Matthew 19:28 ...That you who have followed me,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 19:28 Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

I teach you truly that you, the ones following me in the rebirth, when the child of humanity sits down on his chair of recognition, you will drop yourselves down on twelve judge's benches, judging the twelve clans of Israel.

Hidden Meaning: 

There are a number of interesting ideas here including a humorous play on words. At the center here is the meaning of the word "throne." There are two different verbs translated as "sit" here, that have a very different meaning. Note, though the twelve thrones are mention, Jesus dosn't say that they go to the twelve apostles specifically, since one of them would be declared a traitor.

The "verily" phrase is used frequently by Christ. Its meaning is discussed in detail in this article.

The term "which have followed" is from a verb that means "to follow," or "go with," in a physical sense, but it is also a metaphor meaning "to be guided by" or "to follow the meaning of." It is in the form of an adjective, "following," used as noun, "the ones following."

The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

"The regeneration" is from a noun that means "rebirth", "regeneration", "beginning of a new life", "restoration," and "reincarnation." The can mean anything from the reincarnation of a person to the rebirth of an age or world.

The "Son of man" is a common phrase Christ uses to refer to his role. There is an article about it here. The word "son" generally means "child." And "man" has more the sense of humanity that a single person.

"Sit" is from the common verb that means "to make sit down", "to place,""to convene", "take one's seat," and "to reside." It starts with the prefix meaning "down." It is not in the future tense, but something that takes place at an unspecified time. This is also indicated by the "when" starting this section.

The second word translated as "in" is different than the one above and doesn't mean "in" but "against", "before", "by" or "on."

"Throne" is translated from a Greek word that is the source of our word for "throne" but it means "seat", "chair", "seat of state", "chair of a teacher," and "judge's bench." It didn't have the association with royalty like our word does. It did have a formal sense like were refer to having a "seat at the table" or, more specifically, a "seat in congress." Here, its meaning is specified as a "seat of honor."

"Glory" is from a noun that which means "expectation", "notion", "opinion", "vision", "repute", "good repute", "honor," and "glory." It is often used by Christ to mean "recognition." Here, the idea is clearly to define the chair as a "seat of honor."

The second "shall sit" is a very different word than the one above. It means "to let fall" or "to drop," but it has a lot of casual uses such putting things in motion and employing them. It, like the "sit" above begins with the prefix meaning "down." This word is in the future tense and in a form that indicates the subject, the apostles, acting on themselves.

"Twelve" is the Greek numeral.

The "thrones" is the same word as above, but here the sense of the word becomes the judge's bench because, it is followed by the word "judging."

"Judging" is from a verb that which means "separate", "distinguish", "pick out", "choose," 'decide", "decide in favor of", "determine," and "form a judgment."  Unlike most words, which Christ uses specifically, he uses this word in a variety of senses simply because no English word corresponds to it precisely. He can mean "judge", "criticize", "decide", "discriminate," and "separate," depending on the context.  He the use of the word meaning a "judge's bench" makes the meaning clearly "judging" " since the form is an adjective.

"Twelve" is the Greek numeral.

"Tribes" is from the noun that means "a race", "a tribe", "people with ties of descent", "representatives of a tribe," and "the military contingent of a tribe."

"Of Israel" is from the Hebrew word.

Wordplay: 

The two words used here "sit down" and "to let fall" sound alike, but the first is more formal with a sense of honor while the second is causal, in the sense that we talk about sitting someone down to put them to work. There is a humorous contrast here between the honor Christ will get and the fact that though the apostles will be like him, they are going to be put to work. 

The Spoken Version: 

I really teach you because you are my follower. In our rebirth, when the child of humanity takes his seat of honor, you are going to plop yourselves down on twelve benches, setting in motion the judgment of the twelve families of Israel.

Vocabulary: 

Ἀμὴν "Verily" is from amen, which is from the Hebrew, meaning "truly", "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek before the NT.

