New English Translation
Do Not Judge
7 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.[a] 2 For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive.[b] 3 Why[c] do you see the speck[d] in your brother’s eye, but fail to see[e] the beam of wood[f] in your own? 4 Or how can you say[g] to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while there is a beam in your own? 5 You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 6 Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs; otherwise they will trample them under their feet and turn around and tear you to pieces.[h]
Ask, Seek, Knock
7 “Ask[i] and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door[j] will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks[k] receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Is[l] there anyone among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?[m] 11 If you then, although you are evil,[n] know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts[o] to those who ask him! 12 In[p] everything, treat others as you would want them[q] to treat you,[r] for this fulfills[s] the law and the prophets.
The Narrow Gate
13 “Enter[t] through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 How[u] narrow is the gate and difficult the way that leads to life,[v] and there are few who find it!
A Tree and Its Fruit
15 “Watch out for false prophets,[w] who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves.[x] 16 You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered[y] from thorns or figs from thistles, are they?[z] 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad[aa] tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree is not able to bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree to bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will recognize them by their fruit.
Judgment of Pretenders
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’[ab] will enter into the kingdom of heaven—only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many powerful deeds in your name?’[ac] 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’[ad]
Hearing and Doing
24 “Everyone[ae] who hears these words of mine and does them is like[af] a wise man[ag] who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the flood[ah] came, and the winds beat against that house, but it did not collapse because its foundation had been laid on rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, and it collapsed—it was utterly destroyed!”[ai]
- Matthew 7:1 sn The point of the statement do not judge so that you will not be judged is that the standards we apply to others God applies to us. The passive verb will not be judged has God is the unstated performer of the action. Such usage is generally thought to have arisen within Judaism out of the tendency to minimize the mention of God’s name out of reverence for God, and carried over into early Christian tradition, although in this particular verse the agent may be left unstated more for rhetorical effect. See also ExSyn 437-38.
- Matthew 7:2 tn Grk “by the measure with which you measure it will be measured to you.”
- Matthew 7:3 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 7:3 sn The term translated speck (KJV, ASV “mote”; NAB “splinter”) refers to a small piece of wood, chaff, or straw; see L&N 3.66.
- Matthew 7:3 tn Or “do not notice.”
- Matthew 7:3 sn The term beam of wood refers to a very big piece of wood, the main beam of a building, in contrast to the speck in the other’s eye (L&N 7.78).
- Matthew 7:4 tn Grk “how will you say?”
- Matthew 7:6 tn Or “otherwise the latter will trample them under their feet and the former will turn around and tear you to pieces.” This verse is sometimes understood as a chiasm of the pattern a-b-b-a, in which the first and last clauses belong together (“dogs…turn around and tear you to pieces”) and the second and third clauses belong together (“pigs…trample them under their feet”).
- Matthew 7:7 tn The three present imperatives in this verse are best viewed as iterative (Wallace, ExSyn 722, lists the verse as an example of this usage), calling for repeated action.sn Many interpreters see the three present imperatives (Ask…seek…knock) as mainly limited to persistence in prayer (cf. v. 11), though others see them referring more generally to taking the initiative with God in various ways.
- Matthew 7:7 tn Grk “it”; the referent (a door) is implied by the context and has been specified in the translation here and in v. 8 for clarity.
- Matthew 7:8 sn The actions of asking, seeking, and knocking are repeated here from v. 7 with the additional encouragement that God does respond to such requests/actions.
- Matthew 7:9 tn Grk “Or is there.”
- Matthew 7:10 sn The two questions of vv. 9-10 use a construction in Greek that expects a negative answer: “No parent would do this!”
- Matthew 7:11 tn The participle ὄντες (ontes) has been translated as a concessive adverbial participle: in spite of the fact that the hearers are “evil,” they still know how to give “good gifts” to their own children (see also ExSyn 634).
- Matthew 7:11 sn The provision of the good gifts is probably a reference to the wisdom and guidance supplied in response to repeated requests. The teaching as a whole stresses not that we get everything we want, but that God gives the good that we need.
- Matthew 7:12 tn Grk “Therefore in.” Here οὖν (oun) has not been translated.
- Matthew 7:12 tn This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos), referring to both males and females.
