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Jehovah’s Witnesses

New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition)

Matthew 7:1-29

7  “Stop judging+ that you may not be judged;+  for with the judgment you are judging, you will be judged,+ and with the measure that you are measuring out, they will measure out to you.+  Why, then, do you look at the straw in your brother’s eye but do not notice the rafter in your own eye?+  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Allow me to remove the straw from your eye,’ when look! a rafter is in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First remove the rafter from your own eye, and then you will see clearly how to remove the straw from your brother’s eye.  “Do not give what is holy to dogs nor throw your pearls before swine,+ so that they may never trample them under their feet and turn around and rip you open.+  “Keep on asking, and it will be given you;+ keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you;+  for everyone asking receives,+ and everyone seeking finds, and to everyone knocking, it will be opened.  Indeed, which one of you, if his son asks for bread, will hand him a stone? 10  Or if he asks for a fish, he will not hand him a serpent, will he? 11  Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will your Father who is in the heavens give good things+ to those asking him!+ 12  “All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must do to them.+ This, in fact, is what the Law and the Prophets mean.+ 13  “Go in through the narrow gate,+ because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it; 14  whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it.+ 15  “Be on the watch for the false prophets+ who come to you in sheep’s covering,+ but inside they are ravenous wolves.+ 16  By their fruits you will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they?+ 17  Likewise, every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit.+ 18  A good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, nor can a rotten tree produce fine fruit.+ 19  Every tree not producing fine fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.+ 20  Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men.+ 21  “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of the heavens, but only the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will.+ 22  Many will say to me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord,+ did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works* in your name?’+ 23  And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew* you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’+ 24  “Therefore, everyone who hears these sayings of mine and does them will be like a discreet man who built his house on the rock.+ 25  And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and lashed against that house, but it did not cave in, for it had been founded on the rock. 26  Furthermore, everyone hearing these sayings of mine and not doing them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.+ 27  And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and struck against that house,+ and it caved in, and its collapse was great.” 28  When Jesus finished these sayings, the effect was that the crowds were astounded at his way of teaching,+ 29  for he was teaching them as a person having authority,+ and not as their scribes.


Or “many miracles.”
Or “recognized.”

look!: The Greek word i·douʹ, here rendered “look!,” is often used to focus attention on what follows, encouraging the reader to visualize the scene or to take note of a detail in a narrative. It is also used to add emphasis or to introduce something new or surprising. In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the term occurs most frequently in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke and in the book of Revelation. A corresponding expression is often used in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Hypocrite!: At Mt 6:2, 5, 16, Jesus applied this term to the Jewish religious leaders, but here he uses it to address any disciple who fixes his attention on another’s faults while ignoring his own.

give what is holy to dogs . . . throw your pearls before swine: According to the Mosaic Law, pigs and dogs were unclean. (Le 11:7, 27) It was permissible to throw to dogs the flesh of an animal killed by a wild beast. (Ex 22:31) But Jewish tradition forbade giving to dogs “holy flesh,” that is, meat of animal sacrifices. At Mt 7:6, the expressions “dogs” and “swine” are used figuratively of people who do not value spiritual treasures. Just as swine have no appreciation of the value of pearls, individuals who do not value spiritual treasures may abuse the one sharing them.

Keep on asking, . . . seeking, . . . knocking: The rendering “keep on” expresses the continuous action indicated by the Greek verb form used here and shows the need for perseverance in prayer. The use of three verbs indicates intensity. Jesus makes a similar point in his illustration at Lu 11:5-8.

fish . . . serpent: Fish was a staple in the diet of people living around the Sea of Galilee. Some small serpents may have looked like the fish that were often eaten with bread. The rhetorical question implies that it would be unthinkable for a loving parent to do such a thing.

bread . . . stone: Jesus may have contrasted bread with stones because bread was a staple in the diet of the Jews and surrounding peoples and the size and shape of loaves could have reminded people of stones. The answer to Jesus’ rhetorical question is: “It would be unthinkable for a father to do such a thing.”—See study note on Mt 7:10.

fish . . . serpent: Fish was a staple in the diet of people living around the Sea of Galilee. Some small serpents may have looked like the fish that were often eaten with bread. The rhetorical question implies that it would be unthinkable for a loving parent to do such a thing.

you, although being wicked: Because of inherited sin, all humans are imperfect and, consequently, comparatively wicked.

how much more so: Jesus often used this line of reasoning. First he presents an obvious fact or a familiar truth, and then he draws an even more convincing conclusion based on that fact, arguing from the lesser to the greater.Mt 10:25; 12:12; Lu 11:13; 12:28.

the Law . . . the Prophets: “The Law” refers to the Bible books of Genesis through Deuteronomy. “The Prophets” refers to the prophetic books of the Hebrew Scriptures. However, when these terms are mentioned together, the expression could be understood to include the entire Hebrew Scriptures.Mt 7:12; 22:40; Lu 16:16.

the Law and the Prophets: See study note on Mt 5:17.

Go in through the narrow gate: In ancient times, roadways with gates were the means of entry into walled cities. The Bible uses such expressions as road or “path” or “way” to describe people’s life course and conduct. The image of two contrasting roads pictures life courses that are either approved or disapproved by God, determining whether an individual gains entry into God’s Kingdom.Ps 1:1, 6; Jer 21:8; Mt 7:21.

broad is the gate and spacious is the road: Although some manuscripts read “broad and spacious is the road,” the longer reading has strong manuscript support and harmonizes with the parallelism at Mt 7:14.—See App. A3.

in sheep’s covering: Or “in sheep’s clothing,” that is, disguised in figurative garments and exhibiting sheeplike qualities in order to give the impression of being a harmless member of God’s “flock” of worshippers.

ravenous wolves: A metaphor describing those who are extremely covetous and who exploit others for personal gain.

fruits: Here used figuratively of people’s works, their words, or the results of what they do and say.

lawlessness: The Greek word rendered “lawlessness” includes the idea of violation of and contempt for laws, people acting as if there were no laws. As used in the Bible, it suggests disregard for God’s laws.Mt 7:23; 2Co 6:14; 2Th 2:3-7; 1Jo 3:4.

lawlessness: See study note on Mt 24:12.

discreet: The Greek word used here conveys the idea of understanding associated with insight, forethought, discernment, prudence, and wisdom in a practical sense. The same Greek word is used at Mt 7:24 and 25:2, 4, 8, 9. The Septuagint uses this word at Ge 41:33, 39 regarding Joseph.

discreet: See study note on Mt 24:45.

rain . . . floods . . . winds: Sudden winter storms are not uncommon in Israel (especially during the month of Tebeth, that is, December/January), bringing high winds, torrential rains, and destructive flash floods.—See App. B15.

were astounded: The Greek verb used here can be defined “to be filled with amazement to the point of being overwhelmed.” The continuous verb form implies that his words had a lasting effect on the crowds.

his way of teaching: This expression refers to how Jesus taught, his teaching methods, which included what he taught, the whole body of instruction in the Sermon on the Mount.

not as their scribes: Rather than quote revered rabbis as an authority, as was the scribes’ custom, Jesus speaks as Jehovah’s representative, as a person having authority, basing his teachings on God’s Word.Joh 7:16.