Mar 11:23 For ...That whosoever shall say unto this mountain...

Mar 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be you removed, and be you cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he said shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he said.

Alternative: I tell you truly that those who may say to this barrier, "Be raised up and cast into the sea!" and without doubting it down deep but being confident that what he has commanded will come into being, what he has told shall be.

Wordplay: The word translated as "mountain," oros, has a homonym (two words spelled and pronounced the same but with different meanings) oros. This word means a "boundary" or "landmark," which is used to indicate time limits, decisions of judges, and various types of standards (see vocabulary). And for the oros that means mountain, in Egypt, where Christ learned his Greek, it was also used to describe the desert and a place of burial. So Christ is making an analogy between a mountain and barriers of all kinds. He is also making a little joke about the desert being cast into the sea.

Hidden meaning: The Greek word for "becoming" and "being" are contrasted in the last part of the verse. The word for becoming (gignomai ) is translated as "come to pass." Even more strangely, the word for being, eimi, is translated as "shall have."  Christ constantly contrasts these two ideas, though most of that is lost in translation of the two words. For Christ this world of physical, mental, and emotional change is the world of becoming. The eternal world of spirit is the world of being.

Here, the idea is that confidence in God is the force that drives "becoming" into "be."

Thematically and Linguistically Related Verse(s): Mark 9:42 where Christ says that those who cause children to stumble would be better off cast into the sea. Matt 21:21 is the parallel verse in Matthew, though it is phased a little more specifically.


"Verily" is from amên (amen), which is from the Hebrew, meaning "truly", "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek before the NT.

"I say" and first "he said" are from legô (lego) means "pick up", "choose for oneself", "pick out," and "count,"  but it used to mean "recount", "tell over", "say", "speak", "teach", "mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," nominate," and "command."

"Who" is from hos (hos), which is the demonstrative pronoun in its various forms (hê, ho, gen. hou, hês, hou, etc. ; dat. pl. hois, hais, hois, etc. gen. hoou). It means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

"Shall say" and second "he said" are from eipon (eipon), which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer."

"This" is from toutô (touto), which means "from here", "from there", "this [thing]," or "that [thing]."

"Mountain" is from oros (oros), which means "mountain", "hill", "canton," and "parish." In Egypt, it was also used to mean the "desert" and a place of burial. It's homonym oros means a "boundary", "landmark", "time limits", "decisions of judges", "memorial stones and pillars,"  "standard", "measure", "term (in logic)", "definition", "terms," and "conditions."

"Be removed" is from aeirô (airo), which means "to lift up", "to raise", "to raise up", "to exalt", "to lift and take away," and "to remove."

"Cast" is from ballo (ballo), which means "to throw", "to let fall", "to put", "to pour," or "to cast."

"Sea" is from thalassa (thalassa), which means also means "sea" or "sea water."

"Doubt" is from diakrinô, (diakrino), which means "to separate one from another", "to distinguish", "to decide," and "to separate into elemental parts."

"Heart" is from kardia (kardia), which means "heart" and which we discuss in a larger Greek context here. It is a metaphor for "deep."

"Believe" is from pisteuô (pisteuo), which means "to trust, put faith in, or rely on a person", "to believe in someone's words", "to comply", "to feel confident in a thing," and "to entrust in a thing."

"Shall come to pass" is from gignomai (ginomai), which means "to become", "to come into being", "to be produced," and "to be."

"Like this" is from autos (autos), which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of ones own accord."

"Shall have" is from eimi (eimi), which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai, which is used here.)