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Matthew 6:16 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may be seen of men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites [do], for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Moreover, when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear to men to fast. Verily, I say to you, they have their reward.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, downcast in countenance; for they disfigure their faces, so that they may appear fasting to men: verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And, when ye may he fasting, become not ye, as the hypocrites, of sullen countenance,—for they darken their looks, that they may appear, unto men, to be fasting: Verily, I say unto you, they are getting back their reward.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— 'And when ye may fast, be ye not as the hypocrites, of sour countenances, for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear to men fasting; verily I say to you, that they have their reward.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And when you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Moreouer, when yee fast, be not as the Hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appeare vnto men to fast: Uerily I say vnto you, they haue their reward.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— WHEN, too, you fast, be not morosely sad as the assumers of faces, for they defile their countenances so as that they may appear unto men to fast: and, Amen I say unto you, they receive their reward.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— And when ye fast, be not sad like the hypocrites. For they distort their faces, that they may be seen of men to fast. Verily I say to you, they have gotten their reward.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Moreover 1161
{1161} Prime
δέ
de
{deh}
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
when 3752
{3752} Prime
ὅταν
hotan
{hot'-an}
From G3753 and G0302; whenever (implying hypothesis or more or less uncertainty); also causative (conjugationally) inasmuch as.
ye fast, 3522
{3522} Prime
νηστεύω
nesteuo
{nace-tyoo'-o}
From G3523; to abstain from food (religiously).
z5725
<5725> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Subjunctive (See G5792)
Count - 352
be 1096
{1096} Prime
γίνομαι
ginomai
{ghin'-om-ahee}
A prolonged and middle form of a primary verb; to cause to be ('gen' -erate), that is, (reflexively) to become (come into being), used with great latitude (literally, figuratively, intensively, etc.).
z5737
<5737> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Middle or Passive Deponent (See G5790)
Mood - Imperative (See G5794)
Count - 152
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.
as 5618
{5618} Prime
ὥσπερ
hosper
{hoce'-per}
From G5613 and G4007; just as, that is, exactly like.
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).
hypocrites, 5273
{5273} Prime
ὑποκριτής
hupokrites
{hoop-ok-ree-tace'}
From G5271; an actor under an assumed character (stage player), that is, (figuratively) a dissembler ('hypocrite').
of a sad countenance: 4659
{4659} Prime
σκυθρωπός
skuthropos
{skoo-thro-pos'}
From σκυθρός [[skuthros]] (sullen) and a derivative of G3700; angry visaged, that is, gloomy or affecting a mournful appearance.
for 1063
{1063} Prime
γάρ
gar
{gar}
A primary particle; properly assigning a reason (used in argument, explanation or intensification; often with other particles).
they disfigure 853
{0853} Prime
ἀφανίζω
aphanizo
{af-an-id'-zo}
From G0852; to render unapparent, that is, (actively) consume (becloud), or (passively) disappear (be destroyed).
z5719
<5719> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 3019
their y846
[0846] Standard
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
x848
(0848) Complement
αὑτοῦ
hautou
{how-too'}
Contraction for G1438; self (in some oblique case or reflexive relation).
faces, 4383
{4383} Prime
πρόσωπον
prosopon
{pros'-o-pon}
From G4314 and ὤψ [[ops]] (the visage; from G3700); the front (as being towards view), that is, the countenance, aspect, appearance, surface; by implication presence, person.
that 3704
{3704} Prime
ὅπως
hopos
{hop'-oce}
From G3739 and G4459; what (-ever) how, that is, in the manner that (as adverb or conjugation of coincidence, intentional or actual).
they may appear 5316
{5316} Prime
φαίνω
phaino
{fah'-ee-no}
Prolongation for the base of G5457; to lighten (shine), that is, show (transitive or intransitive, literal or figurative).
z5652
<5652> Grammar
Tense - Second Aorist (See G5780)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Subjunctive (See G5792)
Count - 20
unto men 444
{0444} Prime
ἄνθρωπος
anthropos
{anth'-ro-pos}
From G0435 and ὤψ [[ops]] (the countenance; from G3700); manfaced, that is, a human being.
to fast. 3522
{3522} Prime
νηστεύω
nesteuo
{nace-tyoo'-o}
From G3523; to abstain from food (religiously).
z5723
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
Verily 281
{0281} Prime
ἀμήν
amen
{am-ane'}
Of Hebrew origin [H0543]; properly firm, that is, (figuratively) trustworthy; adverbially surely (often as interjection so be it).
I say 3004
{3004} Prime
λέγω
lego
{leg'-o}
A primary verb; properly to 'lay' forth, that is, (figuratively) relate (in words [usually of systematic or set discourse; whereas G2036 and G5346 generally refer to an individual expression or speech respectively; while G4483 is properly to break silence merely, and G2980 means an extended or random harangue]); by implication to mean.
z5719
<5719> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 3019
unto you, 5213
{5213} Prime
ὑμῖν
humin
{hoo-min'}
Irregular dative case of G5210; to (with or by) you.
y3754
[3754] Standard
ὅτι
hoti
{hot'-ee}
Neuter of G3748 as conjugation; demonstrative that (sometimes redundant); causatively because.
They have 568
{0568} Prime
ἀπέχω
apecho
{ap-ekh'-o}
From G0575 and G2192; (active) to have out, that is, receive in full; (intransitive) to keep (oneself) away, that is, be distant (literally or figuratively).
z5719
<5719> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 3019
their y846
[0846] Standard
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
x848
(0848) Complement
αὑτοῦ
hautou
{how-too'}
Contraction for G1438; self (in some oblique case or reflexive relation).
reward. 3408
{3408} Prime
μισθός
misthos
{mis-thos'}
Apparently a primary word; pay for service (literally or figuratively), good or bad.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Matthew 6:16

