Luke 6:38
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
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(38) Good measure, pressed down.—The imagery clearly points to a measure of grain, so pressed and shaken that it could hold no more.

Into your bosom.—The large fold of an Eastern dress over the chest, often used as a pocket.

With the same measure that ye mete.—See Notes on Matthew 7:2, Mark 4:24, for the varied applications of the proverb.

6:37-49 All these sayings Christ often used; it was easy to apply them. We ought to be very careful when we blame others; for we need allowance ourselves. If we are of a giving and a forgiving spirit, we shall ourselves reap the benefit. Though full and exact returns are made in another world, not in this world, yet Providence does what should encourage us in doing good. Those who follow the multitude to do evil, follow in the broad way that leads to destruction. The tree is known by its fruits; may the word of Christ be so grafted in our hearts, that we may be fruitful in every good word and work. And what the mouth commonly speaks, generally agrees with what is most in the heart. Those only make sure work for their souls and eternity, and take the course that will profit in a trying time, who think, speak, and act according to the words of Christ. Those who take pains in religion, found their hope upon Christ, who is the Rock of Ages, and other foundation can no man lay. In death and judgment they are safe, being kept by the power of Christ through faith unto salvation, and they shall never perish.Good measure - They shall give you good measure, or "full" measure.

Pressed down - As figs or grapes might be, and thus many more might be put into the measure.

Shaken together - To make it more compact, and thus to give more.

Running over - So full that the measure would overflow.

Shall men give - This is said to be the reward of "giving" to the poor and needy; and the meaning is that the man who is liberal will find others liberal to him in dealing with them, and when he is also in circumstances of want. A man who is himself kind to the poor - who has that "character" established - will find many who are ready to help "him" abundantly when he is in want. He that is parsimonious, close, stubborn, will find few or none who will aid him.

Into your bosom - That is, to you. The word "bosom" here has reference to a custom among Oriental nations of making the bosom or front part of their garments large, so that articles could be carried in them, answering the purpose of our pockets. Compare Exodus 4:6-7; Proverbs 6:27; Ruth 3:15.

37, 38. See on [1588]Mt 7:1, 2; but this is much fuller and more graphic. To let us know how God favoureth acts of charity and justice we shall observe, that there are no good deeds that God so rewardeth by retaliation, as such which are the products of these habits; nor any sins which God so punishes by way of retaliation, as sins contrary to these, especially such as are more eminently contrary. This verse speaks of acts of charity.

Give, and it shall be given unto you, and that not bare measure, but

good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over. Nothing can more concur to make good measure, than the shaking of the bushel, the crowding and pressing down of the corn or meal with the hand, and the pouring in till the measure runneth over. So as that which is here promised, is a plentiful reward to charitable and merciful actions, either from the hand of God more mediately, God stirring up others to be as kind to us as we are to others; or more immediately, himself blessing us by his unexpected providential dispensations: to this purpose are abundance of scriptures, Deu 24:19 Psalm 41:1-3 Proverbs 11:25 28:27 2 Corinthians 9:6. If men will not be so just as to requite the good which their brethren have done them, having it in their power, yet God will be faithful to his promises, and by his providence take care that those who have done acts of mercy, not in a mere commiseration to human condition, but in a just obedience to his will, shall not lose by what they have done; they shall be rewarded fully and plentifully, finding again (though it may be after many days) the bread which they have cast upon the waters, according to his command.

Give, and it shall be given unto you,.... Give liberally of your worldly substance to indigent persons, as you have an opportunity, according to your ability, and as cases require: and it shall be returned again to great advantage; with great recompense, either in temporals or spirituals, or both:

good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. The allusion is to dry measure among the Jews, for to liquids, the terms used will not agree; and which, though right and full, which is here called good measure, they thrust and pressed to make it hold more; and shook it also for the same purpose, and then heaped it up as much as they could, till it fell over: of all these methods used in measuring, we have instances in their writings; which may serve to illustrate this passage: it is said of (a) one, that

"he measured, , "with measure pressed down"; and therefore they measured to him, with measure pressed down.''

Some of their measures they heaped, and some they did not: they say (b);

"all the measures which were in the sanctuary, "were heaped", except the high priest's, and his heap was contained in it.''

And elsewhere they observe (c) that

"there were two decimaries (or tithing vessels) in the sanctuary, one was "heaped", and the other was "stricken": with that which was heaped they measured all the fine flour for the meat offerings, and with the stricken, that which was for the cakes of the high priest.''

