Matthew 16:13-20

Matthew 16:13-20
Ordinary A39


13 Now when JesusA came into the district of CaesareaB Philippi,C he askedD his disciples,E “Who do peopleF say that the Son of ManG is?” 

Notes on verse 13

A “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.
B “Caesarea” = kaisareia. 17x in NT. From kaisar (Caesar, at first a last name, then taken as a title by Roman emperors); from Latin (Caesar); perhaps from Punic caesai (elephant) OR from Latin a cesiis oculis (because of the blue eyes) OR from Latin a caesarie (because of the hair) OR from Latin a caeso matris utero (born by Caesarean section) OR from Latin caedo (to cut). This is Caesarea – part of the name of two cities in Palestine. See
C “Philippi” = philippos. From philos (dear, beloved, a friend, an associate; friendship with personal affection, a trusted confidante; love from personal experience with another person) + hippos (horse). This is Philip, meaning one who loves horses or is fond of horses.
D “asked” = 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.
E “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.
F “people” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
G “Man” = anthropos. Same as “people” in v13. See note F above.

14 And they said, “SomeH say JohnI the Baptist,J but othersK Elijah,L

Notes on verse 14a

H {untranslated} = men. This is truly, indeed, even, in fact. Often, it is not translated, but used to emphasize affirmation.
I “John” = ioannes. Related to “Jesus” in v13. From Hebrew yochanan (Johanan); from Yehochanan (“the Lord has been gracious”); {from YHVH (see note A above)}. This is John.
J “Baptist” = baptistes. 12x in NT. 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 baptizer or Baptist. The term is only used for John the Baptist.
K “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).
L “Elijah” = elias. Related to “Jesus” in v13 & “John” in v14. From Hebrew Eliyyah (Elijah) {from el (God, god) + Yah (the shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (see note A above)}. This is Elijah, “The Lord is God.”

and still othersM JeremiahN or one of the prophets.”O 

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 

Notes on verses 14b-15

M “still others” = heteros. This is other, another, different, strange. It is another of a different kind in contrast to the Greek word allos, which is another of the same kind. This could be a different quality, type, or group.
N “Jeremiah” = ieremias. Related to “Jesus” in v13 & “John” and “Elijah” in v14. From Hebrew yirmeyah (Jeremiah, “the Lord loosens” or “the Lord will rise”); {from the same as remiyya (slack, idle, lazy, negligent) + Yah (a shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (see note A above)}}. This is Jeremiah.
O “prophets” = 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.

16 SimonP PeterQ answered, “You are the Messiah,R the Son of the living God.”S 

Notes on verse 16

P “Simon” = simon. From Hebrew Shimon (Simon – Jacob’s son and his tribe); from shama (to hear, often implying attention and obedience). This is Simon, meaning “he who hears.”
Q “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.
R “Messiah” = christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
S “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

17 And Jesus answered him, “BlessedT are you, Simon son of Jonah!U For fleshV and bloodW has not revealedX this to you, but my Father in heaven.Y 

Notes on verse 17

T “blessed” = makarios. From makar (happy); from mak– (to become long or large). This is blessed, happy, fortunate. It is when God’s grace/abundance is extended.
U “son of Jonah” = barionas. 1x in NT. From Aramaic bar (son, age); {Aramaic corresponding to ben (son literal or figurative; also, grandson, subject, nation); from banah (to build or obtain children)} + yonah (Jonah, meaning dove); {from the same as yonah (dove or pigeon; used to refer to the exiles coming home, to describe sails of ships; also figuratively for mourning or as a description of beauty); perhaps from yayin (wine; root means to effervesce)}. This is Bar-Jonah, literally “son of Jonah.”
V “flesh” = sarx. May be from saroo (to sweep, cleanse by sweeping); from sairo (to brush off). This is flesh, the body, human nature, materiality, kindred. Flesh is not always evil in scripture (as when it refers to Jesus taking on a human body). However, it is generally used in a negative way for actions made selfishly and not through faith. This can mean animal flesh, i.e. meat, or refer to body in contrast to soul/spirit. Flesh can be a way of talking about how things or people are related or talking about human frailty (physical or moral).
W “blood” = haima. This is blood in a literal sense as bloodshed. Figuratively, it can also be used to refer to wine or to kinship (being related).
X “revealed” = apokalupto. From apo (from, away from) + kalupto (to cover, hide, conceal; figuratively, to keep hidden or secret) {related to kalube (hut, cabin)}. This is properly to uncover so it means revealing something that was hidden or obstructed. It particularly refers to revealing the essence of something. This is to make plain or manifest. This is the root verb that “apocalypse” comes from.
Y “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.

18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rockZ I will buildAA my church,BB and the gatesCC of HadesDD will not prevail againstEE it. 

Notes on verse 18

Z “rock” = petra. Related to “Peter” in v16. 15x in NT. See note Q above.
AA “build” = oikodomeo. From oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple) + 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.
BB “church” = ekklesia. From ek (from, out from) + 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 properly a calling out or an assembly. It was used to refer to a church.
CC “gates” = pule. 10x in NT. This is gate, large entrance to a city or a fortress. It is often used for an exit way. Figuratively, it can refer to authority and power.
DD “Hades” = hades. 10x in NT. From a (not, without) + eido (to be aware, see, know, remember, appreciate). This is Literally, the world that is not seen. It is Hades, hell, the place where the dead reside. It can also refer to the grave.
EE “prevail against” = katischuo. 3x in NT. From kata (down, against, according to, throughout) + ischuo (to be strong, healthy and vigorous, able, have power, prevail; strength that engages a resisting force); from ischus (strength, might, power, force, ability; power that engages immediate resistance); {perhaps from is (force) + echo (to have, hold, possess)}}. This is to have strength or overpower.

19 I will give you the keysFF of the kingdomGG of heaven, and whatever you bindHH on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you looseII on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he sternly orderedJJ the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Notes on verses 19-20

FF “keys” = kleis. 6x in NT. From kleio (to close, lock, shut). This is a key as the thing that locks a lock. It can be key in a literal or figurative sense.
GG “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.
HH “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.
II “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.
JJ “ordered” = diastello. 8x in NT. From dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + stello (to set, arrange, prepare, provide for); {probably from histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand firm)}. This is to set apart, distinguish, give a commission, order, set apart for service.

Image credit: “Peter with the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven” at the Santo Niño Basilica in Cebu City, Philippines, 2006.

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