Matthew 22:8 Then he said to his servants, The wedding is ready,

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

After his opponents leave, Jesus addresses the crowd telling a parable comparing the realm of the skies to a man, a king.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

At that time, he told those servants of his: this indeed [is] a wedding. Those, however, having been called weren't worthy. It is ready!

My Takeaway: 

When things are ready, the part must start.

KJV : 

Matthew 22:8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

NIV : 

Matthew 22:8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse returns to the simple vocabulary of a parable, since the serious drama is over, at least until the end. The language is simple but much more conversational than we see in translation. Both translations eliminating the punchline, which is "It is ready!" and the very end of the verse. The point is to create urgency in the story, something established before the bloodshed.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

τότε [53 verses](adv) "Then" is from tote, which means "at that time" and "then."

λέγει [264 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Saith he" 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 spelt the same means "to lay," "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

τοῖς (article sg neut dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

δούλοις [56 verses](noun pl masc dat) "Servants" is doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."

αὐτοῦ [720 verses](adj sg masc gen) "His" 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."

(article sg masc nom) "The" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one."

μὲν [31 verses](partic) Untranslated is men, which is generally used to express certainty and means "indeed," "certainly," "surely," and "truly."

γάμος [10 verses](noun sg masc nom) "Marriage" is from the gamos, which means "marriage," "wedding," and "wedlock."

οἱ (article pl masc nom) "They" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one."

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 a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

κεκλημένοι [38 verses](part pl perf mp masc nom) "Which were bidden" is kaleo, which means "call," "summon," "invite," "invoke," "call by name," and "demand."

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.

ἦσαν (verb 3rd pl imperf ind act) "Were" is eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," and "is possible."

ἄξιοι: [12 verses](adj pl masc nom) "Worthy" is axios, which means "counterbalancing," "weighing as much," "of like value," "worth as much as," "worthy," "goodly," "deserved," "due," "worthy," "estimable," "worthy of," "deserving," "fit," "due," and "as deserved."

ἕτοιμός [8 verses](adj sg masc nom) "Are ready" is hetoimos, which means "at hand," "ready," "prepared," of persons, "ready," "active," "zealous," of the mind, "ready," "bold," and as an adverb, "readily," "willingly."

ἐστιν, (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Were" is eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.") -- When the verb "to be" appears early in the sentence before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."

KJV Analysis: 

Then  - -- The "then"  is from an adverb meaning "when," "at what time," "at some time or other," "at some unknown time, and "at some time in the future." With the subjective negative ) before it, the sense is "not when."

saith  - The word translated as "saith " 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. However, it also has a sense of repeating something heard, which fits here since this verse repeats ideas from earlier verses in parable, especially Matthew 22:4.

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

to -- This word "to" 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.

his  - -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

missing "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. 

servants,  - The noun translated as "servants" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible.

The -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." . The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

wedding  - The Greek word for "wedding" means a "marriage" and it is the same as the word used earlier in the parable but here it is singular, not plural as it was earlier. The word seems to work like our nuptial/nuptials, the same in singular and plural.

is -- (WP) The verb "is" 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 does not appear in this clause but at the end of the verse.

missing "indeed"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "indeed" here is a particle, which. when used alone. expresses certainty, "truly" and "certainly".

ready,  -- (WP) The "ready" means "at hand," "ready," "prepared," of persons, "ready," "active," "zealous," of the mind, "ready," "bold," and as an adverb, "readily," "willingly." It does not appear in this clause, but at the end of the verse.

but  - 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.

they -- This is from the masculine, plural form of the word.

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

were  - -- (WT) This helping verb "were" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English. It also indicates that the tense is the simple past but this is that past perfect.

bidden  - The term translated as "bidden" is from verb that works like our word "call" means both "to summon" and also "to name." Here it is in the form of a plural noun in the tense of something completed in the past.

were  - The verb "were" is the common form of "to be" in the past tense.

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.

worthy. The word translated here as "worthy" means "counterbalancing." It is the idea of weighing the same as something of equal value. From this comes the idea of "being worthy" or "due," not from inherent worth but because you give value for equal value. Here, they are not worthy of the wedding feast.

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "servant" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "is" doesn't appear here but at the end of the verse.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "indeed" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "ready" doesn't appear here but at the end of the verse.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "which" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb "were" is the past tense, but Greek is in the past perfect, a completed action, "have been."

NIV Analysis: 

Then  - -- The "then"  is from an adverb meaning "when," "at what time," "at some time or other," "at some unknown time, and "at some time in the future." With the subjective negative ) before it, the sense is "not when."

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

said - The word translated as "said " 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. However, it also has a sense of repeating something heard, which fits here since this verse repeats ideas from earlier verses in the parable, especially Matthew 22:4.

to -- This word "to" 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.

his  - -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

missing "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. 

servants,  - The noun translated as "servants" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible.

The -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." . The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

wedding  - The Greek word for "wedding" means a "marriage" and it is the same as the word used earlier in parable but here it is singular, not plural as it was earlier. The word seems to work like our nuptial/nuptials, the same in singular and plural.

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

is -- (WP) The verb "is" 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 does not appear in this clause but at the end of the verse.

missing "indeed"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "indeed" here is a particle, which. when used alone. expresses certainty, "truly" and "certainly".

ready,  -- (WP) The "ready" means "at hand," "ready," "prepared," of persons, "ready," "active," "zealous," of the mind, "ready," "bold," and as an adverb, "readily," "willingly." It does not appear in this clause, but at the end of the verse.

but  - 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.

those -- This is from the masculine, plural form of the word.

which I -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "which I" in the Greek source. It was added because the next verb was translated as active rather than a participle.

invited - (WF, WV, WT) The term translated as "invited" is from verb that works like our word "call" means both "to summon" and also "to name." Here it is in the form of plural, passive, participle in the tense of something completed in the past.

did - (WW) The verb "were" is the common form of "to be" in the past tense.

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.

deserve  -- (WW) The word translated here as "worthy" means "counterbalancing." It is the idea of weighing the same as something of equal value. From this comes the idea of "being worthy" or "due," not from inherent worth but because you give value for equal value. Here, they are not worthy of the wedding feast. It is an adjective, not a verb.

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

NIV Translation Issues: 

12
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "servant" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "banquet" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "is" doesn't appear here but at the end of the verse.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "indeed" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "ready" doesn't appear here but at the end of the verse.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "which I" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "invited" is not an active verb but a participle.
  • WV - Wrong Voice - The verb here is translated as active but it is passive.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb "invited" is the past tense, but Greek is in the past perfect, a completed action, "have been invited."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "did" should be "were."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "deserve" should be "worthy."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "to come" doesn't exist in the source.

Front Page Date: 

Jul 1 2021