Matthew 25:24 Then he who had received the one talent came

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

A parable describing a man traveling abroad, turning over his stuff to personal servants.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Approaching, however, also the one the single weight [of gold] having gotten spoke: "Master, I knew you, that austere you are as a man, harvesting where you don't sow, and gathering together from where you haven't scattered.

My Takeaway: 

A lot of people think, even back then, think trading for a profit is somehow immoral.

KJV : 

Matthew 25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:

NIV : 

Matthew 25:24 Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The humor is in the rather unsubtle, a compliment that sounds like an insult.

The meaning of the word translated as "talent" and "bag of gold" is "weight," which is important to the punchline of the story. It was the name of the scales of Zeus on which was balanced the fortunes of men, an important aspect of this moral of this story.

There is a lot of sloppy translation here, but the new translations skip an important point. The servant says first, "I know you" before he makes the statement about him being a hard man. Leaving this out takes away the impact because the servant makes this personal.

For some reason, all translations also get the last word wrong. The word is the clear opposite of "gathered" meaning "to disperse." For some reason, all the Biblical translations want to translate it as something similar to "sow." It isn't.

Wordplay: 

The word for "hard" has a double meaning of "cruel"  and "austere" in the sense of using rigid money controls. 

The word for "gathered" is the opposite of the word for "scatter." 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

προσελθὼν [6 verses](part sg aor act masc nom) "Came" is from proserchomai, which means "come," "go to," "approach," "draw nigh," in hostile sense, "attack," "come in," "surrender," "capitulate," "come forward to speak," "appear before a tribunal or official," "apply oneself to," of things, "to be added," "come in (of revenue)" and "have sexual intercourse."

δὲ [446 verses](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").

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) Untranslated is 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."

[821 verses](article sg masc nom) "He" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

τὸ [821 verses](article sg neut acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἓν (noun sg neut acc) "One" is from heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

τάλαντον  [8 verses] (noun sg neut acc) "Talent" is from talanton, which means "a weight," "a pair of scales," "a commercial weight," and "a sum of money." In Greek mythology, it was the scales on which Zeus balanced the fortunes of men. As money, the amount varied in different systems.

εἰληφὼς [54 verse](part sg perf act masc nom) "had received" is from lambano means to "take," "take hold of," "grasp," "seize," "catch," "overtake," "find out," "detect," "take as," "take [food or drugs]," "understand," "take in hand," "undertake," "take in," "hold," "get," "receive [things]," "receive hospitably," "receive in marriage," "receive as produce," "profit," "admit," "initiate," "take hold of," "lay hold on," "seize and keep hold of," "obtain possession of," "lay hands upon," "find fault with," "censure," "to apprehend with the senses," "to take hold of," and "to seize." It is also specifically used to mean "seized with emotion." -- The word translated as "That they might receive" primarily means "take." However, it means "receive" in the same sense that we use "get" to mean "receive" and has many different uses as we use "get" in English. Among these are the ideas of "understanding" and "possessing." It is an infinitive, "to get."

εἶπεν [162 verses] (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Said" is from eipon, which means "to speak," "to say," "to recite," "to address," "to mention," "to name," "to proclaim," "to plead," "to promise," and "to offer." -- "Speak you" is from means "to say" and "to speak" also. However, it has less a sense of teaching and more a sense of addressing and proclaiming.

Κύριε, [92 verses](noun sg masc voc) "Lord" is from kyrios (kurios), which means "having power," "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

ἔγνων [62 verses](verb 1st sg aor ind act) "I knew," is from ginosko which means "to learn to know," "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive."

σε [47 verses](pron 2nd sg acc) "Thee" is from su which means "you" and "your."

ὅτι [332 verses](adv/conj) "That" 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."

σκληρὸς [1 verse]](adj sg masc nom) "Hard" is skleros, which means "hard to the touch," "unyielding," "stiff," "harsh," of persons, "harsh," "austere," "cruel," "stubborn," and "bitter."

εἶ .[614 verses](verb 2nd sg pres ind act) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

ἄνθρωπος, [209 verses](noun sg masc gen) "Of man" is anthropos, which is "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate.

θερίζων [10 verses](part sg pres act masc nom) "Reapins" is therizo, which means "to do summer work," "to reap," "to mow," "to cut off," and, in some areas, "to plunder." -- The Greek word translated as "reap" means "to do summer work" and "to reap."

