Matthew 7:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

New Living Translation
You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

English Standard Version
You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

New American Standard Bible
"You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?

King James Bible
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
You'll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles?

International Standard Version
You will know them by their fruit. Grapes aren't gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles, are they?

NET Bible
You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered from thorns or figs from thistles, are they?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But by their fruit you will know them. Do they gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
You will know them by what they produce. "People don't pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles, do they?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

King James 2000 Bible
You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

American King James Version
You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

American Standard Version
By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Douay-Rheims Bible
By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Darby Bible Translation
By their fruits ye shall know them. Do [men] gather a bunch of grapes from thorns, or from thistles figs?

English Revised Version
By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Webster's Bible Translation
Ye shall know them by their fruits: Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles:

Weymouth New Testament
By their fruits you will easily recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thorns or figs from brambles?

World English Bible
By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?

Young's Literal Translation
From their fruits ye shall know them; do men gather from thorns grapes? or from thistles figs?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

7:15-20 Nothing so much prevents men from entering the strait gate, and becoming true followers of Christ, as the carnal, soothing, flattering doctrines of those who oppose the truth. They may be known by the drift and effects of their doctrines. Some part of their temper and conduct is contrary to the mind of Christ. Those opinions come not from God that lead to sin.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 16. - Parallel passage: Luke 6:44. (For the first clause, cf also ver. 20 and Matthew 12:33.) Ye shall know them by their fruits. Their appearance and their claims are no proof of their true character. It may seem difficult to recognize this, yet there is a sure way of doing so, by their life. The emphasis of the sentence is on "by their fruits." Ye shall know. Ye shall come to know them to the full (ἐπιγνώσεσθε). (On the greater strength of the compound, vide Ellicott, 1 Corinthians 13:12.) Fruits. All considered separately (cf. vers. 17, 18, 20), but in ver. 19 as one whole (cf. Matthew 3:8, note). It is, however, just possible that here and in ver. 20 the plural points to fruit growing on different trees. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? The visible outgrowth reveals the nature of that which is within. Those who "profess to combine fellowship with God with the choice of darkness as their sphere of life "(Bishop Westcott, on the suggestive parallel 1 John 1:6) only show that within they are destitute of fellowship with God. Observe, Christ does not say, "Do thorns produce grapes," etc.? (cf. James 3:12), but "Do men gather?" i.e. he desires to bring out the way in which men ordinarily deal with productions external to themselves. You, my followers, ought to use that common sense in spiritual matters which men show in matters of everyday life. Thistles; apparently Centaurea calcitrapa, the common thistle of Palestine; in the plains the only fuel.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Ye shall know them by their fruits,.... By "fruits" are meant, not so much their external works in life and conversation; for a false prophet may so behave, as not to be discovered thereby. So the Pharisees were outwardly righteous before men; and false teachers among Christians may have the form of godliness, and keep it up, though they are strangers to, and even deny the power of it: but their doctrines are here meant, and the effects of them. When doctrines are contrary to the perfections of God, repugnant to the Scriptures of truth, tend to depreciate the person and offices, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ, to lessen the glory of God's grace, to exalt the creature, and to fill men's minds with notions of the purity, self-sufficiency, and ability of human nature; when they are calculated to feed the pride and vanity of men, to get money, and gain applause, to serve their own interests, and gratify men's lusts and passions, they may be easily discerned who they are, and from whence they come. The Jews have a proverb pretty much like this (u), , "a gourd is known by its branches". The gloss upon it is,

"it is, as if it was said, from the time it buds forth, and goes out of the branch, it is known whether it is good or not;''

i.e. the goodness of the gourd is known by the fruit its branches bear. So a good preacher is known by the good doctrine he brings, and a bad one, by his unsound doctrine. Christ is not speaking of these false prophets, as men, or as private professors of religion, but as prophets, or teachers. "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" Grapes and figs were common fruit; there was great plenty of them in Judea; we often read of the "gathering" of them. It is a matter in dispute with the doctors (w),

"if a man intends , "to gather figs, and he gathers grapes", black ones, and he gathers white ones, white ones, and he gathers black ones, whether he is guilty of a sin offering or not.''

One says he is, another says he is not. These words of Christ put me in mind of another passage, which seems to speak of grapes of thorns (x);

"he that marries his daughter to a scholar, it is like to grapes of the vine, with grapes of the vine, a thing beautiful and acceptable; but he that marries his daughter to a plebeian, it is like to grapes of the vine, "with grapes of the thorn", a thing ugly, and unacceptable.''

Though in the last sentence, must be taken for berries which grow on some thorn bushes, and not what are properly grapes; for grapes do not grow upon, and are not to be gathered from thorns, and bramble bushes. The meaning of our Lord is, that from the false doctrines of men comes no good fruit of faith, holiness, joy, peace, and comfort. Their doctrines are like "thorns", which prick and pierce, give pain and uneasiness; and, like "thistles", choke, and are unprofitable, afford no solid food and nourishment; yea, their words eat as do a canker, are contrary to vital religion and powerful godliness. This sense I prefer; because, on the one hand, it is possible for a false teacher to do works, which may be externally good; though indeed no good works, properly speaking, can be performed by an unregenerate man, because he has neither good principles to act from, nor good ends in view: and, on the other hand, a man who is destitute of the grace of God, and lives ill, may yet have right notions of the Gospel, though he has no experimental knowledge and relish of it; but where false doctrines are imbibed, and propagated, no good fruit can follow upon it.

(u) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 48. 1.((w) T. Bab. Ceritot, fol. 19. 1, 2. & 20. 1.((x) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 49. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

16. Ye shall know them by their fruits—not their doctrines—as many of the elder interpreters and some later ones explain it—for that corresponds to the tree itself; but the practical effect of their teaching, which is the proper fruit of the tree.

Do men gather grapes of thorns—any kind of prickly plant.

or figs of thistles?—a three-pronged variety. The general sense is obvious—Every tree bears its own fruit.

Matthew 7:16 Additional Commentaries
Context
A Tree and its Fruit
15"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16"You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17"So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.…
Cross References
1 Samuel 24:13
As the old saying goes, 'From evildoers come evil deeds,' so my hand will not touch you.

Proverbs 20:11
Even small children are known by their actions, so is their conduct really pure and upright?

Matthew 7:20
Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Matthew 12:33
"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.

Luke 6:43
"No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.

Luke 6:44
Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.

Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

James 2:18
But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.

James 3:12
My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Treasury of Scripture

You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

shall.

Matthew 7:20 Why by their fruits you shall know them.

Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree …

2 Peter 2:10-18 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, …

Jude 1:10-19 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what …

Do.

Luke 6:43-45 For a good tree brings not forth corrupt fruit; neither does a corrupt …

James 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brothers, bear olive berries? either a vine, …

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