Matthew 21

Matthew 21


When they had come nearI JerusalemII and had reached Bethphage,III at the Mount of Olives, JesusIV sentV two disciples,VI 

Notes on verse 1

I “come near” = eggizo. From eggus (nearby or near in time). This is extremely close by – approaching, at hand, immediately imminent.
II “Jerusalem” = Hierosoluma. From Hebrew yerushalaim (probably foundation of peace); {from yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalem (to make amends, to be complete or sound)}. This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.
III “Bethphage” = Bethphage. 3x in NT – all in Jesus’s Palm Sunday entry into Jerusalem. From Aramaic beth phagy (Bethphage, house of unripe figs). This is Bethphage, house of unripe or early figs.
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.
V “sent” = apostello. From apo (from, away from) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up); {probably from histemi (to make to stand, stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand firm, be steadfast)}. This is to send forth, send away, dismiss, send as a messenger. It implies one that is sent for a particular mission or purpose rather than a quick errand. This is where “apostle” comes from.
VI “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.

saying to them, “GoVII into the villageVIII ahead of you, and immediatelyIX you will findX a donkey tied,XI

Notes on verse 2a

VII “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.
VIII “village” = kome. This is a village as contrasted with a city that has a wall.
IX “immediately” = eutheos. From euthus (immediately, upright, straight and not crooked). This is directly, soon, at once.
X “find” = 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.
XI “tied” = deo. To tie, bind, compel, put in chains. This is to bind in a literal or figurative sense. Can also mean declaring something unlawful.

and a coltXII with her; untieXIII them and bringXIV them to me. 

Notes on verse 2b

XII “colt” = polos. 12x in NT – all in Jesus’s Palm Sunday entry into Jerusalem. This is foal, colt, or young donkey.
XIII “untie” = luo. This is to loose, release, or untie. Figuratively, it can mean to break, destroy, or annul. This is releasing what had been withheld.
XIV “bring” = ago. This is lead, bring, carry, guide, drive, go.

If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The LordXV needsXVI them.’ And he will send them immediately.” This took placeXVII to fulfillXVIII what had been spoken through the prophet,XIX saying,

Notes on verses 3-4

XV “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.
XVI “needs” = chreia + echo. Literally “has need.” Chreia is from chraomai (to use, make use of, give what is needed, act in a specific way, request); related to chre (what is proper, fitting, or necessary). This is the is task, business, or affair. It can also be need, want, or destitution.
XVII “took place” = 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.
XVIII “fulfill” = pleroo. From pleres (to be full, complete, abounding in, occupied with). This is to fill, make full or complete. Properly, this is filling something up to the maximum extent that it can be filled – an appropriate amount for its individual capacity. So, this is used figuratively for furnish, influence, satisfy, finish, preach, perfect, and fulfill.
XIX “prophet” = prophetes. From pro (before, in front of, earlier than) + 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 a prophet or poet – one who speaks with inspiration from God.

“Tell the daughter of Zion,XX
Look,XXI your kingXXII is coming to you,
    humble,XXIII and mounted on a donkey,
        and on a colt, the foalXXIV of a donkey.”XXV

Notes on verse 5

XX “Zion” = sion. 7x in NT. From Hebrew tsiyyon (Zion – a mountain in Jerusalem as well as another name for Jerusalem itself or the people); related to tsyiyyun (signpost, monument); from tsavah (to charge someone, to command, order); from the same as tsiyyah (dryness drought); from a root meaning parched as desert, dry land. This is Zion – the mountain in Jerusalem, the city, or its people. Also used figuratively to refer to the church.
XXI “look” = idou. From eido (to be aware, see, know, remember, appreciate). This is see! Lo! Behold! Look! Used to express surprise and or draw attention to the statement.
XXII “king” = basileus. Probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is king, emperor, or sovereign.
XXIII “humble” = praus. 4x in NT– same as “blessed are the meek” from the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:5). Related to praios (meek, gentle, kind); related to praotes (mildness kindness, meekness; being temperate – gentle, but strong; implies humility). This is gentle, meek, which implies humility.
XXIV “foal” = huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.
XXV “donkey” = hupozugion. From hupo (by, under, about, one who is subordinate) + zugos (yoke, balance, scales; used metaphorically for a great burden or for that which unites people to perform work in concert; also can connote servitude or obligation); {from zeugnumi (to join, particularly joined with a yoke)}. Literally, this is an animal subject to a yoke or best of burden. So, this can refer to a donkey, mule, or other such animal.

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directedXXVI them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and putXXVII their cloaksXXVIII on them, and he sat on them. 

Notes on verses 6-7

XXVI “directed” = suntasso. 3x in NT. From sun (with together with) + tasso (to arrange, appoint, determine). This is to direct, arrange, prescribe, or instruct.
XXVII “put” = epitithemi. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + tithemi (to put, place, set, fix, establish in a literal or figurative sense; properly, this is placing something in a passive or horizontal position). This is to lay on or place on, whether in a friendly or aggressive way.
XXVIII “cloaks” = himation. From heima (garment) OR from ennumi (to put on). This is the outer garment, cloak, robe, or mantle. It is worn loosely over a tunic.

