Luke 12:6
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(6) Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings?—The variation from St. Matthew’s “two sparrows sold for a farthing,” seems to reproduce the very bargains of the market-place. The sparrow was of so little value that the odd bird was thrown in to tempt the purchasers. Both this difference, and that between “not one of them shall fall to the ground without your Father,” in St. Matthew, and “not one of them is forgotten before God,” in St. Luke, are proofs, again, of the independence of the two Gospels.

Luke 12:6-7. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings Ασσαριων δυο, two pence, as Dr. Campbell translates it, or “three half-pence sterling;” and not one of them is forgotten before God — As if he had said, But trust in as well as fear him, for remember, he is an infinitely more kind, as well as more powerful friend than man, and all things are in his hand and keeping. His providence extends itself to the meanest of his works: he numbers the very hairs of your head, and therefore your enemies cannot hurt even your bodies without his knowledge and permission. Fear not therefore — For as men, and much more as my servants and friends, ye are of more value than many sparrows — And are more peculiarly under God’s care than they.

12:1-12 A firm belief of the doctrine of God's universal providence, and the extent of it, would satisfy us when in peril, and encourage us to trust God in the way of duty. Providence takes notice of the meanest creatures, even of the sparrows, and therefore of the smallest interests of the disciples of Christ. Those who confess Christ now, shall be owned by him in the great day, before the angels of God. To deter us from denying Christ, and deserting his truths and ways, we are here assured that those who deny Christ, though they may thus save life itself, and though they may gain a kingdom by it, will be great losers at last; for Christ will not know them, will not own them, nor show them favour. But let no trembling, penitent backslider doubt of obtaining forgiveness. This is far different from the determined enmity that is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall never be forgiven, because it will never be repented of.Shall be proclaimed upon the housetops - See the notes at Matthew 10:27. The custom of making proclamation from the tops or roofs of houses still prevails in the East. Dr. Thomson ("The Land and the Book," vol. i. p. 51, 52) says: "At the present day, local governors in country districts cause their commands thus to be published. Their proclamations are generally made in the evening, after the people have returned from their labors in the field. The public crier ascends the highest roof at hand, and lifts up his voice in a long-drawn call upon all faithful subjects to give ear and obey. He then proceeds to announce, in a set form, the will of their master, and demand obedience thereto." 6, 7. five … for two farthings—In Mt 10:29 it is "two for one farthing"; so if one took two farthings' worth, he got one in addition—of such small value were they.

than many sparrows—not "than millions of sparrows"; the charm and power of our Lord's teaching is very much in this simplicity.

Ver. 6,7. See Poole on "Matthew 10:29", and following verses to Matthew 10:31. Our Saviour’s third argument is brought from the providence of God, both his general providence, upholding the beings of all his creatures, so that he forgetteth not a sparrow, though a creature of so minute a value, that two of them are sold for a farthing, as Matthew saith, or five for two farthings, as Luke saith; yea, he so remembereth them, that one of them falls not to the ground without his knowledge and leave, saith Matthew. But besides this, God exerciseth a more special providence towards creatures, with reference to their dignity and excellency. Now, (saith our Saviour),

you are of more value than many sparrows; you are so as men, you are more so as my disciples, especially as my ministers and ambassadors.

The very hairs of your head are numbered; God will regard your most minute concerns.

Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings,.... As two were sold for one farthing; see Gill on Matthew 10:29; so in buying and selling, where more money is laid out, things are bought cheaper; the Persic version reads, "for two barley corns":

and not one of them is forgotten before God; a single sparrow, a bird of little value and worth, is taken notice and care of by him; it has its life from him, and is provided for with food by him, and is under his protection; nor does he ever forget it, nor can any thing be done to it, without his permission; it cannot be struck, so as to cause it to fall on the ground, or be taken in a snare, or be killed in any shape, without the knowledge of God: his providence reaches to the minutest creatures and things, and much more then to rational creatures, to men; and still more to his dear children, ministers, and apostles.

Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
Luke 12:6. πέντε, five, for two farthings, two for one in Mt. (Matthew 10:29); one into the bargain when you buy a larger number. They hardly have a price at all!—ἐπιλελησμένον, forgotten, for Mt.’s “falls not to the ground without”; the former more general and secondary, but the meaning plainer.

6. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings] St Matthew says ‘two sparrows for one farthing.’ The little birds were sold in the markets strung together, or on skewers. The varying expressions of St Matthew and St Luke lead us to the interesting fact that if five were bought one was thrown in, which still more forcibly proves how insignificant was the value of the sparrows; yet even that unvalued odd one was not “forgotten before God.” The word for “farthings” is assaria; St Mark uses κοδράντης (quadrans), Luke 12:42.

Luke 12:6. Ἓν) not any one: not even an odd one, a supernumerary one.

Verses 6, 7. - Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. Though persecution and bitter suffering, even death, may be the guerdon of the Lord's true servants here, none of these things can happen without the consent of God. This thought will surely give them courage to endure. Suffering undergone in God's service, inflicted, too, with his entire consent, so that the suffering becomes part of the service, - what an onlook is afforded to the brave, faithful servant by such a contemplation! Oh the welcome from God he is sure to meet with when such a death has been endured! These extreme instances of God's universal care - his all-knowledge of everything, however little and insignificant, belonging to his creatures - are chosen to give point to the Master's words. If he knows of the death of these little, almost valueless, birds - ay, even of the falling of one of the many hairs of your head - surely you cannot doubt his knowledge of, his caring for, the life or death of one of his proved and gallant followers. These little sparrows were sold in the markets, strung together, or on skewers. Luke 12:6Sparrows

See on Matthew 10:29.


See on Matthew 10:29.

Luke 12:6 Interlinear
Luke 12:6 Parallel Texts

Luke 12:6 NIV
Luke 12:6 NLT
Luke 12:6 ESV
Luke 12:6 NASB
Luke 12:6 KJV

Luke 12:6 Bible Apps
Luke 12:6 Parallel
Luke 12:6 Biblia Paralela
Luke 12:6 Chinese Bible
Luke 12:6 French Bible
Luke 12:6 German Bible

Bible Hub

Luke 12:5
Top of Page
Top of Page