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 Jesus was speaking about a “queen” rather than a “kingdom”?

Scholars have always pointed to context (at least amongst themselves) as the general public was never given a chance to see such things. 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 no sense semantically. Poetically, sure. We could construe any weird writ as “poetical”. But as far as the word “sons” go a “kingdom” does a kingdom give birth to sons?

“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.

If you’re in the business of encrypting, encoding, making riddles, creating enigma…your words are going to appear very strange to people, obviously. This is why the Bible has never been translated literally in any true sense of the word.