To get what Matthew 23:31 means based on its source text, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity.

Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

Low popularity: 30 searches a month
Popularity relative to other verses in Matthew chapter 23 using average monthly Google searches.

Matthew 23:31 Translation & Meaning

What does this verse really mean? Use this table to get a word-for-word translation of the original Greek Scripture. This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. Follow the buttons in the right-hand column for detailed definitions and verses that use the same root words. Use this reference information to gain deeper insight into the Bible and enrich your understanding. Information based on Strong's Exhaustive Concordance[1].

KJV Verse Original Greek Meaning/ Definition
This is a simplified translation of the original Greek word. Follow the buttons on the right to get more detail.
Use the buttons below to get details on the Greek word and view related Bible verses that use the same root word.
Wherefore ὥστε So too, i.e., thus therefore (in various relations of consecution, as follow) Wherefore
ye be witnesses μαρτυρεῖτε To be a witness, i.e., testify (literally or figuratively) witnesses
unto yourselves, ἑαυτοῖς (him- her-, it-, them-, my-, thy-, our-, your-)self (selves), etc yourselves
that ὅτι Demonstrative, that (sometimes redundant); causative, because that
ye are ἐστε Ye are are
the children υἱοί A "son" (sometimes of animals), used very widely of immediate, remote or figuratively, kinship children
of them which killed φονευσάντων To be a murderer (of) killed
the τοὺς The (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom) the
prophets. προφήτας A foreteller ("prophet"); by analogy, an inspired speaker; by extension, a poet prophets

Verse Context

See Matthew 23:31 with its adjacent verses in bold below. Follow either of the two large buttons below to see these verses in their broader context of the King James Bible or a Bible concordance.

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  • 29  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,

  • 30  And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.

  • 31  Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

  • 32  Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

  • 33  Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?


The King James Bible (1611) and Strong's Concordance (1890) with Hebrew and Greek dictionaries are sourced from the BibleForgeDB database ( within the BibleForge project ( Popularity rankings are based on search volume data from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

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