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Matthew 18:6

    Matthew 18:6 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    But whoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    But whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But whoever is a cause of trouble to one of these little ones who have faith in me, it would be better for him to have a great stone fixed to his neck, and to come to his end in the deep sea.

    Webster's Revision

    But whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.

    World English Bible

    but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him that a huge millstone should be hung around his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depths of the sea.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    But whoso shall cause one of these little ones which believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.

    Definitions for Matthew 18:6

    Sea - Large basin.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 18:6

    But whoso shall offend one of these little ones - But, on the contrary, whosoever shall cause one of the least of those who believe in me to be stumbled - to go into the spirit of the world, or give way to sin - such a one shall meet with the most exemplary punishment.

    Let those who act the part of the devil, in tempting others to sin, hear this declaration of our Lord, and tremble.

    A millstone - Μυλος ονικος, an ass's millstone, because in ancient times, before the invention of wind and water mills, the stones were turned sometimes by slaves, but commonly by asses or mules. The most ancient kind of mills among the inhabitants of the northern nations, was the quern, or hand-mill. In some places in Ireland, Scotland, and the Zetland Isles, these still exist.

    Drowned in the depth of the sea - It is supposed that in Syria, as well as in Greece, this mode of punishing criminals was practised; especially in cases of parricide; and when a person was devoted to destruction for the public safety, as in cases of plague, famine, etc. That this was the custom in Greece, we learn from the Scholiast on the Equites of Aristophanes, Οταν γαρ κατεποντουν τινας, βαρος απο των τραχηλων εκρεμων. When a person was drowned, they hung a weight, (υπερβολον λιθον, Suidas), a vast stone about his neck. See the ancient Scholia upon the Equites, lin. 1360, and Suidas, in υπερβολον λιθον. We find also that it was a positive institute of the ancient Hindoo law. "If a woman," says the precept, "causes any person to take poison, sets fire to any person's house, or murders a man, then the magistrate, having bound a stone to her neck, shall drown her." Halhead's Code of Gentoo Laws, 4th. edition, page 306.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 18:6

    Whoso shall offend - That is, cause to fall, or to sin; or who should place anything in their way to hinder their piety or happiness. See notes at Matthew 5:29.

    These little ones - That is, Christians manifesting the spirit of little children, 1 John 2:1, 1 John 2:12, 1 John 2:18, 1 John 2:28.

    It were better for him that a millstone ... - Mills, anciently, were either turned by hand (see the notes at Matthew 24:41), or by beasts, chiefly by mules. These last were of the larger kind, and the original words denote that it was this kind that was intended. This was one mode of capital punishment practiced by the Greeks, Syrians, Romans, and by some other nations. The meaning is, it would be better for him to have died before he had committed the sin. To injure, or to cause to sin, the feeblest Christian, will be regarded by Christ as a most serious offence, and will be punished accordingly.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 18:6

    18:5-6 And all who are in this sense little children are unspeakably dear to me. Therefore help them all you can, as if it were myself in person, and see that ye offend them not; that is, that ye turn them not out of the right way, neither hinder them in it. Matt 10:40; Luke 10:16; John 13:20. Mark 9:42; Luke 17:1.