THE SERMONS OF JESUS

The Sermon on the Mount: Miscellaneous Topics
Jesus on Wealth/Dependence Upon God
(Matt. 6:19-34)
Based on the Greek Text

. INTRODUCTION

    "In a new section of the sermon, the evangelist now presents three short pericope that contrast the pursuit of the wealth of this world with the single-hearted desire of the disciple to do the will of the Father, wherein alone lies true wealth. These pericope are in line with and extend the emphasis of the sermon on righteousness and discipleship" (WBC:156).

TREASURES IN HEAVEN VS. TREASURES ON EARTH (6:19-21)

Matthew 6:19

mh qhsaurizete umin qhsaurouV epi thV ghV opou shV kai brwsiV afanizei kai opou kleptai diorussousin kai kleptousin.

thesaurizete qhsaurizete prog pres s. act imper comm 2 plur qhsaurizw "[do not] store up, treasure"

  1. "Do not have this habit (me and the present imperative)" (RWP 1:56).

  2. "'To keep, hoard, lay up as treasure (in the treasury),' esp. of valuable things, both lit. and figur. . . .

    The piety of Jesus is distinguished by His definite repudiation of the laying up of earthly goods. . . . . Is [sic., prob. "In" is meant] so far as the heaping up of earthly goods expresses a this-worldly and egotistic attitude, it is a contradiction of God (Lk. 12:21; Jm. 5:3). At times earthly goods have to be given up, especially when the concrete situation makes this unavoidable (Mt. 6:19-21 and par.; Lk. 12:33; Mk. 10:17 ff.; 1:16 ff.). In accordance with the Jewish image, acts of love are described as a laying up of treasure in heaven" (TDNT 3:138 by Hauck).


thesaurous qhsaurouV 2 accus dir obj masc plur qhsauroV, o "treasures"

  1. "a play on the word, 'treasure not for yourselves treasures.' . . . Wycliff has it: 'Do not treasure to you treasures'" (RWP 1:56).

  2. "Jesus takes up the Jewish image and teaching that man should not assemble earthly and material things, but that he should do good actions by which the righteous lay up treasure in heaven (Mt. 6:19-21; Mk. 10:21 and par.; Lk. 12:33 f.). The difference from later Judaism is that imminent eschatological expectation gives added exclusiveness to the demand, and that there is now no thought of merit" (TDNT 3:137 by Hauck).

ses shV 1 subj nom fem sg shV, shtoV, o "moth"

  1. "The clause . . ., 'where moth and rust consume,' expresses the truth that treasures stored up on the earth are at least insecure. They are subject to the destruction caused by nature in a variety of forms, of which moth and decay are only two examples. . . . The moth (shV) was a well-known destroyer in the ancient world and, hence, frequently came to be used as a symbol of destruction (cf. Isa. 50:9; 51:8; and esp. Job 4:19 . . .)" (WBC:157).

  2. "4. Jesus in Mt. 6:19 f.; Lk. 12:33 demands a resolute turning aside from all obviously perishable treasures, -->III, 137, 32 ff. There is nothing which is not threatened by moths, brwsiV, or theft. But a realistic reference to this threat is only the foil to the promise of genuine treasures which cannot be damaged in this way and to the consequences of this for the heart (Mt. 6:2); Lk. 12:34 . . . " (TDNT 7:277 by Bauernfeind).

brosis brwsiV 3 subj nom fem sg brwsiV, ewV, h "rust"

  1. "Something that 'eats' (bibrosko) or 'gnaws' or 'corrodes'" (RWP 1:56).

  2. "The literal meaning of the world is 'eating,' and the linking with moth has inclined some to understand here some other living organism such as a locust or a worm . . . brwsiV is used in Mal 3:11, apparently to refer to the devouring locust. In classical Greek, however, the word was used for 'decay' of teeth (BAGD, 148). . . . But since Greek has a specific word for rust (ioV), used in Jas 5:3, it seems better to translate brwsiV here more broadly as 'rot,' 'decay,' or 'corrosion' . . ." (WBC:157).

  3. footnote 12: "On the basis of Hos. 5:12; Job 13: 28 . . . 'decay' suggests itself as a natural rendering . . ." (TDNT 7:277 by Bauernfeind).


kleptai kleptai 1 subj nom masc plur klepthV, o "thieves"

diorussousin diorussousin prog pres s. act decl indic 3 plur diorussw "they dig through"

  1. "Literally 'dig through.' Easy to do through mud walls or sun-dried bricks. . . . The Greeks called a burglar a 'mud-digger' (toichoruchos" (RWP 1:56).

  2. "break through, break in" (A/G:198).


kleptousin kleptousin prog pres s. act decl indic 3 plur kleptw "they steal"

  1. "refers to the other constant danger to earthly treasures. Burglary was not uncommon in the ancient world. It was not difficult for thieves to burrow their way through the mud-brick walls of the typical Palestinian [sic., actually there was no Palestine until almost a thousand years later] house (cf. Job 24:16). Treasures in the ancient world were often buried under house floors, as archeologists have repeatedly discovered. . . . Earthly wealth is thus always precarious and may easily be lost" (WBC:157).


Matthew 6:20

qhsaurizete de umin qhsaurouV en ouranwi opou oute shV oute brwsiV afanizei kai opou kleptai ou diorussousin oude kleptousin.

    "The concept of treasures in heaven as good works stored up before God is a common one in Jewish tradition" (WBC:157-158).


Matthew 6:21

opou gar estin o qhsauroV sou, ekei estai kai h kardia sou.

he kardia h kardia 1 subj nom fem sg kardia, h "your heart"

  1. "This is the main point of these verses (vv 19-21). The main and central organ of the body is a well-known metaphor for the center of a person's inner being (J. Behm, TDNT 3:605-14) and thus the center of a person's attention and commitment. . . . Truly, the one who piles up treasures on earth will have his or her attention and commitment necessarily turned to earthly matters rather than to the will of the Father in heaven (cf. Luke 12:21)" (WBC:158).

Matthew 6:22

o lucnoV tou swmatoV estin o ofqalmoV. ean oun h o ofqalmoV sou aplouV, olon to swma sou fwteinon estai.

  1. CAF3: "A spiritual cyclops versus a spiritual Marty Feldman."

  2. "These difficult verses [22-23] can only be understood correctly by noting the context in which they stand, i.e., the pericopes on either side, both of which refer to concern with wealth. The aplouV eye and the ponhrouV eye are not to be understood physically as a healthy and a diseased eye . . . . The ponhrouV eye is the 'evil eye' of Near Eastern cultures--an eye that enviously covets what belongs to another, a greedy or avaricious eye . . . . The aplouV eye, given the symmetrical structure of the passage, is probably the opposite of the evil eye, namely, a generous eye, as in the cognate adverb aplwV, 'generously,' in Jas. 1:5 . . .--an eye that is not attached to wealth but is ready to part with it. . . . On the other hand, aplouV can also mean 'single' (BAGD, 86a) in the sense of devotion to one purpose, a meaning consonant with the point made by the following verse (v 24). Cf. too 'singleness [aplothV] of heart' in Eph 6:5" WBC:158).

ho luchnos o lucnoV 2 subj nom masc sg lucnoV, o "the lamp"

  1. "Lk. adds to 11:33 the parable which is found in another context and a shorter version of Mt. 6:22. In 11:34 He calls the eye the lucnoV tou swmatoV. On its health depends whether the blessings of light come to man. We must be fully open to the light of Jesus, or of the Gospel" (TDNT 4:326 by Michaelis).


ho ophthalmos o ofqalmoV 2 pred nom masc sg ofqalmoV, o

  1. "the eye is what makes sight possible. . . . It is only a way of speaking about the phenomenon of sight" (WBC:158).


haplous aplouV adj pred nom masc sg aplouV, h, oun

  1. "single, simple, sincere" but in this context "clear, sound healthy" with connotation of "generous"--A/G:85.

  2. "Used of a marriage contract when the husband is to repay the dowry 'pure and simple' . . ., if she is set free; but in case he does not do so promptly, he is to add interest also . . . . Here and in Luke 11:34 the eye is called 'single' in a moral sense. The word means 'without folds' like a piece of cloth unfolded, simplex in Latin. . . . The 'evil' eye (poneros) may be diseased and is used of stinginess in the LXX and so haplous may refer to liberality as Hatch argues (Essays in Biblical Greek, p. 80). The passage may be elliptical with something to be supplied. If our eyes are healthy we see clearly and with a single focus (without astigmatism). If the eyes are diseased (bad, evil), they may be cross-eyed or cock-eyed. We see double and confuse our vision. We keep one eye on the hoarded treasures of earth and roll the other proudly up to heaven. Seeing double is double-mindedness as is shown in verse 24" (RWP 1:56-57).

