Matthew 7:4
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
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(4) How wilt thou sayi.e., how wilt thou have the face to say.

7:1-6 We must judge ourselves, and judge of our own acts, but not make our word a law to everybody. We must not judge rashly, nor pass judgment upon our brother without any ground. We must not make the worst of people. Here is a just reproof to those who quarrel with their brethren for small faults, while they allow themselves in greater ones. Some sins are as motes, while others are as beams; some as a gnat, others as a camel. Not that there is any sin little; if it be a mote, or splinter, it is in the eye; if a gnat, it is in the throat; both are painful and dangerous, and we cannot be easy or well till they are got out. That which charity teaches us to call but a splinter in our brother's eye, true repentance and godly sorrow will teach us to call a beam in our own. It is as strange that a man can be in a sinful, miserable condition, and not be aware of it, as that a man should have a beam in his eye, and not consider it; but the god of this world blinds their minds. Here is a good rule for reprovers; first reform thyself.And why beholdest thou the mote ... - A mote signifies any "light substance," as dry chaff, or fine spires of grass or grain. It probably most usually signified the small "spiculae" or "beards" on a head of barley or wheat. It is thus placed in opposition to the word "beam."

Beam - The word used here signifies a large piece of squared timber. The one is an exceedingly small object, the other a large one. The meaning is, that "we are much more quick and acute to judge of small offences in others, than of much larger offences in ourselves." Even a very "small" object in the eye of another we discern much more quickly than a much larger one in our own; a small fault in our neighbor we see much more readily than a large one in ourselves. This was also a proverb in frequent use among the Jews, and the same sentiment was common among the Greeks, and deserves to be expressed in every language.

4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? See Poole on "Matthew 7:5".

Or how wilt thou say to thy brother?.... This is not so much an interrogation, as an expression of admiration, at the front and impudence of such censorious remarkers, and rigid observators; who not content to point at the faults of others, take upon them to reprove them in a very magisterial way: and it is as if Christ had said, with what face canst thou say to thy friend or neighbour,

let me pull out the mote out of thine eye? give me leave to rebuke thee sharply for thy sin, as it deserves,

and behold a beam is in thine own eye; thou art guilty of a far greater iniquity: astonishing impudence! Art thou so blind, as not to see and observe thy viler wickedness? Or which, if conscious of, how canst thou prevail upon thyself to take upon thee to reprove and censure others? Dost thou think thy brother cannot see thy beam? And may he not justly retort thine iniquities upon thee, which exceed his? and then what success canst thou promise thyself? Such persons are very unfit to be reprovers of others.

Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Matthew 7:4-5. Or how will it be morally possible for thee to say, and so on. The πῶς, like τί (cur), Matthew 7:3, expresses what is morally absurd. “Est enim proprium stultitiae, aliorum vitia cernere, oblivisci suorum,” Cic. Tusc. iii. 30. 73.

καὶ ἰδοὺ, κ.τ.λ.] The more emphatic from there being no ἐστι; and lo, the beam in thine eye!

ἐκβάλω] Conjunct. hortatory, and in the present instance, in the sense of calling upon oneself (used also in the singular, see Kühner, II. 1, p. 185; Nägelsbach on Iliad, p. 404, ed. 3; Bornemann, in d. Sächs. Stud. 1846, p. 30).

ὑποκριτά] Hypocrite, who pretendest to be free from faults. The attribute is here taken from his demeanour as seen from its objective side, while the subjective side, which here presents itself as hypocrisy, is the conceit of self-delusion.

διαβλέψεις] neither imperative nor permissive (thou mayest see), but future. The result of self-amendment will be the earnest effort to help others to amendment Observe the compound (correlative of the simple verb, Matthew 7:3) intenta acie spectabis. Comp. Plat. Phaed. p. 86 D; Arist. de Som. 3; Plut. Mor. p. 36 E.

Matthew 7:4. ἐκβάλω, hortatory conjunctive, first person, supplies place of imperative which is wanting in first person; takes such words as ἄγε, φέρε, or as here ἄφες, before it. Vide Goodwin, section 255. For ἄφες modern Greek has ἄς, a contraction, used with the subjunctive in the first and third persons (vide Vincent and Dickson, Modern Greek, p. 322).

4. a beam is in thine own eye] Which (1) ought to prevent condemnation of another for a less grave offence; and which (2) would obscure the spiritual discernment, and so render thee an incapable judge. The Pharisaic sin of hypocrisy (see next verse) was deeper and more fatal to the spiritual life than the sins which the Pharisee condemned.

out of] Greek ἀπό (a reading which rests on the highest MS. authority) = “from the outside surface,” which alone the Pharisee discerns—

Matthew 7:4. Πῶς, how?) i.e. How is it fitting for you to do so?

Verse 4. - Parallel passage: Luke 6:42a. Or. A second case is supposed. You may only see the mote or you may offer to remove it. How; with any conscience. Wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out? Let me (ἄφες,, ch. 3:15). There is nothing here of the rudeness that so often accompanies censeriousness. Pull out; Revised Version, cast out (ἐκβάλω). The thought is of the completeness, not the method, of the removal (cf. Matthew 9:38). A beam; the beam (Revised Version); i.e. the beam already mentioned. Matthew 7:4
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