Matthew 24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

A long section about "the end of the world" or, more precisely, "the culmination of an era."

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

When, in fact,  they say to you, "Look! In the emptiness he is." You should not want to go out. "Look, In the storehouses!" You should not want to trust.

My Takeaway: 

Salvation is not found in either our emptiness or fullness.

KJV : 

Matthew 24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

NIV : 

Matthew 24:26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Matthew 24:23 is a similar verse, referring specifically to Jesus being in one place or another. Both this verse and that one use the "see!" that Jesus used in the previous verse. However, the "places" here seem philosophical and symbolic, contrasting an empty place and full places. Even today people are still looking for salvation in the desert and in their treasuries.  Jesus even contrasts the singular desert with the plural storehouses to emphasize the emptiness and fullness.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἐὰν [162 verses](conj) "If" is from ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if)and an (might)) which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event. We would say "when."

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

εἴπωσιν [162 verses] (verb 3rd pl aor subj act) "They shall say" is from eipon, which means "to speak," "to say," "to recite," "to address," "to mention," "to name," "to proclaim," "to plead," "to promise," and "to offer."

ὑμῖν [289 verses](pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

Ἰδοὺ [52 verses](adv, verb 2nd sg aor imperat mid) "Behold" is idou, which means "to behold," "to see," and "to perceive." It acts as an adverbial phrase in this form meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!' It is a form of the verb eido, which means "to see." --

ἐν [413 verses](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."

τῇ [821 verses](adj sg masc dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἐρήμῳ (adj sg fem dat) "The desert" is from eremos, which is an adjective (used as a noun) that means "desolate," "lonely," "solitary," "reft of," "destitute of," "bereft of," "unclaimed," "vacant," [of places] "deserted," [of people] "friendless," and "not gregarious." --

ἐστίν, (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," and "is possible."

μὴ [447 verses](partic)"Not" is from me , which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective. --

ἐξέλθητε: [54 verses](2nd pl aor subj act) "Go..forth" is from exerchomai, which means "to come or go out of " "to march forth," "go out on," "to stand forth," "to exceed all bounds," "to come to an end," "to go out of office," and [of dreams or prophecies] "to come true."

Ἰδοὺ [52 verses](adv, verb 2nd sg aor imperat mid) "Behold" is idou, which means "to behold," "to see," and "to perceive." It acts as an adverbial phrase in this form meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!' It is a form of the verb eido, which means "to see." --

ἐν [413 verses](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."

τοῖς [821 verses](article plneut dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ταμείοις, [4 verses] (noun pl neut dat)  "The secret chamber" is from tameion, which means "treasury," "magazine," "storehouse," "store-room," "chamber," and "closet."

μὴ [447 verses](partic)"Not" is from me , which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective. --

πιστεύσητε: [69 verses](2nd pl aor subj act) "Believe" is pisteuo, which means "to trust, put faith in, or rely on a person," "to believe in someone's words," "to comply," "to feel confident in a thing," and "to entrust in a thing." -

KJV Analysis: 

Wherefore  - The Greek word translated as "wherefore" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly," "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

if  - The Greek word translated as "if " means "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone.

they -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

shall -- (CW) This helping verb "shall" does not indicate the future tense, but that the verb describes a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" or "should" in English is more appropriate, but is assumed in an "if" or "when" clause. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form.

say " - "Say" is from means "to say" and "to speak" also. However, it has less a sense of teaching and more a sense of addressing and proclaiming. It is not in the future tense, but a form indicating something that might happen in the past, present, or future.

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.

you, -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc. 

Behold,  - "Behold" is from an adverb meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!" In a humorous vein, this about how Jesus uses this like we use the phrase "tah-dah" in a magic show, or "voila!" in French. Since Christ just used this term to describe his own predictions, the humor seems more pronounced.

