Matthew 13:17 For truly I tell to you,

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Parables, Sower, Understanding

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Because honestly I tell you . Many luminaries and virtuous longed to see what you view and they did not see it. And to hear what  you hear and they did not hear it.

My Takeaway: 

We are lucky because we live in the world after Christ taught us.

KJV : 

Matthew 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

NIV : 

Matthew 13:17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse includes two different Greek words both translated as "see." The KJV adds many words that are not part of the original.

Wordplay: 

In using two different verbs to means "see," Christ is subtly suggesting that his followers did not understand what they were seeing. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἀμὴν (exclaim) "Verily" is from amen, which is from the Hebrew, meaning "truly," "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek before the NT.

γὰρ  (partic) "For" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for," "since," and "as." In an abrupt question it means "why" and "what."

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 spelled the same means "to lay," "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

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

πολλοὶ (adj pl masc nom) "Many" is from polus, which means "many (in number)," "great (in size or power or worth)," and "large (of space)." As an adverb, it means "far," "very much," "a great way," and "long."

προφῆται (noun pl masc nom) "Prophets" is from prophetes, which means "one who speaks for a god and interprets his will," "interpreter," "keepers of the oracle," "the highest level of priesthood in Egypt," and "herald."

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."

δίκαιοι (adj pl masc nom) "Righteous [men]" is from dikaios, which means "observant of tradition," "civilized," and "observant of duty."

ἐπεθύμησαν [1 verse]( verb 3rd pl aor ind act ) "Have desired" is from epithumia, which means "set one's heart upon," "long for," "covet," "eagerness for," "desire," "yearning," and "longing after." Passive, "to be desired." It is not the more common word meaning "desire" which is used in Luke 10:24.

ἰδεῖν (verb aor inf act) "To see" is from eido which means "to see," "to examine," "to perceive," "to behold," "to know how to do," "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

(pron pl neut acc) "Those things which" is from hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

βλέπετε (verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "Ye see" is from of blepo, which means "to look," "to see," "to look to," "to look like," "to rely on," "to look longingly," "to propose," "to beware," "to behold," and "to look for."

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." --

οὐκ (partic) "Not" is from ou 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. -

εἶδαν, (verb 3rd pl aor ind act) "Seen" is from eido which means "to see," "to examine," "to perceive," "to behold," "to know how to do," "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

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." --

ἀκοῦσαι (verb aor inf act) "To hear" is from akouo, which means "hear of," "hear tell of," "what one actually hears," "know by hearsay," "listen to," "give ear to," "hear and understand," and "understand."

(pron pl neut acc) "Those things which" is from hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

ἀκούετε (2nd pl pres ind act) "Ye hear" is from akouo, which means "hear of," "hear tell of," "what one actually hears," "know by hearsay," "listen to," "give ear to," "hear and understand," and "understand."

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." --

οὐκ (partic}  ​"Not" is from ou 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. -

ἤκουσαν. (verb 3rd pl aor ind act) "Have...heard" is from akouo, which means "hear of," "hear tell of," "what one actually hears," "know by hearsay," "listen to," "give ear to," "hear and understand," and "understand."

KJV Analysis: 

For  - The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, in written English, as "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

Verily -- 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." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

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

say -- The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

unto -- This word "unto" comes from the dative case 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.

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

many  - The word translated as "many" means many in number, great in power or worth, and large in size.

prophets  - The Greek word translated as "prophets" means "one who speaks for God," "interpreter" and was the highest level of priesthood in Egypt. Christ uses it to refer not only to divine spokespeople but their books in the OT. It is the verb that means "to shine before."

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

righteous  - "Righteous [men]" is a Greek adjective, used as a noun, that means "observant of tradition," "civilized," and "observant of duty." The word for "men" doesn't appear, but the adjective is in the masculine form.

men -- This is from the masculine, plural form of the previous verb.

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

desired  - "Desired" is a verb that means "to set one's heart up," and, more generally, to "desire," "yearning," and "longing after." The word means literally, "upon the chest" where the chest was the seat of higher emotions in Greek, like our and Jesus's "heart." The tense indicates something that happens at some specific point in time, past, present, or future. The more common Greek word meaning "to desire" is used Luke 10:24.

