Matthew 12:39 An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign;

KJV Verse: 

Matthew 12:39 An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there no sign shall be given to it but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

 

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

A type, worthless and a cheater, demands proof and no proof is going to be given to it. If not the proof of Jonah, the prophet. 

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The beginning of this verse is more humorous in Greek than its English translation. It compares those that demand proof to a cheater who demand proof of their crime. 

The word translated as "evil" means "second-rate" or "worthless." This article explores it meaning in more detail. It is an adjective, but when used as a noun, therefore, "what is worthless."

The word translated as "and" also can mean "as" after words implying sameness.

"Adulterous" is a Greek noun meaning "an unfaithful woman." It is in the same form as the noun ("generation") implying that they are equivalent. The word means  It is a metaphor for those unfaithful to God.

"Generation" is a Greek word that means "race", "family", "offspring," and "age." It is the root for our words "generic", "genus", as well as generation. Christ uses it to describe a certain of person as well as a certain type of people.  It always appears in the singular as do all the words referring to it. 

"Seeks after" is a verb that means "to seek after", "to wish for," and "to demand."

"Sign" is Greek word that means a "mark", "sign," or "proof." The word in Greek is used specifically to means a sign from the gods and it that sense, it means "omen", "portent," and "constellations."

There is no Greek word for "there" in the Greek source.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Γενεὰ (sg fem nom)"Generation" is from genea, which means "race", "family", "generation", "class," and "kind." It is a form of the word from which we get the scientific word,"genus."

πονηρὰ (adj sg fem nom) "An evil" is from poneros, which we discuss extensively in this page. In a moral sense, it means "worthless", "base," and "cowardly."

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."

μοιχαλὶς (noun sg fem nom ) "Adulterous" is from moichalis, which is translated from a Greek word for "an adulterous woman." It was also a metaphor for being unfaithful to the gods.

σημεῖον (noun sg neut acc) "Sign" is from semeion, which means "mark (by which things are known)," , "a proof" (in reasoning), "sign (of the future)", "sign from the gods", "signal (to do things)," and "standard (flag).

ἐπιζητεῖ, (3rd sg imperf ind act or 3rd sg pres ind act) "Seek after" is from epizeteo, which means "seek after", "wish for", "miss", "request," desire ""demand" and, in the passive, "is a matter of question."

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."

σημεῖον (noun sg neut nom) "Sign" is from semeion, which means "mark (by which things are known)," , "a proof" (in reasoning), "sign (of the future)", "sign from the gods", "signal (to do things)," and "standard (flag).

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.

δοθήσεται (3rd sg fut ind pass) "Shall be given" is from didomi, which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe."

αὐτῇ (adj sg fem dat) "Them" 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."

εἰ μὴ (conj/partic)  "But" is from ei me, which is the conjunction that means "if not", "but," and "except." εἰ is the particle use with the imperative usually to express conditions "if" or indirect questions, "whether." (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no."

τὸ σημεῖον (noun sg neut nom/acc) "The sign" is from semeion, which means "mark (by which things are known)," , "a proof" (in reasoning), "sign (of the future)", "sign from the gods", "signal (to do things)," and "standard (flag).

Ἰωνᾶ "Jonas" is from Ionas, the Greek word for the OT prophet Jonah.

τοῦ προφήτου. (noun sg masc gen) "The prophets" is from prophetes, which means "one who speaks for a god and interprets his will", "interpreter", "keepers of the oracle", "the highest level of priesthood in Egypt", "interpreter," and "herald."

Wordplay: 

The word translated as "adulterous" means both an unfaithful woman and those unfaithful to God. 

The word translated as "sign" means both "a sign from the gods" and "a proof" in reasoning. 

 

Related Verses: 

Aug 5 2017