Greek Study Matthew 14:22-33
v22 ηναγκασεν (αναγκαζω) aor. "[immediately] Jesus made" - urged strongly. The strength of these words suggest that Matthew may be aware of the attempt to make Jesus a king, as recorded in John 6:15.
εμβηναι (εμβαινω) aor. inf. "to get [into the boat]" - infinitive, as with προαγειν, "to go before", forms an object clause expressing what Jesus made the disciples do.
εις το περαν "to the other side" - Possibly "to redeem” the eastern shore of the lake", or even "cross the lake", but if the above note is correct then "to get them out of the way" may be the sense.
εως ου + subj. "while [he dismissed]" - until [he might send away]. A contraction of ες του χρονου w|, with the dative relative pronoun w|/, "in which", attracted to its genitive antecedent "of the time", σο ου, cf. Zerwick. This construction forms a temporal clause, although usually with the sense "until", but here Matthew may have used the construction for an Aramaic "while". Elsewhere he uses the regular "until", which may be the sense here. Jesus gets the disciples out of the way until he had dismissed the crowd.
τους οχλους (ος) "the crowds" - the plural is used but translated in English as a collective singular, as NIV.
v23 απολυσας (απολυω) aor. part. "after he had dismissed [them]".
ανεβη (αναβαινω) aor. "he went up" - Possible Exodus imagery; Jesus goes up a mountain to meet with God as Moses went up. The use of the definite article with mountain, "the mountain", not just any mountain, adds to the imagery, as does his going κατ ιδεαν, "by himself", "alone". High in a mountain was always regarded as a "place of special closeness to God", Luz. None-the-less, nothing more may be intended than to note that Jesus headed off into the "hill country" away from the shore.
κατ ιδιαν "by himself" - according to one's own. "Privately".
προσευξασθαι (προσευχομαι) inf. "to pray" infinitive here is adverbial, forming a purpose clause, "in order to pray."
γενομενης (γινομαι) aor. part. "when [evening] came".
v24 απειχεν (απεχω) imperf. "was [already considerable distance from land]" - One stadia = 192 meters, and they were πολλους, "many" stadia from land.
βασανιζομενον (βασανιζω) pas. pat. "buffeted" - being tossed, tormented, harassed. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "was distant." The word is often used of torture.
εναντιος adj. "against it" - contrary, over against, opposed. The disciples were well into the journey, but now they were sailing into the wind and unlike modern sailing boats, this meant that they were going nowhere; "the wind was dead against them", Barclay.
v25 τεταρτη dat. adj. "in the fourth [watch]/ before dawn" between three and six am
της νυκτος (ος) gen. "of the night"
ηλθεν (ερχομαι) aor. "Jesus went out" - came to them although "went to" carries the movement better.
περιπατων (περιπατεω) part. "walking about” in the sense that Jesus was walking επι, "upon" the surface of the water it may be read "to/at" – raising the possibility that Jesus was walking on the shore (Jeremias) but that would make this something less than a miracle, right?
v26 ιδοντες (οραω) aor. part. "when [the disciples] saw".
περιπατουντα (περιπατεω) pres. part. "the walking about”
εταραχθησαν (ταρασσω) aor. pas. literally "they were troubled” but in the passive it means "terrified".
φαντασμα (α) "ghost" - apparition. Not necessarily the spirit of a dead person, but the word can take this meaning.
λεγοντες (λεγω) pres. part. "they said"
εκραξαν (κραζω) aor. "they cried out" - screamed with fear.- so like a 12 year old girl who has seen a spider…
v27 ο Ιησους "Jesus" - Not found in all manuscripts, likely from Matthew's hand. Not found in Mark's account Matthew is placing the focus on Jesus rather than the disciples.
θαρσειτε (φαρσεω) imp. "take courage/be of good cheer”- idiomatically; "relax, everything will be all right!"
εγω ειμι "it is I" – more like "It's just me boys" does justice to the Greek, but it is possible that the words serve as a divine self revelation, the great "I AM"; but then that would not allay but likely instill even more fear.
