Matthew 20

Matthew 20


“For the kingdomI of heavenII is likeIII

Notes on verse 1a

I “kingdom” = basileia. From basileus (king, emperor, sovereign); probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is kingdom, rule, authority, sovereignty, royalty, a realm.
II “heaven” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill) with the notion of height. This is the air, the sky, the atmosphere, and heaven. It is the sky that is visible and the spiritual heaven where God dwells. Heaven implies happiness, power, and eternity.
III “like” = homoios. From the same as homou (together); from homos (the same). This is similar to, resembling, like.

aIV landownerV who went out early in the morningVI to hireVII laborersVIII for his vineyard.IX 

Notes on verse 1b

IV {untranslated} = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
V “landowner” = oikodespotes. 12x in NT. From oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple) + despotes (lord, master, despot; authority who has unrestricted power and jurisdiction) + posis (husband). This is the master of the house, head of a family, or the householder.
VI “morning” = proi. 12x in NT. From pro (before, earlier than, ahead, prior). This is early, at dawn, during the daybreak watch.
VII “hire” = misthoo. 2x in NT– both in this passage. From misthos (wages, pay, or salary; reward, recompense, or punishment; pay for services rendered in a literal or figurative way, good or bad). This is to hire for wages.
VIII “laborers” = ergates. 16x in NT. From ergazomai (to work, labor); {from ergon (word, task, action, employment)}. This is a field laborer – later used to refer to workers in general. It can also be used figuratively for teachers.
IX “vineyard” = ampelon. From ampelos (vine or grapevine as that which coils around); perhaps from the base of amphoteros (both, all); {from amphi (around) + halon (the threshing floor where grain is rolled to separate from the chaff); {from halos (threshing floor); probably from helisso (to roll up, coil, wrap)}}. This is vineyard. Figuratively, it can be the religious life of the people of Israel or the body of Christ.

After agreeingX with the laborers for the usual daily wage,XI he sentXII them into his vineyard. 

Notes on verse 2

X “agreeing” = sumphoneo. 6x in NT. From sumphonos (harmonious, agreeing, consent; having one voice i.e. a shared understanding); {from sun (with, together with) + phone (voice, sound, tone or noise; also a language or dialect); probably from phemi to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear)}}. This is to harmonize with, agree, have a shared opinion, an accord. This is the root that “symphony” comes from.
XI “usual…wage” = denarion. 16x in NT. From Latin deni (ten each) + arius (belonging to). This is a silver Roman coin.
XII “sent” = apostello. From apo (from, away from) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up); {probably from histemi (to make to stand, stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand firm, be steadfast)}. This is to send forth, send away, dismiss, send as a messenger. It implies one that is sent for a particular mission or purpose rather than a quick errand. This is where “apostle” comes from.

When he went out about nine o’clock,XIII he sawXIV othersXV standingXVI idleXVII in the marketplace;XVIII 

Notes on verse 3

XIII “nine o’clock” = tritos + hora. Literally “the third hour.” Hora is This is a set time or period, an hour, instant, or season. This is where the word “hour” comes from.
XIV “saw” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.
XV “others” = allos. This is other, another. Specifically, it is another of a similar kind or type. There is a different word in Greek that speaks of another as a different kind (heteros).
XVI “standing” = histemi. Perhaps related to “sent” in v2. See note XII above.
XVII “idle” = argos. Related to “laborers” in v1. 8x in NT. From a (not, without) + ergon (see note VIII above). This is literally not working so it is idle or inactive. It could imply lazy, careless, useless, or slow.
XVIII “marketplace” = agora. 11x in NT. From ageiro (to gather). This is assembly, forum, marketplace, town square, thoroughfare. This is where “agoraphobia” comes from.

and he said to them, ‘You also goXIX into the vineyard, and I will payXX you whatever is right.’XXI So they went. 

Notes on verse 4

XIX “go” = hupago. From hupo (by, under, under the authority of) + ago (lead, bring, guide, spend, drive, carry). This is to lead under so to depart, go away, or die. It is to lead away under the command of someone else, being given a mission or objective to carry out.
XX “pay” = didomi. To give, offer, place, bestow, deliver. This is give in a literal or figurative sense.
XXI “right” = dikaios. From dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known). This is correct, righteous, just, or a righteous person. It implies innocent or conforming to God’s standard of justice.

