Matthew 6:4 is the fourth verse of the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament and is part of the Sermon on the Mount. This is the final verse of the Sermon's discussion of alms giving.
- That thine alms may be in secret: and
- thy Father which seeth in secret
- himself shall reward thee openly.
The World English Bible translates the passage as:
- so that your merciful deeds may be
- in secret, then your Father who sees
- in secret will reward you openly.
For a collection of other versions see BibRef Matthew 6:4
The previous verses indicated that charitable giving should be in secret, perhaps even from oneself. This verse indicates that God will see even the most covert actions, and will ensure they are properly rewarded.
There is much debate over the final word of this verse. Ancient manuscripts are divided about whether the verse should end with "reward you openly" or simply "reward you." The second version implies a spiritual reward, which is the standard reward discussed in the New Testament. An open reward, one that will be seen by others, is unusual, and Christian theology as a whole rejects the idea that the faithful are rewarded on Earth. Thus many scholars feel that openly is a gloss added later to this verse. Alternatively openly can be an eschatological reference, and in the end times it is quite likely that rewards might be openly displayed.
- Filson, Floyd V. A Commentary on the Gospel According to St. Matthew. London : A. & C. Black, 1960.
- Fowler, Harold. The Gospel of Matthew: Volume One. Joplin: College Press, 1968
- Hendriksen, William. The Gospel of Matthew. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1976
- Hill, David. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981
- Lewis, Jack P. The Gospel According to Matthew. Austin, Texas: R.B. Sweet, 1976..
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