SO WHEN YOU
GIVE TO THE POOR: Hotan oun poies (2SPAS) eleemosunen (Job
31:16, 17, 18, 19, 20; Psalms 37:21; 112:9; Proverbs 19:17; Ecclesiastes
11:2; Isaiah 58:7,10, 11, 12; Luke 11:41; 12:33; John 13:29; Acts 9:36;
10:2,4,31; 11:29; 24:17; Romans 12:8; 2Corinthians 9:6-15; Galatians
2:10; Ephesians 4:28; 1Timothy 6:18; Philemon 1:7; Hebrews 13:16; James
2:15,16; 1Peter 4:11; 1John 3:17, 18, 19)
The cultural context in Jesus' day is
important to understand so that you might better appreciate why our Lord
emphasizes the topic of righteousness and specifically aid to the poor.
In Jesus’ time, the word righteousness was closely linked to the
word alms. And thus one can see why the Jewish rabbis laid such
great stress upon charity and good deeds in general as a means of
attaining righteousness and as a means of pleasing God and of being
rewarded by Him. To this present day if you ask a Jewish person how they
expect to get into the Kingdom of God, many will answer "By doing good
deeds". But their definition of "good deeds" is not the same as God's
definition of "good deeds" and so Jesus immediately strikes at the very
heart and foundation of the beliefs of Judaism. Imagine for a moment
that you were a strictly orthodox Jew or even a member of the party of
the Pharisees and you were among the multitude who heard these piercing
words calculated to produce a reaction in the heart and minds of the
hearers. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost but first He had to
show men that they were lost and spiritually dead in their trespasses
When (whenever not "if
citizens of the Kingdom of heaven will give to the poor.
Giving to the poor is good but the
question is how do you do this deed? The question is what is your
motivation? Is it to please men or please God? Be honest!
Give to the poor (1654)
(eleemosune from eleemon = merciful from
eleos [word study]
mercy, kindness, compassion) signifies mercy or pity and came to be
applied particularly in giving alms (alms = something such as
money or food given freely to relieve the poor. Our English word "alms"
is from Latin eleemosyna in turn from the Greek word eleemosune). Stated
another way alms represents money given out of mercy for the poor.
Giving was an important part of
ancient Judaism where even those gleaning the fields were told to leave
behind some of the sheaves so that the poor could gather and have food,
Moses recording that...
'Now when you reap the harvest
of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field,
neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 'Nor shall you
glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your
vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am
the LORD your God. (Lev 19:9-10)
The same practice of giving passed
into Christianity. But with every act of giving there is the danger of
mixed motives creeping into something that is so necessary.
Many a Christian, many a church,
has everything in the showcase and nothing on the shelves.
Barclay explains that...
To the Jew almsgiving was the
most sacred of all religious duties. How sacred it was may be seen from
the fact that the Jews used the same word—tzedakah—both for
righteousness and almsgiving. To give alms and to be righteous were one
and the same thing. To give alms was to gain merit in the sight of God,
and was even to win atonement and forgiveness for past sins.
“Prayer with fasting is good,
but better than both is almsgiving with righteousness. A little with
righteousness is better than wealth with wrongdoing. It is better to
give alms than to lay up gold. For almsgiving saves from death and
purges away every sin. Those who give alms will enjoy a full life, but
those who commit sin and do wrong are their own worst enemies. (Tobit 12:8)...
There was a rabbinic saying:
“Greater is he who gives alms than he who offers all
Almsgiving stood first in the catalogue of good works. It
was then natural and inevitable that the man who desired to be good
should concentrate on almsgiving. The highest teaching of the Rabbis was
exactly the same as the teaching of Jesus. They too forbade ostentatious
“He who gives alms in secret,” they said, “is greater
The almsgiving which saves from death is that
recipient does not know from whom he gets it, and when the giver does
not know to whom he gives it.”
There was a Rabbi who, when he wished to
give alms, dropped money behind him, so that he would not see who picked
“It were better,” they said, “to give a man nothing, than to
give him something, and to put him to shame.”
There was one
custom connected with the Temple. In the Temple there was a room called
The Chamber of the Silent. People who wished to make atonement for some
sin placed money there; and poor people from good families who had come
down in the world were secretly helped by these contributions.
The Gospel of Matthew The New Daily
Study Bible Westminster John Knox Press)
The Pharisees had gone far beyond any
legitimate interpretation of (the OT Law). The people had been told:
“Lay up alms in thy storehouse,
it shall deliver thee from affliction.”
“Alms delivers from death and
will purge away all sin.”
“Almsgiving will deliver from
hell and make one perfectly righteous.”
We recognize this as heretical
teaching, for giving alms cannot cleanse a man from sin. But such was
the Jewish concept of almsgiving that they said,
“Giving of alms will make restitution
to God for sins that the giver has committed.”
Now, the Pharisees had concluded that
if a man gave, but gave in secret, he lost all benefit from giving.
There must be an audience before one could gain any benefit from God
through the giving. Thus they concluded they lost gains if there were no
J. D. Design for living: Lessons in Holiness from the Sermon on the
Mount. Kregel Publications)
MATTHEW 6:1-18 THE KING
CONTRASTS THE LAWS OF HIS KINGDOM WITH THE CONDUCT OF OUTWARD
RELIGIONISTS IN THE MATTERS OF ALMS AND PRAYER 1. TAKE heed
that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them:
otherwise ye hate no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Our King sets men right as to Almsgiving. It is taken for
granted that we give to the poor. How could we be in Christ’s
kingdom if we did not?
Alms may be given publicly, but not for the sake of publicity.
It is important that we have a right aim; for if we obtain the
result of a wrong aim, our success will be a failure. If we
give to be seen, we shall be seen, and there will be an end of
it: “Ye have no reward of your father which is in heaven ”: we
lose the only reward worth having. But if we give to please
our Father, we shall find our reward at his hands. To the
matter of our intent and design we must “take heed ”; for
nobody goes right without carefully aiming to do so. Our
giving of alms should be a holy duty, carefully performed, not
for our own honor, but for God’s pleasure. Let each reader ask
himself, how much he has done, in the way the King prescribes.
Therefore when thou
doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the
hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets. that they
may have glory of men. Verily I say unto, They have their
We must not copy the loud charity of certain vainglorious
persons: their character is hypocritical, their manner is
ostentatious, their aim is to be seen of men, their reward is
in the present. That reward is a very poor one, and is soon
over. To stand with a penny in one hand and a trumpet in the
other is the posture of hypocrisy. “Glory of men ” is a thing
which can be bought: but honor from God is a very different
thing. This is an advertising age, and too many are saying,
“Behold my liberality!” Those who have Jesus for their King
must wear his livery of humility, and not the scarlet
trappings of a purse-proud generosity, which blows its own
trumpet, not only in the streets, but even in the synagogues.
