Matthew 13:27 So the servants of the householder

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Parables, Parable of the Weeds

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Coming forward, however, slaves of the controller of the house said to him: Master, didn't you certainly seed good seeds in each field of yours? From where in fact does it contain wheat-like weeds?

KJV : 

Matthew 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

At this point, this verse becomes the question about why that which is not good exists in a world made by a good creator. See this article on the "problem" of evil for more context.

NIV : 

Matthew 13:27 The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

Wordplay: 

The house holder becomes a metaphor for God.

The servants becomes a metaphor for the people of earth.

The field is the world.

The "good seed" has a double meaning of a "good source."

"Weeds" as "false wheat" becomes a metaphor for "evil" or what is second-rate. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

προσελθόντες [7 verses](part pl aor act masc nom) "Came" is proserchomai, which means "come", "go to", "approach", "draw nigh," in hostile sense, "attack", "come in", "surrender", "capitulate", "come forward to speak", "appear before a tribunal or official", "apply oneself to," of things, "to be added", "come in (of revenue)" and :"have sexual intercourse."

δὲ (conj/adv) "So" 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").

δοῦλοι (noun pl masc nom) "The servants" is from doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."

τοῦ (article sg masc gen)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

οἰκοδεσπότου (noun sg masc gen) "Of the house holder" is from oikodespotes , which means "master or steward of a house", "owner of a domicile," and "native ruler (as opp. foreign emperor)."

εἶπον (verb 3rd pl aor ind act) "Said" is from eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer."

αὐτῷ (adj sg masc dat) "Unto 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."

Κύριε (noun sg masc voc) "Lord" is from kyrios (kurios), which means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family."

οὐχὶ (adv) "Not" is from ouchi, an adverb which means "no", "no truly", "assuredly not", "not however", "nevertheless," "notwithstanding", "yet", "still", "never yet", "for not", "indeed", "for surely not", "no,—certainly not", "for I don't suppose," and "for in no manner."

καλὸν (adj sg neut acc) "Good" is from kalos, which means "beautiful", "good", "of fine quality", "noble," and "honorable." It is most often translated as "good" juxtaposed with "evil" in the New Testament, but the two ideas are closer to "wonderful" and "worthless", "noble" and "base." --

σπέρμα ( noun sg neut acc) “Seed” is from a Greek noun for plant “seed,” animal “sperm,” and “origin,” “offspring," and “descent.”

ἔσπειρας (verb 2nd sg aor ind act) "Didst...thou sow" is from speirô, which is a verb, that means "to sow seed", "to scatter like seed," and "to beget offspring.

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

τῷ (pron sg dat) Untranslated 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."

σῷ (adj sg dat) "Thine" is sos, which means "thy", "thine" "of thee," or "from thee."

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

πόθεν [8 verses](adv indeclform) "From whence" is pothen, which means "whence" and "from what source."

οὖν (adv) "Then" is from oun, which means "certainly", "in fact", "really", "in fact," "so" and "then" (continuing a narrative), and "then" and "therefore."

ἔχει (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Hath" is from echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

ζιζάνια; (noun pl neut nom/acc) The term translated as "tares" is zizanion, which was a weed that grows in wheat, a kind of imitation wheat, that had black kernels instead of real wheat when it mature. It comes from a Sumerian word for "wheat."

KJV Analysis: 

So  - The Greek word translated as "so" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. It can also be the explanation of a cause, "so."

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

servants  - "Servants" is translated from a Greek word that really means "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave." In the KJV it was "updated" to "servant" but today, we might say "employee."

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.

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. 

householder  - "Householder" is from a word that means the master, steward or owner of the house.

came   - (CW, WF) The word translated as "came" is a special form of the word commonly translated as "come." It has the sense of approaching someone in authority, so "come forward to speak." However, it is in the form of an adjective or noun modifying the subject of the sentence so "coming forward."

and -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "and" in the Greek source. It is added because the previous verb was translated as active rather than a participle.

said  - "Said" is from a verb that means "to say" and "to speak" also. However, it has less a sense of teaching and more a sense of addressing and proclaiming.

unto -- This word "unto" 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.

