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Matthew 5:17 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfil.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Think not that I am come to make void the law or the prophets; I am not come to make void, but to fulfil.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Do not think, that I came to pull down the law, or the prophets,—I came not to pull down, but to fulfill.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— 'Do not suppose that I came to throw down the law or the prophets—I did not come to throw down, but to fulfil;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Thinke not that I am come to destroy the lawe or the Prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— Think not that I came to loose the law or the prophets: not that I might loose, but that I might fulfill.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— Do not suppose that I have come to subvert the law or the prophets: [I have come] not to subvert, but to fulfill.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Think 3543
{3543} Prime
νομίζω
nomizo
{nom-id'-zo}
From G3551; properly to do by law (usage), that is, to accustom (passively be usual); by extension to deem or regard.
z5661
<5661> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Subjunctive (See G5792)
Count - 512
not 3361
{3361} Prime
μή
me
{may}
A primary particle of qualified negation (whereas G3756 expresses an absolute denial); (adverbially) not, (conjugationally) lest; also (as interrogitive implying a negative answer [whereas G3756 expects an affirmative one]); whether.
that 3754
{3754} Prime
ὅτι
hoti
{hot'-ee}
Neuter of G3748 as conjugation; demonstrative that (sometimes redundant); causatively because.
I am come 2064
{2064} Prime
ἔρχομαι
erchomai
{er'-khom-ahee}
Middle voice of a primary verb (used only in the present and imperfect tenses, the others being supplied by a kindred [middle voice] word, ἐλεύθομαι [[eleuthomai]], {el-yoo'-thom-ahee}; or [active] ἔλθω [[eltho]], {el'-tho}; which do not otherwise occur); to come or go (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively).
z5627
<5627> Grammar
Tense - Second Aorist (See G5780)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2138 plus 1 in a variant reading in a footnote
to destroy 2647
{2647} Prime
καταλύω
kataluo
{kat-al-oo'-o}
From G2596 and G3089; to loosen down (disintegrate), that is, (by implication) to demolish (literally or figuratively); specifically (compare G2646) to halt for the night.
z5658
<5658> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Infinitive (See G5795)
Count - 516
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
law, 3551
{3551} Prime
νόμος
nomos
{nom'-os}
From a primary word νέμω [[nemo]] (to parcel out, especially food or grazing to animals); law (through the idea of prescriptive usage), generally (regulation), specifically (of Moses [including the volume]; also of the Gospel), or figuratively (a principle).
or 2228
{2228} Prime

e
{ay}
A primary particle of distinction between two connected terms; disjunctive, or; comparative, than.
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
prophets: 4396
{4396} Prime
προφήτης
prophetes
{prof-ay'-tace}
From a compound of G4253 and G5346; a foreteller ('prophet'); by analogy an inspired speaker; by extension a poet.
I am y2064
[2064] Standard
ἔρχομαι
erchomai
{er'-khom-ahee}
Middle voice of a primary verb (used only in the present and imperfect tenses, the others being supplied by a kindred [middle voice] word, ἐλεύθομαι [[eleuthomai]], {el-yoo'-thom-ahee}; or [active] ἔλθω [[eltho]], {el'-tho}; which do not otherwise occur); to come or go (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively).
z0
<0000> Grammar
The original word in the Greek or Hebrew is translated by more than one word in the English. The English translation is separated by one or more other words from the original.
not 3756
{3756} Prime
οὐ
ou
{oo}
A primary word; the absolutely negative (compare G3361) adverb; no or not.
come 2064
{2064} Prime
ἔρχομαι
erchomai
{er'-khom-ahee}
Middle voice of a primary verb (used only in the present and imperfect tenses, the others being supplied by a kindred [middle voice] word, ἐλεύθομαι [[eleuthomai]], {el-yoo'-thom-ahee}; or [active] ἔλθω [[eltho]], {el'-tho}; which do not otherwise occur); to come or go (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively).
z5627
<5627> Grammar
Tense - Second Aorist (See G5780)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2138 plus 1 in a variant reading in a footnote
to destroy, 2647
{2647} Prime
καταλύω
kataluo
{kat-al-oo'-o}
From G2596 and G3089; to loosen down (disintegrate), that is, (by implication) to demolish (literally or figuratively); specifically (compare G2646) to halt for the night.
z5658
<5658> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Infinitive (See G5795)
Count - 516
but 235
{0235} Prime
ἀλλά
alla
{al-lah'}
Neuter plural of G0243; properly other things, that is, (adverbially) contrariwise (in many relations).
to fulfil. 4137
{4137} Prime
πληρόω
pleroo
{play-ro'-o}
From G4134; to make replete, that is, (literally) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.
z5658
<5658> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Infinitive (See G5795)
Count - 516
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Matthew 5:17

_ _ Matthew 5:17-48. Identity of these principles with those of the ancient economy; in contrast with the reigning traditional teaching.

_ _ Exposition of Principles (Matthew 5:17-20).

_ _ Think not that I am come — that I came.

_ _ to destroy the law, or the prophets — that is, “the authority and principles of the Old Testament.” (On the phrase, see Matthew 7:12; Matthew 22:40; Luke 16:16; Acts 13:15). This general way of taking the phrase is much better than understanding “the law” and “the prophets” separately, and inquiring, as many good critics do, in what sense our Lord could be supposed to meditate the subversion of each. To the various classes of His hearers, who might view such supposed abrogation of the law and the prophets with very different feelings, our Lord’s announcement would, in effect, be such as this — “Ye who tremble at the word of the Lord, fear not that I am going to sweep the foundation from under your feet: Ye restless and revolutionary spirits, hope not that I am going to head any revolutionary movement: And ye who hypocritically affect great reverence for the law and the prophets, pretend not to find anything in My teaching derogatory to God’s living oracles.”

_ _ I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil — Not to subvert, abrogate, or annul, but to establish the law and the prophets — to unfold them, to embody them in living form, and to enshrine them in the reverence, affection, and character of men, am I come.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Matthew 5:17-20

_ _ Those to whom Christ preached, and for whose use he gave these instructions to his disciples, were such as in their religion had an eye, 1. To the scriptures of the Old Testament as their rule, and therein Christ here shows them they were in the right: 2. To the scribes and the Pharisees as their example, and therein Christ here shows them they were in the wrong; for,

_ _ I. The rule which Christ came to establish exactly agreed with the scriptures of the Old Testament, here called the law and the prophets. The prophets were commentators upon the law, and both together made up that rule of faith and practice which Christ found upon the throne in the Jewish church, and here he keeps it on the throne.

_ _ 1. He protests against the thought of cancelling and weakening the Old Testament; Think not that I am come to destroy the law and the prophets. (1.) “Let not the pious Jews, who have an affection for the law and the prophets, fear that I come to destroy them.” Let them be not prejudiced against Christ and his doctrine, from a jealousy that this kingdom he came to set up, would derogate from the honour of the scriptures, which they had embraced as coming from God, and of which they had experienced the power and purity; no, let them be satisfied that Christ has no ill design upon the law and the prophets. “Let not the profane Jews, who have a disaffection to the law and the prophets, and are weary of that yoke, hope that I am come to destroy them.” Let not carnal libertines imagine that the Messiah is come to discharge them from the obligation of divine precepts and yet to secure to them divine promises, to make the happy and yet to give them leave to live as they list. Christ commands nothing now which was forbidden either by the law of nature or the moral law, nor forbids any thing which those laws had enjoined; it is a great mistake to think he does, and he here takes care to rectify the mistake; I am not come to destroy. The Saviour of souls is the destroyer of nothing but the works of the devil, of nothing that comes from God, much less of those excellent dictates which we have from Moses and the prophets. No, he came to fulfil them. That is, [1.] To obey the commands of the law, for he was made under the law, Galatians 4:4. He in all respects yielded obedience to the law, honoured his parents, sanctified the sabbath, prayed, gave alms, and did that which never any one else did, obeyed perfectly, and never broke the law in any thing. [2.] To make good the promises of the law, and the predictions of the prophets, which did all bear witness to him. The covenant of grace is, for substance, the same now that it was then, and Christ the Mediator of it. [3.] To answer the types of the law; thus (as bishop Tillotson expresses it), he did not make void, but make good, the ceremonial law, and manifested himself to be the Substance of all those shadows. [4.] To fill up the defects of it, and so to complete and perfect it. Thus the word plrsai properly signifies. If we consider the law as a vessel that had some water in it before, he did not come to pour out the water, but to fill the vessel up to the brim; or, as a picture that is first rough-drawn, displays some outlines only of the piece intended, which are afterwards filled up; so Christ made an improvement of the law and the prophets by his additions and explications. [5.] To carry on the same design; the Christian institutes are so far from thwarting and contradicting that which was the main design of the Jewish religion, that they promote it to the highest degree. The gospel is the time of reformation (Hebrews 9:10), not the repeal of the law, but the amendment of it, and, consequently, its establishment.

