Matthew 7:17–18

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Matthew 7:17 and Matthew 7:18 are the seventeenth and eighteenth verses of the seventh chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament and is part of the Sermon on the Mount. This verse continues the section warning against false prophets.


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

17 Even so every good tree bringeth :forth good
fruit; but a corrupt :tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither
can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

The World English Bible translates the passage as:

17 Even so, every good tree produces good fruit;
but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit.
18 A good tree can’t produce evil fruit, neither
can a corrupt tree produce good fruit.

For a collection of other versions see BibleHub Matthew 7:17-18


These two verses closely match each other. Hill notes that the structure here is a classic Semitic way of emphasizing a point: first a statement is said positively and then repeated negatively.[1] The first half of the statement is taken directly from John the Baptist words at Matthew 3:10.[2]

Schweitzer notes how fundamental the call for change is in this verse. Piety does not mean just changing exterior fruits, but rather a radical conversion from one type of being to another. It is, adds Schweitzer, “a transformed heart producing a transformed life.”[3]


  1. ^ Hill, David. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981 pg 181
  2. ^ Gundry, Robert H. Matthew a Commentary on his Literary and Theological Art. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982. pg. 130
  3. ^ Schweizer, Eduard. The Good News According to Matthew (John Knox Press, 1975), 186-187.

Preceded by
Matthew 7:16
Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 7
Succeeded by
Matthew 7:19