Ephesians 4:28
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

New Living Translation
If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.

English Standard Version
Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

Berean Study Bible
He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing good with his own hands, that he may have something to share with the one in need.

Berean Literal Bible
The one stealing, let him steal no longer, but rather let him toil, working with the own hands what is good, so that he may have something to impart to the one having need.

New American Standard Bible
He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

King James Bible
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The thief must no longer steal. Instead, he must do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need.

International Standard Version
The thief must no longer steal but must work hard and do what is good with his own hands, so that he might earn something to give to the needy.

NET Bible
The one who steals must steal no longer; rather he must labor, doing good with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with the one who has need.

New Heart English Bible
Let him who stole steal no more; but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But whoever has stolen, let him not steal from now on, but let him toil with his hands and produce good that he might have to give to the one who is in need.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Thieves must quit stealing and, instead, they must work hard. They should do something good with their hands so that they'll have something to share with those in need.

New American Standard 1977
Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labour, working with his hands that which is good, that he may have to give to him that is in need.

King James 2000 Bible
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs.

American King James Version
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs.

American Standard Version
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have whereof to give to him that hath need.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He that stole, let him now steal no more; but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have something to give to him that suffereth need.

Darby Bible Translation
Let the stealer steal no more, but rather let him toil, working what is honest with [his] hands, that he may have to distribute to him that has need.

English Revised Version
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have whereof to give to him that hath need.

Webster's Bible Translation
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

Weymouth New Testament
He who has been a thief must steal no more, but, instead of that, should work with his own hands in honest industry, so that he may have something of which he can give the needy a share.

World English Bible
Let him who stole steal no more; but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need.

Young's Literal Translation
whoso is stealing let him no more steal, but rather let him labour, working the thing that is good with the hands, that he may have to impart to him having need.
Study Bible
New Life in Christ
27and do not give the devil a foothold. 28He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing good with his own hands, that he may have something to share with the one in need. 29Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up the one in need and bringing grace to those who listen.…
Cross References
Proverbs 21:26
All day long he is craving, While the righteous gives and does not hold back.

Proverbs 31:20
She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy.

Luke 3:11
John replied, "Whoever has two tunics should share with him who has none, and whoever has food should do the same."

Acts 20:35
In everything, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus Himself: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

1 Corinthians 4:12
We work hard with our own hands. When we are vilified, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;

Galatians 6:10
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to the family of faith.

1 Thessalonians 4:11
and to aspire to live quietly, to attend to your own matters, and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you.

1 Thessalonians 4:12
Then you will behave properly toward outsiders, without being dependent on anyone.

2 Thessalonians 3:8
nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. Instead, in labor and toil, we worked night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you.

2 Thessalonians 3:11
Yet we hear that some of you are leading undisciplined lives and accomplishing nothing but being busybodies.
Treasury of Scripture

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs.

him that.

Exodus 20:15,17 You shall not steal…

Exodus 21:16 And he that steals a man, and sells him, or if he be found in his …

Proverbs 30:9 Lest I be full, and deny you, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I …

Jeremiah 7:9 Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and …

Hosea 4:2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing …

Zechariah 5:3 Then said he to me, This is the curse that goes forth over the face …

John 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was …

1 Corinthians 6:10,11 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, …

steal no more.

Job 34:32 That which I see not teach you me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.

Proverbs 28:13 He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses …

Luke 3:8,10-14 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not …

Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said to the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half …

labour.

Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathers …

Proverbs 14:23 In all labor there is profit: but the talk of the lips tends only to penury.

Acts 20:34,35 Yes, you yourselves know, that these hands have ministered to my …

1 Thessalonians 4:11,12 And that you study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and …

2 Thessalonians 3:6-8,11,12 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…

that he.

Luke 3:11 He answers and said to them, He that has two coats, let him impart …

Luke 21:1-4 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury…

John 13:29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had …

2 Corinthians 8:2,12 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy …

give. or, distribute.

Romans 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

2 Corinthians 9:12-15 For the administration of this service not only supplies the want …

1 Timothy 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, …

(28) Let him that stole (properly, the stealer) steal no more. . . .--In this verse St. Paul treats dishonesty, virtually, although less distinctly, from the same point of view as before. For he is not content with forbidding it, or even with forbidding it as fatal to society; but he directs that it be superseded by the opposite spirit of self-sacrifice, working in order to give to others what is honestly our own, as the fruit of the labour of "our own hands." In that direction there is a profound wisdom, in striking at the root of that exclusive selfishness which so often and so naturally exhibits itself in dishonesty. But we note in it also a peculiar harmony with the great doctrine of unity; for the sense of unity will always exhibit itself in working what is "good," that is, gracious, for the sake of "him that needs."

Verse 28. - Let the stealer stem no more. Ὁ κλέπτων may be translated either as a noun or as the present participle. In either case it implies that even Christians might continue to steal, and that they had to be warned against the habit. This may seem strange to us, but not to those who consider how little theft was thought of among the pagans, and how liable such habits are to remain among converts from heathenism. Where there is a low moral tone and an uneducated conscience, very great irregularities may be found. Dishonesty in trade, deceit in business, are just the same. Among the Ephesians, thieving was probably the result of idle habits and of dislike to hard work. Hence the apostle says, But rather let him labor, working with his hands the things that are good, that he may have to impart to him that hath need. Idleness is mean, labor is honorable; Christ calls us to work, not for this reason only, but in order that we may have something to give away. Paganism would rob others of what is rightfully their own; Christianity leads me to give to others what is rightfully my own. This different genius of the two systems appears here very clearly. Observe the true use of superfluities - look out for the needy, and give for their relief. Let him that stole steal no more,.... Stealing, or theft, is a fraudulent taking away of another man's goods, without the knowledge and will of the owner, for the sake of gain; to which evil may be reduced, not making good, or not performing payments, all unjust contracts, detention of wages, unlawful usury, unfaithfulness in anything committed to trust, advising, encouraging, and receiving from thieves: theft is a very great evil; it is a breach of the common law of nature, to do to others, as we would be done by; it is contrary to particular laws of God, and is against common justice, and ought not to be continued in, and is punishable by God and man; it springs from a corrupt heart, and often arises from poverty, idleness, sloth, covetousness, and prodigality: the remedy against it follows,

but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good; labouring with diligence and industry, at any manufacture, trade, or business, which is honest, lawful, and of good report, is a proper antidote against theft; and ought to be preferred to such a scandalous way of living, and to be constantly attended to: and that for this end among others,

that he may have to give to him that needeth; and not take away another man's property; needy persons are the objects of charity; and what is given to them, should be a man's own; and what a man gets by his hand labour, he should not prodigally spend, or covetously lay up, but should cheerfully distribute it to indigent persons. 28. Greek, "Let him that stealeth." The imperfect or past tense is, however, mainly meant, though not to the exclusion of the present. "Let the stealing person steal no more." Bandits frequented the mountains near Ephesus. Such are meant by those called "thieves" in the New Testament.

but rather—For it is not enough to cease from a sin, but the sinner must also enter on the path that is its very opposite [Chrysostom]. The thief, when repentant, should labor more than he would be called on to do, if he had never stolen.

let him labour—Theft and idleness go together.

the thing which is good—in contrast with theft, the thing which was evil in his past character.

with his hands—in contrast with his former thievish use of his hands.

that he may have to give—"that he may have wherewith to impart." He who has stolen should exercise liberality beyond the restitution of what he has taken. Christians in general should make not selfish gain their aim in honest industry, but the acquisition of the means of greater usefulness to their fellow men; and the being independent of the alms of others. So Paul himself (Ac 20:35; 2Th 3:8) acted as he taught (1Th 4:11).4:25-28 Notice the particulars wherewith we should adorn our Christian profession. Take heed of every thing contrary to truth. No longer flatter or deceive others. God's people are children who will not lie, who dare not lie, who hate and abhor lying. Take heed of anger and ungoverned passions. If there is just occasion to express displeasure at what is wrong, and to reprove, see that it be without sin. We give place to the devil, when the first motions of sin are not grievous to our souls; when we consent to them; and when we repeat an evil deed. This teaches that as sin, if yielded unto, lets in the devil upon us, we are to resist it, keeping from all appearance of evil. Idleness makes thieves. Those who will not work, expose themselves to temptations to steal. Men ought to be industrious, that they may do some good, and that they may be kept from temptation. They must labour, not only that they may live honestly, but that they may have to give to the wants of others. What then must we think of those called Christians, who grow rich by fraud, oppression, and deceitful practices! Alms, to be accepted of God, must not be gained by unrighteousness and robbery, but by honesty and industry. God hates robbery for burnt-offerings.
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