Matthew 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad...

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Sermon on Mount, Beatitudes, popularity and ostracism, rewards and punishment

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Rejoice and cheer! For your compensation is great in the skies. Because in this manner they might have harrassed those Shining Lights before you.

KJV : 

Matthew 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.​

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Two commands "rejoice" and "be glad" start this verse. The "be glad" is a rare word, not found in standard ancient Greek, only in Judean biblical Greek. It is used for Hebrew words that mean both "rejoice" and "shout." "Cheer" may capture both ideas in English.

The term translated as "reward" does not mean a prize, but compensation for work. The "great" describes the "reward," but the "great" is modified by the "in heaven," which is literally "in the skies." This means that the "great" is the size of the compensation in that realm.

This is the first time Jesus uses the Greek word "prophets." The roots of that word are the words words "shine" and "lights."

NIV : 

Matthew 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

NLT : 

Matthew 5:12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Wordplay: 

 Christ uses a series of rhetorical questions to make his point. 

My Takeaway: 

We are compensated for being rejected by society.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

χαίρετε (2nd pl pres imperat act) "Rejoice" is from chairo which means "rejoice", "take pleasure in," and "welcome."

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."

ἀγαλλιᾶσθε,  [3 verses] (2nd pl pres imperat mp) "Be exceedingly glad" is from agalliao means "rejoice exceedingly" and is a form of agallomai, ( ἀγάλλω) which means to "glorify," and "exalt," especially the idea of "paying honor" to God. In the Septuagint (Greek OT) it is first used in Psa 2:11 , where it translates the Hebrew word giyl, which means "rejoice."   In Psa 16:9 and Psa 32:11 it is used to translated samach. "be glad."  In Psa 33:1,  ranan, "cry out."  In  Psa 68:4, `alaz, "exult."  In  Psa 81:1 and Psa 98:4 , ruwa` "shout." In Isaiah 12:6tsahal, "cry shrilly."

ὅτι (adv) "For" 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."

(article sg masc nom) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." --

μισθὸς (noun sg masc nom) "Reward" is from misthos, which means "wages" in the sense of compensation for work done, "pay", "allowance for public service", "hire", "fee", "recompense," and "reward."

ὑμῶν (pron 2nd pl gen) "You" is from humon, which is a plural forms of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

πολὺς (adj sg masc nom) "Great" is from polys 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."

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".

τοῖς (article pl masc dat) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

οὐρανοῖς: (noun pl masc dat) "Heaven" is from the Greek ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky", "heaven as the seat of the gods", "the sky", "the universe," and "the climate."

οὕτως (adv) "So" is from houtos, which means "this", "that", "the nearer." As an adverb, it means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why."

γὰρ (partic) "For" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for", "since," and "as." In an abrupt question it means "why" and "what."

ἐδίωξαν (3rd pl aor subj act) "Persecuted" is from dioko, which means "to cause to run", "to set into motion", "to pursue", "to chase [away]," to follow", "to seek after," "to be hurried (passive)," "to urge on", "to prosecute [legally]", " or "to drive."

τοὺς (article pl masc acc) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

προφήτας (noun pl masc acc) "The prophets" is 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."

τοὺς (article pl masc acc) "Which" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

πρὸ (prep) "Before" is from pros, which means "before," "in front of," "from (place)", "on the side of", "toward", "before", "in the presence of", "in the eyes of", "before (supplication)", "proceeding from (for effects)", "dependent on", "derivable from", "agreeable,""becoming", "like", "at the point of", "in addition to", "against," and "before."

ὑμῶν. (pron 2nd pl gen) "You" is humon, which is a plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

KJV Analysis: 

Rejoice, -- The word translated as "rejoice" means "rejoice" or, more simply, "welcome." It is in the form of a command.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

be exceeding glad-- The verb translated as "be exceedingly glad", which literally means "much leaping" and generally, to "celebrate." Jesus uses it only three times. This word doesn't appear in non-biblically influenced Greek. It appears first in te Greek OT where it translated many different Hebrew words that means "rejoin," "be glad," "shout," "exalt,"  and so on. This word is a version of a more common Greek word that means "glorify," and "exalt," which would work here, but the Judean use of this word seems broader.

for -- The word translated as "for" introduces a statement of fact or cause so "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

great -- (WP) The word translated as "great" is an adjective the means "many in number" or "great in status or size." Since it is singular, today we might say "massive" or "huge." This word appears after "reward" and before the phrase "in the skies" that modifies it. 