_ _ 2. He asserts the perpetuity of it; that not only he designed not the abrogation of it, but that it never should be abrogated (Matthew 5:18); “Verily I say unto you, I, the Amen, the faithful Witness, solemnly declare it, that till heaven and earth pass, when time shall be no more, and the unchangeable state of recompences shall supersede all laws, one jot, or one tittle, the least and most minute circumstance, shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled;” for what is it that God is doing in all the operations both of providence and grace, but fulfilling the scripture? Heaven and earth shall come together, and all the fulness thereof be wrapped up in ruin and confusion, rather than any word of God shall fall to the ground, or be in vain. The word of the Lord endures for ever, both that of the law, and that of the gospel. Observe, The care of God concerning his law extends itself even to those things that seem to be of least account in it, the iotas and the tittles; for whatever belongs to God, and bears his stamp, be it ever so little, shall be preserved. The laws of men are conscious to themselves of so much imperfection, that they allow it for a maxim, Apices juris non sunt jura — The extreme points of the law are not the law, but God will stand by and maintain every iota and every tittle of his law.

_ _ 3. He gives it in charge to his disciples, carefully to preserve the law, and shows them the danger of the neglect and contempt of it (Matthew 5:19); Whosoever therefore shall break one of the least commandments of the law of Moses, much more any of the greater, as the Pharisees did, who neglected the weightier matters of the law, and shall teach men so as they did, who made void the commandment of God with their traditions (Matthew 15:3), he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. Though the Pharisees be cried up for such teachers as should be, they shall not be employed as teachers in Christ's kingdom; but whosoever shall do and teach them, as Christ's disciples would, and thereby prove themselves better friends to the Old Testament than the Pharisees were, they, though despised by men, shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Note, (1.) Among the commands of God there are some less than others; none absolutely little, but comparatively so. The Jews reckon the least of the commandments of the law to be that of the bird's nest (Deuteronomy 22:6, Deuteronomy 22:7); yet even that had a significance and an intention very great and considerable. (2.) It is a dangerous thing, in doctrine or practice, to disannul the least of God's commands; to break them, that is, to go about either to contract the extent, or weaken the obligation of them; whoever does so, will find it is at his peril. Thus to vacate any of the ten commandments, is too bold a stroke for the jealous God to pass by. it is something more than transgressing the law, it is making void the law, Psalms 119:126. (3.) That the further such corruptions as they spread, the worse they are. It is impudence enough to break the command, but is a greater degree of it to teach men so. This plainly refers to those who at this time sat in Moses' seat, and by their comments corrupted and perverted the text. Opinions that tend to the destruction of serious godliness and the vitals of religion, by corrupt glosses on the scripture, are bad when they are held, but worse when they are propagated and taught, as the word of God. He that does so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, in the kingdom of glory; he shall never come thither, but be eternally excluded; or, rather, in the kingdom of the gospel-church. He is so far from deserving the dignity of a teacher in it, that he shall not so much as be accounted a member of it. The prophet that teaches these lies shall be the tail in that kingdom (Isaiah 9:15); when truth shall appear in its own evidence, such corrupt teachers, though cried up as the Pharisees, shall be of no account with the wise and good. Nothing makes ministers more contemptible and base than corrupting the law, Malachi 2:8, Malachi 2:11. Those who extenuate and encourage sin, and discountenance and put contempt upon strictness in religion and serious devotion, are the dregs of the church. But, on the other hand, Those are truly honourable, and of great account in the church of Christ, who lay out themselves by their life and doctrine to promote the purity and strictness of practical religion; who both do and teach that which is good; for those who do not as they teach, pull down with one hand what they build up with the other, and give themselves the lie, and tempt men to think that all religion is a delusion; but those who speak from experience, who live up to what they preach, are truly great; they honour God, and God will honour them (1 Samuel 2:30), and hereafter they shall shine as the stars in the kingdom of our Father.

