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Matthew 5:42

    Matthew 5:42 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Give to him that asks you, and from him that would borrow of you turn not you away.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Give to him who comes with a request, and keep not your property from him who would for a time make use of it.

    Webster's Revision

    Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

    World English Bible

    Give to him who asks you, and don't turn away him who desires to borrow from you.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 5:42

    Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow - To give and lend freely to all who are in need, is a general precept from which we are only excused by our inability to perform it. Men are more or less obliged to it as they are more or less able, as the want is more or less pressing, as they are more or less burthened with common poor, or with necessitous relatives. In all these matters, both prudence and charity must be consulted. That God, who makes use of the beggar's hand to ask our charity, is the same from whom we ourselves beg our daily bread: and dare we refuse Him! Let us show at least mildness and compassion, when we can do no more; and if we cannot or will not relieve a poor man, let us never give him an ill word nor an ill look. If we do not relieve him, we have no right to insult him.

    To give and to lend, are two duties of charity which Christ joins together, and which he sets on equal footing. A rich man is one of God's stewards: God has given him money for the poor, and he cannot deny it without an act of injustice. But no man, from what is called a principle of charity or generosity, should give that in alms which belongs to his creditors. Generosity is godlike; but justice has ever, both in law and Gospel, the first claim.

    A loan is often more beneficial than an absolute gift: first, because it flatters less the vanity of him who lends; secondly, it spares more the shame of him who is in real want; and, thirdly, it gives less encouragement to the idleness of him who may not be very honest. However, no advantage should be taken of the necessities of the borrower: he who does so is, at least, half a murderer. The lending which our Lord here inculcates is that which requires no more than the restoration of the principal in a convenient time: otherwise to live upon trust is the sure way to pay double.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 5:42

    Give to him that asketh thee - This is the general rule. It is better to give sometimes to an undeserving person than to turn away one who is really in need. It is good to be in the habit of giving. At the same time, the rule must be interpreted so as to be consistent with our duty to our families 1 Timothy 5:8 and with other objects of justice and charity. It is seldom, perhaps never, good to give to a person who is able to work, 2 Thessalonians 3:10. To give to such is to encourage laziness, and to support the idle at the expense of the industrious. If such a one is indeed hungry, feed him; if he needs anything further, give him employment. If a widow, an orphan, a man of misfortune, or an infirmed man, lame, or sick, is at your door, never send any of them away empty. See Hebrews 13:2; Matthew 25:35-45. So this is true of a poor and needy friend that wishes to borrow. We are not to turn away or deny him. This deserves, however, some limitation. It must be done in consistency with other duties. To lend to every worthless man would be to throw away our property, encourage laziness and crime, and ruin our own families. It should be done consistently with every other obligation, and of this everyone is to be the judge. Perhaps our Saviour meant to teach that where there was a deserving friend or brother in need, we should lend to him without usury, and without standing much about the security.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 5:42

    5:42 Thus much for your behaviour toward the violent. As for those who use milder methods, Give to him that asketh thee - Give and lend to any so far, (but no further, for God never contradicts himself) as is consistent with thy engagements to thy creditors, thy family, and the household of faith. Luke 6:30.