Matthew 15:17 Do you not yet understand,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

Responding to Peter's request to explain his saying Matthew 15:11 That which goes into the mouth

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Don't you understand that all this bringing itself into the mouth into the belly makes way and into a sewer is tossed out.

My Takeaway: 

What is valuable becomes something useless, waste. What is originally sought out is rejected.

KJV : 

Matthew 15:17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?

NIV : 

Matthew 15:17 Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?

What is Lost in Translation: 

The KJV translation misses a lot. This verse is a clarification of what Jesus said in Matthew 15:11 about rules concerning eating and his response to his critics as "blind guides" in Matthew 15:14. It follows Matthew 15:16 where the KJV translates as talking about a "without understanding"/"dull" but the word translated here as "understand" is a completely different concept, for a good reason. All of the words here touch on understanding ideas. The hidden meaning here has about consuming ideas as well as food, and not necessarily good ones, but it uses a lot of special words to tie together all of these verses in a way that we cannot see in English translation.

Wordplay: 

All of the words chosen here have specific meanings relating to understanding words as well as eating food.

There is a repetition of "into" showing the sense the progression here, but the progression is more than the progression of food. It is also the progression of ideas. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

οὐ (particle) "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. -

νοεῖτε [8 verses](verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "Understand" is noeo, means "perceive by the eyes," "observe," "to perceive with the mind," "apprehend," "think out, "devise," "consider," "reflect, and, of words, to "bear a certain sense," "mean."

ὅτι  (conj) "That" is from hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that," "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore." -- In the Greek source, this is a word here that means "that" or "because." So what follows is a dependent clause, indicating either what they were "saying" or why they were saying it.

πᾶν (adj sg neut nom) "Whatsoever" is from pas, which means "all," "the whole," "every," "anyone," "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form, it means "every way," "on every side," "in every way," and "altogether." --

τὸ (article sg  neut nom)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

εἰσπορευόμενον (part sg pres mp neut nom)  "Entereth" is from eisporeuomai, which means "lead in," "go into," and "enter." It combines "eis," which means "in" with poreuomai, which means "make to go," "carry," "convey," "bring," "go," "march," and "proceed."

εἰς "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)." --

τὸ (article sg neut acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

στόμα [12 verses ](noun sg neut acc) "The mouth" is stoma, which means "mouth," "the organ of speech," "speech," "utterance," "any outlet or entrance," and "the foremost part" of something. For example, the blade or point of a weapon is a stoma.

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)." --

τὴν (article sg fem acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

κοιλίαν [6 verses ](noun sg fem acc) "Belly" is from the Greek, koilia, which means the "cavity within the body" (from the Greek, koilos, for "hollow"). It means both the belly, the intestines, and the womb. The word is also used to mean "excrement," which fills the hollow.

χωρεῖ [4 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Goeth" is from choreo, which means "to leave room for another," "to make way," "to withdraw," "to go forward," "to make progress," "to advance," "to proceed," [of gold] "to be spent," "to have room for," "to hold," "to contain," and "to be capable of."

καὶ (conj) "And" is from 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."

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)."

ἀφεδρῶνα [2 verses](noun sg masc acc) "Draught" is from aphedron, means "toilet" or "privy." It means literally "separate from sitting." A similar word was used in the Greek translation of Lev 12:5 to describe the separation of a woman bleeding after childbirth. The source seems to be a vulgar Macedonian word.

ἐκβάλλεται; (verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Is cast out" is from ekballo and means "throw out," "cast out of a place,"and "expose." Ek means "out of," "from," and "away from." Ballo is "to throw" or "to scatter."

KJV Analysis: 

Do -- 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.

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

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.

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

understand, - (CW) The Greek word translated as "understand" means specifically "to perceive with the eyes," but later came to mean perceiving with the mind. However, it has a specific meaning pertaining to the meaning of words, which is the focus here. Of words, it means to "bear a certain sense," and "to mean. This is a rare word for Christ to use but it is perfect because it connects "sight" of the "blind guides" (Matthew 15:14) with the meaning of words. This is the common word for " This is the root word for the keyword in Jesus's teaching that gets translated as "repent" but which actually means "change your mind."  This is not the common word translated as "understand" nor the one used in Matthew 15:11.

that -- The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

whatever  - (WW) The word translated as "whatsoever" is an adjective meaning "all," "the whole," "every," and similar ideas. It is an adjective that modifies the word translated as "entereth into," which here is a noun so "everything entering into." This is not the word that means "whatever" in Greek.

