Matthew 10

Sending Out the Twelve Apostles

Grk “And he.”
called his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits
Unclean spirits refers to evil spirits.
so they could cast them out and heal every kind of disease and sickness.
Grk “and every [kind of] sickness.” Here “every” was not repeated in the translation for stylistic reasons.
Now these are the names of the twelve apostles:
The term apostles is rare in the gospels, found only here, Mark 3:14, and six more times in Luke (6:13; 9:10; 11:49; 17:5; 22:14; 24:10).
first, Simon
In the various lists of the twelve, Simon (that is, Peter) is always mentioned first (see also Mark 3:16–19; Luke 6:13–16; Acts 1:13) and the first four are always the same, though not in the same order after Peter.
(called Peter), and Andrew his brother; James son of Zebedee and John his brother;
Philip and Bartholomew;
Bartholomew (meaning “son of Tolmai” in Aramaic) could be another name for Nathanael mentioned in John 1:45.
This is the “doubting Thomas” of John 20:24–29.
and Matthew the tax collector;
See the note on tax collectors in 5:46.
James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
Witnesses differ on the identification of the last disciple mentioned in v. 3: He is called Λεββαῖος (Lebbaios, “Lebbaeus”) in D, Judas Zelotes in it, and not present in sys. The Byzantine text, along with a few others (C[*],2 L W Θ f1 33 Maj.), conflates earlier readings by calling him “Lebbaeus, who was called Thaddaeus,” while codex 13 pc conflate by way of transposition (“Thaddaeus, who was called Lebbaeus”). But excellent witnesses of the earliest texttypes (א B f13 892 pc lat co) call him merely Θαδδαῖος (Thaddaios, “Thaddaeus”), a reading which, because of this support, is most likely correct.
Simon the Zealot
Grk “the Cananean,” but according to both BDAG 507 s.v. Καναναῖος and L&N 11.88, this term has no relation at all to the geographical terms for Cana or Canaan, but is derived from the Aramaic term for “enthusiast, zealot” (see Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13), possibly because of an earlier affiliation with the party of the Zealots. He may not have been technically a member of the particular Jewish nationalistic party known as “Zealots” (since according to some scholars this party had not been organized at that time), but simply someone who was zealous for Jewish independence from Rome, in which case the term would refer to his temperament.
and Judas Iscariot,
There is some debate about what the name Iscariot means. It probably alludes to a region in Judea and thus might make Judas the only non-Galilean in the group. Several explanations for the name Iscariot have been proposed, but it is probably transliterated Hebrew with the meaning “man of Kerioth” (there are at least two villages that had that name). For further discussion see D. L. Bock, Luke (BECNT), 1:546; also D. A. Carson, John, 304.
who betrayed him.
Grk “who even betrayed him.”

Jesus sent out these twelve, instructing them as follows:
Grk “instructing them, saying.”
“Do not go to Gentile regions
Grk “on the road of the Gentiles.” That is, a path that leads to Gentile regions.
and do not enter any Samaritan town.
Grk “town [or city] of the Samaritans.”
Grk “But go.” The Greek μᾶλλον (mallon, “rather, instead”) conveys the adversative nuance here so that δέ (de) has not been translated.
instead to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near!’ Heal the sick, raise the dead,
The majority of Byzantine minuscules, along with a few other witnesses (C3 K L Γ Θ 700* al), lack νεκροὺς ἐγείρετε (nekrous egeirete, “raise the dead”), most likely because of oversight due to a string of similar endings (-ετε in the second person imperatives, occurring five times in v. 8). The longer version of this verse is found in several diverse and ancient witnesses such as א B C* (D) N 0281vid f1, 13 33 565 al lat; P W Δ 348 have a word-order variation, but nevertheless include νεκροὺς ἐγείρετε. Although some Byzantine-text proponents charge the Alexandrian witnesses with theologically-motivated alterations toward heterodoxy, it is interesting to find a variant such as this in which the charge could be reversed (do the Byzantine scribes have something against the miracle of resurrection?). In reality, such charges of wholesale theologically-motivated changes toward heterodoxy are immediately suspect due to lack of evidence of intentional changes (here the change is evidently due to accidental omission).
cleanse lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.
Do not take gold, silver, or copper in your belts, 10 no bag
Or “no traveler’s bag”; or possibly “no beggar’s bag” (L&N 6.145; BDAG 811 s.v. πήρα).
for the journey, or an extra tunic,
Grk “two tunics.” See the note on the word “tunic” in Matt 5:40.
or sandals or staff,
Mark 6:8 allows one staff. It might be that Matthew’s summary (cf. Luke 9:3) means not taking an extra staff or that the expression is merely rhetorical for “traveling light” which has been rendered in two slightly different ways.
for the worker deserves his provisions.
11 Whenever
Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
you enter a town or village,
Grk “Into whatever town or village you enter.” This acts as a distributive, meaning every town or village they enter; this is expressed more naturally in English as “whenever you enter a town or village.”
find out who is worthy there
Grk “in it” (referring to the city or village).
and stay with them
Grk “there.” This was translated as “with them” to avoid redundancy in English and to clarify where the disciples were to stay.
Jesus telling his disciples to stay with them in one house contrasts with the practice of religious philosophers in the ancient world who went from house to house begging.
until you leave.
12 As you enter the house, give it greetings.
This is a metonymy; the “house” is put for those who live in it.
13 And if the house is worthy, let your peace come on it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.
The response to these messengers determines how God’s blessing is bestowed - if the messengers are not welcomed, their blessing will return to them. Jesus shows just how important their mission is by this remark.
14 And if anyone will not welcome you or listen to your message, shake the dust off
To shake the dust off represented shaking off the uncleanness from one’s feet; see Luke 10:11; Acts 13:51; 18:6. It was a sign of rejection.
your feet as you leave that house or that town.
15 I tell you the truth,
Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amēn), I say to you.”
it will be more bearable for the region of Sodom and Gomorrah
The allusion to Sodom and Gomorrah, the most wicked of OT cities from Gen 19:1–29, shows that to reject the current message is even more serious than the worst sins of the old era and will result in more severe punishment.
on the day of judgment than for that town!

