Matthew 22:45  If David then call him Lord,

Spoken to: 

The Pharisees

Context: 

Jesus asks who the Messiah's father is. They respond "David" and this is Jesus's answer.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

If, in fact, David called him master, In what way, a son of his is he?

My Takeaway: 

We identify our position by the labels we use.

KJV : 

Matthew 22:45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?

NIV : 

Matthew 22:45 If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?”

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse plays on the special meaning of the word translated as "lord" when it is applied to the head of a family. Note that Jesus doesn't answer his own question nor does anyone ask him for an answer. Instead, Jesus simply makes it clear that on this central question of authority, the traditional Jewish viewpoints about the Christ and his authority were insufficient because the Christ did not get his authority from David, but the other way around.

Wordplay: 

The phrase plays of the meaning of "lord" as the head of the household when applied to a family member. That word is contrasted with "son," who cannot be the head of the household while his father lives. 

Greek Vocabulary: 

εἰ [90 verses](conj) "If" is from ei, which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect questions, "whether." It also means "if ever", "in case," and "whenever." It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions.

οὖν [82 verses](adv) "Therefore" is from oun, which means "certainly", "in fact", "really", "in fact," "so" and "then" (continuing a narrative), and "then" and "therefore."

Δαυεὶδ [5 verses](Hebrew Name) "David" is from is the Greek Daueid, which is the Greek form of the Hebrew name.

καλεῖ [38 verses](verb 3rd sg imperf ind act) "Called" is from kaleo, which means "call", "summon", "invite", "invoke", "call by name," and "demand."

αὐτὸν [720 verses](adj sg masc acc) "Him" 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."

κύριον, [92 verses](noun sg masc acc) "Lord" is from kyrios (kurios), which means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family."

πῶς [36 verses](pron indecl form) "How" is from pos, which means "how", "how in the world", "how then", "in any way", "at all", "by any mean", "in a certain way,"and "I suppose."

υἱὸς [158 verses](noun sg masc nom​)"Son" is from huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child."

αὐτοῦ [720 verses](adj sg masc gen) 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.

ἐστίν; [614 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

KJV Analysis: 

If  - The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. Here, however, the condition was certainly met, but this is indicated by the following word.

David -- "David" is from the Greek spelling of the Hebrew name.

then  - The Greek word translated as "then" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative. Here, it is used in both sense, both to make it clear that David was certainly giving a clear title to the Christ and as to lead to a clear conclusion, even though that conclusion is a question.

call  - (WT) The term translated as "called" is like our word "call" means both "to summon" and also "to name." Jesus has used this word consistently in the verses leading up to this statement. The sense is clearly that David "named" that the Christ his master. The verb is the imperfect, past tense, indicated an action started in the past.

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

Lord, -  The Greek word translated as "lord," means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family." You can see the problem here more clearly if we focus n the "head of the family" meaning. This was its meaning when applied to a member of your family.

how -- "How" is the adverb that means "how", "by any means", and "I suppose". This is a common interrogatory pronoun used by Jesus.

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.

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

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

son?  - The word translated as "son" more generally means "child." It refers to all offspring in later generations, just like "father" refers to all previous generations. Christ also used it metaphorically to describe those that follow a way of thought or set of beliefs that descend from an individual. More about it in this article.

KJV Translation Issues: 

1
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb  "call" is the present tense, but Greek is in the simple (imperfect) past, "called."

NIV Analysis: 

If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how he be his son?”

If  - The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. Here, however, the condition was certainly met, but this is indicated by the following word.

then  - The Greek word translated as "then" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative. Here, it is used in both sense, both to make it clear that David was certainly giving a clear title to the Christ and as to lead to a clear conclusion, even though that conclusion is a question.

David -- "David" is from the Greek spelling of the Hebrew name.

calls  - (WT) The term translated as "called" is like our word "call" means both "to summon" and also "to name." Jesus has used this word consistently in the verses leading up to this statement. The sense is clearly that David "named" that the Christ his master. The verb is the imperfect, past tense, indicated an action started in the past.

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

Lord, -  The Greek word translated as "lord," means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family." You can see the problem here more clearly if we focus n the "head of the family" meaning. This was its meaning when applied to a member of your family.

how -- "How" is the adverb that means "how", "by any means", and "I suppose". This is a common interrogatory pronoun used by Jesus.

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

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

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

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

son?  - The word translated as "son" more generally means "child." It refers to all offspring in later generations, just like "father" refers to all previous generations. Christ also used it metaphorically to describe those that follow a way of thought or set of beliefs that descend from an individual. More about it in this article.

NIV Translation Issues: 

2
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb  "call" is the present tense, but Greek is in the simple (imperfect) past, "called."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "can" doesn't exist in the source.

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

In the end, this chapter comes to one conclusion: that all authority comes from God. Intermediary authorities, such as earthly kings, must be respected, but only within their own realms. There is a strong hint here that the realm of the Messiah reaches beyond this world to the next. The only other place in the Gospels that Christ mentions a "footstool" is when he referred to the earth as God's foodstool.

Front Page Date: 

Jul 23 2021