Matthew 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king,

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

After his opponents leave, Jesus addresses the crowd.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

It can be compared, the realm of the skies, to a man, a king, who prepared nuptuals for that son of his.

KJV : 

Matthew 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Jesus makes a point here of comparing "the realm of the skies" to "a man," but this is edited out in Biblical translation. The realm is not like a king, it is like a man, who happens to be a king. Other than that, the language here is simple, making the normal mistakes of translating "heaven" as singular when it is the plural "skies," and leaving out a number of definite articles. NIV adds "banquet" because the translators didn't think their readers could figure out that weddings have meals associated with them.

More oddly, the word for "wedding" here and in throughout this parable, is plural. This word appears four times in the Septuagint, always translated into English as "feast," from a Hebrew word mištê (מִשְׁתֶּה), which means "feast." It is used more often in the NT, always referring to a wedding, but only in the plural in this parable. Since this refers only to one event (elsewhere a singular "lunch" is used to describe it)  the word seems to mean the same in singular and plural coincidently, like our "nuptial," which is also used in the singular and plural.

NIV : 

Matthew 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.

My Takeaway: 

The realm of the skies is not like a party, but a man having a party.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ὡμοιώθη [12 verses](verb 3rd sg aor ind pass) "Is like" 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."

ὅστις [90 verses](pron sg masc nom) "Which" is hostis, which means "that", "anyone who", "anything which", "whosoever," "whichsoever" and "anybody whatsoever."

ἐποίησεν [168 verses](verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Made" is from poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do." -

γάμους [10 verses](noun pl masc acc) "Marriage" is from the from gamos, which means "marriage", "wedding," and "wedlock."

τῷ (article sg masc dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

υἱῷ [158 verses](noun sg masc dat) -- The word translated as "son" more generally means "child" or "children". It can refer to all offspring in later generations, just like "father" refers to all previous generations. Jesus also used it metaphorically to describe those who follow a way of thought or set of beliefs that descend from an individual. More about it in this article.

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."

KJV Analysis: 

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..

like -- The verb translated as "be...like" is a verb that means "to make like" and, in the passive, as used here, "to become like." The form here is passive. The sense however is more similar to "is made 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 singular means "man,"  "person" and "humanity."

king, -- "King" is translated from a Greek word which means a "king" or "chief."

which -- "Which" is a pronoun that means "that", "anyone who", "anything which", "whosoever," "whichsoever" and "anybody whatsoever." 

made  - The Greek word translated as "made" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service. It is usually translated as "do" in the KJV, even when its "making" meaning works better. The verb doesn't work like our word "to do" as this example shows.

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.

marriage  - -- "Marriage"  means "marriage", "wedding," and "wedlock. The word is plural, but seems to refer to a single wedding

for -- This word "for" 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. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

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. 

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

KJV Translation Issues: 

4
  • 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."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "son" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

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..

like  - The verb translated as "be...like" is a verb that means "to make like" and, in the passive, as used here, "to become like." The form here is passive. The sense however is more similar to "is made 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 singular means "man,"  "person" and "humanity."

king, -- "King" is translated from a Greek word which means a "king" or "chief."

who -- "Which" is a pronoun that means "who", "anyone who", "anything which", "whosoever," "whichsoever" and "anybody whatsoever." 

prepared - The Greek word translated as "prepared" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service. It is usually translated as "do" in the KJV, even when its "making" meaning works better. The verb doesn't work like our word "to do" as this example shows.

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.

wedding - -- "Wedding"  means "marriage", "wedding," and "wedlock." The word is plural, but seems to refer to a single wedding.

banquet -- -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "banquet" in the Greek source. Weddings were assumed to have banquets, but the word does not appear.

for -- This word "for" 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. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

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. 

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

NIV Translation Issues: 

5
  • 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 "kind" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "banquet" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "son" is not shown in the English translation.

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

The universal rule is the divine law. That law works just like the decision-making process of this earthly king in this specific situation, that is, planning a wedding. While the wedding might be compared to the afterlife, it is not the "kingdom of heaven" itself.

The Spoken Version: 

The realm of the stars turns out to be like a man, a king.

Front Page Date: 

Jun 25 2021