Matthew 17 Commentary
Link to Plain Text Translation
Last updated 24th April 2012
1. Now after six days Jesus took along Peter and James and John his brother and took them up onto a high mountain by themselves.
Καὶ μεθ’ ἡμέρας ἓξ παραλαμβάνει ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὸν Πέτρον καὶ Ἰάκωβον καὶ Ἰωάννην τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀναφέρει αὐτοὺς εἰς ὄρος ὑψηλὸν κατ’ ἰδίαν.
six – hex – ἓξ
2. And He was transformed before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.
καὶ μετεμορφώθη ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν, καὶ ἔλαμψεν τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ὡς ὁ ἥλιος, τὰ δὲ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο λευκὰ ὡς τὸ φῶς.
transformed – metemorphothe –μετεμορφώθη – like “metamorphosis”
4. Peter answered Jesus in reply:
“Lord, it is good that we are here. If You wish it, let us make here three tents, one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Πέτρος εἶπεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ· κύριε καλόν ἐστιν ἡμᾶς ὧδε εἶναι· εἰ θέλεις, ποιήσω ὧδε τρεῖς σκηνάς σοι μίαν καὶ Μωϋσεῖ μίαν καὶ Ἠλίᾳ μίαν.
tents – skenas – σκηνάς – like “scene”
5. While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and look, a voice came from the cloud, saying:
“This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him.”
ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος ἰδοὺ νεφέλη φωτεινὴ ἐπεσκίασεν αὐτοὺς καὶ ἰδοὺ φωνὴ ἐκ τῆς νεφέλης λέγουσα· οὗτος ἐστιν ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός ἐν ᾧ εὐδόκησα· ἀκούετε αὐτοῦ.
6. And hearing this the disciples fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.
καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ μαθηταὶ ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν σφόδρα.
7. And Jesus came up to them and touched them and said:
“Arise, do not be afraid.”
καὶ προσῆλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ ἁψάμενος αὐτῶν εἶπεν· ἐγέρθητε καὶ μὴ φοβεῖσθε.
9. And as they came down from the mountain Jesus instructed them saying:
“Tell the vision to no-one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”
Καὶ καταβαινόντων αὐτῶν ἐκ τοῦ ὄρους ἐνετείλατο αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγων· μηδενὶ εἴπητε τὸ ὅραμα ἕως οὗ ὸ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκ νεκρῶν ἐγερθῇ.
10. And the disciples asked Him, saying:
“Why then do the Scribes say that Elijah must come first?”
Καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν οἱ μαθηταὶ λέγοντες· τί οὖν οἱ γραμματεῖς λέγουσιν ὅτι Ἠλίαν δεῖ ἐλθεῖν πρῶτον;
12. However I say to you that Elijah has already come, and they did not know him but they did to him whatever they wished. Thus also the Son of Man will suffer many things from them.”
λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν ὅτι Ἠλίας ἤδη ἦλθεν, καὶ οὐκ ἐπέγνωσαν αὐτὸν ἀλλὰ ἐποίησαν ἐν αὐτῷ ὅσα ἠθέλησαν· οὕτως καὶ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου μέλλει πάσχειν ὑπ’ αὐτῶν.
15. and saying:
“Master, have mercy on my son, because he is an epileptic and suffers badly. For many times he falls into the fire and many times into the water.
καὶ λέγων· κύριε, ἐλέησον μου τὸν υἱὸν, ὅτι σεληνιάζεται καὶ κακῶς πάσχει πολλάκις γὰρ πίπτει εἰς τὸ πῦρ καὶ πολλάκις εἰς τὸ ὕδωρ.
epileptic – literally “moonstruck” – seleniazetai – σεληνιάζεται “Epileptic” is itself of Greek origin “Epi + leptic”, from “lambano”- “I take”
17. And Jesus answered in reply:
“O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him here to Me.”
ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν· ὦ γενεὰ ἄπιστος καὶ διεστραμμένη, ἕως πότε μεθ’ ὑμῶν ἔσομαι; ἕως πότε ἀνέξομαι ὑμῶν; φέρετε μοι αὐτὸν ὧδε.
18. And Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of him and the child was healed from that hour.
καὶ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ τὸ δαιμόνιον καὶ ἐθεραπεύθη ὁ παῖς ἀπὸ τῆς ὥρας ἐκείνης.
20. He said to them:
“Because of your little faith. Truly I say to you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed you will say to this mountain:
“Move from here to there”,
and it will be moved. And nothing will be impossible for you.
ὁ δὲ λέγει αὐτοῖς· διὰ τὴν ὀλιγοπιστίαν ὑμῶν· ἀμὴν γὰρ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἐὰν ἔχητε πίστιν ὡς κόκκον σινάπεως, ερεῖτε τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ· μετάβα ἔνθεν ἐκεῖ, καὶ μεταβήσεται· καὶ οὐδὲν ἀδυνατήσει ὑμῖν.
21. But this kind does not go out except by fasting and prayer.”
τοῦτο δὲ τὸ γένος οὐκ ἐκπορεύεται εἰ μὴ ἐν προσευχῇ καὶ νηστείᾳ.
THIS VERSE DOES NOT OCCUR IN THE NESTLE-ALAND VERSION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT TEXT
22. And while they stayed in Galilee, Jesus said to them:
“The Son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of men,
Συστρεφομένων δὲ αὐτῶν ἐν τῇ Γαλιλαίᾳ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς· μέλλει ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοσθαι εἰς χεῖρας ἀνθρώπων,
24. When they came to Capernaum the collectors of the tribute came to Peter and asked:
“Does your teacher not pay the tribute?”
Ἐλθόντων δὲ αὐτῶν εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ προσῆλθον οἱ τὰ δίδραχμα λαμβάνοντες τῷ Πέτρῳ καὶ εἶπαν· ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν οὐ τελεῖ τὰ δίδραχμα;
tribute – didrachma – δίδραχμα – This seems to be the contribution towards the Temple, elsewhere called the Temple Tax. Note that it was a fixed amount – the word translated “tribute” literally means “Two Drachmas” where Drachma was a Greek unit of money.
25. Peter said
And when he had come into the house, Jesus pre-empted him asking:
“What do you think, Simon? The kings of the earth, from whom do they take customs or poll-tax, from their own sons or from strangers?”
λέγει· ναί. καὶ ἐλθόντα εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν προέφθασεν αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγων· τί σοι δοκεῖ Σίμων; οἱ βασιλεῖς τῆς γῆς ἀπὸ τίνων λαμβάνουσιν τέλη ἢ κῆνσον; ἀπὸ τῶν υἱῶν αὐτῶν ἢ ἀπὸ τῶν ἀλλοτρίων;
Peter – in the Greek “He said” legei – λέγει. I have added the name “Peter” here for clarity
26. He said,
“From strangers.” Jesus said to him
“Then the sons are exempt.
εἰπόντος δὲ ἀπὸ τῶν ἀλλοτρίων, ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς· ἄρα γε ἐλεύθεροι εἰσιν οἱ υἱοί.
“He said, “From strangers.” Jesus said to him…” – in the Greek “When he had said “from strangers”, Jesus said to him…” -“eipontos de apo ton allotrion, ephe autoi ho Iesous” – εἰπόντος δὲ ἀπὸ τῶν ἀλλοτρίων, ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς·
27. However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea, and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up. When you open its mouth you will find a piece of money. Take that and give it to them for Me and you.”
ἵνα δὲ μὴ σκανδαλίσωμεν αὐτοὺς, πορευθεὶς εἰς θάλασσαν βάλε ἄγκιστρον καὶ τὸν ἀναβάντα πρῶτον ἰχθὺν ἆρον, καὶ ἀνοίξας τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ εὑρήσεις στατῆρα· ἐκεῖνον λαβὼν δὸς αὐτοῖς ἀντὶ ἐμοῦ καὶ σοῦ.
“a piece of money” – in the Greek, “statera” – στατῆρα – This corresponded to four drachmas so it was just sufficient to pay 2 drachmas (or drachme) each for Jesus and Peter, so they could each pay their “Two Drachma” Temple Tribute