Matthew 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven like a certain king,

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

On letting go a people's shortcomings.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

By this, it is compared, this realm of the skies, to a person, a king, who desired to take part in an analysis with those servants of his.

KJV : 

Matthew 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Many of the Greek words here are different than the English translations of the KJV and most other versions.

NIV : 

Matthew 18:23 Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.

Wordplay: 

The Greek word usually translated as "word" is used here to mean "account" here, which is closer to its actual meaning. 

My Takeaway: 

We must all give an account of our dealings over and over in life.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Διὰ (prep) "Therefore" is from dia (with touto below) which means "through", "in the midst of", "in a line (movement)", "throughout (time)", "by (causal)", "among," and "between."

τοῦτο [93 verses](adj sg neut acc) "Therefore" is from touto,(with dia above) which is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar."

ὡμοιώθη [12 verses](verb 3rd sg aor ind pass) "Is...likened" is homoioo, which means "to make like", "to become like", "to liken," and "to compare."

(article sg fem nom)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the")

βασιλεία [98 verses](noun sg fem nom) "The kingdom" is from basileia, which means "kingdom", "dominion", "hereditary monarchy", "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign."

τῶν (article pl masc gen)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the")

οὐρανῶν [111 verses](noun pl masc gen) "Of 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."

ἀνθρώπῳ [209 verses](noun sg masc dat) "Unto a certain" is anthropos, which is "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate.

βασιλεῖ [27 verses](noun sg masc dat) "King" is 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." -- "Kings" is translated from a Greek word which means a "king" or "chief."

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.

ἠθέλησεν [64 verses](verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Would" is thelo, which as a verb means "to be willing (of consent rather than desire)", "to wish", "to ordain", "to decree", "to be resolved to a purpose" "to maintain", "to hold", "to delight in, and "will (too express a future event)." As an adverb, "willingly," and "gladly." and "to desire." As an adjective, it means "wished for" and "desired."

συνᾶραι [3 verses](verb aor inf act) "Take" is synairo, which means "take up together", "gather in a harvest", "collected", "take part in a thing", "help in bearing or undertaking," "raise or use in helping," "help", "assist," and "annul jointly with another."

λόγον [81 verses](noun sg masc acc) "Account" is from logos, which means "word", "computation", "relation", "explanation", "law", "rule of conduct", "continuous statement", "tradition", "discussion," "reckoning," and "value." -- "Word" is translated from a Greek word that means "calculation," or "reasoning." It is the source of our word "logic" and is the root word for all the English words that end in "-ology." Most biblical translations translated it as "word" for somewhat poetic reasons.

μετὰ [103](prep) "Of" 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"

τῶν (article pl masc/fem gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

δούλων [56 verses](noun pl masc/fem gen) "Servant" is doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."

αὐτοῦ: (adj sg masc gen) "His" 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 word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. The word technically means "the same," and when used as a pronoun can mean "the true self" as opposed to appearances.

KJV Analysis: 

There-  - -- (WW) The word translated as "there" means "from here" or "this/that thing." The word translated as "therefore" is not the usual Greek word translated "therefore." It is two Greek words that mean "through this."  "This" is from a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar." The "this" seems to refer to the previous verse, Matthew 18:22.

-fore  - (WW) The preposition translated as "fore" means "through," "in the midst of," or "by (a cause)." It indicates movement through a place or time, but it also means "by" the sense of "by means of" a given method.

is -- This helping verb indicates the present tense of the verb. It is a helper verb, added in English to complete the Greek verb.

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") that the English "the." See this article for more. 

kingdom -- The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Jesus does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

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

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. 

heaven: - (WN) The word translated as "heaven" means "sky," the "climate," and the "universe."     It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article.  This word is plural, not singular, so "skies." 

likened  - The verb translated as "is...likened" means "to make like" and, in the passive, as used here, "to become like."

unto -- This word "unto" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

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.

certain  - (WW) The Greek word translated as " certain" in the Greek word that means "man", "person" and "humanity" in the singular and "people" and "peoples" in the plural. Here is it singular and in the form of a indirect object matching the form of the word translated as "king," which restates it.

king,  - "King" is from the Greek word that means a "king", "leader," or "chief." It is a Greek root of the word used for "kingdom."

