(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)After all these things do the Gentiles seek.—The tone is one of pity rather than of censure, though it appeals, not without a touch of gentle rebuke (as before in Matthew 6:5) to the national pride of Israelites: “You look down upon the heathen nations, and think of yourselves as God’s people, yet in what do you excel them, if you seek only what they are seeking?”
For your heavenly Father knoweth . . .—The bearing of this teaching on the meaning of the “daily bread” of the Lord’s Prayer has already been noticed (comp. Note on Matthew 6:11). The outer life of man, and its accidents, may well be left to the wisdom of the All-knowing. It lies below the region of true prayer, or occupies an altogether subordinate place within it.
for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things—How precious this word! Food and raiment are pronounced needful to God's children; and He who could say, "No man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him" (Mt 11:27), says with an authority which none but Himself could claim, "Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things." Will not that suffice you, O ye needy ones of the household of faith?Matthew 6:25, wherein he forbids not all moderate and provident thoughts for things necessary, but only such thoughts as shall argue our distrust in God, or perplex and distract our minds, or be inconsistent with our duty, and the employment of our thoughts about higher and better things. This he here presseth by two arguments.
1. Because these are the things which people spend all their thoughts upon, who are not aware that they have souls to take care for, or do not understand the providence of God, or have no such relation to God as Christians have, who call God Father.
2. You have (saith he) a heavenly Father, who, being the God of heaven, knoweth what you need, and, being your Father, will also supply your needs. Luke 12:30. The Syriac reads it so here: the phrase, "the nations of the world", is used of the Gentiles, in distinction from the Israelites, thousands of times in the Jewish writings; it would be endless to give instances. These knew not God, nor acknowledged his providence; the greater part of them thought, that the soul perished with the body; few of them thought, that anything remained after death; and they that did, spoke very doubtfully of it: wherefore it is no wonder, that such persons should greedily seek after, and be anxiously concerned for all these things, food, raiment, and riches, and a great plenty of them; since this is all the happiness they expect; and imagine, that this is to be acquired by their care, thought, diligence, and industry; having no regard to a superior being, and his all wise providence: but for the Jews, and so Christians, who have a divine revelation, the knowledge of God, and his providence, and of a future state after this life, to act the same part the Heathens do, is exceedingly unbecoming, absurd, and wicked: and besides, such greedy desires, immoderate care, and anxious solicitude, are altogether unnecessary;
for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. Every word almost, carries in it an argument, to strengthen the faith of God's children, to encourage them to believe, that he will bestow upon them, whatever is needful, for meat, drink, and clothing: he is a "father", and will take care of his children; "their father"; they have interest in him, being related to him, and need not doubt of his paternal care, and affectionate regard to them: their "heavenly" Father, or their Father in heaven; who has all things at his command, who sits there, and does whatever he pleaseth on earth: "he knoweth that they have need"; he knows all things, all their straits, difficulties, wants and necessities; he knows they need every day, "all these things", food and raiment, and cannot do without them: and therefore they may depend upon it, that as it is in his power to relieve them, and their persons and cases are not unknown to him; he who stands in the relation of a father to them, will supply them with whatever is proper and convenient for them.(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 6:32. The second γάρ does not append another reason co-ordinate with the first, but after the injunction contained in Matthew 6:31 has been justified by the reference to the heathen (to whom they are not to compare themselves), this same injunction is provided with an explanation of an encouraging nature, so that the first γάρ is logical, the second explanatory, as frequently in classical writers (Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. v. 6. 6. Frotscher, ad Hieron. xi. 6). The referring of the second γάρ to something to be supplied after τὰ ἔθνη, such as “who know nothing of God” (Tholuck), is arbitrary.
οἶδε is emphatic; is certainly known to your Father, and so on.
ὅτι] that, not ὅ, τι (Paulus: that, which; Fritzsche: quatenus).Matthew 6:32. τὰ ἔθνη, again a reference to heathen practice; in Matthew 6:7 to their “battology” in prayer, here to the kind of blessings they eagerly ask (ἐπιζητοῦσιν); material only or chiefly; bread, raiment, wealth, etc. I never realised how true the statement of Jesus is till I read the Vedic Hymns, the prayer book and song book of the Indian Aryans. With the exception of a few hymns to Varuna, in which sin is confessed and pardon begged, most hymns, especially those to Indra, contain prayers only for material goods: cows, horses, green pastures, good harvests.
