Matthew 6:24
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

New Living Translation
"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

English Standard Version
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

New American Standard Bible
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

King James Bible
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money.

International Standard Version
"No one can serve two masters, because either he will hate one and love the other, or be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and riches!"

NET Bible
"No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
No man can work for two masters, for either he will hate one and will love the other, or he will honor one and the other he will ignore. You cannot work for God and for money.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"No one can serve two masters. He will hate the first master and love the second, or he will be devoted to the first and despise the second. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Jubilee Bible 2000
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and riches.

King James 2000 Bible
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

American King James Version
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

American Standard Version
No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Douay-Rheims Bible
No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Darby Bible Translation
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and will love the other, or he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

English Revised Version
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Webster's Bible Translation
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Weymouth New Testament
"No man can be the bondservant of two masters; for either he will dislike one and like the other, or he will attach himself to one and think slightingly of the other. You cannot be the bondservants both of God and of gold.

World English Bible
"No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can't serve both God and Mammon.

Young's Literal Translation
'None is able to serve two lords, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to the one, and despise the other; ye are not able to serve God and Mammon.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

6:19-24 Worldly-mindedness is a common and fatal symptom of hypocrisy, for by no sin can Satan have a surer and faster hold of the soul, under the cloak of a profession of religion. Something the soul will have, which it looks upon as the best thing; in which it has pleasure and confidence above other things. Christ counsels to make our best things the joys and glories of the other world, those things not seen which are eternal, and to place our happiness in them. There are treasures in heaven. It is our wisdom to give all diligence to make our title to eternal life sure through Jesus Christ, and to look on all things here below, as not worthy to be compared with it, and to be content with nothing short of it. It is happiness above and beyond the changes and chances of time, an inheritance incorruptible. The worldly man is wrong in his first principle; therefore all his reasonings and actions therefrom must be wrong. It is equally to be applied to false religion; that which is deemed light is thick darkness. This is an awful, but a common case; we should therefore carefully examine our leading principles by the word of God, with earnest prayer for the teaching of his Spirit. A man may do some service to two masters, but he can devote himself to the service of no more than one. God requires the whole heart, and will not share it with the world. When two masters oppose each other, no man can serve both. He who holds to the world and loves it, must despise God; he who loves God, must give up the friendship of the world.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 24. - No man can serve two masters, etc. In Luke 16:13 the saying is found almost word for word immediately after the parable of the unjust steward. As the word "mammon" comes twice in that parable, but nowhere else in the New Testament, it is probable that its occurrence caused the insertion of this saying in that place (cf. ver. 22, note). No man can serve two masters. The thought is still of earnestness of purpose and singleness of heart. Our Lord here speaks of the impossibility of such divided service as he has been warning his disciples against attempting. No man can give due service to two masters. For, apart from the extent of the claim of each master - total bond-service (δουλεύειν) - thorough service of two masters is incompatible with the effects produced upon the servant himself. The result of service is to incline him towards the one master and against the other. Notice how our Lord continues his plan of setting forth the moral effect of modes of thought or action upon the agents themselves (cf. Romans 6:16). For either he will hate the one (τὸν ἕνα), and love the other. Because human nature is such that it must attach itself to one of two principles. "Cor hominis neque its vacuum esse potest, ut non serviat ant Dee aut creaturae: neque simul duobus servire" (Bengel). Or else he will hold to the one (η} ἑνὸς ἀνθέξεται). The Revised Version omits "the." The stress here is on "one - not both." Hold to; in steadfast application (cf. Ellicott, on Titus 1:9). Ye cannot serve God and mammon; "Ye moun not serve god and ricchesse" (Wickliffe). A repetition of the statement of the impossibility of serving two masters, but more than a repetition, for it is enforced by defining who the masters are. Mammon. The change in the Revised Version from a capital to a small m has probably been made to prevent "mammon" being understood as the proper name of some god. The derivation of the word (μαμωνᾶς, ממונא) is very doubtful. The most probable suggestion is that it is formed from the stem of מנה, and is equivalent to that which is apportioned or counted (cf. Levy, 'Neuheb. Worterb.,' s.v.; Edersheim, 'Life,' 2. p. 269). Hence its well-known meaning of property, wealth, especially money. Observe that our Lord does not here contrast God and Satan; he is emphasizing the thought which he has been adducing since ver. 19, viz., the relation that his disciples must hold to things of earth, which are summed up by him under the term "mammon" as with us under the term "wealth." Observe also that it is not the possession of wealth that he condemns, but the serving it, making it an object of thought and pursuit. Gathering it and using it in the service of and according to the will of God is not serving mammon (cf. Weiss, 'Matthaus-Ev.').

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

No man can serve two masters,.... Whose orders are directly contrary to one another: otherwise, if they were the same, or agreed, both might be served; but this is rarely the case, and seldom done. This is a proverbial expression, and is elsewhere used by Christ, Luke 16:13. The Jews have sayings pretty much like it, and of the same sense as when they say (w),

"we have not found that , "any man is fit for two tables."''

