Matthew 22:5 But they made light of [it], and went their ways,

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: 

Those, however, departing didn't care. This one, certainly, into this private field. That one, however, up to that business of his.

My Takeaway: 

We have to know what to care about before we know where to go.

KJV : 

Matthew 22:5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

NIV : 

Matthew 22:5 But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

By taking on the verb meaning "care," a lot of meaning is lost here. This verse is difficult to translate because it was clearly meant to be spoken, as part of telling a story. You have to imagine it in the mouth of a master storyteller, illustrated with gestures,  punctuated with pauses. The Biblical translators try to simplify it, transforming it into easy-to-follow English sentences, thereby misconstruing almost every word.

This verse contains several unusual words for Jesus, two of them unique, and a very unusual construction. It works better as a spoken phrase than a written one because the implied verb in the last two phrases acts as the subject of the first clause. The Biblical translations are paraphrases rather than translations, ignoring the actual words and their forms.

One unique word here is translated as "made light" and "paid no attention," but it actually means "not care." The word is simpler than the translations of it, a prefix meaning "not" and a root meaning "care."

The other unique word means "personal" and is translated as "his." So Jesus uses a very specific, unusual word and the translators replace it with a word as common as dust. This type of treatment seems disrespectful to me, as if Jesus wasn't careful in choosing his words, when the opposite it true.

In describing the two people departing, Jesus uses the same word, a demonstrative pronoun, meaning "this" or "that." When used together as subjects, the sense is "this one" and  "that one." In Biblical translation, this is ended as "one...another," which is a similar construction but not as pointed as the use of the demonstrative.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

οἱ (article pl masc nom) "They" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun but it separated here by the following conjunction.

δὲ (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").

ἀμελήσαντες [22 verses](part pl aor act masc nom) "Went their way" is aperchomai, which means "to go away," "to depart from," "to spread abroad," and "to depart from life."

ἀπῆλθον, [1 verse](verb 3rd pl aor ind act) "Make light of [it]" is ameleo, which means "to have no care for," "to be neglectful of," and "to be careless." In its passive form, it means "to be slighted," and "to be overlooked."

ὃς (pron sg masc nom) "One" is from hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

μὲν [31 verses](partic) Untranslated is men, which is generally used to express certainty and means "indeed," "certainly," "surely," and "truly."

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)."

τὸν (article sg masc acc) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun but it separated here by the following conjunction.

ἴδιον [16 verses](adj sg masc acc) "His" is idios, which means "one's own," "pertaining to oneself," "private," "personal," "personally attached" to one, "separate," "distinct," "strange," and "unusual."

ἀγρόν, [22 verses](noun sg masc acc) "Field" is agros, which means "field," "lands," or "country."

ὃς (pron sg masc nom) "Another" is from hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

δὲ (conj) Untranslated is 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").

ἐπὶ (prep) "To" is from epi. which means "on," "upon," "at," "by," "before," "across," and "against." With the objective noun accusative, it means of place: "upon or on to a height," "up to," "as far as," "a little way," "a little," "towards," "to," in hostile sense: "against," of extension: "over," "over (a space)," of time: "for," "during," "up to" or "till," in a causal sense: "of (the object)," for (this purpose)," "as regards," "according to," and "by (this cause)."

τὴν (article sg fem acc/gen) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun but it separated here by the following conjunction.

ἐμπορίαν [1 verse](noun sg fem acc) "Merchandise" is emporia, which means "commerce," "trade by sea," "a trade or business," "errand," "business," "journeying," and "merchandise."

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." --

KJV Analysis: 

But  - The Greek word translated as"but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

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

made light - (CW) The Greek verb translated it as "make light" means "to have no care for," "to be neglectful of," "to be careless" and "not care." Jesus only uses this word here.

of it,  - -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "of it" in the Greek source.

