4:12 Jesus commences his ministry, v12-25:
ακουσας (ακουω) aor. part. "when [Jesus] heard" - adverbial, probably temporal, as NIV. The time lag between Jesus' temptation and the commencement of his ministry in Galilee could well be around one year, but Matthew makes no attempt to fill it out.
παρεδοθη (παραδιδωμι) aor. pas. "had been put in prison" = arrested.
ανεχωρησεν (αναχωρεω) aor. "he returned" [into Galilee]. Presumably the move is political, Jesus could be confused as one of John's disciples, although Galilee, as is Perea where John was arrested, is in the territory ruled by Herod Antipas.
v13 καταλιπων (καταλειπω) aor. part. "leaving [Nazareth]". This participle, as with ελθων, "having come", is attendant circumstance expressing action accompanying the verb κατωκησεν, "he settled." Jesus moved to establish his headquarters in Capernaum, a larger and more significant town with a large Gentile population..
ελθων (ερχομαι) aor. part. "he went" - having come to. Attendant circumstance participle, "he then left Nazareth and came to Capernaum."
την παραθαλασσιαν adj. "which was by the lake" - although it might mean "the way to the sea", v15, means "on the way to the Great Sea" = the Mediterranean. These little historical throw aways fascinate me. Why does Mt. feel a need to set Capernaum apart from some other Capernaum? God only knows, but the need to do so and illustrates the kind of inferential authenticity of such texts.
v14 ινα + subj. "to [fulfill]" - forming a purpose clause, "he did this so that ...",
το ηηθεν (λεγω) aor. pas. part. "what was said" serves as a substantive.
v15 Isaiah 9:1-2: Matthew follows the LXX in structure but reflects a particular Hebrew text
known to him. Isaiah 8:23-9:2 addresses Israel's exile under Assyrian rule and speaks of a coming descendent of David who will serve as a sign of the people's liberation. As far as Matthew is concerned this liberation has already been realized in Christ.
θαλασσης (α ης) "[the way] of the sea" - an objective genitive i.e. "a thoroughfare that leads to the great sea." Blomberg notes that this construct reflects the perspective of foreigners from the north east heading through Israel to the Mediterranean - as with the Assyrians' invasion Isaiah predicted.
περαν + gen. "along, across" the Jordan = "east of the Jordan" i.e. Galilee, "on the way to the Mediterranean sea.
των εθνων (ος) gen. "[Galilee] of the Gentiles" adjectival, = "Heathen Galilee". Jews only made up some 50% of the population of Galilee, but this may not be why he quotes Isaiah. Jesus may be working primarily in the mixed population area, but his ministry is to Israel.
v16 ο λαος "the people" - understood as Israel in exile, scattered among the Gentiles, lost.
ο καθημενος (καθημαι) pres. part. "living" sitting, residing, settling; viz."the people who live in σκοτει (ος) "darkness" - Possibly moral bankruptcy, a common image, but more likely the darkness of living outside God's grace.
ειδεν (οραω) aor. "have seen" - use here of a punctiliar aorist indicates the people have already witnessed the realization of Isaiah's prophecy in Christ.
ανετειλεν (ανατελλω) aor. "has dawned" rather than the LXX's "shine" = Matthew's way of pointing to Jesus as the sign of Israel's coming liberation.
v17 απο τοτε "from that time on" – a temporal prepositional phrase signifying an important division in the gospel.
κηρυσσειν (κηρυσσω) pres. inf. "to preach" - as with λεγειν, a complementary infinitive, completing the sense of the verb "began". The impression is that Jesus takes over John's preaching work, including the message, and this is a summary of that message. On the other hand, some argue that "began" is an Semeticism suggesting either the beginning of a continuous action or a fresh start. So choose either" then Jesus continued preaching" or "Jesus set about his preaching mission for real."
μετανοειτε (μετανοεω) pres. imp. "repent". This Greek word comes from the agricultural arena, and it means, literally, to turn a team of oxen from one path to another. Much can be made of this image, but the one aspect often overlooked is that a team of oxen tends not to turn itself – like sheep, the image of an ox is not meant to be flattering!
των ουρανων (ος) gen. "[the kingdom] of heaven" Matthew's designation is used out of respect for the divine name, the genitive would be classified as adjectival, possessive, since the kingdom belongs to God. The kingdom is God's promised eschatological rule, (though not "fulfilled" as in Mark) that brings with it blessing upon the repentant and curses to the unrepentant (cf. Isa.24:23, 52:7).
ηγγικεν (εγγιζω) perf. "is near" as sense of "nearness" is best, possibly "inaugurated", but Matthew sees the kingdom as future in time in the narrative. The best English translation for this word is “palpable” – but hardly anyone uses this word anymore; so...
v18 Matthew records the call of some of Jesus' disciples (18-22). These disciples/laborers are called to prepare the world for the coming kingdom. Interestingly, a disciple would usually chose their own teacher and not the other way around.