When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, XXII he did the same. And about fiveXXIII o’clock he went out and foundXXIV others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle allXXV day?’ 

They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’

He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’XXVI 

Notes on verses 5-7

XXII “noon and about three o’clock” = hektos + kai + ennatos + hora. Literally “the sixth and ninth hour.” See note K above.
XXIII “five o’clock” = hendekatos. Literally “the eleventh.”
XXIV “found” = heurisko. This is to find, learn, or obtain. It is to discover something, which generally implies a period of searching for it. This is to find in a literal or figurative sense. This is where the word “heuristic” comes from.
XXV “all” = holos. This is whole, complete, or entire. It is a state where every member is present and functioning in concert. This is the root of the word “whole.”
XXVI Some manuscripts add “and whatever may be right you shall receive.”

8 When evening came,XXVII the ownerXXVIII of the vineyard said to his manager,XXIX

Notes on verse 8a

XXVII “came” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
XXVIII “owner” = kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
XXIX “manager” = epitropos. 3x in NT. From epitrepo (to allow, permit, yield, entrust, give license); {from epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + the same as trope (turning, change, shifting); {from trepo (to turn)}}. This is a someone who has authority like an administrator, foreman, guardian, or steward. It could also be someone who has care over a child under 14.

‘CallXXX the laborers and giveXXXI them their pay,XXXII beginningXXXIII with the lastXXXIV and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 

Notes on verses 8b-9

XXX “call” = kaleo. Related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on). This is to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud.
XXXI “give” = apodidomi. Related to “pay” in v4. From apo (from, away from) + didomi (see note XX above). This is to give back, return, give away. It is to restore as when one makes payment – to rend what is due, to sell.
XXXII “pay” = misthos. Related to “hire” in v1. See note VII above.
XXXIII “beginning” = archomai. From archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). This is to begin or rule.
XXXIV “last” = eschatos. Related to eschaton (end, last); perhaps from echo (to have, possess, hold). This is last, end, extreme, final. It is often used to discuss the end times, prophecies of the future, and the afterlife. The branch of theology focusing on all these topics is called “eschatology.”

10 Now when the first came, they thoughtXXXV they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. 11 And when they received it, they grumbledXXXVI against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borneXXXVII the burdenXXXVIII of the day and the scorching heat.’XXXIX 

Notes on verses 10-12

XXXV “thought” = nomizo. 15x in NT. From nomos (what is assigned – usage, law, custom, principle; used for the law in general or of God’s law; sometimes used to refer to the first five books of the Bible or the entire Old Testament; also used to refer to theology or the practice and tradition of interpreting and implementing the law of God); from nemo (to parcel out, assign). This is to practice, think, consider, suppose, hold by custom. This is thinking that something applies given precedent and practice – to do by law.
XXXVI “grumbled” = gogguzo. 8x in NT. This is to murmur or grumble. It is an onomatopoeia to sound similar to the cooing of doves. Figuratively, it is simmering displeasure that is muffled – a dull, constant murmuring.
XXXVII “borne” = bastazo. Related to “kingdom” in v1. Perhaps from the base of basis (see note I above). This is to lift in a literal of figurative sense. It can also mean take up, carry, bear, or remove. Figuratively, it can mean declare, endure, or sustain.
XXXVIII “burden” = baros. Related to “kingdom” in v1 & perhaps related to “borne” in v12. 6x in NT. From barus (heavy, burdensome; figuratively, violent, oppressive; that which presses down on someone so that they cannot move freely) OR perhaps from the base of basis (see note I above). This is weight, burden in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean authority or abundance.
XXXIX “scorching heat” = kauson. 3x in NT. From kaio (to kindle, light, blaze; light in a literal or figurative sense) OR from kausoo (to burn up; a fire with high heat); from kausis (burning, burning up); from kaio (see above). This is a glare, a scorching heat, a hot wind.

13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend,XL I am doing you no wrong;XLI did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14 TakeXLII what belongs to you and go; I chooseXLIII to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowedXLIV to do what I choose with what belongs to me?

