Matthew 9:16
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse.

New Living Translation
"Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before.

English Standard Version
No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made.

Berean Study Bible
No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. For the patch will pull away from the garment, and a worse tear will result.

Berean Literal Bible
But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on old clothing, for the filling up of it tears away from the garment, and a worse tear emerges.

New American Standard Bible
"But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results.

King James Bible
No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
No one patches an old garment with unshrunk cloth, because the patch pulls away from the garment and makes the tear worse.

International Standard Version
"No one patches an old garment with a piece of unshrunk cloth, because the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results.

NET Bible
No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, because the patch will pull away from the garment and the tear will be worse.

New Heart English Bible
And no one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch would tear away from the garment, and a worse hole is made.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“No man places a new patch of cloth on an old coat, lest its fulness tears from that coat, and the rip would be greater.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"No one patches an old coat with a new piece of cloth that will shrink. When the patch shrinks, it will rip away from the coat, and the tear will become worse.

New American Standard 1977
“But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results.

Jubilee Bible 2000
No one mends an old garment with a piece of new cloth, for that patch takes from the garment, and the rent is made worse.

King James 2000 Bible
No man puts a piece of new cloth onto an old garment, for that which is put on to fill it up takes from the garment, and the tear is made worse.

American King James Version
No man puts a piece of new cloth to an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up takes from the garment, and the rent is made worse.

American Standard Version
And no man putteth a piece of undressed cloth upon an old garment; for that which should fill it up taketh from the garment, and a worse rent is made.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And nobody putteth a piece of raw cloth unto an old garment. For it taketh away the fullness thereof from the garment, and there is made a greater rent.

Darby Bible Translation
But no one puts a patch of new cloth on an old garment, for its filling up takes from the garment and a worse rent takes place.

English Revised Version
And no man putteth a piece of undressed cloth upon an old garment; for that which should fill it up taketh from the garment, and a worse rent is made.

Webster's Bible Translation
No man putteth a piece of new cloth to an old garment: for that which is put in to fill it up, taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.

Weymouth New Testament
No one ever mends an old cloak with a patch of newly woven cloth. Otherwise, the patch put on would tear away some of the old, and a worse hole would be made.

World English Bible
No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch would tear away from the garment, and a worse hole is made.

Young's Literal Translation
'And no one doth put a patch of undressed cloth on an old garment, for its filling up doth take from the garment, and a worse rent is made.
Study Bible
The Patches and the Wineskins
15Jesus replied, “How can the attendants of the bridegroom mourn while He is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast. 16No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. For the patch will pull away from the garment, and a worse tear will result. 17Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will spill, and the wineskins will be ruined. Instead, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”…
Cross References
Matthew 9:15
Jesus replied, "How can the attendants of the bridegroom mourn while He is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast.

Matthew 9:17
Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will spill, and the wineskins will be ruined. Instead, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."

Mark 2:21
No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, and a worse tear will result.

2 Corinthians 9:12
For this ministry of service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanksgiving to God.
Treasury of Scripture

No man puts a piece of new cloth to an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up takes from the garment, and the rent is made worse.

new cloth. or, raw, or unwrought cloth. for.

Genesis 33:14 Let my lord, I pray you, pass over before his servant: and I will …

Psalm 125:3 For the rod of the wicked shall not rest on the lot of the righteous; …

Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs …

John 16:12 I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

1 Corinthians 3:1,2 And I, brothers, could not speak to you as to spiritual, but as to …

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now stays faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest …

(16) No man putteth a piece of new cloth.--There is a closer connection between the three similitudes than at first sight appears. The wedding-feast suggested the idea of the wedding-garment, and of the wine which belonged to its joy. We may even go a step further, and believe that the very dress of those who sat at meat in Matthew's house, coming as they did from the lower and less decently-habited classes, made the illustration all the more palpable and vivid. How could those worn garments be made meet for wedding-guests? Would it be enough to sew on a patch of new cloth where the old was wearing into holes? Not so He answers here; not so He answers again when He implicitly makes the king who gives the feast the giver also of the garment (Matthew 22:2);

New cloth--i.e., cloth that has not passed through the fuller's hands--new and undressed, in its freshest and strongest state. Such a patch sewn upon a weak part of the old cloak would, on the first strain, tear the cloth near it.

The rent is made worse.--Better, there comes a worse rent. St. Luke adds another reason, "the piece put in agrees not with the old."

The meaning of the parable in its direct application lies very near the surface. The "garment" is that which is outward, the life and conversation of the man, which show his character. The old garment is the common life of sinful men, such as Matthew and his guests; the new garment is the life of holiness, the religious life in its completeness; fasting, as one element of that life, is the patch of new cloth which agrees not with the old, and leads to a greater evil, a "worse rent" in the life than before. No one would so deal with the literal garment. Yet this was what the Pharisees and the disciples of John were wishing to do with the half-converted publicans. This, we may add, is what the Church of Christ has too often done in her work as the converter of the nations. Sacramental ordinances or monastic vows, or Puritan formul, or Quaker conventionalities, have been engrafted on lives that were radically barbarous, or heathen, or worldly, and the contrast has been glaring, and the "rent" made worse. The more excellent way, which our Lord pursued, and which it is our wisdom to pursue, is to take the old garment, and to transform it, as by a renewing power from within, thread by thread, till old things are passed away, and all things are become new.