  3. "In addition to the original meaning a. 'simple': LXX . . ., there is a whole series of derived meanings: b. 'open,' 'without ulterior motive'; hence the adv. aplwV, 'unambiguously,' 'wholeheartedly': M. Ant., V, 7, 2: . . .; then in addition to these more positive senses, the more intellectual c. 'simple' in the negative sense: . . . . The verb aplow, common only after the imperial period, thus means to 'make simple,' i.e., 'to expound' . . ., but then comes to signify amongst other things 'to disseminate' . . . .

    In Gk. translations of the OT aplouV or -> aplothV are equivalents of alhqinoV, amwmoV, osioV, eirhnikoV, kaqara kardia etc. in transl. of . . . . Here as in Greek-speaking Judaism generally the word-group is most used to express such positive values as 'free from inner discord,' 'innocent,' 'upright,' 'pure.' . . .

    If the words aplouV and --> ponhroV here describe physical states, as seems most likely, then apolouV must have the meaning of 'healthy' as in Prv. 11:25. If, however, the terms have ethical significance, then we must translate aplouV 'pure' in the sense of apurity which is ready for sacrifice. . . . In Jm. 1:5: aiteitw para tou didontoV qeou pasin aplwV kai mh oneidizontoV, the meaning might well be 'kind' or 'generous.' Yet the sense of 'wholehearted' is perhaps nearer the mark . . ." (TDNT 1:386 by Bauernfeind).


photeinon fwteinon adj pred nom neut sg fwteinoV, h, on

  1. "illuminated, full of light"--A/G:880.

  2. "There is obvious borrowing from Jewish usage when God is called the 'Father of lights,' i.e., the stars, in Jm. 1:17 --V, 1013, 17 ff. The use is again literal in Mt. 6:23 and par. An empirical principle is obviously the basis and this is applied to the inner light. . . .As the interpretation shows, Mt. is obviously taking v. 22 and v. 23a to be already an allegory of the inner light" (TNDT 9:343-344 by Conzelmann).

Matthew 6:23

ean de o ofqalmoV sou ponhroV hi, olon to swma sou skoteinon estai. ei oun to fwV to en soi skotoV estin, to skotoV poson.

  1. CAF3: the first clause is 3rd class conditional; the second clause is 1st class conditional.

  2. "In all probability 'light' is an example of simple metonymy for the eye itself. It seems high improbable that the evangelist here deliberately opposes the Platonic-Stoic anthropology concerning the lumen internum (as Betz contends). What interests the evangelist is the eye/light metaphor as a vehicle for his argument concerning the disciple and material wealth. The point is that the eye is what bring light to the body; if instead the eye itself becomes only a source of darkness, how great one's personal darkness is. . . . Metaphorically speaking, a generous eye or the single eye of discipleship is the source of light; an evil, covetous eye is the source of darkness" (WBC:158-159).

skoteinon skoteinon adj pred nom neut sg skoteinoV, h, on

skotos skotoV 3 subj nom neut sg skotoV, ouV, to "the darkness"

poson poson correlative pron. subj nom neut sg posoV, h, on "how great" used in direct and indirect questions, according to A/G:701.


Matthew 6:24

oudeiV dunatai dusi kurioiV douleuein, h gar ton ena mishsei kai ton eteron agaphsei h enoV anqexetai kai tou eterou katafronhsei. ou dunasqe qewi douleuein kai mamwnai

    CAF3: Probably the best illustration of this is seen in Elijah challenge to the Israelites on Mt. Carmel for them to stop jumping from one foot to the other, first in their allegiance to YHWH and then to Baal, then back and forth and back and forth. He challenges them to choose YHWH ONCE AND FOR ALL...it is the same challenge Jesus is issuing here.

misesei mishsei pred fut s. act decl indic 2 sg misew "you will hate"

agapesei agaphsei pred fut s. act decl indic 2 sg agapaw "you will love"

anthexetai anqexetai pred fut indirect middle decl indic 2 sg antecw "cling to, hold fast to something or someone, [here] he will devoted to the one"--A/G:72.

mamonai mamwnai 1 dat after verb of serving masc sg mamwnaV, a, o

  1. "wealth, property . . . . Personified, 'Mammon' Mt 6:24" (A/G:491).

