Matthew 25:9 But the wise answered, saying,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

The parable continues the topic, staying vigilant, in the context of comparing the realm of the skies to dumb kids and sensible kids going to a party.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

They answered, however, the sensible ones, saying, "Not when it is never enough for us and you.   Better leave to those selling [it] and shop for herselves!

My Takeaway: 

Every girl for herself!

KJV : 

Matthew 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, [Not so]; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.

NIV : 

Matthew 25:9 “ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse ends on a joke, a play in teenage slang.

Throughout this story about the teens, Jesus has uses the reflexive third-person pronoun ("themselves," and "their own") instead of the normal pronoun ("them", "their") to describe the teens and their lamps. In this verse, the reason comes clear: the foolish expect others to take care of them. The wise expect people to take care of themselves. In rejecting the idea, the sensible ones use the regular pronouns, "for us" and "for you."

However, the verse ends with a play on this reflexive pronoun. The sensible girls tell the dumb ones to not to "shop for yourselves" as translated but to  "shop for herselves" the feminine, third-person, plural form.  I can easily imagine Jesus saying this mimicking a teenager.

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἀπεκρίθησαν [17 verses](verb 3rd pl aor ind pass) "Answered" is apokrinomai that means to "set apart," "choose", "exclude," "reject on examination", "decide", "answer" the question, "answer charges," and "defend oneself" and, in the passive, "to be parted or separated." In the Gospels, it is always translated as "answered." It is a form of arkeo, which means "to ward off," and "to keep off" and which is used to mean "to be strong enough", "to be a match for," and "to be satisfied with."

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").

αἱ [692 verses](article pl fem nom)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

φρόνιμοι (adj pl fem nom) "The wise" is from phronimos, which means "in one's right mind", "showing presence of mind," and "prudent." In Hebrew, the source word is arum, which means "crafty", "shrewd," and "sensible." -

λέγουσαι [264 verses](part pl pres act fem nom) "Saying" 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."

Μήποτε [1 verse](adv) "Not so, lest" is mepote, which means "never", and "on no account". As conjunction, "lest ever." Literally, it means "not when."

οὐ μὴ [39 verses](partic) "Not" is ou me, the two forms of Greek negative used together. Ou is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. Mê (me) 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.

ἀρκέσῃ [1 verse](verb 3rd sg aor subj act) "There be...enough" is arkeô which means "to ward off", "to keep off", "to suffice for", "to satisfy", "to be enough," and "to endure."

ἡμῖν [14 verses](pron 1st pl masc/fem dat) "Us" is from hemin, which is the first person plural dative pronoun, "to us."

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."

ὑμῖν [289 verses](pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." 

πορεύεσθε [54 verses] (verb 2nd pl pres imperat mp) "Go ye" is from poreuomai (poreuô) which means "make to go", "carry", "convey", "bring", "go", "march," and "proceed." It is almost always translated as "go" in the NT.

μᾶλλον [13 verses](adv) "Rather" is mallon, which is the comparative form of mala which means "very", "exceedingly", "more certainly", "especially," "more", "to a greater degree," and "rather."

πρὸς [92 verses](prep) "To" is from pros, which means "on the side of", "in the direction of", "from (place)", "towards" "before", "in the presence of", "in the eyes of", "in the name of", "by reason of", "before (supplication)", "proceeding from (for effects)", "dependent on", "derivable from", "agreeable,""becoming", "like", "at the point of", "in addition to", "against," and "before."

τοὺς [692 verses](article sg neut dat)  "Those" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

πωλοῦντας (part pl pres act masc acc) "Sell" is from poleo, which means "to sell," "to exchange", "to barter," "to offer to sell," and "to retail." Metaphorically, it means to "give up" and "betray." In the passive, it means "to be sold", "to be offered for sale," and, of persons, "to be bought and sold," and " betrayed."

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."

ἀγοράσατε [8 verses](verb 2nd pl aor imperat act) "Buy" is agorazo, which means "buy in the market", "buy", "occupy the marketplace", "lounge", or "haunt".

ἑαυταῖς[75 verses] (adj pl fem dat) "For yourselves" is from heautou, is a reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself", "itself" "themselves," and "ourselves." It is an alternative to autos.

KJV Analysis: 

But -- 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. 

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. 

wise  - The Greek term used for "the wise" means "in one's right mind", "showing a presence of mind," and "prudent." Again, in referring to teenagers today, we would say "smart" or "sensible."

answered,  - "Answered" is from a verb that means to "set apart," "choose", "answer" a question, "reject an explanation, and "answer charges," and "defend oneself." In the passive, it means "to be parted or separated" and "to give an answer."  Here, it is used as as a passive participle so "and in the passive so "the one separated out." It has the sense of defending yourself against or siding against someone.