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

see  - The verb translated as "to see" means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive."

those --   - The word translated as "those" 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.

things  - This comes from the neuter, plural form of the previous pronoun.

which -- This comes from the previous pronouns use as a connective pronoun.

ye  - -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

see, -- (CW) The verb translated as "see " means "to see," "to look to," "to look like," "to beware," and "to look for." It is the more tangible sense of seeing, such as seeing what is right in front of you rather than understanding so  "watch" works better.  "Look" does not work as well because it doesn't take a direct object and this word does.

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

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

not  - The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact.

seen  - The verb translated as "see" means "see" in the sense of "to know" or "to perceive." It is the same as the first "to see" above.

them; -- This English objective pronoun is added and not in the Greek source.   In Greek, pronoun objects are not repeated after each verb because they are implied by their first occurrence.

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

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

hear  - "Hear" is from a Greek verb that means "to hear" and "to listen." It has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.  It is the most common verb that Christ uses meaning "to hear." It also means "to listen" and "to understand." This is an infinitive form.

those --   - The word translated as "those" 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.

things  - This comes from the neuter, plural form of the previous pronoun.

which  - The word translated as "which" 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.

ye - -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

hear,  - "Hear" is from a Greek verb that means "to hear" and "to listen." It has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.  It is the most common verb that Christ uses meaning "to hear." It also means "to listen" and "to understand."

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

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

not  - The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact.

heard "Heard" is from a Greek verb that means "to hear" and "to listen." It has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.  It is the most common verb that Christ uses meaning "to hear." It also means "to listen" and "to understand."

them. -  -- This English objective pronoun is added and not in the Greek source.   In Greek, pronoun objects are not repeated after each verb because they are implied by their first occurrence.

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "that" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "see" is not the same word translated as "see" before and after.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" before "not seen" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" before "not heard" " indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).

NIV Analysis: 

For  - The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, in written English, as "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

truly -- The word translated as "truly " 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." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

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

tell -- The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

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

many  - The word translated as "many" means many in number, great in power or worth, and large in size.

prophets  - The Greek word translated as "prophets" means "one who speaks for God," "interpreter" and was the highest level of priesthood in Egypt. Christ uses it to refer not only to divine spokespeople but their books in the OT. It is the verb that means "to shine before."

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

righteous  - "Righteous [men]" is a Greek adjective, used as a noun, that means "observant of tradition," "civilized," and "observant of duty." The word for "men" doesn't appear, but the adjective is in the masculine form.

people -- This is from the masculine, plural form of the previous verb.

longed - "Longed " is a verb that means "to set one's heart up," and, more generally, to "desire," "yearning," and "longing after." The word means literally, "upon the chest" where the chest was the seat of higher emotions in Greek, like our and Jesus's "heart." The tense indicates something that happens at some specific point in time, past, present, or future. The more common Greek word meaning "to desire" is used Luke 10:24.

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

see  - The verb translated as "to see" means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive."

what --   - The word translated as "those" 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.

you - -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

see, -- (CW) The verb translated as "see " means "to see," "to look to," "to look like," "to beware," and "to look for." It is the more tangible sense of seeing, such as seeing what is right in front of you rather than understanding so  "watch" works better.  "Look" does not work as well because it doesn't take a direct object and this word does.

but - -- (WW) The Greek word translated as "but" 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 negative sentence.

not  - The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact.

seen  - The verb translated as "see" means "see" in the sense of "to know" or "to perceive." It is the same as the first "to see" above.

it; -- This English objective pronoun is added and not in the Greek source.   In Greek, pronoun objects are not repeated after each verb because they are implied by their first occurrence.

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

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

hear  - "Hear" is from a Greek verb that means "to hear" and "to listen." It has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.  It is the most common verb that Christ uses meaning "to hear." It also means "to listen" and "to understand." This is an infinitive form.

what --   - The word translated as "those" 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.

what - -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

hear,  - "Hear" is from a Greek verb that means "to hear" and "to listen." It has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.  It is the most common verb that Christ uses meaning "to hear." It also means "to listen" and "to understand."

but - -- (WW) The Greek word translated as "but" 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 negative sentence.

not  - The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact.

heard "Heard" is from a Greek verb that means "to hear" and "to listen." It has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.  It is the most common verb that Christ uses meaning "to hear." It also means "to listen" and "to understand."

it. -  -- This English objective pronoun is added and not in the Greek source.   In Greek, pronoun objects are not repeated after each verb because they are implied by their first occurrence.

NIV Translation Issues: 

3
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "see" is not the same word translated as "see" before and after.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "but" should be "look."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "but" should be "look."

Front Page Date: 

Dec 6 2020