Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof

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Under a railway bridge across the Weavers' Way.

"Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" is an aphorism which appears in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of MatthewMatthew 6:34.[1] It also appears in the sermon at the temple in the Book of Mormon- 3 Nephi 13:34.[2] It implies that each day contains an ample burden of evils and suffering, with the implicit moral that we should avoid adding to them. The same words, in Hebrew, are used to express the same thought in the Rabbinic Jewish saying dyya l'tzara b'shaata (דיה לצרה בשעתה), "the suffering of the (present) hour is enough for it".[3] It is also similar to the Epicurean advice of writers such as Anacreon and Horacequid sit futurum cras, fuge quaerere (avoid asking what the future will bring) — but Jesus's point was that God knew the worldly needs of men and so it was more important to seek His kingdom.[4]

The original Koine Greek reads ἀρκετὸν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἡ κακία αὐτῆς (arketon tē hēmera hē kakia autes); alternative translations include:[5]


Dr Thomas Sheridan wrote an eloquent sermon upon this text on the occasion of the death of Queen Anne. He absent-mindedly reused it for the anniversary of the accession of King George I and was, on this account, suspected of being a Jacobite and lost his chaplaincy.[6]


The phrase has been alluded to by many authors. John Galsworthy refers to it in The Patrician. Anthony Trollope uses the phrase in Barchester Towers. D. H. Lawrence uses it in Lady Chatterley's Lover. The phrase is often referred to by Diana Gabaldon in her Outlander series. Aldous Huxley says in Eyeless in Gaza that the phrase has a secular meaning: that the ideal personality should take life as it comes, without thought for tomorrow.[7] In Michael Collins, the phrase is used by British MI5 agent Soames, played by Charles Dance, in a retort to the character of Ned Broy. In season 4, episode 12 "Farewell Daddy Blues" of Boardwalk Empire, Dr. Valentin Narcisse, played by Jeffrey Wright, utters this phrase. In the film The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944) the character played by Eddie Bracken says this to his beloved with great tenderness. In Linda Medley's graphic novel Castle Waiting the Solicitine nuns use the phrase as a mantra. Charlaine Harris refers to the phrase several times in her "Southern Vampire Mysteries" series, as being a favorite phrase of Adele Stackhouse. In the Film Angels15 used by the character 'Tiger' ( RAF station commander) played by Jack Hawkins.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thomas Curtis (1829), The London encyclopaedia, 21 
  2. ^ "3 Nephi 13:34". Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  3. ^ Tr. Berakhot 9b
  4. ^ John Albert Broadus (1886), Commentary on Matthew, p. 151, ISBN 978-0-8254-2283-6 
  5. ^ J Frank (1971), The Use of Modern Translations and Their Effect in Replacing the King James Version (PDF) 
  6. ^ "An Irish Bull", The Victoria history of England, Routledge, Warne & Routledge, 1865 
  7. ^ David Jeffrey (1999), The Great Sayings of Jesus