Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God...

KJV Verse: 

Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Aim at, however, first the realm and the justice of his, and these all are going to be put before you.

Hidden Meaning: 

There is a hidden problem in this verse. The "all of these things" and the verb "shall be added" do not agree in number. The verb is single, while the "subject" is plural. Again, this can be explained if we imagine this spoken.

The Greek word translated as"but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

The Greek verb translated as "seek ye" has a variety of meanings ranging from "seek after" to "desire", but Christ uses it to mean "aim". It is the root word of the word translated in the previous verse KJV, Mat 6:32, as "seek after", which has more the sense of "aim at" or "focus on".

The word translated as "first" takes a lot of different types of "first" meanings from its context. Here, it is technically an adjective but it plays the role of the English adverb "initially."

The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so translating it as "reign" seems more appropriate. this is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will. More about the meaning of the "kingdom of heaven" in this article.

There is no Greek word for "of God" in the current Greek sources we use. It is added to clarify the verse.

The "his" here is in a form that refers to "the Father" mentioned in the previous verse, Mat 6:32.

The Greek word translated as "righteousness," means "righteousness", "justice", and "fulfillment of the law". When this word applies to people, "virtue" may come closest because we don't use "righteousness" very much anymore. However, when applied to God, "justice" seems closer to the idea since this refers to the business of a judge.

Both the Greek word translated as "all these things" are adjectives, meaning "these" and "all," but they are together used as a noun and the subject of the sentence, "these all". Both words are plural.

The Greek word translated as "shall be added" means "to apply", "to deliver," "to impose upon," and many other meanings. The word literally means "to put in addition to" or "put before". In Mat 6:27, it was translated simply as "add", but here that "put before" you sense seems to work better. It is passive, referring to "these all".

The "you" is in the form of an indirect object. It is plural.

The Spoken Version: 

But focus primarily on the realm in the skies and that justice of His. And these things?” He spread his arms and spun around. “The entirety of them? It is going to be put in front of you all!”


ζητεῖτε (2nd pl pres imperat act or 2nd pl pres ind act) "Seek ye" is from zeteo, which means "inquire for", "search for", "seek after", "desire", and "feel the want of." The phrase that seems closest to capturing all its meaning in English is "to look for".

δὲ (partic) "But" is from de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

πρῶτον (adj sg masc acc) "First" is from protos. In place, this means "the foremost." Of time, it means "the initial." In order, it means "the first." In math, it means the prime numbers. Of rank or degree, it means "the highest" or "the best."

τὴν βασιλείαν (noun sg fem acc) "The kingdom" is from basileia, which means "kingdom", "dominion", "hereditary monarchy", "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign."

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."

τὴν δικαιοσύνην (noun sg fem acc) "Righteousness" is from dikaiosyne, which means "righteousness", "justice", "fulfillment of the law," and "the business of a judge." It carries the sense of virtue but specifically that of fulfilling legal or social requirements.

αὐτοῦ, (adj sg masc gen ) "His" 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 one's own accord."

καὶ (and)"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."

ταῦτα (adj pl neut nom) "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."

πάντα (adj pl neut nom ) "All" is from pas, which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything."

προστεθήσεται (3rd sg fut ind pass) "Shall be added" is from prostithemi, which is formed from two root words that mean "to put towards" and means to "put to", "to hold close", "to apply medicine [to a wound]", "to hand over", "to give something more", "to impose upon", "to attribute to", "to add", "to agree", "to associate with", "to bring upon oneself," and "to apply to oneself."

ὑμῖν. (pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is from humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

Related Verses: 

Mar 22 2017