_ _ Matthew 6:16-18. Fasting.

_ _ Having concluded His supplementary directions on the subject of prayer with this Divine Pattern, our Lord now returns to the subject of Unostentatiousness in our deeds of righteousness, in order to give one more illustration of it, in the matter of fasting.

_ _ Moreover, when ye fast — referring, probably, to private and voluntary fasting, which was to be regulated by each individual for himself; though in spirit it would apply to any fast.

_ _ be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces — literally, “make unseen”; very well rendered “disfigure.” They went about with a slovenly appearance, and ashes sprinkled on their head.

_ _ that they may appear unto men to fast — It was not the deed, but reputation for the deed which they sought; and with this view those hypocrites multiplied their fasts. And are the exhausting fasts of the Church of Rome, and of Romanizing Protestants, free from this taint?

_ _ Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Matthew 6:16-18

_ _ We are here cautioned against hypocrisy in fasting, as before in almsgiving, and in prayer.

_ _ I. It is here supposed that religious fasting is a duty required of the disciples of Christ, when God, in his providence, calls to it, and when the case of their own souls upon any account requires it; when the bridegroom is taken away, then shall they fast, Matthew 9:15. Fasting is here put last, because it is not so much a duty for its own sake, as a means to dispose us for other duties. Prayer comes in between almsgiving and fasting, as being the life and soul of both. Christ here speaks especially of private fasts, such as particular persons prescribe to themselves, as free-will offerings, commonly used among the pious Jews; some fasted one day, some two, every week; others seldomer, as they saw cause. On those days they did not eat till sun-set, and then very sparingly. It was not the Pharisee's fasting twice in the week, but his boasting of it, that Christ condemned, Luke 18:12. It is a laudable practice, and we have reason to lament it, that is so generally neglected among Christians. Anna was much in fasting, Luke 2:37. Cornelius fasted and prayed, Acts 10:30. The primitive Christians were much in it, see Acts 13:3; Acts 14:23. Private fasting is supposed, 1 Corinthians 7:5. It is an act of self-denial, and mortification of the flesh, a holy revenge upon ourselves, and humiliation under the hand of God. The most grown Christians must hereby own, they are so far from having any thing to be proud of, that they are unworthy of their daily bread. It is a means to curb the flesh and the desires of it, and to make us more lively in religious exercises, as fulness of bread is apt to make us drowsy. Paul was in fastings often, and so he kept under this body, and brought it into subjection.

_ _ II. We are cautioned not to do this as the hypocrites did it, lest we lose the reward of it; and the more difficulty attends the duty, the greater loss it is to lose the reward of it.

_ _ Now, 1. The hypocrites pretended fasting, when there was nothing of that contrition or humiliation of soul in them, which is the life and soul of the duty. Theirs were mock-fasts, the show and shadow without the substance; they took on them to be more humbled than really they were, and so endeavored to put a cheat upon God, than which they could not put a greater affront upon him. The fast that God has chosen, is a day to afflict the soul, not to hang down the head like a bulrush, nor for a man to spread sackcloth and ashes under him; we are quite mistaken if we call this a fast, Isaiah 58:5. Bodily exercise, if that be all, profits little, since that is not fasting to God, even to him.

