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“The Queen of Heavens”

The NT word for kingdom is basileia. This is a feminine noun. In ancient Greek this word is used for both

1) a queen

2) a kingdom

The words are exactly the same. So how do we know if the NT is speaking about a “queen” rather than a “kingdom”?

Scholars have always pointed to context. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon merely states, “βασιλεία, βασιλείας, (from βασιλεύω; to be distinguished from βασιλεία a queen.” But why? Contexts are not always clear.

If contexts dictate translation, it would seem the semantic context of Matt 13:38 would be a give away:

The Field is the World and the good seed [singular] these ones are the sons of the queen

Matt. 13:38 literal

“Sons of the Kingdom” makes little sense semantically. Poetically or idiomatically, sure. We could construe any weird writ as “poetical”.

“The queen of the heavens is resembling a treasure-chest that was concealed in a field that a man found…” Matt. 13:44 literal

“Knowing now the thoughts of them, he said to them ‘The whole of the queen apportioned according to herself is laid-waste, and the whole of the city or house apportioned according to herself does not stand. ” Matt. 12:25 literal

“The queen of the heavens has become like a man, a king whoever has made wedding-feasts for the son of him.” Matt. 13:44 literal

“From, then, the days of John the Submerger until now, the queen of the heavens is violently-forced and violent men seize her.” Matt. 11:12 literal

“Another parable he set before them saying, ‘The queen of the heavens has become like a man who sowed a good seed in the field of him.” Matt. 13:24 literal

“Not the whole, the one saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will come-in into the queen of the heavens, except the one who makes the will of the father of me, the one in the heavens.” Matt. 7:21 literal

Wise-ones in the Outside are shouting-for-joy in the Broadway; she is giving her voice. In the head of those-who-roar she is calling-out in the openings of the gates in the City, she is speaking her sayings. Until when open-ones you are loving the open-one? And those-who-scorn a scorned-one they have delighted to-themselves. And foolish-ones are hating a known-one.” Prov. 1:20-22 literal

Wise-ones she has built her house, she has hewn out her standing-ones, seven. She has slaughtered her slaughtered-one, she has arrayed her table, she has sent her scattered-ones, she is calling-out upon the bodies of the high-places of the town. Who is an open-one? He is turning aside here. A wanting heart, she is saying to-himself.” Prov. 9:2-4 literal

The genitive 3rd person singular feminine relative pronoun herself is always translated as “itself” in Matt. 11:12, 12:25 and similar passages.

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