I did not teach to you up to the point of seven [lucky] times, rather at least up to the point of seventy [luckier] times seven.
Matthew 18:22 I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Interesting and Hidden Aspects:
This is Christ's response when Peter asks him if we are supposed to forgive someone who sins against us. More about the terms used in the previous verse as "forgive" and "sin" in this article. So the question to Christ was how often do we let the mistakes of others go.
The hidden significance of this verse is that our idea of the number seven being lucky comes from Jewish tradition. Using the Jewish method of converting words to numbers, (gematria), the most common word for luck converts to seven and another word for luck converts to seventy-seven.
The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes really a negative statement of fact, in fact something like we use the terms "really" and "in fact."
The word translated as "I tell" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.
The word translated as "until" means "until" but it also means "up to the point that" when it doesn't refer to time.
The "seven times" is a single word that means "seven times" in Greek.
The Greek word translated as "but" denotes an exception or simple opposition, but with numbers is better translated as "yet", "still," or "at least."
The word "seventy-times" is a Greek word invented by Matthew that follows the form of the Greek word for "seven times" and the Greek number "seventy."
Οὐ (partic) "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.
λέγω (verb 1st sg pres ind act) "I say" 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."
ἑπτά. (numeral) "Seven" is from hepta, which means the number seven. It also means a period of seven days. Seven is one of the greatest power numbers in Judaism, representing Creation, good fortune, and blessing. A Hebrew word for luck, gad, equals seven in gematria. Another Hebrew word for luck, mazal, equals seventy-seven.
The Spoken Version:
I didn't really tell you [to let other's mistakes go] upto seven times but at least up to seventy-seven times. [if seven is lucky, seventy-seven times seven is even more lucky.]