Matthew 16:23 Get behind me, Satan:

KJV Verse: 

Mat 16:23 Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Put opposition in back of me. You are a trap for me. this is because you do not really have an understanding of anything of God but something of people.

Hidden Meaning: 

This verse in interesting for several reasons. First, its meaning seem to be very different than the way it is normally translated, as much of a compliment as a criticism. Second, it uses a couple of Aramaic words that are put into a Greek form. If Christ's words are translated into the Greek, it is hard to explain why these words aren't translated (see more in this article about why we believe that Christ taught in Greek).

"Get thee" is from a Greek verbal command that means literally "go under" or "bring under," but Christ usually uses it to mean "go away" and "depart." However, here it has an object, that is, it a command to put something behind.

The term translated as "behind" means "back" in space but "forward" in time. This reference then is to place, as it, "get out of my way".  The logic regarding time is that, since the future is unseen, it should be regarded as behind us, whereas the past is known and therefore before our eyes. This seems quite strange to English speakers, but the use of this word in Greek is well-established to mean "future". Our English view coincides with the ancient Greek when discussing books. The "back" of the book in English means the "end" of the book, which is the future for the reader. This use of "back" is identical to the Greek. 

"me" is from the regular first possessive person pronoun in Greek, so "of me."

"Satan" is from an Aramaic word means "adversary" and "opponent." Its form is that of the object of the sentence (accusative), not something addresses (vocative). It is the thing Christ is telling Peter to put behind. More about this word in this article.

The phrase "thou art" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition.

The word translated as "an offense" is another noun from an Aramaic word that means a "trap" or "snare" for an enemy.

"Unto me" is from the regular first possessive person pronoun in Greek.

The word translated as "for" introduces a statement of fact or cause. While we can translated it as a word such as "because," it often works best to translated it as "this is because" to prevent complex, run-on sentences.

In the original Greek, the word translated as "thou savourest" means simple "to understand" or "to comprehend." It is not a word commonly used by Christ to discuss understanding.

The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact.

The Greek word translated as "things" means "someone", "any one," and "anything." It is singular, not plural. It is also in the possessive form, so "of anything."

The Greek word translated as "but" denote an exception or simple opposition.

The Greek word for "of men" in the plural means "people" and "peoples" in the plural.

 

 

Vocabulary: 

Ὕπαγε (2nd sg pres imperat act) "Get thee" is from hupago, which means "to lead under", "to bring under", "to bring a person before judgment", "to lead on by degrees", "to take away from beneath", "to withdraw", "to go away", "to retire", "to draw off," and "off with you."

ὀπίσω "Behind" is from opiso, which means "back", "behind," and "hereafter."

μου (noun sg masc gen) "Me" is from mou, which mean "my", "of me," or "mine."

Σατανᾶnoun (sg masc acc) "Satan" is satanas which is an Aramaic word meaning "adversary", "opponents," or "one who opposes another in purpose or act. "

σκάνδαλον (noun sg neut nom) "An offense" is from skandalon, which means a "trap" or "snare" for an enemy. It is not Greek, but based on the Hebrew and Aramaic word. this is one of the words that first occurs in the Greek version of the Old Testament from the Hebrew word for "noose" or "snare."

εἶ (verb 2nd sg pres ind act) "You art" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible."

ἐμοῦ, (adj sg masc gen) "Me" is from emou, which means "my", "of me", and "mine".

ὅτι "For" 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."

οὐ "Not" is from ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.

φρονεῖς (verb 2nd sg pres ind act) "Thou savourest" is from phroneo, which means "to have understanding", "to be prudent", "to comprehend", "feel by experience", "to know full well", "to have thoughts for or towards", "comprehend", "to be in possession of one's senses," and "to be wise."

τὰ τοῦ (pron sg gen) "The things" 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."

θεοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "God" is from theos, which means "God," the Deity."

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

τὰ τῶν (pron sg gen) "The things" 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."

ἀνθρώπων. (noun pl 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.

 

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