The word μετά (G3326 - meta - Strong's Greek Lexicon) is translated as "with" 345 times, as "after" 88 times, as "among" 5 times, … .

It appears in Acts 20:6:

… we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread …

Throughout the scriptures, other meanings occur 4 times as often as "after", so could this word reasonably be translated as something other than "after", such as "during the days of Unleavened Bread"?

2 Answers 2


Two cases must be considered when translating μετά according to BDAG:

A: with genitive:

  1. marker of placement, with among, in company with something, eg, Mark 1:13, 14:44, etc
  2. marker of association in general sense denoting the company within which something take place, eg, Matt 20:20, Mark 1:29, etc
  3. marker of attendant circumstances of something that takes place, with, eg, Luke 14:9, etc

B: with accusative: (as in Acts 20:6)

In our literature (NT, etc) only with the meaning after, behind.

  1. Marker of position that is behind something, behind, eg, Heb 9:3
  2. Marker of time after another point of time, after, eg, Matt 25:19, Heb 4:7, Matt 17:1, Mark 9:2, Matt 27:63, Mark 8:31, 10:34, Luke 2:46, Matt 26:2, Mark 14:1, Acts 15:36, 24:24, Luke 15:13, Acts 1:5, 28:11, Gal 1:18, 3:17, etc, etc (many more)

Thus, the translation "after" is extremely common, and the translation "during" is unknown.

  • @RayButterworth - my apologies - quite correct of you point out my error. I have now corrected it. Many thanks.
    – Dottard
    Jul 5 at 20:40

Daniel B Wallace in Beyond the Basics (p377) lists five meanings of meta :

With Genitive

  • Association/accompaniment . . . with, in company with
  • Spatial . . . with, among
  • Manner . . . with

With Accusative (as, here, in Acts 20:6, see below)

  • Temporal . . . after, behind
  • Spatial (rare) . . . after, behind

So 'after', by Daniel B Wallace's reckoning, would be correct.

Note : emeras (days) could be either genitive singular or accusative plural but the context and the article, tas, make it clear that it is definitely accusative plural. See Bagster's Analytical Greek Lexicon p87.

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