Matthew 6:6

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Matthew 6:6 is the sixth verse of the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament and is part of the Sermon on the Mount. This verse continues the discussion on the proper procedure for praying; that is, not to do it in public, but to do it in private.

Content[edit]

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

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy
closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray
to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father
which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

The World English Bible translates the passage as:

But you, when you pray, enter into your inner
chamber, and having shut your door, pray to
your Father who is in secret, and your Father
who sees in secret will reward you openly.

For a collection of other versions see Bible Hub Matthew 6:6

Analysis[edit]

After condemning ostentatious prayer in the previous verse, this verse outlines the proper procedure for praying. As with charitable giving, the true believer should act in secret.

Theologian Eduard Schweizer suggests that the room (Greek: ταμεῖόν, tameion) referenced in this verse would have been the storage room. Most of Jesus' audiences would have lived in homes with only one room, but in Palestine it was common to have a separate storage area with a door to protect foodstuffs. This would have been the only room with a door. Schweizer suggests that this reference has been assimilated to the wording of Isaiah 26:20:

Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you,[1]

an action which the Pulpit Commentary associates with "a time of terror".[2]

Albert Barnes argues that "every Jewish house had a place for secret devotion" [3] such as a room above the front porch, whereas Charles Ellicott thought the reference was to "the steward’s closet, in the place which seemed to men least likely, which they would count it irreverent to connect with the idea of prayer".[4]

The end of this verse closely parallels the end of Matthew 6:4. This verse adds the mention of the omnipresent God being in secret, as well as being able to see all that is in secret. As with Matthew 6:4, most scholars feel that "openly" is an erroneous addition at the end of this verse.[5] It is included in the 1599 Geneva Bible,[6] but omitted from the English Standard Version and the New International Version.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schweizer, Eduard, The Good News According to Matthew, Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1975
  2. ^ Pulpit Commentary on Matthew 6, accessed 13 December 2016
  3. ^ Barnes' Notes on Matthew 6, accessed 13 December 2016
  4. ^ Ellicott's Commentary for Modern Readers on Matthew 6, accessed 13 December 2016
  5. ^ Luz, Ulrich. Matthew 1-7: A Commentary, trans. Wilhelm C. Linss. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortess, 1989.
  6. ^ Geneva Bible translation


Preceded by
Matthew 6:5
Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 6
Succeeded by
Matthew 6:7