Matthew 26:40 What, could you not watch with me one hour?

Spoken to: 

group

Context: 

After the Last Supper and going up to Mt. Olive and the Garden of Gethsemane and after rejoining Peter, James and John. Said to Peter, but about them all.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

So, are you not strong a single moment to be awake with me?

My Takeaway: 

It takes strength to stay awake.

KJV : 

Matthew 26:40 What, could ye not watch with me one hour?​

NIV : 

Matthew 26:40 Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?”

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The narrative says that this was said to Peter, but the plural form is used, so it is addressed to all three there.

Hidden in the last two verses as the ideas of having strength. Words that seem rather innocuous in English ("could " here and "possible" in the previous verse, Matthew 26:39) both refer to the concept of strength.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Οὕτως [137 verses](adv) "What" is from houtos, which as an adverb, it means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," "so", "even so", and "that is why."

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.

ἰσχύσατε [4 verses](verb 2nd pl aor ind act or verb 2nd pl aor imperat act) "Could ye" is from ischuo (ischyo) which means "to be strong", "to be powerful", "to prevail", "to be worth," and "to be equivalent to."

μίαν [94 verses](adj sg fem acc) "One" is from heis, which means "one", "single," and "one and the same." This adjective is irregular, having a number of forms depending on sex, number, and case: heis, henos, heni, hen, hena, mia, mias, miai, mian; hen, henos, hen. The form is mia, feminine singular.

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).

γρηγορῆσαι [14 verses] (verb aor inf act) "Watch" is from gregoreo, which means "to become fully awake," and "to watch."

μετ᾽ [103 verses](prep) "With" is from meta, which means "with", "in the midst of", "among", "between", "in common", "along with", "by the aid of", "in one's dealings with", "into the middle of", "coming into", "in pursuit of", "after", "behind", "according to," and "next afterward."

ἐμοῦ; [239 verses](adj sg masc gen) "Me" is from emou, which means "me", and "mine".

KJV Analysis: 

What, -- (WW) The word translated in KJV as "what" is in its adverbial form, so it means "so," "in this manner" or "in this way."

could  - The word translated as "could " is a verb that means "to be strong", "to be able," or "to have powerful." It is in a form that could be a statement or a command. This type of strength is more physical and muscular. This is addressed to everyone there. The sense is "can" or "are strong." Making this the helping verb "can" makes the next verb active, when it is actually an infinitive.

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

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.

watch  -  (WF) "Watch" is from a verb that means "to be or to become fully awake." It is in the form of an infinitive, "to be fully awake." In the last few chapters, the original Greek focuses on the idea of being awake and ready. In English, this is lost because the term for awake is often translated as "watch." This verb is not active, but an infinitive, "to be awake."

with  - "With" is from the Greek word that is almost always translated as "with" or a related concept such as "among" or "by the means of".

me  - - "Me" is from the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

one  - The word translated as "one" also means "single."

hour?​ - The word translated as "hour" means a period of time, generally, as we might say "moment." This is not the division of time used in the dark of night (the four watches) but it is the word used to divide the light of day into the twelve hours, however, this is not the day so it doesn't mean a formal "hour."

KJV Translation Issues: 

2
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "what" should be "so."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "watch" is not an active verb but an infinitive, "to be awake."

NIV Analysis: 

missing "So"  -- (MW) The untranslated word The word translated in KJV as "so" is in its adverbial form, so it means "so," "in this manner" or "in this way."

Could-   - The word translated as "could " is a verb that means "to be strong", "to be able," or "to have powerful." It is in a form that could be a statement or a command. This type of strength is more physical and muscular. This is addressed to everyone there. The sense is "can" or "are strong." Making this the helping verb "can" makes the next verb active, when it is actually an infinitive.

n’t -  - 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.

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

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

keep watch -  (WF) "Keep watch" is from a verb that means "to be or to become fully awake." It is in the form of an infinitive, "to be fully awake." In the last few chapters, the original Greek focuses on the idea of being awake and ready. In English, this is lost because the term for awake is often translated as "watch." This verb is not active, but an infinitive, "to be awake."

with  - "With" is from the Greek word that is almost always translated as "with" or a related concept such as "among" or "by the means of".

me  - - "Me" is from the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

one  - The word translated as "one" also means "single."

hour?​ - The word translated as "hour" means a period of time, generally, as we might say "moment." This is not the division of time used in the dark of night (the four watches) but it is the word used to divide the light of day into the twelve hours, however, this is not the day so it doesn't mean a formal "hour."

NIV Translation Issues: 

3
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "so" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "men" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "keep watch" is not an active verb but an infinitive, "to be awake."

Front Page Date: 

Dec 23 2021