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

entereth  - (WF) "Entereth " is from a verb that specifically means "to lead or bring into," and which is usually translated as "enter." However, here it is in the form of an adjective used as a noun. It is also either passive or a middle voice  where the subject acts on itself, so "the one bringing itself into." Here, the "thing" is the meaning of words, not just the eating of forbidden foods.

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. 

mouth - "Mouth" is from the Greek word that means "mouth ""an opening," and "the foremost part" of something. For example, the blade of a weapon.It is much the organ of speech, eating, or simply any inlet or outlet.

goeth  - (WW) "Goeth" is from a Greek verb that has three meanings 1) having the capacity for something, 2) making progress, and 3) making way or room for someone or something else. "Receive" is from a Greek verb that has three meanings 1) having the capacity for something, 2) making progress, and 3) making way or room for someone or something else. It is only used four times. Here, in the next verse, in Matthew 15:17, where it refers to food in the belly, and John 8:37, where it also refers to something sitting within you. So the negative sense is similar to how we say, you can't "stomach" or "digest" something. Or it "doesn't sit well." So it has a humorous feeling.  This is not one of the common words translated as "go."

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. 

belly,  - The word translated as "belly," means "intestinal cavity" (from the Greek word for "hallow") and means the belly, the intestines, and the womb. The word is also used to mean "excrement," which fills the hollow. However, "the belly" was also symbolically the home of the more animal desires, those for food, drink, and sex.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also.

is -- This helping verb "is" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

cast  - "Cast out" is from a verb that means to "throw out." Depending on the context, it can mean "toss out," "turn out," or "take out." It is usually translated as "cast out" in the NT.

out -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "out."

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

draught?  -- The word translated as "draught" which means "toilet" or "privy. It is a word that only appears in the NT here to describe a place for dumping human waste. A lot of Bible translations skip this word because...

KJV Translation Issues: 

7
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "yet" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "understand" is not the common word usually translated as "understand."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "whatsoever" should be something more like "all."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "enters" is not an active verb but a participle, "being entered."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "goeth" should be something more like "advances."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" doesn't exist in the source.

NIV Analysis: 

Do- -- 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.

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

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

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

see ,- (CW) The Greek word translated as "see" means specifically "to perceive with the eyes," but later came to mean perceiving with the mind. However, it has a specific meaning pertaining to the meaning of words, which is the focus here. Of words, it means to "bear a certain sense," and "to mean. This is a rare word for Christ to use but it is perfect because it connects "sight" of the "blind guides" (Matthew 15:14) with the meaning of words. This is the common word for " This is the root word for the keyword in Jesus's teaching that gets translated as "repent" but which actually means "change your mind."  This is not the common word translated as "see" nor the one used in Matthew 15:11.

that -- The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

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

enters  - (WF) "Enters" is from a verb that specifically means "to lead or bring into," and which is usually translated as "enter." However, here it is in the form of an adjective used as a noun. It is also either passive or a middle voice  where the subject acts on itself, so "the one bringing itself into." Here, the "thing" is the meaning of words, not just the eating of forbidden foods.

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. 

mouth - "Mouth" is from the Greek word that means "mouth ""an opening," and "the foremost part" of something. For example, the blade of a weapon.It is much the organ of speech, eating, or simply any inlet or outlet.

goes  - (WW) "Goes" is from a Greek verb that has three meanings 1) having the capacity for something, 2) making progress, and 3) making way or room for someone or something else. In English, we have not similar combination of ideas in one word so we have to focus on one or the other of this word's meanings to translate it, but the best understanding comes from holding all these ideas at once in our mind. "Advances" captures two of these ideas.  This is not one of the common words translated as "go."

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. 

stomach,  - The word translated as "stomach," means "intestinal cavity" (from the Greek word for "hallow") and means the belly, the intestines, and the womb. The word is also used to mean "excrement," which fills the hollow. However, "the belly" was also symbolically the home of the more animal desires, those for food, drink, and sex.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also.

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

missing "is tossed"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "tossed out" is from a verb that means to "throw out." Depending on the context, it can mean "toss out," "turn out," or "take out." It is usually translated as "cast out" in the NT. The verb is passive

out -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "out."

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

body? -- (WW) The word translated as "body" which means "toilet" or "privy. It is a word that only appears in the NT here to describe a place for dumping human waste. A lot of Bible translations skip this word because...

NIV Translation Issues: 

10
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "yet" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "see" is not the common word usually translated as "see."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "whatsoever" should be something more like "all."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "enters" is not an active verb but a participle, "being entered."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "goes" should be something more like "advances."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "tossed" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "of" should be something more like "into."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "body" should be something more like "toilet."

Front Page Date: 

Jan 25 2021