Matthew 5:25
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.

New Living Translation
"When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison.

English Standard Version
Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.

New American Standard Bible
"Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.

King James Bible
Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Reach a settlement quickly with your adversary while you're on the way with him, or your adversary will hand you over to the judge, the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison.

International Standard Version
Come to terms quickly with your opponent while you are on the way to court, or your opponent may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison.

NET Bible
Reach agreement quickly with your accuser while on the way to court, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the warden, and you will be thrown into prison.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Be allied with your plaintiff quickly, while you are with him in the street, lest the plaintiff delivers you to the judge and the judge delivers you to the Tax Collector and you fall into prison.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Make peace quickly with your opponent while you are on the way to court with him. Otherwise, he will hand you over to the judge. Then the judge will hand you over to an officer, who will throw you into prison.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Conciliate with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

King James 2000 Bible
Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison.

American King James Version
Agree with your adversary quickly, whiles you are in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison.

American Standard Version
Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art with him in the way; lest haply the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Be at agreement with thy adversary betimes, whilst thou art in the way with him: lest perhaps the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

Darby Bible Translation
Make friends with thine adverse party quickly, whilst thou art in the way with him; lest some time the adverse party deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

English Revised Version
Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art with him in the way; lest haply the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

Webster's Bible Translation
Agree with thy adversary quickly, while thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

Weymouth New Testament
Come to terms without delay with your opponent while you are yet with him on the way to the court; for fear he should obtain judgement from the magistrate against you, and the magistrate should give you in custody to the officer and you be thrown into prison.

World English Bible
Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are with him in the way; lest perhaps the prosecutor deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison.

Young's Literal Translation
'Be agreeing with thy opponent quickly, while thou art in the way with him, that the opponent may not deliver thee to the judge, and the judge may deliver thee to the officer, and to prison thou mayest be cast,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

5:21-26 The Jewish teachers had taught, that nothing except actual murder was forbidden by the sixth commandment. Thus they explained away its spiritual meaning. Christ showed the full meaning of this commandment; according to which we must be judged hereafter, and therefore ought to be ruled now. All rash anger is heart murder. By our brother, here, we are to understand any person, though ever so much below us, for we are all made of one blood. Raca, is a scornful word, and comes from pride: Thou fool, is a spiteful word, and comes from hatred. Malicious slanders and censures are poison that kills secretly and slowly. Christ told them that how light soever they made of these sins, they would certainly be called into judgment for them. We ought carefully to preserve Christian love and peace with all our brethren; and if at any time there is a quarrel, we should confess our fault, humble ourselves to our brother, making or offering satisfaction for wrong done in word or deed: and we should do this quickly; because, till this is done, we are unfit for communion with God in holy ordinances. And when we are preparing for any religious exercises, it is good for us to make that an occasion of serious reflection and self-examination. What is here said is very applicable to our being reconciled to God through Christ. While we are alive, we are in the way to his judgement-seat; after death, it will be too late. When we consider the importance of the case, and the uncertainty of life, how needful it is to seek peace with God, without delay!

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 25, 26. - Parallel passage: Luke 12:58, 59. The question of the relation of the two passages, as regards both language and original connexion, is exceedingly difficult. As to the former, the verbal differences seem to be such as would hardly have been made on purpose, and to be rather due to memory; yet the agreement is too minute to be the result of memory of a Gospel only oral. Perhaps memory of a document best satisfies the conditions. As to the original connexion of the verses, they, especially ver. 26, can hardly have been spoken twice. Most critics suppose that St. Luke gives them in their proper context; but if so, it is curious that two of his words, ὑπάγεις ἀπήλλαχθαι, seem to recall our preceding ver. 24. One word might have been a mere coincidence, but hardly two. It is not likely that these words in ver. 24 were derived from Luke, for this supposes a double process in St. Matthew's mind, rejecting them from ver. 25 and placing them in ver. 24. It is more natural also to regard the first clause of Luke 12:58, "As... him," as an expansion of the corresponding clause in our ver. 25 rather than this as a compression of that. This apparent reminiscence in Luke of what is given in our vers. 24 and 25a points to the connexion of vers. 24-26 in Matthew being original, and to it having been broken by Luke or by the framer of the source that he used. A further stage in our Lord's warning. A man must not only seek reconciliation with the injured person (ver. 23), and that in preference to fulfilling the holiest service (ver. 24), but he must do so the more because of the danger of postponing reconciliation. It is noteworthy that our Lord in this verse does not define on whose side the cause of the quarrel lies. Verse 25. - Agree with. And that not with a merely formal reconciliation, but reconciliation based on a permanent kindly feeling towards him (ἴσθι εὐνοῶν). Professor Margoliouth suggests that this is a confirmation of what he thinks is the original text of Ecclus. 18:20, "Before judgment beg off" ('Inaugural Lect.,' p. 23: 1890). Thine adversary. Primarily the injured brother (vide infra), Quickly. For such is not the tendency of the human heart. Whiles. Delay not in making reconciliation while you have opportunity. Thayer compares Song of Solomon 1:12. Thou art. On the indicative, cf. Winer, § 41. b, 3. 2, a, note (p. 371, trans. 1870). In the way with him; Revised Version, with the manuscripts, with him in the way. The right reading implies that the proximity of the persons may perhaps not last throughout "the way." "The way" is the road to the judge, as explained in -Luke. But being on the road to him is here not presented as a possibility (Luke), but as a certainty. For so, in fact, it is. Lest... the adversary (ver. 26, note) deliver thee. Translating from the language of parable to that of fact, it is only if reconciliation has not been made, if the heart is still unforgiving and quarrelsome, that God the Judge will take notice of the offence. And the judge... to the officer (τῷ ὐπηρέτῃ); i.e. the officer whose duty it was to execute the judge's commands (cf. Lightfoot, 'Hor. Hebr.,' for illustrations). The expression here belongs to the figure; but in Matthew 13:41 similar duties are predicated of the angels. If the figure was derived from the synagogue, the officer would doubtless be the chazzan, of which, indeed, ὑπηρέτης is the technical rendering (cf. Schurer, II. 2. p. 66). And thou be cast (καὶ βληθήσῃ). The future indicative (still dependent on "lest") brings out the reality of the danger (cf. Bishop Lightfoot, on Colossians 2:8).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Agree with thine adversary quickly,.... These words are not to be understood in an allegorical sense, as if "the adversary" was the justice of God, demanding payment of debts; "the way", this present life; "the judge", God himself; "the officer", the devil; "the prison", the pit of hell; and "the uttermost farthing", the least sin, which will never be remitted without satisfaction: but the design of them is to prevent lawsuits about debts, which may be in dispute; it being much better for debtor and creditor, especially the former, to compose such differences among themselves, than to litigate the matter in a court of judicature. By "the adversary" is meant not an enemy, one that bears hatred and ill will, but a brother that has ought against a man; a creditor, who demands and insists upon payment of what is owing to him; and for this purpose has taken methods towards bringing the debtor before a proper magistrate, in order to oblige him to payment: wherefore it is better for him to make up and agree the matter directly, as soon as possible,

