Matthew 9:15
New International Version
Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

New Living Translation
Jesus replied, "Do wedding guests mourn while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

English Standard Version
And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.

Berean Study Bible
Jesus replied, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while He is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

Berean Literal Bible
And Jesus said to them, "Can the sons of the bridechamber mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But days will come when the bridegroom shall have been taken away from them, and then they will fast.

New American Standard Bible
And Jesus said to them, "The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.

King James Bible
And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

Christian Standard Bible
Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests be sad while the groom is with them? The time will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

Contemporary English Version
Jesus answered: The friends of a bridegroom aren't sad while he is still with them. But the time will come when he will be taken from them. Then they will go without eating.

Good News Translation
Jesus answered, "Do you expect the guests at a wedding party to be sad as long as the bridegroom is with them? Of course not! But the day will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests be sad while the groom is with them? The time will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

International Standard Version
Jesus asked them, "The wedding guests can't mourn as long as the groom is with them, can they? But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast."

NET Bible
Jesus said to them, "The wedding guests cannot mourn while the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days are coming when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and then they will fast.

New Heart English Bible
And Jesus said to them, "Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And Yeshua said to them, “How can the children of the bridal chamber fast as long as the groom is with them? But the days are coming when the groom will be taken from them and then they will fast.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Jesus replied, "Can wedding guests be sad while the groom is still with them? The time will come when the groom will be taken away from them. Then they will fast.

New American Standard 1977
And Jesus said to them, “The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Jesus said unto them, Can the sons of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then they shall fast.

King James 2000 Bible
And Jesus said unto them, Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

American King James Version
And Jesus said to them, Can the children of the bridal chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

American Standard Version
And Jesus said unto them, Can the sons of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then will they fast.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Jesus said to them: Can the children of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then they shall fast.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jesus said to them, Can the sons of the bridechamber mourn so long as the bridegroom is with them? But days will come when the bridegroom will have been taken away from them, and then they will fast.

English Revised Version
And Jesus said unto them, Can the sons of the bride-chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then will they fast.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Jesus said to them, Can the children of the bride-chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then they will fast.

Weymouth New Testament
"Can the bridegroom's party mourn," He replied, "as long as the bridegroom is with them? But other days will come (when the Bridegroom has been taken from them)

World English Bible
Jesus said to them, "Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

Young's Literal Translation
And Jesus said to them, 'Can the sons of the bride-chamber mourn, so long as the bridegroom is with them? but days shall come when the bridegroom may be taken from them, and then they shall fast.
Study Bible
Questions about Fasting
14At that time, John’s disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast so often, but Your disciples do not fast?” 15Jesus replied, “How can the attendants of the bridegroom mourn while He is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast. 16No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. For the patch will pull away from the garment, and a worse tear will result.…
Cross References
Matthew 9:14
At that time, John's disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast so often, but Your disciples do not fast?"

Matthew 9:16
No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. For the patch will pull away from the garment, and a worse tear will result.

Mark 2:19
Jesus answered, "Can the guests of the bridegroom fast while He is with them? As long as He is with them, they cannot fast.

Mark 2:20
But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast.

Luke 5:34
Jesus replied, "Can you make the guests of the bridegroom fast while He is with them?

Luke 5:35
But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast."

Luke 17:22
Then He said to the disciples, "The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.

John 3:29
The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom stands and listens for him, and is overjoyed to hear the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.

Treasury of Scripture

And Jesus said to them, Can the children of the bridal chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

Can.

Matthew 25:1-10
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom…

Judges 14:11
And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.

Psalm 45:14,15
She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee…

when.

Luke 24:13-21
And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs…

John 16:6,20-22
But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart…

Acts 1:9,10
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight…

and then.

Isaiah 22:12
And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth:

Acts 13:1-3
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul…

Acts 14:23
And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.







Lexicon
Jesus
Ἰησοῦς (Iēsous)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2424: Of Hebrew origin; Jesus, the name of our Lord and two other Israelites.

replied,
εἶπεν (eipen)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2036: Answer, bid, bring word, command. A primary verb; to speak or say.

