Matthew 10:19
But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
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(19) Take no thought.—In the same sense as in Matthew 6:25, “Do not at that moment be over-anxious.” The words indicate an almost tender sympathy with the feelings of Galilean disciples, “unlearned and ignorant men,” standing before those who were counted so much their superiors in power and knowledge. The words that follow contain a two-fold promise: not only what they should say, but how, in what form and phrase, to say it, should be given them in that hour. The courage of Peter and John before the Sanhedrin is at once the earliest and the most striking instance of the fulfilment of the promise (Acts 4:13).

Matthew 10:19. But take no thought how or what ye shall speak — When you are compelled to appear before such personages be not anxiously careful about your defence there, or how you shall answer for yourselves, but cheerfully confide in the divine direction, which shall certainly be given you, and shall be abundantly sufficient for you. The apostles being, in general, persons of a low education, and wholly unacquainted with the laws of the different countries whither they were to go, and with the forms of their courts, might have been much terrified at the thought of appearing before kings, governors, and other persons of distinction, and might have feared lest, in the hurry of their spirits, they should be betrayed into some impropriety of language or behaviour, by which the cause of the gospel might be injured. Nothing, therefore, could have been more proper, or better suited to the circumstances in which they were placed, than the promise which our Lord here makes them, which, if received in faith, was sufficient to prevent a thousand anxious apprehensions. Observe, reader, neither at such a time as is here referred to, nor on any sudden call, need the true disciples of Jesus be careful what or how to answer.

10:16-42 Our Lord warned his disciples to prepare for persecution. They were to avoid all things which gave advantage to their enemies, all meddling with worldly or political concerns, all appearance of evil or selfishness, and all underhand measures. Christ foretold troubles, not only that the troubles might not be a surprise, but that they might confirm their faith. He tells them what they should suffer, and from whom. Thus Christ has dealt fairly and faithfully with us, in telling us the worst we can meet with in his service; and he would have us deal so with ourselves, in sitting down and counting the cost. Persecutors are worse than beasts, in that they prey upon those of their own kind. The strongest bonds of love and duty, have often been broken through from enmity against Christ. Sufferings from friends and relations are very grievous; nothing cuts more. It appears plainly, that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution; and we must expect to enter into the kingdom of God through many tribulations. With these predictions of trouble, are counsels and comforts for a time of trial. The disciples of Christ are hated and persecuted as serpents, and their ruin is sought, and they need the serpent's wisdom. Be ye harmless as doves. Not only, do nobody any hurt, but bear nobody any ill-will. Prudent care there must be, but not an anxious, perplexing thought; let this care be cast upon God. The disciples of Christ must think more how to do well, than how to speak well. In case of great peril, the disciples of Christ may go out of the way of danger, though they must not go out of the way of duty. No sinful, unlawful means may be used to escape; for then it is not a door of God's opening. The fear of man brings a snare, a perplexing snare, that disturbs our peace; an entangling snare, by which we are drawn into sin; and, therefore, it must be striven and prayed against. Tribulation, distress, and persecution cannot take away God's love to them, or theirs to him. Fear Him, who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. They must deliver their message publicly, for all are deeply concerned in the doctrine of the gospel. The whole counsel of God must be made known, Ac 20:27. Christ shows them why they should be of good cheer. Their sufferings witnessed against those who oppose his gospel. When God calls us to speak for him, we may depend on him to teach us what to say. A believing prospect of the end of our troubles, will be of great use to support us under them. They may be borne to the end, because the sufferers shall be borne up under them. The strength shall be according to the day. And it is great encouragement to those who are doing Christ's work, that it is a work which shall certainly be done. See how the care of Providence extends to all creatures, even to the sparrows. This should silence all the fears of God's people; Ye are of more value than many sparrows. And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. This denotes the account God takes and keeps of his people. It is our duty, not only to believe in Christ, but to profess that faith, in suffering for him, when we are called to it, as well as in serving him. That denial of Christ only is here meant which is persisted in, and that confession only can have the blessed recompence here promised, which is the real and constant language of faith and love. Religion is worth every thing; all who believe the truth of it, will come up to the price, and make every thing else yield to it. Christ will lead us through sufferings, to glory with him. Those are best prepared for the life to come, that sit most loose to this present life. Though the kindness done to Christ's disciples be ever so small, yet if there be occasion for it, and ability to do no more, it shall be accepted. Christ does not say that they deserve a reward; for we cannot merit any thing from the hand of God; but they shall receive a reward from the free gift of God. Let us boldly confess Christ, and show love to him in all things.Take no thought - That is, be not anxious or unduly solicitous. See the notes at Matthew 6:25. This was a full promise that they should be inspired, and was a most seasonable consolation. Poor, and ignorant, and obscure fishermen would naturally be solicitous what they should say before the great men of the earth. Eastern people regarded kings as raised far above common mortals - as approaching to divinity. How consoling, then, the assurance that God would aid them and speak within them! 19. But when they deliver you up, take no thought—be not solicitous or anxious. (See on [1257]Mt 6:25).

