Luke 12: 22-34 Exegesis of the Greek


[Dug this out of my school archives, I graduated from seminary in 2010, so a lot is still, well, kinda fresh. Part of what we have to learn is Greek and Hebrew, Greek being the more complicated. We received an extensive amount of teaching in both languages. So I thought I’d publish this, unfortunately the actual “Greek” didn’t come out, if you see an odd word, it’s just a Greek word that didn’t “translate” from my paper into Word Press.]

James Driskell

July 18, 2007

 Luke 12:22 Ei=pen de. pro.j tou.j maqhta.j Îauvtou/Ð\ dia. tou/to le,gw u`mi/n\ mh. merimna/te th/| yuch/| ti, fa,ghte( mhde. tw/| sw,mati ti, evndu,shsqeÅ

He said to the disciples, on account of this I say to you, don’t be anxious, for life what to eat, not for your body or what you will wear.

merimna/te – be anxious, Present imperative active 2nd plural of merimna,w


fa,ghte – to eat, Aor subjunctive act 2nd plural evsqi,w  subjunctive is a negative command

evndu,shsqe –  to put on, clothe  Aorist subjunctive midd 2nd plur  evndu,w subjunctive is a negative command.

yuch/| – dative object of preposition

12:23 h` ga.r yuch. plei/o,n evstin th/j trofh/j kai. to. sw/ma tou/ evndu,matojÅ

For the soul is more than food and the body than clothing.

trofh/j – both are genitives, this is genitive absolute

evndu,matoj – both are genitives, this is genitive absolute

24 katanoh,sate tou.j ko,rakaj o[ti ouv spei,rousin ouvde. qeri,zousin( oi-j ouvk e;stin tamei/on ouvde. avpoqh,kh( kai. o` qeo.j tre,fei auvtou,j\ po,sw| ma/llon u`mei/j diafe,rete tw/n peteinw/nÅ

Observe the crows that do not sow and not reap who and have no storeroom or barn and God feeds them, how more greater are you than are the birds.

katanoh,sate – to observe aorist imperative active 2nd plural  of  katanoe,wspei,rousin – to sow Present indicative active 3rd plural of spei,rw

qeri,zousin – to reap Present indicative active 3rd plural qeri,zw

tre,fei – to feed Present indicative active 3rd plural  tre,fw

peteinw/n – genitive of worth

25 ti,j de. evx u`mw/n merimnw/n du,natai evpi. th.n h`liki,an auvtou/ prosqei/nai ph/cunÈ

Who out of you being anxious are able to add a single cubit to your life.

merimnw/n – to be anxious Present Participle active masc nominative singular  predicate causal

du,natai – to be able  Present Indicative Midd deponent 3rd sing du,namai

prosqei/nai – to add to aorist infinitive active   result  prosti,qhmi

26 eiv ou=n ouvde. evla,ciston du,nasqe( ti, peri. tw/n loipw/n merimna/teÈ

f then you are unable to do this lesser thing why are you concerned about other matters.

du,nasqe – to be able  Present Indicative Middle 2nd plur  du,namai

merimna/te – to be anxious Present Indic Act 2nd plur merimna,w

27 katanoh,sate ta. kri,na pw/j auvxa,nei\ ouv kopia/| ouvde. nh,qei\ le,gw de. u`mi/n( ouvde. Solomw.n evn pa,sh| th/| do,xh| auvtou/ perieba,leto w`j e]n tou,twnÅ

Observe the lilies how they grow they do not toil nor do they spin, I say to you not even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.

Katanoh,sate – observe  aorist imperative active 2nd plur  katanoe,w

auvxa,nei – to grow  Pres Indic Act 3rd sing  auvxa,nw

kopia/| – to toil Pres Indic Act 3rd sing  kopia,w

nh,qei – to spin Pres Indic Act 3rd sing  nh,qw

perieba,leto – to clothe Aor indic midd 3rd sing  periba,llw

do,xh| – dative of respect

28 eiv de. evn avgrw/| to.n co,rton o;nta sh,meron kai. au;rion eivj kli,banon ballo,menon o` qeo.j ou[twj avmfie,zei( po,sw| ma/llon u`ma/j( ovligo,pistoiÅ

