Matthew 18

Matthew 18


At that timeI the disciplesII cameIII to JesusIV and asked,

Notes on verse 1a

I “time” = hora. This is a set time or period, an hour, instant, or season. This is where the word “hour” comes from.
II “disciples” = mathetes. From matheteuo (to make a disciple of); from manthano (to learn key facts, gain knowledge from experience; generally implies reflection as part of the learning process); from math– (thinking things through). This is a disciple, learner, or student. It is where we get “mathematics” from.
III “came” = proserchomai. From pros (for, at, towards) + erchomai (to come, go). This is to approach, draw near, come up to. It is also used figuratively to mean worship.
IV “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone). This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.

“Who is the greatestV in the kingdomVI of heaven?”VII 

Notes on verse 1b

V “greatest” = megas. This is big in a literal or figurative sense – great, large, exceeding, abundant, high, mighty, perfect, strong, etc.
VI “kingdom” = basileia. From basileus (king, emperor, sovereign); probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is kingdom, rule, authority, sovereignty, royalty, a realm.
VII “heaven” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill) with the notion of height. This is the air, the sky, the atmosphere, and heaven. It is the sky that is visible and the spiritual heaven where God dwells. Heaven implies happiness, power, and eternity.

He calledVIII a child,IX whom he putX among them, 

Notes on verse 2

VIII “called” = proskaleo. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + kaleo (to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud); {related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on)}. This is to call to oneself, summon.
IX “child” = paidion. From pais (child, youth, servant, slave); perhaps from paio (to strike or sting). This is a child as one who is still being educated or trained. Perhaps one seven years old or younger. Used figuratively for an immature Christian.
X “put” = histemi. This is to stand, place, establish, appoint, stand ready, be steadfast.

and said, “TrulyXI I tell you, unless you changeXII and becomeXIII like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 

Notes on verse 3

XI “truly” = amen. From Hebrew amen (verily, truly, amen, truth, so be it, faithfulness); from aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This word is literally firmness, but figuratively fidelity, faithfulness, honesty, responsibility, trust, truth, steadfastness. Properly, it is to be sure, certain, or firm. This is a word of emphasis indicating that something crucial follows.
XII “change” = strepho. From trope (turning, shifting, a revolution; figuratively, a variation); from trepo (to turn). This is to turn, change, turn back, be converted; to turn around completely to take the opposite path or a completely different one.
XIII “become” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.

Whoever becomes humbleXIV like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomesXV one such child in my nameXVI welcomes me.

Notes on verses 4-5

XIV “becomes humble” = tapeinoo. 14x in NT. From tapeinos (low in position, depressed, low in circumstance; fig humiliated, low in spirit). This is bringing someone or something low. Figuratively to humble or humiliate – to depress or abase.
XV “welcomes” = dechomai. This is to warmly receive, be ready for what is offered, take, accept, or welcome. It is to receive in a literal or figurative sense.
XVI “name” = onoma. May be from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is a name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation. The name was thought to include something of the essence of the person so it was not thought to be separate from the person.

“If any of you put a stumbling blockXVII before one of these little onesXVIII who believeXIX in me,

Notes on verse 6a

XVII “put a stumbling block” = skandalizo. From skandalon (the bait or portion of the trap that closes down on the victim – the trap’s trigger; a stumbling block, offense, or cause for error; something that sets into motion a negative cause and effect; something that causes one to stumble); perhaps from kampto (to bend or bow). This is to put a stumbling block in someone’s way. Figuratively, causing someone to sin or preventing them from good action. It can also mean to shock or offend. Literally, this is falling into a trap or tripping someone up. So, here, enticing someone to sin or apostasy.
XVIII “little ones” = mikros. This is small in reference to a size or the number of something, least or less. Figuratively, it can refer to little dignity.
XIX “believe” = pisteuo. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.

it would be betterXX for you if a greatXXI millstoneXXII were fastenedXXIII around your neckXXIV

