Matthew 6:4 is the fourth verse of the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament and is part of the Sermon on the Mount. This is the final verse of the Sermon's discussion of alms giving.
- That thine alms may be in secret: and
- thy Father which seeth in secret
- himself shall reward thee openly.
The World English Bible translates the passage as:
- so that your merciful deeds may be
- in secret, then your Father who sees
- in secret will reward you openly.
For a collection of other versions see BibleHub Matthew 6:4
The previous verses indicated that charitable giving should be in secret, perhaps even from oneself. This verse indicates that God will see even the most covert actions, and will ensure they are properly rewarded, because it's not whether one gives alms but how. This is akin of the Jewish teaching: "One who gives charity in secret is greater than Moses" (T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 9. 2.).
The verses 2–4 with verses 5–6 and verses 16–18 form three neatly symmetrical illustrations, about alms, prayer and fasting. The acts of justice, including giving alms, and like prayer and fasting, are between God and the doer, unlike Roman philanthropy, which tends to have public displays of good works.
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