Matthew 11:10 For this is [he], of whom it is written,

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

About John the Baptist, the attraction.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

This is about the one of whom it has been written: "Look! I myself am sending that messenger of mine in front of you who is going to construct that path of yours before you."

My Takeaway: 

Successful people need heralds to prepare people for them.

KJV : 

Matthew 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

NIV : 

Matthew 11:10 This is the one about whom it is written: “ ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The most interesting thing about this verse is how Jesus changes a verse where God speaks about himself to one where God is speaking to someone else. The original verse, however, was clearly about the Messiah. This continues the description of John the Baptist ("Dipper," "Dunker"). This is a complicated verse because Christ is not only paraphrasing the Septuagint translation of a Hebrew verse but changing it. We can know that Christ is quoting the Septuagint because it is closer to the Septuagint version than the Hebrew of the same verse. Mal 3:1. We know that the Gospel writer didn't use the Septuagint version as a reference point because it is not exactly the original. Both are shown in the vocabulary section. 

Wordplay: 

 There is contrast of two words both translated as "before" in English. Both can refer to either time or place in Greek, and here they are clearly contrasting a time and a place.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

οὗτός (adj sg masc nom) "This" 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."

ἐστιν (3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," and "is possible." It can also mean "must" with a dative.

περὶ (prep) "Of" is from peri, which means "round about (Place)," "around," "about," "concerning," "on account of," "in regard to," "before," "above," "beyond," and "all around."

οὗ (pron sg neut gen ) "Whom" is from hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

γέγραπται (3rd sg perf ind mp) "It is written" is from grapho which means "to mark," "to express by written characters," "to write a letter," "to write down [a law]," "to proscribe," "to ordain," "to write for oneself," "to enroll oneself," "to draw signs," "to describe a figure" "to brand," and "to indict."

Ἰδοὺ (verb 2nd sg aor imperat mid) "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." 

ἐγὼ (pron 1st sg masc nom) "I" is from ego, which is the first person singular pronoun meaning "I." It also means "I at least," "for my part," "indeed," and for myself. 

ἀποστέλλω (1st sg pres ind act) "Send" is from apostello, which means "to send off," "to send away," or "to dispatch." --

τὸν (article sg masc acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἄγγελόν (noun sg masc acc) "Messenger" is from aggelos which means "messenger" and "envoy." It is the source of our word "angels."

μου (pron 1st sg masc gen) "My" is from mou, which mean "my," or "mine."

πρὸ (prep) "Before" is from pro, which means (of place) "before," "in front of," (of time) "before," (of preference) "before," "rather than," "more than," and do on.

προσώπου (noun sg neut gen ) "Face" is from prosopon, which means "face," "countenance." "in front," "facing," "front," "façade," "one's look," "dramatic part," "character," "in person," "in bodily presence," "legal personality," "person," and "feature [of the city, of a person]."

σου, (pron 2nd sg gen)  "Thy" is from sou which means "you" and "your."

ὃς (pron sg masc nom) "Which" is from hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

κατασκευάσει [2 verses](3rd sg fut ind act) "Shall prepare" is kataskeuazô, which means "to equip," "to furnish fully with," "to build," "to prove," "to construct," and "to prepare oneself."

τὴν (article sg masc acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ὁδόν (noun sg masc acc) "Way" is from hodos, which means literally "the way" or "the road" but which is used symbolically to mean "a way of doing things" or "a philosophy of life." It is interesting that a term joining a path with philosophy exists in many languages from the west to the east.

σου (pron 2nd sg gen)  "Thy" is from sou which means "you" and "your."

ἔμπροσθέν (adv) "Before" is from emprosthen, which as an adverb means [of place]"in front of," "before," "forwards," [of time] "before," "of old," and as a preposition, "facing," "opposite," "in front," [of time] beforehand," and [of degree] "preferred before." It also denotes a ranking.

σου. (pron 2nd sg gen) "Thee" is from su which means "you" and "your."

The Greek of the Septuagint

English Mal 3:1:"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: " (KJV)

ἰδοὺ (verb 2nd sg aor imperat mid) "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." 

ἐγὼ (pron 1st sg masc nom) "I" is from ego, which is the first person singular pronoun meaning "I." It also means "I at least," "for my part," "indeed," and for myself. -- The pronoun "I" is used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." Saying "I myself" captures this feeling in English.

