Mark 4:12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive;

KJV Verse: 

Mark 4:12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Because seeing they might see and not want to to know. And hearing, they may hear  and not want to bring together. Not wanting at any time to turn themselves around

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

There is a lot going on here. There is no Greek word for "sins" here. It was added. There are two different Greek verbs that means "to see" beginning this verse. The first one, used twice, means physical seeing while the second means "see" but also "to know." The "not" is a negative of opinion and choice, "the don't want/think" for both perceiving and understanding.  In the Greek, Jesus is clearly playing with the words here. 

He is making a reference to Isa 6:9 and Isa 6:10. The first few phrases reverses the pattern of hearing and seeing used in Isaiah. putting seeing first. We know this reversal in intentional because Christ does it elsewhere quoting this section of Isaiah. Strangely enough, the contrasting wordplay here works better in the Greek (and in English) than it does in the original Hebrew. The Greek words for seeing and perceiving, blepô and eido, both primarily mean "seeing" but the first is more physical and the second with the sense of understanding. In the original Hebrew, the words, ra'ah meaning primarily "to see" and yada meaning primarily "to know," the pun connecting them to sight is not as clear. In Greek, the word for hearing and understanding are also are both connected to hearing and have more of a connection the the original Hebrew shama` and biyn.

Though the second part of this verse seems to reference the next verse in Isaiah, it does not do so as closely as Mat 13:15, which quotes Isa 6:10 almost directly except, again, reversing the order of eyes and ears. 

KJV Analysis: 

That The word translated as "that" is not the simple demonstrative pronoun, but a word that means "there", "where," and "in order that."

seeing The verb translated as "seeing" means "to see", "to look to", "to look like", "to beware", and "to look for." It is the more tangible sense of seeing, such as seeing what is right in front of you rather than understanding "look" in English. The form is an adjective, "hearing."

they The "they" is from the masculine, plural form of the verb below.

may The "may" is from the subjunctive form of the following verb.

see, The verb translated as "they may see" means "to see", "to look to", "to look like", "to beware", and "to look for." It is the more tangible sense of seeing, such as seeing what is right in front of you rather than understanding "look" in English.

and The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

not The "not" here is both of the Greek negatives used together. Greek has two negatives, one objective, one subjective. The use of both together is more extreme, like saying "you cannot really think."

perceive; and The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

hearing "Hearing" is translated from a Greek word that has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.

they The "they" is from the masculine, plural form of the verb below.

may The "may" is from the subjunctive form of the following verb.

hear, "Hear" is translated from a Greek word that has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.

and The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as". not The "not" here is both of the Greek negatives used together. Greek has two negatives, one objective, one subjective. The use of both together is more extreme, like saying "you cannot really think."

understand; "Have you understood" is from a Greek verb which means "to bring together" or "to set together." It is also a metaphor for "perceive", "hear," and "understand" as we would say that we "put it all together" when figuring something out.

lest The "not" here is both of the Greek negatives used together. Greek has two negatives, one objective, one subjective. The use of both together is more extreme, like saying "you cannot really think."

at any time The "when"  is from an adverb meaning "when", "at what time", "at some time or other", "at some unknown time, and "at some time in the future."

they The "they" is from the masculine, plural form of the verb below.

should The "should" is from the subjunctive form of the following verb. This form was translated as "may" above.

be converted, This phrase is  is translated from a Greek verb "to turn about" or "to turn around," but also means "cause to return" and "to turn one's mind towards" something. In the passive, which is used here, it means "to turn oneself around" or "be turned around."

and he Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

their  This word doesn't appear in the Greek.

sins This word doesn't appear in the Greek.

should The "should" is from the subjunctive form of the following verb. This form was translated as "may" above.

be forgiven The word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. See this article for more.

them.

Greek Vocabulary: 

να (adv/conj) "That" is hina, which means "in that place", "there", "where", "when", "that", "in order that", "when," and "because." --

βλέποντες ( part pl pres act masc nom ) "Seeing" is from of blepo, which means "to look", "to see", "to look to", "to look like", "to rely on", "to look longingly", "to propose", "to beware", "to behold," and "to look for." --

βλέπωσι ( verb 3rd pl pres subj act ) "They may see" is from of blepo, which means "to look", "to see", "to look to", "to look like", "to rely on", "to look longingly", "to propose", "to beware", "to behold," and "to look for." -- The verb translated as "see ye" means "to see", "to look to", "to look like", "to beware", and "to look for." It is the more tangible sense of seeing, such as seeing what is right in front of you rather than understanding "look" in English.

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" 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." --

μὴ (partic) "Not" is ou me, the two forms of Greek negative used together. Ou is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. Mê (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective. --

ἴδωσιν, ( verb 3rd pl aor subj act ) "Perceive" is 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." --

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" 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."

ἀκούοντες ( part pl pres act masc nom ) "Hearing" is akouo, which means "hear of", "hear tell of", "what one actually hears", "know by hearsay", "listen to", "give ear to", "hear and understand," and "understand." --

ἀκούωσι ( verb 3rd pl pres subj act ) "Ye hear" is akouo, which means "hear of", "hear tell of", "what one actually hears", "know by hearsay", "listen to", "give ear to", "hear and understand," and "understand." --

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" 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."

μὴ (partic) "Not" is ou me, the two forms of Greek negative used together. Ou is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. Mê (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

συνίωσιν,   (verb 3rd pl pres subj) "Understand" is from suniemi, which means "bring together", "come together in agreement," and, metaphorically, "to perceive ""to hear", "to take notice of" and "to understand." --

μή (partic) "Lest" is ou me, the two forms of Greek negative used together. Ou is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. Mê (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

ποτε (adv/conj) "At any time" is pote, which means "when", "at what time", "at some time or other", "at some unknown time, and "at some time in the future." -- 

ἐπιστρέψωσιν ( erb 3rd pl aor subj act ) "They should be converted" is from epistrephô, which means "to turn around", "to turn towards", "to cause to repent," and "to be converted." --

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" 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."

ἀφεθῇ ( verb 3rd sg aor subj pass ) "Should be forgiven " is aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "give up", "hand over", "to let loose", "to get rid of", "to leave alone", "to pass by", "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself." -- The word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament.

αὐτοῖς. (adj pl masc dat) "Them" is 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." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there." -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective. In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there." 

Related Verses: 

Jun 19 2019