Matthew 22:3 And sent forth his servants to call them

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 sent out those slaves of his to call the ones having been called into the nuptials and...no they didn't want to come.

KJV : 

Matthew 22:3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

While the vocabulary consists of the very simple words that Jesus uses in his analogies, there is a little wordplay here, but the language is straightforward. The NIV offers a good example of how paraphrasing missing the point and destroys word play. The word translated in the NIV as "tell...to come" means "call." When you call or invite someone, you are not telling them to come. The king gave them a choice. The words translated in the NIV as "refused" means "did not desire," speaking to people's motivations, not their actions.

The same verb is used to describe the action of the servants, "call," and the people that they call, "the ones having been called." This use of the same word twice, as a noun and a verb is just for fun. WE could translate this word as "invite," but since it is usually translated as, "call" and it is the historical source of our word "call," and that word works, it should be used.

The word before the final clause translated as "and" and "but," is actually and "and," which sets up the surprise of the last phrase, which goes against the king's expectation and the audience's, once Jesus sets them up with this. This is more for drama than humor.

More oddly, the word for "wedding" here and in throughout this parable, is plural. This word appears four times in the Septuagint, always translated into English as "feast," from a Hebrew word mištê (מִשְׁתֶּה), which means "feast." It is used more often in the NT, always referring to a wedding, but only in the plural in this parable. Since this refers only to one event (elsewhere a singular "lunch" is used to describe it)  the word seems to mean the same in singular and plural coincidently, like our "nuptial," which is also used in the singular and plural.

NIV : 

Matthew 22:3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

Wordplay: 

The use of alliteration calling the ones called is a little fun, but the "and" before the last phrase sets up a surprise. s

My Takeaway: 

We have a choice to answer the call or follow our own desires.

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."

ἀπέστειλεν [60 verses](verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "He sent forth" is apostello, which means "to send off", "to send away," or "to dispatch."

τοὺς (article pl masc acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

δούλους [56 verses](noun pl masc acc) "The servant" is doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "His" 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."

καλέσαι [38 verses](verb aor inf act) "To call" is kaleo, which means "call", "summon", "invite", "invoke", "call by name," and "demand."

τοὺς (article pl masc acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

κεκλημένους [38 verses](part pl perf mp masc acc) "Them that were bidden" is from kaleo, which means "call", "summon", "invite", "invoke", "call by name," and "demand."

εἰς (prep) "To" 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)." -- The word translated as "unto" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

τοὺς (article pl masc acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

γάμους, (noun pl masc acc) "Wedding" is both from the from gamos, which means "marriage", "wedding," and "wedlock."

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."

οὐκ (partic) "Not" is from ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.

ἤθελον [64 verses](verb 3rd pl imperf ind act) "They would" is thelo, which as a verb means "to be willing (of consent rather than desire)", "to wish", "to ordain", "to decree", "to be resolved to a purpose" "to maintain", "to hold", "to delight in, and "will (too express a future event)." As an adverb, "willingly," and "gladly." and "to desire." As an adjective, it means "wished for" and "desired."

ἐλθεῖν. [198 verses](verb aor inf act) "Come" is erchomai, which means "to start," "to set out", "to come", "to go," and any kind of motion. It means both "to go" on a journey and "to arrive" at a place.

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".

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

forth -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "out from."

his - -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.   This pronoun follows the noun so "of his.

"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. 

servants  - The noun translated as "servants" means "slaves." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible to more modern society.

to -- This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

call  -- The term translated as "call" is like our word "call" because it means both "to summon" and also "to name," but it does not as clearly mean "to address." This is in the form of an infinitive.

them  - -- (CW) The word translated as "then" 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. 

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

were -- (WT) This helping verb "were" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English. However, the tense is past perfect so the helping verbs "having been."

bidden - (CW) -- The term translated as "bidden" is like our word "call" because it means both "to summon" and also "to name," but it does not as clearly mean "to address." This form is a participle ("the ones having been called.")

to -- The word translated as "to" 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, 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. 

wedding:  - The word for "wedding" here is plural. In the previous verse, it was translated as "marriage." This word is used more frequently in the plural so it doesn't necessarily reflect a marriage to multiple wives.

and  - In English, we would expect an "but" here since the second part of the sentence is contrary to the first, but if we imagine this being spoken, the "and" sets up a bit a humor. Pausing after it, sets up the surprise of the last word.

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

would  - (CW) The Greek word translated as "they would" is not the same as the helper verb "will" in English, which primarily expresses the future tense. Its primary purpose is to express consent and even delight in doing something. We would say "want" or "desire" today.

not  - The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact.

come.  -- (WF) 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.

KJV Translation Issues: 

7
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "servant" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "them" is not the common word usually translated as "them."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "that" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb "were" is the past tense, but Greek is in the past perfect, a completed action, "have been called."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "bidden" is the same word translated as "call" above.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "would" does not mean the future tense, but is an active verb.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "come" is not an active verb but an infinitive, "to come."

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.

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

his - -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.   This pronoun follows the noun so "of his.

"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. 

servants  - The noun translated as "servants" means "slaves." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible to more modern society.

to -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "to" in the Greek source. There is no preposition and the following phrase is not the dative, that is, indirect object, form.

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.

had -- -- This helping verb "had" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past.

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

invited - (CW) -- The term translated as "invited" is like our word "call" because it means both "to summon" and also "to name," but it does not as clearly mean "to address." This form is a participle ("the ones having been called.")

to -- The word translated as "to" 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, 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. 

banquet :  - (CW) The word for "banquet " here is plural. In the previous verse, it was translated as "marriage." This word is plural.

to -- This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

tell - (WW) -- The term translated as "tell" is like our word "call" because it means both "to summon" and also "to name," but it does not as clearly mean "to address." This is in the form of an infinitive.

them to come, -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "them to come," in the Greek source.

but  - (WW) In English, we would expect an "but" here since the second part of the sentence is contrary to the first, but if we imagine this being spoken, the "and" sets up a bit a humor. Pausing after it, sets up the surprise of the last word.

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

refused --(CW) The ideas of two Greek words are combined into the concept of "refused," but that words does not capture their meaning. The first word expresses consent and even delight in doing something. We would say "want" or "desire" today. The second is "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact.

to -- This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

come.  -- 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.

NIV Translation Issues: 

10
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "servant" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "to" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "who" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "invited" is the same word translated as "tell" below.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "banquet" is the same word translated as "wedding feast" in previous verse.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "tell" should be "call."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "them to come" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "and" should be "but."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "refused" means "not desire."

The Spoken Version: 

"And he dispatched his servants," he said with a flourish. "To summon...the special summon ones, and they..."

He ended the word on a high point and paused.

"Didn't really want to make it," he tossed of quickly with his voice declining.

Front Page Date: 

Jun 26 2021