We cannot expect two rewards for the same action: if we have
it now we shall not have it hereafter. Unrewarded alms will
alone count in the record of the last day. (Commentary)
DO NOT SOUND A
TRUMPET BEFORE YOU, AS THE HYPOCRITES DO IN THE SYNAGOGUES AND IN THE
STREETS: me salpises (2SAAS) emprosthen sou, hosper hoi hupokritai
poiousin (3PPAI) en tais sunagogais kai en tais rumais
(Proverbs 20:6; Hosea 8:1) (Mt 6:5;
7:5; 15:7; 16:3; 22:18; 23:13-29; 24:51; Isaiah 9:17; 10:6; Mark 7:6;
Luke 6:42; 12:56; 13:15) (Mt 6:5; 23:6; Mark 12:39; Luke 11:43; 20:46)
Ron Mattoon has an interesting
note on sound a trumpet writing...
that there is a custom in the
East similar to this. The
carry horns with them, which they frequently blow, when any thing is
given to them, in honor of the donor. It is not impossible that some of
the poor Jews who begged alms might have been furnished with some kind
of horn, like the Persian
who were a sort of religious beggar. These hypocrites might have been
inclined to confine their charitable giving to those that they knew
would pay them this honor. A. T. Robertson pointed out that a missionary
told him that in India the Hindu priests did indeed sound a literal
trumpet in order to get a crowd when they were about to give alms or do
some other religious deed.
Mattoon - Treasures From Proverbs, Volume One)
John Blanchard rightly says
What you are in public will
never blind God to what
you are in private.
This is the wrong way to give to the
poor. If you "toot your own horn" (one wonders if this modern expression
is related to Jesus' illustration!) you are a hypocrite or an actor,
manifesting a solemn, pious appearance of godliness when in fact on the
inside you are not at all what you appear to be. You are doing it all
for show and the praise of men.
In the secular world this syndrome is
obvious...buildings named for big donors, etc.
What if those donors were
told that their donations would all be treated anonymously?! The answer
doesn't take much imagination does it? Jesus' point is that giving for
the express purpose that others honor us and think good of us and our
extravagant generosity is hypocrisy, whether it is in the secular world
or the church! People man
not sound a trumpet to project
the image of generosity, but they still know how to call attention to
their giving, because the heart is more deceitful than all else and is
desperately sick (cf Jer 17:9)
Phil Newton relates that...
In some church settings, the
offering is taken by the members parading to the front and laying their
gifts on the table for all to see. In other settings those that give
their gifts expect to have certain privileges and even control. One
pastor in a southern city refused to violate his convictions of not
performing a marriage of a believer and unbeliever. It just happened
that the one this affected was a wealthy lady that gave hundreds of
thousands of dollars each year to this debt-strapped church. She told
the pastor that if he refused to perform this wedding, then she was
leaving and her hundreds of thousands with her. He showed her the door.
Her entire motive for giving was not out of a desire to honor the Lord
but to control. She has already had her “reward in full.”...There
was a dear little lady, now deceased, that I had known for many years
that followed the progress of our church in its early days. When we came
to the time of building a new building and furnishing it, she sent me a
sizeable gift to purchase a desk, chairs, and office equipment. I was
pretty bowled over by her generosity, especially since she did not even
live in our community. But I still remember her note: “This is our
little secret.” She wanted no recognition or applause or plaque
commemorating her generosity. She just found great joy in being able to
give as unto the Lord for the work of ministry. Her left hand did not
know what her right hand was doing.
Expositor's Bible BC writes that...
The reference to trumpet
announcements is difficult. Many commentators still say this refers to
"the practice of blowing trumpets at the time of collecting alms in the
Temple for the relief of some signal need" (Hill, Matthew,
following Bonnard); but no Jewish sources confirm this, and the idea
seems to stem only from early Christian expositors who assumed its
correctness. Likewise there is no evidence (contra Calvin) that the
almsgivers themselves really blew trumpets on their way to the
temple....public fasts were proclaimed by the sounding of trumpets. At
such times prayers for rain were recited in the streets (cf. v. 5), and
it was widely thought that alms-giving insured the efficacy of the fasts
and prayers (e.g., b Sanhedrin 35a; P. Tannith 2:6; Leviticus R 34:14).
But these occasions afforded golden opportunities for ostentation.
F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary 6-Volume New Testament.
A CRITICAL LOOK
from from hupó = under, indicating secrecy +
krino = to judge) describes one who acts pretentiously, a
counterfeit, a man who assumes and speaks or acts under a feigned
character. A hypocrite is someone who pretends to be something he
or she is not.
The actor – who is always a male – is
not disdained as in Rome, but is much honored; he is exempt from
military service, and is allowed safe passage through the lines in time
of war. He is called hypocrites, but this word means answerer – i.e., to
the chorus; only later will the actor’s role as an impersonator lead to
the use of the word as meaning hypocrite. (The Story of Civilization II,
The Life of Greece, by Will Durant, page 380)
See study on the related word
Hypocrisy (5272) = Hupokrisis
Who Is a Hypocrite? by I. Howard Marshall - BSAC
159:634 (Apr 2002)
The 1828 Webster's English dictionary
says a hypocrite is
One who feigns to be what he is not;
one who has the form of godliness without the power (cf 2Ti 3:5-note),
or who assumes an appearance of piety and virtue, when he is destitute
of true religion (cf Jas 1:27-note
for definition of "true religion").
Hupokrites - 17x in 17v - Mt
6:2, Mt 6:5, Mt 6:16-note;
Mt 15:7; 22:18; 23:13, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29; 24:51; Mark
7:6; Luke 6:42; 12:56; 13:15. Hupokrites is a "favorite" word in
Hupokrites occurs 2 times in the
= Job 34:30; 36:13
Hypocrite as discussed more below had its origins in Greek
theater, in which it described a character who wore a mask. In the
theater the "hypocrite" held the painted mask in front of his face to
portray a character. Today, hypocrites are those who try to disguise
their true identity. They say they are one thing, but their actions
In the New
Testament a hypocrite normally refers to an unregenerate person who is
self-deceived. Unless prompted by the right motives, religious
activities, including doing good deeds to others, are of no real
spiritual value and receive no commendation from God. It does matter
greatly why we do what we do. The hypocrite has a duplicitous life –
often without realizing it – giving appearance of one motive when in
reality there is a hidden motive. Beloved, I don't know about you, but I
can state without reservation that the most difficult type of hypocrisy
to discern is not that in others but self-hypocrisy! (My wife reminds me
of this frequently!) How easy it is to spot
improper motives others but make excuses for similar motives
in our own heart or even worse (and probably more often) never even see
them (that's called self-deception)!
is the man or woman who puts on a mask and pretends to be what he or she
is not in the inner person or in modern parlance is not "authentic". A parallel thought is what others see
what's on the outside, which we refer to as reputation. God sees what's
really present on the inside, which is what we call character.
Clearly, God is
interested in our character, not our reputation. Who do you seek to please in your
various religious activities?
Are you "playing the part" like an actor/actress or are you seeking to
please only your Father Who art in heaven?
(cf passages that speak of pleasing God - Ep 5:10-note,
When (not if but when) you give, pray and fast, don't be an
hiding behind your mask of religious activity trying to convince people
(or even yourself)
you are someone who is wholly devoted to God and perfectly pious, when you are not.