ἐξαποστέλλω (1st sg pres ind act) "Send" is from ek-apostello, which means "to send out from," "to send out from," or "to dispatch from." --

τὸν (article sg masc acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἄγγελόν (noun sg masc acc ) "Messenger" is from aggelos which means "messenger" and "envoy." It is the source of our word "angels."

μου (pron 2nd sg gen) "My" is from mou, which mean "my," or "mine."

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."

ἐπιβλέψεται  ((3rd sg fut ind mid) "He shall prepare" is from epiblaphetai. 

ὁδὸν (noun sg masc acc ) "Way" is from hodos, which means literally "the way" or "the road" but which is used symbolically to mean "a way of doing things" or "a philosophy of life." It is interesting that a term joining a path with philosophy exists in many languages from the west to the east.

πρὸ  (prep) "Before" is from pro, which means (of place) "before," "in front of," (of time) "before," (of preference) "before," "rather than," "more than," and do on.

προσώπου   (noun sg neut gen ) "Face" is from prosopon, which means "face," "countenance." "in front," "facing," "front," "façade," "one's look," "dramatic part," "character," "in person," "in bodily presence," "legal personality," "person," and "feature [of the city, of a person]."

μου (pron 2nd sg gen) "My" is from mou, which mean "my," or "mine."

KJV Analysis: 

For  - (OS) There is no Greek word in best Greek sources that can be translated as "for," although such a word appeared in the Greek source used by the KJV translators.

this  - -- "This" is translated from a Greek word that means "this," "that," "the nearer."

is -- The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics. 

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

of -- The Greek word translated as "of" means It means "around" when referring to a place, but, in this context, it means "about," "concerning," "on account of," and "in regard to." This is the way Christ usually uses it.

whom -- The word translated as "whom" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause.

it -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the following verb.

is -- (WT) This helping verb "is" indicates that the following verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English. However, the tense here is the past perfect, so "has been."

written -- "Written" is a verb that means "to mark," "to express by written characters," and "to write down [a law]."  The verb is passive, completed in the past, "it has been written."

Behold, "Behold" is an adverb meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!" This word did not appear in the original Hebrew. It was added as a rhetorical flourish by the writers of the Septuagint. 

I  - The pronoun "I" is used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." Saying "I myself" captures this feeling in English. 

missing "myself" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

send   - The "send " here is a word that means "to send off" and "dispatch." It is the source of our word "apostle." The word is a little different in the Septuagint, adding a prefix meaning "out of" or "from" to the beginning of this word. -

my -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."

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. 

messenger  - "Messenger" is a word that is the source of our word, angel. It means "messenger" and "envoy." This is one of the rare occasions when it is not translated as "angels" in the NT. The Hebrew word in the original OT verse is mal'ak, which is also usually translated as "angel" in the English, However, it was always translated as "messenger" in the Greek Septuagint. "Messenger" is a word that is the source of our word, angel. It means "messenger" and "envoy." This is one of the rare occasions when it is not translated as "angels" in the NT. The Hebrew word in the original OT verse is mal'ak, which is also usually translated as "angel" in the English, However, it was always translated as "messenger" in the Greek Septuagint. 

before  - The word translated as "before" has many meanings of before, including before in time. This word is not used in the Septuagint version. 

thy   -- The word translated as "thy" is the genitive form of the singular, second-person pronoun, which is most commonly the possessive form. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours." In the Septuagint, this was "of mine" with God referring to is own face. At this point, Christ changes the verse's pronouns from those in the Septuagint: from the first person "my," that is, God referring to himself, to "thy" or "your," God referring to Christ. 

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. 

face,  - "Face" is a Greek word that means "face," "countenance," "front," and "bodily presence." This word is used later in the Septuagint version.

which  - -- The word translated as "which" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause.

shall -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

prepare  - (CW) "Prepare" is a word that means "to equip," "to prove," "to construct," and "to prepare oneself." It is in the future tense. Christ uses this word only in this quote here and in Luke 7:26, the parallel quote in Luke. A completely different Greek word is used in the Septuagint. This word is more common in ancient Greek than the one in the Septuagint.

thy -- The word translated as "thy" is the genitive form of the singular, second-person pronoun, which is most commonly the possessive form. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours." There is no possessive pronoun in the Septuagint version.

way - "Way" is a word that means literally, "a threshold," but has all of the same meaning of "way" in English. It means "a road," "further along the road," "a journey," "a manner of doing things," and "a system." In the Septuagint, there is no "your' here, it is "a way." 

before  - A different Greek word for "before" is used here that the one used earlier in the verse. The point may be to create a contrast between the ideas of "before" in time and "before" in place. This is the preposition used in the Septuagint.

thee -- The "you" is the second person pronoun. In the Septuagint version the phrase "my face" appears here.  In the Septuagint, this is "me."

