Mat 11:25 I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hid these things

KJV Verse: 

Mat 11:25 I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

I am being acknowledged to you all. Father, master of sky and the earth. Because you have concealed these from skilled ones and educated ones and you have disclosed them to babies.

Hidden Meaning: 

In this verse, Christ is acknowledging his own silliness and sense of humor. This sense is largely lost in translation because some of the KJV seems intentionally misleading. 

The problems start with the "I thank statement. The Greek word translated as "thank" really means "to confess", "to admit," and "to acknowledge." It is in the form where the subject is either being acted upon or acts on himself. Christ is not thanking God here but acknowledging something about himself

The word translated as "lord" means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family."

The word translated as "of heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods.

The word translated as "earth" means the physical planet, not society, which Christ describes as the world. See this article for more on these words. There is an article ("the") before this word "the earth", but there was no article before the word for "heaven". This changes the sense of the word. See this article on how the Greek articles differ from ours

"Through hast hid is a Greek word that means "to hide from", "to conceal from," and "to keep hidden from." It also means, interestingly, "to lose from sight."

"Wise" is a Greek adjective that refers to those with experience and common sense. It has no article ("the") in front of it in the Greek. 

"Prudent" is a word that refers more to learning and natural intelligence.

"Revealed" is a negative form of the word used earlier meaning "to cover" and "to hide "with an "away from." This reverses its meaning, so it means to uncover or reveal and, in the passive, "to become known. "

The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. 

"Babes" is a noun that means "baby" or "infanc" and, as an adjective that, when referring to understanding, means "childish" and "silly".

 

Wordplay: 

 The words translated as "revealed" is the negative form of the word translated as "hid" so "did not hide" is closer to the point. The word translated as "babes" means childish and silly when referring to understanding.  

Note that this verse ends a series of verses condemning the areas that didn't believe in him. So Christ is actually making fun of himself for condemning them. This makes the previous verses seem more like humorously intended exaggerations than true condemnations. 

Vocabulary: 

Ἐξομολογοῦμαί (1st sg pres ind mp ) "I thank " is from exomologeo, which means "to confess", "to admit," and "to acknowledge." Christ is not thanking God here but admitting a truth.

σοι, (pron 2nd pl dat) "Thee" is from soi which is the singular, second person pronoun, "you".

πάτερ (noun masc sg voc) "The Father" is from pater, which means "father", "grandfather", "author", "parent," and "forefathers."

κύριε (noun sg masc voc) "Lord" is from kyrios (kurios), which means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family."

τοῦ οὐρανοῦ (noun sg masc gen ) "Of Heaven" is from the Greek ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky", "heaven as the seat of the gods", "the sky", "the universe," and "the climate."

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."

τῆς γῆς, (noun sg fem gen) "Earth" is from ge, which means "the element of earth", "land (country)", "arable land", "the ground," and "the world" as the opposite of the sky. Like our English word "earth," it means both dirt and the planet.

ὅτι (adv/conj) "Because" is from hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

ἔκρυψας (2nd sg aor ind act) "Thou has hid" is from krypto, which means "to hide", "to cover," "to conceal." "to keep secret", "cover in the earth", "bury", "conceal", "argue so that the opponent is unwarily led to an adverse conclusion," in passive, to "conceal oneself from,""hide oneself," and "lie hidden."

ταῦτα (adj pl neut acc) "These things" is from tauta, which is a referring pronoun meaning "these", "this", "that," and "here." It can mean the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why."

ἀπὸ (prep) "From" is from apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause.

σοφῶν (adj pl masc gen ) "The wise" is sophos, which means "skilled at practical matters", "clever," and "wise. The idea is those with experience and common sense.

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."

συνετῶν, (adj pl masc gen) "Prudent" is sunetos, which means "intelligent", "sagacious," and "wise." Here, the idea is more learning and natural intelligence.

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."

ἀπεκάλυψας (2nd sg aor ind act) "Revealed" is apokalupto, which means to "uncover", "disclose", "reveal," unmask", ""make bare."become known," in the middle passive, "reveal one's whole mind,"in the passive, "be made known," and as an adjective, "naked," and "shameless." It is the opposite of kaluptô, "to cover" and "to hide.

αὐτὰ (adj pl neut acc) "Them" is from 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."

νηπίοις: [uncommon](adj pl masc dat) "Babes" is nêpios, which means "child", "the young," and "infant." As an adjective referring to understanding, it means "childish", "silly," 'without foresight", "blind," and, to strength "like that of a child."​

Related Verses: 

Jul 8 2017