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What Does “Maranatha” Mean?

written by Asher Intrater
February 19, 2016

The expression “maranatha” (I Corinthians 16:22, Revelation 22:20) is a cry of faith and prayer for the coming of the Lord, and is usually translated as “Come, Lord!” This is connected to the prayers “May Your kingdom come” (Matthew 6:11) and “Blessed is He who comes” (Matthew 23:39). 

Although this word is found in the original Greek text of the New Covenant, it is not Greek, but Aramaic. Almost all of the Law and the Prophets (Tanakh) are written in Hebrew except for a few parts in Aramaic, mostly in Daniel. The word “maran” means lord, and “atha” means come.

In the Prophets there are two descriptions of the coming of the Messiah. One is the “humble” version in Zechariah 9:9 – “Behold, your king will come to you, righteous and with salvation, humble and riding on a donkey.” We understand this from the gospels to be fulfilled by Yeshua’s entrance to Jerusalem before His crucifixion (Matthew 21:5).

The other description is the Messiah in glory. Daniel 7:13 – “Behold one like the son of man coming with the clouds of heaven… to him was given dominion and glory…” In Yeshua’s witness before the high priests (Matthew 26:64) and in His sermon on the end times (Matthew 24:30), He refers to Himself as the son of man coming on the clouds of heaven in glory. Both of those quotes are referring back to the prophecy in Daniel 7.

That passage in Daniel is in Aramaic and the word for “come” is “atha”. The cry of “Maranatha” in the New Covenant is also a reference to Daniel 7. It is in essence a proclamation of faith, saying, “Yeshua, you are the Lord, the “Maran.” We believe that you will come “atha” in power and glory on the clouds of heaven, as described in Daniel 7:13-14. We are praying for these prophecies to be fulfilled and are inviting you to come again.”

Maranatha, Amen

Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.

He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.

Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.


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