By way of application it would be wise to apply this warning by our Lord
to all our "religious activities". Be honest and ask yourself "Why am I
doing what I am doing at church?" Remember Jesus is always more
interested in "being" than in "doing". The latter should always proceed
from the former.
that this Greek word
is made up of hupo “under,”
and krino “to judge” and referred originally to “one who judged
from under the cover of a mask,” thus, assuming an identity and a
character which he was not. This person was the actor on the Greek
stage, one who took the part of another. The Pharisees were religious
actors, so to speak, in that they pretended to be on the outside, what
they were not on the inside...Our word hypocrite comes from this
Greek word. It usually referred to the act of concealing wrong feelings
or character under the pretence of better ones."
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
In another note
Wuest explains that
"The Greek word for “hypocrite”
was used of an actor on the Greek stage, one who played the part of
another. The word means literally, “to judge under,” and was used of
someone giving off his judgment from behind a screen or mask.... The
true identity of the person is covered up. It refers to acts of
impersonation or deception. It was used of an actor on the Greek stage.
Taken over into the New Testament, it referred to a person we call a
hypocrite, one who assumes the mannerisms, speech, and character of
someone else, thus hiding his true identity. Christianity requires that
believers should be open and above-board. They should be themselves.
Their lives should be like an open book, easily read."
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
A hypocrite is like a clean glove
which hides a dirty hand. He acts as if he is good but isn't.
A hypocrite preaches by the yard
but practices by the inch.
A hypocrite prays on his knees
on Sunday and preys on his neighbors on Monday!
A hypocrite is a man who lets his
light so shine before men that they can't tell what is going on behind!
Contrast Mt 5:16-note
Hupokrites (hypocrite) is a
word with a curious history. It is the noun from the verb hupokrinesthai
which means to answer; a hupokrites begins by being an answerer.
Then it it goes on to mean one who answers in a set dialogue or a set
conversation, that is to say an actor, the man who takes part in
the question and answer of the stage... It then came to mean an actor in
the worse sense of the term, a pretender, one who acts a part,
one who wears a mask to cover his true feelings, one who puts on an
external show while inwardly his thoughts and feelings are very
different....it comes to mean a hypocrite, a man who all the time
is acting a part and concealing his real motives...one whose whole life
is a piece of acting without any sincerity behind it at all.
whom religion is a legal thing, anyone to whom religion means carrying
out certain external rules and regulations, anyone to whom religion is
entirely connected with the observation of a certain ritual and the
keeping of a certain number of taboos is in the end bound to be, in this
sense, a hypocrite. The reason is this—he believes that he is a
good man if he carries out the correct acts and practices, no matter
what his heart and his thoughts are like. To take the case of the
legalistic Jew in the time of Jesus, he might hate his fellow man with
all his heart, he might be full of envy and jealousy and concealed
bitterness and pride; that did not matter so long as he carried out the
correct handwashings and observed the correct laws about cleanness and
uncleanness. Legalism takes account of a man’s outward actions; but it
takes no account at all of his inward feelings. He may well be
meticulously serving God in outward things, and bluntly disobeying God
in inward things—and that is hypocrisy....There is no greater religious
peril than that of identifying religion with outward observance. There
is no commoner religious mistake than to identify goodness with certain
so-called religious acts. Church-going, bible-reading, careful financial
giving, even time-tabled prayer do not make a man a good man. The
fundamental question is, how is a man’s heart towards God and towards
his fellow-men? And if in his heart there are enmity, bitterness,
grudges, pride, not all the outward religious observances in the world
will make him anything other than a hypocrite...
is the man whose alleged Christian profession is for his own profit and
prestige and not for the service and glory of Christ." (Barclay,
W: The Daily study Bible series: The Letters of James and Peter)
The world doesn't doubt
Christianity as much as it does some who claim to be Christians, so that
the hypocritical "Christian" is one of the devil's best workers!
The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery notes that...
The Pharisees are the
prototypical hypocrites of the Bible. A composite portrait is
easy to assemble from Jesus' denunciations of them. They are
ostentatious when they give alms with the intent that people will
praise them (Mt 6:2). They pray in the synagogues and street
corners so people will take note (Mt 6:5). When they fast, they
disfigure their faces (Mt 6:16). They tithe their garden produce
but neglect “the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and
faith” (Mt 23:23). In Jesus' caricature of them,
they clean the outside of a
drinking cup but ignore the filth inside it (Mt 23:25). They are
self-righteous (Mt 23:29, 30), they teach people false religious
beliefs (Mt 23:16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22), and they prevent people from
entering the kingdom of heaven (Mt 23:13, 14, 15). They try to trap
Jesus by pretending to be perplexed about issues (Mt 22:15, 16, 17, 18,
19, 20, 21, 22). We are not surprised that they have a special place in
hell (Mt 24:51). Jesus' climactic exposure of hypocrites is to picture
them as “whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but
within are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness” (Mt 23:27RSV).
of Biblical Imagery or
Leo Tolstoy said
Hypocrisy in anything whatever may
deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake
of children recognizes it, and is revolted by it, however ingeniously it
may be disguised.
Thomas Brooks said
The hypocrite is a cloud without
rain, a blossoming tree without fruit, a star without light, a shell
without a kernel.
Richard Glover spared
no words when he said that...
Hypocrisy not only covers faults, but
swiftly eats out of the soul every remnant of truth and honour left in
spiritual sayings offer some pithy portrayals of a hypocrite...
A hypocrite is one who neither is what he seems; nor seems what he is.
A hypocrite is the picture of a saint; but his paint shall be washed off
and he shall appear in his own colors.
A hypocrite is hated by the world for seeming to be a Christian; and
hated by God for not being one. (Grace
Puritan writer Thomas Watson
in his description of trees of righteousness said...
Fruitfulness is one of the most distinctive characteristics of a
Pr 12:12: "The root of the righteous yields fruit."
Fruitfulness distinguishes a saint from a hypocrite.
The hypocrite is all for show and pretense; he has fair leaves—but "the
root of the righteous yields fruit." Fruit can no more be separated from
faith—than moisture from the air; it is the very definition of a branch
in Christ; it bears fruit (Jn 15:2). As a man differs from a beast by
reason, a beast differs from a plant by sense, and a plant differs from
a stone by fruit—so a sincere Christian differs from a hypocrite by
fruit. Fruitfulness puts a difference between the sound tree—and the
Trees of Righteousness Blossoming and Bringing Forth Fruit)
QUESTION. But may not hypocrites bring forth fruit?
ANSWER. They do not bring forth fruit in the Vine; they bring
forth in the strength of their abilities, not in the strength of Christ.
Hypocrites bring forth something like fruit—but it is not the right
fruit. The fruit they bear is not so sweet. The crab-apple tree may
bear fruit as well as the pear-tree—but the pear excels in sweetness.
