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Matthew 12:20

    Matthew 12:20 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment to victory.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    A bruised reed shall he not break, And smoking flax shall he not quench, Till he send forth judgment unto victory.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    The crushed stem will not be broken by him; and the feebly burning light will he not put out, till he has made righteousness overcome all.

    Webster's Revision

    A bruised reed shall he not break, And smoking flax shall he not quench, Till he send forth judgment unto victory.

    World English Bible

    He won't break a bruised reed. He won't quench a smoking flax, until he leads justice to victory.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    A bruised reed shall he not break, And smoking flax shall he not quench, Till he send forth judgment unto victory.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 12:20

    A bruised reed shall he not break - A reed is, in Scripture, the emblem of weakness, Ezekiel 29:6; and a bruised reed must signify that state of weakness that borders on dissolution and death.

    And smoking flax shall he not quench - Λινον τυφομενον. Λινος means the wick of a lamp, and τυφομενον is intended to point out its expiring state, when the oil has been all burnt away from it, and nothing is left but a mere snuff, emitting smoke. Some suppose the Jewish state, as to ecclesiastical matters, is here intended, the prophecy declaring that Christ would not destroy it, but leave it to expire of itself, as it already contained the principles of its own destruction. Others have considered it as implying that great tenderness with which the blessed Jesus should treat the weak and the ignorant, whose good desires must not be stifled, but encouraged. The bruised reed may recover itself, if permitted to vegetate under the genial influences of heaven; and the life and light of the expiring lamp may be supported by the addition of fresh oil. Jesus therefore quenches not faint desires after salvation, even in the worst and most undeserving of men; for even such desires may lead to the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel of peace.

    Judgment unto victory - See Matthew 12:18. By judgment, understand the Gospel, and by victory its complete triumph over Jewish opposition, and Gentile impiety. He will continue by these mild and gentle means to work till the whole world is Christianized, and the universe filled with his glory.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 12:20

    A bruised reed ... - The reed is an emblem of feebleness, as well as of fickleness or want of stability, Matthew 11:7. A bruised, broken reed is an emblem of the poor and oppressed. It means that he would not oppress the feeble and poor, as victorious warriors and conquerors did. It is also an expressive emblem of the soul broken and contrite on account of sin; weeping and mourning for transgression. He will not break it; that is, he will not be severe, unforgiving, and cruel. He will heal it, pardon it, and give it strength.

    Smoking flax - This refers to the wick of a lamp when the oil is exhausted - the dying, flickering flame and smoke that hang over it. It is an emblem, also, of feebleness and infirmity. He would not further oppress those who had a little strength; he would not put out hope and life when it seemed to be almost extinct. He would not be like the Pharisees, proud and overbearing, and trampling down the poor. It is expressive, also, of the languishing graces of the people of God. He will not treat them harshly or unkindly, but will cherish the feeble flame, minister the "oil" of grace, and kindle it into a blaze.

    Till he send forth judgment unto victory - "Judgment" here means truth - the truth of God, the gospel. It shall be victorious - it shall not be vanquished. Though the Messiah is not "such" a conqueror as the Jews expected, yet he "shall" conquer. Though mild and retiring, yet he will be victorious.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 12:20

    12:20 A bruised reed - A convinced sinner: one that is bruised with the weight of sin: smoking flax - One that has the least good desire, the faintest spark of grace: till he send forth judgment unto victory - That is, till he make righteousness completely victorious over all its enemies.