Matthew 25:14 For [the kingdom of heaven] is as a man traveling into a far country

KJV Verse: 

Mat 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, [who] called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

This is the same as a man going abroad. He called his personal servants and gave over to them his resources.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

In reading this verse in translation, you might think it has a lot in common with the many other analogies Christ uses to discuss "the kingdom of heaven." In the Greek, the resemblance disappears because none of the same words are used.

The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation. To prevent a run-on sentence, it can be translated as "this is why" or "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

To begin the Greek phrase usually translated as "the kingdom of heaven" doesn't appear at all. The last place it appears it at the beginning of the story of ten virgins, that is, the teenage girls.

The Greek word translated as "as" indicates a match with a person or thing. "the very man who" or "the very thing, which."

The uncommon verb translated as "traveling into a far country" that means "to be far from home" and "to go abroad." It is in the form of an adjective "going abroad."

The term translated as "who called" is like our word "call" because it means both "to summon" and also "to name," but it does not as clearly mean "to address."

The word translated as "his" is a very unusual word. It is not the very common pronoun usually translated as "his," but a specific word that means "one's own", "pertaining to oneself," and "private."

The noun translated as "servant" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible.

"Delivered" is from a compound word which literally means "to give over."

"Goods" is from an uncommon verb, not a noun, that means "to take the initiative", "to begin." However, it has a number of shades of meaning which is why Christ uses it here, specifically it means "take the initiative," which is the message of this story. In this form, it is used here, it means, "possessions", "resources, and "the past record." Again, the idea of "past record" is important because this is how the man assigns his "good" in the next verse.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ὥσπερ "As" is from hosper, which means "the very man who", "the very thing, which", "the same as", "wherefore," and "although."

γὰρ (partic) "For" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for", "since," and "as." In an abrupt question, it means "why" and "what."

ἄνθρωπος (noun sg masc nom) "A man" is from 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.

ἀποδημῶν (part sg pres act masc nom) "Traveling into a far country" is from apodemeo, which means "to be far from home", "to be abroad", "to be on one's travels," and "to go abroad."

ἐκάλεσεν (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Who called" is from kaleo, which means "call", "summon", "invite", "invoke", "call by name," and "demand."

τοὺς ἰδίους (adj pl masc/fem acc) "His" is from idios, which means "one's own", "pertaining to oneself", "private", "personal", "personally attached" to one, "separate", "distinct", "strange," and "unusual."

δούλους (noun pl masc acc )) "The servant" is from doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."

καὶ "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."

παρέδωκεν (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Delivered" is from paradidomi, which means "to give over to another", "to transmit", "to hand down", "to grant", "to teach," and "to bestow."

αὐτοῖς (adj pl masc dat ) "Him" 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."

τὰ ὑπάρχοντα [uncommon](part pl pres act neut acc ) "Goods" is from hyparchonta, which is the past participle noun form of huparcho, which means "to take the intiative", "to begin", "take the initiative in","to be the beginning", "to exist really", "to be laid down", "to be taken for granted", and of persons "to be devoted to one." In this form, a participle used as a noun, it means "existing circumstances", "present advantages", "possessions", "resources, "that which is in existence," and "the past record."

αὐτοῦ, (adj sg masc gen) "His" 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." -

Wordplay: 

The word translated is "goods" is in a form where it means "possession" and "resources," but the word is a verb that has a primary meaning of "take the initiative" and also means "past record" in this form.

The Spoken Version: 

"this is the same as a man," he said, indicating himself. "Going abroad. He calls his personal servants."

He picked the three of his favorite followers to play their parts.

"And handed over the resources from his initiative to them." he continued, pretending to pick up a big bag.

Related Verses: 

Front Page Date: 

Sep 28 2016