With respect to this distinction of measures, they say it is a tradition of the Rabbins (d), that they do not "strike" in the place where

"they "heap", nor heap in the place where, they strike.''

Between these two measures there was another, which was full measure and just, and right, without heaping or striking (e), R. Papa inquired, whether the handful

"(of sweet incense the high priest took on the day of atonement) which is spoken of Leviticus 16:12 was of "stricken" or "heaped" measure; R. Abba said to R. Ase, come, hear, the handful spoken of, is neither of stricken nor heaped measure, , "but of equal measure";''

sufficiently full, and no more. Dr. Lightfoot reads it, "flowing over"; by what authority I cannot say; though the gloss says, the word signifies,

"flowing over, by reason of its height,''

But flowing or running over measure, was the same with that which was heaped, as appears from the following instance (f):


Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, {k} pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

(k) These are borrowed types of sayings, taken from those who used to measure dry things, as corn and such things, who do it in a rather forceful manner, and thrust it down and shake it together, and press it and put it into a pile.

Luke 6:38. δίδοτε: this form of mercy is suggested by Matthew 7:2, ἐν ᾧ μέτρῳ μετρεῖτε, etc.: be giving, implying a constant habit, and therefore a generous nature.—μέτρον καλὸν, good, generous measure; these words and those which follow apply to man’s giving as well as to the recompense with which the generous giver shall be rewarded.—πεπιεσμένον, etc., pressed down, shaken, and overflowing; graphic epexegesis of good measure, all the terms applicable to dry goods, e.g., grain. Bengel takes the first as referring to dry (in aridis), the second to soft (in mollibus), the third to liquids (in liquidis).—κόλπον: probably the loose bosom of the upper robe gathered in at the waist, useful for carrying things (De Wette, Holtz., H. C., al.). It is implied that God gives so, e.g., “plenteous redemption” (Psalm 130:7).

38. into your bosom] Pockets were unknown to the ancients. All that was necessary was carried in the fold of the robe (Heb. Cheyk., Psalm 35:13, &c.; Lat. sinus) or in the girdle.

with the same measure that ye mete] A proverb almost verbally identical with this is found in the Talmud (Duke’s Rabbin. Blumenlese, p. 162), but it must be remembered that the earliest parts of the Talmud were not committed to writing till more than two centuries after Christ, and long before that time His sayings may have been ‘in the air,’ i.e. they may have passed unconsciously into the store of the national wisdom even among His enemies.

Luke 6:38. Καλὸν, good) in the quality, or even in the quantity, of those things, which are estimated by weight, number, or other means of measuring.—πεπιεσμένον, pressed down) in the case of dry goods.—σεσαλευμένον, shaken together) in the case of soft goods.—ὑπερεκχυνόμενον, flowing over) in the case of liquids.

Verse 38. - Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over. The grand characteristic feature of the society of his followers must be generosity. They must be known among men as givers rather than judges. Boundless generosity, limitless kindness to all, saint and sinner - that is what he, the Master, would press home to those who would follow his lead (see 3 John 1:5, 6). Men would find out in time what generous friends they were, and would in their turn freely give to them. Shall men give into your bosom. The image is an Eastern one. In the dress then worn, a largo bag-shaped fold in the robe above the cincture or girdle was used instead of a pocket. Luke 6:38Pressed down (πεπιεσμένον)

Only here in New Testament. A common medical term for pressing strongly on a part of the body, and opposed to ψαύειν, to touch gently.

Shaken together, running over

Bengel says, "Pressed down, as dry articles; shaken together, as soft goods; running over, as liquids." But this is fanciful and incorrect. The allusion in every case is to a dry measure; and the climax in the three participles would be destroyed by Bengel's interpretation.

Bosom (τὸν κόλπον)

The gathered fold of the wide upper garment, bound together with the girdle, and thus forming a pouch. In the Eastern markets at this day vendors may be seen pouring the contents of a measure into the bosom of a purchaser. In Ruth 3:15, Boaz says to Ruth, "Bring the vail (the mantle, so Rev., Old Testament), that thou hast upon thee, and hold it (hold it open): and he measured six measures of barley into it." Compare Isaiah 65:7, "I will measure their former work into their bosom; also Jeremiah 32:18. In Acts 27:39, the word is used of a bay in a beach, forming a bend in the land like the hollow of a robe. Similarly, the Latin sinus means both the hanging, baggy bosom of a robe and a bay.

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