In John 14:2, the Lord Jesus Christ tells his apostles,

2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. NASB

Βʹ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ τοῦ πατρός μου μοναὶ πολλαί εἰσιν εἰ δὲ μή εἶπον ἂν ὑμῖν ὅτι πορεύομαι ἑτοιμάσαι τόπον ὑμῖν NA28

Christians differ on their identification of the place (τόπον) that the Lord Jesus Christ said he was going to prepare for the apostles. That being said, one day I was glossing over Psalms and I noticed a peculiar translation of Psa. 33:13–14 (in particular, v. 14), of which the Hebrew text states,

יג מִשָּׁמַיִם הִבִּיט יַהְוֶה רָאָה אֶת כָּל בְּנֵי הָאָדָם יד מִמְּכוֹן שִׁבְתּוֹ הִשְׁגִּיחַ אֶל כָּל יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ

13 Yahveh looked from heaven; He beheld all the sons of man. 14 From the place of His habitation, He looked upon all the inhabitants of the earth. (my translation)

which the LXX translates into Greek as,

ΙΓʹ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ ἐπέβλεψεν ὁ κύριος εἶδεν πάντας τοὺς υἱοὺς τῶν ἀνθρώπων ΙΔʹ ἐξ ἑτοίμου κατοικητηρίου αὐτοῦ ἐπέβλεψεν ἐπὶ πάντας τοὺς κατοικοῦντας τὴν γῆν

13 The Lord looks out of heaven; he beholds all the sons of men. 14 He looks from his prepared habitation on all the dwellers on the earth; Sir Lancelot Brenton, 1851

In v. 14, the Hebrew text has מִמְּכוֹן שִׁבְתּוֹ—“from the place of his habitation,” yet the LXX translates that into Greek as ἐξ ἑτοίμου κατοικητηρίου αὐτοῦ—“from his prepared habitation.” Of course, this “prepared habitation” would be referring to “heaven” via parallelism with v. 13.

Is ἑτοίμου, translated by Sir Lancelot Brenton as “prepared,” related to ἑτοιμάσαι in John 14:2? If so, is the author of the fourth gospel intentionally alluding to Psa. 33:14 and therefore identifying the place that the Lord Jesus Christ went to prepare as heaven?

Edit: Thanks to Susan, other instances were identified, including (but not limited to): Exo. 15:17; 1 Kings 8:39, 8:43, 8:49; 2 Chr. 6:2, 6:30, 6:33, 6:39; Psa. 89:14; Ezra 2:68

  • 1
    Interestingly, of the 17 instances of מכון in the Hebrew Bible, I count 11 translated with some form of ἕτοιμος. (This is peripheral to the question -- just an observation since the equivalence isn't particularly obvious, at least not to me.)
    – Susan
    Nov 23, 2016 at 9:54

1 Answer 1


For the following reasons it doesn't seem to me that what is said in John 14:2 is a reference to any other verse in the Bible.

Notice that from chapter 13 on, that the context is all about Jesus Christ, his relationship with his father and what that relationship means to the experience of his (and all the ones to come) disciples. After Peter's interruption of the flow of things at the last of chapter 13, Jesus has to seal over that by charging them to not let the heart be troubled... and then gets on to the matters at hand, and what that would mean to them (and to us!)

Now we come to what is to me one of the most unfortunate translations of a Greek word when we consider the context it was stated in.

The word that is translated in many versions (mansions, rooms, etc.) is the Greek word MONAI the feminine plural of MONH, which is from MENW, all having the root idea of a staying, a persisting, a continuing in place, to be lasting.

In the LSJ lexicon #4, it has:

...of things, to be lasting, remains, stands.

Jesus says to us and his then disciples, as to the Father's house ...

(ones house in the Bible can often refer to the matters, concerns, and purposes of that household and its constituents i.e. the House of David, the House of God.

◄ Hebrews 3 ►

New American Standard Bible

Jesus Our High Priest

  1Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; 2He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. 3For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. 4For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. 5Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; 6but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.) 

Yes, Jesus says to them there that there are many things, issues if you will that remain as regards the Father's House...

("if it were not so, I would have told you!") so then, I need to go to prepare opportunity for you.

This word translated "place" can and does on occasion take on its metaphorical meaning of opportunity.

See the word "place" in the following verses and notice how it may indicate opportunity or opening, occasion:

Romans 12:19, 15:23 Ephesians 4:27 Hebrews 8:17,12:17 Acts 25:16

Jesus was soon "to go", that is, He was going into trial, injustice, crucifixion and the death of all deaths. He would ultimately go through all those things, and then resurrection to gain the supply of all that would be imparted to us by the Life-Giving Spirit that He became by having gone through that process.

1 Cor 15:45

So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a LIFE GIVING SPIRIT.

So we may see then that the preparing that Jesus did by His "going" away into these things, is the way that opportunity is made for us to participate as children...then sons of God, in His grand economy, His purposes, and His House.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You are believing in God, you are believing in Me. (present indicative active ...PISTEUETE) In my Father's House there are many issues remaining...I am going to prepare opportunity for you; if it were not so, I would have told you.


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