λέγω (1st sg pres ind act) "I tell" is from llego means "pick up", "choose for oneself", "pick out," and "count," "recount", "tell over", "say", "speak", "teach", "mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," "nominate," and "command."

ὑμῖν "You" is from humin, which is the plural forms of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ὅτι "That" 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."

ὑμεῖς "Ye" is from hymeis (humeis), which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you." -- The pronoun is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use creates emphasis on the "you." The "you" here is plural, indicating all Christ's listeners.

οἱ ἀκολουθήσαντές (part pl aor act masc nom) "Ye which have followed" is from akoloutheo, which means "to follow," and "to go with." It also means "to be guided by" and means following a leader as a disciple. -

μοι "Me" is from emoi, which is 1st person,singular dative pronoun meaning "me' as the indirect object of a verb.

ἐν "In" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with". -- The word translated as "in" that means "within", "with," or "among."

τῇ παλινγενεσίᾳ, (noun sg fem dat) "Regeneration" is from paliggenesia, which means "rebirth", "regeneration", "beginning of a new life", "restoration (of world)," and "reincarnation (of a person)."

ὅταν "When" is from hotan, which means "whenever (as a condition)," and "since (as a cause)." -- The Greek word translated as "when" introduces a phrase that explains a certain condition so "whenever" or "since."

καθίσῃ (verb 3rd sg aor subj act) "Hall sit" is from kathizo, which means "to make sit down", "to seat", "to place", "to sit", "to post", "to take seats", "to convene", "to appoint", "to establish", "to put in a certain condition", "to reside", "to sink down", "to run aground [for ships]," "to recline at meals," and "to settle." From the Greek kata ("down") hedraios ("to settle") .

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

ἐπὶ "In" is from epi. which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against."

θρόνου (noun sg masc gen) "Throne" is from thronos, which means "seat", "chair", "seat of state", "chair of a teacher," and "judge's bench."

δόξης (noun sg fem gen) "Glory" is from doxa, which means "expectation", "notion", "opinion", "repute," and "popular repute." Translations as "glory" or "splendor" are applied to external appearances but are found primarily in translating the Bible. The words "recognition" and "reputation" come closest to capturing the way Christ uses the word, especially if we consider how he uses the verb form.

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."

καθήσεσθε (verb 2nd pl fut ind mid) "Shall sit" is from kathinmi, which means to "let fall", "drop", "send down", "pour down", "run down (of rivers)," in a general sense, "set in motion," "employ," "allow to return from exile," "swoop down (like a wind)" and, in the passive, "to be put in motion." It it a general term that has a number of specialized meanings.

καὶ "Also" 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." -

ὑμεῖς "Ye" is from hymeis (humeis), which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you." -- The pronoun is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use creates emphasis on the "you." The "you" here is plural, indicating all Christ's listeners.

ἐπὶ "In" is from epi. which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against." -- The word translated as "unto" means "against", "before", "by" or "on."

δώδεκα "Twelve" is from dodeka, which is the number "twelve," and a noun meaning "a group of twelve."

θρόνους (noun pl masc acc) "Thrones" is from thronos, which means "seat", "chair", "seat of state", "chair of a teacher," and "judge's bench."

κρίνοντες (part pl pres act masc nom) "Judge" is from krino, which primarily means "to separate", "to put asunder," and "to distinguish." It has a lot of other secondary meanings, including "to pick out", "to choose", "to decide" disputes or accounts, "to win" a battle, "to judge" especially in the sense of "estimate", "to expound," or "to interpret" in a particular way.

τὰς δώδεκα "Twelve" is from dodeka, which is the number "twelve," and a noun meaning "a group of twelve."

φυλὰς (noun pl fem acc) "Tribes" is from phyle, which means "tribe", "a group related by birth or location", "clan," and, of things, a "class" or "kind."

τοῦ Ἰσραήλ. (sg masc gen) "Israel" is from Israel, which means "Israel." -- The word translated as "Israel" comes from the Hebrew, not the Greek.

Related Verses: