Matthew 6:34 is the thirty-fourth, and final, 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 worry about material provisions.
In the Koine Greek original it is:
- μὴ οὖν μεριμνήσητε εἰς τὴν αὔριον, ἡ γὰρ αὔριον μεριμνήσει ἑαυτῆς· ἀρκετὸν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἡ κακία αὐτῆς.
- mē oun merimnēsēte eis tēn aurion hē gar aurion merimnēsei heautēs arketon tē hēmera hē kakia autēs
- Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for
- the morrow shall take thought for the things of
- itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
The World English Bible translates the passage as:
- Therefore don’t be anxious for tomorrow,
- for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.
- Each day’s own evil is sufficient.
For a collection of other versions see Bible Hub Matthew 6:34
Luz notes that there are two interpretations of this verse: an optimistic and a pessimistic one. The optimistic view is that this verse is a rephrasing of the ancient idea of carpe diem, live each day to it fullest because one never knows what will happen tomorrow. The more pessimistic view, which Luz thinks is more likely, is that the evil of each individual day is so great and so overbearing that it is hard enough to get through one day, much less worry about those coming. Luz argues that while the previous verse is optimistic that in the long run the Kingdom of Heaven will be proclaimed and all will be well, in the short run the future is little more than misery.
There are other interpretations of this verse. Fowler argues that one should not worry about tomorrow, as one is being presumptuous that one will live to see tomorrow, when God has not yet granted that extra day. Morris feels that the verse should be read as an argument to always defer worry to tomorrow, and that by doing so one will never have to worry today.
This verse is not found in Luke, and Schweizer, and other scholars, feel it was most likely a composition of the author(s) of Matthew, a concluding remark for what had gone before. Morrow can either mean the next day in particular, or the future in general. The word here translated as evil (kakia), can mean that, but more likely it simply means trouble or difficulty, rather than the evil of Satan. The verse also had parallels in the wisdom literature of the period.
- Luz, Ulrich. Matthew 1-7: A Commentary. trans. Wilhlem C. Linss. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortess, 1989.
- Fowler, Harold. The Gospel of Matthew: Volume One. Joplin: College Press, 1968
- Morris, Leon. The Gospel According to Matthew. Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1992.
- Schweizer, Eduard. The Good News According to Matthew. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1975
- Nolland, John. The Gospel of Matthew: a commentary on the Greek text. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005 pg. 198
- Harrington, Daniel J. The Gospel of Matthew. Liturgical Press, 1991 pg. 314
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