Notes on verse 6b

XX “be better” = sumphero. 17x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + phero (to bear, bring, lead, make known publicly; to carry in a literal or figurative sense). This is to collect, bring together, or be profitable to. It is combining things such that there is gain or profit or advantage.
XXI “great” = onikos. 2x in NT. From onos (donkey). This is related in some way to a donkey. Regarding this millstone, it is one so large that a donkey is used to work or turn it.
XXII “millstone” = mulos. 5x in NT. Probably from the base of molis (with difficulty, scarcely); from molos (toil); probably akin to mogis (hardly, with difficulty); from mogos (laborious, toil). This is a hand-mill or grinder to use with grain.
XXIII “fastened” = kremannumi. 7x in NT. The is to hang or suspend. Figuratively, it means to depend.
XXIV “neck” = trachelos. 7x in NT. Probably from trachus (rough, uneven). This is the neck or throat. It can also refer to an embrace. It shares a root with the word “trachea.”

and you were drownedXXV in the depthXXVI of the sea.XXVII 

Notes on verse 6c

XXV “drowned” = katapontizo. 2x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + pontos (sea; also the name of a Roman Province). This is to be submerged, drown, or sink.
XXVI “depth” = pelagos. 2x in NT. This is deep or open sea. It is where the word “pelagic” comes from.
XXVII “sea” = thalassa. Perhaps from hals (sea, salt, a boy of saltwater) or halas (salt; can be figurative for prudence). This is the sea, a lake, or seashore.

WoeXXVIII to the worldXXIX because of stumbling blocks!XXX

Notes on verse 7a

XXVIII “woe” = ouai. This is alas or woe to show grief or to denounce something.
XXIX “world” = kosmos. Perhaps from the base of komizo (to carry, convey, recover); from komeo (to take care of). This is order, the world, the universe, including its inhabitants. Literally, this is something that is ordered so it can refer to all creation. It can also refer to decoration in the sense that something is better ordered and, thus, made more beautiful. This is where “cosmos” and “cosmetics” come from.
XXX “stumbling blocks” = skandalon. Related to “put a stumbling block” in v6. 15x in NT. See note XVII above.

Occasions for stumblingXXXI are boundXXXII to come, but woe to the oneXXXIII by whom the stumbling block comes!

Notes on verse 7b

XXXI “occasions for stumbling” = skandalon. Same as “stumbling blocks” in v7. See note XXX above.
XXXII “are bound” = anagke. 18x in NT. From ana (up, again, anew) + agcho (to press tightly, compress) OR related to agkale (the arm, particularly one that is bent to carry a load). This is necessity – something that happens that requires an immediate response. It is generally associated with pain or distress.
XXXIII “one” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.

“If your handXXXIV or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it offXXXV and throwXXXVI it away;

Notes on verse 8a

XXXIV “hand” = cheir. This is the hand in a literal sense. Figuratively, the hand is the means a person uses to accomplish things so it can also mean power, means, or instrument.
XXXV “cut…off” = ekkopto. 10x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + kopto (to cut, strike, cut off; beating the chest to lament and so to mourn). This is to cut off, down, out, or away. It can also mean to remove, prevent, hinder, or frustrate.
XXXVI “throw” = ballo. This is to throw, cast, rush, place, or drop. It is throwing, but it could be with more or less velocity and with more or less force/violence.

it is betterXXXVII for you to enter lifeXXXVIII maimedXXXIX or lameXL than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternalXLI fire.XLII 

Notes on verse 8b

XXXVII “better” = kalos. This is good, noble, beautiful, correct, or worthy. This is external signs of goodness like beauty, demonstrations of honorable character, showing moral virtues. A different word, agathos, speaks of intrinsic good.
XXXVIII “life” = zoe. From zao (to live, be alive). This is life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.
XXXIX “maimed” = kullos. 4x in NT. Perhaps from kulioo (to roll, wallow); from kulindo (to roll, roll along); from kuma (wave, billow, curve, bend); from kuo (to swell as one pregnant). This is crippled or lame. It is particularly a maiming of hands or feet.
XL “lame” = cholos. 14x in NT. This is lame or limping. It can also mean missing a foot.
XLI “eternal” = aionios. From aion (an age, length of time). This is age-long, forever, everlasting. Properly, that which lasts for an age. This is where eon comes from.
XLII “fire” = pur. This is fire, lightning, heat from the sun. Figuratively, it can refer to strife or trials.