Notes on verses 13-15a

XL “friend” = hetairos. 3x in NT. From etes (cousin or member of one’s clan). This is a friend, companion, comrade. It is a friend like one’s own family.
XLI “wrong” = adikeo. Related to “right” in v4. From adikos (unjust, unrighteous, wicked, treacherous); {from a (not, without) + dike (see note XXI above)}. This is to do wrong, harm, commit an injustice, offend. It is causing unjust harm that is contrary to justice.
XLII “take” = airo. This is to lift up in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could mean to lift, carry, or raise. It could also imply lifting something in order to take it away or remove it. Figuratively, this can be used for raising the voice or level of suspense. It can mean sailing off as raising the anchor. It can also correspond to a Hebrew expression for atonement of sin (lift/remove sin).
XLIII “choose” = thelo. This is to wish, desire, will, or intend. It is to choose or prefer in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean inclined toward or take delight in. It can have a sense of being ready to act on the impulse in question.
XLIV “allowed” = exesti. From ek (out, out of) + eimi (to be, exist). This is what is permitted or what is allowed under the law. It can mean what is right, what holds moral authority, or, more broadly, something that is shown out in public.

Or are youXLV enviousXLVI because I am generous?’XLVII 16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”XLVIII

Notes on verses 15b-16

XLV “are you” = ho + ophtalmos + su. Literally “is your eye.” From optanomai (to appear, be seen by). This is eye or sight. It is used figuratively for the mind’s eye, a vision, or for envy.
XLVI “envious” = poneros. From poneo (to toil); related to ponos (pain, trouble, labor, distress, suffering; toil, which implies anguish); from the base of penes (a laborer, poor person, starving or indigent person; someone who works for their living); from pernomai (working for a living; laborer, poor person; to work for daily bread); from peno (to toil to survive day by day). This is bad, evil, wicked, malicious, grievous, or toilsome. Properly, it is something that bears pain – it emphasizes the miseries and pains that come with evil. By contrast, the Greek kakos refers to evil as part of someone’s core character. Also contrasting the Greek sapros, which deals with falling away from a previously embodied virtue. This word can mean ill, diseased, morally culpable, derelict, vicious, malicious, or guilt. It can also refer to the devil or sinners.
XLVII “generous” = agathos. This is good, a benefit, or a good thing. It is good by its very nature, intrinsically good. A different word, kalos, refers to external signs of goodness.
XLVIII Some manuscripts add “for many are called, but few are chosen” = polus + gar + eimi + kletos + oligos + de + eklektos. Kletos is related to “call” in v8. 11x in NT. From the same as klesis (calling, invitation); from kaleo (see note XXX above). This is the called, invited, calling. Used in the NT as God’s calling. Eklektos is related to “said” in v6. From eklego (to choose, select, elect); {from ek (from, from out of) + lego (to speak, tell, mention)}. This is to select or choose. It is making a person choice – a favorite.

17 While JesusXLIX was going up to Jerusalem,L he took the twelve disciplesLI aside by themselves,LII and said to them on the way,LIII 

Notes on verse 17

XLIX “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone). This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
L “Jerusalem” = Hierosoluma. From Hebrew yerushalaim (probably foundation of peace); {from yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalem (to make amends, to be complete or sound)}. This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.
LI “disciples” = mathetes. From matheteuo (to make a disciple of); from manthano (to learn key facts, gain knowledge from experience; generally implies reflection as part of the learning process); from math– (thinking things through). This is a disciple, learner, or student. It is where we get “mathematics” from.
LII “themselves” = idios. This is something that belongs to you or that is personal, private, apart. It indicates a stronger sense of possession than a simple possessive pronoun. This is where “idiot” comes from (denoting someone who hasn’t had formal training or education and so they rely on their own understanding).
LIII “way” = hodos. This is way, road, path, or journey. It can imply progress along a route.

