Matthew 23:2 The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Jesus is speaking to a crowd including his disciples.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Upon the Moses chair, they sit down, the record keepers and the distinguished ones.

My Takeaway: 

People have positions that they may or may not deserve.

KJV : 

Matthew 23:2 The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:

NIV : 

Matthew 23:2 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is simply a statement of fact, not one of approval.
 

Wordplay: 

 A strange for of the word "Moses" is used to indicate the strange form of authority described. 

A minor alteration, kathedra kathizô, as we might say "seat seating."

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

πὶ [138 verses](prep) "In" is from epi which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against."

τῆς (article pl fem acc) "The" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." Here it is separated from the noun by a conjunction.

Μωυσέως [18 verses](Hebrew Name with sg, genitive Greek ending) "Moses" is from Moyses, which means "Moses".

καθέδρας [4 verses](noun pl fem acc) "Seat" is from kathedra, which means "a chair", "a seat" "a sitting position", "the sitting part", "the posterior,""sitting idle," "inaction", "the chair [of a teacher]", "a session," and "a throne," is used to denote a position of power. From the Greek kata("down") hedraios ("to settle") .

ἐκάθισαν [15 verses](3rd pl aor ind act) "Sit" is from kathizô, which means "to make sit down", "to seat", "to place", "to sit", "to post", "to take seats", "to convene", "to appoint", "to establish", "to put in a certain condition", "to reside", "to sink down", "to run aground [for ships]," "to recline at meals," and "to settle." From the Greek kata ("down") hedraios ("to settle") .

οἱ (article pl masc nom/acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

γραμματεῖς [17 verses](noun pl masc nom/acc) "Scribes" is grammateus,  which is generally a "secretary", "registrar", "recorder," and "scholar," but specifically means someone who uses gramma which is Greek for "drawings", "a letter," (as in an alphabet)"diagrams," and "letters" (as in correspondence).

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "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."

οἱ (article pl masc nom)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

Φαρισαῖ (noun pl masc nom) "Pharisees" is from Pharisaios, which means in Hebrew "separatist" and refers to the religious sect. The word comes from the Hebrew, parash, which means "to distinguish." This is the primary meaning of the Greek word krino, which is usually translated as "judge" in the Gospels.

KJV Analysis: 

The -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

scribes  - "Scribes" is from a word that simply describes to people who write or record information. They were not "writers" in the sense of writing their own views, but recorders and registrars, record keepers who wrote official information. In this case, they were probably those who copied Jewish scripture and wisdom. Not all of this was Biblical, much of it was probably what is now part of the Talamud.

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

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

Pharisees  - The "Pharisees" were a religious sect at the time. However, linguistically the word may come from the Hebrew word paras, meaning "to separate", "to make distinct," and "to scatter."

sit  - The Greek word translated as "sit" is quite a bit different than the English "sit." It refers to placing something in a position as well as taking a seat. It meaning goes back to its Greek roots, "to settle down." However, the form of the word says they "settled" upon the seat not that they put themselves on it.

in  -- (WW) The word translated as "unto" means "on", "over", "upon", "against", "before", "after", "during", "by" "in the case of." or "on."

Moses'  - The word translated as "Moses" is from the Hebrew name, with a singular, genitive Greek ending for . of third-declension nouns. Normally, Jesus does not add Greek-like endings to Hebrew names at all. The genitives form the form used as the possessive.

seat:  - The Greek word for "seat" is from the Greek word that is the source of our word "cathedral" as the "seat" of a bishop. A "chair" was understood to be a position of authority when attributed to a leader, in this case, Moses, therefore, a throne. Like the English word, "chair" it also has the sense of leading a meeting by "chairing." It also was used to indicate the posterior, for which we would use "seat." However, the word also has a negative sense, meaning idleness.

KJV Translation Issues: 

0

NIV Analysis: 

The -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

teachers  - (WW)  "Teachers" is a word that simply describes to people who write or record information. They were not "writers" in the sense of writing their own views, but recorders and registrars, record keepers who wrote official information. In this case, they were probably those who copied Jewish scripture and wisdom. Not all of this was Biblical, much of it was probably what is now part of the Talamud. It is not the word for "teacher."

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

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

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

Pharisees  - The "Pharisees" were a religious sect at the time. However, linguistically the word may come from the Hebrew word paras, meaning "to separate", "to make distinct," and "to scatter."

sit  - The Greek word translated as "sit" is quite a bit different than the English "sit." It refers to placing something in a position as well as taking a seat. It meaning goes back to its Greek roots, "to settle down." However, the form of the word says they "settled" upon the seat not that they put themselves on it.

in  -- (WW) The word translated as "unto" means "on", "over", "upon", "against", "before", "after", "during", "by" "in the case of." or "on."

Moses'  - The word translated as "Moses" is from the Hebrew name, with a singular, genitive Greek ending for . of third-declension nouns. Normally, Jesus does not add Greek-like endings to Hebrew names at all. The genitives form the form used as the possessive.

seat:  - The Greek word for "seat" is from the Greek word that is the source of our word "cathedral" as the "seat" of a bishop. A "chair" was understood to be a position of authority when attributed to a leader, in this case, Moses, therefore, a throne. Like the English word, "chair" it also has the sense of leading a meeting by "chairing." It also was used to indicate the posterior, for which we would use "seat." However, the word also has a negative sense, meaning idleness.

NIV Translation Issues: 

2
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "teacher" should be "writer."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "of the law" doesn't exist in the source.

Front Page Date: 

Jul 24 2021