And if your eyeXLIII causes you to stumble, tear it outXLIV and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hellXLV of fire.

Notes on verse 9

XLIII “eye” = ophthalmos. From optanomai (to appear, be seen by). This is eye or sight. It is used figuratively for the mind’s eye, a vision, or for envy.
XLIV “tear…out” = exaireo. 8x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + haireo (to take, choose, or prefer) {probably related to airo (raise, take up, lift, remove)}. This is to remove, pluck, tear, or choose. Properly, it refers to a complete removal or a complete rescue.
XLV “hell” = geenna. 12x in NT. From Hebrew Gehinnom (valley of Hinnom); from gay (valley; a gorge that is not a winter torrent) + Hinnom (most likely of foreign origin, perhaps from the Jebusites). This is Gehenna or hell, referring to a valley outside of Jerusalem and used figuratively for hell.

10 “Take careXLVI that you do not despiseXLVII one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angelsXLVIII continually seeXLIX the faceL of my Father in heaven. 

Notes on verse 10

XLVI “take care” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.
XLVII “despise” = kataphroneo. 9x in NT. From kata (down, against, among, according to) + phroneo (to think, judge, use one’s mind, have an opinion, shape one’s opinion through action); from phren (diaphragm, heart, intellect, understanding; figurative for personal opinion or inner mindset; thought regulating action; sympathy, feelings, cognition); perhaps from phrao (to rein in or curb). This is to disregard despise look down, think little of. It can be active scorn or a generally hostile view. It can be disregarding or ignoring something because it is considered of little importance. This can also be thinking someone unworthy and hating them. Additionally, it can be to think against something.
XLVIII “angels” = aggelos. Probably from ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide) + agele (flock, herd, drove); {also from ago (see above)}. This is angel or messenger. Properly, it is one sent with news or to perform a specific task. This messenger can be human or an angel from heaven. More commonly, it is used for angels in the New Testament.
XLIX “see” = blepo. This is literally to see – it is primarily used in the physical sense. However, figuratively it can be seeing, which includes attention and so to watchfulness, being observant, perceiving, and acting on the visual information. It can also mean beware.
L “face” = prosopon. Related to “eye” in v9 & “take care” in v10. From pros (at, towards, with) + ops (eye, face) {from optanomai (to appear, be seen); perhaps from horao (see note XLVI above)}. This is the face, surface, or front. It can imply presence more generally.

11 For the Son of ManLI came to saveLII the lost.LIII

Notes on verse 11

LI “Man” = anthropos. Same as “one” in v7. See note XXXIII above.
LII “save” = sozo. From sos (safe, rescued, well). This is to save, heal, preserve, or rescue. Properly, this is taking someone from danger to safety. It can be delivering or protecting literally or figuratively. This is the root that “savior” and “salvation” come from in Greek.
LIII “lost” = apollumi. From apo (from, away from) + ollumi (to destroy or ruin; the loss that comes from a major ruination). This is to destroy, cut off, to perish – perhaps violently. It can also mean to cancel or remove.

12 What do you think?LIV If a shepherdLV has a hundred sheep,LVI and one of them has gone astray,LVII

Notes on verse 12a

LIV “think” = dokeo. From dokos (opinion). This is to have an opinion, seem, appear, think, suppose. It deals with a personal judgment. This is the root of the word “doxology.”
LV “shepherd” = tis + anthropos. Literally “a certain person.” Same as note XXXIII above.
LVI “sheep” = probaton. Probably from probaino (to go forward literally or to advance in years); {from pro (before, ahead, earlier than, above) + the same as basis (a step, pace, foot); {from baino (to walk, to go)}}. This is literally easily led and so a sheep or another grazing animal. Also use figuratively of people who are led easily.
LVII “gone astray” = planao. From plane (wandering – used figuratively for deceit, error, sin, fraudulence, or wandering from orthodoxy); from planos (wandering, misleading, a deceiver or imposter). This is to wander, lead astray, mislead, mistake, seduce, or deceive. Generally used to refer to sin – going off the right path or roaming from truth/virtue. This word shares a root with “planet” (as a heavenly body that wanders).

does he not leaveLVIII the ninety-nine on the mountains and goLIX in search ofLX the one that went astray? 