18 “See,LIV we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of ManLV will be handed overLVI to the chief priestsLVII and scribes,LVIII and they will condemnLIX him to death;LX 

Notes on verse 18

LIV “see” = idou. From eido (to be aware, see, know, remember, appreciate). This is see! Lo! Behold! Look! Used to express surprise and or draw attention to the statement.
LV “Man” = anthropos. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note IV above.
LVI “handed over” = paradidomi. Related to “pay” in v4 & “give” in v8. From para (from beside, by) + didomi (give, offer, place, bestow, deliver; give in a literal or figurative sense). This is literally to hand over – hence to deliver, abandon, or betray. It implies a personal involvement.
LVII “chief priests” = archiereus. Related to “beginning” in v8. From archo (see note XXXIII above) + hiereus (a priest literal or figurative – of any faith); {from hieros (sacred, something sacred, temple, holy, set apart; something consecrated to God or a god)} This is a high or chief priest.
LVIII “scribes” = grammateus. From gramma (what is drawn or written so a letter of the alphabet, correspondence, literature, learning); from grapho (to write). This is a writer, scribe, or secretary. Within Judaism, it was someone learned in the Law, a teacher. Also used in the Bible of the town-clerk of Ephesus. See Sirach 38:24-39:11 for a lengthier, positive passage about who scribes were and what they meant in society.
LIX “condemn” = katakrino. 18x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + krino (to judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue; judging whether in court or in a private setting; properly, mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to judge positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty; can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging). This is judging down, which is to say to vote guilty or deserving of punishment, to condemn. This is a decisive judgment of guilt. It can also be to damn someone.
LX “death” = thanatos. This is death, whether literal or spiritual. It can also refer to something that is fatal.

19 then they will hand him over to the GentilesLXI to be mockedLXII and floggedLXIII and crucified;LXIV and on the third day he will be raised.”LXV

Notes on verse 19

LXI “Gentiles” = ethnos. Probably from etho (a custom or culture). This is people who are united by having similar customs or culture. Generally, it is used to refer to Gentiles. This is a tribe, race, nation, or Gentiles in general. This is where the term “ethnicity” comes from.
LXII “mocked” = empaizo. 13x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by, with, among) + paizo (to play like a child does – can include singing and dancing); {from pais (child, youth, servant, slave); perhaps from paio (to strike or sting)}. This is to mock, ridicule, jeer.
LXIII “flogged” = mastigoo. 7x in NT. From mastix (a whip that had leather straps with metal bits sewn onto them; figurative for great pain, suffering, disease, or plague; a Roman whip used on criminals, the flagellum); probably from massaomai (to chew, gnaw, consume); from masso (to handle, squeeze). This is to flog or whip someone – the victim being strapped to a pole. Used figuratively for being chastised.
LXIV “crucified” = stauroo. Perhaps related to “sent” in v2 & “standing” in v3. From stauros (upright stake, cross; literally the horizontal beam of a Roman cross, generally carried by the one convicted to die); from the same as histemi (see note XII above). This can be to attach someone to a cross or fencing with stakes. In a figurative sense, it could be to destroy, mortify, or subdue passions/selfishness.
LXV “raised” = egeiro. This is to awake, raise up or lift up. It can be to get up from sitting or lying down, to get up from sleeping, to rise from a disease or from death. Figuratively, it can be rising from inactivity or from ruins.

20 Then the mother of the sons of ZebedeeLXVI came to him with her sons, and kneelingLXVII before him, she askedLXVIII a favorLXIX of him. 

Notes on verse 20

LXVI “Zebedee” = Zebedaios. Related to “Jesus” in v17. 12x in NT. From Hebrew zebadyah (Zebadiah, “The Lord has bestowed”); {from Zabad (to bestow, confer, endure) + Yah (God, the Lord; a shortening of the sacred name of the God of Israel); {from YHVH (see note XLIX above)}. This is Zebedee, meaning “the Lord has bestowed.”
LXVII “kneeling” = proskuneo. From pros (advantageous for, at, to, toward, with) + kuneo (to kiss); {may be related to kuno (dog)}. This is to do reverence, kneel, to prostrate oneself in homage, to worship.
LXVIII “asked” = aiteo. This is to ask, demand, beg, desire.
LXIX “favor” = tis. This is something or someone.

21 And he said to her, “What do you want?”LXX

She said to him, “Declare that these two sons of mine will sit,LXXI one at your right handLXXII and one at your left,LXXIII in your kingdom.” 

