Matthew 23:22 And he that shall swear by heaven,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 23:22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And the one's promising on the heaven promises on the chair of the God and the judge on it.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Here the verse repeats the form Christ has been using here the third time, but it changes using words that Christ uses more commonly except for a key word at the end, which has a special meaning lost in the KJV. The change in tone at the end of the last verse, Mat 23:21, continues here and words that were once used for humorous effect are now used in the same way for a serious tone. Note how, in doing this, Christ brings the conversation to new territory. Where before Christ was using the words his accusers used (so they were uncommon for him), but now he switches to his own words.

The "and" is again important here as a pausing point but now the effect is to quiet the crowd because the matter is more serious.

The word translated as "he 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 a word he put in the mount of his accusers. 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 "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the Greek gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article.

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

The word translated as "throne" is the Greek source of our word "throne" but it didn't mean the seat of a king as our word does. That sense came from the Christ's word. The word meant simply "chair," but had the special meaning of the "chair" of a judge. In English, we use the word "bench" to describe where a judge sits.

The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God." Christ often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.

The "and" here is another stopping point as the tone gets more serious.

The Greek word transalted as "him the sitteth" means to "sit," especially of courts, councils, assemblies, etc. As a noun, which is how it is used here, it means "the judge," or "the court." It is an uncommon word for Christ, who normally uses a related to say "sit," but this word was clearly chosen for its specific meaning.

The last "there on" are the Greek words meaning "upon 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 οὐρανῷ (noun sg 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."

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".

τῷ θρόνῳ (noun sg masc dat) "Throne" is from thronos, which means "seat", "chair", "seat of state", "chair of a teacher," and "judge's bench."

τοῦ θεοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "God" is from theos, which means "God," the Deity."

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 καθημένῳ [uncommon] (part sg perf mid masc dat) "Him the sitteth" is from kathemai, which means to "be seated", "sit," especially of courts, councils, assemblies, etc., (as a noun) "the judges", "the court,", "sit still", "sit quiet", "lead a sedentary", "obscure life," and, of things, "to be set or placed."

ἐπάνω "Thereon" is from epano, (with auto below) which is an adverb meaning "above", "on the upper side", "[former] times", "more [of numbers]", "in front of," and "in the presence of."

αὐτοῦ. (adj masc/neut gen) "Thereon" 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 said, pausing amid the silence of the crowd.

"The ones promising on the temple," he held up his hand as if taking an oath, but instead of making the joke he has repeated twice, he continues seriously. "Promise on the bench of God."

The crowd is silent.

"And," he continued again with a finger up, continuing the silence.

"The Judge," he said, pointing at the sky. "On it."

Related Verses: