April 22, 2024

[Mat 6:7 KJV] 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

The Greek for “use vain repetitions” is battalogeō. It is found only once in Matthew 6:7.

Other translations, translate it “babble on”, “heap up empty phrases”, “meaningless repetition”.

Outline of Biblical Usage defines it as:
1. to stammer
2. to repeat the same things over and over, to use many idle words, to babble, prate. Some suppose the word derived from Battus, a king of Cyrene, who is said to have stuttered; others from Battus, an author of tedious and wordy poems

Wiktionary defines it as:

1. stammer
2. speak idly

“Behind the word is the practice of the heathen who developed long lists of divine names, hoping that by endless repetition they would somehow invoke the name of the true god and receive what they wished. To know and pronounce correctly the name of a god was thought to provide the power to manipulate that god.”