The Meaning of Matthew 12:42 Explained

Matthew 12:42

KJV: The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

YLT: 'A queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and lo, a greater than Solomon here!

Darby: A queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, more than Solomon is here.

ASV: The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

What does Matthew 12:42 Mean?

Verse Meaning

By referring to Jonah the same way He referred to the Queen of the South, Jesus strongly supported the view that Jonah was a historical person. The Queen of the South was the Queen of Sheba ( 1 Kings 10:1-13). She came from the Arabian Peninsula that for the Jews was the end of the earth (cf. Jeremiah 6:20; Joel 3:8). She visited Jerusalem because of reports about Solomon"s great wisdom that had reached her ears. The something greater than Solomon was Messiah, the embodiment of divine wisdom. The queen would join the Ninevites in condemning the unbelievers of Jesus" day because they failed to acknowledge one with greater wisdom than Song of Solomon , as well as one with a greater message than Jonah. Jesus was greater than Solomon in His Wisdom of Solomon , wealth, and works.
In both of Jesus" comparisons Gentiles responded, and Jews did not. Such had been the case in Jesus" ministry so far, and this would continue. The proud scribes and Pharisees undoubtedly resented Jesus comparing them unfavorably with Gentiles.
"It is a tragic feature in the history of Israel that the nation rejected their deliverers the first time, but accepted them the second time. This was true with Joseph, Moses, David, the prophets ( Matthew 23:29), and Jesus Christ." [1]
"Temple and priesthood, prophet, king, and wise Prayer of Manasseh -something greater is now here." [2]

Context Summary

Matthew 12:38-50 - Opposing Or Doing God's Will
It was an evil and adulterous age. It had no spiritual appreciation, and was intent on getting an outward and sensible sign. Nineveh itself would have condemned it. The queen of Sheba, without the advantage attaching to the Hebrew race, appreciated Solomon; but the people of this generation had no appreciation of the Christ. They were nearing the last days of corruption and reprobation. They were a deserted palace given over to demons. Seven demons possessed them and urged them, as they did the swine in Matthew 8:31, to destruction.
But amid the general apostasy, there were faithful souls who recognized Jesus as the Son of God and drew near to hear His words. They recognized His kinship to the Father and revealed their kinship to Him. Let us not look back to Nazareth and Bethany with longing eyes. See Solomon's Song of Solomon 8:1-2. We are privileged to occupy a closer relationship than that of natural birth. See John 1:12-13; Galatians 4:1-6; Romans 8:16. O Brother Christ, make us more like thee! [source]

Chapter Summary: Matthew 12

1  Jesus reproves the blindness of the Pharisees concerning the Sabbath,
3  by scripture,
9  by reason,
13  and by a miracle
22  He heals a man possessed that was blind and mute;
24  and confronting the absurd charge of casting out demons by Beelzebub,
32  he shows that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall never be forgiven
36  Account shall be made of idle words
38  He rebukes the unfaithful, who seek after a sign,
46  and shows who is his brother, sister, and mother

What do the individual words in Matthew 12:42 mean?

The queen of [the] south will rise up in the judgment with the generation this and will condemn it for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon behold greater than Solomon here
βασίλισσα νότου ἐγερθήσεται ἐν τῇ κρίσει μετὰ τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης καὶ κατακρινεῖ αὐτήν ὅτι ἦλθεν ἐκ τῶν περάτων τῆς γῆς ἀκοῦσαι τὴν σοφίαν Σολομῶνος ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Σολομῶνος ὧδε

βασίλισσα  The  queen 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: βασίλισσα  
Sense: queen.
νότου  of  [the]  south 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: νότος  
Sense: the south wind.
ἐγερθήσεται  will  rise  up 
Parse: Verb, Future Indicative Passive, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἐγείρω  
Sense: to arouse, cause to rise.
κρίσει  judgment 
Parse: Noun, Dative Feminine Singular
Root: κρίσις  
Sense: a separating, sundering, separation.
γενεᾶς  generation 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: γενεά  
Sense: fathered, birth, nativity.
ταύτης  this 
Parse: Demonstrative Pronoun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: οὗτος  
Sense: this.
κατακρινεῖ  will  condemn 
Parse: Verb, Future Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: κατακρίνω  
Sense: to give judgment against, to judge worthy of punishment.
ἦλθεν  she  came 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἔρχομαι  
Sense: to come.
περάτων  ends 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Plural
Root: πέρας  
Sense: extremity, bound, end.
τῆς  of  the 
Parse: Article, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
γῆς  earth 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: γῆ  
Sense: arable land.
ἀκοῦσαι  to  hear 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Infinitive Active
Root: ἀκουστός 
Sense: to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf.
σοφίαν  wisdom 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: σοφία  
Sense: wisdom, broad and full of intelligence; used of the knowledge of very diverse matters.
Σολομῶνος  of  Solomon 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: Σαλωμών 
Sense: the son of David and was the wisest and richest king that ever lived.
ἰδοὺ  behold 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Active, 2nd Person Singular
Root: ἰδού  
Sense: behold, see, lo.
πλεῖον  greater 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Neuter Singular, Comparative
Root: πολύς  
Sense: greater in quantity.
Σολομῶνος  than  Solomon 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: Σαλωμών 
Sense: the son of David and was the wisest and richest king that ever lived.
ὧδε  here 
Parse: Adverb
Root: ὧδε  
Sense: here, to this place, etc.