Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

The moral of the story, staying vigilant, is stated at the end but in a way that leaves the audience hanging. The larger context is comparing the "realm of the skies" to teens waiting to go to a party.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Wake up! Really! Because you haven't seen the day nor the hour.

My Takeaway: 

We haven't seen what is coming much less the day or hour.

KJV : 

Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

NIV : 

Matthew 25:13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

In the current Greek source, this verse doesn't say what the day and hour is for, unlike the similar line in Matthew 24:42 about your master or the son of man coming. In Matthew 24:36, Jesus makes a similar statement but the context is clear from the previous verse, the passing of heaven and earth. What is the context here? From the parable, being let into a wedding? The realm of the skies, which this story is an analogy for? The fact that the "coming of the son of man" was added to the KJV Greek source demonstrates how disconcerting this was for Erasmus.

Part of Christ's humor is his repetition of certain lines like this one. The fact that this leaves open what is happening at the day and hour is itself a statement about the unpredictability of the world.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Γρηγορεῖτε [14 verses] (2nd pl pres imperat act) "Watch" is from gregoreo, which means "to become fully awake," and "to watch."

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."

ὅτι [332 verses](adv/conj) "For" is from hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore." --

οὐκ [269 verses](partic) "Neither" 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. -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea.

οἴδατε [38 verses](verb 2nd pl perf ind act) "Ye know" is from oida which is a form of eido, (eido) which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

τὴν [692 verses](article sg fem acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἡμέραν (noun sg fem acc) "Day" is from hemera, which, as a noun, means "day" "a state or time of life", "a time (poetic)", "day break" and "day time." It is also and also has a second meaning, of "quiet", "tame (animals)", "cultivated (crops)," and "civilized (people)." -- The Greek word translated as "day" also means "time," in general, and refers specifically to the "daytime."

οὐδὲ [51 verses](partic) "Nor" is from oude , which means "but not", "neither", "nor,"and "not even." -- "Neither" is from a Greek negative meaning "but not" and as both parts of "neither...nor."

τὴν [692 verses](article sg fem acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ὥραν. [37 verses](noun sg fem acc) "Hour" is from hora, which means "any period", "season," (especially springtime), "year' (generally), "climate" (as determined by seasons), "duration", "the twelve equal parts into which the period of daylight was divided", "the fitting time" (for a task).

KJV Analysis: 

Watch  - "Watch" is from a Greek verb that means "to be or to become fully awake." It is in the form of a command.

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

for  - The Greek word translated as "for" is not the usual conjunction translated as "for," but an adverb that introduces a statement of fact ("that") or a cause ("because").

ye -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

know  - (WT)  The word translated as "ye know" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know' as we use the word "see" to mean "know" in English. However, it is not in the present tense, but the perfect tense indicating an act completed in the past, "you haven't seen."

neither  - (WW)  The Greek word translated as "neither" is the Greek negative "no/not" used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. It is not the "neither/nor" word which is used below.

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. 

day  - The Greek word translated as "day" also means "time," in general, and refers specifically to the "daytime." Unlike the similar verse, Matthew 24:42, it is the object of the sentence here along with "the hour" below.

nor"-- The Greek word for "not" is an adverb that means "not at all" or "no even". As a conjunction, it works as both parts of the "neither/nor" construction.

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. 

hour  - The word translated as "hour" means a period of time, generally, as we might say "moment."

wherein the Son of man cometh. -- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "wherein the Son of man cometh." in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

KJV Translation Issues: 

3
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb "know" is the present tense, but Greek is in the past perfect, a completed action, "have seen."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "neither" should be "not."
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "wherein the Son of man cometh." existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.

NIV Analysis: 

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

keep watch,- "Keep watch," is from a Greek verb that means "to be or to become fully awake." It is in the form of a command.

because - The Greek word translated as "because " is not the usual conjunction translated as "for," but an adverb that introduces a statement of fact ("that") or a cause ("because").

you -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

do -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

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.

know  - (WT) The word translated as "ye know" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know' as we use the word "see" to mean "know" in English. However, it is not in the present tense, but the perfect tense indicating an act completed in the past, "you haven't seen."

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. 

day  - The Greek word translated as "day" also means "time," in general, and refers specifically to the "daytime." Unlike the similar verse, Matthew 24:42, it is the object of the sentence here along with "the hour" below.

or"--  (CW) The Greek word for "neither" is an adverb that means "not at all" or "no even". As a conjunction, it works as both parts of the "neither/nor" construction. It is not the word for "or."

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. 

hour  - The word translated as "hour" means a period of time, generally, as we might say "moment."

NIV Translation Issues: 

2
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb "know" is the present tense, but Greek is in the past perfect, a completed action, "have seen."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "or" should be "nor."

Front Page Date: 

Oct 31 2021