|New International Version (©2011)|
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
New Living Translation (©2007)
But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
English Standard Version (©2001)
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.
International Standard Version (©2012)
How narrow is the gate and how constricted is the road that leads to life, and there aren't many people who find it!"
NET Bible (©2006)
But the gate is narrow and the way is difficult that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
How narrow is the gate and strict the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it!
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
But the narrow gate and the road that lead to life are full of trouble. Only a few people find the narrow gate.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
Because narrow is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.
American King James Version
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it.
American Standard Version
For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it.
How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!
Darby Bible Translation
For narrow the gate and straitened the way that leads to life, and they are few who find it.
English Revised Version
For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few be they that find it.
Webster's Bible Translation
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth to life, and few there are that find it.
Weymouth New Testament
because narrow is the gate and contracted the road which leads to Life, and few are those who find it.
World English Bible
How narrow is the gate, and restricted is the way that leads to life! Few are those who find it.
Young's Literal Translation
how strait is the gate, and compressed the way that is leading to the life, and few are those finding it!
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:12-14 Christ came to teach us, not only what we are to know and believe, but what we are to do; not only toward God, but toward men; not only toward those of our party and persuasion, but toward men in general, all with whom we have to do. We must do that to our neighbour which we ourselves acknowledge to be fit and reasonable. We must, in our dealings with men, suppose ourselves in the same case and circumstances with those we have to do with, and act accordingly. There are but two ways right and wrong, good and evil; the way to heaven and the way to hell; in the one or other of these all are walking: there is no middle place hereafter, no middle way now. All the children of men are saints or sinners, godly or ungodly. See concerning the way of sin and sinners, that the gate is wide, and stands open. You may go in at this gate with all your lusts about you; it gives no check to appetites or passions. It is a broad way; there are many paths in it; there is choice of sinful ways. There is a large company in this way. But what profit is there in being willing to go to hell with others, because they will not go to heaven with us? The way to eternal life is narrow. We are not in heaven as soon as we are got through the strait gate. Self must be denied, the body kept under, and corruptions mortified. Daily temptations must be resisted; duties must be done. We must watch in all things, and walk with care; and we must go through much tribulation. And yet this way should invite us all; it leads to life: to present comfort in the favour of God, which is the life of the soul; to eternal bliss, the hope of which at the end of our way, should make all the difficulties of the road easy to us. This plain declaration of Christ has been disregarded by many who have taken pains to explain it away; but in all ages the real disciple of Christ has been looked on as a singular, unfashionable character; and all that have sided with the greater number, have gone on in the broad road to destruction. If we would serve God, we must be firm in our religion. Can we often hear of the strait gate and the narrow way, and how few there are that find it, without being in pain for ourselves, or considering whether we are entered on the narrow way, and what progress we are making in it?
Verse 14. - Because (ὅτι); for (Revised Version); "many ancient authorities read, How narrow is the gate, etc." (Revised Version margin). The reading, "how" (τί) is much easier, as avoiding the difficulty of the connexion of this verse with the preceding, but probably ὅτι is right. The connexion is either that it is parallel to the first ὅτι, and thus gives a second reason for decision in entering through the narrow gate; or, and better, that it gives the reason for the statement in ver. 13b - many pass along the wrong way because the right way requires at the very outset so much determination and afterwards so much self denial. Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way; narrow is the gate, and straitened the way (Revised Version). Not only is the gate narrow, but the way itself seems compressed (τεθλιμμένη) by rocks, etc., on either side. That leadeth unto life (εἰς τὴν ζωήν). Observe, Christ does not say, "life eternal." He only cares to emphasize the thought of life in the fullest nature of life - life as "the fulfilment of the highest idea of being: perfect truth in perfect action" (Bishop Westcott, on 1 John 3:14). And few there be that; Revised Version, and few be they that (ver. 13, note). Our Lord here affirms more than the disciples ask in Luke 13:23; for there the question deals with those in a state of salvation (οἱ σωζόμενοι), here those finally saved. Find it; i.e. the gate and all it leads to. The narrow gate is here looked at as involving life. Find. It needs a search (contrast ver. 13). But there is the promise of ver. 7, "Seek, and ye shall find."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,.... And so, difficult to enter in at; and when entered, the way is unpleasant to the flesh to walk in, being hedged up on each side with afflictions and tribulations; and moreover, is like the "narrow place", or , "the strait place", as the Septuagint in Numbers 22:26 render it; in which the angel that met Balaam stood; and in which there was no turning to the right hand or the left; and such is the way to eternal happiness. The great encouragement to walk on in it is, because it is that way
which leadeth unto life: unto eternal life: it certainly leads thither; it never fails of bringing persons to it; believers in Christ, all that walk in Christ the way, though they are said to be "scarcely" saved, by reason of their afflictions and trials, they meet with in their way to the kingdom; yet they are, and shall be certainly saved: they shall be safely brought to glory; which will be an abundant recompense for all the troubles and sorrows that have attended them in their journey.
And few there be that find it; the way, and so consequently the life it leads to. "The gate is strait"; small and little, and so unobserved: there is but one way to heaven, and the generality of men neglect it. "The way is narrow", and so disagreeable; the company few, and not engaging. Men choose large gates, broad ways, and much company. The flesh loves to walk at liberty, unconfined, and uncontrolled, and with a multitude to do evil: hence, Zion's ways are thin of passengers; a small number, comparatively speaking, walk thereto, and will be saved; a remnant, a little flock, a little city, and few men in it. It is asked in the Talmud (q),
"why is the world to come created with "jod?" (the least of the letters in the "Hebrew alphabet") the answer is, because , "the righteous which are in it are few".''
Some read the words, as the Syriac, Arabic, and Vulgate Latin, with a note of admiration, "how strait is the gate!" &c. and so some copies.
(q) T. Bab. Menachot, fol. 29. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life—In other words, the whole course is as difficult as the first step; and (so it comes to pass that).
few there be that find it—The recommendation of the broad way is the ease with which it is trodden and the abundance of company to be found in it. It is sailing with a fair wind and a favorable tide. The natural inclinations are not crossed, and fears of the issue, if not easily hushed, are in the long run effectually subdued. The one disadvantage of this course is its end—it "leadeth to destruction." The great Teacher says it, and says it as "One having authority." To the supposed injustice or harshness of this He never once adverts. He leaves it to be inferred that such a course righteously, naturally, necessarily so ends. But whether men see this or no, here He lays down the law of the kingdom, and leaves it with us. As to the other way, the disadvantage of it lies in its narrowness and solicitude. Its very first step involves a revolution in all our purposes and plans for life, and a surrender of all that is dear to natural inclination, while all that follows is but a repetition of the first great act of self-sacrifice. No wonder, then, that few find and few are found in it. But it has one advantage—it "leadeth unto life." Some critics take "the gate" here, not for the first, but the last step in religion; since gates seldom open into roads, but roads usually terminate in a gate, leading straight to a mansion. But as this would make our Lord's words to have a very inverted and unnatural form as they stand, it is better, with the majority of critics, to view them as we have done. But since such teaching would be as unpopular as the way itself, our Lord next forewarns His hearers that preachers of smooth things—the true heirs and representatives of the false prophets of old—would be rife enough in the new kingdom.
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