Matthew 20:4 And told them; Go also into the vineyard

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

A parable comparing the realm of the skies to hiring workers throughout the day.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

And, he told them, "Go down into the vineyard, and that when it is fair, I will give you." So they went away.

KJV : 

Matthew 20:4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.

NIV : 

Matthew 20:4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Again, in parables, Jesus says everything very directly, with very little wordplay or double meanings. We see this here again. The word translated as "right" here seems to have a clear meaning of "fair," rather than its basic meaning of "observant of the rules." However, perhaps there was a set of rules regarding paying people for partial days because the basic silver coin was the going rate for a day's pay.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is from 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."

ἐκείνοις [107 verses](adj pl masc dat) "Unto them" is ekeinos, which means "the person there," "that person," "that thing," and, as an adverb, "in that case," "in that way," "at that place," and "in that manner."

εἶπεν [162 verses] (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Said" is eipon, which means "to speak," "to say," "to recite," "to address," "to mention," "to name," "to proclaim," "to plead," "to promise," and "to offer."

Ὑπάγετε [47 verses] (verb 2nd pl pres imperat act) "Go" is from hypago, which means "to lead under," "to bring under," "to bring a person before judgment," "to lead on by degrees," "to take away from beneath," "to withdraw," "to go away," "to retire," "to draw off," and "off with you."

καὶ (conj/adv)"Also" is from 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."

ὑμεῖς [92 verses](pron 2nd pl nom) "You" is from hymeis (humeis), which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you." -- The pronoun is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use creates emphasis on the "you." The "you" here is plural, indicating many of Christ's listeners.

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)."

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

ἀμπελῶνα, [19 verses](noun sg masc acc) "Vineyard" is from ampelon which means simply "vineyard."

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is from 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."

(pron sg neut nom/acc) "What-" is from hos, (with ean below) which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

ἐὰν (conj) "-Soever" is ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if) and an (might), which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event.

(verb 3rd sg pres subj act) "Is" is eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen,"  and "is possible."

δίκαιον [21 verses](adj sg masc acc) "Right" is dikaios which means "observant of rules," "observant of customs," "well-ordered," "civilized," and "observant of duty." Later it means "well-balanced," "impartial," and "just." -- The term translated as "righteous" means "those who observe the laws," "well-balanced," and "meet and fitting."

δώσω  [147 verses](verb 1st sg fut ind act) "I will give" is didomi, which means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe."

ὑμῖν: (pron 2nd pl dat) "You" is hymin (humin), which is the 2nd person plural dative pronoun. Dative is the case which indicates to whom something is given.

The last part of the KJV is in the next verse of Greek Matthew 20:5.

οἱ (pron pl masc nom) "They" is from hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

δὲ (conj) "And" 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").

ἀπῆλθον.[22 verses](verb 3rd pl aor ind act "Go away" is from aperchomai, which means "to go away," "to depart from," "to spread abroad," and "to depart from life."

KJV Analysis: 

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

said - The word translated as "said" means "to say" and "to speak". It is one of the two most common words translated "speak," "say" and "tell," but it has more a sense of addressing and proclaiming.

unto -- 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.

them; -- (CW) The word translated as "them" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there."  It is not the common third-person plural pronoun.

Go  - "Go" is from a Greek verbal command that means literally "go under" or "bring under," but Christ usually uses it to mean "go away" and "depart."

ye -- The pronoun "ye" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say "you yourselves." It is plural. However, since the verb is a command and commands in English often don't need a subject, this does the job.

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

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. 

vineyard, -- The Greek word for "vineyard" only means "vineyard.

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

what- --  The "what" is a demonstrative pronoun usually translated as "this," "that," or "what".

-soever -- The "-soever" is Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when".

is -- 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. 

right  - "Right" is from an adjective that means "observant of custom," "civilized," "righteous," "well-balanced," "lawful," "fitting," and "normal." It is usually translated as "righteous" or "just" in the New Testament, but the standard is doing what is expected and fair.

I  - -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

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

give -- The verb translated as "given" means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe." It is almost always translated as some form of "give."

you.  - The "you" here is from the plural, dative, second-person pronoun.

(OS) The words below do not appear in today's source in this verb, but in the next.

And " -- (WW) -- The Greek word translated as "and" 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.  It also an explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

they - The word translated as "they" is a demonstrative pronoun so "those" or "these." Because the "they" is part of the verb, a pronoun is used for emphasis, "these particular ones."

missing "themselves" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "they themselves."

went  - (CW) The word for "went" is the same base word as "he went out" but with a different prefix. It is used by Jesus to mean "departed" or "go away." The prefix means "away from>.

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

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "them" is not the common word usually translated as "them."
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "And they went their way." existed here in the KJV Greek source but in the source we use today they are part of the next verse.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "themselves" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "and" should be "so."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "went" is not the common word usually translated as "went."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "their way" doesn't exist in the source.

NIV Analysis: 

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

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

told - The word translated as "said" means "to say" and "to speak". It is one of the two most common words translated "speak," "say" and "tell," but it has more a sense of addressing and proclaiming.

them; -- (CW) The word translated as "them" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there."  It is not the common third-person plural pronoun.

You -- The pronoun "you" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say "you yourselves." It is plural. However, since the verb is a command and commands in English often don't need a subject, this does the job.

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

go  - "Go" is from a Greek verbal command that means literally "go under" or "bring under," but Christ usually uses it to mean "go away" and "depart."

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

in -- The word translated as "in" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

my -- (WW) 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. 

vineyard, -- The Greek word for "vineyard" only means "vineyard.

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

I  - -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

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

pay -- (WW) The verb translated as "given" means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe." It is almost always translated as some form of "give."

you.  - The "you" here is from the plural, dative, second-person pronoun.

what- --  The "what" is a demonstrative pronoun usually translated as "this," "that," or "what".

-ever -- The "-ever" is Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when".

is -- 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. 

right  - "Right" is from an adjective that means "observant of custom," "civilized," "righteous," "well-balanced," "lawful," "fitting," and "normal." It is usually translated as "righteous" or "just" in the New Testament, but the standard is doing what is expected and fair.

NIV Translation Issues: 

4
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "and work" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "my" should be "the."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "pay" should be "give."

Front Page Date: 

May 8 2021