Matthew 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Attack of Pharisees, casting out demons, proof

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

An empress of a south-west quarter will be awakened in  the judgment with this type of person. And she is going to decide against it because she made her way from beyond the boundary of the earth to listen to wisdom of Solomon.  and,  And look! Something greater of Solomon: here!. 

KJV : 

Matthew 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

NIV : 

Matthew 12:42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse uses much of the vocabulary and forms of the previous verse, but a key change is hidden. The "rise up" here is a different word than the word translated as "rise/stand up" earlier. This word has more the sense of "awaken" than "rise."

Like Matthew 12:6, and the previous verse, this verse is an example of the translators wanting Jesus to say something that he clearly didn't. There is a problem with "greater" referring to a person. The "greater" is neuter, not masculine. When Jesus uses this word to refer to a person, as he does in Matthew 11:11, he uses a masculine form as you would expect. Here, it refers to "something," most likely his "realm of the skies."

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

βασίλισσα [2 verses](noun sg fem nom) "The queen" is basilissa, which means "queen," "empress," and "wife of the ruler." It is the female form of basileus, which means a "king," "chief," "prince," "lord," "master," "a great man," and "the first and most distinguished of any class." It is a form of the world used for "kingdom."

νότου  [4 verses](noun sg masc gen) "South" is from notos, which means "south wind," "south," "south-west quarter," "south of," and the "god personifying the south wind."

ἐγερθήσεται (3rd sg fut ind pass) "Shall rise up" is from egeiro, which means "to awaken," "to stir up," and "to rouse."

ἐν (prep) "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."

τῇ (article sg fem dat))  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

κρίσει  (noun sg fem dat) "Judgment" is from krisis, which means "separating," "distinguishing," "judgment," "choice," "election," "trial," "dispute," "event," and "issue."

μετὰ (prep) "With" is from meta, which means "in the midst of," "among," "between," "in common," "along with," "by the aid of," "in one's dealings with," "into the middle of," "coming into," "in pursuit of," "after," "behind," "according to," and "next afterward"

τῆς (article sg fem gen)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

γενεᾶς (noun sg fem gen)  "Generation" is from genea, which means "race," "family," "generation," "class," and "kind." It is a form of the word from which we get the scientific word,"genus."

ταύτης (adj sg fem gen) "This" is from tauta, which is a referring pronoun meaning "these," "this," "that," and "here." It can mean the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why."

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."

κατακρινεῖ [10 verses](3rd sg pres/fut ind act) "Shall condemn" is katakrinô, which means "to give a sentence against," and "to condemn."

αὐτήν: (adj sg fem acc) "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." 

ὅτι (conj/adv) "That" is from hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that," "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

ἦλθεν (3rd sg aor ind act) "She came" 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.

ἐκ (prep) "From" is from ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of," "from," "by," "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond," "outside of," "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after," "from;" 4) [of rest] "on," "in," 5) [of time] "since," "from," "at," "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of," "made from."

τῶν -- (article pl fem gen)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

περάτων [2 verses](noun pl fem gen) "Uttermost parts" is from the Greek, peras, which means "end," "limit," and "boundary." It also means "perfection" of a thing. It conveys the idea that the end proves the means, not that the end justifies the means.

τῆς -- (article psgl fem gen) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").  --

γῆς (noun sg fem gen) "Earth" is from ge, which means "the element of earth," "land (country)," "arable land," "the ground," and "the world" as the opposite of the sky.

ἀκοῦσαι (verb aor inf act) "To hear" is from akouo, which means "hear of," "hear tell of," "what one actually hears," "know by hearsay," "listen to," "give ear to," "hear and understand," and "understand."

τὴν -- -- (noun sg fem acc) "the" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").  --

σοφίαν [6 verses](noun sg fem acc) "Wisdom" is from sophia, which means "cleverness," "skill," and "learning." This was seen as an attribute of God and a gift from God to men. Sophia was the Greek goddess of learning and in Christianity is used as a symbol for Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Σολομῶνος, (proper noun) "Of Solomon" is from Solomon, the Greek word for the Israelite king following David.

καὶ (and) "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."

ἰδοὺ (2nd sg aor imperat mid or 2nd sg aor ind mid) "Behold" is from eidon 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."

πλεῖον  (adj sg neut nom) "A greater than" is from pleiôn, which means "more [of number, size, extent]," "longer [of time]," "greater than," "further than," (with an article) "the greater number," "the mass or crowd," "the greater part," "the advantage. As an adverb, "more," or "rather."

Σολομῶνος (proper noun) "Of Solomon" is from Solomon, the Greek word for the Israelite king following David.

