Matthew 8:21
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Another disciple said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."

New Living Translation
Another of his disciples said, "Lord, first let me return home and bury my father."

English Standard Version
Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”

Berean Study Bible
Another of His disciples requested, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."

Berean Literal Bible
And another of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, allow me first to go and to bury my father."

New American Standard Bible
Another of the disciples said to Him, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father."

King James Bible
And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Lord," another of His disciples said, "first let me go bury my father."

International Standard Version
Then another of his disciples told him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."

NET Bible
Another of the disciples said to him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."

New Heart English Bible
And another of the disciples said to him, "Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But another of his disciples said to him, “My Lord, allow me to first go bury my Father.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Another disciple said to him, "Sir, first let me go to bury my father."

New American Standard 1977
And another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

King James 2000 Bible
And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.

American King James Version
And another of his disciples said to him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

American Standard Version
And another of the disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And another of his disciples said to him: Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

Darby Bible Translation
But another of his disciples said to him, Lord, suffer me first to go away and bury my father.

English Revised Version
And another of the disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

Webster's Bible Translation
And another of his disciples said to him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

Weymouth New Testament
Another of the disciples said to Him, "Sir, allow me first to go and bury my father."

World English Bible
Another of his disciples said to him, "Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father."

Young's Literal Translation
And another of his disciples said to him, 'Sir, permit me first to depart and to bury my father;'
Study Bible
The Cost of Discipleship
20Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” 21Another of His disciples requested, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 22But Jesus told him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”…
Cross References
1 Kings 19:20
He left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, "Please let me kiss my father and my mother, then I will follow you." And he said to him, "Go back again, for what have I done to you?"

Matthew 8:20
Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head."

Matthew 8:22
But Jesus told him, "Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead."
Treasury of Scripture

And another of his disciples said to him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

another.

Luke 9:59-62 And he said to another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first …

suffer.

Matthew 19:29 And every one that has forsaken houses, or brothers, or sisters, …

Leviticus 21:11,12 Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his …

Numbers 6:6,7 All the days that he separates himself to the LORD he shall come …

Deuteronomy 33:9,10 Who said to his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; neither …

1 Kings 19:20,21 And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray …

Haggai 1:2 Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time …

2 Corinthians 5:16 Why from now on know we no man after the flesh: yes, though we have …

(21) Suffer me first to go and bury my father.--A curious tradition, preserved by Clement of Alexandria, says that the disciple who came with this request was Philip. Nothing in the Gospel history, however, suggests this. Philip had been called before, and had obeyed the call (John 1:43). All that we can say is that it may have been so, and that he may at this stage of his spiritual growth have shrunk from the fresh activity of actual service in the work of evangelising. The form of the petition may mean either (1) that his father was then actually dead, and that the disciple asked leave to remain and pay the last honours to his remains, or (2) that he asked to remain with his father till his death. The latter seems by far the most probable. In the East burial followed so immediately on death that the former would hardly have involved more than the delay of a few hours. In the latter case the request was, in fact, a plea for indefinite postponement. This at least fits in best with the apparent severity of our Lord's answer.

Verse 21. - And another of his (Revised Version, the) disciples said unto him. Disciples in the wider sense (Matthew 5:1, note),whether the twelve had or had not been chosen. In the latter case, the man may have been Thomas (Trench, loc. cit.), but hardly Philip (Clem. Alex.) after John 1:43. Yet it is precarious to see in him the despondency of Thomas (John 11:6; John 20:24, 25) merely because his father is dead, and he has scruples about immediately following Christ. Lord, suffer me first. The man's words imply a consciousness of a call. His heart told him that he ought to go, but he asks for a delay, and, in fact, a real difficulty seems to hinder him from going. St. Luke places the Lord's "Follow me" before the man's request; but here, as in textual criticism, proclivi scriptioni praestat ardua. To go and bury my father. Then lying dead. Of all filial duties perhaps the most bind-ins (cf. Tobit 4:3 Tobit 14:10, 11). Observe

(1) that the burial would take place much sooner than is usual with us, and would seldom be more than twenty-four hours after death;

(2) that, however, according to Jewish law, the ceremonial observances connected with the burial and consequent purifications would have taken many days (Edersheim, 'Life,' 2:133). And another of his disciples said unto him,.... That is, one of his disciples; for this does not suppose, that the other, the Scribe before mentioned, was one. It is possible, he might be one of the twelve. The Persic version makes him one of the disciples, whom they call "Hawarion", apostles; and, according to ancient tradition, it was (d) Philip. And certain it is, that he was one, who was called to preach the Gospel; so that he was not a common ordinary disciple; nor could he be one of the seventy disciples, since it was after this, that they were called and sent forth; as appears from Luke's account, Luke 9:60. But who he particularly was, cannot be certainly known, nor is it of any great importance to know it: his address to Christ is made with great respect and reverence, and in a very modest and humble manner,

Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father: for it seems, according to Luke, that Christ had bid him "follow" him: he had given him a call to be his disciple, and to go and preach the Gospel, which he did not refuse; but desires leave "first" to attend his father's funeral, who was now dead; as his requests, and Christ's answer, both suppose: though some conjecture, that he was only very aged, or was dangerously ill; and therefore it could not be thought he would live long: hence he was desirous of doing this last good office, before he entered on his public work; but these are conjectures, without any foundation: it is plain, his father was dead, and what he requested was, to go home, which perhaps might not be a great way off, and perform the funeral rites, and then return. This may seem very reasonable, since burying the dead was reckoned by the Jews, not only an act of kindness and respect to the deceased, but an act of piety and religion; and in which, men are followers of God, and imitate him, who himself buried the body of Moses (e). And though this man was called to preach the Gospel, yet he might think he would be easily excused for the present, on this account; since, according to the Jewish canons, such whose dead lay before them, who were as yet unburied, were excused reading the Shema, they were free from performing the duty of prayer, and were not obliged to wear their phylacteries (f).

(d) Clement. Alex. Strom. l. 3. p. 436. (e) T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 30. 2. & Sota, fol. 14. 1.((f) Misn. Beracot, c. 3. sect. 1.8:18-22 One of the scribes was too hasty in promising; he proffers himself to be a close follower of Christ. He seems to be very resolute. Many resolutions for religion are produced by sudden conviction, and taken up without due consideration; these come to nothing. When this scribe offered to follow Christ, one would think he should have been encouraged; one scribe might do more credit and service than twelve fishermen; but Christ saw his heart, and answered to its thoughts, and therein teaches all how to come to Christ. His resolve seems to have been from a worldly, covetous principle; but Christ had not a place to lay his head on, and if he follows him, he must not expect to fare better than he fared. We have reason to think this scribe went away. Another was too slow. Delay in doing is as bad on the one hand, as hastiness in resolving is on the other. He asked leave to attend his father to his grave, and then he would be at Christ's service. This seemed reasonable, yet it was not right. He had not true zeal for the work. Burying the dead, especially a dead father, is a good work, but it is not thy work at this time. If Christ requires our service, affection even for the nearest and dearest relatives, and for things otherwise our duty, must give way. An unwilling mind never wants an excuse. Jesus said to him, Follow me; and, no doubt, power went with this word to him as to others; he did follow Christ, and cleaved to him. The scribe said, I will follow thee; to this man Christ said, Follow me; comparing them together, it shows that we are brought to Christ by the force of his call to us, Ro 9:16.
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