12:6 Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? 1 Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. 12:7 In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; 2 you are more valuable than many sparrows.
12:24 Consider the ravens: 3 They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds 4 them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! 12:25 And which of you by worrying 5 can add an hour to his life? 6 12:26 So if 7 you cannot do such a very little thing as this, why do you worry about 8 the rest? 12:27 Consider how the flowers 9 grow; they do not work 10 or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! 12:28 And if 11 this is how God clothes the wild grass, 12 which is here 13 today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, 14 how much more 15 will he clothe you, you people of little faith! 12:29 So 16 do not be overly concerned about 17 what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not worry about such things. 18 12:30 For all the nations of the world pursue 19 these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 12:31 Instead, pursue 20 his 21 kingdom, 22 and these things will be given to you as well.
1 sn The pennies refer to the assarion, a small Roman copper coin. One of them was worth one sixteenth of a denarius or less than a half hour’s average wage. Sparrows were the cheapest thing sold in the market. God knows about even the most financially insignificant things; see Isa 49:15.
3 tn Or “crows.” Crows and ravens belong to the same family of birds. English uses “crow” as a general word for the family. Palestine has several indigenous members of the crow family.
4 tn Or “God gives them food to eat.” L&N 23.6 has both “to provide food for” and “to give food to someone to eat.”
5 tn Or “by being anxious.”
6 tn Or “a cubit to his height.” A cubit (πῆχυς, phcu") can measure length (normally about 45 cm or 18 inches) or time (a small unit, “hour” is usually used [BDAG 812 s.v.] although “day” has been suggested [L&N 67.151]). The term ἡλικία (Jhlikia) is ambiguous in the same way as πῆχυς. Most scholars take the term to describe age or length of life here, although a few refer it to bodily stature (see BDAG 435-36 s.v. 1.a for discussion). Worry about length of life seems a more natural figure than worry about height. However, the point either way is clear: Worrying adds nothing to life span or height.
7 tn This is a first class condition in the Greek text.
8 tn Or “why are you anxious for.”
9 tn Traditionally, “lilies.” According to L&N 3.32, “Though traditionally κρίνον has been regarded as a type of lily, scholars have suggested several other possible types of flowers, including an anemone, a poppy, a gladiolus, and a rather inconspicuous type of daisy.” In view of the uncertainty, the more generic “flowers” has been used in the translation.
10 tn Traditionally, “toil.” Although it might be argued that “work hard” would be a more precise translation of κοπιάω (kopiaw) here, the line in English scans better in terms of cadence with a single syllable.
11 tn This is a first class condition in the Greek text.
12 tn Grk “grass in the field.”
13 tn Grk “which is in the field today.”
14 tn Grk “into the oven.” The expanded translation “into the fire to heat the oven” has been used to avoid misunderstanding; most items put into modern ovens are put there to be baked, not burned.
sn The oven was most likely a rounded clay oven used for baking bread, which was heated by burning wood and dried grass.
15 sn The phrase how much more is a typical form of rabbinic argumentation, from the lesser to the greater. If God cares for the little things, surely he will care for the more important things.
16 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate a conclusion drawn from the previous illustrations.
17 tn Grk “do not seek,” but this could be misunderstood to mean that people should make no attempt to obtain their food. The translation “do not be overly concerned” attempts to reflect the force of the original.
18 tn The words “about such things” have been supplied to qualify the meaning; the phrase relates to obtaining food and drink mentioned in the previous clause.
19 tn Grk “seek.”
20 tn Grk “seek,” but in the sense of the previous verses.
21 tc Most