Matthew 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord

KJV Verse: 

Matthew 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Because a master is of the day of rest, the son of the man.

Hidden Meaning: 

This line has a hidden double meaning revolving around the word translated a "the lord". It has a clear self-deprecating meaning. It is a joke. In the original Greek, this verse is presented exactly backward from the English KJV, "the Lord" comes first, then "the son of man." The punchline of the joke is "the son of the man". 

The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation, "because" or "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

The word translated as "son" more generally means "child."

The Greek word for "of man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in the plural.

In the Greek sources that we use today, there is no Greek word that can be translated as "even." The Mark 2:28 version does have a word here. 

The word translated as "Lord" means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of."  It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family." It is the term used specifically for a master of servants or slaves. The most important feature of this word is what doesn't have: an article.  The Greek word translated as "Lord" without an article is used as the name, not the title of God (see this article). However, it also means "a lord" or "a master." This fact is used as the basis of a play on words contrasting God with "a lord". 

The "of" comes from the possessive form of the following word ("Sabbath"). In Greek this form has a little broader use than English. It can be "the Sabbath day's Lord" like an adjective, but it can also mean "a master belonging to the Sabbath" or "a master which is the Sabbath".  

The word translated as the "the Sabbath day" is the Greek version of the Hebrew word "shabbat" meaning "rest" or "day of rest".  It is in the possessive form. The question is what does "lord is of the sabbath" mean? The "master" of "rest"?  This word does not follow the word "Lord", but it separated from it by an adverb and a verb. 


Christ is calling himself a master at resting.

The word translated as "Lord" is in the form where it could be the name of God or a word meaning simply "a lord". 

Christ seems t use the phrase "son of man" to refer both to himself and to a generic concept of a new generation of humanity.

The Spoken Version: 

Because a master is of the day of rest? The son of the man!


κύριος (noun sg masc nom)  "Lord" is from 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."

γάρ (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." It always appears in the second position in the phrase it introduces.

ἐστιν (3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

τοῦ σαββάτου (noun sg masc gen)  "The sabbath days" is from sabbaton, which means "Sabbath", "seven days of week," and "first day of week."

υἱὸς (noun sg masc nom​) "The Son" is from huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child." -- The word translated as "son" more generally means "child."

τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.(noun sg masc gen)​ "Of man" is from anthropos, which is "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate. -

Related Verses: 

Jul 20 2017