Matthew 22:39 And the second [is] like it,

Spoken to: 

The Pharisees

Context: 

Pharisee asks what the greatest commandment is.

Greek : 

Matthew 22:39 δευτέρα ὁμοία αὕτηἈγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν.”

Leviticus 19:18: ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν

Literal Verse: 

A second like itself: You should care for those nearby to you just as yourself.

My Takeaway: 

Caring for those you see requires action.

KJV : 

Matthew 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

NIV : 

Matthew 22:39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Jesus uses some uncommon language here. The core of this verse is the Greek from the Septuagint, Leviticus 19:18.  Note also that Jesus doesn't suggest that we should care for all of humanity in abstract or for those we don't know. The word translated as "neighbor" means "those nearby." These are real people that we can see and with whom we make personal contact. The word translated as "love" is also not as abstract in Greek as in English. The sense of it it is caring for others as we care for dependent family members.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

δευτέρα [5 verses](adj sg fem nom) "The second" is deuteros, which means "second", "next", "second of two," and "later."

ὁμοία [29 verses](adj sg fem nom) "Is like" is homoios, which means "like", "resembling", "the same", "equal in force, "a match for one", "suiting", "of the same rank", "alike", "in like manner," and "equally."

αὕτη [720 verses](adj sg fem nom) "Unto it" 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."

Ἀγαπήσεις [32 verses](verb 2nd sg aor subj act) "Love" is agapao, which means "to be fond of", "to greet with affection", "to persuade", "to caress", "to prize", "to desire", "to be pleased with," and "to be contended with." "Agape" takes its modern meaning of "brotherly love" from the English translations of the New Testament.

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

πλησίον [5 verses](adj sg masc acc)"Neighbor" is plesion, which means "close", "near," "neighboring," and "one's neighbor."

σου [144 verses]((pron 2nd sg gen) "Thy" is from sou which means "you" and "your." -- The word translated as "thy" is the possessive form of the second person pronoun.

ὡς (adv) "As" is from hos, an adverb which means to "thus", "as", "how", "when", "where", "like", "just as", "so far as", "as much as can be", "that", "in order that", "nearly (with numbers)," and "know that."

σεαυτόν.” [3 verses] (adj sg masc acc)"Yourself" is seautou (seatou), which means "of yourself."

KJV Analysis: 

And -- (IW) There is no Greek word that is translated as "and" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

the -- (IW) There is no Greek word that is translated as "the" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. It was added for clarity because in Greek we can see that the following word refers to the word "commandment."

second -- The word for "second" means specifically the second of two and "later" in time. There is also no "the" to mark the adjective as a noun. However, the form of the word refers to earlier "commandment."

is  -- There is no verb "to be" here in the Greek. However, when noun and pronouns appear in the form of a subject without a verb, the verb "to be" is assumed.

like , -- The adverb translated as "like" means "like", "resembling," and "matching."

unto -- (IW) There is no Greek word that is translated as "unto" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. This word would seem to indicate a dative form but the word is in the form of a subject.

it, -- The word translated as "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. The word technically means "the same," and when used as a pronoun can mean "the true self" as opposed to appearances.

Thou --  This is where the quote from Leviticus starts. The "thou" is from the second-person, singular form of the following verb.

shalt  -- (CW) This helping verb could indicate the future tense, but that the following verb could also describe a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" in English is more appropriate.

love  - (CW) The Greek word translated as "love" means "to be fond of", "to greet with affection," and "to be contended with." This love is more associated with affection than passion. See this article on love for more information, "embrace" or "care for" work the best. It is not in the form of a command, but a suggestion: "you might care for". 

thy -- The word translated as "thy" is the possessive form of the singular, second person pronoun.

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. 

neighbour -- The word translated as "neighbor"  means "close", "near,"neighboring, " and "one's neighbor." Notice, the word that Christ uses for "neighbor" is not a word that can be applied to the faceless masses nor to close friends and family. This is a word that refers only to personal acquaintances and those physically nearby.

as -- The word translated as "as" has a very broad meaning, translating as "how", "when", "where", "just as", "like," and related words.

thyself. -- "Thyself" is the second person reflexive pronoun.

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "unto" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "shalt" does not mean the future tense.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "love" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "neighbors" not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

And -- (IW) There is no Greek word that is translated as "and" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

the -- (IW) There is no Greek word that is translated as "the" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. It was added for clarity because in Greek we can see that the following word refers to the word "commandment."

second -- The word for "second" means specifically the second of two and "later" in time. There is also no "the" to mark the adjective as a noun. However, the form of the word refers to earlier "commandment."

is  -- There is no verb "to be" here in the Greek. However, when noun and pronouns appear in the form of a subject without a verb, the verb "to be" is assumed.

like , -- The adverb translated as "like" means "like", "resembling," and "matching."

it, -- The word translated as "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. The word technically means "the same," and when used as a pronoun can mean "the true self" as opposed to appearances.

Love  - (WF, CW) The Greek word translated as "love" means "to be fond of", "to greet with affection," and "to be contended with." This love is more associated with affection than passion. See this article on love for more information, "embrace" or "care for" work the best. It is not in the form of a command, but a suggestion: "you might care for". 

your -- The word translated as "your " is the possessive form of the singular, second person pronoun.

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. 

neighbour -- The word translated as "neighbor"  means "close", "near,"neighboring, " and "one's neighbor." Notice, the word that Christ uses for "neighbor" is not a word that can be applied to the faceless masses nor to close friends and family. This is a word that refers only to personal acquaintances and those physically nearby.

as -- The word translated as "as" has a very broad meaning, translating as "how", "when", "where", "just as", "like," and related words.

Yourself. -- "Yourself" is the second person reflexive pronoun.

NIV Translation Issues: 

5
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "love" is not a command but something you "should" do.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "love" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "neighbors" not shown in the English translation.

Front Page Date: 

Jul 18 2021