The hypocrite may pray and give alms as well as a child of God—but there
is a difference in the fruit. The fruit of the regenerate is wholesome;
it is sweetened with faith and ripened with love. The hypocrite's fruit
is sour and harsh; he does not bring forth sweet pomegranates—but
crab-apples; not figs—but wild grapes.
The seeming fruit of hypocrites dies and comes to nothing. John 15:6:
"He is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are
picked up, thrown into the fire and burned." The hypocrite's fruit is
like the grass upon the housetops, which withers before it grows up (Ps
139:6; Mt 13:6). (
Pumped Up - According to
Reuters news agency, on April 28 at the 1992 Galveston County Fair and
Rodeo, a steer named Husker, weighing in at 1,190 pounds, was named
grand champion. The steer was sold at auction for $13,500 and
slaughtered a few days after the competition. When veterinarians
examined the carcass, said a contest official, they found something
suspicious. They discovered evidence of what is called "airing." To give
steers a better appearance, competitors have been known to inject air
into their animals' hides with a syringe or a needle attached to a
bicycle pump. Pump long enough, and they've got themselves what looks
like a grand champion steer, though of course it's against the rules.
The Galveston County Fair and Rodeo Association withdrew the
championship title and sale money from Husker. A pumped-up steer is like
a hypocritical person. Hypocrites appear more virtuous than they are.
Horrible Hypocrisy -
According to the Chicago Tribune, a man named Joe from Rock-ford,
Illinois, ran a live Internet sex site called Video Fantasy. Joe had a
ten-year-old son. On his home computer Joe installed filtering software
to limit the surfing that his son could do on the Internet. Joe
explained, "It's not that I keep him sheltered, but my wife and I pay
close attention to what he reads, what he watches on TV and what he does
on the computer because we have a responsibility to him to be the best
parents we can." Joe's sense of responsibility to his son is
commendable. Joe's sense of responsibility to the children of other
parents (and the parents themselves!) is deplorable. Can there be a more
stark illustration of hypocrisy? (From 750 Engaging Illustrations)
Thomas Watson in his
explanation of spiritual hunger describes...
the difference between true and false
desires, spiritual hunger and carnal hunger.
1. The hypocrite does not desire grace for itself. He desires
grace only as a bridge to lead him over to heaven. He does not so much
search after grace—as glory. He does not so much desire the way of
righteousness—as the crown of righteousness. His desire is not to be
made like Christ—but to reign with Christ. This was Balaam's desire.
'Let me die the death of the righteous' (Numbers 23:10). Such desires as
these are found among the damned. This is the hypocrite's hunger. But a
child of God desires grace for itself, and Christ for himself. To a
believer not only is heaven precious, but Christ is precious, "Yes, He
is very precious to you who believe!" (1Peter 2:7).
2. The hypocrite's desire is conditional. He would have heaven
and his sins too, heaven and his pride, heaven and his covetousness. The
young man in the gospel would have had heaven, provided he might keep
his earthly possessions. Many a man would have Christ—but there is some
sin he must gratify. This is the hypocrites' hunger; but true desire is
absolute. Give me, says the soul, Christ on any terms. Let God propound
whatever articles he will, I will subscribe to them. Would he have me
deny myself? Would he have me mortify sin? I am content to do
anything—just so I may have Christ. Hypocrites would have Christ—but
they will not part with their beloved lust for Him!
3. Hypocrites' desires are but desires. They are lazy and
sluggish. 'The desire of the slothful kills him, for his hands refuse to
labor' (Proverbs 21:25). Men would be saved but they will take no pains.
Does he desire water. Who will not let down the bucket into the well?
But true desire is quickened into endeavor. 'All night long I search for
you; earnestly I seek for God.' (Isaiah 26:9). The 'violent take heaven
by force (Matthew 11:12). The lovesick spouse, though she was wounded,
and her veil taken away—yet she seeks after Christ (Song 5:7). Desire is
the weight of the soul, which sets it a going; as the eagle which
desires her prey makes haste to it. 'Where the slain are, there is she'
(Job 39:30). The eagle has sharpness of sight to discover her prey, and
swiftness of wing to fly to it. So the soul who hungers after
righteousness, is carried swiftly to it in the use of all holy
4. The hypocrite's desires are cheap. He would have spiritual
things—but will be spend nothing for them. He cares not how much money
he parts with for his lusts; he has money to spend upon a drunken
companion; but he has no money to part with for the maintaining of God's
ordinances. Hypocrites cry up religion—but cry down supporting the
church. But true desires are costly. David would not offer
burnt-offerings without cost (1Chronicles 21:24). A hungry man will give
anything for food; as it fell out in the siege of Samaria (2Kings 6:25).
That man never hungered after Christ, who thinks much of parting with a
little silver for 'the Pearl of great price'.
5. Hypocrites' desires are flashy and transient. They are quickly
gone, like the wind which does not stay long in one corner. Or like a
hot fit which is soon over. While the hypocrite is under terror of
conscience, or in affliction, he has some good desires—but the hot fit
is soon over. His goodness, like a fiery comet, soon spends and
evaporates. But true desire is constant. It is observable that the word
in the text is: 'Blessed are those who are hungering.' Though they have
righteousness—yet they are still hungering after more. Hypocrites desire
it like the motion of a watch—which is quickly run down. The desire of a
godly man is like the beating of the pulse—which lasts as long as life.
'My soul breaks for the longing that it has to your judgments' (Psalm
119:20). And that we might not think this pang of desire would soon be
over he adds, 'at all times'. David's desire after God was not a high
color in a fit—but the constant complexion of his soul. In the temple
the fire was not to go out by night. 'The fire shall ever be burning
upon the altar' (Leviticus 6:13). There was, says Cyril, a mystery in
it, to show that we must be ever burning in holy affections and desires.
6. Hypocrites' desires are unseasonable. They are not well-timed.
They put off their hungering after righteousness until it is too late.
They are like the foolish virgins, who came knocking when the door was
shut (Matthew 25:11). In time of health and prosperity the stream of
their affections ran another way. It was sin the hypocrite desired, not
righteousness. When he is about to die and can keep his sins no longer,
now he would have grace as a passport to carry him to heaven (Luke
13:25). This is the hypocrite's fault. His desires are too late. He
sends forth his desires when his last breath is going forth; as if a man
should desire a pardon after the sentence is passed. These bedridden
desires are bogus! But true desires are timely and seasonable. A
gracious heart 'seeks first the Kingdom of God' (Matthew 6:33). David's
thirst after God was early (Psalm 63:1). The wise virgins got their oil
early before the bridegroom came. Thus we see the difference between a
true and false hunger. Those who can find this true hunger are blessed,
and may take comfort in it. (Spiritual
Thomas Watson in his
exposition of Pr 4:23 writes that...
With regard to our graces, the heart
is like a flattering mirror which will make a hypocrite look good. The
foolish virgins thought they had oil; many strongly think that they have
grace, when they have none. The hypocrite's knowledge is no better than
ignorance (1 John 2:4). He has illumination—but not assimilation; he has
not been made like Christ. He 'believes'—but his heart is not purified.
