Matthew 21:40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard comes,

Spoken to: 

group

Context: 

This continues the lesson about authority and trust to a story about how not trusting those in power leads to a predictable result.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

So, when the owner of the vineyard shows up, what will he do to the vinekeepers there?

KJV : 

Matthew 21:40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is the typical simple language that Jesus uses in his parables. When he asks a question like this, he avoids double meanings and wordplay. He wants the question to have a simple answer. In Greek, the question seems more open-ended and milder than the KJV translation.

NIV : 

Matthew 21:40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”

My Takeaway: 

Sometimes we ask questions so the ones we asked can think about what must be true.

Greek Vocabulary: 

ὅταν [70 verses](adv/conj) "When" is from hotan, which means "whenever (as a condition)," and "since (as a cause)."

οὖν [82 verses](adv) "Therefore" is from oun, which means "certainly", "in fact", "really", "in fact," "so" and "then" (continuing a narrative), and "then" and "therefore."

ἔλθῃ [198 verses](verb 3rd sg aor subj act) The word translated as "come" primarily means "to start out" but Christ usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas. See this article for more.

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

κύριος (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."

τοῦ (article sg masc gen)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἀμπελῶνος, [19 verses](noun sg masc gen) "Vineyard" is ampelon which means simply "vineyard."​

τί (pron sg neut acc) "What" 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."

ποιήσει [168 verses](verb 3rd sg fut ind act) "Do" is poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

τοῖς (article sg masc gen)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

γεωργοῖς [13 verses](adj pl masc dat) "Husbandmen" is georgos, which means "tilling the ground," and from that, "husbandman", "vine dresser", "gardener," and "peasant."

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

KJV Analysis: 

When -  The Greek word translated as "when" introduces a phrase that explains a certain condition so "whenever" or "since."

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".

therefore  - The Greek word translated as "therefore" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

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.

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.

cometh, -- The word translated as "cometh" primarily means "to start out" but Christ usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas. See this article for more.

what -- The word translated as "a certain" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but can be used to mean someone of note as we would say "a someone".

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.

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

do  - The Greek word translated as "do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service. In sentences like this, it functions more like our word "happen."

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.

those  - The word translated as "those" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there."

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

husbandmen?  - - The word translated as "to husbandmen" means to those "tilling the ground," and from that, "vinedresser", "gardener," and "peasant."

KJV Translation Issues: 

1
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "husbandmen" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

Therefore, -   - The Greek word translated as "therefore" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

when -  The Greek word translated as "when" introduces a phrase that explains a certain condition so "whenever" or "since."

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. 

owner -- The word translated as "owner " 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".

therefore

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.

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.

cometh, -- The word translated as "cometh" primarily means "to start out" but Christ usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas. See this article for more.

what -- The word translated as "a certain" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but can be used to mean someone of note as we would say "a someone".

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.

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

do  - The Greek word translated as "do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service. In sentences like this, it functions more like our word "happen."

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.

those  - The word translated as "those" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there."

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

tenants?  - - (CW) The word translated as "to husbandmen" means to those "tilling the ground," and from that, "vinedresser", "gardener," and "peasant."

NIV Translation Issues: 

2
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "husbandmen" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "tenants" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.

The Spoken Version: 

"So then," he said, pausing to look over the crowd.

"When the owner of the vineyard makes his way back there," he continued. "Is anything going to happen to the vinekeepers there?"

Front Page Date: 

Jun 21 2021