Matthew 6:18 is the eighteenth verse of the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament and is part of the Sermon on the Mount. This verse concludes the discussion of fasting.


In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:

That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto
thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father,
which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

The World English Bible translates the passage as:

So that you are not seen by men to be fasting,
but by your Father who is in secret, and your
Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.

For a collection of other versions see BibleHub Matthew 6:18


Fasting (verses 16–18) is Jesus' third example of 'pious deeds',[1] after previously discussing about almsgiving (verses 2–4) and prayer (verses 5–6).[2]

The previous verse stated that, unlike the hypocrites, Jesus' followers should present a clean and normal appearance even when fasting. This verse closely parallels Matthew 6:4 and Matthew 6:6, and as in those verses, the message is that even if your piety is kept secret from those around you, God will still know about it and reward you.[3] Davies and Allison note William Law's comment on this verse that it is impossible to keep one's fasting completely secret; disguising such an activity from one's family and friends is almost impossible. Law thus reads this verse as calling for keeping the notion private from general onlookers.[4]


  1. ^ Coogan, Michael David (2007). Coogan, Michael David; Brettler, Marc Zvi; Newsom, Carol Ann; Perkins, Pheme (eds.). The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books: New Revised Standard Version, Issue 48 (Augmented 3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 16 New Testament. ISBN 9780195288810.
  2. ^ France, R.T. (2007). Bruce, Frederick Fyvie (ed.). The Gospel of Matthew. New international commentary on the New Testament. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 254. ISBN 9780802825018.
  3. ^ Phillips, John (2005). Exploring the Gospel of Matthew: An Expository Commentary. The John Phillips Commentary Series. Volume 1 (reprint ed.). Kregel Academic. p. 117. ISBN 9780825433924.
  4. ^ Davies, W.D. and Dale C. Allison, Jr. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew. Edinburgh : T. & T. Clark, 1988-1997. p. 97

Preceded by
Matthew 6:17
Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 6
Succeeded by
Matthew 6:19