He pretends to trust God in greater matters—but dares not trust Him in
lesser ones. He will trust God with his soul—but not with his estate.
Ron Mattoon notes
play acting was seen during times of
mourning. In New Testament times some people made their living as
professional mourners, who were paid to weep, wail, and tear their
garments at funerals and on other occasions of sadness. It is said that
some mourners were careful to tear their clothing at a seam, so that the
material could easily be sewn back together for the next "mourning"
opportunity. Both the professional mourners and those who hired them
were hypocrites, hiring and being hired to put on a display of mourning
that was entirely fake.
This word "hypocrite" accurately
describes professional mourners, but also those who do their almsgiving
or any other deed for the praise of men. They want more praise than
their deeds merit. Hypocrites are acting the part of another, for they
are trying to act the part of one who has done a great deal more than
they are actually doing. Furthermore, in their almsgiving, they are
acting the part of one who is concerned about the poor, but in reality
they are not interested in the poor at all. Instead, they are interested
only in the praise of men. Their efforts to appear interested in the
poor are nothing but play-acting. Their almsgiving is mostly a staged
act. They are hypocrites and phonies. We always need to be on guard of
this ever-present problem of becoming a hypocrite.
Mattoon - Treasures From Proverbs, Volume One)
David Jeremiah recounts the following story...
Consider the story Dr. Harry
Ironside told about a missionary in China who was translating the New
Testament into the Chinese language. He was assisted by an eminent
Chinese scholar, a Confucianist who had never before been exposed to
Christianity. Week after week and month after month they sat side by
side working through the biblical text.
When the project was nearly completed, the missionary told his friend,
“You have been of great help to me. I could never have gotten along
without you. Now I want to ask you a question. As we have gone together
through the New Testament, hasn’t the beauty of Christianity touched
you? Wouldn’t you like to become a Christian/”
The Confucianist replied, “Yes, Christianity does appeal to me. I think
it presents the most wonderful system of ethics I have ever known. I
believe that if I ever saw a Christian, I might become more interested
in becoming one myself.”
“But,” exclaimed the missionary, “I am a Christian!”
“You?” the scholar replied. “You, a Christian? I hope you will not take
offense, but I must tell you that I have observed you and listened to
you from the beginning. If I understand the New Testament, a Christian
is one who follows Jesus; and Jesus said, ‘By this all will know that
you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.’
“You cannot be a Christian, for I have listened to you as you have
talked about others in an unkind way. I have observed, too, that whereas
your New Testament says that God will supply all our needs, you do not
trust Him. You worry about this and about that; and if your check is a
day late, you become dreadfully concerned. No, you cannot be a
Christian. But I think that if I ever see one, I should like to be one.”
Pierced to the heart, the missionary broke down, sobbed out a
confession, and asked God for forgiveness. He asked for the scholar’s
forgiveness as well. This man was so broken that the Confucianist later
remarked, “Well, perhaps I have seen a Christian after all.”… (David
Jeremiah, Signs of Life, p. 225)
We live in a world of make-believe.
We are actors. It was the custom of Greek and Roman actors to wear large
masks with mechanical devices to regulate the inflections and
intonations of the voice. The Greek word for a play actor is
hupokrites, from which we derive the English word hypocrite,
a pretender, one who appears in a false guise and thus does not disclose
what he truly is. In Satan's world, where man has his earthly sojourn,
men and women apply their make-up almost daily before presenting
themselves on the stage of life. This superficial camouflage is applied
both physically and morally. Recently (June 21, 1960) in a four-page
spread in Look magazine, there appeared an advertisement with the
caption, "Skin-Deep Beauty: a $1 Billion Business." It went on to say,
"Today, the face a girl wakes up with is rarely revealed in public." And
most of us must admit that too frequently the heart we wake up with is
rarely revealed in public...Are you guilty of play acting? Did you ever
pretend that you were glad to see someone when in reality you were not?
Strauss - The Book of Revelation).
Hypocrite: Someone who complains that there is too much sex and
violence on his VCR.- Current Comedy (Reader’s Digest, October, 1991,
Hypocrites – Great Methodist preacher
Sangster once asked, “Are some people outside the church because you’re
Ron Mattoon notes
that hypocrites hate rejection...
They thrive on being accepted by the
crowd and are willing to pay any price to have approval. In fact, on the
French Riviera, it is such an important status symbol to have a balcony
on an apartment, that it is quite common to see balconies painted on the
walls of apartment buildings. People even paint wet laundry hanging on a
clothesline, just to give a touch of reality. All of this is done in
order to be accepted.
Why do hypocrites pay any price for
praise or acceptance? They may have suffered the pain of rejection
earlier in their lives or may have not had much approval or praise as
they were growing up. Some folks may have had a bad reputation when they
were younger and want people to think they are good without being good.
Others are addicted to praise and approval. They can't live without it.
The reasons for hypocritical behavior are many. Nevertheless, hypocrites
think nothing of deceiving others by their hypocrisy.
The biggest victim is the hypocrite
himself, for he has deceived himself into thinking his behavior is
appropriate or will have merit with the Lord. It doesn't. This is what
the Lord was condemning because He alone is to be glorified, not
ourselves. God condemns hypocritical praying because He knows that
seeking praise inflates our pride, creating further spiritual problems
in our lives. Praying, for self-glory or without sincerity, is a waste
of time for the Lord is not fooled by our phoniness.
Mattoon - Treasures From Proverbs, Volume One)
The New Unger's Bible
Dictionary definition of "hypocrite"...
The hypocrite is a double
person, natural and artificial. The first he keeps to himself, and the
other he puts on, as he does his clothes, to make his appearance before
men. Hypocrites have been divided into four classes:
(1) The worldly hypocrite, who
makes a profession of religion and pretends to be religious, merely from
worldly considerations (Matthew 23:5).
(2) The legal hypocrite, who
relinquishes his vicious practices, in order thereby to merit heaven,
while at the same time having no real love for God (Romans 10:3).
(3) The evangelical hypocrite,
whose religion is nothing more than a bare conviction of sin; who
rejoices under the idea that Christ died for him, and yet has no desire
to live a holy life (Matthew 13:20).
(4) The enthusiastic hypocrite,
who has an imaginary sight of his sins and of Christ and talks of
remarkable impulses and high feelings, etc., while living in the most
scandalous practices (2 Cor. 11:14).
Spurgeon gives us..