“How can
δύνανται (dynantai)
Verb - Present Indicative Middle or Passive - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 1410: (a) I am powerful, have (the) power, (b) I am able, I can. Of uncertain affinity; to be able or possible.

the
οἱ (hoi)
Article - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

attendants
υἱοὶ (huioi)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 5207: A son, descendent. Apparently a primary word; a 'son', used very widely of immediate, remote or figuratively, kinship.

of the
τοῦ (tou)
Article - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

bridegroom
νυμφῶνος (nymphōnos)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3567: A bridal chamber. From numphe; the bridal room.

mourn
πενθεῖν (penthein)
Verb - Present Infinitive Active
Strong's Greek 3996: To mourn, lament, feel guilt. From penthos; to grieve.

while
ὅσον (hoson)
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3745: How much, how great, how many, as great as, as much. By reduplication from hos; as As.

[He]
νυμφίος (nymphios)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3566: A bridegroom. From numphe; a bride-groom.

is
ἐστιν (estin)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

with
μετ’ (met’)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 3326: (a) gen: with, in company with, (b) acc: (1) behind, beyond, after, of place, (2) after, of time, with nouns, neut. of adjectives.

them?
αὐτῶν (autōn)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

But
δὲ (de)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.

[the] time
ἡμέραι (hēmerai)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 2250: A day, the period from sunrise to sunset.

will come
ἐλεύσονται (eleusontai)
Verb - Future Indicative Middle - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 2064: To come, go.

when
ὅταν (hotan)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 3752: When, whenever. From hote and an; whenever; also causatively inasmuch as.

the
(ho)
Article - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

bridegroom
νυμφίος (nymphios)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3566: A bridegroom. From numphe; a bride-groom.

will be taken away
ἀπαρθῇ (aparthē)
Verb - Aorist Subjunctive Passive - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 522: To take away, remove; pass: To be taken away, withdrawn. From apo and airo; to lift off, i.e. Remove.

from
ἀπ’ (ap’)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 575: From, away from. A primary particle; 'off, ' i.e. Away, in various senses.

them;
αὐτῶν (autōn)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

then
τότε (tote)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 5119: Then, at that time. From ho and hote; the when, i.e. At the time that.

they will fast.
νηστεύσουσιν (nēsteusousin)
Verb - Future Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 3522: To fast, abstain from food. From nestis; to abstain from food.
(15) Can the children of the bridechamber mourn?--The words were full of meaning in themselves, but they only gain their full significance when we connect them with the teaching of the Baptist recorded in John 3:29. He had pointed to Jesus as "the Bridegroom." He had taught them that the coming of that Bridegroom was the fulfilling of his joy. Would he have withdrawn from the outward expression of that joy?

The children of the bridechamber--i.e., the guests invited to the wedding. The words implied, startling as that thought would be to them, that the feast in Matthew's house was, in fact, a wedding-feast. His disciples were at once the guests of that feast individually; and collectively they were the new Israel, the new congregation or Ecclesia, which was, as our Lord taught in parable (Matthew 22:2), and St. Paul directly (Ephesians 5:25-27), and St. John in apocalyptic vision (Revelation 19:7; Revelation 21:2), the bride whom He had come to make His own, to cleanse, and to purify.

The days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them.--Noteworthy as the first recorded intimation in our Lord's public teaching (that in John 3:14 was less clear until interpreted by the event, and was addressed to Nicodemus, and perhaps to him only, or, at the furthest, to St. John) of His coming death. The joy of the wedding-feast would cease, and then would come the long night of expectation, till once again there should be the cry, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh" (Matthew 25:6).