Notes on verse 12b

LVIII “leave” = aphiemi. From apo (from, away from) + hiemi (to send). This is send away, release, permit, forgive, allow to depart, discharge, or send forth.
LIX “go” = poreuomai. From poros (ford, passageway). This is to go, travel, journey, or die. It refers to transporting things from one place to another and focuses on the personal significance of the destination.
LX “in search of” = zeteo. This is to seek, search for, desire. It is searching for something by inquiring or investigation. It can be seek in a literal or figurative sense. There is a Hebrew figure of speech “to seek God’s face” so it can also mean to worship God. Alternately, you could seek someone’s life i.e. plot to kill them.

13 And if he findsLXI it, truly I tell you, he rejoicesLXII over it moreLXIII than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So it is not the willLXIV of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.

Notes on verses 13-14

LXI “finds” = heurisko. This is to find, learn, or obtain. It is to discover something, which generally implies a period of searching for it. This is to find in a literal or figurative sense. This is where the word “heuristic” comes from.
LXII “rejoices” = chairo. From char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is to rejoice, be glad or cheerful; a greeting. This is the root verb that the Greek word for “grace” comes from (charis).
LXIII “more” = mallon. This is rather, more than, or better.
LXIV “will” = thelema. From thelo (to desire, wise, will, intend). This is the act of will, choice, purpose, or decree.

15 “If another memberLXV of the church sinsLXVI against you, goLXVII and point out the faultLXVIII when the two of you are alone.

Notes on verse 15a

LXV “member” = adelphos. Literally “your brother.” From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.
LXVI “sins” = hamartano. From a (not) + meros (a part or share, portion); {from meiromai (to get one’s allotment or portion)}. This term also used of archers not hitting their targets. Literally, it means not getting your share or to miss the mark. Figuratively, it meant to do wrong or to sin.
LXVII “go” = hupago. Related to “angels” in v10. From hupo (by, under, under the authority of) + ago (see note XLVIII above). This is to lead under so to depart, go away, or die. It is to lead away under the command of someone else, being given a mission or objective to carry out.
LXVIII “point out the fault” = elegcho. 17x in NT. This is to expose, reprove, discipline, convict, or rebuke. It is using convincing evidence to expose a wrong.

If the member listensLXIX to you, you have regainedLXX that one.LXXI 

Notes on verse 15b

LXIX “listens” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
LXX “regained” = kerdaino. 17x in NT. From kerdos (profit, gain, advantage). This is to gain, win, or acquire. It is a word from the sphere of bartering and trading. Figuratively, it can mean trading up.
LXXI “one” = adelphos. Literally “your brother.” Same as “member” in v15. See note LXV above.

16 But if you are not listened to, takeLXXII one or two others along with you, so that every wordLXXIII may be confirmedLXXIV by the evidenceLXXV of two or three witnesses.LXXVI 

Notes on verse 16

LXXII “take” = paralambano. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + lambano (active acceptance/taking of what is available or what has been offered; emphasizes the choice and action of the individual). This is to receive, take, acknowledge, associate with. It can also mean to take on an office or to learn.
LXXIII “word” = rhema. From rheo (to speak, command, make, say, speak of); from ereo (to all, say, speak of, tell; denotes ongoing speech). This is word, which implies a matter or thing spoken, a command, report, promise, thing, or business. Often used for narration, commands, or disputes.
LXXIV “confirmed” = histemi. Same as “put” in v2. See note X above.
LXXV “evidence” = stoma. Perhaps from tomoteros (sharp, keener); from temno (to cut). This is mouth, speech, language, the tip of a sword, an opening in the ground.
LXXVI “witnesses” = martus. This is a witness whether having heard or seen something. It refers to a witness literally, judicially, or figuratively. By analogy, this is a martyr. This is also where the word “martyr” comes from.