  2. "Mamon is a Chaldee, Syriac, and Punic word like Plutus for the money-god (or devil). The slave of mammon will obey mammon while pretending to obey God. The United States has had a terrible revelation of the power of the money-god in public life in the Sinclair-Fall-Teapot-Air-Dome-Oil case. When the guide is blind and leads the blind, both fall into the ditch. The man who cannot tell road from ditch sees falsely as Ruskin shows in Modern Painters" (RWP 1:57).


Matthew 6:25

dia touto legw umin mh merimnate thi yuchi umwn ti faghte h ti pihte mhde twi swmati umwn ti endushsqe. Ouci h yuchi pleion estin [interrogative indicative] thV trofhV kai to swma tou endumatoV;

    "The discourse now turns naturally from the negative references concerning wealth to the impropriety of anxiety in the true disciple. If the disciples are not to be preoccupied with treasures on earth, if they are not to compromise the singlemindedness of their commitment, it would seem worth asking how their basic needs are to be met. Jesus teaches them not to be anxious about their daily needs but to trust their heavenly Father. . . . getting priorities right (v 33). The reference to ordinary needs, and specifically to food, makes it possible to relate this pericope to the fourth petition of the Lord's Prayer" (WBC:161).

dia touto dia touto demonstrative pron accus neut sg outoV, auth, touto 1. limitation 2. "because of" 3. "Because of this, on account of this"

    "lit. 'on account of this,' refers at least to v 24, but probably to the whole preceding section, vv 19-24. If one's allegiance to God is to be absolute, then what about one's material needs?" (WBC:163).

merimnate merimnate prog pres s. act imper comm 2 plur "do [not] worry" merimnaw

  1. "It occurs in Christ's rebuke to Martha for her excessive solicitude about something to eat (Luke 10:41). . . . a command not to have the habit of petulant worry about food and clothing, a source of anxiety to many housewives, a word for women especially as the command not to worship mammon may be called a word for me. The command may mean that they must stop such worry if already indulging in it" (RWP 1:58).

  2. "'do not be anxious,' . . . 'to be anxious' in the sense of being fearful. . . . merimna occurs in 1 Macc 6:10 and Sir 42:9, where it is associated with sleeplessness. In Sir 30:24 . . .: 'Jealousy and anger shorten life, and anxiety brings on old age too soon.' . . . To be anxious for such things as our passage enumerates is to be anxious about survival itself. . . . a paralyzing anxiety that can only enervate discipleship" (WBC:163).

  3. "a. merimna and merimnan occur several times in the NT, but rarely in other Christian writings . . . .
    b. The NT, too, realises that human life is swayed by care. The exhortations not to worry presuppose that every man naturally cares for himself and his life, that he is concerned about himself, that he is always intent on something and concerned about something. This is by no means ruled out as illegitimate. Indeed, it is accepted that man is concerned about himself and that he strives after things. But the why and wherefore of his concern and striving are given a new orientation, and so, too, is his understanding of himself and his life.
    This would not be so if the admonitions not to care, but o cast one's care on God, were based on the idea that God guarantees the fulfilment [sic] of all striving. Phil. 4:6 shows, however, that in petitionary prayer, which is based on anxiety, the man who prays attains a certain aloofness from his wishes when he puts them before God meta eucariastiaV, and he thus finds liberation from care. 1 Pt. 5:7 (cf. v. 6) also shows that to cast one's care on God does not mean to think of Him as the One who guarantees one's wishes, but to see in Him the One who knows what we need better than we do ourselves. These exhortations to prayer are thus designed to give absolute freedom from care as anxiety.
    . . . The point is, however, that man is given to understand that he must not believe that he can secure his life by his merimnan (Mt. 6:27 . . .). If he is genuinely concerned about himself, he must strive after the basileia tou qeou and care for ta tou kuriou. This means, however, that he must realise not merely that he does not draw his life from the present world but also that if, in self-concern, he cares for the things of this world, he will fall victim to this world. For his life is in fact controlled by that for which, about which, after which, before which and concerning which he cares. It is the constant tendency of this world to lead him to apostasy to it through the merimnai biwtikai (Lk. 21:34), the merimna tou aiwnoV . . . . Herein is the apath tou ploutou (Mk. 4:19 par.).
    In so far as man must take care for the means of life, he must restrict this care to the bare minimum in order that the agaqh meriV may not be lost (Lk. 10:41 f.) . . . For, if he is genuinely a believer, he no longer belongs to this world. He belongs to the world to come. Hence he must strive after this future world (Mt. 6:33 par.). . . . He must care pwV areshi twi kuriwi (1 C. 7:32-34). The believer is thus released from merimna, for his existence is an eschatological existence. . . .
    It is self-evidence, however, that this means the requirement rather than the suspension of care for others, which for believers stands under the eschatological orientation and goal . . . .
    c. . . . Mt. 6:25-34 . . . . merimnan is self-concern in respect of the future (eiV hn aurion, Mt. 6:34). It is concern for the means of life (Mt. 6:25, 28 par.), for one's own life (for yuci and swma, which in synthetic parallelism denote life in Mt. 6:25). That the care is anxious is shown by the questions ti fagwmen; ti piwmen; ti peribalwmeqa; (Mt. 6:31 par.), and especially by the comparison with the birds and plants, which follows the rule of a maiori ad minus (Mt. 6:26, 28 par.). For if there is reference to these creatures, which cannot provide for the future by work, it is presupposed that men do this, but that in view of these creatures they ought to do so without merimnan. What makes a proper concern foolish is anxiety and the illusion to which it gives rise in its blindness, namely, that life itself can be secured by the means of life for which there is concern. . . . What it does mean is that this uncertainty need not cause him anxiety. Whatever happens will be under God's control. The presupposition of being able to defeat merimnan in this certainty is to be found, of course, in obedience to the admonition zhteite ktl. (Mt. 6:33 par.). The man who is concerned about himself, and who tries to find security in the means of life, is shown that he must make the lordship of God his first concern, and then anxiety about his life will wither away. Mt. 6:34 . . . adds a bit of worldly wisdom which in itself does not seem to be typical of Jesus. It is absurd to add the worry of tomorrow to that of to-day. If the disciple worries about tomorrow, to his shame he will be reduced ad absurdum even by secular wisdom with its resigned humour" (TDNT 4:590-593 by Bultmann).

