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Matthew 9:14

    Matthew 9:14 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but your disciples fast not?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Then come to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees frequently go without food, but your disciples do not?

    Webster's Revision

    Then come to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?

    World English Bible

    Then John's disciples came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples don't fast?"

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Then come to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?

    Definitions for Matthew 9:14

    Fast - Abstaining from food.
    Oft - Often; frequently.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 9:14

    Thy disciples fast not? - Probably meaning that they did not fast so frequently as the others did, or for the same purposes, which is very likely, for the Pharisees had many superstitious fasts. They fasted in order to have lucky dreams, to obtain the interpretation of a dream, or to avert the evil import of a dream. They also fasted often, in order to obtain the things they wished for. The tract, Taanith is full of these fasts, and of the wonders performed thus by the Jewish doctors.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 9:14

    Then came the disciples of John ... - This narrative is found also in Mark 2:18-22; Luke 5:33-39. The reference here is to John the Baptist. It is probable that they had understood that John was the forerunner of the Messiah; and if such was the case, they could not account for the fact that there was such a difference between them and the disciples of Jesus. The Pharisees fasted often - regularly twice a week besides the great national days of fasting, Luke 18:12. See the notes at Matthew 6:16-18. This was the established custom of the land, and John did not feel himself authorized to make so great a change as to dispense with it. They were desirous of knowing, therefore, why Jesus had done it.

    Besides, it is probable that this question was put to Jesus when John was in prison, and his disciples, involved in deep grief on account of it, observed days of fasting. Fasting was the natural expression of sorrow, and they wondered that the followers of Jesus did not join with them in lamenting the captivity of him who was the forerunner and baptizer of their Lord.

    Christ, in reply to them, used three illustrations, all of them going to establish the same thing - that "we should observe a fitness and propriety in things." The first is taken from a marriage. The children of the bride-chamber - that is, the bridemen, or "men who had the special care of the bridal chamber, and who were therefore his special friends" - do not think of fasting while he is with them. With them it is a time of festivity and rejoicing, and mourning would not be appropriate. When he is removed or taken away, then their festivity will be ended, and "then" will be the proper time for sorrow. So, says he, John, your friend and teacher, is in captivity. With you it is a time of deep grief, and it is appropriate that you should fast. I am with my disciples. It is with them a time of joy. It is not fit that they should use the tokens of grief, and fast now. When I am taken away, it will then be proper that they should fast. For an account of the ceremonies of an Eastern marriage, see the notes at Matthew 25:1-13.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 9:14

    9:14 Then - While he was at table. Mark 2:18; Luke 5:33.