Matthew 16:3 And in the morning, foul weather today:

Spoken to: 

The Pharisees

Context: 

The Pharisees and Sadducees ask for a sign.

KJV : 

Matthew 16:3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

Literal Verse: 

And early today, stormy weather! Because it is fiery, threatening, this sky. Indeed This face of the sky you learn to discern. These signs, however, of this season, you don't have the power. 

What is Lost in Translation: 

There is nothing in the Greek here to indicate that the second part of this phrase is a question as in KJV, rather than a statement. In Greek, this is a contrast between what we know how to do, judge by appearances, and what we have no power to do, see when times are critical. Much of this is lost in translation. There is also a play on words contrasting our ability to see the appearance of a calamity before the fact.

My Takeaway: 

We learn in this world to judge appearances.

Greek : 

Wordplay: 

The word translated as "it is foul weather" means both "stormy weather" and a "calamity sent by the god." 

"Sky" means the "heaven" and the "universe."

"Red" is another way of saying "like fire." Fire is a metaphor for purification. 

Greek Vocabulary: 

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."

πρωί [3 verses](adv)"In the morning" is proi, an adverb which means "early in the day," "early," "at morn," generally, "betimes," "in good time," "too soon," and "too early."

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

χειμών, [3 verses](noun sg masc nom) "It will be foul weather" is from cheimon, which means "winter," "wintery," "storm," "stormy" and it is a metaphor for a calamity sent by the gods.

πυρράζει 2 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Is red" is from pyrrazô, which is a verb that means "to be fiery red." It is from pyrros, which means "ed" and "flame-colored."

γὰρ (conj)"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." --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.

στυγνάζων [1 verse](part sg pres act masc nom) "And lowering" is from stygnazo, which is a verb that means "to have a gloomy, lowering look" and "to be threatening weather."

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

οὐρανός. (noun sg masc nom) "Sky" is from the Greek ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky," "heaven as the seat of the gods," "the sky," "the universe," and "the climate."

τὸ (article sg neut nom/acc) "The" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun but here is separated from the noun by the following particle.

μὲν (partic) Untranslated is men, which is generally used to express certainty and means "indeed," "certainly," "surely," and "truly."

πρόσωπον [8 verses](noun sg neut nom/acc) "Face" is from prosopon, which means "face," "countenance. ""in front," "facing," "front," "façade," "one's look," "dramatic part," "character," "in person," "in bodily presence," "legal personality," "person," and "feature [of the city, of a person]."

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

οὐρανοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "Of the sky" is from the Greek ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky," "heaven as the seat of the gods," "the sky," "the universe," and "the climate." -- The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods.

γινώσκετε (verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "You can," is from ginosko which means "to learn to know," "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive."

διακρίνειν, [3 verses](verb pres inf act) "Discern" is diakrino, which means "to separate, "to separate one from another," "to discriminate," "to distinguish," "to decide," and "to separate into elemental parts." It captures the idea of telling one thing from another. It also means "to question" or "to doubt." In the Gospels, it is most often translated as "doubt" and second most often translated as "judge."

τὰ (article pl neut acc) "The" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun but here is separated from the noun by the following conjunction.

δὲ (conj)"But" 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 an explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if"). -- The Greek word translated as "but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

σημεῖα [15 times](noun pl neut acc) "Signs" is from semeion, which means "mark (by which things are known)," "a proof" (in reasoning), "sign (of the future)," "sign from the gods," "signal (to do things)," and "standard (flag).

τῶν (article pl masc gen)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

καιρῶν [21 verses](noun pl masc gen) "Times" is kairos, which means "due measure," "proportion," "fitness," "exact time," "season," "opportunity," "time," "critical times," "advantage," and "profit." It is the concept of time as a moment as opposed to a measurement. The ideas of good times or bad times as a part from seconds, minutes, and hours.

οὐ (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.

δύνασθε (verb 2nd pl pres ind mp) "Can ye" is from the verb, dynamai, which means "to have power by virtue of your own capabilities," "to be able," and "to be strong enough."

KJV Analysis: 

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

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

morning-  (CW) "Morning" is not a noun, but  an adverb which means "early in the day," "early," "at morn," generally, "betimes," "in good time," "too soon," and "too early."

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

foul weather  - "Foul weather" is not a phrase, but a single noun that means primarily "winter" but also "wintry, stormy weather." It is a metaphor for a calamity sent by the gods.

to day: --  The Greek word translated as "today" is an adverb that means "for today" and "on this day." Jesus sometimes uses it as a noun by adding an article before it.

for -The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation so "because" and, in questions, "why." However, since this word always appears in the second position, it is more like an aside remark like, "consequently" or "as a cause." 

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. 

sky  - The word translated as "sky" is the word usually translated as "heaven" in the NT, but it means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods.

is red  - "Is red" is from a Greek verb that means literally, "to be fire colored." It is from the base word for "fire" which, in Greek is also the base for the color, red. "Fire" is associated in Christianity with punishment, but Christ refers both to the productive use of fire in ovens for the baking of bread and in getting rid of trash in the junk yard.

