A survey of the current state of research shows that Matthean scholars are uncertain about the precise value of ἑβδομηκοντάκις ἑπτά in Matt 18:22. An investigation of similar constructions in ancient Greek texts indicates that ἑβδομηκοντάκις ἑπτά denotes the multiplication of seventy by seven and it is best translated “seventy times seven.” Further evidence indicates that the absence of a conjunction between the numerical adverb (ἑβδομηκοντάκις) and the cardinal number (ἑπτά) requires the construction to signify multiplication and not addition. Finally, Jewish literature suggests that the multiplication of seventy and seven signifies a global totality for all that may exist.

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