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Matthew 6:24



Lord Mammon

The Greek term μαμωνᾶς (mamōnas), found in the New Testament, is often translated as "wealth" or "riches" and is personified as a master that competes with God for loyalty.  The etymology of "μαμωνᾶς" provides deeper insight into its meaning. It is derived from the Chaldean term מאמונא (mamona), which is associated with trust and reliance, being derived from the Hebrew אמן aman meaning to trust, believe, support and according to Gesenius is contracted from the Hebrew word מטמון (matmon Strongs #4301), meaning "hidden treasure" or "buried treasure." This connection suggests that "μαμωνᾶς" conveys not just wealth, but a "trusted wealth" that is hidden or buried—treasure that people seek out, trust in, and place great value upon. The concept of "buried riches" underscores the allure and deceptive security that such wealth provides, drawing people away from themselves. Thus, μαμωνᾶς embodies the idea of earthly riches that captivate and mislead, much like hidden treasure that entices people to trust in material wealth.

Septuagint Translations: In Isaiah 33:6, the Hebrew term אמונה (amunah) is translated as θησαυροί (treasures), and in Psalm 36:3, as πλοῦτος (riches).

Mammon is also personifed as a god, and thus represents the seductive power of treasure, or false promises of riches, highlighting the danger of allowing such treasure to become an enslaving idol that commands devotion and trust.

It sheds light on other passages of certain people or things being buried:

The Queen of the Heavenly ones, she is the same as a treasure-storehouse who is hidden within the Field, whom a man who has found, hid, and leads under away from the Joy of Himself, and sells the whole of what he holds, and buys the Field of that one." (Matthew 13:44 RBT)