Matthew 22:11 And when the king came in to see the guests,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Coming in, however, the king contemplated the ones reclining. He saw [understood] there a person really not clothed in clothing for a wedding.

KJV : 

Mat 22:11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Just when we thought the story was over, it has a very important postscript. A lot of the words in this verse have double meanings related to knowing and understanding. This is a big change from the rest of the story, which was dramaticized, but straight forward.

The Greek word translated as "and" is usually 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. Here, the difference is important because this "but" or "however" is the word on which the continuation of the story hangs.

There is no word for "when" here. It is inferred by the form of the verb.

"The king" is translated from a Greek word which means a "king" or "chief."

"Came in" is from a word that means "go or come into" and has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind." However, it is in the form of an adjective, "coming in."

The use of theaomai for "to see" is a very unusual word. It has more of a sense of gazing with wonder or contemplation. It is not the same word as "he saw" later in the verse.

The word translated as "the guests" doesn't mean "guests" directly. It means "be laid up" as a votive offering in the temple, "to be dedicated", "lie at table" and "reclining." It is a verb acting as a noun, "the reclining."

The verb translated as "he saw" means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive."

"There" is a word meaning "there", "in that place," and in philosophy means "the intelligible world."

The Greek word for "a man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in the plural.

The word translated as "had on" means "put on" in the context is clothes. However, it has a double meaning of "entered into" or "get into" which fits for the larger meaning here, not entering into the spirit of the event. This is how Christ uses this word elsewhere.

The word translated as "garment" means "clothing" or "covering." It is from the same root as the word above, creating an aliteration.

Christ uses clothing as a sign of wealth. All matters of wealth are part of the mental realm, which focuses on thoughts and words.

Christ used the term "wedding garment" in much the same way as we would describe someone wearing their "Sunday best." From my research, the minimum requirement at the time seems to be simply to have clean clothing. Again, like wearing your Sunday best, the idea is to show respect to the host and the other guests.


This verse has so many double meanings, I can only refer you to the hidden meaning section and vocabulary. It also has some aliteration. 

Greek Vocabulary: 

εἰσελθὼν (part sg aor act masc nom) "Came in" is from eiserchomai which means both "to go into", "to come in", "to enter", "to enter an office", "to enter a charge," (as in court) and "to come into one's mind."

δὲ "And" 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").

βασιλεὺς (noun sg masc nom) "The king" is from 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 word used for "kingdom."

θεάσασθαί (verb aor inf mp) "To see" is from theaomai, which means to "gaze at", "behold," mostly with a sense of "wonder," of the mind, "contemplate", "see clearly," and "view as spectators."

τοὺς ἀνακειμένους (part pl pres mp masc acc) "The guests" is from anakeimai, which means to "be laid up" as a votive offering in the temple, "to be dedicated", "to be set up" as a statue in public, "to be put aside", "lie at table," and "recline."

εἶδεν (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "He saw" is from eido which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

ἐκεῖ "There" is from ekei, which means "there", "in that place," and in philosophy means "the intelligible world."

ἄνθρωπον (noun sg masc acc) "A man" is from 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.

οὐκ "Not" is from ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective. -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact.

ἐνδεδυμένον (part sg perf mp neut acc) "Had on" is from endyo, which means to "go into", "put on [clothes]", "enter", "press into", "sink in", "enter upon it", "undertake it," and "insinuate oneself into."

ἔνδυμα (noun sg neut acc) "Garment" is from endyma, which means "garment," and "covering."

γάμου: (noun sg masc gen) "Wedding" is from the from gamos, which means "marriage", "wedding," and "wedlock."