.saying, -- The word translated as "saying" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak."

[Not so]; lest  -  The word translated as "not so, lest" is from an adverb, which means "never" and "on no account." Today, we would say "no way!" Literally, the Greek word means "not when."

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

be -- This helping verb indicates the present tense of the verb.

not -- (CW) The "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, "never" or literally, "you cannot really think." When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause.

enough  - "Enough" is from the verb  meaning "to ward off", "to keep off", "to suffice for", "to satisfy", "to be enough," and "to endure." But it is in the second-person, singular, future tense.

for -- This word "for" 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. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

us - "Us" is the first person plural pronoun, "we", "us" as an indirect object.

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

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

but -- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "also" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

go  - The Greek verb translated as "go " is the common verb usually translated as "go" in the NT. This word means "to lead over", "depart," and "to carry over." This word, however, uniquely means both "to pursue a course" and "to depart from life."

rather  - - "Rather" is the comparative form of the Greek word that means "very", "exceedingly", "more certainly", "especially," "more", "to a greater degree," and "rather." In this context, the sense is "better." It is not one of the common words translated as "instead."

to  -  The word translated as "to" means "towards", "by reason of (for)," and "against."

those -- The word translated as "those" 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. 

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

sell,  -  (WF) "Sell" is from a word that means "to sell" and "to exchange." It is in the form of an adjective, "selling", uses as a noun, "the ones selling."

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

buy  - The word translated as "buy" is the verb form of the noun meaning "marketplace", which means "to occupy a marketplace", "to buy in the market," and "to occupy a marketplace." It is something like the way we uses "shop" as the verb form of "shops".

for -- This word "for" 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. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

yourselves.  -- (WF) -- "Yourselves" is a special reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself," and so on. Here, it is NOT the second person form, a form Jesus uses rarely, which I have only seen in the singular. This is the third-person, plural, feminine form, "herselves," which is  funny coming from one teen girl to another.

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "but" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "who" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sell" is not an active verb but a participle, "selling."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "yourselves" is not  the second-person but the third, "themselves."

NIV Analysis: 

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. 

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

missing "sensible"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "sensible" means "in one's right mind", "showing a presence of mind," and "prudent." Again, in referring to teenagers today, we would say "smart" or "sensible."

 ‘No,’   - (WW)  The word translated as "not" is from an adverb, which means "never" and "on no account." Today, we would say "no way!" Literally, the Greek word means "not when."

they -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

replied,  - "Replied" is from a verb that means to "set apart," "choose", "answer" a question, "reject an explanation, and "answer charges," and "defend oneself." In the passive, it means "to be parted or separated" and "to give an answer."  Here, it is used as as a passive participle so "and in the passive so "the one separated out." It has the sense of defending yourself against or siding against someone.

missing "saying"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "saying" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak."

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

may -- This helping verb "may" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

not -- (CW) The "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, "never" or literally, "you cannot really think." When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause.

be -- This helping verb indicates the present tense of the verb.

enough  - "Enough" is from the verb  meaning "to ward off", "to keep off", "to suffice for", "to satisfy", "to be enough," and "to endure." But it is in the second-person, singular, future tense.

for -- This word "for" 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. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

us - "Us" is the first person plural pronoun, "we", "us" as an indirect object.

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

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

Instead, - - (CW)  "Instead" is the comparative form of the Greek word that means "very", "exceedingly", "more certainly", "especially," "more", "to a greater degree," and "rather." In this context, the sense is "better." It is not one of the common words translated as "instead."

go  - The Greek verb translated as "go " is the common verb usually translated as "go" in the NT. This word means "to lead over", "depart," and "to carry over." This word, however, uniquely means both "to pursue a course" and "to depart from life."

to  -  The word translated as "to" means "towards", "by reason of (for)," and "against."

those -- The word translated as "those" 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. 

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

sell,  -  (WF) "Sell" is from a word that means "to sell" and "to exchange." It is in the form of an adjective, "selling", uses as a noun, "the ones selling."

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

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

buy  - The word translated as "buy" is the verb form of the noun meaning "marketplace", which means "to occupy a marketplace", "to buy in the market," and "to occupy a marketplace." It is something like the way we use "shop" as the verb form of "shops".

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

for -- This word "for" 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. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

yourselves.  -- (WF) -- "Yourselves" is a special reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself," and so on. Here, it is NOT the second person form, a form Jesus uses rarely, which I have only seen in the singular. This is the third-person, plural, feminine form, "herselves," which is  funny coming from one teen girl to another.

NIV Translation Issues: 

11
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "however" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "sensible" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "no" should be "not when."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "saying" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "instead" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "who" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sell" is not an active verb but a participle, "selling."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "oil" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "yourselves" is not  second-person but the third, "themselves."

Front Page Date: 

Oct 27 2021