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.


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

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.[1] This is akin of the Jewish teaching: "One who gives charity in secret is greater than Moses" (T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 9. 2.).[1][2]

The verses 2–4 with verses 5–6 and verses 16–18 form three neatly symmetrical illustrations, about alms, prayer and fasting.[3] 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.[4]


  1. ^ a b Allison 2007, p. 856.
  2. ^ Gill, John. Exposition of the Entire Bible. Matthew 6. Accessed 24 April 2019.
  3. ^ France 1994, p. 913.
  4. ^ Coogan 2007, p. 15 New Testament.


  • Allison, Jr., Dale C. (2007). "57. Matthew". In Barton, John; Muddiman, John (eds.). The Oxford Bible Commentary (first (paperback) ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 844–886. ISBN 978-0199277186. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  • 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. ISBN 9780195288810.
  • France, R. T. (1994). "Matthew". In Carson, D. A.; France, R. T.; Motyer, J. A.; Wenham, G. J. (eds.). New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition (4, illustrated, reprint, revised ed.). Inter-Varsity Press. pp. 904–945. ISBN 9780851106489.

Further readingEdit

  • Filson, Floyd V. A Commentary on the Gospel According to St. Matthew. London : A. & C. Black, 1960.
  • Fowler, Harold. The Gospel of Matthew: Volume One. Joplin: College Press, 1968
  • Hendriksen, William. The Gospel of Matthew. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1976
  • Hill, David. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981
  • Lewis, Jack P. The Gospel According to Matthew. Austin, Texas: R.B. Sweet, 1976..

Preceded by
Matthew 6:3
Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 6
Succeeded by
Matthew 6:5