whilst thou art in the way with him; that is, whilst the creditor and debtor are going together to some inferior magistrate, or lesser court, as the sanhedrim, which consisted of three persons only, before whom such causes might be tried: for , pecuniary causes, or causes relating to money matters, were tried "by the bench of three" (g): and the selfsame advice is given in the Talmud (h), as here, where it seems to be a common proverb; for it is said,

"there are men that say, or men usually say, , "whilst thou art in the way with thine adversary, be obedient".''

Lest at any time the adversary should deliver thee to the judge, a superior magistrate in a higher court; for if the creditor would, he could oblige the debtor to go with him to the supreme court of judicature, and try the cause there; for so say the Jewish (i); canons:

"if the creditor says we will go to the great sanhedrim, they compel the debtor, and he goes up with them, as it is said, "the borrower is servant to the lender",''

where it might go harder with the poor debtor; and therefore it was advisable to prevent it by an agreement, lest

the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison,

"It was an affirmative command in the law, says Maimonides, to appoint "judges" and "officers" in every country and province, as it is said, Deuteronomy 16:18. "judges" they are the judges that are fixed in the sanhedrim, and such that engage in law suits come before them: "officers"; these are the masters of the rod and scourge, i.e. who beat and scourge delinquents; and these stand before the judges--and all they do, is by the order of the judges.''

Now it is one of these that is meant by "the officer"; in Munster's Hebrew Gospel, he is called who, when he had authority from the judge, could cast into prison, and that for debt; of which we have no account in the law of Moses.

(g) Misn. Sanhedrim, c. 1. sect. 1.((h) T. Bab. Sanhedrim, fol. 95. 2.((i) Maimof. Hilch. Sanhedrim, c. 6. sect. 7.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

25. Agree with thine adversary—thine opponent in a matter cognizable by law.

quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him—"to the magistrate," as in Lu 12:58.

lest at any time—here, rather, "lest at all," or simply "lest."

the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge—having pronounced thee in the wrong.

deliver thee to the officer—the official whose business it is to see the sentence carried into effect.

Matthew 5:25 Additional Commentaries
Context
Anger and Reconciliation
24leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25"Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26"Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.
Cross References
Proverbs 25:8
do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame?

Matthew 26:58
But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.

Luke 12:58
As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison.

Luke 18:3
And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'
Treasury of Scripture

Agree with your adversary quickly, whiles you are in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison.

with.

Genesis 32:3-8,13-22 And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother to the land …

Genesis 33:3-11 And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven …

1 Samuel 25:17-35 Now therefore know and consider what you will do; for evil is determined …

Proverbs 6:1-5 My son, if you be surety for your friend, if you have stricken your …

Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest you know not what to do in the …

Luke 12:58,59 When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, as you are in …

Luke 14:31,32 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sits not down first…

whiles.

Job 22:21 Acquaint now yourself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come to you.

Psalm 32:6 For this shall every one that is godly pray to you in a time when …

Isaiah 55:6,7 Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call you on him while he is near…

Luke 13:24,25 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say to you, will …

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he said, I have heard you in a time accepted, and in the day …

Hebrews 3:7,13 Why (as the Holy Ghost said, To day if you will hear his voice…

Hebrews 12:17 For you know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the …

and the.

1 Kings 22:26,27 And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back to …

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