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

went  - (WF) The phrase "went their way" is a verb that acts as the subject of this sentence in Greek. The verb means "to go away," "to depart from," "to spread abroad," and "to depart from life." Used as a noun, it means "the ones going away."

their ways, - -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "their ways" in the Greek source.

one  - (CW) The word translated as "one" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" or "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun, especially a connective pronoun introducing a dependent clause.

An untranslated word appears here that means "indeed" or "truly."

missing "indeed"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "indeed" here is a particle, which. when used alone. expresses certainty, "truly" and "certainly".

to  - The word translated as "to" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

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. 

his  - (WW) The word translated as "his" is a very unusual word. It is not the very common pronoun usually translated as "his," but a specific word that means "one's own," "pertaining to oneself," and "private."

farm,  - (CW) The word translated as "fields" means "field," "lands," or "country."

another  - (CW) "Another" is not the Greek word for "another". Instead, it is again the demonstrative pronoun ("this" or "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun, especially a connective pronoun introducing a dependent clause.

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. 

to  -  (CW) The word translated as "to" means "against," "before," "by" or "on." With the objective noun here, an accusative, it means of place: "upon or on to a height," "up to," "as far as," "a little way," "a little," "towards," "to," in hostile sense: "against," of extension: "over," "over (a space)," of time: "for," "during," "up to" or "till," in a causal sense: "of (the object)," for (this purpose)," "as regards," "according to," and "by (this cause)." Though it can be "to" in the sense of "up to," it is confusing because it is not the preposition above.

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. 

merchandise  - The word translated as "merchandise" means "commerce," "a trade or business," and "merchandise." Jesus only uses this word here.

KJV Translation Issues: 

15
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "they" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "made light" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "of it" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "went" is not an active verb but a participle, "departing."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "their ways" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "one" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "indeed" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "field" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "his" should be "private."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "farm" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The word translated as "another" should be "this/that one."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "however" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "to" is not the same word "to" as used above.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "merchandise" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

But  - The Greek word translated as"but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

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

paid no attention - (CW) The Greek verb translated it as "paid no attention" means "to have no care for," "to be neglectful of," "to be careless" and "not care." Jesus only uses this word here.

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

went  - (WF) The phrase "went their way" is a verb that acts as the subject of this sentence in Greek. The verb means "to go away," "to depart from," "to spread abroad," and "to depart from life." Used as a noun, it means "the ones going away."

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

one  - (CW) The word translated as "one" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" or "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun, especially a connective pronoun introducing a dependent clause.

An untranslated word appears here that means "indeed" or "truly."

missing "indeed"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "indeed" here is a particle, which. when used alone. expresses certainty, "truly" and "certainly".

to  - The word translated as "to" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

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. 

his  - (WW) The word translated as "his" is a very unusual word. It is not the very common pronoun usually translated as "his," but a specific word that means "one's own," "pertaining to oneself," and "private."

field,  - (CW) The word translated as "fields" means "field," "lands," or "country."

another  - (CW) "Another" is not the Greek word for "another". Instead, it is again the demonstrative pronoun ("this" or "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun, especially a connective pronoun introducing a dependent clause.

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. 

to  -  (CW) The word translated as "to" means "against," "before," "by" or "on." With the objective noun here, an accusative, it means of place: "upon or on to a height," "up to," "as far as," "a little way," "a little," "towards," "to," in hostile sense: "against," of extension: "over," "over (a space)," of time: "for," "during," "up to" or "till," in a causal sense: "of (the object)," for (this purpose)," "as regards," "according to," and "by (this cause)." Though it can be "to" in the sense of "up to," it is confusing because it is not the preposition above.

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. 

business- The word translated as "business" means "commerce," "a trade or business," and "merchandise." Jesus only uses this word here.

NIV Translation Issues: 

12
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "they" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "paid no attention" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "went" is not an active verb but a participle, "departing."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "one" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "indeed" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "field" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "his" should be "private."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The word translated as "another" should be "this/that one."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "however" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "to" is not the same word "to" as used above.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "merchandise" is not shown in the English translation.

Front Page Date: 

Jun 28 2021