Matthew 22:12 And he said to him, Friend, how

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: 

And he said to him, "How did you come in here not wanting to have attire for a wedding? That one, however, was silent.

My Takeaway: 

Doing your own thing is disrespectful to others.

KJV : 

Matthew 22:12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

NIV : 

Matthew 22:12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The key to this man's mistake is hidden in the mistranslation of the negative here. There is a negative of subjective opinion here indicating that the offending man, did "not want" to have the appropriate attired, (see article on the negative here). In the KJV, it is translated simply as "not," and in the NIV it is totally eliminated, replacing the negative and the verb with the proposition "without." This makes the king's accusation regarding the man's choice invisible.

The "wedding garment/wedding clothes" is also confusing. The word means "clothing for a wedding," not referring to a specific type of garment.

This final word is the punchline, a verb that means "was muzzled," which probably sounded as funny then as it does today.  Jesus only uses this word four times, twice to address demons and twice as a punchline.

Wordplay: 

The word translated as "come in" also means "come into one mind" so it means physically coming in, but also getting the idea of coming in. 

The word translated as "in hither" means both "[dressed in this] way" and "here {to this wedding]."

Greek Vocabulary: 

καὶ [1089 verses](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."

λέγει [264 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "He saith" 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."

αὐτῷ [720 verses](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."

Ἑταῖρε, [3 verses](noun sg masc voc_ "Friend" is hetairos, which means "comrade," "companion," "pupil," "disciple," and "associate."

πῶς [36 verses](pron indeclform)"How" is from pos, which means "how," "how in the world," "how then," "in any way," "at all," "by any mean," "in a certain way,"and "I suppose."

εἰσῆλθες [68 verses](verb 2nd sg aor ind act) "Camest thou" is from eiserchomai which means both "to go into," "to come in," "to enter," "to enter an office," "to enter a charge," (as in court) and "to come into one's mind."

ὧδε [29 verses] (adv)"In hither" is from hode, the demonstrative adverb that means in manner, "in this wise," "thus," "so very," "so exceedingly," of Place, "hither," and "here."

μὴ [447 verses](partic) "Not" is from 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.

ἔχων [181 verses](part sg pres act masc nom) "Have" 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." -

ἔνδυμα [5 verses](noun sg neut nom/acc) "Garment" is endyma, which means "clothing," and "covering."

γάμου; [10 verses](noun sg masc gen) "Wedding" is from the from gamos, which means "marriage," "wedding," and "wedlock."

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

δὲ [446 verses](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").

ἐφιμώθη. [4 verses](verb 3rd sg aor ind pass) "Was speechless" is phimoo, which means "to muzzle," "close," "seal up" and, in the passive, "to be silent," and "to be put to silence."

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 a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

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

saith  - The word translated as "he saith" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach.". It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

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.

him, -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective. In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there." This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

Friend,  - "Friend" is from a noun that means "comrade," "companion," "pupil," "disciple," of political "partisans," "members of a religious guild," and "courtesan." However, Jesus only uses it ironically. He uses it three times, twice in parables, addressing a person creating a problem, and once in real life, addressing Judas when he betrays him.

how  - The word translated as "how" ranges in meaning from the extreme, "how in the world" to the vacillating "I suppose."

camest  - "Camest" is from a word that means "go or come into" and has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind."

thou -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

in -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "into."

hither  -  The word translated as "hither" means in manner, "in this way," referring to manner, or "here," referring to place. Here, it could refer either to the manner of dress or the place of the wedding feast.

not  - The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article.

having  - -- The word translated as "having" 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. 

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.

wedding  - -- (WF) "A wedding feast"  means "marriage," "wedding," and "wedlock." It is not an adjective, but a genitive noun in the genitive case, appearing after the word for garment, that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession. However, it can also mean "belonging to," "part of," "which is," "than" (in comparisons), or  "for," "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs.

garment  - -- The word translated as "raiment" means "clothing" or "covering."  It is from the same root as the verb commonly translated as "put on" when referring to clothing.

And  - -- (WW) 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.  It also an explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

he --(CW)  The word translated as "he" 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. 

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

speechless. --The verb translated as "was speechless" means simply "to be silent." The word means "to be muzzled" or "sealed up." In the passive, it would mean "was muzzled" or "was sealed up." The man didn't say anything, didn't open his mouth, and didn't offer a defense. Not answering a king's question is itself disrespectful.  This word is the punchline, so the "was muzzled" probably sounded funny.

KJV Translation Issues: 

3
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "wedding" is not an adjective, but a noun following the other noun meaning "for a wedding."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "and" should be "but."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "he" is not the common word usually translated as "he."

NIV Analysis: 

missing "and"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

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

asked, - (WW) The word translated as "asked" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach.". It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

missing "him"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective. In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there." This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

‘How - The word translated as "how" ranges in meaning from the extreme, "how in the world" to the vacillating "I suppose."

did -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

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

get - (WW) "Get" is from a word that means "go or come into" and has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind."

in -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "into."

here - The word translated as "here" means in manner, "in this way," referring to manner, or "here," referring to place. Here, it could refer either to the manner of dress or the place of the wedding feast.

without  - (CW, WF) This is not a preposition, but two words, a negative and a verb. The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article. The verb 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. It is in the form of an adjective, so "not having."

wedding  - -- (WF) "A wedding feast"  means "marriage," "wedding," and "wedlock." It is not an adjective, but a genitive noun in the genitive case, appearing after the word for garment, that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession. However, it can also mean "belonging to," "part of," "which is," "than" (in comparisons), or  "for," "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs.

clothes- -- (WN) The word translated as "clothes" means "clothing" or "covering."  It is from the same root as the verb commonly translated as "put on" when referring to clothing.

friend?’ --  "Friend" is from a noun that means "comrade," "companion," "pupil," "disciple," of political "partisans," "members of a religious guild," and "courtesan." However, Jesus only uses it ironically. He uses it three times, twice in parables, addressing a person creating a problem, and once in real life, addressing Judas when he betrays him.

missing "however"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "however" 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. 

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. 

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

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

speechless. --The verb translated as "was speechless" means simply "to be silent." The word means "to be muzzled" or "sealed up." In the passive, it would mean "was muzzled" or "was sealed up." The man didn't say anything, didn't open his mouth, and didn't offer a defense. Not answering a king's question is itself disrespectful.This word is the punchline, so the "was muzzled" probably sounded funny.

NIV Translation Issues: 

11
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "him" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "get" should be "come."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "without" is not the common word usually translated as "without."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "without" is not a preposition but a negative and a verb.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "however" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "man" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "wedding" is not an adjective, but a noun following the other noun meaning "for a wedding."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "clothes" is translated as plural but the Greek word is singular.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "and" should be "but."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "he" is not the common word usually translated as "he."

Front Page Date: 

Jul 5 2021