A Picture of a Hypocrite - I
recollect when a child seeing on the mantel-piece a stone apple,
wonderfully like an apple, too, and very well coloured. I saw that apple
years after, but it was no riper. It had been in unfavourable
circumstances for softening and sweetening, if it ever would have become
mellow; but I do not think if the sun of the Equator had shone on it, or
if the dews of Hermon had fallen on it, it would ever have been fit to
be brought to table. Its hard marble substance would have broken a
giant's teeth. It was a hypocritical professor, a hard-hearted mocker of
little children, a mere mimic of God's fruits. (Flashes of Thought)
Hypocrites in the Church -
Doubtless there are thousands in all Christian churches who have the
stamp and the impress of the King upon them, and look like the genuine
shekels of the sanctuary, who after all are only fit to be, like bad
money, fastened down on the footstool of the judgment seat, with a nail
driven through them, to their everlasting reprobation and disgrace. How
can we tell a bold man from a coward? Two soldiers wear the same
regimentals: they will talk equally loudly of what they will do when the
enemy shall come. It is the battle that tests and proves them; some
peculiar phase of the conflict will bring out the difference; but till
the battle comes how easy it is for the poltroon to play the hero, while
perhaps the bravest man may modestly shrink into the rear! (Flashes of
Providence revealing Hypocrites - A
lion may lie all day asleep, you may scarce know but what it is tame;
but when the night brings the time for it to go forth to its prey, then
it howls, and displays its ferocity. And so an ungodly man may lie down
in the church of God with the lambs of the flock, and nothing may lead
you to suspect his true character; but when the time comes for him to
make profit by sin, or to get pleasure by sin, or to escape from
persecution by sin, then you find out what he is. These providences are
the King's coming in to scrutinise the guests. Changes in the conditions
of the church, changes in the condition of the individual, all sorts of
providential events go to make up the great sieve by which the wheat and
the chaff are separated. (Flashes of Thought)
Hypocrites love the gold of the altar
better than the God of the altar.
Six Marks of Hypocrites (Mark
1. Parade in fine clothing and
religious robes (Mark 12:38; Matthew 23:5)
2. Love salutations in public (Mark
3. Chief seat in church (Mark 12:39;
notes, Matthew 23:2,6)
4. Chief couches at banquets (Mark
12:39; Matthew 23:6; Luke 14:7-11; Luke 20:46)
5. Take advantage of widows (Mark
12:40; note, Matthew 23:14)
6. Make long prayers (Mark 12:40;
God knows and detects Isaiah 29:15,
Christ knew and detected Matt 22:18
God has no pleasure in Isaiah 9:17
Shall not come before God Job 13:16
Willfully blind Matt 23:17 Matt 23:19
Vile Isaiah 32:6
Self-righteous Isaiah 65:5 Luke 18:11
Covetous Ezek 33:31 2Peter 2:3
Ostentatious Matt 5:2 Matt 5:5 Matt 5:16 Matt 23:5
Censorious Matt 7:3, 4, 5 Luke 13:14, 15
Regarding tradition more than the word of God Matt 15:1, 2, 3
Exact in minor, but neglecting important duties Matt 23:23, 24
Having but a form of godliness 2Ti 3:5
Seeking only outward purity Luke 11:39
Professing but not practicing Ezek 33:31, 32 Mt 23:3 Ro 2:17, 18, 19,
20, 21, 22, 23
Using but lip-worship Isaiah 29:13 Matt 15:8
Glorying in appearance only 2Cor 5:12
Trusting in privileges Jer 7:4 Matt 3:9
Apparently zealous in the things of God Isaiah 58:2
Zealous in making proselytes Matt 23:15
Devouring widows' houses Matt 23:14
Loving pre-eminence Matt 23:6, 7
Worship of, not acceptable to God
Isa 1:11, 12, 13, 14, 15 Isa 58:3, 4, 5 Mt 15:9
Joy of, but for a moment Job
Hope of perishes Job 8:13 Job
Heap up wrath Job 36:13
Fearfulness shall surprise Isaiah
Destroy others by slander Prov 11:9
In power, are a snare Job 34:30
The Apostasy to abound with
Beware the principles of Luke
Spirit of, hinders growth in grace
Woe to Isaiah 29:15 Matt 23:13
Punishment of Job 15:34 Isaiah 10:6
Jer 42:20 Jer 42:22 Matt 24:51
Illustrated Matt 23:27. 28 Luke 11:44
Cain Gen 4:3
Absalom 2Sa 15:7, 8
The Jews Jer 3:10
Pharisees, etc Matt 16:3
Judas Matt 26:49
Herodians Mark 12:13 Mark 12:15
Ananias Acts 5:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Simon Acts 8:13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
HYPOCRITES IN THE CHURCH: Woe
unto you . . . hypocrites. Matthew 23:27
Webster defines a hypocrite as "one who feigns to be some-thing he is
not." According to this, he is a "counterfeit," a mere pretender. Jesus,
in speaking to the scribes and Pharisees, called them "blind guides" and
"whited sepulchers," and said they were "full of . . . all uncleanness."
He added that they appeared outwardly righteous, but were "full of
One of the weakest excuses offered by Christ-rejecters today, and yet
one of the most common, is this: "I'm not interested be-cause there are
too many hypocrites in the church." A born-again believer, presenting
the Gospel to a certain man, ran into this objection. Mentioning the
name- of a prominent person who had been a church member, the unbeliever
said, "Look at the awful crime he committed, while parading under the
name of religion." The other replied, "Do you suppose that man ever was
a true Christian?" "Of course not," said the unbeliever. "Exactly!"
answered the saved one. "He was not actually one of us. He was just
trying to play along with God's people."
"But," I can hear someone say, "I know of those who really do seem to be
what you would call `born again,' and yet they're quite inconsistent.
They surely don't `walk' the way they 'talk!'" Much as I dislike it, I
must admit this is true. There are some like this in our churches today,
but is that an excuse for rejecting Christ? Was He a hypocrite? We are
amazed that intelligent people should use such a flimsy argument as
Remembering Jesus' words, "Woe unto you, hypocrites," never allow such a
one to stand between you and Christ, lest you be included in their
As many men, their vows fulfilling,
By God's grace are true and willing,
You must not let the false "professors"
Quell your faith in true "possessors"!
Christianity isn't worth a snap of your finger
if it doesn't straighten out your character. —Moody
SOME opponents of Christianity are
not so much against Christ as they are against hypocrisy. Apparently it
hasn't occurred to them that no one was more opposed to hypocrisy than
We've all met scoffers who mindlessly parrot the phrase,
"The church is full of hypocrites!"
But let's not be equally mindless in
our response to them by dismissing their pronouncements with-out heeding
the part that is true.
We all want to believe that the term hypocrite does not describe us. But
how many times have we behaved like the Christian woman who glanced
through her kitchen window and saw a nosy neighbor approaching the back
"Oh, no—not her again!" she groaned
in the presence of her young children.
Seconds later she greeted the woman
at the door with a warm, friendly welcome,
"How very nice to see you!"
Our lips and our lives often preach
conflicting sermons. Jesus described the hypocritical teachers of the
law and warned His disciples,
"Do not do according to their works;
for they say, and do not do" (Matthew 23:3).
God forbid that some opponent of
Christ would be influenced by careless hypocrisy in our lives.—J E Yoder
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
You Become What You Are - Max
Beerbohm wrote a story entitled, "The Happy Hypocrite." The title sounds
like a paradox, doesn't it? The story was about a character whose face
personified evil. The man was faced with a dilemma: the woman he loved
refused to marry him because he didn't look saintly. To solve the
problem, the suitor put on a mask with a kind face. The young woman
married him despite the face underneath the mask. Her husband proved to
be an attentive, unselfish husband.
