Zacchaeus     Ζακχαῖος     

The Greek text is still in the process of being fully matched to meter, along with addding optional lines, etc. Many resources I hope to link to are not yet listed. If you have any comments, suggestions, send me a note at louis <at> letsreadgreek <dot>  com.

This song is probably one of the most popular children's chorus and has one verse; some versions add a verse dealing with Zaccheus' changed life. Actions are usually associated with this song.

English Text and Links


Zacchaeus was a wee little man
And a wee little man was he
He climbed up in a sycamore tree
For the Lord he wanted to see
And as the Savior passed that way
He looked up in that tree
And He said, “Zacchaeus, you come down!
For I’m going to your house today
For I’m going to your house to stay”



Scriptural References

Luke 19:1-6

19 Καὶ εἰσελθὼν διήρχετο τὴν Ἰεριχώ. 2 Καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ ὀνόματι καλούμενος Ζακχαῖος, καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν ἀρχιτελώνης καὶ αὐτὸς πλούσιος· 3 καὶ ἐζήτει ἰδεῖν τὸν Ἰησοῦν τίς ἐστιν καὶ οὐκ ἠδύνατο ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου, ὅτι τῇ ἡλικίᾳ μικρὸς ἦν. 4 καὶ προδραμὼν εἰς τὸ ἔμπροσθεν ἀνέβη ἐπὶ συκομορέαν ἵνα ἴδῃ αὐτὸν ὅτι ἐκείνης ἤμελλεν διέρχεσθαι. 5 καὶ ὡς ἦλθεν ἐπὶ τὸν τόπον, ἀναβλέψας ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν· Ζακχαῖε, σπεύσας κατάβηθι, σήμερον γὰρ ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ σου δεῖ με μεῖναι. 6 καὶ σπεύσας κατέβη καὶ ὑπεδέξατο αὐτὸν χαίρων. 7 καὶ ἰδόντες πάντες διεγόγγυζον λέγοντες ὅτι παρὰ ἁμαρτωλῷ ἀνδρὶ εἰσῆλθεν καταλῦσαι. 8 σταθεὶς δὲ Ζακχαῖος εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν κύριον· ἰδοὺ τὰ ἡμίσιά μου τῶν ὑπαρχόντων, κύριε, τοῖς πτωχοῖς δίδωμι, καὶ εἴ τινός τι ἐσυκοφάντησα ἀποδίδωμι τετραπλοῦν. 9 εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι σήμερον σωτηρία τῷ οἴκῳ τούτῳ ἐγένετο, καθότι καὶ αὐτὸς υἱὸς Ἀβραάμ ἐστιν· 10 ἦλθεν γὰρ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ζητῆσαι καὶ σῶσαι τὸ ἀπολωλός.

Koine Greek Adaptation


ὁ μὲν Ζακχαῖος ἦν ἀνὴρ μικρός
δὴ μάλιστα ἦν μικρὸς. (or τῇ ἡλικίᾳ ἦν μικρὸς)
ἀνέβη ἆρ' ἐπὶ συκομορέαν
ἵνα κύριον ἴδῃ αὐτός·
καὶ ὡς ὁ δὲ παράγει αὖ
ἀναβλέψας δένδρῳ τούτῳ
καὶ ἔφη
Ζακχαῖε, κάτω κατάβηθι,
τῷ σῷ οἴκῳ δεῖ με μεῖναι.

καὶ κατέβη δένδρου τούτου
καὶ ἔφη ὡς κρείσσων ἔσομαι
δώσω χρῆμα μου τοῖς πτοχοῖς
ὅτι κρείσσων ἀνὴρ ἔσομαι
ὅτι κρείσσων ἀνὴρ ἔσομαι



Chreia Αdaptations

This is a very complicated song. There are few repeated phrases, and few options for switching words.

Use in Greek Pedagogy

This song is a very complicated song using many different grammatical constructions. In addition to the basics introduced early in grammars, the following more complex items exist:

  1. Athematic aorists: ἀνέβη, κατάβαθι, κατέβη, ἐφη
  2. Forms of εἰμι: ἦν, ἔσομαι
  3. Participles: ἀναβλέψας
  4. Infinitive: μεῖναι
  5. Conjunctions: ο μὲν....ὁ δὲ, ὡς
  6. Particles: δή ἄρα αὖ