Matthew 11:9 But what did you go out to see?

KJV Verse: 

Matthew 11:9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

So, why did you go out? To know a behold a shining light? Yes, I tell you and an extreme spokesperson.

Hidden Meaning: 

The words beginning this verse are the same as the previous verse, Matthew 11:8, asking the questions.  The last phrase is not a normal "more than" construction in Greek.

The word translated as "what" can also mean "why" or "who".

The word translated as "went ye out" means literally "to go or come out," but it has a secondary meaning of "making something come true."

The verb translated as "for to see" means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive." It is different than the verb used in the previous verse, Matthew 11:7, translated as "to see."

"Prophet" is a Greek word that means "one who speaks for God and interprets His will." It has the general sense of an interpreter, fortune-teller, and a herald. It is also a verb that means "to shine forth" so the word is very like calling someone a "shining light".

"More" is a Greek adjective  that means "more than" when applied to quantities, but has a variety of meanings, both positive and negative, when applied to people, from "extraordinary" and "remarkable" to "excessive." Its form connects it to the first prophet in this sentence.

The second "than a prophet" is the same as the previous word for prophet but in the form of an indirect object that gives it the sense of "than" with words like "more". 


 The word translated as "more than" can be either a compliment or a criticism similar to our word "extreme." 


ἀλλὰ (adv) "But" is from alla, which means "otherwise", "but", "still", "at least", "except", "yet," nevertheless", "rather", "moreover," and "nay." --

τί (pron sg neut acc ) What" is from tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what.

ἐξήλθατε (2nd pl aor ind act) "Went ye" is from exerchomai, which means "to come or go out of " "to march forth", "go out on", "to stand forth", "to exceed all bounds", "to come to an end", "to go out of office," and [of dreams or prophecies] "to come true."

προφήτην (noun sg masc acc) "A prophet" 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." It is a verb that means "to shine forth" It is a verb that means "to shine forth&quot

ἰδεῖν; (aor inf act) "To see" is from eidon which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know.

ναί, (adv) "Yea" is from nai, which means "yea,""yes", "truly," and similar ideas.

λέγω (1st sg pres ind act) "I tell" is from lego, which means "to recount", "to tell over", "to say", "to speak", "to teach", "to mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself", "pick up", "gather", "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelt the same means "to lay", "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

ὑμῖν, (pron 2nd pl dat) "You" is from humas and humon, which are the plural forms of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

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."

περισσότερον (adj sg masc acc comp) "More than" is perissoteros, which means, as an adjective, "beyond the regular number or size", "prodigious,'" "out of the common", "extraordinary", "strange", "more than sufficient", "superfluous", "useless", "excessive", " extravagant," of persons, "over-wise", "over-curious," as a term of praise, "subtle", "acute", "an odd, uneven number," as an adverb "extraordinarily", "exceedingly", "remarkably", "in an uncommon manner", "abundantly", "superfluously," and "uselessly."

προφήτου. (noun sg masc gen) "A prophet" 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."

Related Verses: 

Jun 23 2017