Matthew 24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Really, if they might proclaim to you, "See! He is in the emptiness." You don't want to go out. "See! He is in the storehouse!" You don't want to trust.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Mat 24:23 is a similar verse, referring specifically to Christ being in one place or another. Both this verse and that one use the "see!" that Christ used in the previous verse. However, the "places" here seem more philosophical or symbolic than the simple places referred to in the earlier verse. "We have seen the word translated as "secret chamber" before, but it was translated very differently.

The Greek word translated as "therefore" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

The Greek word translated as "if " means "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone.

"They shall say" 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 is not in the future tense, but a form indicating something that might happen in the past, present, or future.

"Behold" is from an adverb meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!" In a humorous vein, this about how Christ uses this like we use the phrase "tah-dah" in a magic show, or "see!" in French. Since Christ just used this term to describe his own predictions, the humor seems more pronounced.

The verb here, "he is," is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. The form could be "he is" but it could also be "it is." The reference here, however, seem to clearly be the "Christ" used in Mat 24:23.

The desert here means the complete lack of everything, including friends. It is translated both as "desert" and "wilderness." However, the word means emptiness even in the sense of "loneliness." Another form of this word was translated as "desolation" in Mat 24:15.

The negative "not" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used.

The word translated as "go forth" means literally "to go or come out," but it has a secondary meaning of "making something come true."

The word translated as "secret chamber" means a "treasury" or a "store room." The idea is a room without windows and just one door. This word is translated elsewhere as "closet."

The negative "not" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used.

The Greek word translated as "believe" does not apply to religious belief as much as it does trusting in other people, especially their word. Christ usually uses it in contexts, as the one here, that apply to trusting words. The negation of "belief" with the objective, instead of subjective, negative, equates trust with a fact.

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἐὰν "If" is from ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if)and an (might)) which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event. -- The Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone.

οὖν "Therefore" is from oun, which means "certainly", "in fact", "really", "in fact," "so" and "then" (continuing a narrative), and "then" and "therefore."

εἴπωσιν (verb 3rd pl aor subj act) "They 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."

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

Ἰδοὺ "Behold" is from idou, which means "to behold", "to see," and "to perceive." It acts as an adverbial phrase in this form meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!' It is a form of the verb eido, which means "to see." --

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".

τῇ ἐρήμῳ "The desert" is from eremos, which is an adjective (used as a noun) that means "desolate", "lonely", "solitary", "reft of", "destitute of", "bereft of", "unclaimed", "vacant," [of places] "deserted," [of people] "friendless," and "not gregarious." --

ἐστίν, (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible."

μὴ "Not" is from me , which 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. --

ἐξέλθητε: (2nd pl aor subj act) "Go..forth" is from exerchomai, which means "to come or go out of " "to march forth", "go out on", "to stand forth", "to exceed all bounds", "to come to an end", "to go out of office," and [of dreams or prophecies] "to come true."

Ἰδοὺ "Behold" is from idou, which means "to behold", "to see," and "to perceive." It acts as an adverbial phrase in this form meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!' It is a form of the verb eido, which means "to see." -- "Behold" is from an adverb meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!" In a humorous vein, this about how Christ uses this like we use the phrase "tah-dah" in a magic show, or "see!" in French.

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".

τοῖς ταμείοις, "The secret chamber" is from tameion, which means "treasury", "magazine", "storehouse", "store-room", "chamber," and "closet."

μὴ "Not" is from me , which 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.

πιστεύσητε: (2nd pl aor subj act or verb 2nd pl fut ind act) "Believe" is from pisteuo, which means "to trust, put faith in, or rely on a person", "to believe in someone's words", "to comply", "to feel confident in a thing," and "to entrust in a thing." -

The Spoken Version: 

"Really, if they try to tell you," he continued, switching to one of his funny, accented voices. "'See!"

He again made the gesture of a magician revealing the surprise with both hands. Then, pointing to his right with his left hand, he said in the same funny voice, "'He is in the desert!"

Then he laughed and comment in his own voice, shaking his head, "You don't want to head out there."

He then resumed character, struck the magician's pose again.

"See!" he continued in his funny voice, "He's in the treasury!"

Now he pointed to the left with his right hand, so both arms were crossed in front of him pointing in opposite directions. He looked down at his hands, feigning confusion.

"You don't want," he said, resuming his own voice. "To depend on this."

Related Verses: 

Aug 11 2016