And if in a field God clothed the grass which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown in the fire, how much greater are you who are of little faith.

ballo,menon – thrown Pres participle passive masc accus sing  ba,llw  predicate causal

avmfie,zei – clothes Pres indicative act 3rd sing  avmfie,zw

29 kai. u`mei/j mh. zhtei/te ti, fa,ghte kai. ti, pi,hte kai. mh. metewri,zesqe\

And you do not seek what to eat and what to drink and do not be worried

zhtei/te – to seek pres imperative active 2nd plur zhte,w

fa,ghte – to eat Aorist subjunctive act 2nd plur  evsqi,w  purpose

pi,hte – to drink aorist subjunctive act 2nd plur pi,nw  purpose

metewri,zesqe – be worried present imperative passive 2nd plur metewri,zomai

30 tau/ta ga.r pa,nta ta. e;qnh tou/ ko,smou evpizhtou/sin( u`mw/n de. o` path.r oi=den o[ti crh,|zete tou,twnÅ

For all these things the nations of the world seek but your Father knows that you have need of.

evpizhtou/sin – to seek for, Pres Indic Act  3rd plur  evpizhte,w

oi=den – to know, Perf Indic Act 3rd sing  oi=da

crh,|zete – have need of Present Indic Act 2nd plur crh,|zw

ko,smou – genitive relationship

 31 plh.n zhtei/te th.n basilei,an auvtou/( kai. tau/ta prosteqh,setai u`mi/nÅ

But seek seek His Kingdom and these will be added to you.

zhtei/te – to seek Pres Imperative Act  2nd plur  zhte,w

prosteqh,setai – add to Fut Indic pass 3rd sing  prosti,qhmi

32 Mh. fobou/( to. mikro.n poi,mnion( o[ti euvdo,khsen o` path.r u`mw/n dou/nai u`mi/n th.n basilei,anÅ

Do not be afraid little flock because your Father thinks that it’s good to give you the kingdom.

fobou/ – fear Present Imperative Midd 2nd sing fobe,w

euvdo,khsen – to think it good  Aor indic act 3rd sing  euvdoke,w

dou/nai – to give  Aorist Infinit Act. di,dwmi purpose

33 Pwlh,sate ta. u`pa,rconta u`mw/n kai. do,te evlehmosu,nhn\ poih,sate e`autoi/j balla,ntia mh. palaiou,mena( qhsauro.n avne,kleipton evn toi/j ouvranoi/j( o[pou kle,pthj ouvk evggi,zei ouvde. sh.j diafqei,rei\

Sell your possessions (existence, to be) and give them as alms make yourselves purses that don’t wear out, in an unfailing storehouse in heaven where a thief cannot come near and a moth cannot destroy.

Pwlh,sate – to sell  Aor Imperative Act 2nd plur  pwle,w

do,te – to give  Aor Imperative Act 2nd plur  di,dwmi

poih,sate –  to make Aor Imperative Act 2nd plur  poie,w

palaiou,mena – be old, obsolete Pres Participle Act Neu Accus Plur  palaio,w  referent is balla,ntia predicate causal

evggi,zei – come near Pres Indic Act 3rd sing  evggi,zw

diafqei,rei – to destroy utterly, to corrupt, Pres Indic Act 3rd Sing  diafqei,rw

ouvranoi/j – dative direct object

34 o[pou ga,r evstin o` qhsauro.j u`mw/n( evkei/ kai. h` kardi,a u`mw/n e;staiÅ

For where your treasure is there your heart is.

verse 22 maqhta.j @auvtou/# {C}

In accordance with Lukan usage, a majority of the Committee preferred to adopt auvtou/, supported as it is by the overwhelming preponderance of external evidence, but to enclose it within square brackets in view of its absence from several important early witnesses (î45vid, 75 B).

From Textual Commentary on the New Testament Metzger

12:23 h` ga.r yuch. plei/o,n evstin th/j trofh/j kai. to. sw/ma tou/ evndu,matojÅ

On the surface, it may seem to be nothing more than another in a series of Jesus’ teachings about possessions, but Jesus connects the proper attitude toward possessions with the kingdom of God. This casts his teaching in an eschatological context. This passage is easily divided into three groups of imperatives surrounded by an introduction and conclusion.