περιπατων (περιπατεω) pres. part. "as Jesus was walking" – i.e. "while walking beside της Γαλιλαιας (α) gen. "[the sea] which is called Galilee" although often called "the Sea of Tiberius" so maybe "the sea located in Galilee."
τον λεγομενον (λεγω) pres. pas. part. "called".
βαλλοντας (βαλλω) pres. part. "they were casting" serves as an object complement to Peter and Andrew, so "he saw Peter an Andrew making a cast into the lake". In other words they were (idiomatically) minding their own business.
v19 δευτε adv. "come" - used as an imperative by Matthew 6 times, lots of imperatives in this section.
οπισω μου "follow me" - [come] after me, literally come ‘behind me”.
λεγει (λεγω) pres. "[Jesus] said" - says. Mark uses the aorist but Matthew underlines the ongoing action of the disciples mending their nets and Jesus speaking to them.
ποιησω (ποιεω) fut. "I will make" the first use of the future tense, so this points beyond the story, or at least to the end (28:16-20)
ανθρωπων (ος) gen. "[fishers] of men" – yes, I know the intent is people, but substituting our cultural arrogance for another’s is not better. The idiomatic translation is "I will teach you how to cast out and bring in people instead of fish", it is meant as a promotion of action, and it is meant as Jesus using the life circumstances of these men to impress upon them that in following him, they are already equipped to do the work he is asking of them. And it must have been understood it in this that way, as there is no mystical regeneration, they simply drop what they are doing and follow him. In their world it is the same thing as saying; “Okay, this makes sense to me.”
v20 ευθεως "at once" – immediately; one of the few places Matthew imports Mark’s sense of urgency. Commentators will read more into this action than is stated in the text: discipleship involves leaving all and following Jesus, but while the action is immediate, the text does not support abandonment. And the evidence is that those who owned property, including nest and boats, retained that property (cf., John 21 and Acts 5:4).
αφεντες (αφιημι) aor. part. "they left" - possibly (and to be fair the least likely) they "abandoned", but best they just "left what they were doing... and
ηκολουθησαν (ακολουθεω) "followed" possibly "accompanied", but obviously "joined him as a disciple". This word derives from the Greek ακυο meaning “to hear” – so literally they ‘heard and responded” to the invitation.
v21 probaV (probainw) aor. part. "going on".
τον του Ζεβεδαιου (ος) gen. "[James] son of Zebedee" another interesting historical tidbit, why the qualifier? Perhaps, and likely, at that time Zebedee was more widely known than either of his two sons; likely a local business man of some means.
καταρτιζοντας (καταρτιζω) pres. part. "preparing [their nets]" - repairing, mending, equipping.
v22 αφεντες "they left" – literally ‘remitted’ – it comes form legal lexicon, meaning “to renounce your claim”- attendant circumstance expressing action accompanying the main verb "followed". Mark softens the leaving in that the brothers leave their father with the hired help, none-the-less, leaving the security of a family business illustrates one cost of following.
v23 περιηγεν (περιαγω) imperf. "Jesus went about” expressing ongoing action. He was ‘on the move” – “set loose upon the world”.
διδασκων (διδασκω) pres. part. "teaching" – the purpose and content of his ministry – first to his disciples and then to others. This along with "preaching and healing" is what he "went about" doing. There is probably little difference between "teaching" and "preaching" as teaching is what a person would do in a synagogue, whereas "preaching" is what someone would do outdoors. There is little evidence Jesus ministry was synagogue-bound, but given that the synagogue is the natural place where spiritual matters were addressed, it is not unreasonable to assume that Jesus exercised his ministry in the local synagogue until he was barred from doing so.
τον ευαγγελιον "the good news" - the important message a term borrowed from Greek military history, at the Battle of Marathon, the messenger ran 26 miles to Athens to halt the evacuation with the “τον ευαγγελιον" that the Greeks had defeated the Persians on land and sea. Then, having delivered this astoundingly good news, he drops dead at the gates! The term survived to Matthew’s day with lesser import, often as “important news” but not news that was necessarily good. The word was commonly used by Paul, but only 4 times by Matthew, so for Matthew, the “good news” was likely the preaching
της βασιλειας (α) gen. "of the kingdom", i.e., the inauguration of the eschatological reign of God.
πασαν adj. "[healing] ALL [disease and sickness]" - as Jesus put it "if I by the finger of God cast out demons you know that the kingdom of God has come upon you." The overcoming of this world and its brokenness goes hand-in-hand with the realization of God's reign on earth εν τω/ λαω "among the people" or “in the people” as both would refer to Israel.