And again (x),

"that it is not proper for one man to have two governments:''

their meaning is, that two things cannot be done together:

for, either he will hate the one, and love the other; he will have less affection and regard to the one, than to the other; as the service or orders of the one, are less agreeable to him than the others;

or else he will hold to the one; hearken to his commands, obey his orders, and abide in his service;

and despise the other; show disrespect to his person, neglect his orders, and desert his service:

ye cannot serve God and mammon. The word "mammon" is a Syriac word, and signifies money, wealth, riches, substance, and everything that comes under the name of worldly goods. Jerom says, that riches, in the Syriac language, are called "mammon"; and so the word is often used in the above senses, in the Chaldee paraphrases (y), and in the Talmudic writings; where (z) , "pecuniary judgments", or causes relating to money affairs, in which were pecuniary mulcts, are opposed to , "judgment of souls", or causes relating to life and death. The account and interpretation Irenaeus (a) gives of the word, is very wide and foreign; who says, that

"Mammon, according to the Jewish way of speaking, which the Samaritans used, is one that is greedy, and would have more than he ought; but, according to the Hebrew language, it is called adjectively Mam, and signifies one that is gluttonous; that is, who cannot refrain himself from gluttony.''

Whereas it is not an Hebrew word, nor an adjective, but a substantive, and signifies riches; which are opposed to God, being by some men loved, admired, trusted in, and worshipped, as if they were God; and which is incompatible with the service of the true God: for such persons, whose hearts go after their covetousness, and are set upon earthly riches, who give up themselves to them, are eagerly and anxiously pursuing after them, and place their confidence in them; whatever pretensions they may make to the service of God, as did the Scribes and Pharisees, who are particularly struck at by this expression, both here and elsewhere, they cannot truly and heartily serve the Lord. "Mammon" is the god they serve; which word may well be thought to answer to Pluto, the god of riches, among the Heathens. The Jews, in Christ's time, were notorious for the love of "mammon"; and they themselves own, that this was the cause of the destruction of the second temple: the character they give of those, who lived under the second temple, is this:

"we know that they laboured in the law, and took care of the commandments, and of the tithes, and that their whole conversation was good; only that they , "loved the mammon", and hated one another without a cause (b).''

(w) Praefat. Celi Jaker, fol. 3. 1. (x) Piske Tosephot Cetubot, art. 359. (y) Vid. Targum Onkelos & Jon. in Genesis 13.13. & in Jud. v. 19. & in Proverbs 3.9. & in Isaiah 45.13. & passim. (z) Misn. Sanhed. c. 1. sect. 1. & c. 4. sect. 1.((a) Adv. Haeres. l. 3. c. 8. p. 249. (b) T. Hieros. Yoma, fol. 38. 3.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

24. No man can serve—The word means to "belong wholly and be entirely under command to."

two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other—Even if the two masters be of one character and have but one object, the servant must take law from one or the other: though he may do what is agreeable to both, he cannot, in the nature of the thing, be servant to more than one. Much less if, as in the present case, their interests are quite different, and even conflicting. In this case, if our affections be in the service of the one—if we "love the one"—we must of necessity "hate the other"; if we determine resolutely to "hold to the one," we must at the same time disregard, and (if he insist on his claims upon us) even "despise the other."

Ye cannot serve God and mammon—The word "mamon"—better written with one m—is a foreign one, whose precise derivation cannot certainly be determined, though the most probable one gives it the sense of "what one trusts in." Here, there can be no doubt it is used for riches, considered as an idol master, or god of the heart. The service of this god and the true God together is here, with a kind of indignant curtness, pronounced impossible. But since the teaching of the preceding verses might seem to endanger our falling short of what is requisite for the present life, and so being left destitute, our Lord now comes to speak to that point.

Matthew 6:24 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Lamp of the Body
23"But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
Cross References
1 Kings 18:21
Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." But the people said nothing.

2 Kings 17:41
Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.

Luke 16:9
I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

Luke 16:11
So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?

Luke 16:13
"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."

Romans 6:20
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.

Galatians 1:10
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

James 4:4
You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
Treasury of Scripture

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

serve.

Matthew 4:10 Then said Jesus to him, Get you hence, Satan: for it is written, …

Joshua 24:15,19,20 And if it seem evil to you to serve the LORD, choose you this day …

1 Samuel 7:3 And Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, If you do return …

1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came to all the people, and said, How long halt you between …

2 Kings 17:33,34,41 They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner …

Ezekiel 20:39 As for you, O house of Israel, thus said the Lord GOD; Go you, serve …

Zephaniah 1:5 And them that worship the host of heaven on the housetops; and them …

Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, …

Romans 6:16-22 Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, …

Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for …

2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is …

James 4:4 You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship …

1 John 2:15,16 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If …

mammon.

Luke 16:9,11,13 And I say to you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; …

1 Timothy 6:9,10,17 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and …

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