Matthew 9:14
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then John's disciples came and asked him, "How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?"

New Living Translation
One day the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked him, "Why don't your disciples fast like we do and the Pharisees do?"

English Standard Version
Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”

New American Standard Bible
Then the disciples of John came to Him, asking, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?"

King James Bible
Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then John's disciples came to Him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?"

International Standard Version
Then John's disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples don't fast?"

NET Bible
Then John's disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples don't fast?"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Then the disciples of Yohannan approached him, and they were saying, “Why are we and the Pharisees fasting much, and your disciples are not fasting?”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then John's disciples came to Jesus. They said, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often but your disciples never do?"

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but thy disciples do not fast?

King James 2000 Bible
Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples fast not?

American King James Version
Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but your disciples fast not?

American Standard Version
Then come to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Then came to him the disciples of John, saying: Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but thy disciples do not fast?

Darby Bible Translation
Then come to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees often fast, but thy disciples fast not?

English Revised Version
Then come to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?

Webster's Bible Translation
Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but thy disciples fast not?

Weymouth New Testament
At that time John's disciples came and asked Jesus, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?"

World English Bible
Then John's disciples came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples don't fast?"

Young's Literal Translation
Then come to him do the disciples of John, saying, 'Wherefore do we and the Pharisees fast much, and thy disciples fast not?'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

9:14-17 John was at this time in prison; his circumstances, his character, and the nature of the message he was sent to deliver, led those who were peculiarly attached to him, to keep frequent fasts. Christ referred them to John's testimony of him, Joh 3:29. Though there is no doubt that Jesus and his disciples lived in a spare and frugal manner, it would be improper for his disciples to fast while they had the comfort of his presence. When he is with them, all is well. The presence of the sun makes day, and its absence produces night. Our Lord further reminded them of common rules of prudence. It was not usual to take a piece of rough woolen cloth, which had never been prepared, to join to an old garment, for it would not join well with the soft, old garment, but would tear it further, and the rent would be made worse. Nor would men put new wine into old leathern bottles, which were going to decay, and would be liable to burst from the fermenting of the wine; but putting the new wine into strong, new, skin bottles, both would be preserved. Great caution and prudence are necessary, that young converts may not receive gloomy and forbidding ideas of the service of our Lord; but duties are to be urged as they are able to bear them.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 14-17. - Christ's care for the free-dora of his disciples from ceremonial bondage. He teaches that the standpoint of the Baptist was preparatory (ch. 3.), and was not intended to be a permanent resting-place. Observe that of the three accounts St. Matthew's points out the most clearly that the objection originated with the disciples of John the Baptist. Perhaps St. Matthew found these possessing special influence in the part for which his Gospel was primarily intended. So also St. John thought it desirable to recall the teaching of the Master, that while he himself was the Bridegroom, the Baptist was only subordinate (John 3:29). On the survival of the teaching of John the Baptist, and the greater importance of its professed adherents during the apostolic age than is usually supposed, vide Bishop Lightfoot, 'Colossians,' p. 163, edit. 1875. Verse 14. - Then (τότε). In this case the close chronological connexion with the preceding incident is confirmed by the parallel passages (especially Luke). Came (come, Revised Version) to him. They move forward among the crowd, and draw near to him (προσέρχονται αὐτῷ). The disciples of John (vide supra), saying, Why (cf. ver. 11) do we and the Pharisees fast? (cf. Matthew 6:16, note, Schurer, II. 2. p. 118). Oft (πολλά); Textus Receptus, and Westcott and Hort margin, with all the versions and the great mass of the authorities. Yet probably to be omitted, with Westcott and Host, on the evidence of the Vatican manuscript, and the original hand of the Sinaitic. It may have arisen from a gloss on the πυκνά of Luke. But thy disciples fast not. The feast given by St. Matthew was evidently at the time of some fast observed by the stricter Jews.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Then came to him the disciples of John,.... Of John the Baptist, to whom they had addicted themselves, and by whom they abode: though their master was in prison, and the Messiah was known to be come, yet still they were attached to John, and particularly imitated him in the austerities of his life. These, either hearing of the great entertainment made at Matthew's house for Christ, and his disciples, at which they were offended; or else being moved, and set on by the Pharisees, with whom they were agreed in the business of fasting, came to Christ where he was, and put this question to him,