_ _ II. The righteousness which Christ came to establish by this rule, must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, Matthew 5:20. This was strange doctrine to those who looked upon the scribes and Pharisees as having arrived at the highest pitch of religion. The scribes were the most noted teachers of the law, and the Pharisees the most celebrated professors of it, and they both sat in Moses' chair (Matthew 23:2), and had such a reputation among the people, that they were looked upon as super-conformable to the law, and people did not think themselves obliged to be as good as they; it was therefore a great surprise to them, to hear that they must be better than they, or they should not go to heaven; and therefore Christ here avers it with solemnity; I say unto you, It is so. The scribes and Pharisees were enemies to Christ and his doctrine, and were great oppressors; and yet it must be owned, that there was something commendable in them. They were much in fasting and prayer, and giving of alms; they were punctual in observing the ceremonial appointments, and made it their business to teach others; they had such an interest in the people that they ought, if but two men went to heaven, one would be a Pharisee; and yet our Lord Jesus here tells his disciples, that the religion he came to establish, did not only exclude the badness, but excel the goodness, of the scribes and Pharisees. We must do more than they, and better than they, or we shall come short of heaven. They were partial in the law, and laid most stress upon the ritual part of it; but we must be universal, and not think it enough to give the priest his tithe, but must give God our hearts. They minded only the outside, but we must make conscience of inside godliness. They aimed at the praise and applause of men, but we must aim at acceptance with God: they were proud of what they did in religion, and trusted to it as a righteousness; but we, when we have done all, must deny ourselves, and say, We are unprofitable servants, and trust only to the righteousness of Christ; and thus we may go beyond the scribes and Pharisees.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Matthew 5:17

Think not — Do not imagine, fear, hope, that I am come — Like your teachers, to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy — The moral law, but to fulfil — To establish, illustrate, and explain its highest meaning, both by my life and doctrine.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Matthew 5:17

(3) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but (g) to fulfil.

(3) Christ did not come to bring any new way of righteousness and salvation into the world, but indeed to fulfil that which was shadowed by the figures of the Law, by delivering men through grace from the curse of the Law: and moreover to teach the true use of obedience which the Law appointed, and to engrave in our hearts the power for obedience.

(g) That the prophecies may be accomplished.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
to destroy the law:

Luke 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
John 8:5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
Acts 6:13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:
Acts 18:13 Saying, This [fellow] persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.
Acts 21:28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all [men] every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.
Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
Romans 10:4 For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
Galatians 3:17-24 And this I say, [that] the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. ... Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

but:

Matthew 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer [it to be so] now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
Psalms 40:6-8 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. ... I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart.
Isaiah 42:21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make [it] honourable.
Romans 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, ... To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Colossians 2:16-17 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days]: ... Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Christ.
Hebrews 10:3-12 But in those [sacrifices there is] a remembrance again [made] of sins every year. ... But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Ps 40:6. Is 42:21. Mt 3:15. Lk 16:17. Jn 8:5. Ac 6:13; 18:13; 21:28. Ro 3:31; 8:4; 10:4. Ga 3:17; 4:4. Col 2:16. He 10:3.

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User-Posted Comments on Matthew 5:17


If it is helpful to you, as all scripture is useful for training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16), read Hebrews chapters 3 & 4. They address the sabbath rest that 'remains' for us. As the context seems to indicate the rest is for more than just one day of the week, we are to remain in that spiritual state of resting in the Lord. Could this also reference the abiding Jesus commanded us to do in John 15? I think so.
- study to show thyself approved (5/9/2015 5:08:57 AM)
I am trying to find the understanding from the Aramaic org words in Matt 5;17 -destroy and fulfill..all /most translation are saying we no longer have to do sabbath..I need to understand what these words were meant when said before they were translated. this will be the true understanding
- kingdom (5/7/2015 4:23:50 AM)
Abolish or Destroy? See jbmyers.net
- bamember (6/26/2010 11:15:51 PM) [qBible.com]
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