17 If the member refuses to listenLXXVII to them, tell it to the church;LXXVIII and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a GentileLXXIX and a tax collector.LXXX 

Notes on verse 17

LXXVII “refuses to listen” = parakouo. Related to “listens” in v15. 3x in NT. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + akouo (see note LXIX above). This is to overhear, mishear, willfully not hear, disobey. It is any kind of faulty hearing, whether from inattention or disobedience.
LXXVIII “church” = ekklesia. Related to “called” in v2. From ek (from, out from) + kaleo (see note VIII above). This is properly a calling out or an assembly. It was used to refer to a church.
LXXIX “Gentile” = ethnikos. 4x in NT. From ethnos (people who are united by having similar customs or culture; a tribe, race, nation, or Gentiles in general); probably from etho (custom, culture). This is ethnic, national, foreign, or referring to a Gentile. This is the root that the word “ethnicity” comes from.
LXXX “tax collector” = telones. From telos (an end, aim, purpose, completion, end goal, consummation, tax; going through the steps to complete a stage or phase and then moving on to the next one). This is tax collector, one who worked for the Romans taking taxes from Jews. It also meant the toll house. Literally, this is “paying at the end.”

18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bindLXXXI on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you looseLXXXII on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agreeLXXXIII on earth about anythingLXXXIV you ask,LXXXV it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gatheredLXXXVI in my name, I am there among them.”

Notes on verses 18-20

LXXXI “bind” = deo. To tie, bind, compel, put in chains. This is to bind in a literal or figurative sense. Can also mean declaring something unlawful.
LXXXII “loose” = luo. This is to loose, release, or untie. Figuratively, it can mean to break, destroy, or annul. This is releasing what had been withheld.
LXXXIII “agree” = sumphoneo. 6x in NT. From sumphonos (harmonious, agreeing, consent; having one voice i.e. a shared understanding); {from sun (with, together with) + phone (voice, sound, tone or noise; also a language or dialect); probably from phemi to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear)}}. This is to harmonize with, agree, have a shared opinion, an accord. This is the root that “symphony” comes from.
LXXXIV “anything” = pragma. 11x in NT. From prasso (to do or practice – something done on an on-going basis or by habit; to accomplish, attend, or commit). This is an action, matter, or business. It is something done on a regular basis that is done in order to get something done.
LXXXV “ask” = aiteo. This is to ask, demand, beg, desire.
LXXXVI “gathered” = sunago. Related to “angels” in v10 & “go” in v15. From sun (with, together with, closely associated) + ago (see note XLVIII above). This is to lead together and so to assemble, bring together, welcome with hospitality, or entertain. In the sense of assembly, this is the root of the word “synagogue.”

21 Then PeterLXXXVII came and said to him, “Lord,LXXXVIII if another member of the churchLXXXIX sins against me, how often should I forgive?XC As many as seven times?”XCI 

22 Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.

Notes on verses 21-22

LXXXVII “Peter” = Petros. Related to petra (large rock that is connected and or projecting like a rock, ledge, or cliff; can also be cave or stony ground). This is Peter, a stone, pebble, or boulder.
LXXXVIII “Lord” = kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
LXXXIX “member of the church” = adelphos. Same as “member” in v15. See note LXV above.
XC “forgive” = aphiemi. Same as “leave” in v12. See note LVIII above.
XCI “seven times” = heptakis. 4x in NT – each in reference to forgiving seven times in the Gospels. From hepta (seven or seventh; figuratively, the number of completeness or perfection). This is seven times.

