Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Matthew 6:17

    Matthew 6:17 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face;

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head, and wash thy face;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But when you go without food, put oil on your head and make your face clean;

    Webster's Revision

    But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head, and wash thy face;

    World English Bible

    But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head, and wash thy face;

    Definitions for Matthew 6:17

    Anoint - To rub in; rub on.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 6:17

    Anoint thine head and wash thy face - These were forbidden in the Jewish canon on days of fasting and humiliation; and hypocrites availed themselves of this ordinance, that they might appear to fast. Our Lord, therefore, cautions us against this: as if he had said, Affect nothing - dress in thy ordinary manner, and let the whole of thy deportment prove that thou desirest to recommend my soul to God, and not thy face to men. That factitious mourning, which consists in putting on black clothes, crapes, etc., is utterly inconsistent with the simplicity of the Gospel of Christ; and if practised in reference to spiritual matters, is certainly forbidden here: but sin is so common, and so boldly persisted in, that not even a crape is put on, as an evidence of deploring its influence, or of sorrow for having committed it.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 6:17

    But thou when thou fastest, anoint ... - That is, appear as you do daily. Do not assume any new appearance, or change your visage or dress. The Jews and all neighboring nations were much in the habit of washing and anointing their bodies. This washing was performed at every meal; and where it could be effected, the head, or other parts of the body, was daily anointed with sweet or olive oil. In a warm climate, exposed to the great heat of the sun, this practice conduced much to health, preserved the skin smooth and tender, and afforded a most grateful sensation and odor. See Mark 7:2-3; James 5:14; Mark 11:13; John 12:3.

    The meaning of this whole commandment is, when you regard it to be your duty to fast, do it as a thing expressing deep feeling or sorrow for sin, not by assuming unfelt gravity and moroseness, but in your ordinary dress and appearance; not to attract attention, but as an expression of feeling toward God, and he will approve and reward it.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 6:17

    6:17 Anoint thy head - So the Jews frequently did. Dress thyself as usual.