This passage about possessions and the kingdom is catechesis specifically for the disciples (catechumens) and not for the crowds (12:22). The disciples here include the Twelve and the seventy (-two) as well as the larger group of followers for whom God is ‘Father’ (12:30, 32) and to whom the Father has given his kingdom (12:32)…”

“…Of these ten imperatives, eight have to do with material possessions (the two in 12: 29-30 deal with possessions in relation to the kingdom), and the remaining two are solely about the kingdom (12:31-32)…’Life’, Jesus says, ‘is more than food and body more than clothing” (12:23). Using two imperatives from the language of catechesis (12: 24, 27; katanoh,sate,, ‘consider’), Jesus instructs the disciples to study and ponder how God cares for the ravens and the lilies. He notes, ‘By how much are you more valuable than birds’ (12:24; similarly 12:28)”

“…Anxiety over possessions is a sign that one lacks faith. Jesus is so concerned about keeping faith strong that he reiterates his directive about food and clothing (‘do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink’) and employs a synonym of ‘worry’, which is the ‘catchword’ of this section: ‘Do not be upset’’ (12:29). The disciples are not to waver between hope and fear over ‘all these thing’ (12:30), for they they would be like the Gentiles, anxious about mere survival and indifferent to the kingdom… Did not Jesus teach the disciples in the Lord’s Prayer to petition the Father for the things that are truly necessary (11: 1-4) ? The real question here pertains to the disciples’ attitude: is what they ‘seek’ food and clothing or the kingdom of God? Jesus directs them with a strong command to ‘seek [the Father’s] kingdom, and all these things will be added to you’ (12:31). This may not always be obvious to them, and so in another command, this one intensely pastoral and appearing only in Luke, Jesus speaks as a shepherd to his sheep: ‘Do not fear, little flock, because your Father graciously willed to give to you the kingdom’ (12:32)…”

“…As Jesus’ ‘little flock,’ they need not fear, for they will be celebrants at the Table of the kingdom where God’s greatest gifts will be served through the Servant, who gives his body ‘on behalf of you’ and gives his blood in the cup of the new covenant (22:19-20). “

“Thus Jesus final imperatives to ‘sell [Pwlh,sate] your possessions and give [do,te]  alms’ (12:33) are simply ways in which the disciples/catechumens may show that they are servants of the one whose treasures are in the heavens, yet who also gives his flock the abundant treasures of the kingdom while they are journeying on earth…”

“…The treasure ‘brings for the good’ (6:45) of confessing Christ with the mouth. The next use of ‘treasure’ is in the parable of the rich fool where ‘the one who treasures for himself … is not rich toward God’ (12:21). Now in 12: 33-34, Jesus fills in the picture of that metaphor by describing the opposite of the treasure for oneself: it is heavenly treasure. In light of the parable of the rich fool, this section on possessions (12: 22-34) shows what it means to be ‘rich toward God’ (12:21)…To be rich toward God, then, is to be a recipient of Christ and his gifts, a member of his kingdom through catechesis, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper… The two-fold Gospel message of this pericope (12:22-34) is this: For those seeking the treasure of the kingdom, the Father will provide adequate earthly treasure as well to sustain them in their journey from earth to heaven, and even more precious, along the way while still on earth ‘the little flock’ (12:32) will be graced with eternal heavenly treasures through Christ, the Shepherd who washes his flock in Baptism, feeds his sheep with the new Passover Lamb – his body and blood in the Supper (Lk 22: 14-20; 1 Cor 5:7) – and tends them with the guidance of his Word.”[1]

[1] Just, Arthur Concordia Commentary Luke 9:51 – 24:53 (St Louis, Concordia Publishing House, 1997) 509-512

1 thought on “Luke 12: 22-34 Exegesis of the Greek

  1. Pastor Jim Driskell, Lutheran Church Post author

    I apologize if this is a little dense. Sometimes I post things more in respect to keeping it and sharing it, so this is dense and just thought it might be of interest, but believe me, it’s been about 6 years, and I’m not sure I’d know everything in here without going back to review. Thank you for your thoughts, and I’m sorry if anyone was put out.



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