Matthew 6:27


King James Version (KJV)

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature?

American King James Version (AKJV)

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature?

American Standard Version (ASV)

And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto the measure of his life?

Basic English Translation (BBE)

And which of you by taking thought is able to make himself a cubit taller?

Webster's Revision

Which of you by anxious care can add one cubit to his stature?

World English Bible

"Which of you, by being anxious, can add one moment to his lifespan?

English Revised Version (ERV)

And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto his stature?

Definitions for Matthew 6:27

Cubit - A linear measurement.
Stature - Maturity of life; age; adultness.

Clarke's Matthew 6:27 Bible Commentary

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? - The third reason against these carking cares is the unprofitableness of human solicitude, unless God vouchsafe to bless it. What can our uneasiness do but render us still more unworthy of the Divine care? The passage from distrust to apostasy is very short and easy; and a man is not far from murmuring against Providence, who is dissatisfied with its conduct. We should depend as fully upon God for the preservation of his gifts as for the gifts themselves.

Cubit unto his stature? - I think ηλικιαν should be rendered age here, and so our translators have rendered the word in John 9:21, αυτος ηλικιαν εχει he is of age. A very learned writer observes, that no difficulty can arise from applying πηχυν a cubit, a measure of extension, to time, and the age of man: as place and time are both quantities, and capable of increase and diminution, and, as no fixed material standard can be employed in the mensuration of the fleeting particles of time, it was natural and necessary, in the construction of language, to apply parallel terms to the discrimination of time and place. Accordingly, we find the same words indifferently used to denote time and place in every known tongue. Lord, let me know the Measure of my days! Thou hast made my days Hand-Breadths, Psalm 39:5. Many examples might be adduced from the Greek and Roman writers. Besides, it is evident that the phrase of adding one cubit is proverbial, denoting something minute; and is therefore applicable to the smallest possible portion of time; but, in a literal acceptation, the addition of a cubit to the stature, would be a great and extraordinary accession of height. See Wakefield.

Barnes's Matthew 6:27 Bible Commentary

Which of you, by taking thought - The third argument is taken from their extreme weakness and helplessness. With all your care you cannot increase your stature a single cubit. God has ordered your height. Beyond his appointment your powers are of no avail, and you can do nothing. So of raiment. He, by His providence, orders and arranges the circumstances of your life. "Beyond" that appointment of His providence, beyond his care for you, your efforts avail nothing. Seeing, then, that he alike orders your growth and the supply of your needs, how obvious is the duty of depending upon him, and of beginning all your efforts, feeling that He only can grant you the means of preserving life.

One cubit - The cubit was originally the length from the elbow to the end of the middle finger. The cubit of the Scriptures is not far from 22 inches. Terms of "length" are often applied to life, and it is thought by many to be so here. Thus, it is said, "Thou hast made my days as a handbreadth" Psalm 39:5; "Teach me the measure of my days" Psalm 39:4. In this place it is used to denote a "small length." You cannot increase your stature even a cubit, or in the smallest degree. Compare Luke 12:26.

Stature - This word means "height." The original word, however, means oftener "age," John 9:21; "He is of age;" so also John 9:23. If this be its meaning here, as is probable (compare Robinson, Lexicon), it denotes that a man cannot increase the length of his life at all. The utmost anxiety will not prolong it one hour beyond the time appointed for death.

Wesley's Matthew 6:27 Bible Commentary

6:27 And which of you - If you are ever so careful, can even add a moment to your own life thereby? This seems to be far the most easy and natural sense of the words.

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