Matthew 6:23

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Matthew 6:23 is the twenty-third verse of the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament and is part of the Sermon on the Mount.

In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:

But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall
be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in
thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

The World English Bible translates the passage as:

But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be
full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you
is darkness, how great is the darkness!

For a collection of other versions see BibRef Matthew 6:23

The previous verse established a somewhat ambiguous metaphor of the generous/undivided eye being the source of light into the body. This verse presents the opposite stating that an evil eye plunges one into darkness. The evil eye was both an expression for jealousy and for stinginess. Thus this verse is likely linked to the discussion of wealth in the surrounding verses.

The verse puts great emphasis on the depth of darkness that a poor spiritual eye will place a person in. Morris feels that it implies that those who are so blinded cannot even realize that they are in darkness. The metaphor of light as holiness and darkness as evil is also found in the Qumran literature and in the Gospel of John.


  • Hill, David. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981
  • Morris, Leon. The Gospel According to Matthew. Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1992.

Preceded by
Matthew 6:22
Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 6
Succeeded by
Matthew 6:24