tei psuchei thi yuchi 1 dat indir obj fem sg yuch, h

  1. "'Here psuche stands for the life principle common to man and beast, which is embodied in the swma: the former needs food, the latter clothing' (McNeile). Psuche in the Synoptic Gospels occurs in three senses (McNeile): either the life principle in the body as here and which man may kill (Mark 3:4) or the seat of the thoughts and emotions on a par with kardiadianoia (Mat. 22:37) and pneuma (Luke 1:46; cf. John 12:27 and 13:21) or something higher that makes up the real self (Mat. 10:28; 16:26)" (RWP 1:58).


phagete faghte 2 con aor s. act deliberative (so RWP 1:58) subj 2 plur esqiw "[whatever] you might eat"

    "Food and drink are essential to life; thus the questions, which are only loosely connected syntactically, define the anxiety about this life that can hinder a person's undistracted and absolute discipleship.
    . . . existence . . . is more than food and clothing, as necessary as they may be. If God is the source of the former (the greater), will he not also provide the latter (the lesser)? Accordingly, a life dominated by concern for such matters is misdirected and will of necessity lack full commitment to what is really important" (WBC:163).

endusesthe endushsqe 1 con aor dir middle deliberative (so RWP 1:58) subj 2 plur enduw "you clothe yourselves"

tes trophes thV trofhV 1 abl of comparison fem sg trofh, h "food, nourishment"


Matthew 6:26

embleyate eiV ta peteina tou ouranou oti ou speirousin oude qerizousin oude sunagousin eiV apoqhkaV kai o pathr umwn o ouranioV trefei auta. ouc umeiV mallon diaferete autwn;

emblepsate embleyate 1 con aor. s. act imper comm 2 plur emblepw

eis ta peteina eiV ta peteina 2 accus neut plur peteinon, to

  1. "That God provides food for the birds was apparently a common Jewish thought (see Pss. Sol. 5:9-10, where fish too are mentioned . . .)" (WBC:163).

  2. "The birds, by contrast, are carefree, and God supplies their needs" (WBC:164).

speirousin . . . qerizousin . . . sunagousin

    "The three parallel verbs . . . point to human preoccuppation with financial security (cf. Luke 12:16-21). Luz points out that these types of labor are traditionally those of men, in contrast to those of women mentioned in v 28" (WBC:163-164).

eis apothekas eiV apoqhkaV 1 accus fem plur apoqhkh, h 1. limitation 2. into, unto 3. "into barns"

trephei trefei prog pres s. act decl indic 3 sg trefw "He feeds"

diapherete diaferete prog pres s. act interrog indic 2 plur diaferw "are you not worth more?"

