Matthew 16:26
Parallel Verses
New International Version
What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

New Living Translation
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

English Standard Version
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

New American Standard Bible
"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

King James Bible
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?

International Standard Version
because what profit will a person have if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what can a person give in exchange for his life?

NET Bible
For what does it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but forfeits his life? Or what can a person give in exchange for his life?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“For what does a person benefit if he gains the whole world and lacks his soul? Or what will a person give to regain his soul?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
What good will it do for people to win the whole world and lose their lives? Or what will a person give in exchange for life?

Jubilee Bible 2000
For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

King James 2000 Bible
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

American King James Version
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

American Standard Version
For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?

Douay-Rheims Bible
For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul?

Darby Bible Translation
For what does a man profit, if he should gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

English Revised Version
For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?

Webster's Bible Translation
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Weymouth New Testament
Why, what benefit will it be to a man if he gains the whole world but forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give to buy back his life?

World English Bible
For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?

Young's Literal Translation
for what is a man profited if he may gain the whole world, but of his life suffer loss? or what shall a man give as an exchange for his life?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

16:24-28 A true disciple of Christ is one that does follow him in duty, and shall follow him to glory. He is one that walks in the same way Christ walked in, is led by his Spirit, and treads in his steps, whithersoever he goes. Let him deny himself. If self-denial be a hard lesson, it is no more than what our Master learned and practised, to redeem us, and to teach us. Let him take up his cross. The cross is here put for every trouble that befalls us. We are apt to think we could bear another's cross better than our own; but that is best which is appointed us, and we ought to make the best of it. We must not by our rashness and folly pull crosses down upon our own heads, but must take them up when they are in our way. If any man will have the name and credit of a disciple, let him follow Christ in the work and duty of a disciple. If all worldly things are worthless when compared with the life of the body, how forcible the same argument with respect to the soul and its state of never-ending happiness or misery! Thousands lose their souls for the most trifling gain, or the most worthless indulgence, nay, often from mere sloth and negligence. Whatever is the object for which men forsake Christ, that is the price at which Satan buys their souls. Yet one soul is worth more than all the world. This is Christ's judgment upon the matter; he knew the price of souls, for he redeemed them; nor would he underrate the world, for he made it. The dying transgressor cannot purchase one hour's respite to seek mercy for his perishing soul. Let us then learn rightly to value our souls, and Christ as the only Saviour of them.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 26. - For what is a man (shall a man be) profited? This verse explains the paradox concerning loss and gain in the previous verse. It is probably intended as a reminiscence of Psalm 49:7, 8. Wordsworth notes that it is quoted by Ignatius, 'Ep. ad Romans,' 6; but it is probably an early interpolation there. The whole world. It is but a trifle of the whole world, with its riches, honours, pleasures, which the most successful man can obtain; but granted it all lay at his feet, how would it repay him for the loss of everlasting life? Lose his own soul (life) (τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ζημιωθῇ). The phrase means "suffer loss in respect of," equivalent to "forfeit," as in Luke 9:25. "Life" here is the higher life, the life in God. The Vulgate renders, Animae vero suae detrimentum patiatur. In exchange; ἀνταλλαγμα: Vulgate, commutationem; as an equivalent for his life. Or, it may be, to purchase back his life. "Again, he dwells upon the same point. 'What? hast thou another soul to give for this soul?' saith he. 'Why, shouldst thou lose money, thou wilt be able to give other money;or be it house, or slaves, or any other kinds of possession; but for thy soul, if thou lose it, thou wilt have no other soul to give: yea, though thou hadst the world, though thou wast king of the whole earth, thou wouldst not be able, by paying down all earthly goods, together wits the earth itself, to redeem even one soul" (Chrys.,' Hom.,' 55). The value of the soul is often expressed in classical adages.

Ψυχῆς γὰρ οὐδέν ἐστι τιμιώρερον.
"Naught is of higher value than the soul."

Οὑ γὰρ τι ψυχῆς πέλει ἄνδρασι φίλτερον ἄλλο
"Naught unto men is dearer than the life." So Homer, 'Iliad,' 9:401-

"For not the stores which Troy, they say, contained
In peaceful times, ere came the sons of Greece,
Nor all the treasures which Apollo's shrine,
The archer-god, in rock built Pythos holds,
May weigh with life...
But when the breath of man hath passed his lips,
Nor strength nor foray can the loss repair."