One day in a moment of rage, an enemy
abruptly tore off her husband's mask before his wife's eyes. Instead of
a cruel, grotesque face, the man had become what he had lived for many
years. Kindness, not evil, radiated from his face!
The Bible urges us to "keep the
faith" because someday we will look like Him in whom we believe (1John
3:2). (A Treasury of Bible Illustrations)
Several customers were waiting in
line at a London cheese shop one day when the famous preacher C. H.
Spurgeon came in to make a purchase. Not one to stand around calmly, he
became a little fidgety as he stood behind the others and waited his
turn. Noticing a fine block of cheese in the shop window, he couldn't
resist touching it, and gently tapped the cheese with his walking stick.
To his surprise, the "cheese" made an empty metallic sound—like the ring
of a big bread pan. Spurgeon later recounted, "I came to the conclusion
that I had found a very well-got-up hypocrite in the window."
People can be like fake cheese—they look like something they aren't.
Many use the name Christian and make a rather pretty display on Sunday
morning, yet they have the hollow sound of a hypocrite. A person may
look like a Christian but lack genuine faith. When tapped with
temptation or spiritual duty, the sham becomes evident. What seemed to
be spirituality is a veneer of profession—without the sub-stance of
possession. Many give Christianity their countenance but not their
Our society encourages hypocrisy.
Even before our children enter school they begin to master the art of
artificiality. It isn't long until they become as sophisticated as their
adult counterparts at the slick little deceptions of modern life.
This practice is bad enough in social circles, but it is even worse when
it occurs in the church. When Sunday morning comes, we adjust our
behavior to fit what others expect of a good Christian. We sit piously
in our "Sunday best," hiding from everyone that we are selfish, stingy,
In his book Improving Your Serve, Charles Swindoll tells of speaking at
a singles retreat in a Rocky Mountain resort. He had purposely brought
along a full-faced rubber mask that his children had given him as a
funny present. One evening he wore it as he began to speak on
authenticity. As expected, the crowd went wild with laughter. Each new
sentence increased the effect. After removing the mask, he observed,
"It's a funny thing, when we wear literal masks, nobody is fooled. But
how easy it is to wear invisible ones and fake people out by the
hundreds. . . . Servants who are `pure in heart' have peeled off their
masks. And God places special blessing on their lives."
We all struggle with the problem of
hypocrisy. But when our hearts are pure, we will have no reason to cover
our faces. —D. C. Egner
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
A hypocrite is a person who isn't
himself on Sunday.
Jesus reminded the hypocrites of His
day that God had declared through Isaiah, "These people ... honor Me
with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me" (Is 29:13).
He could just as well have cited God's rebuke to Israel through Ezekiel,
"They hear Your words, but they do not do them" (Ezek 33:32).
The Christian life is like a coin. One side is belief; the other is
behavior. If our behavior isn't consistent with our belief, we are
hypocrites. By God's enabling grace, we need to bring practice and
profession into alignment. We must walk our talk, then we can talk our
walk. -- Vernon C. Grounds
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Unless my talk about my faith
Is mirrored in my walk,
The faith that glibly I profess
Is merely empty talk.
How we behave reveals what we truly believe.
SO THAT THEY
MAY BE HONORED BY MEN: hopos doxasthosin (3PAPS) hupo ton anthropon (1Samuel
15:30; John 5:41,44; 7:18; 1Thessalonians 2:6) (Mt 6:5,16; 5:18)
So that - Introduces the
explanation for their supposed "generosity".
As William Jenkyn said...
There are many who are
lip-servants but not life-servants.
(doxazo from dóxa = glory) means to render or esteem
glorious. The consequential meaning from the opinion which one forms is
to recognize, honor, praise, invest with dignity. To give anyone esteem
or honor by putting him into an honorable position.
Doxazo - 53v - Matt 5:16; 6:2;
9:8; 15:31; Mark 2:12; Luke 2:20; 4:15; 5:25f; 7:16; 13:13; 17:15;
18:43; 23:47; John 7:39; 8:54; 11:4; 12:16, 23, 28; 13:31f; 14:13; 15:8;
16:14; 17:1, 4f, 10; 21:19; Acts 3:13; 4:21; 11:18; 13:48; 21:20; Rom
1:21; 8:30; 11:13; 15:6, 9; 1 Cor 6:20; 12:26; 2 Cor 3:10; 9:13; Gal
1:24; 2 Thess 3:1; Heb 5:5; 1 Pet 1:8; 2:12; 4:11, 16; Rev 15:4; 18:7.
Translated in the NAS as full of glory(m)(1), glorified(20),
glorifies(1), glorify(19), glorifying(12), had glory(1), has glory(1),
honor(1), honored(2), magnify(1), praised(1), praising(1).
H A Ironside said that...
Nothing is more
objectionable than advertised
charity. It is extremely humiliating to the one who receives, and
hurtful to the soul of him who gives.
TRULY I SAY TO
YOU, THEY HAVE THEIR REWARD IN FULL: amen lego (1SPAI) humin apechousin
(3PPAI) ton misthon auton
(Mt 6:5,16; 5:18)
As Erwin Lutzer said...
We play the game; God keeps the
Truly (Amen) - Jesus is
calling for their strict attention to not miss this conclusion.
Amen - 104v in NAS - Matt 5:18, 26;
6:2, 5, 13, 16; 8:10; 10:15, 23, 42; 11:11; 13:17; 16:28; 17:20; 18:3,
13, 18; 19:23, 28; 21:21, 31; 23:36; 24:2, 34, 47; 25:12, 40, 45; 26:13,
21, 34; Mark 3:28; 8:12; 9:1, 41; 10:15, 29; 11:23; 12:43; 13:30; 14:9,
18, 25, 30; Luke 4:24; 12:37; 18:17, 29; 21:32; 23:43; John 1:51; 3:3,
5, 11; 5:19, 24f; 6:26, 32, 47, 53; 8:34, 51, 58; 10:1, 7; 12:24; 13:16,
20f, 38; 14:12; 16:20, 23; 21:18; Rom 1:25; 9:5; 11:36; 15:33; 16:24,
27; 1 Cor 14:16; 16:24; 2 Cor 1:20; Gal 1:5; 6:18; Eph 3:21; Phil 4:20;
1 Tim 1:17; 6:16; 2 Tim 4:18; Heb 13:21; 1 Pet 4:11; 5:11; 2 Pet 3:18;
Jude 1:25; Rev 1:6f; 3:14; 5:14; 7:12; 19:4; 22:20f. Translated
Spurgeon commenting on their
receipt of full reward adds that...
they will have no more; there
is, in their case, no laying up of any store of good works before God.
Whatever they may have done, they have taken full credit for it in the
praise of men.
(apecho from apó = from + écho = have) means to
receive in full what is due, to be paid in full or to receive in full.
Apecho was a technical term in the Greek culture used to describe
commercial transactions. The idea is to receive a sum in full and give a
receipt for it.
As Ron Mattoon says...
