Matthew 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

This is because I tell you that you never know me from now until you proclaim: Praised/cursed, the one making his way in to power of the Lord's name.

KJV : 

Mat 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse ends this chapter and Christ's largely humorous diatribe against the academics and elites. It has a number of humorous elements in it, including a double meaning of the word translated as "blessed."

The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, to prevent a run-on sentence, translated as a "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

Christ does not use the "I" pronoun here, as he often does when he wants to accentuate the fact he, specifically, is saying something, (often for humorous reasons).

The word translated as "I say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

The verb translated as "Ye shall...see" means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive." It is not in the future tense, but the tense that indicates something that happens at a specific point in time past, present, or future.

The "not" here is both of the Greek negatives used together. Greek has two negatives, one objective, one subjective. The use of both together is more extreme, like saying "you cannot really think."

"Me" is from the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

"Henceforth" is from two Greek words meaning "from just now."

The word translated as "till" means "until" but it also means "in order that."

There is an untranslated word here that indicates that something might happen under the right conditions. We say "might" or "might possibly."

"Ye shall say" (a different Greek word from "I tell" Christ uses to describe his speaking) is from means "to say" and "to speak" also. However, it has less a sense of teaching and more a sense of addressing and proclaiming. It also is not in the future tense, but the tense that indicates something that happens at a specific point in time past, present, or future.

"Blessed" is from a verb that means to "speak well of", "praise". and "honor". Amusingly, this is a Hebrew euphemism for "cursed", reversing its normal meaning. This is not the word used in the Beatitudes ("Blessed are the poor..."). It is in a past passive form of an adjective, "having been honored."

There is no verb "is" appearing here in the Greek.

The word translated as "he that cometh" 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." It is in a form where the subject acts on himself. It is in the form of an adjective ("making his way") introduce by an article, so "the one making his way."

The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "in one's power."

The Greek word translated as "name" is much more complicated than it might at first appear. It can simply mean a "name" as in English, but has more depth. It doesn't mean the thing itself, but what people call it. For example, it can mean a "false name," or "a pretense" as we say "this is a marriage in name only." It can also mean representing another person's authority, as we say, "he is acting in the name of the boss."

The Greek word translated as "lord," means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in posession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family." However, two different Hebrew words are translated as this Greek word in the OT, the name for God and another Hebrew word with a very similar meaning to this one, referring to someone in authority.


The word translated as "blessed" means "honored" but it also is a Hebrew euphemism for "cursed." 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

λέγω (1st sg pres ind act) "I say" is from lego means "pick up", "choose for oneself", "pick out," and "count," "recount", "tell over", "say", "speak", "teach", "mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," "nominate," and "command." =

γὰρ "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."

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is from humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

, οὐ μή "Not" is from ou me, the two forms of Greek negative used together. Ou is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. Mê (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

με (pron 1st sg masc acc) "Me" is from eme, which means "I", "me", and "my".

ἴδητε (verb 2nd pl aor subj act) "Ye shall...see" is from eido 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."

ἀπ᾽ "Henceforth" is from apo,(with arti below) position of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause. -- The word translated as "from" means "from" in both location and when referring to a source.

ἄρτι "Henceforth" is from arti, (with apo above) which means "just", "exactly," and "just now."

ἕως "Till" is from heos which means "until", "till," and "in order that" and "up to the point that."

ἂν Untranslated is an, which is a particle used with verbs to indicate that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. There is no exact equivalent in English, but it is translated as "possibly," "would have", "might", "should," and "could."

εἴπητε (verb 2nd pl aor subj act) "Ye shall say" is from eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer."

Εὐλογημένος (part sg perf pass nom) "Blessed" is from eulogeo, which means "speak well of", "praise". "honor", "bless", "praise" a god, by a Hebr. euphemism, "curse", and, as an adjective, "charmed", "lucky", and "blessed."

ἐρχόμενος (part sg pres mp masc nom) "Is he that cometh" 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.

ἐν "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."

ὀνόματι (noun sg neut dat) "Name" is from onoma, which means "name." It means both the reputation of "fame," and "a name and nothing else," as opposed to a real person. Acting in someone's name means to act on their behalf, as their representative.

Κυρίου. (noun sg masc gen) "Lord" is from kyrios (kurios), which means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family."

The Spoken Version: 

"So, tell you what.." he said more cheerfully, addressing his opponents again. "Don't even think you might see me again."

He paused but his opponents didn;t look disappointed in ths prospect at all.

"Until," he added even more cheerfully, pausing again.

His opponents looked less comfortable.

"You pro-oh-claim," he said, drawing out the word. Then he switched to his funny voice, imitating his opponents, shaking his fist. ""Cursed by praise..."

The crowd laughed at the voice and the contradiction.

"The one," he said in his funny voice, point to himself. "Making his way..."

He took a couple of steps, letting his voice return to normal.

"In the power of the Master," he finished, smiling broadly, and raising his arms in a victory salute, turning around to the crowd on all sides.

Sensing that the performance was over, the crowd applauded and laughed with him.

Front Page Date: 

Jul 9 2016