  1. "The rhetorical question here . . ., 'Are you not worth much more than they? becomes an assertion in 10:31, in a context that similarly stresses God's providential care for their needs just as certainly as the birds depend upon God for theirs . . . . They need not be distracted from their discipleship by an inordinate attention to their ongoing need of physical sustenance" (WBC:164).

auton autwn person pron ablative of comparison neut plur autoV, h, o "than they"


Matthew 6:27

    CAF3: "The ironic thing is that worry is counterproductive. Not only can it NOT add days to your life, it can actually shorten your life."
tiV de ex umwn merimnwn dunatai prosqeinai epi thn hlikian autou phcun ena;

prostheinai prosqeinai 2 con aor s. act infin prostiqhmi subst infin--dir obj "[can] add"

epi ten helikian epi thn hlikian "age, time of life" (so A/G:456).

  1. "either of height (stature) or length of life (age). Either makes good sense here, though probably 'stature' bests suits the context best. Certainly anxiety will not help either kind of growth, but rather hinder by auto-intoxication if nothing more. This is no plea for idleness, for even the birds are diligent and the flowers grow" (RWP: 1:59).

  2. "in classical Greek means primarily 'age,' but then also in a related way 'height,' as a sign of age. In the papyri, LXX, and Philo, the predominant meaning is again 'age.' . . . In other NT occurrences, the word means 'stature' (Luke 2:52 . . .), but also 'age' (John 9:21 . . .). Those who argue in favor of 'stature' here depend on the ordinary use of phcun, 'cubit,' as a spatial measure, namely, the length of the forearm to the tip of the middle finder (approx. eighteen inches). . . . It is a mistake, however, to conclude from this that hlikia should here be taken to mean stature . . . The addition of a cubit, or eighteen inches, to one's stature does not make good sense, especially given the Lukan words that follow this question: 'If you cannot do the least [elaciston] of these things, why are you anxious about the others?' (Luke 12:26). In the context, it makes the best sense to take hlikia as length of life and then to take phcuV as afraction of time. The Hebraic use of a spatial measure for a portion of time can be seen in Ps 39:5 ('thou hast made my days a few handbreadths'); 'cubit' only seldom refers to time, but there is at least one such reference extant in the sixth century B.C. Greek writer Mimnermus (see BAGD, 657). Therefore, the rhetorical question elicits the answer that by being anxious one cannot extend one's life even by a small amount of time. Behind this view lies the Hebraic concept of the sovereignty of God in life and death, including the predetermined hour of one' death" (WBC:164).

  3. In TDNT, the idea of "age" is found in classical Greek, the papyri, the LXX, and Philo. "In the NT Lk. 19:3 . . . is the only passage where the word indisputably means 'stature.' Mt. 6:27 = Lk. 12:25 . . . has always been debated. hlikia might refer to 'size,' as also phcuV. But the context demands that hlikia should mean 'span of life' and that phcuV should be a measure of time. Jesus is saying that anxious care is futile. No one can thereby add even a fraction of time to his life. This is even plainer in Lk. The addition elaciston in v. 26 only makes sense if hlikia refers to length of days rather than to length of body" (TDNT 2:941-942 by Schneider).
pechun phcun 3 accus dir obj masc sg phcuV, ewV, o " orig. forearm, then cubit or ell as a measure of length (about 18 inches, or .462 of a meter . . . add a single hour to his life . . . phcuion epi cronon = 'for only a cubit of time') Mt 6:27; Lk 12:25 (Damasc., Vi. Isid. 166 of spiritual growth" (A/G:662).


Matthew 6:28

kai peri endumatoV, ti merimnate; katamaqete ta krina tou agrou pwV auxanousin, ou kopiwin oude nhqousin.

    "These three verses address the matter of clothing by another example from the natural world created by God. . . . focuses attention on the foolishness of anxiety for clothing" (WBC:164).
katamathete katamaqete 2 con s. act imper comm 2 plur katamanqanw "notice, learn"
    "katamanqanw is in some sense the intensive of manqanw in the sense 'to examine closely,' 'to learn,' 'to grasp,' 'to note,' . . . of the probing of a womb [Plutarch] . . . of the examination of a pregnant woman [papyri] . . . of getting to know an oliveyard [P. Fay.] . . . of the watching of spies [Herodotus] . . .