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "for" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "he" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "is" indicates the present tense, but the verb is the past perfect tense.
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "messenger" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "face" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "prepare" is not the common word usually translated as "prepare."

NIV Analysis: 

This  - -- "This" is translated from a Greek word that means "this," "that," "the nearer."

is -- The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics. 

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

about -- The Greek word translated as "of" means It means "around" when referring to a place, but, in this context, it means "about," "concerning," "on account of," and "in regard to." This is the way Christ usually uses it.

whom -- The word translated as "whom" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause.

it -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the following verb.

is -- (WT) This helping verb "is" indicates that the following verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English. However, the tense here is the past perfect, so "has been."

written -- "Written" is a verb that means "to mark," "to express by written characters," and "to write down [a law]."  The verb is passive, completed in the past, "it has been written."

Behold, "Behold" is an adverb meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!" This word did not appear in the original Hebrew. It was added as a rhetorical flourish by the writers of the Septuagint. 

I  - The pronoun "I" is used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." Saying "I myself" captures this feeling in English. 

missing "myself" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

will  -- (WT) This helping verb "will" indicates the future tense, but the verb is not the future but the present.

send   - The "send " here is a word that means "to send off" and "dispatch." It is the source of our word "apostle." The word is a little different in the Septuagint, adding a prefix meaning "out of" or "from" to the beginning of this word. -

my -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."

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. 

messenger  - "Messenger" is a word that is the source of our word, angel. It means "messenger" and "envoy." This is one of the rare occasions when it is not translated as "angels" in the NT. The Hebrew word in the original OT verse is mal'ak, which is also usually translated as "angel" in the English, However, it was always translated as "messenger" in the Greek Septuagint. "Messenger" is a word that is the source of our word, angel. It means "messenger" and "envoy." This is one of the rare occasions when it is not translated as "angels" in the NT. The Hebrew word in the original OT verse is mal'ak, which is also usually translated as "angel" in the English, However, it was always translated as "messenger" in the Greek Septuagint. 

ahead of - The word translated as "ahead of" has many meanings of before, including before in time. This word is not used in the Septuagint version. 

you -- (WF) The word translated as "you" is the genitive form of the singular, second-person pronoun, which is most commonly the possessive form. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours." In the Septuagint, this was "of mine" with God referring to is own face. At this point, Christ changes the verse's pronouns from those in the Septuagint: from the first person "my," that is, God referring to himself, to "thy" or "your," God referring to Christ. 

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. 

untranslated "face"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "face" is a Greek word that means "face," "countenance," "front," and "bodily presence." This word is used later in the Septuagint version.

who - -- The word translated as "who" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause.

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

prepare  - (CW) "Prepare" is a word that means "to equip," "to prove," "to construct," and "to prepare oneself." It is in the future tense. Christ uses this word only in this quote here and in Luke 7:26, the parallel quote in Luke. A completely different Greek word is used in the Septuagint. This word is more common in ancient Greek than the one in the Septuagint.

your -- The word translated "your" is the genitive form of the singular, second-person pronoun, which is most commonly the possessive form. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours." There is no possessive pronoun in the Septuagint version.

way - "Way" is a word that means literally, "a threshold," but has all of the same meaning of "way" in English. It means "a road," "further along the road," "a journey," "a manner of doing things," and "a system." In the Septuagint, there is no "your' here, it is "a way." 

before  - A different Greek word for "before" is used here that the one used earlier in the verse. The point may be to create a contrast between the ideas of "before" in time and "before" in place. This is the preposition used in the Septuagint.

you -- The "you" is the second person pronoun. In the Septuagint version the phrase "my face" appears here.  In the Septuagint, this is "me."

NIV Translation Issues: 

9
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the one" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "is" indicates the present tense, but the verb is the past perfect tense.
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "will" indicates the future tense, but the verb is the present.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "messenger" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "you" is not the object but a possessive pronoun, "of yours."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "face" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "face"  is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "prepare" is not the common word usually translated as "prepare."

Front Page Date: 

Oct 2 2020