saying, why do we, and the Pharisees, fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? Not that they wanted to know the reason why they and the Pharisees fasted; that they could account for themselves, but why Christ's disciples did not: and this is said not so much by way of inquiry, as reproof; and their sense is; that Christ's disciples ought to fast, as well as they and the Pharisees, and not eat, and drink, and feast in the manner they did. The fastings here referred to are not the public fasts enjoined by the law of Moses, or in any writings of the Old Testament; but private fasts, which were enjoined by John to his disciples, and by the Pharisees to their's; or which were, according to the traditions of the elders, or of their own appointing, and which were very "often" indeed: for besides their fasting twice a week, on Monday and Thursday, Luke 18:12 they had a multitude of fasts upon divers occasions, particularly for rain (c). If the 17th of Marchesvan, or October, came, and there was no rain, private persons kept three days of fasting, viz. Monday, Thursday, and Monday again: and if the month of Cisleu, or November, came, and there was no rain, then the sanhedrim appointed three fast days, which were on the same days as before, for the congregation; and if still there was no rain came, they added three more; and if yet there were none, they enjoined seven more, in all thirteen, which R. Acha and R. Barachiah kept themselves (d). Fasts were kept also on account of many other evils, as pestilence, famine, war, sieges, inundations, or any other calamity; sometimes for trifling things, as for dreams (e), that they might have good ones, or know how to interpret them, or avoid any ill omen by them; and it is almost incredible what frequent fastings some of the Rabbins exercised themselves with, on very insignificant occasions. They (f) say,

"R. Jose , "fasted fourscore fasts" to see R. Chiyah Rubba; at last he saw, and his hands trembled, and his eyes grew dim: --R. Simeon Ben Lakish , "fasted three hundred fastings" to see R. Chiyah Rubba, and did not see him.''

Elsewhere it is said, that R. Ase fasted "thirty days" to see the same person, and saw him not (g). Again (h),

"R. Jonathan fasted every eve of the new year, R. Abin fasted every eve of the feast of tabernacles, R. Zeura fasted "three hundred fasts", and there are that say "nine hundred fasts".''

This may serve to illustrate and prove the frequency of the Jewish fastings. Luke represents this question as put by the Pharisees, which is here put by the disciples of John: it was doubtless put by both agreeing in this matter; and which shows that John's disciples were instigated to it by the Pharisees, who sought to sow discord between them, and to bring Christ and his disciples into contempt with them.

(c) Misn. Taanith, c. 1. sect. 4. 5, 6. & c. 3. sect. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. (d) T. Hieros. Taanlot, fol. 65. 2. & 66. 4. (e) T. Bab. Sabbat. fol. 10. 1. Maimon Taaniot, c. 1. sect. 12-14. (f) T. Hieros. Cilaim, fol. 32. 2. & Cetubot, fol. 35. 1.((g) Midrash Kohelet, fol. 79. 1.((h) lb. Nedarim, fol. 40. 4. & Taanioth, fol. 66. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Mt 9:14-17. Discourse on Fasting.

See on [1243]Lu 5:33-39.

Matthew 9:14 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jesus Questioned about Fasting
14Then the disciples of John came to Him, asking, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?" 15And Jesus said to them, "The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.
Cross References
Matthew 9:15
Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

Mark 2:18
Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, "How is it that John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?"

Luke 5:33
They said to him, "John's disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking."

Luke 18:12
I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
Treasury of Scripture

Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but your disciples fast not?

the disciples.

Matthew 11:2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent …

John 3:25 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and …

John 4:1 When therefore the LORD knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus …

Why.

Matthew 6:16 Moreover when you fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: …

Matthew 11:18,19 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He has a devil…

Proverbs 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful …

Mark 2:18-22 And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and …

Luke 5:33-39 And they said to him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and …

Luke 18:9-12 And he spoke this parable to certain which trusted in themselves …

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