8 A very large crowd spreadXXIX their cloaks on the road,XXX and othersXXXI cutXXXII branchesXXXIII from the trees and spread them on the road. 

Notes on verse 8

XXIX “spread” = stronnuo. 6x in NT. This is to spread, strew, make a bed.
XXX “road” = hodos. This is way, road, path, or journey. It can imply progress along a route.
XXXI “others” = allos. This is other, another. Specifically, it is another of a similar kind or type. There is a different word in Greek that speaks of another as a different kind (heteros).
XXXII “cut” = kopto. 8x in NT. This is to cut, strike, cut off. It can also mean beating the chest to lament and so to mourn.
XXXIII “branches” = klados. 11x in NT. From klao (to break in pieces as one breaks bread). This is a branch, twig, or bough. It can also refer to descendants.

The crowds that went aheadXXXIV of him and that followedXXXV were shouting,XXXVI

Notes on verse 9a

XXXIV “went ahead” = proago. Related to “bring” in v2. From pro (before, first, in front of, earlier) + ago (see note XIV above). This is to lead, go before, bring forward, walk ahead. It can be before in location or in time.
XXXV “followed” = akoloutheo. From a (with, fellowship, union) + keleuthos (road, way). This is to accompany or follow someone, especially the way a disciple does.
XXXVI “shouting” = krazo. This is to cry out, scream, shriek. It is onomatopoeia for the sound of a raven’s call. Figuratively, this means crying out urgently without intelligible words to express something that is deeply felt.

“HosannaXXXVII to the SonXXXVIII of David!XXXIX
    Blessed isXL the one who comes in the nameXLI of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Notes on verse 9b

XXXVII “hosanna” = hosanna. Related to “Jesus” in v1. 6x in NT. From Hebrew yasha (see note IV above) + na (particle used for requests or for urging; can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh). This is Hosanna – save, we pray. It started as a call for help, but later became a cry of happiness (anticipating the help coming). It can be save now, please save, or oh, save.
XXXVIII “Son” = huios. Same as “foal” in v5. See note XXIV above.
XXXIX “David” = Dauid. From Hebrew David (David); from the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”
XL “blessed is” = eulogeo. From eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + logos (word, statement, speech, analogy; a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying; a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words; by implication, a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive; can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ); {from lego (to speak, tell, mention)}. Properly, this is speaking well of – speaking so that the other is benefited. It can mean praise, bless, thank, or call for a blessing. This is where “eulogy” comes from.
XLI “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.

10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole cityXLII was in turmoil,XLIII asking, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from NazarethXLIV in Galilee.”XLV

Notes on verses 10-11

XLII “city” = polis. This is a city or its inhabitants. It is a town of variable size, but one that has walls. This is where “metropolis” and “police” come from.
XLIII “was in turmoil” = seio. 5x in NT. This is shake, move, or quake. Properly, it is shaking back and forth. Figuratively, it can mean to agitate or to cause people to have tremors of fear or worry.
XLIV “Nazareth” = Nazareth. 12x in NT. Perhaps from netser (branch) OR from natsar (to watch, guard, protect). This is Nazareth, meaning perhaps branch or protected. It is a city in Galilee. See
XLV “Galilee” = Galilaia. From Hebrew galil (cylinder, circuit, district); from galal (to roll in a literal or figurative sense, roll away, roll down, wallow, remove, trust). This is Galilee, meaning perhaps region or cylinder.

12 Then Jesus entered the templeXLVI and drove outXLVII all who were selling and buyingXLVIII in the temple,

Notes on verse 12a

XLVI “temple” = hieron. From hieros (sacred, something sacred, temple, holy, set apart; something consecrated to a god). This is the word for temple.
XLVII “drove out” = ekballo. From ek (from, from out of) + ballo (to throw, cast, place, put, drop). This is to throw, put out, produce, expel, banish. It is eject in a literal or figurative sense.
XLVIII “buying” = agorazo. From agora (assembly, forum, marketplace, town square, thoroughfare); from ageiro (to gather). This is to go and buy something at market with a focus on goods being transferred. It can also mean to purchase or redeem.

and he overturnedXLIX the tablesL of the money changersLI and the seatsLII of those who sold doves.LIII 