is  -- There is no verb "is" in the Greek source. It is implied by the equating of "workman" with "worthy" both in the Greek form of subjects.

your  -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

reward -- The word that is translated here as "reward" primarily means wages paid for work. It is the same word used in translating "wages of sin." Jesus  uses this word to describe something earned not a gift given.

in   -- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among." With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

heaven: - (WN) The word translated as "heaven" means "sky," the "climate," and the "universe."     It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article.  This word is plural, not singular, so "skies." 

for --The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation so "because" and, in questions, "why." However, since this word always appears in the second position, it is more like an aside remark like, "consequently" or "as a cause". 

so -- The Greek adverb means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why."

persecuted -- (WF) The word translated as "persecute" means "to chase" or "to drive." It is the same verb used in the previous verse, Matthew 5:11. It is in a form that indicates something that might or should have happened at some time.

they -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

prophets --  (UW) "Prophets" is a word that means "one who speaks for a god and interprets his will", but its root words mean "shine light before" and so "shining lights" or "enlightened" seems to capture the idea better.

which -- (WW) The word translated as "which" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

were -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "were" in the Greek source.

before -- The word translated as "before" means "before" both in time and place.

you.​ -- The word translated as "you" is plural addressing a group of Jesus's listeners.

KJV Translation Issues: 

8
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "great" appears after "reward" and before the phrase "in the skies" that modifies it. 
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "reward" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "heaven" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "heaven" is translated as singular but it is plural, "skies."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "persecuted" is  in the form of possibility (subjunctive) so it should be "might have persecuted."
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "prophets" means "Shining Lights." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "which" should be "the ones."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "were" doesn't exist in the source.

NIV Analysis: 

Rejoice, -- The word translated as "rejoice" means "rejoice" or, more simply, "welcome." It is in the form of a command.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

be glad-- The verb translated as "be glad", which literally means "much leaping" and generally, to "celebrate." Jesus uses it only three times. This word doesn't appear in non-biblically influenced Greek. It appears first in te Greek OT where it translated many different Hebrew words that means "rejoin," "be glad," "shout," "exalt,"  and so on. This word is a version of a more common Greek word that means "glorify," and "exalt," which would work here, but the Judean use of this word seems broader.

because -- The word translated as "because" introduces a statement of fact or cause so "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

great -- (WP) The word translated as "great" is an adjective the means "many in number" or "great in status or size." Since it is singular, today we might say "massive" or "huge." This word appears after "reward" and before the phrase "in the skies" that modifies it. 

is  -- There is no verb "is" in the Greek source. It is implied by the equating of "workman" with "worthy" both in the Greek form of subjects.

your  -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

reward -- The word that is translated here as "reward" primarily means wages paid for work. It is the same word used in translating "wages of sin." Jesus  uses this word to describe something earned not a gift given.

in   -- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among." With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

heaven: - (WN) The word translated as "heaven" means "sky," the "climate," and the "universe."     It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article.  This word is plural, not singular, so "skies." 

for --The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation so "because" and, in questions, "why." However, since this word always appears in the second position, it is more like an aside remark like, "consequently" or "as a cause".

in the same way-- The Greek adverb means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why."

they -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

persecuted -- (WF) The word translated as "persecute" means "to chase" or "to drive." It is the same verb used in the previous verse, Matthew 5:11. It is in a form that indicates something that might or should have happened at some time.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

prophets --- (UW) "Prophets" is a word that means "one who speaks for a god and interprets his will", but its root words mean "shine light before" and so "shining lights" or "enlightened" seems to capture the idea better.

who -- (WW) The word translated as "who" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

were -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "were" in the Greek source.

before -- The word translated as "before" means "before" both in time and place.

you.​ -- The word translated as "you" is plural addressing a group of Jesus's listeners.

NIV Translation Issues: 

8
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "great" appears after "reward" and before the phrase "in the skies" that modifies it. 
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "reward" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "heaven" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "heaven" is translated as singular but it is plural, "skies."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "persecuted" is  in the form of possibility (subjunctive) so it should be "might have persecuted."
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "prophets" means "Shining Lights." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "who" should be "the ones."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "were" doesn't exist in the source.