_ _ 2. They proclaimed their fasting, and managed it so that all who saw them might take notice that it was a fasting-day with them. Even on these days they appeared in the streets, whereas they should have been in their closets; and the affected a downcast look, a melancholy countenance, a slow and solemn pace; and perfectly disfigured themselves, that men might see how often they fasted, and might extol them as devout, mortified men. Note, It is sad that men, who have, in some measure, mastered their pleasure, which is sensual wickedness, should be ruined by their pride, which is spiritual wickedness, and no less dangerous. Here also they have their reward, that praise and applause of men which they court and covet so much; they have it, and it is their all.

_ _ III. We are directed how to manage a private fast; we must keep it in private, Matthew 6:17, Matthew 6:18. He does not tell us how often we must fast; circumstances vary, and wisdom is profitable therein to direct; the Spirit in the word has left that to the Spirit in the heart; but take this for a rule, whenever you undertake this duty, study therein to approve yourselves to God, and not to recommend yourselves to the good opinion of men; humility must evermore attend upon our humiliation. Christ does not direct to abate any thing of the reality of the fast; he does not say,”take a little meat, or a little drink, or a little cordial;” no, “let the body suffer, but lay aside the show and appearance of it; appear with thy ordinary countenance, guise, and dress; and while thou deniest thyself thy bodily refreshments, do it so as that it may not be taken notice of, no, not by those that are nearest to thee; look pleasant, anoint thine head and wash thy face, as thou dost on ordinary days, on purpose to conceal thy devotion; and thou shalt be no loser in the praise of it at last; for though it be not of men, it shall be of God.” Fasting is the humbling of the soul (Psalms 35:13), that is the inside of the duty; let that therefore be thy principal care, and as to the outside of it, covet not to let it be seen. If we be sincere in our solemn fasts, and humble, and trust God's omniscience for our witness, and his goodness for our reward, we shall find, both that he did see in secret, and will reward openly. Religious fasts, if rightly kept, will shortly be recompensed with an everlasting feast. Our acceptance with God in our private fasts should make us dead, both to the applause of men (we must not do the duty in hopes of this), and to the censures of men too (we must not decline the duty for fear of them). David's fasting was turned to his reproach, Psalms 69:10; and yet, Psalms 69:13, As for me, let them say what they will of me, my prayer is unto thee in an acceptable time.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Matthew 6:16

When ye fast? — Our Lord does not enjoin either fasting, alms — deeds, or prayer: all these being duties which were before fully established in the Church of God. Disfigure — By the dust and ashes which they put upon their heads, as was usual at the times of solemn humiliation.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Matthew 6:16

(5) Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they (f) disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

(5) That is, those that desire a name of holiness by fasting.

(f) They do not let their original pallor to be seen, that is to say, they mar the natural colour of their faces, that they may seem lean and palefaced.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
when:

Matthew 9:14-15 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? ... 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.
2 Samuel 12:16 David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.
2 Samuel 12:21 Then said his servants unto him, What thing [is] this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, [while it was] alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.
Nehemiah 1:4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned [certain] days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
Esther 4:16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which [is] not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
Psalms 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing [was] sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
Psalms 69:10 When I wept, [and chastened] my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
Psalms 109:24 My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.
Daniel 9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
Luke 2:37 And she [was] a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served [God] with fastings and prayers night and day.
Acts 10:30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
Acts 13:2-3 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. ... And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them, they sent [them] away.
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.
1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except [it be] with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
2 Corinthians 6:5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
2 Corinthians 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

be:

Matthew 6:2 Therefore when thou doest [thine] alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Matthew 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
1 Kings 21:27 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.
Isaiah 58:3-5 Wherefore have we fasted, [say they], and thou seest not? [wherefore] have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. ... Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? [is it] to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes [under him]? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
Zechariah 7:3-5 [And] to speak unto the priests which [were] in the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years? ... Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh [month], even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, [even] to me?
Malachi 3:14 Ye have said, It [is] vain to serve God: and what profit [is it] that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?
Mark 2:18 And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?
Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

2S 12:16, 21. 1K 21:27. Ne 1:4. Es 4:16. Ps 35:13; 69:10; 109:24. Is 58:3. Dn 9:3. Zc 7:3. Mal 3:14. Mt 6:2, 5; 9:14. Mk 2:18. Lk 2:37; 18:12. Ac 10:30; 13:2; 14:23. 1Co 7:5. 2Co 6:5; 11:27.

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