Notes on verse 21

LXX “want” = thelo. Same as “choose” in v14. See note XLIII above.
LXXI “sit” = kathizo. From kathezomai (to sit down, be seated); {from kata (down, against, according to, among) + hezomai (to sit); {from aphedron (a seat, a base)}}. This is to sit, set, appoint, stay, rest.
LXXII “right hand” = dexios. Perhaps from dechomai (to warmly receive, be ready for what is offered, take, accept, or welcome; to receive in a literal or figurative sense). This is right, right side, or the right hand.
LXXIII “left” = euonumos. 9x in NT. From eu (good, well rightly) + onoma (name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation; thought to include something of the essence of the person and not separate from the person); {may be from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience)}. This is literally well-named or of a good name. It refers to the left or left side.

22 But Jesus answered, “You do not knowLXXIV what you are asking. Are you ableLXXV to drinkLXXVI the cupLXXVII that I am aboutLXXVIII to drink?”LXXIX 

They said to him, “We are able.” 

Notes on verse 22

LXXIV “know” = eido. Related to “see” in v18. See note LIV above.
LXXV “able” = dunamai. This is to be able, or something that is possible. It can also be empowered or being powerful. The Greek word for “miracle” (dunamis) comes from this root.
LXXVI “drink” = pino. This is to drink, literally or figuratively.
LXXVII “cup” = poterion. Related to “drink” in v22. From pino (see note LXXVI above). This is a drinking vessel. Figuratively, it can refer to one’s lot, to fate, or to what God has in store for you.
LXXVIII “am about” = mello. Perhaps from melo (something that one is worried or concerned about, something one pays attention to or thinks about). Properly, this is ready, about to happen, to intend, delay, or linger. This is just on the point of acting.
LXXIX Some manuscripts add, “or the baptism with which I baptize.” “baptism” = baptisma. From baptizo (to submerge, wash, or immerse; used specially for baptism); from bapto (to dip or dye; to entirely cover with liquid, to stain). This is dipping or sinking. Also, the rite of baptism. “baptize” = baptizo. Related to “baptism” in v22. See note LXXIX above.

23 He said to them, “You will indeedLXXX drink my cup,LXXXI but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been preparedLXXXII by my Father.”

Notes on verse 23

LXXX “indeed” = men. This is truly, indeed, even, in fact. Often, it is not translated, but used to emphasize affirmation.
LXXXI Some manuscripts add, “you will be baptized with the baptism with which I baptize.”
LXXXII “prepared” = hetoimazo. From hetoimos (make ready, be ready because of being prepared, standing by, adjusted; ready to meet some opportunity or challenge). This is to prepare or provide.

24 When the ten heardLXXXIII it, they were angryLXXXIV with the two brothers.LXXXV 

Notes on verse 24

LXXXIII “heard” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
LXXXIV “were angry” = aganakteo. 7x in NT. From agan (much) + achthos (grief); {related to agkale (bent arm); from agkos (bend, ache)}. This is being greatly grieved or displeased. Generally translated angry or indignant.
LXXXV “brothers” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.

25 But Jesus calledLXXXVI them to him and said, “You know that the rulersLXXXVII of the Gentiles lord it overLXXXVIII them, and their great onesLXXXIX are tyrants overXC them. 

Notes on verse 25

LXXXVI “called” = proskaleo. Related to “call” in v8 & {untranslated} in v16. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + kaleo (see note XXX aobve). This is to call to oneself, summon.
LXXXVII “rulers” = archon. Related to “beginning” in v8 & “chief priests” in v16. From archo (see note XXXIII above). This is ruler, leader, magistrate, official, prince, chief.
LXXXVIII “lord it over” = katakurieuo. Related to “owner” in v8. 4x in NT. From kata (down, against, among, throughout) + kurieuo (to rule, have authority or dominion); {from kurios (see note XXVIII above)}. This is to exercise lordship authority, over dominion. It can also mean to overpower or master. It is having control and authority for that control. Generally the negative sense of control – to subjugate.
LXXXIX “great ones” = megas. This is big in a literal or figurative sense – great, large, exceeding, abundant, high, mighty, perfect, strong, etc.
XC “are tyrants over” = katexousiazo. Related to “allowed” in v15. 2x in NT– here and in the parallel in Mark 10:42. From kata (see note R above) + exousiazo (to wield power or authority over, to master or control; to have authority to act); {from exousia (power to act, authority, right, influence, moral authority, conferred power, privilege, freedom); from exesti (see note XLIV above}. This is having power or authority over – to use authority oppressively, to dominate or bring down.

