Matthew 6

Pure-hearted Giving

1 Be giving heed that you not be doing your justice before men to be beheld by them, otherwise you have no reward from your father in the heavens. 2 Whenever therefore you do [a] merciful [thing], do not trumpet before you, like the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, in order that they be glorified by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But [when] you do [a] merciful [thing], let1 your left hand not know what your right hand is doing, 4 in order that your merciful [deed] be in secret. And your father who sees in secret will reward you2.

Private Prayer

5 And when you pray, be not as the hypocrites. For they philia-love to be praying [when] standing in the synagogues and in the street corners, in order that they be manifest to men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and having closed the door, pray to your father that [is] in secret, and your father who sees in secret will reward you 3 7 But when you pray, do not babble4 like the nations5, for they suppose that by their wordiness they will be heard. 8 Be not as they, for your father knows what needs you have before you ask6 him. 9 Therefore pray thusly:

Our father 7 in the heavens,
Let1 your name be holy,
10 Your kingdom come
Your will come to pass
as in heaven, so also on earth.
11 Give us today our bread for the day
12 And forgive us our debts8
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into the test,
but rescue us from [the] wicked9 [one].

14 10 For if you allow men their shortcomings, your heavenly father will also allow you [yours]. 15 And if you do not allow men [theirs]11, neither will your father allow [you] your shortcomings.

Proper Fasting

16 Now when you fast, do not become sullen like the hypocrites, for they darken their faces in order that [their] fastings be manifest. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 in order that your fasting not be manifest to men, but to your father that [is] in secret. And your father who sees in secret will reward you.

Lasting Treasure

19 Be not treasuring up treasures to yourselves on earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. 20 But be treasuring up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

22 The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye be simple12, your whole body will be radiant. 23 If however your eye be wicked9, your whole body will be dark. If therefore the light in you is dark, how great [is] the darkness.

24 No one is able to be slaving-to13 two lords. For either he will hate the one and agape-love the other, or he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot be slaving-to God and Mammon14.

Do Not Worry

25 Because of this I say to you, be not concerning yourself about your psyche-life15 : what you shall eat, nor with what you will clothe your body. Is not your psyche-life15 more than food and your body [more] than clothing? 26 Behold the birds of the heavens: that they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns, and your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not more significant than they? 27 And which of you by concern is able to add to his height one cubit?

28 And why do you concern yourself about clothing? Learn from the lilies of the field [how they] grow: They neither toil nor spin. 29 Yet I say to you that Solomon in all his glory was not adorned as one of these. 30 Now if God thus clothes the grass of the field which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more you, O little-faiths? 31 Therefore be not concerned saying: What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? 32 For the nations16 strive after all these [things]. For your heavenly father knows that you need all these [things]. 33 Be seeking first the kingdom and its justice, and all these [things] will be added to you. 34 Therefore be not concerned with tomorrow, for tomorrow will be concerned with itself. Enough for the day is its [own] evil.


2add "manifestly" WK; text: ℵBD vg

3add "manifestly" WK; text: ℵBD vg

4BATTALOGEO (βατταλoγεω) the meaning of this word is obscure; some translate it "vain repetition". This is the only place in the N.T. where this word is used, so it's not possible to determine its meaning from N.T. usage (always the first choice), and the etymology of BATTALOGEO is unclear. BATTOS = 'stammerer', however.

To merely repeat a prayer request is apparently not 'babbling' in Jesus view since he himself prayed repeating the same words: Matt.26:44.

]indent Notice that Jesus specificially refers to 'the nations'—whatever He has in mind was apparently a Gentile practice of the day.

5i.e. the Gentiles

6AITEO "ay-TEH-oh" (αιτεω) "request", "demand", "beg" something for oneself. Far from humbly requesting—it's more like 'demanding'. Jesus uses AITEO only of the prayer of others, not of His own (cf. John.16:26)—and not requesting things for Himself, only for others. AITEO seems to suppose a lesser degree of intimacy than EROTAO (ερωταω), hence AITEO is used of the requests of the disciples to God, but EROTAO of the requests of the disciples to Jesus, and of those of Jesus to the Father ( John.14:16). AITEO is demanding/begging/pleading, EROTAO is polite and friendlier. Both AITEO and EROTAO occur in John.16:26.

7"Our father" ℵW vg K; "God our father" B

8The primary meaning is a 'financial debt', also used for 'moral' debts

9PONEROS (πoνηρoς ) here. The Greek word KAKOS (κακoς ) is always translated `evil', PONEROS is usually translated as `wicked' although occasionally as `bad'; it can also mean 'diseased', 'sickly' and is thus translated where appropriate. Like KAKOS, PONEROS also means `evil', but the harm that evil does is more in view, where KAKOS is more `evil as evil'.

10add "For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen":KW many; text: Hℵ B D vg

11"theirs" ℵ D vg many; "their shortcomings" B W K most

12or "sincere"—"straight"?

13be owned by, and as a slave do what is commanded

14 MAMMON: riches, wealth

15from PSYCHE (ψυχη): an individual manifestation of life/consciousness. Animals have PSYCHEs as well as humans. Contrast ZOE (ζωη)—Life 'collectively', interdependent, interconnected.

16i.e. the Gentiles