|Biblical Hebrew and its New Testament application. Hebrew idioms buried in overly literal Greek. A 'Good Eye', Matthew 6:22|
|A 'Good Eye', Matthew 6:22|
"unclouded eye" (Westcott & Hort)Only the Paraphrases of Moffatt and Barclay are correct with their idiomatic 'generous eye':
"sound eye" (Weymouth, Philipps, NEB, Williams, Amplified, GNB, NAB)
"clear/diseased eye" (Knox, NASB [clear/bad])
"single eye" (KJV, Bagsters, Tyndale, Rheims) - literally correct
"healthy eye" (Beck, NRSV)
"good eye" (NKJV, NIV) - Hebraically correct
"generous/selfish eye" (Moffatt, Barclay)For the phrase is indeed a Hebrew idiom for generosity as 'evil eye' is for 'selfishness'. The Hebrew phrase (t๔wbh-`ay๎n) 'good eye' is used in Proverbs 22:9 where it is sometimes translated "a generous man". A good eye 'sees' a need and meets it. In modern English idiom one might use "open handed" and "tight fisted".
"'a good eye' gave the fortieth, the house Shammai say, the thirtieth part; a middling one, the fiftieth; and an evil one, the sixtieth part." (Mishnah, Trumot, 4.3)Upon which the Jewish commentators say, a 'good eye' means one that is liberal, and an 'evil eye' the contrary. Elsewhere one reads of 'trading, dedicating' and 'giving with a good' or 'an evil eye', that is, either generously, liberally, or in a niggardly and grudging manner.
"A good eye and a humble spirit and a lowly soul, those who have these are disciples of Abraham our Father" (Mishnah, Ab๔th, 5.19)Thus Jesus' meaning is that if a man is not covetous but is generous he will be blessed and righteous in all areas of life. "Your whole body" is simply a Hebrew metaphor for 'your whole person', 'you yourself'.