26 It will not be so among you; but whoever wishesXCI to be great among you must be your servant,XCII 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave;XCIII 28 just as the Son of Man came not to be servedXCIV but to serve, and to give his lifeXCV a ransomXCVI for many.”

Notes on verses 26-28

XCI “wishes” = thelo. Same as “choose” in v14. See note XLIII above.
XCII “servant” = diakonos. Perhaps from dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + konis (dust) OR from dioko (to chase after, put to flight; by implication, to persecute or to purse like a hunter after its prey; this can be earnestly pursue or zealously persecute) {related to dio (put to flight)}. This is a servant, minister, waiter, or attendant. It is used for a person who performs a service, including religious service. This is the root of the word “deacon.”
XCIII “slave” = doulos. Perhaps from deo (to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel; to declare something against the law or prohibited). This is used for a servant or for a slave, enslaved. It refers to someone who belongs to someone else. But, it could be voluntary (choosing to be enslaved to pay off debt) or involuntary (captured in war and enslaved). It is used as a metaphor for serving Christ. Slavery was not inherited (i.e. the children of slaves were not assumed to be slaves) and slaves could buy their way to freedom. Slavery was generally on a contractual basis (that is for the duration of how long it took you to pay your debt and/or save up enough money to buy your freedom).
XCIV “served” = diakoneo. Related to “servant” in v26. From diakonos (see note XCII above). This is to wait at table, to serve generally, to minister or administer, to be in the office of deacon. To wait on someone as a slave, friend, or host.
XCV “life” = psuche. From psucho (to breathe, blow). This is breath, the breath of life, the self, individual, soul. This is the word for that which makes a person unique – their identity, will, personality, affections. This isn’t the soul as the immortal part of us, but as our individuality. It is also not life as a general concept, but specific to people. This is where the words psyche and psychology come from.
XCVI “ransom” = lutron. 2x in NT– here and in the parallel in Mark 10:45. From luo (to loose, release, untie; figuratively, to break, destroy, or annul; releasing what had been withheld). This is ransom. It referred to the money paid to buy a slave’s freedom. It was also used to describe a sin offering and so, figuratively, was used to discuss atonement.

29 As they were leavingXCVII Jericho,XCVIII a large crowd followedXCIX him. 

Notes on verse 29

XCVII “leaving” = ekporeuomai. From ek (from, from out of) + poreuomai (to go, travel, journey, die; refers to transporting things from one place to another; focuses on the personal significance of the destination); {from poros (passageway)}. This is to go forth, depart from, be spoken, flow out, project. This word emphasizes the result a process or passage – how it impacts the person or thing.
XCVIII “Jericho” = Hiericho. 7x in NT. From Hebrew Yriychow (Jericho); {perhaps from yareach (moon); {from the same as yerach (month)} OR from ruach (small, breathe, perceive, anticipate, accept, enjoy).}. This is Jericho, meaning either “fragrant” or “moon.”
XCIX “followed” = akoloutheo. From a (with, fellowship, union) + keleuthos (road, way). This is to accompany or follow someone, especially the way a disciple does.

30 CThere were two blindCI men sittingCII by the roadside.CIII

Notes on verse 30a

C {untranslated} = idou. Same as “see” in v18. See note LIV above
CI “blind” = tuphlos. Derivation unclear. Perhaps from tuphoo (to be conceited, foolish, puffed up, haughty; properly, to blow smoke; figuratively being muddled or cloudy in mind; poor judgment that harms spiritual clarity; also, being covered with smoke – so filled with pride); from tuphos (smoke, vanity, arrogance); from tupho (to raise smoke, smolder, slowly consume without flame). This is blind or a blind person – perhaps in the sense of smoke making things opaque and impossible to see. This is blind literally or figuratively.
CII “sitting” = kathemai. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + hemai (to sit). This is to sit, be enthroned, or reside.
CIII “roadside” = hodos. Same as “way” in v17. See note LIII above.