ὧδε (adv) "Here" is hode, the demonstrative pronoun which means "this" in the sense of "what is present" and "what can be seen." With verbs of action and with a person (its use here), it means "here" as in "here I am" in the sense of "I am present."

KJV Analysis: 

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

queen - "Queen" is from is the female form of Greek word that means "king" or "ruler," so means "queen," "empress," and "wife of the ruler."

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

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

south   - "South" is the Greek word that means "south wind," "south," "south-west quarter," "south of," and the "god personifying the south wind."

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.

rise  - (CW) The word for "shall rise up" means "awaken" and "raise up" and is the same word Jesus uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising. It is in the future passive, so "is going to be raised." This is a different word than one used in the previous verse where the males of Nineveh stood themselves up. That previous verb was the in the middle voice. This one is in the passive.

up -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "up" in the Greek source. In the previous verse, it was part of the prefix of the verb.

in -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here.  With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

judgment  - The Greek word translated as "judgment" means distinguishing among choices and "separating" things. Jesus uses it in a variety of ways, while the KJV usually translates it as "judgment," but in doing so, Jesus seems to make contradictory statements ("I judge no one," "The Father does not judge but has given all judgment to the Son,") so he obviously uses it to means different things based on the context. It also means a "turning point," since it is the source of the meaning of "crisis" has in English. Only secondarily does it means "judgment" as in a court judgment.

with --  "With" is the Greek word that with genitive used here means generally, "with," "together with," "in the midst of," "among," "between." "in common," "along with," "by the aid of," and "in conjunction with." It is not a preposition usually translated as "against."

this  - -- The word translated as "this" means "from here" or "this/that thing." This word appears after "generation."

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. 

generation,  - "Generation" is a Greek word that means "race," "family," "offspring," and "age." Christ uses it to mean a certain type of person. This is the root word for our word "genus," "generic," "general," and "generation."

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

condemn  - The verb translated as "condemn" is a verb form of the word translated as "judgment" above. It means "to judge against" or "decide against." There prefix means "down" or "against" and in "thumbs down."

it: -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

for -- In the Greek source, this is a word here that means "that" or "because." So what follows is a dependent clause, indicating either what they were "saying" or why they were saying it.

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

came -- The word translated as "came" primarily means "to start out" but Jesus usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. 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." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas. See this article for more.

from  - -- The Greek preposition translated as "from" means "out of" or "from." In Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases with usually use with "of."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

uttermost parts  - "Uttermost parts" is the Greek noun that means "end," "limit," and "boundary." It also means "perfection" of a thing. It conveys the idea that the end proves the means, not that the end justifies the means.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

earth  - -- The word translated as "earth" means "ground," "land," "country," and "dirt." Translated as "earth," it refers to the physical planet, not society, which Jesus describes as the world. See this article for more on these words.

to -- This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

hear  - -- "Hear" is from a Greek verb that means "to hear" and "to listen." It has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.  It is the most common verb that Christ uses meaning "to hear." It also means "to listen" and "to understand."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

wisdom  - "The wisdom" is the Greek noun that means "cleverness," "skill," and "learning." This was seen as an attribute of God and a gift from God to men. Sophia was the Greek goddess of learning and in Christianity is used as a symbol for Mary, the mother of Jesus. It is not introduced with an article "the." So "wisdom" not "the wisdom." This is an odd construction, almost like Christ was referring to a muse since proper names do not take articles. 

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

Solomon; - This is from the Greek word for King Solomon, the son of King David.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

behold,  - "Behold" is a Greek verb that means "to see," "to examine," "to perceive," "to behold," "to know how to do," "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know." It is in a form of a command tell listeners to acts on themselves "See for yourselves." We would say "Look!" in English. 

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

greater  - The word translated as "a greater" is an adjective meaning "greater" but it is neuter, not masculine. This gives it the sense of "something greater" rather than indicating someone greater. The problem with thinking that this refers to Jesus is the it is neuter, not masculine. As we see in Matthew 11:11 when Jesus refers to a person with this adjective, he uses the proper males form.

than  This word "than"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession. However, it can also mean  "than" (in comparisons).

Solomon; - This is from the Greek word for King Solomon, the son of King David.

is -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "it" in the Greek source. While "is" can be assumed when there are words in the form of a subject without a verb. A verse that looks similar in translation, Matthew 12:6, does have a verb "to be" in it.

here.  - The word translated a "here" means "here I am" when the speaker is referring to himself. However, here it refers to the "something greater of Jonah than his preaching" is here.