ὅπου [32 verses](adv) "Where" is hopou, which means "somewhere," "anywhere," "wherever," and "where."

οὐκ [269 verses](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.

ἔσπειρας [31 verses](verb 2nd sg aor ind act) "Thou hast...sown" is speiro, which means "to sow a seed," "to beget offspring," "to scatter like a seed," and "to sow a field."

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."

συνάγων [20 verses](part sg pres act masc nom) "Gathering" is synago, which means "bring together," "gather together," "pit [two warriors against each other]," "join in one," "unite," "make friends of," "lead with one," "receive," "reconcile," "draw together," "narrow," "contract," "conclude [from premises]," " infer," and "prove." --The Greek word translated as "gather" means "to bring together." It has many different uses, but it does not specifically mean gathering in the crops. That is why that idea is provided specifically by the phrase that follows.

ὅθεν [4 verses](adv) "From whence" is from hothen, which means "whence," "from whom or which," "from whatever source," "in what manner soever," "from any other place whatsoever," "where or whither," "whence, "for which reason," and "for what reason."

οὐ [269 verses](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.

διεσκόρπισας: [6 verses](verb 2nd sg aor ind act) "Thou hast...strawed" is diaskorpizo, which means literally, to "scatter among" or "disperse among," and "to scatter abroad." In the passive, it means "to squander," "to confound," and "to winnow."

KJV Analysis: 

Then  - (IW) There isn't a Greek word that is translated as "then" in the Greek source.

missing "however"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is normally translated as "but" that joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

missing "also"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is "also" in the previous verse, that is usually used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In the Greek, it follows the verb translated as "came," which indicates it plays more of an "also" role here.

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

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

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

received  - The word translated as "received" is a verb that primarily means "take." However, it means "receive" in the same sense that we use "get" to mean "receive" and has many different uses as we use "get" in English. Among these are the ideas of "understanding" and "possessing." This word is in the form of an adjective, so "getting."

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. 

one -- The Greek word translated as "one " means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."

talent - "Talents" is an untranslated word in Greek meaning "a weight" as in a weight balancing a scale. It was used to refer to a sum of money like we would say "five large" or "five big ones" referring to large denomination bills. As with bills, its meaning changed depending on the type of currency.

came  - (CW, WF) The word translated as "came" is a special form of the word commonly translated as "come." It has the sense of "coming forward," "coming closer," and "approach" but it is typically used for an inferior approaching a superior. It appears much earlier in the Greek in the form of an adjective, so "approaching."

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.

said,  - - The word translated as "said" means "to say" and "to speak." It is different than the Greek word used in Matthew 25:20.

Lord, -- The word translated as "lord" is the same word that is often translated as "Lord" or "the Lord" in the NT. It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

I  - -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

knew  - "Knew" is from a verb that means "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn.

thee -- The word translated as "you" is the objective form of the second-person, singular pronoun.

that  - In the Greek source, this is a word here that means "that" or "because."

thou -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

art -- The verb "art" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.

an -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

hard  - The adjective translated as "hard" is means "hard to the touch," "unyielding," "harsh," "bitter," "austere," "cruel," and "stubborn." When applied to money, as it is here, the sense is "austere" but the

man, -- The Greek word for "man" means "man," "person" and "humanity" in the singular.

reaping  - "Reaping" is a verb that means "to do summer work," "to reap," "to mow," "to cut off," and, in Asia, "to plunder." It is in the form of an adjective, "harvesting."

where -- The word translated as "where"  means "somewhere," "anywhere," "wherever," and "where."

thou -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

hast -- (WT) This helping verb "hast" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

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. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea.

sown,  - The Greek word translated as "sow" means specifically to "sow seeds" and "to scatter" as in sowing seeds. Jesus often plays it against its opposite, the verb for "gathering," but, here, he uses it in opposition to "harvest" or "reap" so the sense is more "sow."

