Matthew 11:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings' palaces.

New Living Translation
Or were you expecting to see a man dressed in expensive clothes? No, people with expensive clothes live in palaces.

English Standard Version
What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.

New American Standard Bible
"But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings' palaces!

King James Bible
But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothes? Look, those who wear soft clothes are in kings' palaces.

International Standard Version
Really, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fancy clothes? See, those who wear fancy clothes live in kings' houses.

NET Bible
What did you go out to see? A man dressed in fancy clothes? Look, those who wear fancy clothes are in the homes of kings!

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“Otherwise, what did you go out to see; a man who wears a long soft robe? Behold those who wear soft things are in the house of the King.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Really, what did you go to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? Those who wear fine clothes are in royal palaces.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, those that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.

King James 2000 Bible
But what went you out to see? A man clothed in soft clothes? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.

American King James Version
But what went you out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.

American Standard Version
But what went ye out to see? a man clothed in soft raiment ? Behold, they that wear soft raiment are in king's houses.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But what went you out to see? a man clothed in soft garments? Behold they that are clothed in soft garments, are in the houses of kings.

Darby Bible Translation
But what went ye out to see? a man clothed in delicate raiment? behold, those who wear delicate things are in the houses of kings.

English Revised Version
But what went ye out for to see? a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft raiment are in kings' houses.

Webster's Bible Translation
But what went ye out to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.

Weymouth New Testament
But what did you go out to see? A man luxuriously dressed? Those who wear luxurious clothes are to be found in kings' palaces.

World English Bible
But what did you go out to see? A man in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in king's houses.

Young's Literal Translation
'But what went ye out to see? -- a man clothed in soft garments? lo, those wearing the soft things are in the kings' houses.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

11:7-15 What Christ said concerning John, was not only for his praise, but for the people's profit. Those who attend on the word will be called to give an account of their improvements. Do we think when the sermon is done, the care is over? No, then the greatest of the care begins. John was a self-denying man, dead to all the pomps of the world and the pleasures of sense. It becomes people, in all their appearances, to be consistent with their character and their situation. John was a great and good man, yet not perfect; therefore he came short of glorified saints. The least in heaven knows more, loves more, and does more in praising God, and receives more from him, than the greatest in this world. But by the kingdom of heaven here, is rather to be understood the kingdom of grace, the gospel dispensation in its power and purity. What reason we have to be thankful that our lot is cast in the days of the kingdom of heaven, under such advantages of light and love! Multitudes were wrought upon by the ministry of John, and became his disciples. And those strove for a place in this kingdom, that one would think had no right nor title to it, and so seemed to be intruders. It shows us what fervency and zeal are required of all. Self must be denied; the bent, the frame and temper of the mind must be altered. Those who will have an interest in the great salvation, will have it upon any terms, and not think them hard, nor quit their hold without a blessing. The things of God are of great and common concern. God requires no more from us than the right use of the faculties he has given us. People are ignorant, because they will not learn.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 8. - Behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. Menahem the Essene was by the wish of Herod the Great made deputy to Hillel in the Sanhedrin, but afterwards left his office. "Whither did he go out? Abai said. He went out to destruction. Rabba said, He went out for the service of the king. There is also a Baraitha [i.e. an 'uncanonical' Mishna] to this effect, that Menahem went out for the service of the king, and there went out with him eighty pairs of disciples clothed in Syrian robes" (Talm. Bab., 'Chagigah,' 16b, edit. Streane). It has been conjectured, though hardly on sufficient evidence, that our Lord was thinking of this case; but the Talmudic passage at least illustrates the gorgeousness of the apparel of the courtiers, and suggests the luxury of living that St. Luke speaks of ("They which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts"). It is, however, only fair to Menahem to say that Gratz ('Geschichte der Judaer,' 3. p. 230, edit. 1877) is able to suppose that he merely went back again to his solitude.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But what went ye out for to see?.... Since it cannot be thought it was to see the reeds in the wilderness blow to and fro by the wind, or a man like one of them, either in gesture or doctrine; was it to see

a man clothed in soft raiment? In raiment made of soft materials, as fine wool, cotton, silk, &c. such as Mecaenos wore, and who was therefore called Malacinus (y): one finely dressed, and richly apparelled, draws the eyes of persons to him; but such an one is not to be expected in a wilderness: and if the Jews went to see such a person, they were greatly disappointed; for John's raiment was of camel's hair, undressed, and he had a leathern girdle about his loins; and as for his diet, it was locusts and wild honey: no,

behold they that wear soft clothing, or, as Luke says, are "gorgeously apparelled"; to which he adds,

and live delicately, are in kings' houses, or "courts"; not in a desert, where John came preaching, nor in a prison, where he now was: he was no light, inconstant, flattering person, as generally courtiers are; had he, he would not have been in a prison; it was for his uprightness and faithfulness, in reproving Herod the king, that he was in such a place and condition. Thus from his very garb and diet, his character is vindicated from the charge of levity and change.

(y) Alex. ab Alex. Genial Dier. 1. 5. c. 18.



Matthew 11:8 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jesus Testifies about John
7As these men were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8"But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings' palaces! 9"But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 28:54
Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children,

Matthew 3:4
John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.

Matthew 11:7
As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind?

Matthew 11:9
Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.

Luke 7:25
If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces.
Treasury of Scripture

But what went you out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.

A man.

Matthew 3:4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leather …

2 Kings 1:8 And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle …

Isaiah 20:2 At the same time spoke the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, …

Zechariah 13:4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be …

1 Corinthians 4:11 Even to this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, …

2 Corinthians 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, …

Revelation 11:3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy …

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