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.

would  - (WW) The Greek word translated as "would" is not the same as the helper verb "will" in English, which primarily expresses the future tense. This verb's primary purpose is to express consent, desire, and even delight in doing something.

missing "to"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

take  - (CW) "Take" is from a verb that means "gather in a harvest", "raise or use in helping," and "take part in a thing." It literally means "together raise" or "together take up"  or maybe "undertake." Jesus only uses this verb here, in following verse, Matthew 18:24, and in Matthew 25:19. in a similar context.

account  -  (CW) "Account" is the Greek word that is almost always translated as "word" in the Gospels. This is a good example of why the "word" transition is inadequate. It actually means "computation", "reckoning," and "value." It is also "an explanation", "an argument," or "a rule or principle of law."

of  - (WW) The preposition translated as "of" doesn't mean that. It primarily means "with" but it has more shades of meaning that the English "with", here also means "in dealings with."

his -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

missing "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. 

servants. - "Servants" means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."' Since the topic is going to be who owes him money, " (see the next verse Matthew 18:24), the word would have been heard as a "bondsman," that is, a person that was held in servitude until his debt was paid.

KJV Translation Issues: 

11
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "there-" should be "this."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "-fore" should be "through."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "heaven" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "heaven" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural, "skies."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "certain" should be "man."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "would" should be "desired."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "to" before "take" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "take" is not the common word usually translated as "take."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "account" is the common word usually translated as "word."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "of" should be "with."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "servants" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

There-  - -- (WW) The word translated as "there" means "from here" or "this/that thing." The word translated as "therefore" is not the usual Greek word translated "therefore." It is two Greek words that mean "through this."  "This" is from a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar." The "this" seems to refer to the previous verse, Matthew 18:22.

-fore  - (WW) The preposition translated as "fore" means "through," "in the midst of," or "by (a cause)." It indicates movement through a place or time, but it also means "by" the sense of "by means of" a given method.

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") that the English "the." See this article for more. 

kingdom -- The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Jesus does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

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

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. 

heaven: - (WN) The word translated as "heaven" means "sky," the "climate," and the "universe."     It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article.  This word is plural, not singular, so "skies." 

is -- This helping verb indicates the present tense of the verb. It is a helper verb, added in English to complete the Greek verb.

like  - The verb translated as "like" means "to make like" and, in the passive, as used here, "to become like."

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.

missing "man"  -- (MW) The untranslated word " man" in the Greek word that means "man", "person" and "humanity" in the singular and "people" and "peoples" in the plural. Here is it singular and in the form of a indirect object matching the form of the word translated as "king," which restates it.

king,  - "King" is from the Greek word that means a "king", "leader," or "chief." It is a Greek root of the word used for "kingdom."

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.

wanted - The Greek word translated as "wanted" is not the same as the helper verb "will" in English, which primarily expresses the future tense. This verb's primary purpose is to express consent, desire, and even delight in doing something.

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

settle - (CW) "Settle " is from a verb that means "gather in a harvest", "raise or use in helping," and "take part in a thing." It literally means "together raise" or "together take up." The sense seems to be captured by the word "engage in" in English.  This word is only used by Jesus here and in Matthew 25:19. in a similar context. "Settle"  has the sense of paying off debts, which is not the meaning of the word.

accounts  -  (CW, WN) "Accounts" is the Greek word that is almost always translated as "word" in the Gospels. This is a good example of why the "word" transition is inadequate. It actually means "computation", "reckoning," and "value." It is also "an explanation", "an argument," or "a rule or principle of law." The word is singular, not plural.

with - The preposition translated as "with" doesn't mean that. It primarily means "with" but it has more shades of meaning that the English "with", here also means "in dealings with."

his -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

missing "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. 

servants. - "Servants" means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."' Since the topic is going to be who owes him money, " (see the next verse Matthew 18:24), the word would have been heard as a "bondsman," that is, a person that was held in servitude until his debt was paid.

NIV Translation Issues: 

9
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "there-" should be "this."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "-fore" should be "through."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "heaven" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "heaven" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural, "skies."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "man" before "king" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "settle" is not the meaning of the word.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "accounts" is the common word usually translated as "word."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "accounts" is translated as plural but the Greek word is singular.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "servants" is not shown in the English translation

The Spoken Version: 

Here is an example of how we compare the realms beyond earth with an earthly leader. He wanted to get involved in balancing the books with those who owed him money.

Front Page Date: 

Apr 4 2021