Matthew 23:21 And whoso shall swear by the temple,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 23:21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And the one's swearing on the temple swear on it and the one setting into it.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Again, this is a simple statement, using words that are uncommon for Christ, but the same ones he has been using in the related verses. It starts in the same pattern as the previous verse, Mat 23:20, using the words from Mat 23:17 but ends different. This is the style of Christ humor in repetition, creating an expectation that the pattern will be followed but then breaking it. This verse would add entertainment value to the argument, but is also extends these ideas logically in a way we can't see coming. It is the second of three reiterations of the same, basic idea.

The "and" is important here as a pausing point to let the audience know that Christ is not letting this point go.

The word translated as "whoso shall swear" means "to swear to a thing", "to promise," and "to take an oath." It is in the "swearing" form used as a noun, "the ones swearing." It is an uncommon word for Christ but doesn't have any double meanings. It is not in the future tense, but a form indicating something that can happen at any point in time.

The word translated as "by" also means "in", "on", "within", "with," or "among." It is used in the sense that we say "swearing on" something, like swearing on the Bible.

The word translated as "temple" means "temple", "the inner room of the temple," and "shrine." This is an uncommon word for Christ to use. It is different emotionally from our term "church" or even "cathedral" because there was only one temple, the one in Jerusalem.

"Sweareth" is the same word as above, in the form of a verb. This verb is the present tense.

The word translated as "by" also means "in", "on", "within", "with," or "among." It is used in the sense that we say "swearing on" something, like swearing on the Bible.

"It" is from the normal word used as a pronoun that means "the same."

The "and" here is another stopping point, indicating a change of direction for the verse. This is where this verse departs from the pattern of the last.

"The Greek translated as "Him that dwelleth" is a verb, meaning "to settle in", "colonize", "to administer," and "govern." It is in the form "settling in" form uses as a noun, ("the one settling in"). If this verb was plural, we might think it referred to the priests or money changers, rather than God.

The last "therein" is from the word usually translated as "it." The sense is "settling in it."

Greek Vocabulary: 

καὶ "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."

ὀμόσας [uncommon] (part sg aor act masc nom) "Whoso shall swear" is from omnyo, which means "to swear to a thing", "to take an oath", "to promise one will", "give word of honor", "swear by," and "affirm or confirm by oath."

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

τῷ ναῷ [uncommon] (noun sg masc dat) "The temple" is from naos, which means "temple," "inmost part of a temple", "shrine," and "portable shrine carried in processions."

ὀμνύει [uncommon] (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Sweareth" is from omnyo, which means "to swear to a thing", "to take an oath", "to promise one will", "give word of honor", "swear by," and "affirm or confirm by oath."

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

αὐτῷ (adj sg masc dat) "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."

καὶ "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."

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

τῷ κατοικοῦντι [uncommon] (part sg pres act masc dat) "Him that dwelleth" is katoikeô, which means "to settle in", "colonize", "to administer," and "govern."

αὐτόν: (adj sg masc acc) "Therein" 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."

The Spoken Version: 

"And," he continued, holding up a finger waiting for silence.

"The ones promising on the temple," he held up his hand as if taking an oath. "Promise on it!"

Again, the crowd laughed.

"And," he continued again with a finger up, waiting for silence.

"The one," he said, pointing at the sky.

"Settling in it," he said seriously, bringing his hands, palms down toward the earth as a gesture of something settling from the heavens.

The crowd was quiet, sensing that the tone had changed.

Related Verses: