Matthew 10:23
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

New Living Translation
When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, the Son of Man will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel.

English Standard Version
When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

Berean Study Bible
When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next. Truly I tell you, you will not reach all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

Berean Literal Bible
And whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next. For truly I say to you, you shall not have completed the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.

New American Standard Bible
"But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.

King James Bible
But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When they persecute you in one town, escape to another. For I assure you: You will not have covered the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

International Standard Version
So when they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, because I tell all of you with certainty that you will not have gone through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

NET Bible
Whenever they persecute you in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

New Heart English Bible
But when they persecute you in this city, flee into the next, for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“But when they persecute you in this city, flee to another, for truly I say to you, you will not have finished all the cities of the house of Israel until The Son of Man come.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So when they persecute you in one city, flee to another. I can guarantee this truth: Before you have gone through every city in Israel, the Son of Man will come.

New American Standard 1977
“But whenever they persecute you in this city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you shall not finish going through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man comes.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another, for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel until the Son of man be come.

King James 2000 Bible
But when they persecute you in this city, flee into another: for verily I say unto you, You shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man comes.

American King James Version
But when they persecute you in this city, flee you into another: for truly I say to you, You shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

American Standard Version
But when they persecute you in this city, flee into the next: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone through the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when they shall persecute you in this city, flee into another. Amen I say to you, you shall not finish all the cities of Israel, till the Son of man come.

Darby Bible Translation
But when they persecute you in this city, flee to the other; for verily I say to you, Ye shall not have completed the cities of Israel until the Son of man be come.

English Revised Version
But when they persecute you in this city, flee into the next: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone through the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

Webster's Bible Translation
But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say to you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of man shall have come.

Weymouth New Testament
Whenever they persecute you in one town, escape to the next; for I solemnly tell you that you will not have gone the round of all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

World English Bible
But when they persecute you in this city, flee into the next, for most certainly I tell you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man has come.

Young's Literal Translation
'And whenever they may persecute you in this city, flee to the other, for verily I say to you, ye may not have completed the cities of Israel till the Son of Man may come.
Study Bible
Sheep among Wolves
22You will be hated by everyone on account of My name, but the one who perseveres to the end will be saved. 23When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next. Truly I tell you, you will not reach all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.…
Cross References
Jeremiah 26:21
When King Jehoiakim and all his mighty men and all the officials heard his words, then the king sought to put him to death; but Uriah heard it, and he was afraid and fled and went to Egypt.

Matthew 16:27
For the Son of Man will come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will repay each one according to what he has done.

Matthew 16:28
Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."

Matthew 23:34
Because of this, I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify, and others you will flog in your synagogues and persecute in town after town.

Matthew 23:36
Truly I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Matthew 24:34
Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened.
Treasury of Scripture

But when they persecute you in this city, flee you into another: for truly I say to you, You shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

when.

Matthew 2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appears …

Matthew 4:12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed …

Matthew 12:14,15 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how …

Luke 4:29-31 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him to the brow …

John 7:1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk …

John 10:39-42 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand…

John 11:53,54 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death…

Acts 8:1 And Saul was consenting to his death. And at that time there was …

Acts 9:24,25 But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates …

Acts 13:50,51 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honorable women, and the chief …

Acts 14:6,7,19,20 They were ware of it, and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, …

Acts 17:10,14 And the brothers immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night to …

Acts 20:1 And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called to him the disciples, …

have gone over. or, end, or, finish. till.

Matthew 16:28 Truly I say to you, There be some standing here, which shall not …

Matthew 24:27,30,48 For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the …

Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein …

Matthew 26:64 Jesus said to him, You have said: nevertheless I say to you, Hereafter …

Mark 13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with …

Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the …

Luke 21:27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power …

(23) When they persecute you The counsel is noteworthy as suggesting at least one form of the wisdom of the serpent. Men were not to imagine that they were "enduring to the end "when, in the eagerness of their zeal, they courted martyrdom; but were rather to avoid danger instead of courting it, and to utilise all opportunities for the continuance of their work. The effect of the command thus given may be traced in all the great persecutions under the Roman Empire, Polycarp and Cyprian furnishing, perhaps, the most conspicuous examples.

Till the Son of man be come.--The thought of another Coming than that of the days of His humiliation and of His work as a Prophet and a Healer, which had been implied before (Matthew 7:21-23), is now explicitly unfolded. The Son of Man should come, as Daniel had seen Him come (Daniel 7:13), in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory, to complete the triumph of His kingdom. It is more difficult to understand the connection of the words with the preceding limit of time, "Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel." The natural result of such a promise was to lead the disciples to look forward to that coming as certain to be within the range of their own lifetime, and was the ground of the general expectation of its nearness which, beyond all doubt, pervaded the minds of men in the Apostolic age. Explanations have been given which point to the destruction of Jerusalem as being so far "a day of the Lord" as to justify its being taken as a type of the final Advent, and they receive at least a certain measure of support from the way in which the two events are brought into close connection in the great prophetic discourse of Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21. But the question meets us, and cannot be evaded, Were the two events thus brought together with a knowledge of the long interval by which they were in fact to be divided from each other, and if so, why was that knowledge kept from the disciples? Some reasons for that reticence lie on the surface. That sudden widening of the horizon of their vision would have been one of the things which they were not able to bear (John 16:12). In this, as in all else, their training as individual men was necessarily gradual, and the education of the Church which they founded was to be carried on, like that of mankind at large, through a long succession of centuries. The whole question will call for a fuller discussion in the Notes on Matthew 24. In the meantime it will be enough humbly to express my own personal conviction that what seems the boldest solution is also the truest and most reverential. The human thoughts of the Son of Man may not have travelled in this matter to the furthest bound of the mysterious horizon. He Himself told them of that day and that hour, that its time was known neither to the angels of heaven, nor even to the Son, but to the Father only (Mark 13:32).

Verse 23. - Matthew only; but even this verse is not free from what appear to be reminiscences of the words recorded in Matthew 24:14, 16). But when they persecute you in this city. Act wisely (ver. 16); flee to another city; you will find work there. Flee ye (cf. Matthew 23:34, and supra, ver. 17, note) into another; into the next (Revised Version); εἰς τὴν ἑτέραν. There are occasions when the duty is rather to spread the message than to seal it with death or to have one's lips closed by imprisonment. But only "he that is spiritual" (1 Corinthians 2:15) will be able to understand which course of action the special circumstances require. Our Lord's example (Matthew 12:15) was followed by Christians in the earliest (Acts 8:1; Acts 9:25, 30; Acts 14:6; Acts 17:10, 14) and in later times (e.g. Polycarp, n.y. 155; Dionysius of Alexandria, A.D. 249-251; Cyprian, A.D. 250; Athanasius, A.D. 340). Codex Bezae and some Western authorities, including Tatian's 'Diatess.,' add, "And if out of this they persecute you, flee into another;" but this is a not unnatural gloss upon the true text. For verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over; through (Revised Version); οὐ μὴ τετέσητε: literally, hare completed, like the harvest (Ruth 2:23). The cities of Israel (cf. ver. 6) till the Son of man (Matthew 8:20, note) be come. The mere fact that there was no persecution of the kind just spoken of until after our Lord's death in itself refutes the opinion (found, perhaps, in Tatian's 'Diatess.,' "Donee venero ad yes;" vide Resch, 'Agrapha,' p. 270) that these words refer to his rejoining his disciples on their mission (Matthew 11:1; cf. Luke 10:1). They may, perhaps, refer to his coming in the fall of Jerusalem, but rather look forward to h is complete return in his second advent, as apparently Agathangelus, in Resch, loc. cit. (cf. also p. 404), understands them. The cities of Israel are named because work among the Jews lay at the basis of the commission. If an exact fulfilment of the words is demanded, it is perhaps to be seen in the fact that there will be some Jews unconverted until the Lord's return. But when they persecute you in this city,.... Or any city into which they went, and preached the Gospel; and would not suffer them to go on in their work, they were not to desist, but to go elsewhere, where they might hope for a better reception, and a longer continuance, and so of doing more good:

flee ye into another; not so much for their own safety, though this, according to the circumstances of things, is lawful, but for the further spreading of the Gospel. The exhortation is not to take methods to avoid persecution, or to make an escape from it, but to perseverance under it: the sense is, they were not to be discouraged, and to leave off, because of persecution in one place, but to persist in the ministration of the Gospel, by carrying it to other cities; and it seems to be a spur to them to make haste, and fulfil their office of preaching the Gospel, in the land of Judea: nor need they fear going on too fast, lest they should have no places to preach in;

for verily I say unto you, this is a certain and indisputable truth not to be called in question, being strongly affirmed by truth itself,

ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, or "finished" them; that is, their tour through them, and their ministry, or the preaching of the Gospel in them,

till the son of man be come; which is not to be understood of his second coming to judgment, but either of his resurrection from the dead, when he was declared to be the Son of God, and when his glorification began; or of the pouring forth of the Spirit at the day of Pentecost, when his kingdom began more visibly to take place, and he was made, or manifested to be the Lord and Christ; or of his coming to take vengeance on his enemies, that would not have him to rule over them, and the persecutors of his ministers, at the destruction of Jerusalem. 23. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another—"into the other." This, though applicable to all time, and exemplified by our Lord Himself once and again, had special reference to the brief opportunities which Israel was to have of "knowing the time of His visitations."

for verily I say unto you—what will startle you, but at the same time show you the solemnity of your mission, and the need of economizing the time for it.

Ye shall not have gone over—Ye shall in nowise have completed.

the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come—To understand this—as Lange and others do—in the first instance, of Christ's own peregrinations, as if He had said, "Waste not your time upon hostile places, for I Myself will be after you ere your work be over"—seems almost trifling. "The coming of the Son of man" has a fixed doctrinal sense, here referring immediately to the crisis of Israel's history as the visible kingdom of God, when Christ was to come and judge it; when "the wrath would come upon it to the uttermost"; and when, on the ruins of Jerusalem and the old economy, He would establish His own kingdom. This, in the uniform language of Scripture, is more immediately "the coming of the Son of man," "the day of vengeance of our God" (Mt 16:28; 24:27, 34; compare with Heb 10:25; Jas 5:7-9)—but only as being such a lively anticipation of His second coming for vengeance and deliverance. So understood, it is parallel with Mt 24:14 (on which see).

Directions for the Service of Christ in Its Widest Sense (Mt 10:24-42).10:16-42 Our Lord warned his disciples to prepare for persecution. They were to avoid all things which gave advantage to their enemies, all meddling with worldly or political concerns, all appearance of evil or selfishness, and all underhand measures. Christ foretold troubles, not only that the troubles might not be a surprise, but that they might confirm their faith. He tells them what they should suffer, and from whom. Thus Christ has dealt fairly and faithfully with us, in telling us the worst we can meet with in his service; and he would have us deal so with ourselves, in sitting down and counting the cost. Persecutors are worse than beasts, in that they prey upon those of their own kind. The strongest bonds of love and duty, have often been broken through from enmity against Christ. Sufferings from friends and relations are very grievous; nothing cuts more. It appears plainly, that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution; and we must expect to enter into the kingdom of God through many tribulations. With these predictions of trouble, are counsels and comforts for a time of trial. The disciples of Christ are hated and persecuted as serpents, and their ruin is sought, and they need the serpent's wisdom. Be ye harmless as doves. Not only, do nobody any hurt, but bear nobody any ill-will. Prudent care there must be, but not an anxious, perplexing thought; let this care be cast upon God. The disciples of Christ must think more how to do well, than how to speak well. In case of great peril, the disciples of Christ may go out of the way of danger, though they must not go out of the way of duty. No sinful, unlawful means may be used to escape; for then it is not a door of God's opening. The fear of man brings a snare, a perplexing snare, that disturbs our peace; an entangling snare, by which we are drawn into sin; and, therefore, it must be striven and prayed against. Tribulation, distress, and persecution cannot take away God's love to them, or theirs to him. Fear Him, who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. They must deliver their message publicly, for all are deeply concerned in the doctrine of the gospel. The whole counsel of God must be made known, Ac 20:27. Christ shows them why they should be of good cheer. Their sufferings witnessed against those who oppose his gospel. When God calls us to speak for him, we may depend on him to teach us what to say. A believing prospect of the end of our troubles, will be of great use to support us under them. They may be borne to the end, because the sufferers shall be borne up under them. The strength shall be according to the day. And it is great encouragement to those who are doing Christ's work, that it is a work which shall certainly be done. See how the care of Providence extends to all creatures, even to the sparrows. This should silence all the fears of God's people; Ye are of more value than many sparrows. And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. This denotes the account God takes and keeps of his people. It is our duty, not only to believe in Christ, but to profess that faith, in suffering for him, when we are called to it, as well as in serving him. That denial of Christ only is here meant which is persisted in, and that confession only can have the blessed recompence here promised, which is the real and constant language of faith and love. Religion is worth every thing; all who believe the truth of it, will come up to the price, and make every thing else yield to it. Christ will lead us through sufferings, to glory with him. Those are best prepared for the life to come, that sit most loose to this present life. Though the kindness done to Christ's disciples be ever so small, yet if there be occasion for it, and ability to do no more, it shall be accepted. Christ does not say that they deserve a reward; for we cannot merit any thing from the hand of God; but they shall receive a reward from the free gift of God. Let us boldly confess Christ, and show love to him in all things.
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