Matthew 21:3 And if any man say ought unto you...

Spoken to: 

group

Context: 

Jesus sends two of his students to get some a donkey and its colt.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

And if anyone might say anything, you will say that "The master has a need of them." So immediately he is going to dispatch them.

My Takeaway: 

Even Jesus had needs and was willing to ask others for help.

KJV : 

Matthew 21:3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.

NIV : 

Matthew 21:3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The first word here, translated as "if," should be "when." The Greek word used has more of an expectation of something happening than the similar Greek word used for "if."  Jesus saw this likely happening.

Notice that Jesus is described to a stranger as "the master."  Almost everyone during this era answered to a "master" of one kind of another: as slaves, employees, students, or subjects. However, if the apostles were talking about their own master, they would have said "our master" instead of "the master." The use of the definite article means that this was the title that Jesus had become known by, not "the teacher" or "the son of man" or "the Nazarene."

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."

ἐάν(conj)  "If" is from 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.

τις (pron sg masc/fem nom) "Any man" is from tis which can mean "someone," "any one," "everyone," "they [indefinite]," "many a one," "whoever," "anyone," "anything," "some sort," "some sort of," "each," "any," "the individual," "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who," "why," or "what."

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl dat) "You" is from humin, the 2nd person pronoun.

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

τι, (pron sg neut acc) "Ought" is from tis which can mean "someone," "any one," "everyone," "they [indefinite]," "many a one," "whoever," "anyone," "anything," "some sort," "some sort of," "each," "any," "the individual," "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who," "why," or "what."

ἐρεῖτε [162 verses] (verb 2nd pl fut ind act) "Ye shall say" is from eipon, which means "to speak," "to say," "to recite," "to address," "to mention," "to name," "to proclaim," "to plead," "to promise," and "to offer."

ὅτι (adv/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."

(article sg masc nom) "The" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun."

κύριος [92 verses](noun sg masc nom) " Lord" is from kyrios (kurios), which means "having power," "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

αὐτῶν (adj pl masc/fem/neut gen) "Them" 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."

χρείαν [13 verses](noun sg fem acc/gen) "Need of" is chreia, which means "need," "want," "poverty," "a request of a necessity," "business," "military service," "a business affair," "employment," "familiarity," "intimacy," and "maxim."

ἔχει: [181 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Has" is from echo, which means "to have," "to hold," "to possess," "to keep," "to have charge of," "to maintain," "to hold fast," "to bear," "to keep close," "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

εὐθὺς [16 verses](adverb) "Straightway" is eutheos,which as an adverb, it means "straight," "simple," "straightway," forthwith," "immediately," "directly," and "at once."

δὲ "And" is from de which means is usually translated as "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").

ἀποστελεῖ [60 verses](verb 3rd sg fut ind act) "He will send" is apostello, which means "to send off," "to send away," or "to dispatch."

αὐτούς. (adj pl masc acc) "Them" 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: 

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

if -- (CW) The 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".

any man - The Greek word translated as "any man" in the singular means "anyone," "someone," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some," "they," and "those."

say  - "say" is from the same verb as above. However, it has less a sense of teaching than the other common word translated as "speak" and more a sense of addressing and talking.

ought  - (CW) The Greek word translated as "ought" in the singular means "anyone," "someone," and "anything." It is the same word as "any man" above in a different form.

unto -- This word "unto" 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.

you, -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc. 

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

shall -- 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.

missing "that"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

say,  - "Say" means "to say" and "to speak" and is the same word as used above. It is in the future tense.

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. 

Lord  - -- The word translated as "master" is the same word that is often translated as "Lord" or "the Lord" in the NT. It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family." It is the specific terms for the master of slaves or servants, but it was a common term of respect both for those in authority and who were honored. It was the term people used to address Christ, even though he had no formal authority. Today, we would say "boss" or "chief".

hath - The word translated as "hath" means to "have," "possess," "bear," "keep close," "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and many specific uses. This verb isn't used to form past tenses as it is in English. 

need  - The word translated as "need" means "need" and "poverty," but it also means "a request of necessity." This necessity is the sense here when used with the term "the master."

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.

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

and  - (WW) The Greek word translated as "and" joins phrases in an adversarial way and is usually translated as "but." However, it also explains a cause, "so."

straightway  - The word translated as "straightway"means "immediately," "directly," and "at once."

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

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.

send - The "he will send" here is from a word that means "to send off" and "dispatch." It is the source of our word "apostle."

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

KJV Translation Issues: 

4
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "if" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "ought" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word  -- The word translated as "and" should be "so."

NIV Analysis: 

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

If -- (CW) The 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".

anyone - The Greek word translated as "any man" in the singular means "anyone," "someone," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some," "they," and "those."

says  - "say" is from the same verb as above. However, it has less a sense of teaching than the other common word translated as "speak" and more a sense of addressing and talking.

anything -   The Greek word translated as "ought" in the singular means "anyone," "someone," and "anything." It is the same word as "any man" above in a different form.

to -- This word "unto" 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.

you, -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc.

say,  - (WF, WT) "Say" means "to say" and "to speak" and is the same word as used above. It is in the future tense and not a command.

missing "that"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

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. 

Lord  - -- The word translated as "master" is the same word that is often translated as "Lord" or "the Lord" in the NT. It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family." It is the specific terms for the master of slaves or servants, but it was a common term of respect both for those in authority and who were honored. It was the term people used to address Christ, even though he had no formal authority. Today, we would say "boss" or "chief".

missing "has "  -- (MW) The untranslated word "has" means to "have," "possess," "bear," "keep close," "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and many specific uses. This verb isn't used to form past tenses as it is in English.

needs  - (WF) The word translated as "need of" means "need" and "poverty," but it also means "a request of necessity." This necessity is the sense here when used with the term "the master."

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

and  - (WW) The Greek word translated as "and" joins phrases in an adversarial way and is usually translated as "but." However, it also explains a cause, "so."

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

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.

send - The "he will send" here is from a word that means "to send off" and "dispatch." It is the source of our word "apostle."

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

right away- The word translated as "right away" means "immediately," "directly," and "at once."

NIV Translation Issues: 

8
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "if" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "say" is not a command but a statement, "you will say."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb  "say" is the present tense, but Greek is in the future, "will say."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "has" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "need" is not a verb but a noun, "a need."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "and" should be "so."

Front Page Date: 

Jun 1 2021