Matthew 23:22 And he that shall swear by heaven,

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

A long condemnation of the religious leaders of the time, now focusing on swearing oaths.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

And the one promising on the sky promises on the chair of the Divine and the one sitting judgment on top of  it.

KJV : 

Matthew 23:22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Here the verse repeats the form Jesus has been using here the third time, but it changes using words that Christ uses more commonly except for a key word at the end, which has a special meaning lost in the KJV. The change in tone at the end of the last verse, Matthew 23:21, continues here and words that were once used for humorous effect are now used in the same way for a serious tone. Note how, in doing this, Christ brings the conversation to new territory. Where before Christ was using the words his accusers used (so they were uncommon for him), but now he switches to his own words.
 

NIV : 

Matthew 23:22 And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.

My Takeaway: 

The heavens teach us how much we don't know.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

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."

[692 verses](article sg masc nom)  "Whoso" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ὀμόσας [uncommon] (part sg aor act masc nom) "Shall swear" is from omnyo, which means "to swear to a thing", "to take an oath", "to promise one will", "give word of honor", "swear by," and "affirm or confirm by oath."

ἐν [413 verses](prep) "By" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

τῷ [692 verses](article sg masc dat)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

οὐρανῷ (noun sg masc dat) "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."

ὀμνύει [7 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Sweareth" is omnyo, which means "to swear to a thing", "to take an oath", "to promise one will", "give word of honor", "swear by," and "affirm or confirm by oath."

ἐν [413 verses](prep) "By" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

τῷ [692 verses](article sg masc dat)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

θρόνῳ [5 verses](noun sg masc dat) "Throne" is thronos, which means "seat", "chair", "seat of state", "chair of a teacher," and "judge's bench."

τοῦ [692 verses](article sg masc gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

θεοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "God" is from theos, which means "God," "divine," and "Deity."

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."

ἐν [413 verses](prep) "By" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

τῷ [692 verses](article sg masc gen)  "Him that" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

καθημένῳ [13 verses] (part sg perf mid masc dat) "Him the sitteth" is kathemai, which means to "be seated", "sit," especially of courts, councils, assemblies, etc., (as a noun) "the judges", "the court,", "sit still", "sit quiet", "lead a sedentary", "obscure life," and, of things, "to be set or placed."

ἐπάνω [8 verses](prep/adv)  "Thereon" is from epano, (with auto below) which is an adverb meaning "above", "on the upper side", "[former] times", "more [of numbers]", "in front of," and "in the presence of."

αὐτοῦ. [720 verses](adj sg masc gen)"Thereon" 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."

KJV Analysis: 

And  - The "and" is again important here as a pausing point but now the effect is to quiet the crowd because the matter is more serious.

he -- (CW) The word translated as "he" 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. 

that -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "that" in the Greek source. It was added because the next verb was translated as active rather than a participle.

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

swear  - (WF) The word translated as "swear" means "to swear to a thing", "to promise," and "to take an oath." It is in the "swearing" form used as a noun, "the ones swearing." It is an uncommon word for Christ but doesn't have any double meanings. It is not in the future tense, but a form indicating something that can happen at any point in time.

by  - The word translated as "by" also means "in", "on", "within", "with," or "among." It is used in the sense that we say "swearing on" something, like swearing on the Bible.

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. 

heaven,  - The word translated as "heaven" means "sky," the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the Greek gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article

sweareth -  The word translated as "swears" means "to swear to a thing", "to promise," and "to take an oath." It is in the "swearing" form used as a noun, "the ones swearing." It is an uncommon word for Christ but doesn't have any double meanings. It is not in the future tense, but a form indicating something that can happen at any point in time.

by  - The word translated as "by" also means "in", "on", "within", "with," or "among." It is used in the sense that we say "swearing on" something, like swearing on the Bible.

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. 

throne  - The word translated as "throne" is the Greek source of our word "throne" but it didn't mean the seat of a king as our word does. That sense came from the Jesus's word. The word meant simply "chair," but had the special meaning of the "chair" of a judge. In English, we use the word "bench" to describe where a judge sits.

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.

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. 

God, -  The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the Divine" or ""the God." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.