(Lord Derby.)

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For what is a man profited,.... Such persons, though they are only seeking their own profit, will find themselves most sadly mistaken; for of what advantage will it be to such a man,

if he shall gain the whole world; all that is precious and valuable in it; all the power, pleasures, and riches of it; if with Alexander, he had the government of the whole world, and with Solomon, all the delights of it; and was possessed with the wealth of Croesus, and Crassus,

and lose his own soul? If that should be consigned to everlasting torment and misery, be banished the divine presence, and continually feel the gnawings of the worm of conscience that never dies, and the fierceness of the fire of God's wrath, that shall never be quenched, he will have a miserable bargain of it.

Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Or, "for the redemption" of it, as the Ethiopic version renders it: see Psalm 49:8. If he had the whole world to give, and would give it, it would not be a sufficient ransom for it; the redemption of an immortal soul requires a greater price than gold and silver, or any corruptible thing; nothing short of the blood and life of Christ, is a proper exchange, or ransom price for it. But in the other world there will be no redemption; the loss of a soul is irrecoverable: a soul once lost and damned, can never be retrieved. This passage is thought to be proverbial; what comes nearest to it, is the following (x).

"If a scholar dies, we never find an exchange for him; there are four things which are the ministry or service of the world, , if they are lost, they may be changed; and they are these, gold, silver, iron, and brass, Job 28:1 but if a scholar dies, , who will bring us his exchange? or an exchange for him: we lost R. Simon, "who will bring us his exchange?".''

(x) Midrash Kohelet, fol. 72. 3, 4. T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 5. 3.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

26. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul—or forfeit his own soul?

or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?—Instead of these weighty words, which we find in Mr 8:36 also, it is thus expressed in Lu 9:25: "If he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away," or better, "If he gain the whole world, and destroy or forfeit himself." How awful is the stake as here set forth! If a man makes the present world—in its various forms of riches, honors, pleasures, and such like—the object of supreme pursuit, be it that he gains the world; yet along with it he forfeits his own soul. Not that any ever did, or ever will gain the whole world—a very small portion of it, indeed, falls to the lot of the most successful of the world's votaries—but to make the extravagant concession, that by giving himself entirely up to it, a man gains the whole world; yet, setting over against this gain the forfeiture of his soul—necessarily following the surrender of his whole heart to the world—what is he profited? But, if not the whole world, yet possibly something else may be conceived as an equivalent for the soul. Well, what is it?—"Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Thus, in language the weightiest, because the simplest, does our Lord shut up His hearers, and all who shall read these words to the end of the world, to the priceless value to every man of his own soul. In Mark and Luke (Mr 8:38; Lu 9:26) the following words are added: "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words [shall be ashamed of belonging to Me, and ashamed of My Gospel] in this adulterous and sinful generation" (see on [1320]Mt 12:39), "of him shall the Son of man be ashamed when He cometh in the glory of His Father, with the holy angels." He will render back to that man his own treatment, disowning him before the most august of all assemblies, and putting him to "shame and everlasting contempt" (Da 12:2). "O shame," exclaims Bengel, "to be put to shame before God, Christ, and angels!" The sense of shame is founded on our love of reputation, which causes instinctive aversion to what is fitted to lower it, and was given us as a preservative from all that is properly shameful. To be lost to shame is to be nearly past hope. (Zep 3:5; Jer 6:15; 3:3). But when Christ and "His words" are unpopular, the same instinctive desire to stand well with others begets that temptation to be ashamed of Him which only the expulsive power of a higher affection can effectually counteract.

Matthew 16:26 Additional Commentaries
Context
Take Up Your Cross
25"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27"For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.…
Cross References
Psalm 49:8
the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough--

Matthew 4:8
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.

Matthew 16:25
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

Matthew 16:27
For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

Luke 9:25
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?
Treasury of Scripture

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

what is.

Matthew 5:29 And if your right eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you…

Job 2:4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yes, all that …

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, …

Luke 9:25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose …

gain.

Matthew 4:8,9 Again, the devil takes him up into an exceeding high mountain, and …

Job 27:8 For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he has gained, when …

Luke 12:20 But God said to him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required …

Luke 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received …

or.

Psalm 49:7,8 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God …

Mark 8:37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

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