μη φοβεισθε (φοβεομαι) imp. "don't be afraid"; there is nothing to be worried about.
v28 αποκριθεις (αποκρινομαι) aor. pas. part. answering. i.e. Peter answered him and said.
κελευσον (κελευω) imp. "tell" "Call me to come to you" – think about it…
ελθειν (ερχομαι) aor. inf. "to come" epexegetic statement of indirect speech expressing what Jesus "commands".
v29 ελθε (ερχομαι) aor. imp. "come" - an ingressive aorist, "start to come."
καταβας (καταβαινω) aor. part. "got down" i.e. Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water." The aorist indicates that Peter did the getting out of the boat unhindered, as well as a bit of walking; these are inceptive aorists, so "began to walk".
τα υδατα (υδωρ ατος) "the water" – actually "waters"; likely a Hebraism where water is always plural. Possibly Old Testament imagery in this story.
v30 βλεπων (βλεπω) pres. part. "when he saw" - participle is usually translated as temporal, while the present tense serves to bring out the change in Peter's focus; from his obeying Jesus to his "seeing" the force of the storm.
τον ανεμον (ος) "the wind" one doesn’t actually see wind, but the results of it.
εφοβηθη (φοβεω) aor. "he was afraid" - "he panicked"
αρξαμενος (αρχω) aor. mid. part. "beginning" "as he was beginning to
καταποντιζεσθαι (καταποντιζω) inf. "to sink" idiom; to drown.
κυριε, σωσον "Lord, save [me]" - same phrase as in 8:25, although this does not mean Matthew has assimilated two sea rescue stories, but this phrase is used nowhere else in the NT. "Save can refer to deliverance in a variety of ways; here certainly it means save from drowning".
v31 ευθεως "immediately" - used to express vivid movement, with a touch of urgency!
εκτεινας (εκεινω) aor. part. "reached out [his hand]" "stretched out and."
επελαβετε (επιλαμβανομαι) aor. "caught" – i.e. grabbed him.
ολιγοπιστε adj. "little faith" - a deficiency in ones faith, a weak faith. The deficiency in Peter's is not overly clear. It is often stated that Peter doubted, but a weak faith as opposed to a strong faith, is surely not the issue. Doubts are part of faith (for Matthew doubt is central to his resurrection appearance in Galilee in chapter 28. Maybe Peter questions Jesus' ability to carry through his command, or maybe the consequences of taking one’s eyes off Jesus is the meaning. Either way, other than Peter, believers can't walk on water because there is no promise or command to that end. Faith is not reliance on our expectations but reliance on God's revealed will.
εις τι "why" – preposition εις expresses purpose, and together with the interrogative pronoun τι forms the interrogative clause "to what purpose?"
εδιστασας (δισταζω) aor. "did you doubt" - Here "being of two minds", remember for Matthew "doubt" is part of faith, not an essential characteristic but present none-the-less.
v32 αναβαντων (αναβαινω) gen. aor. part. "when they climbed" - genitive absolute participle forms a temporal clause. The participle, attendant on the main verb "died down", implies a sequence of events where the storm was still raging when Peter climbed back into the boat. It was only after he climbed back in the boat that
εκοπασεν (κοπαζω) aor. "[the wind] died down" – literally grew weary. Matthew doesn't tell us Jesus stilled the storm, it is implied. Whether the storm was directly stilled or ran out of steam (grew weary), the powers of darkness, resident in the deep, recognized someone greater and so their rage was stilled.
v33 προσεκυνησαν (προσκυνεω) aor. "worshiped" - went down on the knees to. The disciples adoration of Christ is certainly conveyed in their statement of faith, but may also have included their kneeling before him; "fell down and worshipped him."
λεγοντες (λεγω) pres. part. "saying"
αληθως adv. "truly"
θεου υιος "the Son of God" - fusage in Matthew. The word "son", is preceded by the definite article; (not "a” son) and so best understood as a messianic title. This affirmation of Jesus as messiah rests on the disciples' observation of Jesus doing things that only God can do.