Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried,

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: 

Taking [his] time, however, this bridegroom, they nodded off, all, and laid down to sleep.

My Takeaway: 

If they hadn't nodded off, they would have had time to get more oil.

KJV : 

Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

NIV : 

Matthew 25:5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Jesus is telling a humorous story, so he uses uncommon words.

The word translated as "tarried" and "was a long time in coming" is used by Jesus only three times, it literally means "making time" but it was used like we use "taking time," the root word being "time."

The word translated as "slumbered" and "become drowsy" is only used by Jesus here. It is from a root word that means "nod," like we say "nodding off."

Greek Vocabulary: 

χρονίζοντος [3 verses](part sg pres act masc gen) "Tarried" is chronizo, which means "to spend time", "continues", "to take time," and "to linger."

δὲ [446 verses](conj) "While" 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"). --

τοῦ [692 verses](article sg masc gen)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

νυμφίου  [9 verses](noun sg masc gen) "Bridegroom" is from nymphios, which means "bridal", "bridegroom" and "son-in-law."

ἐνύσταξαν [1 verse](verb 3rd pl aor ind act) "Slumbered" is from nystazo, which means "to be half asleep", "to doze," and "to hand one's head."

πᾶσαι [212 verses](adj pl fem nom) "All" is from pas, which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form, it means "every way", "on every side", "in every way," and "altogether." -- The word translated as "all" is from the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything." As an adverb, it means "in every way", "on every side," and "altogether."

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."

ἐκάθευδον[12 verses] (verb 3rd pl imperf ind act) "Sleep" is from katheudo, which means "to lie down to sleep", "to sleep," and "to lie asleep."

KJV Analysis: 

While  - The "while" comes from the form of the following two words (genitive absolute) consisting of a participle ("tarrying") and a noun ("bridegroom"). Since the participle is in the present, it indicates simultaneous actions.

missing "however"  -- (MW) The untranslated word usually translated as "but" that joins phrases in an adversarial way.

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. 

bridegroom  - The word translated as "the bridegroom" is a male form of the adjective meaning "bridal," hence, "groom" but weddings were only common "celebrations" to which the girls could get invited, so he plays a more general role, that of "a celebrant." The point is that he is the one who can get the girls into the party.

tarried,  - (WF) "Tarried" is from a Greek verb that means "to spend time", "continues", "to take time," and "to linger." It is in the form of an adjective modifying the celebrity. The form is a present participle, "tarrying."

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

all  - -- The word translated as "all" is the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas.

slumbered  - "Slumbered" is a verb that means "to be half asleep", "to doze," and "to hand one's head." Jesus only uses this word once in the verse. It is in the tense that indicates "at some point in time."

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

slept.  - "Sleep" is from a verb that  means "to lie down to sleep", "to sleep," and "to lie asleep." The prefix has the sense of "down." There is a change of tense here from the previous verb to the simple past tense.

KJV Translation Issues: 

2
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "however" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "tarried" is not an active verb but a participle, "taking time."

NIV Analysis: 

missing "however"  -- (MW) The untranslated word usually translated as "but" that joins phrases in an adversarial way.

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. 

bridegroom  - The word translated as "the bridegroom" is a male form of the adjective meaning "bridal," hence, "groom" but weddings were only common "celebrations" to which the girls could get invited, so he plays a more general role, that of "a celebrant." The point is that he is the one who can get the girls into the party.

was a long time in coming,  - (WF, CW) "Was a long time in coming" is from a Greek verb that means "to spend time", "continues", "to take time," and "to linger." It is in the form of an adjective modifying the celebrity. The form is a present participle, "taking his time." There is no form of "coming" here nor the verb suggest "coming."

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

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

all  - -- The word translated as "all" is the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas.

became drowsy .- (CW) "Became drowsy" is a verb that means "to be half asleep", "to doze," and "to hand one's head."  It is a form of the word "nod" used like we use "nodded off." Jesus only uses this word once in the verse. It is in the tense that indicates "at some point in time." The is no verb "became" here.

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

fell asleep.  - "Fell asleep" is from a verb that  means "to lie down to sleep", "to sleep," and "to lie asleep." The prefix has the sense of "down." There is a change of tense here from the previous verb to the simple past tense.

NIV Translation Issues: 

4
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "however" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "was a long time in coming" is not a active clause but a participle, "taking time."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "coming" is not the common word usually translated as "coming."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.

Front Page Date: 

Oct 23 2021