23 “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be comparedXCII to aXCIII kingXCIV

Notes on verse 23a

XCII “compared” = homoioo. 15x in NT. From homoios (similar to, resembling, like); from the same as homou (together); from homos (the same). This is to compare, liken, resemble, become similar.
XCIII {untranslated} = anthropos. Same as “one” in v7. See note XXXIII above.
XCIV “king” = basileus. Related to “kingdom” in v1 & “sheep” in v12. See note VI above

who wishedXCV to settleXCVI accountsXCVII with his slaves.XCVIII 

Notes on verse 23b

XCV “wished” = thelo. Related to “will” in v14. See note LXIV above.
XCVI “settle” = sunairo. Related to “tear…out” in v9. 3x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + airo (see note XLIV above). This is to take up together, which would be making a reckoning or comparing accounts. It is to settle or compute.
XCVII “accounts” = logos. From lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.
XCVIII “slaves” = doulos. Related to “bind” in v18. Perhaps from deo (see note LXXXI above). This is used for a servant or for a slave, enslaved. It refers to someone who belongs to someone else. But, it could be voluntary (choosing to be enslaved to pay off debt) or involuntary (captured in war and enslaved). It is used as a metaphor for serving Christ. Slavery was not inherited (i.e. the children of slaves were not assumed to be slaves) and slaves could buy their way to freedom. Slavery was generally on a contractual basis (that is for the duration of how long it took you to pay your debt and/or save up enough money to buy your freedom).

24 When he beganXCIX the reckoning,C one who owedCI him ten thousandCII talentsCIII was broughtCIV to him; 

Notes on verse 24

XCIX “began” = archomai. From archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). This is to begin or rule.
C “reckoning” = sunairo. Same as “settle” in v23. See note XCVI above.
CI “owed” = opheiletes. 7x in NT. From opheilo (to be indebted morally or legally – having an obligation one must meet; perhaps from the legal world, but then adopted in reference to morality; used to refer to humanity’s ethical responsibility); probably from ophelos (advantage, gain, profit); from ophello (heaped together, accumulate, increase). This is one who owes so it is a debtor or someone under obligation. Figuratively, it is a culprit, delinquent, or a sinner.
CII “ten thousand” = murios. 3x in NT. Root may mean numerous. This can mean a large number, countless. In the plural, it can mean ten thousand.
CIII “talents” = talanton. 14x in NT– all in Matthew 18 & Matthew 25 in the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant and the Parable of the Talents. Perhaps from tlao (to bear). This is a balance as an amount that is weighed to make up a talent. A talent was around 3,000 shekels. A silver talent could be exchanged for around 6,000 denarii and gold ones about thirty times more.
CIV “brought” = prosphero. Related to “be better” in v6. From pros (at, to, with, towards, advantageous for) + phero (to bear, bring, lead, make known publicly; to carry in a literal or figurative sense). This is to offer gifts or sacrifices, to bring up.

25 and, as he could not pay,CV his lordCVI orderedCVII him to be sold,CVIII

Notes on verse 25a

CV “could not pay” = me + echo + de + autos + apodidomi. Literally “he had nothing to pay.” Apodidomi is from apo (from, away from) + didomi (give, offer, place, bestow, deliver; give in a literal or figurative sense). This is to give back, return, give away. It is to restore as when one makes payment – to rend what is due, to sell.
CVI “lord” = kurios. Same as “Lord” in v21. See note LXXXVIII above.
CVII “ordered” = keleuo. From kelomai (to urge on). This is to command, order, or direct.
CVIII “sold” = piprasko. 9x in NT. From pernemi (to sell by export). This is to sell with travel involved. It can also mean to sell into slavery or to be devoted to.

together with his wifeCIX and childrenCX and all his possessions,CXI and payment to be made.CXII 

Notes on verse 25b

CIX “wife” = gune. Related to “become” in v3. Perhaps from ginomai (see note XIII above). This is woman, wife, or bride. This is where the word “gynecologist” comes from.
CX “children” = teknon. From tikto (to beget, bring forth, produce). This is a child, descendant, or inhabitant.
CXI “possessions” = hosos + echo. Literally “as much as he had.” Echo is the same as “could not” in v8. See note CV above.
CXII “payment to be made” = apodidomi. same as “pay” in v8. See note CV above.