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "queen" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "south" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "rise" is a different word than the previous verse.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "up"  doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "generation" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "is" doesn't exist in the source.

NIV Analysis: 

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

Queen - "Queen" is from is the female form of Greek word that means "king" or "ruler," so means "queen," "empress," and "wife of the ruler."

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

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

South - "South" is the Greek word that means "south wind," "south," "south-west quarter," "south of," and the "god personifying the south wind."

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.

rise  - (CW) The word for "shall rise up" means "awaken" and "raise up" and is the same word Jesus uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising. It is in the future passive, so "is going to be raised." This is a different word than one used in the previous verse where the males of Nineveh stood themselves up. That previous verb was the in the middle voice. This one is in the passive.

at -- The word translated as "at" means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here.  With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

judgment  - The Greek word translated as "judgment" means distinguishing among choices and "separating" things. Jesus uses it in a variety of ways, while the KJV usually translates it as "judgment," but in doing so, Jesus seems to make contradictory statements ("I judge no one," "The Father does not judge but has given all judgment to the Son,") so he obviously uses it to means different things based on the context. It also means a "turning point," since it is the source of the meaning of "crisis" has in English. Only secondarily does it means "judgment" as in a court judgment.

with --  "With" is the Greek word that with genitive used here means generally, "with," "together with," "in the midst of," "among," "between." "in common," "along with," "by the aid of," and "in conjunction with." It is not a preposition usually translated as "against."

this  - -- The word translated as "this" means "from here" or "this/that thing." This word appears after "generation."

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. 

generation,  - "Generation" is a Greek word that means "race," "family," "offspring," and "age." Christ uses it to mean a certain type of person. This is the root word for our word "genus," "generic," "general," and "generation."

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

condemn  - The verb translated as "condemn" is a verb form of the word translated as "judgment" above. It means "to judge against" or "decide against." There prefix means "down" or "against" and in "thumbs down."

it: -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

for -- In the Greek source, this is a word here that means "that" or "because." So what follows is a dependent clause, indicating either what they were "saying" or why they were saying it.

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

came -- The word translated as "came" primarily means "to start out" but Jesus usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. 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." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas. See this article for more.

from  - -- The Greek preposition translated as "from" means "out of" or "from." In Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases with usually use with "of."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

ends  - "Ends" is the Greek noun that means "end," "limit," and "boundary." It also means "perfection" of a thing. It conveys the idea that the end proves the means, not that the end justifies the means.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

earth  - -- The word translated as "earth" means "ground," "land," "country," and "dirt." Translated as "earth," it refers to the physical planet, not society, which Jesus describes as the world. See this article for more on these words.

to -- This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

listen - -- "Hear" is from a Greek verb that means "to hear" and "to listen." It has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.  It is the most common verb that Christ uses meaning "to hear." It also means "to listen" and "to understand."

Solomon’s - This is from the Greek word for King Solomon, the son of King David. The "'s" is from its possessive form.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

wisdom  - "The wisdom" is the Greek noun that means "cleverness," "skill," and "learning." This was seen as an attribute of God and a gift from God to men. Sophia was the Greek goddess of learning and in Christianity is used as a symbol for Mary, the mother of Jesus. It is not introduced with an article "the." So "wisdom" not "the wisdom." This is an odd construction, almost like Christ was referring to a muse since proper names do not take articles.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

untranslated "Look"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is a Greek verb that means "to see," "to examine," "to perceive," "to behold," "to know how to do," "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know." It is in a form of a command tell listeners to acts on themselves "See for yourselves." We would say "Look!" in English. 

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

something -- The following word is not masculine but neuter, so "something" is correct.

greater  - The word translated as "a greater" is an adjective meaning "greater" but it is neuter, not masculine. This gives it the sense of "something greater" rather than indicating someone greater. The problem with thinking that this refers to Jesus is the it is neuter, not masculine. As we see in Matthew 11:11 when Jesus refers to a person with this adjective, he uses the proper males form.

than  This word "than"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession. However, it can also mean  "than" (in comparisons).

Solomon - This is from the Greek word for King Solomon, the son of King David.

is -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "is" in the Greek source. While "is" can be assumed when there are words in the form of a subject without a verb. A verse that looks similar in translation, Matthew 12:6, does have a verb "to be" in it.

here.  - The word translated a "here" means "here I am" when the speaker is referring to himself. However, here it refers to the "something greater of Jonah than his preaching" is here.

NIV Translation Issues: 

8
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "queen" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "south" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "rise" is a different word than the previous verse.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "wisdom" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "is" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "Look" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "now" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "is" doesn't exist in the source.

Front Page Date: 

Nov 16 2020