Verse 16. - No man; and no man (Revised Version); οὐδεὶς δέ. "And" is slightly adversative. They will indeed fast then, yet fasting does not belong to the essence of my teaching. To insist on fasting would only be right if my teaching came merely into mechanical connexion with the religion of the day. But this is not the case.

(1) Treated as an addition, it injures the religion of the day (ver. 16).

(2) Treated as something to be accepted by all Jews, regardless of their moral fitness for it, it is itself wasted, and also ruins those who so accept it (ver. 17). The verses thus

(1) answer the disciples of John the Baptist, that fasting must not be made compulsory for Christ's disciples; and

(2) warn them solemnly that they themselves must become morally fitted to receive Christ's teaching. No man; emphatic. Christ wants to show them the irrationality of what they want him to do - enjoin fasting on his disciples. Putteth a piece - patcheth a patch (ἐπιβάλλει ἐπίβλημα) - of new (undressed, Revised Version) cloth unto (upon, Revised Version) an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up (that which should fill it up, Revised Version; τὸ πλήρωμα αὐτοῦ) taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse (and a worse rent is made, Revised Version). My teaching is intended to be more than a patch (however good a patch) sewn on to the religion of the day. No man putteth a piece of new cloth,.... These words are, by Luke 5:36 called a "parable", as are those in the following verse; and both are commonly interpreted of the unreasonableness and danger of putting young disciples upon severe exercises of religion, as fasting, &c: and it is true, that young converts are to be tenderly dealt with, as they are by Father, Son, and Spirit, as the disciples were by Christ, and the first Christians were by the apostles: and some things in these parables may seem to agree; as that these austerities should be represented as "new", and as burdensome and troublesome, and the disciples as weak, and easily staggered: but then there are others that will not bear; as that the disciples should be compared to "old garments, and old bottles"; when they were "young" converts, and men "renewed" by the Spirit and grace of God, and had on the beautiful robe of Christ's righteousness; and that such severe exercises, under the notion of religion, should be signified by "new wine", which generally designs something pleasant and agreeable: nor were the disciples unable to bear such severities, who very probably had been trained up in them, and been used to them before their conversion; and could now as well have bore them as John's disciples, or the Pharisees, had they been proper and necessary; but the true reason why they were not required of them, was not their weakness, or danger of falling off, and perishing, of which there were none; but because it was unsuitable to their present situation, the bridegroom being with them. But our Lord, in this parable of putting "a piece of new", or "undressed cloth", such as has never passed through the fuller's hands, and so unfit to mend with,

unto an old garment, refers not only to the fastings of the Pharisees, but to their other traditions of the elders, which they held; as such that respected their eating, drinking, and conversing with other persons mentioned in the context, and which observances they joined with their moral performances; on account of which, they looked upon themselves as very righteous persons, and all others as sinners: and to expose their folly, Christ delivers this parable. Wherefore, by "the old garment", I apprehend, is meant their moral and legal righteousness, or their obedience to the moral and ceremonial laws, which was very imperfect, as well as impure, and might be rightly called "filthy rags"; or be compared to an old worn out garment, filthy and loathsome, torn, and full of holes, which cannot keep a person warm, nor screen him from the weather, and so old that it cannot be mended. And by the "piece of new cloth", or "garment", put unto it, or sewed upon it, are intended the traditions of the elders, these men were so fond of, concerning eating, and drinking, and fasting, and hundreds of other things, very idle and trifling, and which were new and upstart notions. Now, by putting, or sewing the new cloth to their old garment, is designed, their joining their observance of these traditions to their other duties of religion, to make up a justifying righteousness before God; but in vain, and to no purpose. Their old garment of their own works, in obedience to the laws of God, moral and ceremonial, was full bad enough of itself; but became abundantly worse, by joining this new piece of men's own devising to it;

for that which is put in to fill it up, taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse: their new obedience to the traditions of men, making void the law of God, instead of mending, marred their righteousness, and left them in a worse condition than it found them: and besides, as it is in Luke, "the piece that was taken out of the new, agreeth not with the old"; there being no more likeness between the observance of the commandments of men, and obedience to the laws of God, than there is between a piece of new undressed cloth, that has never been washed and worn, and an old worn out garment. Much such a foolish part do those men under the Gospel dispensation act, who join the righteousness of Christ, or a part of it, with their own, in order to make up a justifying righteousness before God; for Christ's righteousness is the only justifying righteousness; it is whole and perfect, and needs nothing to be added to it, nor can it be parted, any more than his seamless coat was; nor a piece taken out of it: nor is there any justification by works, either in whole or in part; the old garment of man's righteousness must be thrown away, in point of justification; it cannot be mended in such a manner; and if any attempts are made in this way, the rent becomes worse: such persons, instead of being justified, are in a worse condition; for they not only set up, and exalt their own righteousness, which is criminal, but disparage the righteousness of Christ as imperfect, by joining it to their's; and whilst they fancy themselves in a good state, are in a most miserable one; harlots and publicans being nearer the kingdom of heaven than these, and enter into it before them; self-righteous persons are more hardly, and with greater difficulty convinced, than such sinners. Moreover, nothing is more disagreeable than such a patch work; Christ's righteousness and a man's own bear no likeness to one another; and such a patched garment must ill become the character and dignity of a saint, a child of God, an heir of heaven. 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.
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