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

is  - The verb here, "he is," is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. The form could be "he is" but it could also be "it is." The reference here, however, seems to clearly be the "Christ" used in Matthew 24:23.

in  -   -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

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. 

desert;  - The "desert" here means the complete lack of everything, including friends. It is translated both as "desert" and "wilderness." However, the word means emptiness, even in the sense of "loneliness." Another form of this word was translated as "desolation" in Matthew 24:15.

go  - (WF) The word translated as "go forth" means literally "to go or come out," but it has a secondary meaning of "making something come true." This is not a command, but a subjunctive, requiring a "should" or a "might."

not  - The negative "not" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used. This goes with the subjective form of the verb.

forth:  - -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "out of."

behold  - "Behold" is from an adverb meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!" In a humorous vein, this about how Jesus uses this like we use the phrase "tah-dah" in a magic show, or "see!" in French. Since Christ just used this term to describe his own predictions, the humor seems more pronounced.

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

in  -   -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

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. 

secret chambers;  - (CW) The word translated as "secret chamber" means a "treasury" or a "storeroom." The idea is a room without windows and just one door. This word is translated elsewhere as "closet."

believe  - (WF) The Greek word translated as "believe" does not apply to religious belief as much as it does trust in other people, especially their word. Christ usually uses it in contexts, as the one here, that applies to trusting words. The negation of "belief" with the objective, instead of subjective, negative, equates trust with a fact. This is not a command, but a subjunctive, requiring a "should" or a "might."

it -- There is no Greek pronoun here, but Greek does not need pronouns when the object can be assumed from the context. In English, they are added for the subject-verb-object form of our sentences.

not.  - The negative "not" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used. This goes with the subjective form of the verb.

KJV Translation Issues: 

4
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "go" is not in the form of a command but something that "should" or "might" be done.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "he is" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "secret chamber" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "believe" is not in the form of a command but something that "should" or "might" be done.

NIV Analysis: 

“So - The Greek word translated as "wherefore" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly," "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

if  - The Greek word translated as "if " means "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone.

anyone -- (CW) This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb. It is not from the word usually translated as "anyone."

tells - "Say" is from means "to say" and "to speak" also. However, it has less a sense of teaching and more a sense of addressing and proclaiming. It is not in the future tense, but a form indicating something that might happen in the past, present, or future.

you, -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc. 

There ,  - (WW) "There" is from an adverb meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!" In a humorous vein, this about how Jesus uses this like we use the phrase "tah-dah" in a magic show, or "voila!" in French. Since Christ just used this term to describe his own predictions, the humor seems more pronounced.

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

is  - The verb here, "he is," is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. The form could be "he is" but it could also be "it is." The reference here, however, seems to clearly be the "Christ" used in Matthew 24:23.

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

in  -   -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

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. 

wilderness;  - The "wilderness" here means the complete lack of everything, including friends. It is translated both as "desert" and "wilderness." However, the word means emptiness even in the sense of "loneliness." Another form of this word was translated as "desolation" in Matthew 24:15.

do -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

not  - The negative "not" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used. This goes with the subjective form of the verb.

go  - (WF) The word translated as "go forth" means literally "to go or come out," but it has a secondary meaning of "making something come true." This is not a command, but a subjunctive, requiring a "should" or a "might."

out:  - -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "out of."

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

Here - (WW) "Here " is from an adverb meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!" In a humorous vein, this about how Jesus uses this like we use the phrase "tah-dah" in a magic show, or "see!" in French. Since Christ just used this term to describe his own predictions, the humor seems more pronounced.

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

in  -   -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

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.

inner rooms;  - (CW) The word translated as "inner rooms" means a "treasury" or a "storeroom." The idea is a room without windows and just one door. This word is translated elsewhere as "closet."

do -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

not  - The negative "not" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used. This goes with the subjective form of the verb.

believe  - (WF) The Greek word translated as "believe" does not apply to religious belief as much as it does trust in other people, especially their word. Christ usually uses it in contexts, as the one here, that applies to trusting words. The negation of "belief" with the objective, instead of subjective, negative, equates trust with a fact. This is not a command, but a subjunctive, requiring a "should" or a "might."

it -- There is no Greek pronoun here, but Greek does not need pronouns when the object can be assumed from the context. In English, they are added for the subject-verb-object form of our sentences.

NIV Translation Issues: 

9
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "anyone" is not the common word usually translated as "anyone."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "there" should be "look."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "go" is not in the form of a command but something that "should" or "might" be done.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "out" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "or" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "here" should be "look."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "he is" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "inner rooms" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "believe" is not in the form of a command but something that "should" or "might" be done.

Front Page Date: 

Sep 23 2021