The hypocrite has his reward. He is
paid in full, but is broke and has nothing. This is a devastating
comment. It may not appear that way to the casual reader, but the
examination of the language will make it plain that it is a devastating
comment. The word "have" comes from the Greek word apecho. The language
of Jesus here is emphatic or decisive. Apecho is a technical term for
commercial transactions and means to "receive a sum in full and give a
receipt for it." Men's praise is all the reward that hypocritical or
glory-givers will receive. (Ron
Mattoon - Treasures From Proverbs, Volume One)
(2) Apecho can mean to be
away, absent, distant or at some distance away from a certain point
(Mk 14:24, Lk 15:20 = "off", Lk 7:6 = with negative = not far from , Lk
24:13, 15:8, Mk 7:6, Lxx use in Ge 44:4 Isa 29:13, Joel 4:8 "distant
(3) Apecho can mean to avoid
contact with something and so to refrain, abstain or keep away from
(Study what one is to abstain from - interesting! 1Ti 4:3, 1Pe 2:11,
Acts 15:20, 1Th 4:3, 1Th 5:22 - note that most of these uses are in the
= pictures the subject initiating the action and participating in the
(4) Mark 14:41 has an unusual use of
apecho which conveys the sense "it is enough", but the meaning is not
absolutely clear. Constable says....
He could have meant that Judas
had received the betrayal money from the chief priests since the Greek
word apechei can mean “he has received it.” Another possibility is that
He meant that He now understood that the Cross was inevitable. Perhaps
Jesus meant the disciples had had enough sleep and it was time to wake
up. Fourth, He may have meant that He had finished His praying. I prefer
the third and fourth views because they are the simplest explanations
and because they make good sense.
Barclay explains that
in the Greek...was the technical
business and commercial word for receiving payment in full. It was the
word which was used on receipted accounts. For instance, one man signs a
receipt given to another man: “I have received (apecho) from you the
rent of the olive press which you have on hire.” A tax collector
gives a receipt, saying, “I have received (apecho) from you the tax
which is due.” A man sells a slave and gives a receipt, saying, “I
have received (apecho) the whole price due to me.”(Barclay, W:
The Gospel of Matthew The New Daily
Study Bible Westminster John Knox Press)
Apecho - 19x in 19v -
Mt 14:24; 15:8; Mark 7:6; 14:41; Luke 6:24; 7:6; 15:20; 24:13; Acts
15:20, 29; Phil 4:18-note;
1Ti 4:3; Philemon 1:15; 1Pe 2:11-note.
NAS = abstain(5), abstaining(1), away(1), away*(1), enough(1),
have...back(1), have...in full(3), have received(1), have received in
full(1), off(1), receiving...in full(1).
"So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the
hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be
honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward
"When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to
stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they
may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward
"Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do,
for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men
when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their
reward in full.
Matthew 14:24 But the boat was already a long distance from
the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary.
Matthew 15:8 'THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART
IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.
Mark 7:6 And He said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you
hypocrites, as it is written: 'THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS,
BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.
Mark 14:41 And He came the third time, and said to them, "Are you still
sleeping and resting? It is enough; the hour has come; behold,
the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Luke 6:24 "But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving
your comfort in full.
Luke 7:6 Now Jesus started on His way with them; and when He was
not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to
Him, "Lord, do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You
to come under my roof;
Luke 15:20 "So he got up and came to his father. But while he was
still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for
him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
Luke 24:13 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a
village named Emmaus, which was (KJV = which was from [apecho]
Jerusalem) about seven miles from Jerusalem.
Acts 15:20 but that we write to them that they abstain from
things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is
strangled and from blood....29 that you abstain from things
sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from
fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do
But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I
am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent,
a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you
abstain from sexual immorality
command calling for continual obedience, enabled of course by the
indwelling Spirit) from every form (How much?) of evil.
1Timothy 4:3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from
foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who
believe and know the truth.
Philemon 1:15 For perhaps he was for this reason separated from you for
a while, that you would have him back forever,
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain (present
from fleshly lusts which wage war (present
against the soul.
Apecho - 19x in the
Septuagint - Gen 43:23; 44:4; Num 32:19; Deut 12:21; 18:22; 1 Sam 21:5;
Job 1:1, 8; 2:3; 13:21; 28:28; Ps 103:12; Prov 3:27; 9:18; 15:29; 22:5;
23:4, 13; Isa 29:13; 54:14; 55:9; Jer 7:10; Ezek 8:6; 11:15; 22:5; Joel
1:13; 2:8; 3:8; Mal 3:6; Below are some interesting, instructive uses of
apecho in the Septuagint...
Job 1:1 (same idea in Job 1:8, Job
2:3 - three times apecho is used of Job - interesting!) There was a man
in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless,
upright, fearing God and turning away from (Lxx = apecho in
= pictures the subject initiating the action and participating in the
results) evil. (Why did
Job turn away from evil?
Has the modern church grown too "familiar" with the
God that it has lost
some sense of the fear of God? )
Job 28:28 "And to man He said,
'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart
from (Lxx = apecho in the
evil is understanding.'" (Comment: This begs the question - do
you desire understanding? Are you having difficulty understanding
what God desires for you in some area of your life? Then perhaps you
might consider meditating on Job 28:28)
Psalm 103:12 As far as (Lxx = apecho
= as the distance) the east is from the west, So far has He removed our
transgressions from us.
Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far
from (Lxx = apecho) the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the
righteous. (Does this verse help understand Job 28:28 above,
specifically how one might or might not have understanding?)
Proverbs 22:5 Thorns and snares are
in the way of the perverse; He who guards himself will be far from (Lxx
= apecho) them.
Proverbs 23:4 Do not weary yourself
to gain wealth, Cease
(Lxx = apecho =
- a command in the and
your consideration of it. (What a wise saying - what a picture of the
angst so many experience on even a daily basis as they look at the
latest Dow Jones! Apecho means to "put some distance" between your heart
and mind and your daily angst over your stock portfolio! If not don't be
surprised when you are "weary".)
Isaiah 29:13 Then the Lord said,
"Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their
lip service, But they remove their hearts ("The heart is viewed here as
the seat of the will, from which genuine loyalty derives." NET Bible
note) far from (Lxx = apecho) Me, And their reverence for Me
consists of tradition learned by rote
Ezekiel 8:6 And He said to me, "Son
of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations which the
house of Israel are committing here, so that I would be far from
(Lxx = apecho) My sanctuary? But yet you will see still greater
literally refers to pay which is due for labor performed or dues paid
for work. Misthos is used in two general senses in the NT, either
to refer to wages or to reward, recognition or recompense. In this
latter figurative usage, misthos refers to rewards which God
bestows for an action that passes His "eye test" (i.e., the
God sees the heart motive behind
every action), and while there may be some reward in this present life
(there is always the "reward" of knowing you have been pleasing to your
Father - cf 2Co 5:8; cf profit of disciplining one's self for godliness
1Ti 4:7, 8-note)
such rewards most often to be bestowed in eternity future.