Matthew 5:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.'

King James Bible
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

Darby Bible Translation
Ye have heard that it was said to the ancients, Thou shalt not kill; but whosoever shall kill shall be subject to the judgment.

World English Bible
"You have heard that it was said to the ancient ones, 'You shall not murder;' and 'Whoever shall murder shall be in danger of the judgment.'

Young's Literal Translation
'Ye heard that it was said to the ancients: Thou shalt not kill, and whoever may kill shall be in danger of the judgment;

Matthew 5:21 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time - τοις αρχαιοις, to or by the ancients. By the ancients, we may understand those who lived before the law, and those who lived under it; for murder was, in the most solemn manner, forbidden before, as well as under, the law, Genesis 9:5, Genesis 9:6.

But it is very likely that our Lord refers here merely to traditions and glosses relative to the ancient Mosaic ordinance; and such as, by their operation, rendered the primitive command of little or no effect. Murder from the beginning has been punished with death; and it is, probably, the only crime that should be punished with death. There is much reason to doubt, whether the punishment of death, inflicted for any other crime, is not in itself murder, whatever the authority may be that has instituted it. God, and the greatest legislators that have ever been in the universe, are of the same opinion. See Montesquieu, Blackstone, and the Marquis Beccaria, and the arguments and testimonies lately produced by Sir Samuel Romilly, in his motion for the amendment of the criminal laws of this kingdom. It is very remarkable, that the criminal code published by Joseph II., late emperor of Germany, though it consists of seventy-one capital crimes, has not death attached to any of them. Even murder, with all intention to rob, is punished only with "imprisonment for thirty years, to lie on the floor, to have no nourishment but bread and water, to be closely chained, and to be publicly whipped once a year, with less than one hundred lashes." See Colquhoun on the Police of the City of London, p. 272.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Matthew 5:27,33,43 You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery...

2 Samuel 20:18 Then she spoke, saying, They were wont to speak in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel...

Job 8:8-10 For inquire, I pray you, of the former age, and prepare yourself to the search of their fathers...

by them. or, to them. Thou.

Genesis 9:5,6 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man...

Exodus 20:13 You shall not kill.

Deuteronomy 5:17 You shall not kill.


Exodus 21:12-14 He that smites a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death...

Numbers 35:12,16-21,30-34 And they shall be to you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not...

Deuteronomy 21:7-9 And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it...

1 Kings 2:5,6,31,32 Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel...

Agree with Thine Adversary
Eversley, 1861. Windsor Castle, 1867. St. Matthew v. 25, 26. "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." This parable our Lord seems to have spoken at least twice, as He did several others. For we find it also in the 12th
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

Salt Without Savour
'Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.'--MATT. v. 13. These words must have seemed ridiculously presumptuous when they were first spoken, and they have too often seemed mere mockery and irony in the ages since. A Galilean peasant, with a few of his rude countrymen who had gathered round him, stands up there on the mountain, and says to them, 'You,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Lamp and the Bushel
'Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.'--Matt. v. 14-16. The conception of the office of Christ's disciples contained in these words is a still bolder one than that expressed by the preceding metaphor, which
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The New Form of the Old Law
'Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20. For I say
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Cross References
Exodus 20:13
"You shall not murder.

Deuteronomy 5:17
"You shall not murder.

Deuteronomy 16:18
Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly.

2 Chronicles 19:5
He appointed judges in the land, in each of the fortified cities of Judah.

Matthew 5:27
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.'

Matthew 5:33
"Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.'

Matthew 5:38
"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'

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