Notes on verse 12b

XLIX “overturned” = katastrepho. 2x in NT – both in reference to the money changers’ tables. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + strepho (to turn, change, turn back, be converted; to turn around completely to take the opposite path or a completely different one); {from trope (turning, shifting, a revolution; figuratively, a variation); from trepo (to turn)}. This is to overturn literally or figuratively – to be upside down, overthrow or ruin.
L “tables” = trapeza. 15x in NT. Probably from tessares (four; figuratively, can mean total inclusion or universality) + peze (by foot or land) or pezos (by foot or land); {from pous (foot)}. This is a table – whether for eating or conducting business. Literally, four feet. This is where the word “trapeze” comes from.
LI “money changers” = kollubistes. 3x in NT. From kollubos (a small coin); probably related to kollourion (a salve  or poultice for the eye); see kollurion (bread roll or a poultice for the eye in that shape); {probably from kollix (bread roll) or kollao (to glue together; joining, spending time with, or being intimately connected to; can be used for marriage, joining the church, clinging, or adhering to something; can also be used medically for uniting wounds); {from kolla (glue)}}. This is one who deals in coins – a money changer who exchanged Gentile currency for Jewish.
LII “seats” = kathedra. 3x in NT. From kata (down, against, according to, among) + the same as hedraios (sitting, well-seated, immovable; figuratively, steadfast, firm, morally fixed); {from hedra (seat)}. This a seat or bench in a literal or figurative sense. This is the root of “cathedral.”
LIII “doves” = peristera. 10x in NT. This is dove or pigeon.

13 He said to them, “It is written,

‘My houseLIV shall be calledLV a house of prayer’;LVI
    but you are making it a denLVII of robbers.”LVIII

Notes on verse 13

LIV “house” = oikos. This is house – the building, the household, the family, descendants, the temple.
LV “called” = kaleo. Related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on). This is to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud.
LVI “prayer” = proseuche. From proseuchomai (to pray or pray for, to worship or supplicate; more literally exchanging one’s own wishes for God’s); {from pros (advantageous for, at, toward) + euchomai (to wish, make a request, pray)}. This is prayer, worship, or a place where one prays.
LVII “den” = spelaion. 6x in NT. From speos (cave, grotto). This is a cavern, which implies a place to hide. So, this word can also mean den or hideout. This is where the word “spelunk” comes from.
LVIII “robbers” = lestes. 15x in NT– 3x “you are making [my house] a den of robbers” when Jesus cleanses the temple, 3x of Jesus’ arrest “did you come for me…as though I were a bandit?”; 3x of bandits crucified on Jesus’ left and right; 2x of the man falling into the hands of robbers in the Good Samaritan parable; 2x of the Good Shepherd speech (anyone who doesn’t come in by the gate is a bandit) in John 10:1, 8; 1x of Barrabas as a bandit; and 1x Paul writes he is in danger from bandits. From leis (booty); from leizomai (to plunder). This is a bandit or thief – one who steals by violence/force out in the open as opposed to by stealth. These were part of armed gangs.

14 The blindLIX and the lameLX came to him in the temple, and he curedLXI them. 

Notes on verse 14

LIX “blind” = tuphlos. Derivation unclear. Perhaps from tuphoo (to be conceited, foolish, puffed up, haughty; properly, to blow smoke; figuratively being muddled or cloudy in mind; poor judgment that harms spiritual clarity; also, being covered with smoke – so filled with pride); from tuphos (smoke, vanity, arrogance); from tupho (to raise smoke, smolder, slowly consume without flame). This is blind or a blind person – perhaps in the sense of smoke making things opaque and impossible to see. This is blind literally or figuratively.
LX “lame” = cholos. 14x in NT. This is lame or limping. It can also mean missing a foot.
LXI “cured” = therapeuo. From therapon (servant, attendant, minister); perhaps from theros (properly heat and so used for summer); from thero (to heat). This is to serve, care, attend, heal, or cure. Since it means to attend to, it can be used for doctors, but also for those who serve God. So, it can mean worship. This is where the word “therapy” comes from.

15 But when the chief priestsLXII and the scribesLXIII sawLXIV the amazing thingsLXV that he did,

Notes on verse 15a

LXII “chief priests” = archiereus. Related to “temple” in v12. From archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power) + hiereus (a priest literal or figurative – of any faith); {from hieros (see note XLVI above)} This is a high or chief priest.
LXIII “scribes” = grammateus. From gramma (what is drawn or written so a letter of the alphabet, correspondence, literature, learning); from grapho (to write). This is a writer, scribe, or secretary. Within Judaism, it was someone learned in the Law, a teacher. Also used in the Bible of the town-clerk of Ephesus. See Sirach 38:24-39:11 for a lengthier, positive passage about who scribes were and what they meant in society.
LXIV “saw” = 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.
LXV “amazing things” = thaumasios. 1x in NT. From thauma (a wonder or marvel; used abstractly for wonderment or amazement; something that evokes emotional astonishment); may be from theaomai (to behold, look upon, see, contemplate, visit); from thaomai (to gaze at a spectacle; to look at or contemplate as a spectator; to interpret something in efforts to grasp its significance). This is wonderful, something remarkable. It is a miracle that moves people on a personal level – whether to wonder or being indignant.

and heard the childrenLXVI crying outLXVII in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became angryLXVIII 16 and said to him, “Do you hearLXIX what these are saying?” Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read,LXX

Notes on verses 15b-16a

LXVI “children” = pais. Perhaps from paio (to strike or sting). This is child, youth, servant, or slave.
LXVII “crying out” = krazo. Same as “shouting” in v9. See note XXXVI above.
LXVIII “became angry” = aganakteo. 7x in NT. Perhaps from agan (much) + achthos (grief); {related to agkale (bent arm); from agkos (bend, ache)}. This is being greatly grieved or displeased. Generally translated angry or indignant.
LXIX “hear” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
LXX “read” = anaginosko. Related to “name” in v9. From ana (upwards, up, again, back, anew) + ginosko (see note XLI above). This is literally to know again – to recognize, read, or discern.

