Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

“Many are going to tell me on that day, ‘Master! Master! Didn’t we, by your name become shining lights? Not only have we, by your name, tossed out disabilities, but, by your name, we have also created abilities.

Hidden Meaning: 

This verse has some much hidden in it, including key plays on words that are lost in translation. Notice that Christ references "that day" but without a context for what day that could be. The form of the "by your name" is also instructive because it is not the way Christ usually says these words but a more typical way that they would be said in Greek.

The word for "many" is an adjective, used here as a plural masculine noun. The sense is many people.

The word translated as "will say" is the future from of the most common verb used to describe speaking but in this form, it is more commonly the present tense of another verb, which means both "to love" (in the erotic sense) and "to pour forth" and "vomit." Only the following phrase ("in that day") make the meaning clear because of the verb's tense.

The word translated as "in" means "on" as well, which works better in English with a reference to time.

The word translated as "that" is usually used to refer to a person. It is not the normal demonstrative article or pronoun. The problem here is the "that" reference doesn't seem to refer back to any previous day reference. The previous verse does not mention a time that it could refer to. It seems to refer to the people Christ has been talking about, those who produce bad fruit and don't do his Father's will (Mat 7:21).

The word translated as "day" also means a "time of life." The phrase "in that day" is closer to "In these people's time," an idea that we express in English as "when their time comes" and not in a good way.

The word translated as "lord" means the one in authority. Christ uses it to mean "master" in both the sense of a "master teacher" in school and a slave master.

The word translated as "prophesied" doesn't actually mean "to make prophesies", but "to be a prophet." This has a broader meaning in the original Greek than in English. In English, it is limited to foreseeing the future, but in Greek, it means "being an interpreter for the gods," and, not surprisingly, "being a quack doctor."

The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. this is humorous because these people are not stating facts, but their opinions, and should be using a different negative.

There is no preposition "in" in the three phrases translated as "in your name." It is just the Greek for "your name" in the dative case. These references could be either the "instrumental dative" ("by means of your name") or the beneficial dative ("for the benefit of your name").

The Greek word translated as "name" is much more complicated than it might at first appear. It can simply mean a "name" as in English, but it doesn't mean the things itself, but what people call it. For example, it can mean a "false name," or "a pretense" as we say "this is a marriage in name only." It can also mean representing another person's authority, as we say, "he is acting in the name of the boss." It is the symbol of the person rather than the person. More about Christ's use of the word "name" in this article.

The word translated as "and" is best translated as "not only...but also" when it is used in a series like this.

"Cast out" is a verb that means "throw out." Depending on the context, it can mean "toss out", "turn out," or "take out." It is usually translated as "cast out" in the NT.

"Devils" is the Greek word usually translated in the NT as "demons". (A different word is usually translated as "devil". More in this article about demons and related words in the Gospels here.) Christ usually used this term in the context of curing people's mental disorders. People in his time attributed such disorder to "evil spirits" so that is how Christ talked about them. It is actually used as a contrast to the word translated as "good works" below.

The word translated as "done" primarily means also "to make" or "produce."

The word translated as "wonderful works" means "power" and "ability." It means both the spiritual power to create miracles and the kind of earthly power held by the wealthy or armies. It isn't any kind of "works" at all.

Wordplay: 

A play of the word "demons" which in Christ's time meant something like a "disability" against the word translated as "wonderful work" which means "abilities." 

 

The Spoken Version: 

“On that day,” someone called out cynically, “Won’t a new group claim moral superiority in your name?”
The speaker surprised the crowd by nodding his agreement.
“Many are going to say to me on that day,” the speaker responded. He switched to the fawning voice again and whined, “‘Master! Master! Didn’t we—by your name—act as shining lights? And by your name! People’s demons? We tossed them out! And by your name! Powers? Many, we created!”

Vocabulary: 

πολλοὶ (adj pl masc nom ) "Many" is from polus, which means "many (in number)", "great (in size or power or worth)," and "large (of space)." As an adverb, it means "far", "very much", "a great way," and "long."