- Matthew 7:12 sn Jesus’ teaching as reflected in the phrase treat others as you would want them to treat you, known generally as the Golden Rule, is not completely unique in the ancient world, but here it is stated in its most emphatic, selfless form. It is stated negatively in Tobit 4:15, and can also be found in the Talmud in a story about the great rabbi Hillel, who is said to have told a Gentile who asked to be taught the Torah, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor; that is the whole Torah, while the rest is the commentary thereof; go and learn it” (b. Shabbat 31a).
- Matthew 7:12 tn Grk “is”; cf. CEV “This is what the Law and the Prophets are all about”; NIV “for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
- Matthew 7:13 sn The same verb is used in Matt 5:20, suggesting that the kingdom of heaven is to be understood here as the object.
- Matthew 7:14 tn See BDAG 1007 s.v. τίς for the translation of τί (ti) as an exclamation.
- Matthew 7:14 sn Here the destination is specified as life. In several places Matthew uses “life” or “eternal life” in proximity with “the kingdom of heaven,” suggesting a close relationship between the two concepts (compare Matt 25:34 with v. 46; Matt 19:16, 17, 29 with vv. 23, 24). Matthew consistently portrays “eternal life” as something a person enters in the world to come, whereas the Gospel of John sees “eternal life” as beginning in the present and continuing into the future (cf. John 5:24).
- Matthew 7:15 sn The identity of these false prophets is not specified, and this has led to a wide variety of suggested referents: the Pharisees, the Zealots, the Essenes (all roughly contemporaries of Jesus), later groups (representatives of Pauline Christianity, the Gnostics) or later individuals (Simon Magus mentioned in Acts 8:9-24, Bar Kokhba who led the Jewish revolt of A.D. 132-35), or the eschatological false prophets who will lead people astray in the end times (Matt 24:24). Of course, some of these suggestions assume a second century date for the composition (or redaction) of the Gospel of Matthew.
- Matthew 7:15 sn Sheep’s clothing…voracious wolves. Jesus uses a metaphor here to point out that these false prophets appear to be one thing, but in reality they are something quite different and dangerous.
- Matthew 7:16 tn Grk “They do not gather.” This has been simplified to the passive voice in the translation since the subject “they” is not specified further in the context.
- Matthew 7:16 tn The Greek construction anticipates a negative answer. This is indicated in the translation by the ‘tag’ question “are they?” at the end of the sentence.sn The statement illustrates the principle: That which cannot produce fruit does not produce fruit.
- Matthew 7:17 tn Grk “rotten.” The word σαπρός, modifying “tree” in both v. 17 and 18, can also mean “diseased” (L&N 65.28).
- Matthew 7:21 sn The double use of the vocative is normally used in situations of high emotion or emphasis. Even an emphatic confession like this one without corresponding action means little.
- Matthew 7:22 tn Grk “did we not in your name prophesy and in your name cast out demons and in your name do many powerful deeds.” The phrase “in your name” occurs before each of the verbs in the Greek text, making it somewhat emphatic, but the phrase was placed after the verbs in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Matthew 7:23 tn Or “you who commit lawless deeds”; or “you who behave lawlessly”; Grk “workers of lawlessness.”
- Matthew 7:24 tn Grk “Therefore everyone.” Here οὖν (oun) has not been translated.
- Matthew 7:24 tn Grk “will be like.” The same phrase occurs in v. 26.
- Matthew 7:24 tn Here and in v. 26 the Greek text reads ἀνήρ (anēr), while the parallel account in Luke 6:47-49 uses ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) in vv. 48 and 49.
- Matthew 7:25 tn Grk “the rivers.”
- Matthew 7:27 tn Grk “and great was its fall.”
- Matthew 7:28 tn Grk “And it happened when.” The introductory phrase καὶ ἐγένετο (kai egeneto, “it happened that”) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
- Matthew 7:29 sn Jesus’ teaching impressed the hearers with the directness of its claim; he taught with authority. A study of Jewish rabbinic interpretation shows that it was typical to cite a list of authorities to make one’s point. Jesus addressed the issues directly, in terms of his own understanding, without citing other teachers.
- Matthew 7:29 tn Or “their scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 2:4.