‘Out of the mouthsLXXI of infantsLXXII and nursing babiesLXXIII
    you have preparedLXXIV praiseLXXV for yourself’?”

Notes on verse 16b

LXXI “mouths” = 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.
LXXII “infants” = nepios. 15x in NT– used in 1 Corinthians 13 (“when I was a child…”). This may be from ne (not) + epos (word; by extension, to speak) {from epo (to answer, bring word, command). This is an infant, child, minor, or immature person. It can also be used figuratively for someone who is childish or unlearned.
LXXIII “nursing babies” = thelazo. 5x in NT. From thele (a nipple). This is to nurse or suckle – a nursing baby.
LXXIV “prepared” = katartizo. 13x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + artizo (get ready, prepare); {from artios (perfect, complete, ready, adequate, fitted); from arti (now, in the moment); from airo (raise, take up, lift, remove)}. This is to prepare, complete, perfect for final use. This is restoring something to a good condition, whether for the first time or one more. It is to repair in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXV “praise” = ainos. 2x in NT. Perhaps from epainos (fitting praise, fame, approval; recognizing something or someone that is deserving of praise.); {from epi (on, upon, to, what is fitting) + aineo (to praise, praise God)}. This is praise, a story praising God.

17 He leftLXXVI them, went out of the city to Bethany,LXXVII and spent the nightLXXVIII there.

Notes on verse 17

LXXVI “left” = kataleipo. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + leipo (to leave behind, remain, lack, abandon, fall behind while racing). This is to leave or leave behind, abandon, forsake, leave in reserve.
LXXVII “Bethany” = Bethania. Related to “Bethphage” in v1. 12x in NT. From Aramaic beth anya (house of affliction, misery, wretchedness). This is Bethany.
LXXVIII “spent the night” = aulizomai. 2x in NT. From aule (to inquire, question, examine precisely, test with questions); {from ek (from, from out of) + etazo (to examine)}. This is to spend the night, lodge, abide.

18 In the morning,LXXIX when he returnedLXXX to the city, he was hungry.LXXXI 19 And seeing a fig tree by the side of the road, he went to it and found nothing at all on it but leaves.LXXXII

Notes on verses 18-19a

LXXIX “morning” = proi. 12x in NT. From pro (before, earlier than, ahead, prior). This is early, at dawn, during the daybreak watch.
LXXX “returned” = epanago. Related to “bring” in v2 & “went ahead” in v9. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + anago (to offer, set sail, produce, lead up); {from ana (upwards, up, again, back, anew) + ago (see note XIV above)}. This is to sail from the shore, to depart, launch, return.
LXXXI “was hungry” = peinao. From peina (hunger); related to penomai (working for a living; laborer, poor person; to work for daily bread); from peno (to toil to survive day by day). This is to hunger, be needy, or desire earnestly. It can be being famished in a definitive sense or in comparison to someone or something else. Figuratively, this means to crave.
LXXXII “leaves” = phullon. 6x in NT. Perhaps from the same as phule (clan, tribe, lineage); {from phuo (to produce, spring up, grow, germinate; perhaps originally meaning puff or blow). This is a sprout or a leaf.

Then he said to it, “May no fruitLXXXIII ever comeLXXXIV from you again!”LXXXV And the fig tree witheredLXXXVI at once.LXXXVII 

Notes on verse 19b

LXXXIII “fruit” = karpos. Perhaps from harpazo (to seize by force, snatch away); from haireo (to choose, take). This is a fruit or vegetable, through sometimes it refers to an animal. Figuratively, it is deeds, results, profits, or gain.
LXXXIV “come” = ginomai. Same as “took place” in v4. See note XVII above.
LXXXV “again” = eis + ho + aion. Literally “to the age.” Aion is from the same as aei (ever, always, unceasingly, perpetually; on every occasion). This is an age, cycle of time, course, continued duration. It is also used to describe the eternal or forever. This is the word used to discuss the present age or the messianic age.
LXXXVI “withered” = xeraino. 15x in NT. From xeros (dry, arid, withered; can also refer to dry land or imply something that is shrunken). This is to dry up, wither, ripen, pine.
LXXXVII “at once” = parachrema. Related to “needs” in v3. 18x in NT. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + chrema (something needed or useful– money, possessions, price); {from chraomai (see note XVI above)}. This is immediately or soon.