    . . . the context does not permit us to take the word in the sense that regarding the krina tou agrou, will impart to us a specific knowledge of God. The invitation of Jesus to those who are anxious . . . is designed to overcome their inner insecurity, which is based on a lack. Jesus points to the order of nature, which bears witness to the plenitude of possibilities and means at the disposal of the Creator. To the one who is able to see and perceive . . . this can bring awareness that it befits him to put unbounded confidence in the Creator who has also made him" (TDNT 4:414-415 by Rengstorf).

ta krina ta krina 2 accus dir obj neut plur krinon, to "the lilies"
  1. "The word may include other wild flowers besides lilies, blossoms like anemones, poppies, gladioli, irises (McNeile)" (RWP 1:59).

  2. "It is not necessary for us to be able to identify what, if any, specific flower ta krina refers to. tou agrou, 'the field,' has a generalizing effect, and in any case many beautiful flowers were to be seen in the Galilean fields" (WBC:164-65).
auxanousin auxanousin prog pres s. act decl indic 3 plur auxanw "they grow"

kopiosin kopiwin prog pres s. act decl indic 3 plur kopiaw "they do [not] toil, work hard, strive, struggle"

    "In secular Gk. kopoV means a. 'beating,' 'weariness as though one had been beaten,' and b. the 'exertion' or 'trouble' which causes this state. In prose it is the proper word for physical tiredness induced by work, exertion or heart. . . .'to tire oneself out,' lit. in Mt. 6:28" (TDNT 3:827-828 by Hauck).
nethousin nhqousin prog pres s. act decl indic 3 plur nhqw "they spin"
  1. "means they do not do the labor of drawing out some fiber and twisting it together to make thread--labor necessary for the making of clothes (the labor of women; contrast v 26)" (WBC:165).

Matthew 6:29

legw de umin oti oude solomwn en pashi thi doxhi autou periebaleto wV en toutwn.


Matthew 6:30

ei de ton corton tou agrou shmeron onta kai aurion eiV klibanon ballomenon o qeoV outwV amfiennusin, ou pollwi mallon umaV oligopistoi


ton chorton ton corton 2 accus dir obj masc sg chortoV, o "grass, hay" (A/G:892)

  1. "The common grass of the field. This heightens the comparison" (RWP 1:59).

  2. "In v 30 ei plus the indicative constitute a true-to-fact condition that may appropriately be translated 'since.' Whereas in vv 28-29 the flowers are regarded as 'clothed' by God, in v 30ton choron, 'the grass,' is said to be clothed, viz., with the beauty of the flowers. This slight shift is, however, of no consequence. It is made presumably because of the reference to fuel cast into the oven. This emphasizes both the short life (cf. 'today . . . 'tomorrow') and the little worth of what is so beautifully clothed. . . . Grass was then, as even today in the Middle East, common fuel for ovens. The conclusion to be drawn as is readily apparently: since God so wonderfully 'clothes' what is so transitory and worthless, how much more true it must be that God will provide clothing for the disciples, quite apart from any anxiety on their part" (WBC:165).

tou agrou tou agrou 2 descriptive gen masc sg agroV, o "of the field"

eis klibanon eiV klibanon 2 accus masc sg klibanoV, o 1. limitation 2. unto, into 3. "into the furnace"

amphiennusin amfiennusin prog pres s. act potent indic 3 sg amfiennumi "He clothes, dresses" (A/G:46)

oligopistoi oligopistoi adj used substantivally vocative masc plur oligopistoV, on "little faith ones"

  1. "And those to whom such a remark must be addressed, i.e., those prone to anxiety, must be characterized as oligopistoi, lit. 'little faiths' . . . in the NT, the word is applied only to the disciples in reference to their failure to rust God completely)" (WBC:165).

Matthew 6:31

mh oun merimnhshte legonteV ti fagwmen h ti piwmen h ti peribalwmeqa

peribalometha peribalwmeqa 2 con aor dir middle deliberative subj 1 plur periballw "how shall we clothe ourselves?"


Matthew 6:32

panta gar tauta ta eqnh epizhtousin, oiden gar o pathr umwn o ouranioV oti crhizete toutwn apantwn

ta ethne ta eqnh 3 subj nom neut plur eqnoV, ouV, to "the Gentiles" or "the nations, foreigners"

    "here is a negative word, referring to those outside the family of faith, i.e., the pagans . . . . The pagans are taken up with the pursuit of these mundane needs. But the disciples can be free of such concerns because their 'heavenly Father' . . . knows that all these things are legitimate needs that must be met" (WBC:165).

epizetousin epizhtousin prog pres s. act decl indic 3 plur epizhtew "they strive for, wish, wish for" (A/G:292).

