Matthew 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep

KJV Verse: 

Mat 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

You are to keep taking yourselves, however, more towards the flock, the destroyed of House Israel.

Hidden Meaning: 

This verse is not a command. It describes something that has already started in the past but has not been completed. This action continues into the next verse (Mat 10:7).

The Greek word translated as "but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

The Greek verb translated as "go" means "to lead over", "depart," and "to carry over. However, it is often translated as "go" in the NT. It is not in the form of a command. Nor is it a verb form indicating a possibility that the NT often translates as a command. It is a statement of fact where the subject is acted upon himself. It is in a tense that indicates something that has been started in the past not finished. This word uniquely means both "to pursue a course" and "to depart from life."

"Rather" is from a comparative that means primarily "more", "to a greater degree," "more certainly", and then "rather." However, it is also a form of an adjective that means a "flock of wool", so it seems like it was chosen at least partly for wordplay.

The word translated as "to" means "towards", "by reason of (for)," "against", and "on the side of," but it has a wide variety of uses including "like," which works best with the comparative that introduces it.

The word translated as "the lost" is a Greek verb that means to "destroy" or "demolish". It is the form of an adjective, used as a noun as an object of the sentence, introduced by an article ("the"). The sense is "the destroyed." It is not the verb describing the sheep in the parable of the lost sheep (Mat 18:12).

In the Greek, it appears after "sheep" and more closely connected with the "house" of Israel.

The word translated as "sheep" refers to any domesticated four-footed animal. In the plural, as it is here, it is also in the form of an object of the sentence introduced by an article ("the"). In the Greek, it appears before "destroyed." Christ does not use the term "herd" ("sheep") in a negative sense.

The word chosen here for "of the house" a less common form of the word for "house". Unlike the more common word, it isn't used to refer to a household, family, or clan, but the physical building, rooms, a meeting hall, property, and, specifically, to the ruling family of a nation. The last definition makes the most sense. It is not introduced by an article "the", so it is not "the house of Israel" but more simply "House Israel."

The word translated as "Israel" comes from the Hebrew, not the Greek. The "destroyed of the ruling house of Israel is the house of David. David was, of course, a shepherd guiding the herd.


 This phrase can be taken as directions of a way to travel or as a direction of philosophy. 

The Spoken Version: 

You march yourselves instead more towards the flock—.” He paused to put on a deep voice and announced, “The destroyed of House Israel.”
This got a laugh from everyone, especially young Simon. It was how the Militants described the occupied kingdom of Israel.


πορεύεσθε (2nd pl imperf ind mp) "Go" is from poreuô which means "make to go", "carry", "convey", "bring", "go", "march," and "proceed." It is almost always translated as "go" in the NT.

δὲ (partic) "But" is from de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if"). --

μᾶλλον (adv) "Rather" is from mallon, which is the comparative form of mala which means "very", "exceedingly", "more certainly", "especially," "more", "to a greater degree," and "rather." OR (noun sg masc acc) "Rather" is mallos, which means a "flock of wool".

πρὸς (prep) "To" is from pros, which means "on the side of", "in the direction of", "from (place)", "towards" "before", "in the presence of", "in the eyes of", "in the name of", "by reason of", "before (supplication)", "proceeding from (for effects)", "dependent on", "derivable from", "agreeable,""becoming", "like", "at the point of", "in addition to", "against," and "before."

τὰ πρόβατα (noun pl neut acc) "Sheep" is from probaton, which means any domesticated four-footed animal, "sheep", "cattle", "herds," and "flocks.

τὰ ἀπολωλότα (part pl perf act neut acc) "the lost" is from apollymi, which means "to demolish", "to lay waste", "to lose", "to perish", "to die", "to cease to exist," and "to be undone."

οἴκου (noun sg masc gen) "House" is from oikos (oikos), which means "house", "dwelling place", "room", "home", "meeting hall", "household goods", "substance," and "ruling family." It is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house.

Ἰσραήλ.” (noform) "Israel" is from Israel, which means "Israel."

Related Verses: 

May 13 2017