20 When the disciples saw it, they were amazed,LXXXVIII saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” 

21 Jesus answered them, “TrulyLXXXIX I tell you, if you have faithXC and do not doubt,XCI not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain,

Notes on verses 20-21a

LXXXVIII “amazed” = thaumazo. Related to “amazing things” in v15. From thauma (see note LXV above). This is to marvel, wonder, or admire. To be amazed out of one’s senses or be awestruck. Being astonished and starting to contemplate what was beheld. This root is where the word “theatre” comes from.
LXXXIX “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.
XC “faith” = pistis. From peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is less about knowing, believing, and repeating a list of doctrines then it is about trusting God. Faith means listening to God and seeking to live a holy life even (and especially) when we don’t understand how everything works or fits together. Faith is about being faithful (trusting and doing) rather than being all knowing.
XCI “doubt” = diakrino. 19x in NT. From dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + krino (to judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue; judging whether in court or in a private setting; properly, mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to judge positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty; can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging). This is to judge, separate, contend, investigate, thoroughly judge.

‘Be lifted upXCII and thrownXCIII into the sea,’XCIV it will be done.XCV 

Notes on verse 21b

XCII “be lifted up” = airo. Related to “prepared” in v16. See note LXXIV above.
XCIII “thrown” = ballo. Related to “drove out” in v12. See note XLVII above.
XCIV “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.
XCV “be done” = ginomai. Same as “took place” in v4. See note XVII above.

22 Whatever you askXCVI for in prayer with faith,XCVII you will receive.”XCVIII

Notes on verse 22

XCVI “ask” = aiteo. This is to ask, demand, beg, desire.
XCVII “faith” = pisteuo. Related to “faith” in v21. From pistis (see note XC above). 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.
XCVIII “receive” = lambano. It does not refer to passive receiving of something, but active acceptance or taking of something whether it is offered or simply nearby. It focuses on individual decision and action.

23 When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the eldersXCIX of the peopleC came to him as he was teaching,CI and said, “By what authorityCII are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 

Notes on verse 23

XCIX “elders” = presbuteros. From presbus (old man). This is an elder as one of the Sanhedrin and also in the Christian assembly in the early church.
C “people” = laos. This is the people or crowd – often used for the chosen people. This is where the word “laity” comes from.
CI “teaching” = didasko. From dao (learn). This is to teach, direct, instruct, or impart knowledge. In the New Testament, this is almost always used for teaching scripture.
CII “authority” = exousia. From exesti (to be permitted or lawful); {from ek (out, out of) + eimi (to be, exist)}. This is power to act or weight. It especially denotes moral authority or influence. It can mean domain, liberty, freedom, capacity, mastery, right, force, or strength.

24 Jesus said to them, “I will also askCIII you one question;CIV if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 Did the baptismCV of JohnCVI come from heaven,CVII or was it of humanCVIII origin?”

Notes on verses 24-25a

CIII “ask” = erotao. From eromai (to ask) OR from ereo (to say, tell, call, speak of). This is asking a question or making an earnest request. It is used between someone with whom the asker is close in some sense. So, they anticipate special consideration for their request.
CIV “question” = logos. Related to “blessed is” in v9. See note XL above.
CV “baptism” = baptisma. From baptizo (to submerge, wash, or immerse; used specially for baptism); from bapto (to dip or dye; to entirely cover with liquid, to stain). This is dipping or sinking. Also, the rite of baptism.
CVI “John” = Ioannes. Related to “Jesus” in v1. From Hebrew yochanan (Johanan); from Yehochanan (“the Lord has been gracious”); {from YHVH (see note IV above) + chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is John.
CVII “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.
CVIII “human” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.

And they arguedCIX with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believeCX him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraidCXI of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” 

27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.”CXII And he saidCXIII to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

Notes on verses 25-27

CIX “argued” = dialogizomai. Related to “blessed is” in v9 & “question” in v24. 16x in NT. From dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + logizmai (to compute or reckon up, to count; figuratively, it is coming to a conclusion or decision using logic; taking an inventory in a literal or figurative sense); {from logos (see note XL above}. This is to consider, have a back and forth debate with an uncertain conclusion. It can be multiple confused minds reinforcing a faulty conclusion.
CX “believe” = pisteuo. Same as “faith” in v22. See note XCVII above.
CXI “are afraid” = phobeo. From phobos (panic flight, fear, fear being caused, terror, alarm, that which causes fear, reverence, respect); from phebomai (to flee, withdraw, be put to flight). This is also to put to flight, terrify, frighten, dread, reverence, to withdraw or avoid. It is sometimes used in a positive sense to mean the fear of the Lord, echoing Old Testament language. More commonly, it is fear of following God’s path. This is where the word phobia comes from.
CXII “know” = eido. Related to “look” in v5. See note XXI above.
CXIII “said” = phemi. Perhaps related to “prophet” in v4. See note XIX above.

28 “What do you think?CXIV A manCXV had two sons;CXVI he went to the first and said, ‘Son, goCXVII and workCXVIII in the vineyardCXIX today.’ 