ἐροῦσίν (3rd pl fut ind act) "Will say" is from eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer."

μοι (pron 1st sg dat) "To me" is from moi, which means "I", "me", and "my".

ἐν (prep) "In" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

ἐκείνῃ (adj sg fem dat ) "That" is from ekeinos (kakeinos), which means "the person there", "that person", "that thing", "in that case", "in that way", "at that place," and "in that manner."

τῇ ἡμέρᾳ (noun sg fem dat) "Day" is from hemera, which, as a noun, means "day" "a state or time of life", "a time (poetic)", "day break" and "day time." It is also and also has a second meaning, of "quiet", "tame (animals)", "cultivated (crops)," and "civilized (people)."

Κύριε κύριε, (noun sg masc voc) "Lord" is from kyrios (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."

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.

τῷ (article sg neut dat) Untranslated is the Greek article, "the," which usually proceeds a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." Here it is separated from its noun by a conjunction.

σῷ (adj sg neut dat) "Thy" is from sou which means "you" and "your."

ὀνόματι (noun sg neut dat) "Name" is from onoma, which means "name." It means both the reputation of "fame," and "a name and nothing else," as opposed to a real person. Acting in someone's name means to act on their behalf, as their representative.

ἐπροφητεύσαμεν,” (1st pl aor ind act) "Have we...prophesied" is propheteuo, which means "to be an interpreter of the gods", "to be an intermediary in asking", "to be one with oracular power", "to hold the office of prophet", "to be a quack doctor," and "to have a spiritual impulse to teach, refute, reprove, admonish, comfort others."

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."

τῷ (article sg neut dat) Untranslated is the Greek article, "the," which usually proceeds a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." Here it is separated from its noun by a conjunction.

σῷ (adj sg neut dat ) "Thy" is from sou which means "you" and "your."

ὀνόματι (noun sg neut dat) "Name" is from onoma, which means "name." It means both the reputation of "fame," and "a name and nothing else," as opposed to a real person. Acting in someone's name means to act on their behalf, as their representative.

δαιμόνια (noun pl neut nom) "Devils" is from daimonion, which means "divinity", "divine power", "a lower divine being," and "evil spirit." This form is usually an adjective that means "belonging to a demon."

ἐξεβάλομεν, (1st pl aor ind act) "Cast out" is from ekballo and means "throw out", "cast out of a place,"and "expose." Ek means "out of", "from," and "away from." Ballo is "to throw" or "to scatter."

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."

τῷ (article sg neut dat ) Untranslated is the Greek article, "the," which usually proceeds a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." Here it is separated from its noun by a conjunction.

σῷ (adj sg neut dat ) "Thy" is from sou which means "you" and "your." "Thy" is from sou which means "you" and "your."

ὀνόματι (noun sg neut dat ) "Name" is from onoma, which means "name." It means both the reputation of "fame," and "a name and nothing else," as opposed to a real person. Acting in someone's name means to act on their behalf, as their representative. -- The Greek word translated as "name" is much more complicated than it might at first appear. It can simply means a "name" as in English, this can be many things. It doesn't mean the things itself, but what people call it. For example, it can mean a "false name," or "a pretense" as we say "this is a marriage in name only." It can also mean representing another person's authority, as we say, "he is acting in the name of the boss."

δυνάμεις "Wonderful works" is from dynamis which means "power", "might", "influence", "authority", "capacity", "elementary force", "force of a word," and "value of money." Elemental forces are forces such as heat and cold.

πολλὰς "Many" is from polus, which means "many (in number)", "great (in size or power or worth)," and "large (of space)." As an adverb, it means "far", "very much", "a great way," and "long."

ἐποιήσαμεν; (1st pl aor ind act) "Done" is from poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do." -- The Greek word translated as "to do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service.

Related Verses: 

Apr 14 2017

evidence: 

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