Then shall they fast.--The words can hardly be looked on as a command imposing fasting as a formal obligation, but, beyond all doubt, they sanction the principle on which fasting rests. The time that was to follow the departure of the Bridegroom would be one of sorrow, conflict, discipline, and at such a time the self-conquest implied in abstinence was the natural and true expression of the feelings that belonged to it. So the Christian Church has always felt; so it was, as the New Testament records, in the lives of at least two great apostles, St. Peter (Acts 10:10) and St. Paul (2Corinthians 11:27). So far as it goes, however, the principle here asserted is in favour of fasts at special seasons of sorrow rather than of frequent and fixed fasts as a discipline, or meritorious act. In fixing her days of fasting, the Church of England, partly guided perhaps by earlier usage, has at least connected them with the seasons and days that call specially to meditation on the sterner, sadder side of truth.

Verse 15. - And Jesus said unto them, Can. It is a moral impossibility (ch. 6:24). The children (sons, Revised Version) of the bride-chamber (οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ νυμφῶνος). Edersheim ('Life,' etc., 1:663) points out that these are not the shoshbenim, the friends of the bridegroom, who conducted the bride with music, etc., to the house of her parents-in-law, and to the bride-chamber, and who naturally remained to take part in the wedding feast; for

(1) the custom of having shoshbenim prevailed in Judaea, but not in Galilee;

(2) Talm. Jeremiah, 'Succah,' § 2:5, expressly distinguishes between the two terms: "Those who are shoshbenim, and all the sons of the bride-chamber, are free from the obligation of booths (חופה פטורין סן סוכה שושבינן וכל בני)." They appear to be those, invited by either party, who come to take part in the wedding festivities. They are, therefore, in full sympathy with bridegroom and bride, and, like them, cannot but rejoice. Mourn; parallel passages, "fast," but Matthew's word, as less closely connected with the cause of the objection raised, seems the more original. As long as the bridegroom is with them? Nosgen sees in this a claim to be the expected Bridegroom of Israel (Hosea 2:19, 20; Jeremiah 3:1-14; Ezekiel 16:8). But the days will come. Christ speaks with prophetic assurance of the coming of such a time (ἐλεύσονται δὲ ἡμέραι). Observe his consciousness alike of his position and of what is coming upon him. When the bridegroom shall be taken (away, Revised Version) from them. His removal shall be effected, not by his own action, but by external agents (ἀπαρθῇ). In these unsettled times, with their frequent though mostly unimportant popular risings, it cannot have been a very unusual thing for the bridegroom to be carried off, not indeed before the consummation of the marriage, but before the end of the week of festivities. And then shall (will, Revised Version; there is no trace of a command, Christ is but stating a fact) they fast. Christ here endorses the principle of Christian fasts (cf. Matthew 6:16), but regards them as springing; not from any legal obligation, but flora personal grief, in this case at his absence (cf. John 16:20). The only later passages in the New Testament where Christian fasting is mentioned, are Acts 13:2, 3; Acts 14:23; 2 Corinthians 6:5; 2 Corinthians 11:27. In the 'Didache,' § 8, we have the earliest formal recognition or' it as a practice. It is there forbidden to fast on the same days as the Pharisees. Observe that this verse was understood in Tertullian's time as expressly commanding a fast during the forty hours in which our Lord was in the grave ('De Jejun.,' § 2), and that, from Irenseus's expression in Eusebius ('Ch. Hist.,' 5:24), this fast had been kept almost from apostolic times. 9:14-17 John was at this time in prison; his circumstances, his character, and the nature of the message he was sent to deliver, led those who were peculiarly attached to him, to keep frequent fasts. Christ referred them to John's testimony of him, Joh 3:29. Though there is no doubt that Jesus and his disciples lived in a spare and frugal manner, it would be improper for his disciples to fast while they had the comfort of his presence. When he is with them, all is well. The presence of the sun makes day, and its absence produces night. Our Lord further reminded them of common rules of prudence. It was not usual to take a piece of rough woolen cloth, which had never been prepared, to join to an old garment, for it would not join well with the soft, old garment, but would tear it further, and the rent would be made worse. Nor would men put new wine into old leathern bottles, which were going to decay, and would be liable to burst from the fermenting of the wine; but putting the new wine into strong, new, skin bottles, both would be preserved. Great caution and prudence are necessary, that young converts may not receive gloomy and forbidding ideas of the service of our Lord; but duties are to be urged as they are able to bear them.
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