Notes on verse 28

CXIV “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.”
CXV “man” = anthropos. Same as “human” in v25. See note CVIII above.
CXVI “sons” = teknon. From tikto (to beget, bring forth, produce). This is a child, descendant, or inhabitant.
CXVII “go” = hupago. Related to “bring” in v2 & “went ahead” in v9 & “returned” in v18. From hupo (by, under, under the authority of) + ago (see note XIV 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.
CXVIII “work” = ergazomai. From ergon (work, task, action, employment). This is to work, labor, perform, toil.
CXIX “vineyard” = ampelon. From ampelos (vine or grapevine as that which coils around); perhaps from the base of amphoteros (both, all); {from amphi (around) + halon (the threshing floor where grain is rolled to separate from the chaff); {from halos (threshing floor); probably from helisso (to roll up, coil, wrap)}}. This is vineyard. Figuratively, it can be the religious life of the people of Israel or the body of Christ.

29 He answered,CXX ‘I willCXXI not’; but later he changed his mindCXXII and went. 

30 The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’;CXXIII but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the willCXXIV of his father?”

Notes on verses 29-31a

CXX {untranslated} = kurios. Same as “Lord” in v3. See note XV above.
CXXI “will” = thelo. This is to wish, desire, will, or intend. It is to choose or prefer in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean inclined toward or take delight in. It can have a sense of being ready to act on the impulse in question.
CXXII “changed his mind” = metamelomai. 6x in NT. From meta (with, among, behind, beyond) + melo (to think about something, take an interest; to care or worry about something). This is to regret por repent. It is changing your mind – generally used in a positive sense. Often, it means experiencing an emotion that causes you to change your mind such that you care afterwards.
CXXIII “sir” = kurios. Same as “Lord” in v3. See note XV above.
CXXIV “will” = thelema. Related to “will” in v29. From thelo (see note CXXI above). This is the act of will, choice, purpose, or decree.

They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectorsCXXV and the prostitutesCXXVI are going into the kingdomCXXVII of GodCXXVIII ahead of you. 32 For John came to you in the wayCXXIX of righteousnessCXXX and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.

Notes on verses 31b-32

CXXV “tax collectors” = 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.”
CXXVI “prostitutes” = porne. 12x in NT. From pornos (fornicator or immoral person); perhaps from pernemi (to sell off or export); related to piprasko (to sell with travel involved; to sell into slavery; to be devoted to); from perao (to travel); from peran (over, beyond). This is prostitute. Can be used figuratively to refer to a community that is taken with idolatry.
CXXVII “kingdom” = basileia. Related to “king” in v5. From basileus (see note XXII above). This is kingdom, rule, authority, sovereignty, royalty, a realm.
CXXVIII “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
CXXIX “way” = hodos. Same as “road” in v8. See note XXX above.
CXXX “righteousness” = dikaiosune. From dikaios (correct, righteous – implies innocent; this is that which conforms to God’s notion of justice, uprightness); from dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known). This is judicial or divine approval of character or action. This is righteousness, justice, justness, divine righteousness.

33 “ListenCXXXI to anotherCXXXII parable.CXXXIII

Notes on verse 33a

CXXXI “listen” = akouo. Same as “hear” in v16. See note LXIX above.
CXXXII “another” = allos. Same as “others” in v8. See note XXXI above.
CXXXIII “parable” = parabole. Related to “drove out” in 12 & “thrown” in v21. From paraballo (literally to throw beside, compare, arrive, liken); {from para (by, beside, in the presence of) + ballo (see note XLVII above)}. This is a parable, comparison, adage. Quite often a tale told or a metaphor to establish a point, but it could be a true story.

There was aCXXXIV landownerCXXXV who plantedCXXXVI a vineyard, put a fenceCXXXVII aroundCXXXVIII it,

Notes on verse 33b

CXXXIV {untranslated} = anthropos. Same as “human” in v25. See note CVIII above.
CXXXV “landowner” = oikodespotes. Related to “house” in v13. 12x in NT. From oikos (see note LIV above) + despotes (lord, master, despot; authority who has unrestricted power and jurisdiction) + posis (husband). This is the master of the house, head of a family, or the householder.
CXXXVI “planted” = phuteuo. Related to “leaves” in v19. 11x in NT. From phuton (a plant) OR phuo (see note LXXXII above). This is plant or implant. Figuratively, this word is used for Christian teaching.
CXXXVII “fence” = phragmos. 4x in NT. From phrasso (to stop, fence in, obstruct); perhaps 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 a fence, barrier, wall, or hedge. It is a fence literally or figuratively.
CXXXVIII “put…around” = peritithemi. Related to “put” in v7. 8x in NT. From peri (about, concerning, all around, encompassing) + tithemi (see note XXVII above). This is to place around i.e. to clothe. Figuratively, it can mean to bestow or to present.

dugCXXXIX a wine pressCXL in it, and builtCXLI a watchtower.CXLII

Notes on verse 33c

CXXXIX “dug” = orusso. 3x in NT. This is to dig, burrow, or excavate.
CXL “wine press” = lenos. 5x in NT. This can refer to the vat where one stomps the grapes or the vat below that were the new wine flows out of the press.
CXLI “built” = oikodomeo. Related to “house” in v13 & “landowner” in v33. From oikos (see note LIV above) + domeo (to build). This is to build a house or be a house builder. Figuratively, it can mean to edify or encourage, be strong or embolden.
CXLII “watchtower” = purgos. 4x in NT. This is a tower or other kind of structure that is fortified.