Persecution of Disciples

16  “I
Grk “Behold I.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).
am sending you out like sheep surrounded by wolves,
This imagery of wolves is found in intertestamental Judaism; see Pss. Sol. 8:23, 30.
so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
17 Beware
Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
of people, because they will hand you over to councils
Councils in this context refers to local judicial bodies attached to the Jewish synagogue. This group would be responsible for meting out justice and discipline within the Jewish community.
and flog
BDAG 620 s.v. μαστιγόω 1.a states, “of flogging as a punishment decreed by the synagogue (Dt 25:2f; s. the Mishna Tractate Sanhedrin-Makkoth, edited w. notes by SKrauss ’33) w. acc. of pers. Mt 10:17; 23:34.”
you in their synagogues.
See the note on synagogues in 4:23.
18 And you will be brought before governors and kings
These statements look at persecution both from a Jewish context as the mention of courts and synagogues suggests, and from a Gentile one as the reference to governors and kings suggests. Some fulfillment of Jewish persecution can be seen in Acts.
because of me, as a witness to them and the Gentiles.
19 Whenever
Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
they hand you over for trial, do not worry about how to speak or what to say,
Grk “how or what you might speak.”
for what you should say will be given to you at that time.
Grk “in that hour.”
20 For it is not you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

21  “Brother
Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
will hand over brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rise against
Or “will rebel against.”
parents and have them put to death.
22 And you will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23 Whenever
Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
they persecute you in one place,
The Greek word here is πόλις (polis), which can mean either “town” or “city.”
flee to another. I tell you the truth,
Grk “For truly (ἀμήν, amēn) I say to you.” Here γάρ (gar, “for”) has not been translated.
you will not finish going through all the towns
The Greek word here is πόλις (polis), which can mean either “town” or “city.” “Town” was chosen here to emphasize the extensive nature of the disciples’ ministry. The same word is translated earlier in the verse as “place.”
of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

24  “A disciple is not greater than his teacher, nor a slave
See the note on the word “slave” in 8:9.
greater than his master.
25 It is enough for the disciple to become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house ‘Beelzebul,’ how much more will they defame the members of his household!

Fear God, Not Man

26  “Do
Grk “Therefore do not.” Here οὖν (oun) has not been translated.
not be afraid of them, for nothing is hidden
Or “concealed.”
that will not be revealed,
I.e., be revealed by God. The passive voice here and in the next verb see the revelation as coming from God. The text is both a warning about bad things being revealed and an encouragement that good things will be made known.
and nothing is secret that will not be made known.
27 What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light, and what is whispered in your ear,
Grk “what you hear in the ear,” an idiom.
proclaim from the housetops.
The expression “proclaim from the housetops” is an idiom for proclaiming something publicly (L&N 7.51). Roofs of many first century Jewish houses in Judea and Galilee were flat and had access either from outside or from within the house. Something shouted from atop a house would be heard by everyone in the street below.
28 Do
Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
not be afraid of those who kill the body
Judaism had a similar exhortation in 4 Macc 13:14–15.
but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
See the note on the word hell in 5:22.
29 Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny?
The penny refers to an assarion, a small Roman copper coin. One of them was worth one-sixteenth of a denarius or less than a half hour’s average wage. Sparrows were the cheapest items sold in the market. God knows about even the most financially insignificant things; see Isa 49:15.
Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.
Or “to the ground without the knowledge and consent of your Father.”
30 Even all the hairs on your head are numbered. 31 So do not be afraid;
Do not be afraid. One should respect and show reverence to God, but need not fear his tender care.
you are more valuable than many sparrows.

32  “Whoever, then, acknowledges
Or “confesses.”
me before people, I will acknowledge
Grk “I will acknowledge him also.”
This acknowledgment will take place at the judgment. On Jesus and judgment, see Luke 22:69; Acts 10:42–43; 17:31.
before my Father in heaven.
33 But whoever denies me before people, I will deny him also before my Father in heaven.

Not Peace, but a Sword

34  “Do not think that I have come to bring
Grk “cast.” For βάλλω (ballō) in the sense of causing a state or condition, see L&N 13.14.
peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword.
35 For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, 36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.
Matt 10:35–36 are an allusion to Mic 7:6.

37  “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take up his cross
It was customary practice in a Roman crucifixion for the prisoner to be made to carry his own cross. Jesus is speaking figuratively here in the context of rejection. If the priority is not one’s allegiance to Jesus, then one will not follow him in the face of possible rejection.
and follow me is not worthy of me.
39 Whoever finds his life
Grk “his soul,” but ψυχή (yucē) is frequently used of one’s physical life. It clearly has that meaning in this context.
will lose it,
If there is no willingness to suffer the world’s rejection at this point, then one will not respond to Jesus (which is trying to find life) and then will be subject to this judgment (which is losing it).
and whoever loses his life because of me
Or “for my sake.” The traditional rendering “for my sake” can be understood in the sense of “for my benefit,” but the Greek term ἕνεκα indicates the cause or reason for something (BDAG 334 s.v. 1).
will find it.


40  “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
The one who sent me refers to God.
41 Whoever receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. Whoever
Grk “And whoever.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
receives a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.
42 And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple, I tell you the truth,
Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amēn), I say to you.”
he will never lose his reward.”

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