Matthew 5:39
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

New Living Translation
But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.

English Standard Version
But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Berean Study Bible
But I tell you not to resist an evil person. If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also;

Berean Literal Bible
But I tell you not to resist the evil person. Instead, whoever shall strike you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.

New American Standard Bible
"But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

King James Bible
But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But I tell you, don't resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

International Standard Version
But I tell you not to resist an evildoer. On the contrary, whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other to him as well.

NET Bible
But I say to you, do not resist the evildoer. But whoever strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other to him as well.

New Heart English Bible
But I tell you, do not set yourself against the one who is evil. But whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But I am saying to you, you shall not rise up against an evil person, but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him also the other.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But I tell you not to oppose an evil person. If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn your other cheek to him as well.

New American Standard 1977
“But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Jubilee Bible 2000
but I say unto you, That ye resist not with evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

King James 2000 Bible
But I say unto you, That you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.

American King James Version
But I say to you, That you resist not evil: but whoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.

American Standard Version
but I say unto you, resist not him that is evil: but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But I say to you not to resist evil: but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other:

Darby Bible Translation
But I say unto you, not to resist evil; but whoever shall strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other;

English Revised Version
but I say unto you, Resist not him that is evil: but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Webster's Bible Translation
But I say to you, That ye resist not evil: but whoever shall strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Weymouth New Testament
But I tell you not to resist a wicked man, but if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other to him as well.

World English Bible
But I tell you, don't resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Young's Literal Translation
but I -- I say to you, not to resist the evil, but whoever shall slap thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other;
Study Bible
Love Your Enemies
38You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ 39But I tell you not to resist an evil person. If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also; 40if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well;…
Cross References
1 Kings 22:24
Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, "How did the Spirit of the LORD pass from me to speak to you?"

Proverbs 20:22
Do not say, "I will repay evil"; Wait for the LORD, and He will save you.

Proverbs 24:29
Do not say, "Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work."

Matthew 5:40
if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well;

Luke 6:7
Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, the scribes and Pharisees were watching Him closely to see if He would heal on the Sabbath.

Luke 6:29
If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone takes your cloak, do not withhold your tunic as well.

Luke 6:30
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what is yours, do not demand it back.

John 18:23
Jesus replied, "If I said something wrong, testify to what was wrong. But if I spoke correctly, why did you strike Me?"

1 Corinthians 6:7
The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you are thoroughly defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?
Treasury of Scripture

But I say to you, That you resist not evil: but whoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.

That.

Leviticus 19:18 You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of …

1 Samuel 24:10-15 Behold, this day your eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered …

1 Samuel 25:31-34 That this shall be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, …

1 Samuel 26:8-10 Then said Abishai to David, God has delivered your enemy into your …

Job 31:29-31 If I rejoice at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up …

Proverbs 20:22 Say not you, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he …

Proverbs 24:29 Say not, I will do so to him as he has done to me: I will render …

Luke 6:29 And to him that smites you on the one cheek offer also the other; …

Romans 12:17-19 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the …

1 Corinthians 6:7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because you go …

1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that none render evil for evil to any man; but ever follow that …

Hebrews 12:4 You have not yet resisted to blood, striving against sin.

James 5:6 You have condemned and killed the just; and he does not resist you.

1 Peter 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise …

whosoever.

1 Kings 22:24 But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on …

Job 16:10 They have gaped on me with their mouth; they have smitten me on the …

Isaiah 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked …

Lamentations 3:30 He gives his cheek to him that smites him: he is filled full with reproach.

Micah 5:1 Now gather yourself in troops, O daughter of troops: he has laid …

Luke 6:29 And to him that smites you on the one cheek offer also the other; …

Luke 22:64 And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and …

1 Peter 2:20-23 For what glory is it, if, when you be buffeted for your faults, you …

(39) Resist not evil.--The Greek, as before in Matthew 5:37, may be either masculine or neuter, and followed as it is by "whosoever," the former seems preferable; only here it is not "the evil one," with the emphasis of pre-eminence, but, as in 1Corinthians 5:13, the human evil-doer. Of that mightier "evil one" we are emphatically told that it is our duty to resist him (James 4:7).

Shall smite.--The word was used of blows with the hand or with a stick, and for such blows fines from a shekel upwards were imposed by Jewish courts.

Turn to him the other also.--We all quote and admire the words as painting an ideal meekness. But most men feel also that they cannot act on them literally; that to make the attempt, as has been done by some whom the world calls dreamers or fanatics, would throw society into confusion and make the meek the victims. The question meets us, therefore, Were they meant to be obeyed in the letter; and if not, what do they command? And the answer is found (l) in remembering that our Lord Himself, when smitten by the servant of the high priest, protested, though He did not resist (John 18:22-23), and that St. Paul, under like outrage, was vehement in his rebuke (Acts 23:3); and (2) in the fact that the whole context shows that the Sermon on the Mount is not a code of laws, but the assertion of principles. And the principle in this matter is clearly and simply this, that the disciple of Christ, when he has suffered wrong, is to eliminate altogether from his motives the natural desire to retaliate or accuse. As far as he himself is concerned, he must be prepared, in language which, because it is above our common human strain, has stamped itself on the hearts and memories of men, to turn the left cheek when the right has been smitten. But the man who has been wronged has other duties which he cannot rightly ignore. The law of the Eternal has to be asserted, society to be protected, the offender to be reclaimed, and these may well justify--though personal animosity does not--protest, prosecution, punishment.

