Matthew 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise

KJV Verse: 

Matthew 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

The empress of the south-west quarter is going to be awakened the decision with this type of person. And she is going to decide against it because she made her way from beyond the boundary of the earth to listen to wisdom of Solomon.  and,  And look! Something greater of Solomon: here!. 

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse uses some of the vocabulary of the previous verse, but one key change is hidden. The end of this verse is very different in Greek, seemingly referring to the idea that something greater than the wisdom of Solomon is here. The word translated as "generation" has a much broader meaning as well. Was Christ speaking only about his own generation or to a certain type of person? 

The word for "shall rise up" means "awaken" and "raise up" and is the same word Christ uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising. It is in the future passive, so "is going to be raised." This is a different word than one used in the previous verse where the males of Nineveh stood themselves up. 

The Greek word translated as "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.

"Generation" is a Greek word that means "race", "family", "offspring," and "age."

The verb translated as "shall condemn" is a verb form of the word translated as "judgment" above.It means "to judge against" or "decide against."

The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause. To separate phrases, it can be translated as "this is because."

The word translated as "she came" primarily means "to start out." It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway."

"Uttermost parts" is the Greek noun that means "end", "limit," and "boundary." It also means "perfection" of a thing. It conveys the idea that the end proves the means, not that the end justifies the means.

Like our English word "earth," it means both dirt and the planet.

"The wisdom" is the Greek noun that means "cleverness", "skill," and "learning." This was seen as an attribute of God and a gift from God to men. Sophia was the Greek goddess of learning and in Christianity is used as a symbol for Mary, the mother of Jesus. It is not introduced with an article "the". So "wisdom" not "the wisdom." This is an odd construction, almost like Christ was referring to a muse since proper names do not take articles. 

"See" is a Greek verb that means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know." It is in a form of a command tell listeners to acts on themselves "See for yourselves."

The word translated as "a greater" is an adjective meaning "greater" but it is neutral, not masculine. This gives it the sense of "something greater" rather than indicating someone greater. 

The "than Solomon" is in the form of "of Solomon", the same form of the word used after "preaching".   The sense is that something greater of Solomon than his wisdom.

The word translated a "here" means "here I am" when the speaker is referring to himself. However, here it refers to the "something greater of Solomon than his wisdom" is here. 

Greek Vocabulary: 

βασίλισσα (noun sg fem nom) "The queen" is from basilissa, which means "queen", "empress," and "wife of the ruler." It is the female form of basileus, which means a "king", "chief", "prince", "lord", "master", "a great man," and "the first and most distinguished of any class." It is a form of the world used for "kingdom."

νότου [uncommon](noun sg masc gen) "South" is from notos, which means "south wind", "south", "south-west quarter", "south of," and the "god personifying the south wind."

ἐγερθήσεται (3rd sg fut ind pass)"Shall rise up" is from egeiro, which means "to awaken", "to stir up," and "to rouse."

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

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

μετὰ (prep) "With" is from meta, which means "in the midst of", "among", "between", "in common", "along with", "by the aid of", "in one's dealings with", "into the middle of", "coming into", "in pursuit of", "after", "behind", "according to," and "next afterward"

τῆς γενεᾶς (noun sg fem gen)  "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."

ταύτης (adj sg fem gen) "This" 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."

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."

κατακρινεῖ (3rd sg pres/fut ind act) "Shall condemn" is katakrinô, which means "to give a sentence against," and "to condemn."

αὐτήν: (adj sg fem acc) "It" 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." 

ὅτι (conj/adv) "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."

ἦλθεν (3rd sg aor ind act) "She came" is from erchomai, which means "to start, ""to set out", "to come", "to go," and any kind of motion. It means both "to go" on a journey and "to arrive" at a place.

ἐκ (prep) "From" is from ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of", "from", "by", "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond", "outside of", "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after", "from;" 4) [of rest] "on", "in," 5) [of time] "since", "from", "at", "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of", "made from."

τῶν περάτων (noun pl fem gen) "Uttermost parts" is from the Greek, peras, which means "end", "limit," and "boundary." It also means "perfection" of a thing. It conveys the idea that the end proves the means, not that the end justifies the means.

τῆς γῆς (noun sg fem gen) "Earth" is from ge, which means "the element of earth", "land (country)", "arable land", "the ground," and "the world" as the opposite of the sky.

ἀκοῦσαι (verb aor inf act) "To hear" is from akouo, which means "hear of", "hear tell of", "what one actually hears", "know by hearsay", "listen to", "give ear to", "hear and understand," and "understand."

τὴν σοφίαν (noun sg fem acc) "Wisdom" is from sophia, which means "cleverness", "skill," and "learning." This was seen as an attribute of God and a gift from God to men. Sophia was the Greek goddess of learning and in Christianity is used as a symbol for Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Σολομῶνος, (proper noun) "Of Solomon" is from Solomon, the Greek word for the Israelite king following David.

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."

ἰδοὺ (2nd sg aor imperat mid or 2nd sg aor ind mid) "Behold" is from eidon which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

πλεῖον  (adj sg neut nom) "A greater than" is from pleiôn, which means "more [of number, size, extent]", "longer [of time], ""greater than, ""further than," (with an article) "the greater number", "the mass or crowd", "the greater part", "the advantage. As an adverb, "more," or "rather."

Σολομῶνος (proper noun) "Of Solomon" is from Solomon, the Greek word for the Israelite king following David.

ὧδε.  (adv) "Here" is hode, the demonstrative pronoun which means "this" in the sense of "what is present" and "what can be seen." With verbs of action and with a person (its use here), it means "here" as in "here I am" in the sense of "I am present."

 

Related Verses: 

Aug 8 2017