Then he leasedCXLIII it to tenantsCXLIV and went to another country.CXLV 

Notes on verse 33d

CXLIII “leased” = ekdidomi. Related to “gave” in v23. 4x in NT – all in parallels of the Parable of the Wicked Tenants. From ek (from, from out of) + didomi (give, offer, place, bestow, deliver; give in a literal or figurative sense). This is to give up or out. It can also be to lease or rent.
CXLIV “tenants” = georgos. Related to “work” in v28. 19x in NT. From ge (earth, land, soil, region, country, the inhabitants of an area) + ergon (see note CXVIII above). This is wine-dresser, farmer, someone who works the land. It is also where the name “George” comes from.
CXLV “went to another country” = apodemeo. Related to “tied” in v2. 6x in NT. From apodemos (to go abroad, sojourn in a foreign country); {from apo (from, away from) + demos (district, multitude, rabble, assembly; Greeks bound by similar laws or customs); {from deo (see note XI above)}}. This is to travel abroad, be away from home. This word shares a root with “democracy” and “Nicodemus.”

34 When the harvestCXLVI timeCXLVII had come, he sent his slavesCXLVIII to the tenants to collectCXLIX his produce.CL 

Notes on verse 34

CXLVI “harvest” = karpos. Same as “fruit” in v19. See note LXXXIII above.
CXLVII “time” = kairos. This is season, opportunity, occasion. The word chronos is used for chronological time. Kairos is used for spiritually significant time – the right time or appointed time.
CXLVIII “slaves” = doulos. Related to “tied” in v2 & “went to another country” in v33. Perhaps from deo (see note XI above).
CXLIX “collect” = lambano. Same as “receive” in v2. See note XCVIII above.
CL “produce” = karpos. Same as “fruit” in v19. See note LXXXIII above.

35 But the tenants seizedCLI his slaves andCLII beatCLIII one, killedCLIV another, and stonedCLV another. 36 Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. 

37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respectCLVI my son.’

Notes on verses 35-37

CLI “seized” = lambano. Same as “receive” in v2. See note XCVIII above.
CLII {untranslated} = men. This is truly, indeed, even, in fact. Often, it is not translated, but used to emphasize affirmation.
CLIII “beat” = dero. 15x in NT. To whip, flog, scourge, beat, thrash.
CLIV “killed” = apokteino. From apo (from, away from) + kteino (to kill). To put to death, kill, slay. Figuratively, this word can mean abolish, destroy, or extinguish.
CLV “stoned” = lithoboleo. Related to “drove out” in v12 & “thrown” in v21 & “parable” in v33. 7x in NT. From lithos (stone literal or figurative; used for Jesus as the cornerstone) + ballo (see note XLVII above). This is to stone i.e. throw stones at to kill.
CLVI “respect” = entrepo. Related to “overturned” in v12. 9x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by, with) + trepo (see note XLIX above). This is to turn. It could be to turn to pay rapt attention to, to turn in shame, recoil, or to turn to in respect.

38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir;CLVII come,CLVIII let us kill him and get his inheritance.’CLIX 39 So they seized him, threwCLX him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 Now when the ownerCLXI of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 

Notes on verses 38-40

CLVII “heir” = kleronomos. Related to “branches” in v8. 15x in NT.  From kleros (lot, portion, heritage; that share assigned to you; also a lot used to determine something by fate, chance, or divine will); {perhaps from klero (casting a lot) or from klao (see note XXXIII above)} + the same as nomos (what is assigned – usage, law, custom, principle; used for the law in general or of God’s law; sometimes used to refer to the first five books of the Bible or the entire Old Testament; also used to refer to theology or the practice and tradition of interpreting and implementing the law of God); {from nemo (to parcel out, assign)}}. This is heir, inheritor, or possessor – whether literal of figurative.
CLVIII “come” = deute. 12x in NT. From deuro (come here, hither, hence, now, until now). This is come, follow – as an exclamatory mood.
CLIX “inheritance” = kleronomia. Related to “branches” in v8 & “heir” in v38. 14x in NT. From kleronomos (see ote CLVII above). This is inheritance, heritage, or possession.
CLX “threw” = ekballo. Same as “drove out” in v12. See note XLVII above.
CLXI “owner” = kurios. Same as “Lord” in v3. See note XV above.

41 They said to him, “He will put those wretchesCLXII to a miserableCLXIII death,CLXIV and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will giveCLXV him the produce at the harvest time.”

