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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Matthew 6



Other Authors
Verse 1

alms = an alms. All the critical texts read "righteousness". referring to all the subjects that follow, Matthew 6:2 -- Matthew 7:11. But this is conjecture, because "alms" is the first subject (Matthew 6:2). Dikaiosune, "righteousness", was subsequently substituted for eleemosune, "alms".

men. Greek. anthropos. App-123.

to = in order to. Greek. pros to. App-104.

seen. As in a theatre, so as to be admired. App-133.

of = by (dat. not genitive case).

of = from. Greek. para.

heaven = heavens (plural) See note on verses: Matthew 6:9, Matthew 6:10.

Verse 2

AS TO ALMS GIVING. hypocrites = actors: i.e. those who speak or act from under a mask. Used later of actual impiety, to which it led. Compare Matthew 23:28; Matthew 24:51. Mark 12:15.

that = so that.

of = by. Greek. hupo.

Verily. See note on Matthew 5:18.

They have = They receive. Greek. apecho. In the Papyri, (App-94.) used constantly in formal receipts, as = it is received: i.e. those men who desired to be seen of men, were seen, and had received all they looked for. They got their reward, and had nothing more to come. So in verses: Matthew 6:5, Matthew 6:16. Luke 6:24. Compare Philippians 1:4, Philippians 1:18. Philemon 1:15.

Verse 3

know = get to know. Greek. ginosko. App-132.

Verse 4

seeth = looketh, or observeth. Greek. blepo. App-133.

openly. Omitted by all the Greek texts. App-94.

Verse 5

AS TO PRAYER. thou prayest, thou. All the critical Greek texts read "ye pray, ye".

prayest . . . pray. Greek. proseuchomai. See App-134.

love = are fond of. Greek. phileo. App-135.

streets = open places.

that = so that.

be seen = appear. Greek. phaino. App-106.

Verse 6

closet = store-chamber. Hence a secret chamber where treasures were stored. Occurs only here, Matthew 24:26, and Luke 12:3, Luke 12:24. Compare Isaiah 26:20. 2 Kings 4:33.

Verse 7

use not vain repetitions = repeat not the same things over and over; explained in last clause. Greek. battologeo. Occurs only here.

heathen = Gentiles. Greek. ethnikos. Occurs only here, and Matthew 18:17.

for = in. Greek. en.

much speaking. Greek. polulogia. Occurs only here.

Verse 8

knoweth. Greek. oida. Very significant in this connection.

Verse 9

After, &c. Compare "When". Luke 11:2-4.

Our Father. See Exodus 4:22. Deuteronomy 32:6, &c. The idolater could say to his idol "Thou art my father", so Israel was bound to do So (Isaiah 63:16; Isaiah 64:8). The Talmud so teaches.

Which = Who.

heaven = heavens. See note on Matthew 6:10.

Hallowed = Sanctified.

Thy. Note that the first three petitions are with respect to God, while the next four concern those who pray. God is to be put first in all prayer.

Verse 10

Thy kingdom come. This is the great subject of the first period of the Lord"s ministry. See App-119, also App-112, App-113, and App-114, and the Structure on pp. 1304, 1305, and 1315.

kingdom. See App-112.

come. It was then being proclaimed, but was afterward rejected, and is now in abeyance. See App-112, App-113, App-114and the Structure on pp. 1304, 1305, and 1315.

kingdom. See App-112.

come. It was then being proclaimed, but was afterward rejected, and is now in abeyance. See App-112, App-113, App-114. Hence this same petition is now correct, not the usual prayers for the "increase" or "extension" of it.

will = desire. Greek. thelo. See App-102.

be done = be brought to pass, come to pass, be accomplished. Greek. ginomai. Compare Matthew 26:42.

in = upon. Greek. epi. App-104.

earth = the earth. Greek. ge. App-129. All the texts (App-94.) omit the article.

heaven. Here it is sing, because it is in contrast with earth. Had it been sing in Matthew 6:9, it would have implied that our Father was in heaven, but not on earth. In the Greek the two clauses are reversed: "as in heaven [so] upon earth also".

Verse 11

daily. Greek. epiousios. A word coined by our Lord, and used only here and Luke 11:3, by Him. Compounded from epi = upon (App-104.), and ousios = coming. This is derived from eimi = to come or go, which has the participle epiousa (not from eimi = to be, which would make the participle = epousa). Therefore it means coming or descending upon, as did the manna, with which it is contrasted in John 6:32, John 6:33. It is the true bread from heaven, by which alone man can live the Word of God, which is prayed for here. Epiousion has the article and is separated from "this day" by the words "give to us"; "daily" here is from the Vulgate. Epiousios has been found in the Papyri (Codd. Sergii), but as these are, after all, not Greek (as shown by Prof. Nestle in 1900) but Armenian; the evidence for the word being Greek is still wanting.