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

gathering  - "Gathering" is from a verb which means "to bring together," "to gather together," "to unite," "to draw together," "to narrow," "to pinch," "to conclude," and "to prove." This is in the form of an adjective, "gathering together."

where  - Interestingly, Christ uses a different word here to means "where" than he did in the previous phrase. It doesn't just mean "where" as the previous word did, but "from where." This makes sense with the verb used.

thou -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

hast -- (WT) This helping verb "hast" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

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. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea.

strawed: -- (CW) "Strawed" is a Greek word meaning "to scatter abroad," "to disperse among." This is more clearly an opposite for the verb "gathering." The verb is also translated very confusingly in ​Luke 15:13 , where it becomes "wasted."  "Strawed" is also confusing.

KJV Translation Issues: 

10
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "then" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "however" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "also" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "which" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "came" is not the common word usually translated as "came."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "came" is not an active verb but a participle, "approaching."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "hast" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "hast" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "strawed" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.

NIV Analysis: 

Then  - (IW) There isn't a Greek word that is translated as "then" in the Greek source.

missing "however"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is normally translated as "but" that joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

missing "also"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is "also" in the previous verse, that is usually used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In the Greek, it follows the verb translated as "came," which indicates it plays more of an "also" role here.

The - The word translated as "the" is from the Greek article, "the," which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one."

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

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

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

received  - The word translated as "received" is a verb that primarily means "take." However, it means "receive" in the same sense that we use "get" to mean "receive" and has many different uses as we use "get" in English. Among these are the ideas of "understanding" and "possessing." This word is in the form of an adjective, so "getting."

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. 

one -- The Greek word translated as "one " means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."

bag of gold  - The word translated as "bag of gold," is a word in Greek meaning "a weight" as in a weight balancing a scale. It was used to refer to a sum of money like we would say "five large" or "five big ones" referring to large denomination bills. As with bills, its meaning changed depending on the type of currency.

came  - (CW, WF) The word translated as "came" is a special form of the word commonly translated as "come." It has the sense of "coming forward," "coming closer," and "approach" but it is typically used for an inferior approaching a superior. It appears much earlier in the Greek in the form of an adjective, so "approaching."

Master,’ -- The word translated as "master" is the same word that is often translated as "Lord" or "the Lord" in the NT. It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

said,  - - The word translated as "said" means "to say" and "to speak." It is different than the Greek word used in Matthew 25:20.

I  - -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

knew  - "Knew" is from a verb that means "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn.

missing "you"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "you" is the objective form of the second-person, singular pronoun. It is not the subject  below.

that  - In the Greek source, this is a word here that means "that" or "because."

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

are -- The verb "art" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.

 a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

hard  - The adjective translated as "hard" is means "hard to the touch," "unyielding," "harsh," "bitter," "austere," "cruel," and "stubborn." When applied to money, as it is here, the sense is "austere" but the

man, -- The Greek word for "man" means "man," "person" and "humanity" in the singular.

harvesting   - "Harvesting" is a verb that means "to do summer work," "to reap," "to mow," "to cut off," and, in Asia, "to plunder." It is in the form of an adjective, "harvesting."

where -- The word translated as "where"  means "somewhere," "anywhere," "wherever," and "where."

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

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

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. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea.

sown,  - The Greek word translated as "sow" means specifically to "sow seeds" and "to scatter" as in sowing seeds. Jesus often plays it against its opposite, the verb for "gathering," but, here, he uses it in opposition to "harvest" or "reap" so the sense is more "sow."

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

gathering  - "Gathering" is from a verb which means "to bring together," "to gather together," "to unite," "to draw together," "to narrow," "to pinch," "to conclude," and "to prove." This is in the form of an adjective, "gathering together."

where  - Interestingly, Christ uses a different word here to means "where" than he did in the previous phrase. It doesn't just mean "where" as the previous word did, but "from where." This makes sense with the verb used.

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

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

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. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea.

scattered seed. -- (CW) "Scattered seed." is a Greek word meaning "to scatter abroad," "to disperse among." This is more clearly an opposite for the verb "gathering." The verb is also translated very confusingly in ​Luke 15:13 , where it becomes "wasted."  This is not the specific word that means "to scatter seeds," which was the earlier verb translated as "sown."

NIV Translation Issues: 

12
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "then" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "however" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "also" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "man" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "who" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "one" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "came" is not the common word usually translated as "came."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "came" is not an active verb but a participle, "approaching."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "you" as an object is not shown in the English translation.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "scattered seed" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.

Front Page Date: 

Nov 10 2021