Matthew 7:10 Or if he ask a fish,

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Sermon on Mount, law and fulfillment, visible and hidden, trust and doubt, requesting and getting

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Certainly! Also a fish, he might beg, no snake will he wnat to bestow upon him.

My Takeaway: 

We want to give our loved ones what is healthy not what is poisonous.

KJV : 

Matthew 7:10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

NIV : 

Matthew 7:10  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?

What is Lost in Translation: 

This verse, as in the previous one, Matthew 7:9, contains a hidden negative that is untranslated in the KJV and other translations. It creates a play on words. Interestingly, in English, changing from a statement to a question, changes the meaning of the sentences.

Wordplay: 

 Contrary meanings of the phase in English depending on whether it is a statement or a question. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

(conj) "Or" is e which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than." OR (adv) "Or" is from e which means "surely, "doubtless".

καὶ (conj/adv) Untranslated is 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."

ἰχθὺν (noun sg masc acc) "Fish" is ichthys, which means "fish" and, in the plural, "fish market."

αἰτήσει (3rd sg aor subj actat a ) "He ask" is aiteo, which means "to ask", "to demand", "to beg", "to claim," and "to ask for one's own use."

μὴ (partic) Untranslated is me, which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

ὄφιν (noun sg masc acc) "Serpent" is from ophis, which means "serpent", "a serpent-like bracelet", "a specific constellation", "a creeping plant," and "a type of fish." It is a metaphor for "an arrow."

ἐπιδώσει (3rd sg fut ind act or verb 2nd sg fut ind mid) "Will he give" is from epididōmi which means to "give besides", "give afterwards", "contribute as a `benevolence'", "give freely", "bestow", "give oneself up", "devote oneself", "give into another's hands", "deliver", "take as one's witness", "increase", "advance", "improve", "give in," and "give way." -

αὐτῷ; (adj sg masc dat) "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." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

KJV Analysis: 

Or  - (CW) The Greek word translated as "or" that begins this verse can also mean "surely" or "doubtless". The "or" seems unlikely because of the untranslated word that follows. We a similar issue with this word in the previous verse, Matthew 7:9.

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

untranslated "and"-- (MW) The untranslated word "and" is the second word in this verse. It is the Greek word usually translated as "and". It is also used to mean "also". The source used by the KJV translatiors showed an "if/when" word.

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

ask  - (WF) The verb "ask" is not the simple verb "ask" but a compound form that literally means "ask on".  It  has shades of meaning from "demand" to "claim." Our words "request" and "beg" work here because it takes a direct object. The word is in a form of possibility so it requires a "might."

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

fish,  - The Greek word translated as "fish" means "fish". Galilee was a fishing area. "Fish," as a protein, was a luxury in Christ's era compared with bread. It also later became a metaphor for Christ, but only because of its spelling was a code for Christ's name.

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

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

give  - (CW) The word translated as "give" is not from the normal verb translated as "give" that we saw in Matthew 7:7, but a more complicated word or fancier word meaning "give besides," "deliver," or "bestow." It is in the future tense.

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

untranslated "not"-- (MW) The untranslated word "not" here is both of the Greek negatives used together. Greek has two negatives, one objective, one subjective. The use of both together is more extreme, like saying "you cannot really think." When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words.

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

serpent? The word translated as "serpent" is also a kind of fish. The "serpent" was used by Jesus both as a metaphor for wisdom (Mat.10:16) and, of course, an evil cunning.

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "or" does not seem to fit the context. A "surely" would fit better.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "if" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "ask" is not in the form of a statement but something that "should" or "might" be done.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "give" has more the sense of "bestow."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "not" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

Or  - (CW) The Greek word translated as "or" that begins this verse can also mean "surely" or "doubtless". The "or" seems unlikely because of the untranslated word that follows. We a similar issue with this word in the previous verse, Matthew 7:9.

if  - (OS) The second word in this verse is the Greek word usually translated as "and". It is also used to mean "also". The source used by the KJV translatiors showed an "if/when" word.

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

ask  - (WF) The verb "ask" is not the simple verb "ask" but a compound form that literally means "ask on".  It  has shades of meaning from "demand" to "claim." Our words "request" and "beg" work here because it takes a direct object. The word is in a form of possibility so it requires a "might."

for-- This word doesn't exist in the source, but our word "ask" takes a person as a direct object, so this word has to be added.

untranslated "not"-- (MW) The untranslated word "not" here is both of the Greek negatives used together. Greek has two negatives, one objective, one subjective. The use of both together is more extreme, like saying "you cannot really think." When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words.

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

fish,  - The Greek word translated as "fish" means "fish". Galilee was a fishing area. "Fish," as a protein, was a luxury in Christ's era compared with bread. It also later became a metaphor for Christ, but only because of its spelling was a code for Christ's name.

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

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

give  - (CW) The word translated as "give" is not from the normal verb translated as "give" that we saw in Matthew 7:7, but a more complicated word or fancier word meaning "give besides," "deliver," or "bestow." It is in the future tense.

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

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

serpent? The word translated as "serpent" is also a kind of fish. The "serpent" was used by Jesus both as a metaphor for wisdom (Mat.10:16) and, of course, an evil cunning.

NIV Translation Issues: 

6
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "or" does not seem to fit the context. A "surely" would fit better.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "if" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "ask" is not in the form of a statement but something that "should" or "might" be done.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "give" has more the sense of "bestow."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "not" is not shown in the English translation.

evidence: 

91.00

Front Page Date: 

Jul 5 2020