Verse 39. - But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee, etc. The first clause comes here only; the second is found also in Luke 6:29 (for the principle, cf. 1 Corinthians 6:7). We may notice that, while our Lord most perfectly observed the spirit of this command, he did not slavishly follow the letter of it (cf. John 18:22, 23). Nor did St. Paul (cf. Acts 16:35ff; Acts 22:25; 23:3; 25:9,10). We must remember that, while he clothes his teaching with the form of concrete examples, these are only parabolic representations of principles eternal in themselves, but in practice to be modified according to each separate occasion. "This offering of the other cheek may be done outwardly; but only inwardly can it be always right" (Trench, 'Sermon on the Mount'). We must further remember the distinction brought out here by Luther between what the Christian has to do as a Christian, and what he has to do as, perhaps an official, member of the state. The Lord leaves to the state its own jurisdiction (Matthew 22:21: vide Meyer). That ye resist not; Revised Version, resist not, thus avoiding all possibility of the English reader taking the words as a statement of fact. Evil. So the Revised Version margin; but Revised Version, him that is evil (cf. ver. 37; Matthew 6:13, note). The masculine here, in the sense of the wicked man who does the wrong, is clearly preferable; Wickliffe, "a yuel man." (For a very careful defence of Chrysostom's opinion that even here τῷ πονηρῷ refers to the devil and not to man. see Chase, 'The Lord's Prayer in the Early Church'). Shall smite; Revised Version, smiteth, The right reading gives the more vivid present. Ῥαπίζω comes in the New Testament here and Matthew 26:67 only. It is properly used of a stroke with a rod. (For "smiting on the cheeks," cf. the curious rendering of Hosea 11:4 in the LXX; cf. also Isaiah 50:6.) Thee on thy right. Matthew only. Although it is more natural that the left cheek would be hit first (Meyer), the right is named, since it is in common parle, nee held to be the worthier (cf. ver. 29). Cheek. Σιαγών, though properly jaw, is here equivalent to" cheek," as certainly in Song of Solomon 1:10; Song of Solomon 5:13. Turn. The action seen; Luke's "offer" regards the mental condition necessary for the action. But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil,.... This is not to be understood of any sort of evil, not of the evil of sin, of bad actions, and false doctrines, which are to be opposed; nor of the evil one, Satan, who is to be resisted; but of an evil man, an injurious one, who has done us an injury. We must not render evil for evil, or repay him in the same way; see James 5:6. Not but that a man may lawfully defend himself, and endeavour to secure himself from injuries; and may appear to the civil magistrate for redress of grievances; but he is not to make use of private revenge. As if a man should pluck out one of his eyes, he must not in revenge pluck out one of his; or should he strike out one of his teeth, he must not use him in the same manner; but patiently bear the affront, or seek for satisfaction in another way.

But whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also: which is to be understood comparatively, rather than seek revenge, and is directly contrary to the Jewish canons, which require, in such a case, a pecuniary fine (g).

"He that strikes his neighbour (which Maimonides explains, he that strikes his neighbour with his hand shut, about the neck) he shall give him a "sela", or "shekel": R. Judah says, in the name of R. Jose the Galilean, one pound: if he smite him (i.e. as Maimonides says, if he smite him with his double fist upon the face; or, as Bartenora, with the palm of his hand, "on the cheek", which is a greater reproach) he shall give him two hundred "zuzim"; and if he does it with the back of his hand, four hundred "zuzim".''

R. Isaac Sangari (h) manifestly refers to this passage of Christ's, when he says to the king he is conversing with,

"I perceive that thou up braidest us with poverty and want; but in them the great men of other nations glory: for they do not glory but in him, who said, "Whosoever smiteth thee thy right cheek, turn to him the left; and whosoever taketh away thy coat, give him thy cloak".''

(g) Misn. Bava Kama, c. 8. sect. 6. Vid. Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. (h) Sepher Cosri, Orat. 1. Sign. 113. fol. 56. 1.39. But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right check, turn to him the other also—Our Lord's own meek, yet dignified bearing, when smitten rudely on the cheek (Joh 18:22, 23), and not literally presenting the other, is the best comment on these words. It is the preparedness, after one indignity, not to invite but to submit meekly to another, without retaliation, which this strong language is meant to convey.5:38-42 The plain instruction is, Suffer any injury that can be borne, for the sake of peace, committing your concerns to the Lord's keeping. And the sum of all is, that Christians must avoid disputing and striving. If any say, Flesh and blood cannot pass by such an affront, let them remember, that flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God; and those who act upon right principles will have most peace and comfort.
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