NLT Analysis: 

Be happy, -- The word translated as "rejoice" means "rejoice" or, more simply, "welcome." It is in the form of a command.

about it -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "about it" in the Greek source.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

be very glad-- The verb translated as "be very glad", which literally means "much leaping" and generally, to "celebrate." Jesus uses it only three times. This word doesn't appear in non-biblically influenced Greek. It appears first in te Greek OT where it translated many different Hebrew words that means "rejoin," "be glad," "shout," "exalt,"  and so on. This word is a version of a more common Greek word that means "glorify," and "exalt," which would work here, but the Judean use of this word seems broader.

because -- The word translated as "because" introduces a statement of fact or cause so "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

-- (WW) This word is the Greek definite article, "the," which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

great -- (WP) The word translated as "great" is an adjective the means "many in number" or "great in status or size." Since it is singular, today we might say "massive" or "huge." This word appears after "reward" and before the phrase "in the skies" that modifies it. 

reward -- The word that is translated here as "reward" primarily means wages paid for work. It is the same word used in translating "wages of sin." Jesus uses this word to describe something earned not a gift given.

awaits  -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "awaits" in the Greek source.

you -- (WF) The word translated as "you" is actually "your" in the plural, addressing a group of Jesus's listeners. This pronoun follows the noun "reward" so "of yours."

in   -- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among." With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

heaven: - (WN) The word translated as "heaven" means "sky," the "climate," and the "universe."     It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article.  This word is plural, not singular, so "skies." 

And  -- (WW) The word translated as "and" introduces a reason or explanation so "because" and, in questions, "why." However, since this word always appears in the second position, it is more like an aside remark like, "consequently" or "as a cause".

remember, -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "remember" in the Greek source.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more.

ancient -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "ancient" in the Greek source.

prophets -- (UW) "Prophets" is a word that means "one who speaks for a god and interprets his will", but its root words mean "shine light before" and so "shining lights" or "enlightened" seems to capture the idea better.

were -- (WV) This is added to make the verb passive, but it is active in the Greek.

persecuted -- (WF) The word translated as "persecute" means "to chase" or "to drive." It is the same verb used in the previous verse, Matthew 5:11. It is in a form that indicates something that might or should have happened at some time.

in the same way-- The Greek adverb means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why."

untranslated "before"-- (MW) The untranslated word "before" means "before" both in time and place.

untranslated "you"-- (MW) The untranslated word "you" is plural addressing a group of Jesus's listeners.

NLT Translation Issues: 

15
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "about it" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "a" should be "the."
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "great" appears after "reward" and before the phrase "in the skies" that modifies it. 
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "awaits" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "you" is in a form that modifies "reward," "of yours."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "heaven" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "heaven" is translated as singular but it is plural, "skies."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "and" should be "because."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "remember" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "ancient" doesn't exist in the source.
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "prophets" means "Shining Lights." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The verb "were" makes the verb passive but the verb is acting. 
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "persecuted" is  in the form of possibility (subjunctive) so it should be "might have persecuted."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "before"  is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "you" is not shown in the English translation.

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

The term used for "heaven" means literally "the skies" (it is plural), but, conceptually, the universe beyond this world, the larger universe. So the phrase compensation earned in this world that is paid in the larger universe. If this describes a transcendent state, the term "wages in heaven" might also mean "payment in non-worldly terms."

The Spoken Version: 

“How should we feel being mocked?” the tall woman asked.
“Celebrate!” the Teacher suggested in his cheerful manner. “And be happy!”
He started clapping as if to some unheard tune. He encouraged us to join in. We started clapping. He led us. His cheerfulness was infectious. It was like a party. We were clapping in steady rhythm as if we were at a dance.
“Happy...about...what?” someone shouted in rhythm to the clapping.
“For...that...pay...of...yours!” he exclaimed in rhythm as we continued clapping.
“What...pay?” a woman called out, matching her question to the beat.
 “Huge!” the Teacher responded.
“Huge! Huge! Huge!” we shouted back in rhythm.
We were having fun.
“Where?” a man asked, and others took up his question in rhythm, “Where? Where? Where?”
“In...the...skies,” the Teacher said to beat, pointing upward.
“This...realm...of...the...skies!” we responded in beat.
At this point, the Master broke rhythm began applauding us.
We joined in this applause as we laughed and jeered.
It took us a little while to quiet down, but when we did there were more questions.
“Why mock us for listening to you?” the tall woman who spoke earlier asked sincerely.
“Because they probably would have harassed the luminaries,” the Teacher explained thoughtfully.
As he paused, some in the crowd started to muttering again. Was he claiming to be a luminary?
Then, as if sensing their feelings, he point at us and added happily, “Those just like you!”
We laughed and applauded.

evidence: 

10.00

Front Page Date: 

Apr 19 2020