how or what ye shall speak—that is, either in what manner ye shall make your defense, or of what matter it shall consist.

for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak—(See Ex 4:12; Jer 1:7).

See Poole on "Matthew 10:20".

But when they deliver you up,.... The apostles hearing that they should be delivered up to councils, and brought before governors and kings, might be under some concern how they should behave, and what they should be able to say in vindication of themselves and truth, before such great persons; they not being used to converse with men in such high stations: they were illiterate men, and of no elocution; men of mean birth, low life, most of them poor fishermen; and might fear, on these accounts, that the Gospel would suffer for want of able persons to defend it before the great ones of the earth. Now, in order to remove these their fears and objections, and to strengthen and comfort their minds, our Lord bids them, when this would be their ease, that the Jews would deliver them to the Roman magistrates, to

take no thought how, or what ye shall speak; not to be anxiously concerned, neither as to the matter, or manner of what they should say in their defence: they should have no occasion, as orators do, to take pains, and rack their thoughts, to prepare a studied, elaborate oration, dressed with all the flowers of rhetoric, filled with the most moving and powerful arguments, and clothed with diction of the strictest propriety and elegance; for they should want neither words, nor things; they should have arguments put into their mouths, and helped to proper language to express them in:

for it shall be given you in the same hour, what ye shall speak; immediate assistance should be afforded them either by his father, or himself; or rather, the blessed Spirit, who would suggest unto them, at once, things, the most proper to be said, and help them to deliver them in the most proper manner: and these are the most convincing arguments, and that the best elocution, which the Spirit of God helps men to; these vastly exceed all the art of men, and strength of nature. This was greatly verified in Peter and John, two poor fishermen, when before the council, and in Stephen the protomartyr.

But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
Matthew 10:19-20. But now, when the delivering of you up actually takes place, give yourselves no anxious concern, and so on.

ἢ τί] not καὶ τί, but the distinctive expression used renders more fully prominent the two elements, the how and the what (Dissen, ad Dem, de cor. p. 264), in which “eleganter notatur cura” (Bengel). The difficulty, first of all, is with regard to the πῶς; observe, however, that in the sequel only τί is used (“ubi τό quid obtigit, τό quomodo non deest,” Bengel).

δοθήσεται] not docebitur, but suggeretur, by God through the Holy Spirit, Isaiah 50:4; Ephesians 6:19; 1 Corinthians 2:10 ff.; Luke 21:15.

Observe the difference between τί λαλήσητε and τί λαλήσετε (what you ought to speak, and what you will speak); and for this use of τί, see Bernhardy, p. 443. Kühner, II. 2, p. 1016.

οὐἀλλά] In this decided, and not in any half and half way, does Jesus conceive of that relation, in virtue of which His disciples were to become πνευματικοῖς πνευματικὰ συγκρίνοντες (1 Corinthians 2:13).

ἐστέ] the future situation is thought of as present.