26 So the slave fell on his kneesCXIII before him, saying, ‘Have patienceCXIV with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pityCXV for him, the lord of that slave releasedCXVI him and forgave him the debt.CXVII 

Notes on verses 26-27

CXIII “knees” = proskuneo. From pros (advantageous for, at, to, toward, with) + kuneo (to kiss); {may be related to kuno (dog)}. This is to do reverence, kneel, to prostrate oneself in homage, to worship.
CXIV “have patience” = makrothumeo. Related to “greatest” in v1. 10x in NT. From makros (long, long lasting) {from mekos (length); probably related to megas (see note V above)} + thumos (passion, wrath; actions emerging from passion or impulse) {from thuo (to rush along, breathe violently, offer sacrifice)}. This is properly long tempered. It refers to one who delays anger, perseveres, or is patient. One could also say longsuffering or forbearing.
CXV “out of pity” = splagchnizomai. 12x in NT– 8x of Jesus having compassion on people or crowds. From splanxnon (inner organs, entrails; seen as the root of emotions). This is moved to compassion from deep within oneself – visceral empathy or sympathy, being deeply moved.
CXVI “released” = apoluo. Related to “loose” in v18. From apo (from, away from) + luo (see note LXXXII above). This is letting go, setting free, or releasing. So, it can be to discharge, dismiss, divorce, pardon, or set at liberty.
CXVII “debt” = daneion. Related to “pay” in v25. 1x in NT. From the same as danizo (to lend or borrow); from danos (a loan or gift); probably related to didomi (see note CV above). This is a loan or debt.

28 But that same slave, as he went out, came uponCXVIII one of his fellow slavesCXIX who owedCXX him a hundred denarii;CXXI and seizingCXXII him by the throat,CXXIII he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 

Notes on verse 28

CXVIIII “came upon” = heurisko. Same as “finds” in v13. See note LXI above.
CXIX “fellow slaves” = sundoulos. Related to “bind” in v18 & “slaves” in v23. 10x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + doulos (see note XCVIII above). This is a fellow servant or slave. In a Christian setting, it can refer to a fellow mission worker. It is one who serves the same master whether that is God or a human master.
CXX “owed” = opheilo. Related to “owed” in v24. See note CI above.
CXXI “denarii” = denarion. 16x in NT. From Latin deni (ten each) + arius (belonging to). This is a silver Roman coin.
CXXII “seizing” = krateo. From kratos (strength, power, dominion; vigor in a literal or figurative sense; power that is exercised). This is being strong or mighty so, by extension, to prevail or rule. It can also mean to seize, grasp hold of and thereby control. In this sense, it means arrest.
CXXIII “by the throat” = pnigo. 3x in NT. Perhaps from pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is to choke, wheeze, strangle, or drown.

29 Then his fellow slave fell down and pleadedCXXIV with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 But he refused;CXXV then he went and threw him into prisonCXXVI until he would pay the debt. 31 When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed,CXXVII and they went and reportedCXXVIII to their lord all that had taken place. 

Notes on verses 29-31

CXXIV “pleaded” = parakaleo. Related to “called” in v2 & “church” in v17. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + kaleo (see note VIII above). This is to call to, summon, invite, request, or beg. It can also be exhort or admonish. Also, this can be encourage, comfort, or console. This word has legal overtones and is used of one’s advocate in a courtroom. It is the root of the name of the Holy Spirit “paraclete” is our advocate and comforter.
CXXV “refused” = ou + thelo. Literally “he was not willing.” Thelo is the same as “wished” in v23. See note XCV above.
CXXVI “prison” = phulake. From phulasso (to guard something so that it doesn’t escape – to watch over it vigilantly; being on guard in a literal or figurative sense); related to phulaks (military guard, sentry, watcher). This is the act of guarding, the person who guards, the place where guarding occurs (i.e. a prison), or the times of guarding (the various watches).
CXXVII “distressed” = lupeo. From lupe (pain, whether physical or mental; grief, sorrow, distress, a heavy heart). This is to be sad, grieve, distress, hurt, feel pain. It can be used for deep pain or severe sorrow as well as the pain that accompanies childbirth.
CXXVIII “reported” = diasapheo. 2x in NT. From dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + saphes (clear). This is to make fully clear, declare, report.