When they heard that Jesus was passing by,CIV they shouted,CV “Lord,CVI have mercy onCVII us, Son of David!”CVIII 

Notes on verse 30b

CIV “passing by” = parago. Related to “go” in v4. 11x in NT. From para (by, beside, in the presence of, alongside) + ago (see note XIX above). This is to lead near or by, to pass by, go along, be a passer-by.
CV “shouted” = krazo. This is to cry out, scream, shriek. It is onomatopoeia for the sound of a raven’s call. Figuratively, this means crying out urgently without intelligible words to express something that is deeply felt.
CVI “Lord” = kurios. Same as “owner” in v8. See note XXVIII above.
CVII “have mercy on” = eleeo. From eleos (mercy, pity, tender mercy, or compassion; generally understood in action by word or deed). This is to have pity on, show mercy to, be compassionate; often used for God’s grace. When we sing or say “kyrie eleison” (Lord, have mercy), it is from this root verb.
CVIII “David” = Dauid. From Hebrew David (David); from the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”

31 The crowd sternly orderedCIX them to be quiet;CX but they shouted even more loudly,CXI “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!” 

32 Jesus stood still and calledCXII them, saying, “What do you wantCXIII me to do for you?” 

Notes on verses 31-32

CIX “sternly ordered” = epitimao. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + timao (properly, this is setting a value or price on something, to estimate. Figuratively, it speaks to what level of honor we afford someone or something depending on our personal feeling toward it. By implication, this can mean to revere or honor); {from time (worth or perceived value; literally, price, but figuratively, the honor or value one sees in someone or something; can be esteem or dignity; can also mean precious or valuables); from tino (to pay, be punished, pay a penalty or fine because of a crime); from tio (to pay respect, value)}. This is to render what is due – to assign the value that is appropriate for the situation. So, it could mean to honor or to warn, to rebuke or to charge. Generally, it is a warning meant to guide someone away from doing something wrong or taking the wrong path. It can imply to forbid.
CX “be quiet” = siopao. 10x in NT. From siope (silence or muteness). This is to be silent whether by choice or not. Figuratively, this is being calm as water, keeping one’s peace.
CXI “even more loudly” = megas. Same as “great ones” in v25. See note LXXXIX above.
CXII “called” = phoneo. Related to “agreeing” in v2. From phone (see note X above). This is to make a sound, shout, summon, invite, crow. It can be the sound of a person, animal, or instrument. It can also refer to imitation.
CXIII “want” = thelo. Same as “choose” in v14. See note XLIII above.

33 They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” 34 Moved with compassion,CXIV Jesus touchedCXV their eyes.CXVI ImmediatelyCXVII they regained their sightCXVIII and followed him.

Notes on verses 33-34

CXIV “moved with compassion” = splagchnizomai. 12x in NT– 8x of Jesus having compassion on people or crowds. From splanxnon (inner organs, entrails; seen as the root of emotions). This is moved to compassion from deep within oneself – visceral empathy or sympathy, being deeply moved.
CXV “touched” = haptomai. From hapto (to touch, handle, kindle, lay hold of). This is a touch that has an impact on what is being touched – it has an influence on the recipient so that the recipient is changed.
CXVI “eyes” = omma. Related to {untranslated} in v1 & “saw” in v3 & {untranslated} in v15. Probably akin to ops (see note IV above) OR from optanomai (see note XLV above); {perhaps from horao (see note XIV above)}. This is eye or sight.
CXVII “immediately” = eutheos. From euthus (immediately, upright, straight and not crooked). This is directly, soon, at once.
CXVIII “regained…sight” = anablepo. From ana (up, back, again, among, between, anew) + blepo (to see, used primarily in the physical sense; figuratively, seeing, which includes attention and so to watchfulness, being observant, perceiving, beware, and acting on the visual information). This is to look up or regain sight.

Image credit: “Lord, that I Might See!” from the Matyas Church in Budapest, 1970.

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