Matthew 10:16
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.

King James Bible
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Darby Bible Translation
Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves; be therefore prudent as the serpents, and guileless as the doves.

World English Bible
"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Young's Literal Translation
'Lo, I do send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves, be ye therefore wise as the serpents, and simple as the doves.

Matthew 10:16 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

As sheep in the midst of wolves - That is, I send you, inoffensive and harmless, into a cold, unfriendly, and cruel world. Your innocence will not be a protection.

Be wise as serpents ... - Serpents have always been an emblem of wisdom and cunning, Genesis 3:1. The Egyptians used the serpent in their hieroglyphics as a symbol of wisdom. Probably the thing in which Christ directed his followers to imitate the serpent was in its caution in avoiding danger. No animal equals them in the rapidity and skill which they evince in escaping danger. So said Christ to his disciples, You need caution and wisdom in the midst of a world that will seek your lives. He directs them, also, to be harmless, not to provoke danger, not to do injury, and thus make their fellow-men justly enraged against them. Doves are, and always have been, a striking emblem of innocence. Most people would foolishly destroy a serpent, be it ever so harmless, yet few are so hard-hearted as to kill a dove.

Matthew 10:16 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Obscure Apostles
'These twelve Jesus sent forth.'--MATT. x. 5. And half of 'these twelve' are never heard of as doing any work for Christ. Peter and James and John we know; the other James and Judas have possibly left us short letters; Matthew gives us a Gospel; and of all the rest no trace is left. Some of them are never so much as named again, except in the list at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles; and none of them except the three who 'seemed to be pillars' appear to have been of much importance in the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The King's Charge to his Ambassadors
'Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven. 33. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven. 34. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36. And man's foes shall be they of his own household.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Enduring to the End
But, my brethren, how glorious is the sight of the man who does endure to the end as a minister of Christ. I have photographed upon my heart just now, the portrait of one very, very dear to me, and I think I may venture to produce a rough sketch of him, as no mean example of how honorable it is to endure to the end. This man began while yet a youth to preach the Word. Sprung of ancestors who had loved the Lord and served his Church, he felt the glow of holy enthusiasm. Having proved his capabilities,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 10: 1864

Providence
Now, when we look abroad into the world we see, as we think, such abundant proofs that there is a God, that we are apt to treat a man who denies the existence of a God with very little respect or patience. We believe him to be wilfully blind, for we see God's name so legible upon the very surface of creation, that we cannot have patience with him if he dares to deny the existence of a Creator. And in the matter of salvation: we have each of us seen in our own salvation such positive marks of the
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 4: 1858

Cross References
Genesis 3:1
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden '?"

Jeremiah 40:16
But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, "Do not do this thing, for you are telling a lie about Ishmael."

Hosea 7:11
So Ephraim has become like a silly dove, without sense; They call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.

Matthew 24:25
"Behold, I have told you in advance.

Matthew 24:45
"Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?

Matthew 25:2
"Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent.

Matthew 25:4
but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.

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