Mat 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied

KJV Verse: 

Mat 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

This is because the oracles and the traditions until John interpreted for God.

Hidden Meaning: 

This verse is a good example of how the meaning of words has been changed over time, both by the Bible itself and other forces. Today, there is a difference in how we read the word "prophesied" and how the people of Christ's time understood it. There is also a difference in how we understand what is translated as "the law". Christ is clearly saying that John marked a transition point in history.

The word translated as "all " is a word meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas. 

The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, in written English, as "This is because..." to start a new sentence.

"Prophets" is a word that means "one who speaks for a god and interprets his will", "interpreter," and "herald." However, it is a verb that means "to shine forth" so it works more like our phrase "shining lights". Notice, it does not mean someone who predicts the future, which has become its sense in English. 

"The law" is from a Greek noun means "that which is in habitual practice" and is uses to mean "custom", "usage", "law," and "ordinance." "Law" was not a narrow term regarding civil or even religious laws. It encompassed all of the traditions, which were assumed to have practical value in coping with natural laws. 

The word translated as "until" means "until" but it also means "in order that."

The word translated as "prophesied" doesn't actually means to make prophesies, but "to be a prophet," that is, to be a "shining light".   This has a broader meaning in the original Greek than in English. In English, it is limited to foreseeing the future, but in Greek it means "being an interpreter for the gods," and, surprisingly, "being a quack doctor." The idea had very little to do with predicting the future. That meaning only arose because of the connection with the prophets and the birth of Christ. 

 

 

Vocabulary: 

πάντες (adj pl masc nom) "All" is from pas, which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form, it means "every way", "on every side", "in every way," and "altogether."

γὰρ (partic) "For" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for", "since," and "as." In an abrupt question, it means "why" and "what."

οἱ προφῆται (noun pl masc nom) "The prophets" is from prophetes, which means "one who speaks for a god and interprets his will", "interpreter", "keepers of the oracle", "the highest level of priesthood in Egypt", "interpreter," and "herald."

καὶ (conj) "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

νόμος (noun sg masc nom) "Law" is from nomos, which means "anything assigned", "a usage", "custom", "law", "ordinance," or "that which is a habitual practice." It is the basis of the English words "norm" and "normal."

ἕως (conj) "Until" is from heos which means "until", "till," and "in order that" and "up to the point that." -- The word translated as "until" means "until" but it also means "in order that."

Ἰωάνου (noun sg masc gen) "John" is from Ioannes, which is the Greek form of the name "John."

ἐπροφήτευσαν: (3rd pl aor ind act) "Prophesied" is propheteuo, which means "to be an interpreter of the gods", "to be an intermediary in asking", "to be one with oracular power", "to hold the office of prophet", "to be a quack doctor," and "to have a spiritual impulse to teach, refute, reprove, admonish, comfort others."

Related Verses: 

Jun 27 2017