On Tuesday morning the pastors of Lutheran Saints in Ministry gather in Fairborn Ohio to discuss the texts for Sunday.

These are the contributions that are brought to the table.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Greek Studies for Matthew 20:1-16

Matthew 20:1-16

v1 ανθρωπω οικοδεσποτη dat. "a landowner" i. e. a farmer.
αμα πρωι "at once in the morning” literally "at dawn", the best time to hire workers as they will work for the whole day. 
μισθωσασθαι (μισθοω) aor. inf. "to hire" - infinitive forms an adverbial clause expressing purpose "to hire" 
εργατας (ης ου) "workers".

v2 συμφωνησας (συμφονεω) aor. part. a symphony, "[they] came together, i.e. arrived at an understanding - the terms of the arrangement were 
την ημεραν (α) "for the day" –one denarius, the usual day's wage.

v3 τριτην ωραν "the third hour" about 9am
εξελθων (εξερχομαι) aor. part. "he went out" and 
εστωτας (ιστημι) perf. part. "[others] who were standing ..." in the sense of were present in the marketplace
αργους adj. "not yet working” not yet hired, not idle or lazy – this is not a slam on their willingness to work, they are waiting and available.

v4 εκεινοις dat. pro. "[he told] them" – a dative of indirect object. 
υαγετε, "go", an imperative - the command serves as an emphatic. 
δωσω (διδωμι) fut. "I will give" the wage  I will give you will be 
ο εαν + subj. "whatever [is right]" the implication is a proportionate pay for the time spent in  the field will be paid –a fair wage.

v5 απηλθον (απερχομαι) aor. "[so] they went". Why not? 
εξελθων (εξερχομαι) aor. Part. "he went out [again]" in the 
εκτην και ενοτην adj. "the sixth and the ninth [hour]" – i.e. 12 noon and 3pm."  Implication, there was way more work than he thought!

v6 την ενδεκατην adj. "the eleventh hour " (@ 5pm) 
ξελθων (εξερχομαι) aor. pas. "he went out" – 
ευρεν (ευρισκω) aor. "found"  
εστωτας (ιστημι) perf. part. "the ones standing around" - adjectival
v7 εμισθωσατο (μισθοω) aor. "[no one] has hired [us] this begs the question why. 
και υμεις "you also" - as in v4, an emphatic.

v8 γενομενης (γινομαι) aor. mid. part. "when [evening] came" – day laborers are paid at sunset. 
ο κυριος "the lord” possibly NOT the same man who hired them (the οικοδεσποτε) but the actual owner 
του αμελωνος (ος) gen. "of the vineyard." 
τω επιτροπω (ος) dat. "foreman/steward the person in charge of the workers. 
αρξαμενος (ερχομαι) aor. mid. part. "beginning" with those who were hired last. εως  gen. "going on to [the first]"

v9 ελαβον (λαμβανω) aor. "received" a denarius.

v10 ελθοντες (ερχομαι) aor. part. "[so] when [those] came [who were hired first]" ενομισαν (ϖομιζω)  expected πλειον adv. "more" και αυτοι "each one of them"

v11 λαβοντες (λαμβανω) aor. part. "when they received it
εγογγυζον (γογγυζω) imperf. "they began complaining

v12 ι εσχατοι adj. "the last ones"
τοις βαστασασι (βασταζω) dat. aor. part. "who have endured”  
το βαρος (ος ους) "the burden" - hardship, difficulty an idiom.

v13 αποκριθεις (αποκρινομαι) aor. pas. part. "[he] answered" – i.e. the Lord, 
εταιρε (εταιρος) voc. sing. "friend" - a general address to someone where the name is unknown so there is no intimate relationship, all really are treated alike - mere workers.  There is a temptation to turn this into a grace story (the last shall be first) the Greek equally lays out a Law story about authority; who makes this decision.  The Lord’s word may be a word of grace, but it is His word, indifferent to human effort. 
ουχι "didn't [you agree]" -did you not consent to the verbal contract?  awkward in English - a positive statement conveys the idea simply, I paid exactly what we agreed.

v14 υπαγε (υπαγω) imp. "go away" –end of discussion.  
θελω "I want" whatever I want 
δουναι (διδωμι) aor. inf. "to give
τουτω τω εσχατω dat. adj. "to this one last one". ως "as [I also gave you]".

v15 εξεστιν pres. "I have the right
ποιησαι (ποιεω) aor. inf. "to do [what I want to do]
τοις εμοις "my own stuff" most translators opt for "my own money." ο οφθαλμος σου πονηρος "[are] you envious" - [is] your eye wicked
αγαθος adj. "good” generous? (‘Do you begrudge my generosity’ 

v16 The issue being argued is God’s will.  The Lord acts adversely to the questioning of his authority. They may not like his decision, but it is HIS to make. Who has the RIGHT to decide?  If you believe the Kingdom is a democracy feel free to debate the relative fairness of grace, but the Kingdom is a kingdom ruled by a King who is not accustomed, nor inclined to having his will questioned. ουτως "so" - thus, so, in this way, drawing the “logical conclusion”

οι πρωτοι adj. "the first" - the first ones become "the last" and "the last ones" are now like "the first".  Not better, just equal.  The words "for many are invited, but few are chosen" are likely a later gloss.

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