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Matthew 23:24

    Matthew 23:24 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    You blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Ye blind guides, that strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel!

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    You blind guides, who take out a fly from your drink, but make no trouble over a camel.

    Webster's Revision

    Ye blind guides, that strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel!

    World English Bible

    You blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel!

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Ye blind guides, which strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 23:24

    Blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. - This clause should be thus translated: Ye strain out the gnat, but ye swallow down the camel. In the common translation, Ye strain At a gnat, conveys no sense. Indeed, it is likely to have been at first an error of the press, At for Out, which, on examination, I find escaped in the edition of 1611, and has been regularly continued since. There is now before me, "The Newe Testament, (both in Englyshe and in Laten), of Mayster Erasmus translacion, imprynted by Wyllyam Powell, dwellynge in Flete strete: the yere of our Lorde M.CCCCC.XLVII. the fyrste yere of the kynges (Edwd. VI). moste gracious reygne." in which the verse stands thus: "Ye blinde gides, which strayne out a gnat, and swalowe a cammel." It is the same also in Edmund Becke's Bible, printed in London 1549, and in several others. - Clensynge a gnatte. - MS. Eng. Bib. So Wickliff. Similar to this is the following Arabic proverb: He eats an elephant and is choked by a gnat.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 23:24

    Which strain at a gnat ... - This is a proverb. There is, however, a mistranslation or misprint here, which makes the verse unmeaning. "To strain" at a "gnat" conveys no sense. It should have been to strain out a gnat; and so it is printed in some of the earlier versions, and so it was undoubtedly rendered by the translators. The common reading is a "misprint," and should be corrected. The Greek means to "strain" out by a cloth or sieve.

    A gnat - The gnat has its origin in the water; not in great rivers, but in pools and marshes In the stagnant waters they appear in the form of small "grubs" or "larvae." These larvae retain their form about three weeks, after which they turn to chrysalids, and after three or four days they pass to the form of gnats. They are then distinguished by their well-known sharp sting. It is probable that the Saviour here refers to the insect as it exists in its "grub" or "larva" form, before it appears in the form of a gnat. Water is then its element, and those who were nice in their drink would take pains to strain it out. Hence, the proverb. See Calmet's Dict., art. "Gnat." It is used here to denote a very small matter, as a camel is to denote a large object. "You Jews take great pains to avoid offence in very small matters, superstitiously observing the smallest points of the law, like a man carefully straining out the animalculae from what he drinks, while you are at no pains to avoid great sins - hypocrisy, deceit, oppression, and lust - like a man who should swallow a camel." The Arabians have a similar proverb: "He eats an elephant, and is suffocated with a gnat." He is troubled with little things, but pays no attention to great matters.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 23:24

    23:24 Ye blind guides, who teach others to do as you do yourselves, to strain out a gnat - From the liquor they are going to drink! and swallow a camel - It is strange, that glaring false print, strain at a gnat, which quite alters the sense, should run through all the editions of our English Bibles.

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