Notes on verse 41

CLXII “wretches” = kakos. This is bad, evil, harm, ill. It is evil that is part of someone’s core character – intrinsic, rotted, worthless, depraved, causing harm. It refers to deep inner malice that comes from a rotten character. Can be contrasted with the Greek poneros, which is that which bears pain – a focus on the miseries and pains that come with evil. Also contrasting the Greek sapros, which deals with falling away from a previously embodied virtue.
CLXIII “miserable” = kakos. 16x in NT. From kakos (see note CLXII above). This is wrongly, badly, cruelly, with bad motives, misery connected to affliction. It can be physically badly or morally badly, i.e. evilly.
CLXIV “death” = 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.
CLXV “give” = apodidomi. Related to “gave” in v23 & “leased” in v33. From apo (from, away from) + didomi (see note CXLIII above). This is to give back, return, give away. It is to restore as when one makes payment – to rend what is due, to sell.

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:CLXVI

‘The stoneCLXVII that the buildersCLXVIII rejectedCLXIX
    has becomeCLXX the cornerstone;CLXXI

Notes on verse 42a

CLXVI “scriptures” = graphe. Related to “scribes” in v15. From grapho (see note LXIII above). This is literally writing, a document. In the New Testament, this is always used for scripture.
CLXVII “stone” = lithos. Related to “stoned” in v35. See note CLV above.
CLXVIII “builders” = oikodomeo. Same as “built” in v33. See note CXLI above.
CLXIX “rejected” = apodoikmazo. Related to “think” in v28. 9x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + dokimazo (to test, examine, prove; to approve after subjecting to a test to determine if it is real or acceptable; to test in a literal or figurative sense); {from dokimos (what passes the test, approved, acceptable, genuine, verified); from dechomai (to warmly receive, be ready for what is offered, take, accept, or welcome; to receive in a literal or figurative sense) or dokeo (see note CXIV above)}. This is rejected or disqualified following a test. It is rejected after rigorous investigation and so seen as useless or unworthy.
CLXX “become” = ginomai. Same as “took place” in v4. See note XVII above.
CLXXI “cornerstone” = kephale + gonia. Literally “head corner.” Kephale is head or chief. It can be a literal head or, figuratively, a ruler or lord. It can also refer to a corner stone. This is where the word “cephalic” comes from. Gonia is 9x in NT. From gonu (knee, foot). This is corner, angle, or secret place.

this wasCLXXII the Lord’s doing,
    and it is amazingCLXXIII in our eyes’?CLXXIV

Notes on verse 42b

CLXXII “was” = ginomai. Same as “took place” in v4. See note XVII above.
CLXXIII “amazing” = thaumastos. Related to “amazing things” in v15 & “amazed” in v20. 6x in NT. From thaumazo (see note LXXXVIII above). This is wonderful, marvelous, awe-inspiring. It is something that moves one to deepest feelings.
CLXXIV “eyes” = 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.

43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken awayCLXXV from you and given to a peopleCLXXVI that produces the fruits of the kingdom. 44 The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces;CLXXVII and it will crushCLXXVIII anyone on whom it falls.”

Notes on verses 43-44

CLXXV “taken away” = airo. Same as “be lifted up” in v21. See note LXXIV above.
CLXXVI “people” = ethnos. Probably from etho (a custom or culture). This is people who are united by having similar customs or culture. Generally, it is used to refer to Gentiles. This is a tribe, race, nation, or Gentiles in general. This is where the term “ethnicity” comes from.
CLXXVII “broken to pieces” = sunthlao. 2x in NT– both in Parable of the Wicked Tenants in Matthew and Luke. From sun (with, together with) + thlao (to crush). This is to pulverize, crush, shatter, break in pieces.
CLXXVIII “crush” = likmao. 2x in NT– both in Parable of the Wicked Tenants in Matthew and Luke. From likmos (a winnowing fan). This is to grind into a powder, winnow, scatter.

45 When the chief priests and the PhariseesCLXXIX heard his parables, they realizedCLXXX that he was speaking about them. 46 They wantedCLXXXI to arrestCLXXXII him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.

Notes on verses 45-46

CLXXIX “Pharisees” = pharisaios. From Aramaic peras (to divide, separate) and from Hebrew parash (to make distinct, separate, scatter). This is a Pharisee, a member of a Jewish sect active in the 1st century. Their name meant separate in the sense of wanting to live a life separated from sin. Whereas the Sadducees were part of the priestly line and inherited their religious position and responsibilities, Pharisees were regular people who studied the scriptures and offered guidance to regular folk. Sadducees were often wealthier and willing to sacrifice their identity to rub elbows with Roman society. Pharisees were often more concerned with what it meant to follow God without compromising what made them different as followers of God. Sadducees primarily believed in that which was written down (the first five books of the Bible) and Pharisees believed in the Bible and the traditions of the elders. Pharisees had a very wide range of interpretations and diversity of opinion. Their standard mode of religious engagement was lively debate with one another. To argue religion with another teacher was to recognize that they had something of value to offer.
CLXXX “realized” = ginosko. Related to “name” in v9 & “read” in v42. See note XLI above.
CLXXXI “wanted” = 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.
CLXXXII “arrest” = 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.

Image credit: “Casting out the Moneychangers from the Temple” by Johann Thorn Prikker, c.1912.

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