  1. "epizhtew, too, has almost identically the same meaning as zhtew . . . Like the simple form, it denotes the striving of man, the deployment of his will and desire. If it is a mark of the Gentile way of life that earthly things claim supreme attention (Mt. 6:32 and par.) . . . A distinctive feature of Hebrews is that it does not merely understand the Christian life as a way of pilgrimage to the future eternal city (Hb. 13:14), but also represents the faith of OT saints as seeking and striving after the heavenly home (11:14)" (TDNT 2:895 by Greeven).

chreizete crhizete prog pres s. act decl indic 3 plur crhizw "you are having need"

touton toutwn near demonstrative pron gen after verb of needing neut plur outoV, auth, touto "of [all] these things"

    "'all these things,' in 32b matches the preceding panta tauta. The disciple is to be concerned with one thing, to have one priority, namely, the kingdom of God, and all (note the third use of tauta panta, all these things,' in these two verses) the other things will be supplied" (WBC:165).

Matthew 6:33

    "V 33 concisely states the climatic point of the entire pericope. The kingdom, and the kingdom alone, is to be the sole priority of the disciples and that toward which the disciple devotes his or her energy" (WBC:165).
zhteite de prwton thn basileian kai thn dikaiosunhn autou kai tauta panta prosteqhsetai umin

zeteite zhteite prog pres s. act imper comm 2 plur zhtew "continue seeking"

    "that one should make the kingdom the center of one's existence and thus experience the rule of God fully in one's heart, hence the present tense, 'keep seeking'" (WBC:165-166).

ten dikaiosunen thn dikaiosunhn 1 accus dir obj fem sg dikaiosunh, h

    "true righteousness or that which is truly the will of God as it is defined by the teaching of Jesus . . . . Participation in the kingdom, as Matthew has already informed us (see 5:20), necessitates righteousness of a qualitatively new kind. The gift of the kingdom and the demand of this new righteousness are inseparable" (WBC:166).

proton prwton adv. "first"

    "The emphatic prwton, 'first' or 'above all,' means to make the kingdom and righteousness one's clear priority in life" (WBC:166).

prostethesetai prosteqhsetai pred fut pass no agent (God implied though) decl indic 3 sg prostiqhmi "it will be added"

    "The passive voice of prosteqhsetai, 'will be added,' is, with v 32 in mind, a divine passive (it is God who will add these things)" (WBC:166).

tauta panta tauta panta

    "'all these things,' indicates the fullness of God's provision (cf. v 32 and see especially 7:7-11)" WBC:166).

Mathew 6:34

mh oun merimnhshte eiV thn aurion, h gar aurion merimnhsei eauthV, arketon thi hmerai h kakia eauthV

  1. "The last resort of the anxious soul when all other fears are allayed. The ghost of tomorrow stalks out with all its hobgoblins of doubt and distrust" (RWP 1:59).

  2. "Jesus broadens the exhortation to include anything that might make people fearful of tomorrow. As the present is fully under God's control, so also is the future. Anxious worry is out of place for the disciple, whether with respect to today or tomorrow. The universal application of this saying of Jesus is reflected in the teachings of the early Church in Phil 4:6 and 1 Pet 5:7, which probably depend upon the logia of the present passage" (WBC:166).
merimnesete merimnhshte 1 con aor s. act imper comm 2 plur merimnaw "Don't worry"

h gar aurion merimnhsei eauthV >ol> "That is, since each day has its own share of trouble and anxiety, let tomorrow (and all future days), so to speak, worry about itself. The disciple should live in the present, not in the future (nor for that matter, the past either)" (WBC:166).

arekton arketon adj pred nom neut sg arketoV, h, on neuter form with feminine subject?

    "
  1. "lit. 'sufficient to the day is its evil.' By its position, the first word is emphatic. The predicate adjective apketon is neuter singular because the subject is an abstract class (BDF %131). . . . to show the stupidity of being anxious about tomorrow or the future. It provides no warrant for being anxious even about the present day. Each day contains its share of evil, but God's faithfulness can be counted upon on a daily basis" (WBC:166).

  2. "For the NT this freedom from want is grounded in God: His provision is sufficient. . . . Mt. 6:34: arketon thi hmerai h kakia authV (on the basis of v. 32: oiden gar o pathr umwn . . .)" (TDNT 1:465 by Kittel).