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

lowring.  - "Lowering" is a verb used as an adjective that means "having a gloomy look" and "being a threatening sky." This verb is only used once by Jesus. It is in the form of an adjective

O ye hypocrites, -- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "O ye hypocrites" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

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

can  - (WW) This first "can" is from a verb that means "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn.

discern  - (WF) "Discern" is from a verb that means "to separate," "to discriminate," "to distinguish," and "to decide." It captures the idea of telling one thing from another. It also means "to question" or "to doubt." In the Gospels, it is most often translated as "doubt" and second most often translated as "judge." Jesus only uses this word three times.  The form of this word is an infinitive.

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. 

missing "indeed"  -- (MW)There is a word here, untranslated in the KJV, that means "indeed" or "surely."

face  - "Face" is translated from a Greek word that means "face," "front," and "facade." It generally means the appearance of things.  Jesus would never say that people know how to judge the "sky" or "universe" but only its appearance. The point is that we judge by appearances.

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. 

sky;  - - The word translated as "sky" is the word usually translated as "heaven" in the NT, but it means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods.

but -- The Greek word translated as "but" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand." It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  

can  - The second "can ye" is from a word meaning "having the power or ability." It is the word usually translated as "can" in the NT. In English, "can" is a helper verb, indicating a possibility. However, in ancient Greek, it indicated having the power or possibly a desire to accomplish something.

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.

discern  -  The word "discern" doesn't repeat in the source, but objects of verbs are often assumed in Greek.

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. 

signs  - "Signs" is Greek word that means a "mark," "sign," or "proof." The word in Greek is used specifically to means a sign from the gods and it that sense, it means "omen," "portent," and "constellations."

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. 

times? -- (CW) "Times" is from a noun which means "due measure," "fitness," "measure," "vital part," "exact or critical time," "opportunity," and generally, "season." There is a sense in the word of a special time or point, rather than any time or place. Jesus often used it to mean "season" in the sense of harvest time. This is not the standard word for "time" in Greek.

KJV Translation Issues: 

8
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "in the" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "morning" is not the common word usually translated as "morning."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "it will be" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "O ye hypocrites" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the source we use today.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "can" should be something more like "learn."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "indeed" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "times" is not the common word usually translated as "times."

NIV : 

Matthew 16:3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times

NIV Analysis: 

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

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

morning-  (CW) "Morning" is not a noun, but  an adverb which means "early in the day," "early," "at morn," generally, "betimes," "in good time," "too soon," and "too early."

Today: --  The Greek word translated as "today" is an adverb that means "for today" and "on this day." Jesus sometimes uses it as a noun by adding an article before it.

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

stormy  - "Foul weather" is not a phrase, but a single noun that means primarily "winter" but also "wintry, stormy weather." It is a metaphor for a calamity sent by the gods.

for -The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation so "because" and, in questions, "why." However, since this word always appears in the second position, it is more like an aside remark like, "consequently" or "as a cause." 

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. 

sky  - The word translated as "sky" is the word usually translated as "heaven" in the NT, but it means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods.

is red  - "Is red" is from a Greek verb that means literally, "to be fire colored." It is from the base word for "fire" which, in Greek is also the base for the color, red. "Fire" is associated in Christianity with punishment, but Christ refers both to the productive use of fire in ovens for the baking of bread and in getting rid of the trash in the junkyard.

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

overcast.  - "Ivercast" is a verb used as an adjective that means "having a gloomy look" and "being a threatening sky." This verb is only used once by Jesus. It is in the form of an adjective

O ye hypocrites, -- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "O ye hypocrites" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

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

know - (CW) This first "know" is from a verb that means "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn.

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

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

interpret -  (CW) "Interpret " is from a verb that means "to separate," "to discriminate," "to distinguish," and "to decide." It captures the idea of telling one thing from another. It also means "to question" or "to doubt." In the Gospels, it is most often translated as "doubt" and second most often translated as "judge." Jesus only uses this word three times.  The form of this word is an infinitive.

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. 

missing "indeed"  -- (MW)There is a word here, untranslated in the KJV, that means "indeed" or "surely."

appearance - "Appearance " is translated from a Greek word that means "face," "front," and "facade." It generally means the appearance of things.  Jesus would never say that people know how to judge the "sky" or "universe" but only its appearance. The point is that we judge by appearances.

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. 

sky;  - - The word translated as "sky" is the word usually translated as "heaven" in the NT, but it means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods.

but -- The Greek word translated as "but" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand." It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  

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

can  - The second "can ye" is from a word meaning "having the power or ability." It is the word usually translated as "can" in the NT. In English, "can" is a helper verb, indicating a possibility. However, in ancient Greek, it indicated having the power or possibly a desire to accomplish something.

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.

interpret -  The word "interpret" doesn't repeat in the source, but objects of verbs are often assumed in Greek.

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. 

signs  - "Signs" is Greek word that means a "mark," "sign," or "proof." The word in Greek is used specifically to means a sign from the gods and it that sense, it means "omen," "portent," and "constellations."

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. 

times -- (CW) "Times" is from a noun which means "due measure," "fitness," "measure," "vital part," "exact or critical time," "opportunity," and generally, "season." There is a sense in the word of a special time or point, rather than any time or place. Jesus often used it to mean "season" in the sense of harvest time. This is not the standard word for "time" in Greek.

NIV Translation Issues: 

9
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "in the" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "morning" is not the common word usually translated as "morning."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "it will be" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "know" is one of several words meaning "learn."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "how" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "interpret" is closer in meaning to "discern" or "judge."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "indeed" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "times" is not the common word usually translated as "times."

Related Verses: 

Front Page Date: 

Feb 4 2021