Matthew 3:3, ευθυς and the way of the Lord

Chalk this one up to presuppositions lingering from first year Greek.

In Matthew 3:3 I came across an occurrence of ευθυς that surprised me. In verse 3, Matthew quotes Isaiah 40:3, “A voice crying in the desert; prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”

“Straight” in both Matthew 3:3 and Isaiah 40:3 (LXX) is ευθείας. In my early Greek training I memorized ευθύς as “immediately.” But it turns out, ευθύς is very commonly used to mean “straight” when pertaining to the condition of a line or road (cf. BDAG, 406; LSJ). With this in mind, ευθύς is the unsurprising translation of the Hebrew ׳ַשְׁרוּ, “make straight.”

Just a quick note. It’s past midnight. More to come on Matthew 3.

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