To wifeless men thou givest wives,
And joyful mak’st their joyless lives;
Thou givest sons, courageous, strong,
To guard their aged sires from wrong,
Lands, jewels, horses, herds of kine,
All kinds of wealth are gifts of thine
Thy friend is never slain; his might
Is never worsted in the fight.
—Dr. Muir, Sanskrit Texts, vol. v., p. 137.
—οἶδεν γὰρ ὁ πατὴρ ὑ.: Disciples must rise above the pagan level, especially as they worship not Indra, but a Father in heaven, believed in even by the Indian Aryans, in a rude way, under the name of Dyaus-Pitar, Heaven-Father. γὰρ explains the difference between pagans and disciples. The disciple has a Father who knows, and never forgets, His children’s needs, and who is so regarded by all who truly believe in Him. Such faith kills care. But such faith is possible only to those who comply with the following injunction.
Matthew 6:33. ζητεῖτε πρῶτον. There is considerable variation in the text of this counsel. Perhaps the nearest to the original is the reading of , which omits τοῦ θεοῦ with , and inverts the order of βασ. and δικαι. Seek ye His (the Father’s) righteousness and kingdom, though it may be against this that in Luke (Luke 12:31) the kingdom only is mentioned, πρῶτον also being omitted: Seek ye His kingdom. This may have been the original form of the logion, all beyond being interpretation, true though unnecessary. Seeking the kingdom means seeking righteousness as the summum bonum, and the πρῶτον is implied in such a quest. Some (Meyer, Sevin, Achelis) think there is no second, not even a subordinate seeking after earthly goods, all that to be left in God’s hands, our sole concern the kingdom. That is indeed the ideal heroic attitude. Yet practically it comes to be a question of first and second, supreme and subordinate, and if the kingdom be indeed first it will keep all else in its proper place. The πρῶτον, like the prayer against temptation, indicates consideration for weakness in the sincere.—προστεθήσεται, shall be added, implying that the main object of quest will certainly be secured.
 Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.
 Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.32. the Gentiles seek] Seek with eagerness. A compound verb. The simple verb is used below in the next verse. For the aims of the heathen world read Juvenal Sat. x., or Johnson’s imitation of it “The Vanity of Human Wishes.”Matthew 6:32. Πάντα γὰρ ταῦτα, κ.τ.λ., for all these things, etc.) and nothing else.—τὰ ἔθνη, the gentiles) the heathen nations. The faithful ought to be free from the cares, not only of the covetous among the heathen, but of all heathens; many, however, in the present day fall short of the heathen in this matter.—ἐπιζητεῖ, seek after) as though a difficult matter. This word is followed by the simple verb ζητεῖτε, seek ye,—οἶδε γὰρ ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος, for your Heavenly Father knoweth) An argument from the omniscience, the goodness, and the omnipotence of God.—ὑμῶν, your) sc. who is your Father in a pre-eminent degree in preference to the heathen.
 In the original, “At multi hodie non eam, quam gentes, habent αὐτάρκειαν.” Bengel in Gnomon on ch. Matthew 4:4 defines αὐτάρκεια as “Prœsens animi quies.” See p. 150 and f. n. 3.—(I. B.)
 In the original all this is expressed by two words, “præ ethnicis.”—(I. B.)Verse 32. - Parallel passage: Luke 12:30. Save in reading "but" instead of the second "for," Luke's seems the more original. (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek;) for your heavenly Father knoweth, etc. The Revised Version removes the marks of parenthesis. For...for; these are probably co-ordinate, and adduce two reasons for our not being for one moment anxious about earthly things:
(1) it is like the heathen (cf. the thought of Matthew 5:47);
(2) your Father knows your need of them. Heavenly (Matthew 5:16, note). Knoweth (ver. 8, note).
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