Verse 12

our debts. Sin is so called because failure in the obligation involves expiation and satisfaction.

we = we also = that is only what we mortals do. "We" is thus emphatic ("also" is ignored by the Authorized Version)

forgive. All editions read "have forgiven". That prayer and plea was suited for that dispensation of the kingdom, but is reversed in this present dispensation. See Ephesians 4:32. Then, forgiveness was conditioned; now, we forgive because we have been forgiven on account of Christ"s merits.

Verse 13

lead = bring. Not the same word as in Matthew 4:1.

temptation = trial. Compare James 1:12, James 1:13.

deliver = rescue.

from = away from. Greek. apo.

evil = the evil [one]. See App-128.

For, &c. All the critical texts wrongly omit this doxology; for, out of about 500 codices which contain the prayer, only eight omit it. It is found also in the Syriac, Ethiopic, Armenian, Gothic, Sclavonic, and Georgian Versions.

for ever. Greek. eis tous aionas. App-151. a.

Verse 14

if. Implying a contingency. Greek. ean (with Subj.) See App-118. Forgiveness was conditional in that dispensation of the kingdom.

trespasses = lapses, varying in degree. Greek plural of paraptoma.

heavenly. Here the emphasis is on Father, the adjective ouranios being used, instead of the noun, in regimen. It occurs only here, verses: Matthew 6:26, Matthew 6:32, Matthew 6:13, Luke 2:13, Acts 26:19; and in the critical texts, additional in Matthew 5:48; Matthew 18:35; Matthew 23:9.

also forgive you = forgive you also (emphasis on "you").

Verse 16

AS TO FASTING. be = becorne.

disfigure . . . appear. Note the Figure of speech Paronomasia (App-6), aphanizousin . . . phanosin.

appear. App-106.

Verse 17

wash. Greek. niptd. App-136.

Verse 19

AS TO RICHES. Lay . . . up = Treasure . . . up.

corrupt = cause to vanish.

Verse 21

heart be also = heart also be.

Verse 22

light = lamp. Greek. luchnos. App-130.

single = clear.

Verse 23

If. Assuming it as a fact.

be = is.

Verse 24

No man = No one. Greek. oudeis. See App-105.

can = is able to.

serve. As a bondservant.

masters. Greek. kurios. See App-98.

hate: or care not for.

cannot = are not (App-105.) able to.

mammon = riches. An Aramaic word. See App-94. Luke 16:13.

Verse 25

AS TO CARES, ETC. Therefore = On account of this (Greek. dia. App-104. Matthew 6:2).

Take no thought = Be not careful: i.e. full of care, or overanxious. Compare verses: Matthew 6:27, Matthew 6:28, Matthew 6:31, Matthew 27:34.

life = soul Greek. psuche.

more = [worth] more.

Verse 26

Behold = Look attentively (emblepo, App-133.) at (eis).

of = which fly in. Genitive of Relation. App-17.

air = the heaven. Sing, in contrast with earth. See note on Matthew 6:9, Matthew 6:10.

your. Speaking to disciples. Contrast "them" with their creator.

Verse 27

of = from among. Greek. ek.

add = prolong.

cubit = span. Compare Luke 12:26. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject), App-6, for a very small thing, as in Psalms 39:5, where the Greek pechus is used as the rendering of Hebrew. "ammah.

stature. Used elsewhere of age in John 9:21, John 9:23. Hebrews 11:11, and of stature in Luke 19:3. Doubtful in Matthew 6:27. Luke 2:52. Ephesians 4:13.

Verse 28

for = about or concerning. Greek. peri. App-104.

Consider = Consider carefully, so as to learn from. Greek. katamanthano. Occurs only here.

toil not. As men.

spin. As women. Consolation for both sexes.

Verse 30

if. Assuming the fact. See App-118.

O ye of little faith. Note the four occurrences of this word (oligopistos). Here, rebuking care; Matthew 8:26, rebuking fear; Matthew 14:31, rebuking doubt; Matthew 16:8, rebuking reasoning. Luke 12:28 is parallel with Matthew 6:30.

Verse 32

Gentiles = nations.

Verse 33

the kingdom of God. See App-114. Occurs five times: Matthew 6:33; Matthew 12:28; Matthew 19:24; Matthew 21:31, Matthew 21:43.

His: i.e. God. L T [A] WH R omit, and read "His righteousness and kingdom".

shall be added. Hebraism = come on afterward, as in Acts 3:12, Acts 3:3. Luke 20:11. Septuagint for Hebrew. yasaph.

Verse 34

shall. Hebraism = is sure to, will certainly.

the things of. All the critical texts omit these words.

Sufficient, &c. This verse is not "omitted by Luke"; but it was not included by the Lord when repeated on a later occasion which Luke records. See App-97.

is = be.


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Matthew 6:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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Tuesday, October 20th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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