32 Then his lord summonedCXXIX him and said to him, ‘You wickedCXXX slave! I forgave you all that debtCXXXI because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not haveCXXXII had mercyCXXXIII on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ 

Notes on verses 32-33

CXXIX “summoned” = proskaleo. Same as “called” in v2. See note VIII above.
CXXX “wicked” = poneros. From poneo (to toil); related to ponos (pain, trouble, labor, distress, suffering; toil, which implies anguish); from the base of penes (a laborer, poor person, starving or indigent person; someone who works for their living); from pernomai (working for a living; laborer, poor person; to work for daily bread); from peno (to toil to survive day by day). This is bad, evil, wicked, malicious, grievous, or toilsome. Properly, it is something that bears pain – it emphasizes the miseries and pains that come with evil. By contrast, the Greek kakos refers to evil as part of someone’s core character. Also contrasting the Greek sapros, which deals with falling away from a previously embodied virtue. This word can mean ill, diseased, morally culpable, derelict, vicious, malicious, or guilt. It can also refer to the devil or sinners.
CXXXI “debt” = opheile. Related to “owed” in v24. 3x in NT. From opheilo (see note CI above). This is something that is due so it is a debt, obligation, or duty.
CXXXII “should…have” = dei. Related to “bind” in v18 & “slaves” in v23 & “fellow slaves” in v28. From deo (see note LXXXI above). This is what is necessary or proper. It is what is needed or what one should do – a duty or something inevitable. This refers to something absolutely necessary.
CXXXIII “had mercy” = eleeo. From eleos (mercy, pity, tender mercy, or compassion; generally understood in action by word or deed). This is to have pity on, show mercy to, be compassionate; often used for God’s grace. When we sing or say “kyrie eleison” (Lord, have mercy), it is from this root verb.

34 And in angerCXXXIV his lord handed him overCXXXV to be torturedCXXXVI until he would pay his entire debt. 35 So my heavenlyCXXXVII Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”CXXXVIII

Notes on verses 34-35

CXXXIV “in anger” = orgizo. 8x in NT. From orge (impulse, wrath, anger, passion, punishment); from orgao (something that teems or stews; this is anger rising from prolonged personal contact that is fixed rather than an angry outburst; it can also be anger that stems from an individual’s sense of right and wrong, justice, etc.). This is being angry, enraged, exasperated. It is a fixed, sustained anger.
CXXXV “handed…over” = paradidomi. Related to “pay” in v25 & “debt” in v27. From para (from beside, by) + didomi (see note CV above). This is literally to hand over – hence to deliver, abandon, or betray. It implies a personal involvement.
CXXXVI “tortured” = basanistes. Related to “kingdom” in v1 & “sheep” in v12 & “king” in v23. 1x in NT. From basnizo (to torture, interrogate by torture, torment, batter with waves, examine, strain); from basanos (touchstone used to test metals; figuratively used for interrogating using torture, torment, pain sickness); perhaps from basis (see note VI above). This is a torturer, a prison guard who interrogates judicially. It can also be a tormentor.
CXXXVII “heavenly” = ouranios. Related to “heaven” in v1. 9x in NT. From ouranos (see note VII above). This is heavenly or celestial. It can mean in, belonging to, or coming from heaven or the sky.
CXXXVIII “heart” = kardia. Literally the heart, but figuratively mind, character, inner self, will, intention, thoughts, feelings. Also, the center of something. The word heart is only used figuratively in the Old and New Testaments. This is where “cardiac” comes from.

Image credit: “The Lost is Found!” at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. Photo by Ischa1.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply