲ (partic) "Neither" is from oude, which means "but not," "neither," "nor,"and "not even."

τοῖς (article pl masc dat )"Them" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one"or, in the plural, "they."

μετ᾽ (prep) "With" is from meta, which means "in the midst of," "among," "between," "in common," "along with," "by the aid of," "in one's dealings with," "into the middle of," "coming into," "in pursuit of," "after," "behind," "according to," and "next afterward"

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen ) "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."

εἰ μὴ (conj-part) "But" is from ei me, which is the conjunction that means "if not," "but," and "except." εἰ is the particle use with the imperative usually to express conditions "if" or indirect questions, "whether." The negative (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no."

τοῖς (article pl masc dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἱερεῦσιν [8 verses](noun pl masc dat) "Priest" is hiereus, which means a "priest," "sacrificer," "diviner" and is a metaphor for a "minister." It is also a verb meaning "to consecrate" or "to dedicated" in the form of a present participle so "the ones consecrating" or "the ones dedicating."

μόνοις; (adj pl masc dat) "Only" is from monos, which means "alone,""solitary," "only," "single," "unique," "made in one piece," "without [someone]," "only [something]," "unique," "one above all others," and "on one condition only."

KJV Analysis: 

How -- "How" is the adverb that means "how," "by any means," and "I suppose." This is a common interrogatory pronoun used by Jesus.

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

entered  -  "He entered" is a word that means "go or come into" and has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind."

into  -- The word translated as "unto" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more.

house  - The Greek word translated as "house," is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house. It means the household or clan that lives in the building as well.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

untranslated "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.

God,  - The word translated as "of God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God" or "the Divine." Jesus often uses the article this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.

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

did -- This helping verb is added to make this a past tense.

eat The word translated as "eat" means "eat" and devour but it also means "fret," as we say "something is eating me up."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more.

untranslated "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.

shew-  (WF)  The word for "shew" is a word that means "placing in public," "public notice," or "offering." It is a noun in the genitive form with its own article. It follows the word "bread" so "of the public" or "of the offering." The phrase refers to the twelve loaves representing the twelve tribes of Israel that were set out before the sanctuary for a week every week.

-bread,  -The word translated as "bread" means "small loaf or cake of bread." It is more like a slice of bread today. 

which -- The word translated as "who" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause. Its form is neuter, which doesn't match the "bread" above so it refers to the action of eating.

was  -- The verb "was" 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. It is the simple 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."

lawful  -  (CW) "Lawful" is a verb in the form of an adjective,  a participle, which means "it is possible" and "it is allowed." It generally refers to something within someone's power, or, in this case with the negative, something outside of someone's power. It does not involve the Greek word for "law" and it best translated as "allowed."

for -- This word "for" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

him  - -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. 

to -- This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

eat,  - The word translated as "to eat" means "eat" and is the sfirst "eat" above.

neither -- The Greek word for "neither" is an adverb that means "not at all" or "no even." As a conjunction, it works as both parts of the "neither/nor" constructions. 

for -- This word "for" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

them -- The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. 

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

with -- "With" is the Greek word that usually means "with" or a related concept such as "among" or "by the means of."

him, -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. 

but  - (CW) The "but" here is two words meaning "if not," which is best translated as "except."  It is not one of the two common Greek words translated as "but."

only  - The word translated as "only" means alone,""solitary," and "only." 

for -- This word "for" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

priests? -- The word translated a "priests" is the noun that we translated as "priest" or "sacrificer" but it is also the noun form of the verb meaning "to consecrate" or "to dedicate" so "the ones consecrating" or "the ones dedicating."

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "shew" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "lawful" is not the common word usually translated as "allowed" because it is a participle.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "which were" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "but" is not the common word usually translated as "but."

NIV Analysis: 

untranslated "how"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  is the adverb that means "how," "by any means," and "I suppose." This is a common interrogatory pronoun used by Jesus.

He -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

entered  -  "He entered" is a word that means "go or come into" and has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind."

untranslated "into"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more.

house  - The Greek word translated as "house," is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house. It means the household or clan that lives in the building as well.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

untranslated "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.

God,  - The word translated as "of God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God" or "the Divine." Jesus often uses the article this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.

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

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

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

untranslated "with "  -- (MW) The untranslated word means "with" or a related concept such as "among" or "by the means of." It also refers to "after" or "behind" when referring to a place, time, or pursuit.

his -- (WF)  The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English but it is an object, "him.

companions  -- (WW) The word translated as "companions" is the Greek definite article, which when not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more.

ate  - The word translated as "eat" means "eat" and devour but it also means "fret," as we say "something is eating me up."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more.

untranslated "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.

consecrated - The word for "shew" is a word that means "placing in public," "public notice," or "offering." It is a noun in the genitive form with its own article. It follows the word "bread" so "of the public" or "of the offering." The phrase refers to the twelve loaves representing the twelve tribes of Israel that were set out before the sanctuary for a week every week.

bread,  -The word translated as "bread" means "small loaf or cake of bread." It is more like a slice of bread today. 

which -- The word translated as "who" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause. Its form is neuter, which doesn't match the "bread" above so it refers to the action of eating.

was  -- The verb "was" 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. It is the simple 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."

lawful  -  (CW) "Lawful" is a verb in the form of an adjective,  a participle, which means "it is possible" and "it is allowed." It generally refers to something within someone's power, or, in this case with the negative, something outside of someone's power. It does not involve the Greek word for "law" and it best translated as "allowed."

for -- This word "for" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

them - -- (WN) The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. The pronoun is singular, not plural.

to -- This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

do,  - (WW) The word translated as "to eat" means "eat" and is the first "eat" above.

untranslated "nor"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is an adverb that means "not at all" or "no even." As a conjunction, it works as both parts of the "neither/nor" constructions. 

untranslated "for them"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "for them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English in the dative.

but  - (CW) The "but" here is two words meaning "if not," which is best translated as "except."  It is not one of the two common Greek words translated as "but."

only  - The word translated as "only" means alone,""solitary," and "only." 

for -- This word "for" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

priests? -- The word translated a "priests" is the noun that we translated as "priest" or "sacrificer" but it is also the noun form of the verb meaning "to consecrate" or "to dedicate" so "the ones consecrating" or "the ones dedicating."

NIV Translation Issues: 

13
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "how" at the beginning of the sentence.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "into" before "the house" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "with" at the beginning of the sentence.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "his" is not possessive but an object "him."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "companions" should be "the ones."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "consecrated" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "lawful" is not the common word usually translated as "allowed" because it is a participle.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "them" is translated as plural but it is singular.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "do" should be "eat."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "nor" at the beginning of the phrase.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "for them" at the beginning of the sentence.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "but" is not the common word usually translated as "but."

Front Page Date: 

Oct 23 2020