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

Sir, -- (CW) The word translated as "master" is the same word that is often translated as "Lord" or "the Lord" in the NT. It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family."

didst -- This helping verb is added to make this a negative sentence.

not  - (CW) The word translated as "not" is a special form of the usual Greek negative of fact. It means "no truly", "assuredly not", "not however", "nevertheless," and "notwithstanding."

thou  - - This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

sow  -- The Greek word translated as "sow" means specifically to "sow seeds" and "to scatter" as in sowing seeds. It is, however, from the same root word as the Greek word for "seeds" so "seeding" is closer to its meaning.

good -- The word translated as "good" referring to the "seed" means "beautiful", "noble," or "of good quality." See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil."

seed  - “Seed” is from a Greek noun for plant “seed,” animal “sperm,” and “origin,” “offspring," and “descent.”

in   -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within", "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here.  With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for."

untranslated "each"  -- (MW) The untranslated word in the singular means "anyone", "each", "any", "someone,"  "something," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some", "they," and "those."

thy - - This is from the second-person singular pronoun in the dative form. When used like this, it means "thine" and the form matches the noun.

field?  -- "Field" is from the common noun that means "field", "lands," or "countryside."

from whence  - "From where" is from an adverb which means "whence" and "from what source."

then  - The Greek word translated as "then" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

hath  - -- The word translated as "hath" means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and many specific uses. This verb isn't used to form past tenses as it is in English. 

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

tares?  -   The term translated as "tares" is from a weed that grows among wheat crops, a kind of imitation wheat, that had black kernels instead of real wheat when it mature. It comes from a Sumerian word for "wheat."

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "servants" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "came" is not the common word usually translated as "came," but a special form of it.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "came before" is not an active verb but a participle, "coming before."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" before "servants" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "no" is not one of  the common words usually translated as "not," but a special form of it that is more emphatic.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "each" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

untranslated "so"  -- (MW) The untranslated word"so" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. It can also be the explanation of a cause, "so."

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. 

owner's - "Owner" is from a word that means the master, steward or owner of the house. The form is genitive which is the Greek possessive form.

servants  - "Servants" is translated from a Greek word that really means "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave." In the KJV it was "updated" to "servant" but today, we might say "employee."

came   - (CW, WF) The word translated as "came" is a special form of the word commonly translated as "come." It has the sense of approaching someone in authority, so "come forward to speak." However, it is in the form of an adjective or noun modifying the subject of the sentence so "coming forward."

to -- (WP) This word "unto" 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.

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

and -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "and" in the Greek source. It is added because the previous verb was translated as active rather than a participle.

said  - "Said" is from a verb that means "to say" and "to speak" also. However, it has less a sense of teaching and more a sense of addressing and proclaiming.

Sir, -- (CW) The word translated as "master" is the same word that is often translated as "Lord" or "the Lord" in the NT. It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family."

did -- This helping verb is added to make this a negative sentence.

n't  - (CW) The word translated as "not" is a special form of the usual Greek negative of fact. It means "no truly", "assuredly not", "not however", "nevertheless," and "notwithstanding."

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

sow  -- The Greek word translated as "sow" means specifically to "sow seeds" and "to scatter" as in sowing seeds. It is, however, from the same root word as the Greek word for "seeds" so "seeding" is closer to its meaning.

good -- The word translated as "good" referring to the "seed" means "beautiful", "noble," or "of good quality." See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil."

seed  - “Seed” is from a Greek noun for plant “seed,” animal “sperm,” and “origin,” “offspring," and “descent.”

in   -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within", "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here.  With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for."

untranslated "each"  -- (MW) The untranslated word in the singular means "anyone", "each", "any", "someone,"  "something," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some", "they," and "those."

you - - This is from the second-person singular pronoun in the dative form. When used like this, it means "thine" and the form matches the noun.

field?  -- "Field" is from the common noun that means "field", "lands," or "countryside."

Where  - "From where" is from an adverb which means "whence" and "from what source."

then  - The Greek word translated as "then" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

did -- 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.

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

weeds ?  -   The term translated as "weeds " is from a weed that grows among wheat crops, a kind of imitation wheat, that had black kernels instead of real wheat when it mature. It comes from a Sumerian word for "wheat."

come from?’  -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "came from" in the Greek source.

NIV Translation Issues: 

7
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "so" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "came" is not the common word usually translated as "came," but a special form of it.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "came before" is not an active verb but a participle, "coming before."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" before "servants" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "n't" is not one of  the common words usually translated as "not," but a special form of it that is more emphatic.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "each" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "come from" doesn't exist in the source.

The Spoken Version: 

“Coming forward, however, slaves of the controller of the house said to him,” continued the Teacher.
He assumed a servile posture and switched to a hesitant, nervous tone, “Master, uh, didn’t you, certainly, seed good seeds in each field of yours?”
The Master assume the upright commanding posture of a master and nodded that he did. Then he assumed the servile posture again.
“Where in fact does it get wheat-like weeds?” he said hesitantly, pretending to display the weeds to the audience.

Front Page Date: 

Dec 16 2020