Matthew 10:19-22. μὴ μεριμνήσητε, etc.: a second counsel against anxiety (Matthew 6:25), this time not as to food and raiment, but as to speech at a critical hour. With equal emphasis: trouble not yourselves either as to manner or matter, word or thought (πῶς ἢ τί).—δοθήσεται: thought, word, tone, gesture—everything that tends to impress—all will be given at the critical hour (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ). In the former instance anxiety was restricted to the day (Matthew 6:34). Full, absolute inspiration promised for the supreme moment.—οὐ γὰρ ὑμεῖς, etc.: not you but the divine Spirit the speaker. οὐ, ἀλλὰ, non tam quam, interprets Grotius, followed by Pricaeus, Elsner, Fritzsche, etc. = not so much you as; as if it were an affair of division of labour, so much ours, so much, and more, God’s. It is, however, all God’s and yet all ours. It is a case of immanent action, τὸ λαλοῦν ἐν ὑμῖν, not of a transcendent power coming in upon us to help our infirmity, eking out our imperfect speech. Note the Spirit is called the Spirit τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν, echo of Matthew 6:32. Some of the greatest, most inspired utterances have been speeches made by men on trial for religious convictions. A good conscience, tranquility of spirit, and a sense of the greatness of the issue involved, make human speech at such times touch the sublime. Theophy, distinguishes the human and the divine in such utterances thus: ours to confess, God’s to make a wise apology (τὸ μὲν ὁμολογεῖν ἡμέτερον, τὸ δὲ σοφῶς ἀπολογεῖσθαι Θεοῦ).

19. take no thought how or what ye shall speak] Curiously enough this has been quoted as if it justified want of preparation for sermons or addresses to a Christian congregation. The direction points definitely to the Christian ‘apologies,’ of which specimens have come down to us.

Matthew 10:19. Μὴ μεριμνήσητε, Be not careful) Your only care must be to be without care. We are not forbidden by this passage from all preparation; see 1 Timothy 4:15, cf. Luke 21:14; 1 Corinthians 14:26. But on a sudden emergency, even in these times, a faithful professor should not be anxious as to what he has to say.—, or) Care is elegantly mentioned; where, however, the “what” (quid, τί) is supplied, there the “how”[468] (quomodo, πῶς) is not wanting. The “how or what” includes whatever can fall under the idea of care; therefore, especially also the words, concerning which many, who have the matter ready, are wont to be over anxious. The Spirit does not speak without words; see Matthew 10:20 : and in Luke 21:15, we read, “I will give you a mouth and wisdom.” Analogous combinations, under other circumstances, occur in John 8:28; John 12:49-50; Romans 8:26; 1 Peter 1:11. The doctrine of verbal inspiration is not inferred from the difference of the words how and what, but from the promise itself.—ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὤρᾳ, in that hour) even though not before. Many feel most strongly their spiritual power when the hour arrives of imparting it to others.—τί, what) for , that which.—Cf. ch. Matthew 15:32, and Luke 17:8.

[468] Referring to “HOW or WHAT ye shall speak”—(I. B.)

Verses 19, 20. - For these two verses, compare (besides Mark 13:11; Luke 21:15; vide supra, ver. 17) Luke 12:11, 12, with which there is doubtless a common basis. As the two verses do not seem to have in Luke 12. a very close connexion with their context, it is probable that there also, as here, they are taken from a speech of later date. But when they deliver you up, take no thought; be not anxious (Revised Version); Matthew 6:25, note. So also Luke 12:2; but Luke 21:14 goes further, and forbids the disciples to "meditate beforehand how to answer." Bengel says here, Usa, non curandi, cura sit. How or what. The general direction or the actual matter. Ye shall speak - i.e. in defence, as defined in Luke 12:11; Luke 21:14 - for it shall be given you in that same (omit "same," with the Revised Version) hour what ye shall speak. And if in similar extraordinary circumstances, the Christian may expect similar extraordinary help. The omission of this clause by some Western authorities is probably due to the fact that the next verse also begins with "for," and contains a promise that much resembles this. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you (cf. Genesis 41:38). Observe:

(1) The thoughtful reminder, "your Father," whose children you have become (Matthew 5:16, note), and whose protection you may look for.

(2) It is not said that the Father, but that the Spirit speaks (cf. Acts 4:8; Acts 13:9; and, for Christ speaking, 2 Corinthians 13:3).

(3) The phrase is quite compatible with, but would hardly have then been understood as expressing, the personality of the Holy Spirit.

(4) Though the promise would doubtless hold good, and that in a special degree, for the most important of all "defences," the writing of Holy Scripture, yet even there it did not preclude the use of human means (Luke 1:3). Matthew 10:19Take no thought (μὴ μεριμνήσητε)

Rev., Be not anxious. See on Matthew 6:25.

In that hour (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ)

Very precise. "In that selfsame hour." Bengel remarks: "Even though not before. Many feel most strongly their spiritual power when the hour comes to impart it to others."

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