Matthew 21:37 But last of all he sent unto them his son,...

KJV Verse: 

Mat 21:37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

The last, however, he sent them [was] his child, saying, "They will be turned around by my son."

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The key to this verse is the word translated as "reverence" which means "to be turned around." Christ commonly uses this idea of "turning around" to describe changing behavior but that idea is lost in translation. For example. the word "repent" in the phrase, "Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand" means to "turn around."

Last of all" is from a Greek adjective which means "latter" and "last" acting as the object of the verb, in the same form as the word "son."

The "he sent" here is from a word that means "to send off" and "dispatch." It is the source of our word "apostle."

The word translated as "to" means "towards", "by reason of (for)," and "against." All three major meanings work here.

The word translated as "son" more generally means "child." It too is the object of the verb "he sent."

The word translated as "I tell" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It is in the form of an adjective, "saying."

The word translated as "reverence" primarily means to "turn around." In the passive used here, it has a sense of feeling misgivings about what you are doing. It also means to respect or reverence, but with a sense of changing behavior.

Missing in this verse is the little joke that appears in the version in Mark Mar 12:6.

 

 

 

 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ὕστερον (adj sg masc acc) "Last of all" is from hysteros (husteros), which means "latter", "last", "coming after", "after" (in Time), "posterior", "inferior", and "extremely."

δὲ "But" is from de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if"). -- The Greek word translated as"but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

ἀπέστειλεν (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "He sent" is from apostello, which means "to send off", "to send away," or "to dispatch."

πρὸς "Unto" is from pros, which means "on the side of", "in the direction of", "from (place)", "towards" "before", "in the presence of", "in the eyes of", "in the name of", "by reason of", "before (supplication)", "proceeding from (for effects)", "dependent on", "derivable from", "agreeable,""becoming", "like", "at the point of", "in addition to", "against," and "before."

αὐτοὺς (adj pl masc acc) "Them" 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."

τὸν υἱὸν (noun sg masc acc) "Son" is from huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child."

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." -- 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.

λέγων (part sg pres act masc nom) "Saying" is from lego, which means "to recount", "to tell over", "to say", "to speak", "to teach", "to mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself", "pick up", "gather", "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelt the same means "to lay", "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

Ἐντραπήσονται (verb 3rd pl fut ind pass) "Reverence" is from entrepo, which means "to turn [something] about", "to make one turn," and, as a metaphor, for "putting one to shame." In its passive form (used here), it means "to turn [yourself] about", "to feel misgivings", "to hesitate", "to give heed", "to respect," and "to reverence."

τὸν υἱόν (noun sg masc acc "Son" is from huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child."

μου.(noun sg masc gen) "My" is from mou, which mean "my," or "mine."

Wordplay: 

"Turning around" has the sense of feeling guilty about what you are doing so your "turn away" from it. 

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