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

by  - The word translated as "by" also means "in", "on", "within", "with," or "among." It is used in the sense that we say "swearing on" something, like swearing on the Bible.

him -- (CW) The word translated as "him" 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. It is not the pronoun usually translated as "him."

that -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "that" in the Greek source. It was added because the next verb was translated as active rather than a participle.

sitteth  - (WF) The Greek word translated as "sitteth" means to "sit," especially of courts, councils, assemblies, etc. As a noun, which is how it is used here, it means "the judge," or "the court." It is an uncommon word for Christ, who normally uses a related to say "sit," but this word was clearly chosen for its specific meaning. The form is not an active verb, but a participle.

thereon. -- (CW) The word "thereon" is from a preposition meaning both "on." "on top of," and "in front of."

missing "it"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

KJV Translation Issues: 

11
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "he" is not the common word usually translated as "he."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "that" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "shall" indicates the future tense, but that is not the tense here.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "swear" is not an active verb but a participle, "swearing."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "heaven" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "him" is not the common word usually translated as "him."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "that" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sitteth" is not an active verb but a participle, "sitting."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "thereon" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "it" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

And  - The "and" is again important here as a pausing point but now the effect is to quiet the crowd because the matter is more serious.

anyone -- (CW) The word translated as "anyone " 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. 

who -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "who " in the Greek source. It was added because the next verb was translated as active rather than a participle.

swears  - (WF) The word translated as "swears" means "to swear to a thing", "to promise," and "to take an oath." It is in the "swearing" form used as a noun, "the ones swearing." It is an uncommon word for Christ but doesn't have any double meanings. It is not in the future tense, but a form indicating something that can happen at any point in time.

by  - The word translated as "by" also means "in", "on", "within", "with," or "among." It is used in the sense that we say "swearing on" something, like swearing on the Bible.

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. 

heaven,  - The word translated as "heaven" means "Sky," the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the Greek gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article

sweareth -  The word translated as "swears" means "to swear to a thing", "to promise," and "to take an oath." It is in the "swearing" form used as a noun, "the ones swearing." It is an uncommon word for Christ but doesn't have any double meanings. It is not in the future tense, but a form indicating something that can happen at any point in time.

by  - The word translated as "by" also means "in", "on", "within", "with," or "among." It is used in the sense that we say "swearing on" something, like swearing on the Bible.

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. 

God  -  The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the Divine" or "the God." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods. This appears after "throne" so "of the Divine."

’s  -  This "'s"  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.

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. 

throne  - The word translated as "throne" is the Greek source of our word "throne" but it didn't mean the seat of a king as our word does. That sense came from the Jesus's word. The word meant simply "chair," but had the special meaning of the "chair" of a judge. In English, we use the word "bench" to describe where a judge sits.

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

by  - The word translated as "by" also means "in", "on", "within", "with," or "among." It is used in the sense that we say "swearing on" something, like swearing on the Bible.

the one-- The word translated as "the one" 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. It is not the pronoun usually translated as "him."

who -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "that" in the Greek source. It was added because the next verb was translated as active rather than a participle.

sits  - (WF) The Greek word translated as "sits" means to "sit," especially of courts, councils, assemblies, etc. As a noun, which is how it is used here, it means "the judge," or "the court." It is an uncommon word for Christ, who normally uses a related to say "sit," but this word was clearly chosen for its specific meaning. The form is not an active verb, but a participle.

on . -- (CW) The word "on" is from a preposition meaning both "on." "on top of," and "in front of."

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

NIV Translation Issues: 

7
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "anyone " is not the common word usually translated as "anyone ."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "whi" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "swears" is not an active verb but a participle, "swearing."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "heaven" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "who" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sits" is not an active verb but a participle, "sitting."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "on" is not the common word usually translated as "on."

The Spoken Version: 

"And," he said, pausing amid the silence of the crowd.

"The ones promising on the temple," he held up his hand as if taking an oath, but instead of making the joke he has repeated twice, he continues seriously. "Promise on the bench of God."

The crowd is silent.

"And," he continued again with a finger up, continuing the silence.

"The Judge," he said, pointing at the sky. "On it."

Front Page Date: 

Aug 13 2021