Matthew 5:25

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Matthew 5:25 is the twenty-fifth verse of the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament and is part of the Sermon on the Mount. In this first of the 6 Antitheses Jesus has been attacking anger and advocating reconciliation. In this verse he states that it is prudential to quickly reach agreement with one's adversary.

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

Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou
art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary
deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver
thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

The World English Bible translates the passage as:

Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are
with him in the way; lest perhaps the prosecutor
deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver
you to the officer, and you be cast into prison.

For a collection of other versions see BibRef Matthew 5:25

This verse is very similar to Luke 12:58. In the Gospel of Matthew this verse could be interpreted as practical advice for staying out of prison. In Luke the context makes clear that it is an eschatological metaphor, with the judge being God and prison eternal punishment.[1] Most interpret Matthew the same way. Albright and Mann have difficulty with this metaphor, as there is no space for an accuser who should be reconciled in the last judgement. Albright and Mann are also uncomfortable at how closely this verse links good behaviour to the promise of avoiding punishment. They thus feel that some material is likely missing from this section.[2]

The Greek translation has a slightly different meaning. Instead of "agree" it may be translated as "quickly have kind thoughts for..." or "be well disposed toward..." [3]


  1. ^ Schweizer, Eduard. The Good News According to Matthew. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1975
  2. ^ Albright, W.F. and C.S. Mann. "Matthew." The Anchor Bible Series. New York: Doubleday & Company, 1971.
  3. ^ "Greek Translations – A Most Excellent Way". Retrieved August 16, 2017. 

Preceded by
Matthew 5:24
Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 5
Succeeded by
Matthew 5:26