Matthew 11:22 But I tell you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Except I tell you all: for Tyre and Sidon? More bearable they are going to be in a time of crisis than for you.

KJV : 

Mat 11:22 But I tell you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

There is a natural tendency for many to interpret verses with a phrase like "day of judgment" as referring to the end of the world. The actual words don't conform to this interpretation. See this article on the words Christ uses referring to the "end of the world." In other places, Christ refers to the "last day" but usually in situations that could refer to individuals, not, as here, whole geographic regions. Of course, our personal day of judgment is also a separation: our separation from our lives.

"But I tell you" is a usually from a very common Greek phrase in Christ's words, but this is not that phrase. It does not include the usual word translated as "but" nor does it use thefirst-person pronoun.

The Greek word translated here as "but" is a little uncommon in Christ's words. He usually uses two other words to mean "but." The primary meaning of the word used here is "except" or "save."

The "I tell" is one of the common verbs that means "to say" or "to tell". 

The "you" here is plural, indicating many of Christ's listeners, which is normal with this phrase.

The "it shall be" verb here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition.

"More tolerable" is the comparative form ("more") of an adjective which "bearable" or "sufferable."

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

The Greek word translated as "day" also means "time," in general, and specifically to the "daytime."

The Greek word translated as "of judgment" means distinguishing among choices and "separating" things. Christ uses it in a variety of ways, though the KJV usually translates it as "judgment." It also means a "turning point," since it is the source of the meaning of "crisis" has in English. Only secondarily does it means "judgment" as in a court judgment. This Greek word (krisis) is the source of our word "crisis" in the sense that a "crisis" is a time of choosing or a separation. 

"Than" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.


Christ is exaggerating here and in the following verses, for humorous effect. He may be mimicking the style of John that Baptist, who was the subject of the verses proceeding these. However, he doesn't take is as seriously, as he makes clear at the end, in  Mat 11:25

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

πλὴν [uncommon](prep) "But" is from plen, which means as a preposition means "except", "save," taking the genitive, and acts as the conjunction "but".

λέγω (verb 1st sg pres ind act)  "I tell" 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."

ὑμῖν, (pron 2nd pl dat) "Unto you" is from hymin (humin), which is the 2nd person plural dative pronoun. Dative is the case which indicates to whom something is given.

Τύρῳ (noun) "Tyre" is from Tyros, which is the Greek name of the historical city.

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."

Σιδῶνι (noun) "Sidon" is from Sidon, which is the Greek name of the historical city.

ἀνεκτότερον (adj sg neut nom comp ) More tolerable" is anektoteros (the comparative "more" form of anektos), which "bearable", "sufferable", "that which can be endured," or "tolerable." --

ἔσται (3rd sg fut ind mid) "It shall be" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." It can also mean "must" with a dative.

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

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)."

κρίσεως (noun sg fem gen ) "Judgment" is from krisis, which means "separating", "distinguishing", "judgment", "choice", "election", "trial", "dispute", "event," and "issue."

 (prep) "Than" is e which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than."

ὑμῖν.(pron 2nd pl dat) "You" is from hymin (humin), which is the 2nd person plural dative pronoun. Dative is the case which indicates to whom something is given. -

Front Page Date: 

Jul 6 2017